A successful artist doesn’t just create music, he creates a Brand. Whether you like it or not, if you want to be a successful recording artist, you should work on your branding before you work on your music. Think of it like an arrow – your music is the sharp tip which pierces the hearts of your audience, your brand is the smooth hard wood behind the tip that gets you there – one without the other isn’t going to hit the mark. If the wood is bent or weak, the arrow won’t hit the bulls-eye.
Just take a look at some of the successful HipHop artists out there today, JayZ, 50Cent, Lil’Wayne, Bohemia, Honey Singh – they all have a very high degree of Brand Awareness and will go to any measure to strengthen and protect their Brand.
So what is a Brand? It’s not just a symbol or a picture or a website – it’s a holistic perception of who you are, what you stand for, your purpose behind your ‘art’. There are many Brand considerations for aspiring artists to keep in consideration. Your music isn’t the only way your audience will first find you – it could be on a social network, a picture, a magazine, an interview – so you must ensure that there is a certain level of connectivity and transparency across all channels.
Lets take a look at some of the most basic elements of Branding that every artist must consider:
1. Your domain name: With all the recent cloud offerings and google algorithm updates, people think that you don’t need a website or domain name – FALSE. A website is one of the most simplest ways to brand yourself and maintain a single source of truth where your fans can go to find your music, videos, upcoming events, news or anything else. Try and have your name in the URL i.e. www.iamgujubhai.com
2. Your Facebook, Twitter & Youtube names: You’re fighting for the mind-share of your audience, make it easy for them to remember you and find you. Keep your URL from above, your artist name and all your social profiles as identical as possible! i.e. @iamgujubhai or fb.com/iamgujubhai
3. Your graphic logo/design: Not all artists require logos, but logos are very powerful and create lasting impressions in the minds and hearts of your listeners. The Hindu Swastika which was also used by the Nazis, just rotated 30 degrees. the Ohm symbol. Remember Jay-Z’s iconic spade sign which he throws up during concerts and literally every fan in the audience responds back?.. If you plan on making music a career, you need a logo. Keep it simple, keep it fun, keep it memorable.
4. Professional photography: Selfies are great for close friends and fans, but to establish a brand – get real. Hire a photographer, bring some lights, pick a few locations and practice! Out of hundreds of pictures, you may only really use just a few of them – but you never know where those pictures will end up – in a magazine, on a blog, on someones Facebook wall. So make it count!
5. Your lyrics & music need to flow: What do we mean by that? Your lyrics, need to match your music, needs to match your looks, need to match who you really are and where you’re from. Everything needs to flow together. If your parents are Doctors or Engineers – you better not be doing Gangster Rap! Be yourself, be passionate and be consistent in everything you do.
Check out this quick tip on Marketing & Branding from my homie Ruslan of theBREAX:
by Hardik Dave