The number one music advice I can share to you as a guy who used to work as an A&R rep, is that if you have a band, artist branding is essential.
People need to know who you are. In other words, a profitable career in music requires connecting with your audience. If you are a singer or a performer, you understandably may want to just focus on your music and not on marketing and publicity. But even if profit is not your prime motivator, sometimes pragmatism is necessary: if no one wants to buy your music, your time as an artist may unfortunately be short-lived.
We are hardcore enthusiasts of band branding. We even made a checklist of band branding essentials for musicians.
One of the easiest ways to establish and promote your brand is to create an album that looks as good as it sounds. The cover art of the CD case, as well as the design on the disc itself, should reflect the music that it contains. For example, a punk rock record must look edgier than a teenage pop singer’s debut. Customers have been trained to associate certain images, colors, and typefaces with certain genres, and they do not want to be deceived. Check out these essential tips on how to design effective album art. Additionally, having alignment will guarantee that your music is picked up by those who enjoy that particular style, boosting sales and word of mouth. Thus, connecting with your audience starts before the record is even released.
Once the CD hits stores or go live online, promoting the album may involve doing a publicity tour. Appearing on daytime or nighttime talk shows, radio broadcasts, and magazine covers helps potential fans gain interest in you as a performer and as a person. They will become curious and buy your product to discover if your music interests them as well. Many artists have seen their sales skyrocket after being interviewed by a popular host, being spotlighted on the radio, or being showcased by a newspaper.
Another option of connecting with your audience is advertising. With the new technology to target which members of the public view certain ads, it is easy to ensure that the proper clientele sees your message. Online banners are a very popular method of promotion, but television commercials also still prove effective. No matter which methods of publicity are chosen, make sure that fans know that you are a real person whose music is worth listening to.
Bottom line: As an indie musician, your tasks is not limited to making music, you should also sell yourself and connect to people. Self-promotion is not an option, it is a must.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.