A brand is the personality of a business; it includes the business’ name, logo, symbol, slogan, overarching voice, and more.
Building a strong brand as an artist is important because it’s going to help you make money; it will allow you to effectively market the music that you make, and get it into the hands of people interested in listening to it.
Music producers and musicians who make music as a hobby don’t invest time or money into branding; they aren’t concerned with making a profit. For this reason, many promoters looking to book you care a lot about how your brand looks. Quality branding is a mark of professionalism.
I’ll be providing you with 5 tips to build a better brand as an artist.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Who are you writing music for? This is a critical question to ask yourself because it’s going to determine every aspect of how you build your brand, and how you go about marketing your music.
If you had to paint the perfect picture of a superfan, what would they look like? And what would they be interested in?
Is your music intended for male college students interested in EDM, who are looking for music to turn up to on the weekend? Or is it more suitable for women 70+ who grew up listening to artists like Frank Sinatra?
It’s pretty clear that the brand of an EDM artist like Skrillex isn’t going to appeal to the latter group, and that the brand of an artist like Elvis Presley won’t appeal to the former group.
Collect Demographics Data
The term “demographics” refers to statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it. It’s the demographics of your audience that you’ll need to learn more about before you can begin branding effectively.
For example, the Black Ghost Audio website caters to males, aged 25-34, from the United States, with interest in arts and entertainment, as well as technology and computing.
We’ve determined this to be our ideal market based on the information we collect from people visiting our website, and we’re able to gather even more detailed information from surveys we send out to our mailing list from time to time.
This data has allowed us to develop our brand over time, create more desirable content, and partner with companies that our readers are interested in.
Instead of guessing who your target audience is, there are several tools you can use to find out.
Use Facebook Page Insights
Let’s assume you’re just starting out and don’t have an audience to gather information from. You’re able to create something known as a lookalike audience, which mimics the audience of an artist making music similar to your own.
Facebook Audience Insights is a powerful Facebook feature that not many people know about. It allows you to view the audience demographics of other people’s Facebook pages.
By inputting the name of an artist into the “Interests” field on the Audience Insights dashboard, you can get a detailed look at the people who follow their Facebook page.
This is a big deal because if you’re able to identify artists who make music similar to your own, you can use their audience demographics to assist in building your brand. Information like this will also allow you to run Facebook Ads campaigns more effectively.
When you build up a following of your own, you’ll be able to analyze the demographics of the people who like your Facebook page. At that point, you can reassess your marketing strategies and refine your brand if necessary.
Use Google Analytics
If you have an artist website, you’re able to collect the same type of information using Google Analytics. All you need to do is embed your Google Analytics Tracking ID and Global Site Tag on your website, and Google Analytics will start collecting information about your website visitors.
The only problem with collecting data in this way is that you need people visiting your website. As a relatively new artist, you may not have anyone visiting your site yet, or worse, you may not have a website at all.
To create a website, I recommend using a music artist Wordpress theme; you can find one through Envato Market. Alternatively, you can create a website using Webflow, which requires more technical prowess but also provides you with greater customization options.
2. Create an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short and sweet sales pitch you can use to get someone interested in your brand; the idea behind this is that you should be able to deliver your sales pitch in the time it takes to ride an elevator with someone.
A great elevator pitch will clearly outline the value your brand brings to the table, describe why your brand is unique, and remain within the length of a tweet.
Post Malone's Elevator Pitch
Many artist brands are focused on the artist’s looks and personality. Post Malone is a great example of this, and his elevator pitch might be something along the lines of:
“I’m a singer/rapper that makes pop, trap, and rock. People like me for my laid-back personality, my tattoos, and the crazy clothes I wear.”
In the following interview, Post Malone’s personality shines through. Regardless of how you feel about his music, he’s an extremely likable person; I believe this to be one of the reasons he’s been able to gain such a huge following.
Marshmello's Elevator Pitch
Not every brand is hyper-focused on the artist’s personality. Marshmello is an artist who wears a marshmallow helmet. The brand doesn’t go that deep, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. His sales pitch might be something like:
“I’m a music producer that creates pop/EDM. I wear a marshmallow helmet and white clothes, both on-stage and off-stage.”
If you’re more introverted than you are extroverted, taking your brand down a less personal route may be the more comfortable option. The following video shows Marshmello in his staple outfit.
3. Choose an Aesthetic that Represents Your Music
Once you’ve come up with your elevator pitch and you’ve decided what your gimmick is, it should be much easier to work out the visual aspect of your brand. Visuals are important because they give potential listeners an idea of how your music will sound.