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Artist Branding: Your Mini Guide


Cultivating an artist brand takes a lot of hard work but can be rewarding. Like a personal brand, artist branding involves defining who you are and promoting what you stand for as an artist. It differentiates you from others making similar music. Everything from your social media photos to your cover art, music, and overall look plays a part in your brand. All it requires is creativity, strategy, and continuity in your storytelling.


Steps to Artist Branding.

Step 1: Discover your Unique Selling Point (USP).

A genuine brand is built on authenticity. Ask yourself, “Who am I?”, “What do I do?”, “Why do I do what I do?”, and “Why does it matter?”. Your answers will form the core of your personal brand.


Step 2: Audit your existing brand.

The next step to growing a brand is auditing your current one. Google your artist name. What do people see and say about you? Are you clearly conveying your message clearly? This will show you what needs to change or stay the same.


Step 3: Define your core values.

Based on your unique selling point, define your core values in 3-4 sentences. These are the things you care about most and want people to associate with you.


Step 4: Define your genre and target audience.

Deciding on a genre isn’t always easy especially when you’re first starting out but it would help you figure out your vibe, being that each genre comes with its own circle, style, and trend. Your target audience is the specific group of people most likely to listen to your music. Plan how you’ll reach them.


Step 5: Build a vision board.

Visualize your brand identity with a vision board, either digitally or physically. Include images and texts that inspire you and communicate your brand identity clearly. Consider colors, typography, and visual elements. For every one you work with, it would serve as a guide to help communicate your brand identity more clearly. Envision where you want to be and look at what artists in that space are currently doing but be wary of copying your style and sound from other artists.


Step 6: Create a consistent strategy

Now you have your look and feel down, determine how you’re going to showcase your identity consistently. Make a list of all the key activities you currently do. How do you present them in such a way that they reflect your brand? Are you going to start a blog, open a YouTube channel for vlogs, or show up more consistently on social media? Decide on a schedule and stick to it.


Step 7: Network to build your brand.

Network to genuinely connect with people who will enrich your brand professionally. You have the chance to build a community and find opportunities for collaboration. Social media allows you to communicate meaningfully with fans - further building your reputation with each positive interaction. Be intentional with your content, colors, and tone of voice.


Step 8: Going forward - cover arts

Your life as an artist is a journey and should be portrayed as such - this is where planning comes into play. Giving real-life examples, when releasing a lead single for a bigger project, your cover art should align with your vision for that project; the cover art of the singles released before the EP could have a similar look and feel - bringing fans into the scheme of things. As insignificant as it seems, your cover art is the first thing people see; it should give people an idea of what to expect when they press play. It should reflect you, and give them an idea of what's to come.


Step 9: Develop Your Online Presence

Create a professional website and maintain active social media profiles. Your online presence should consistently reflect your brand values and aesthetics. Regularly interact with your followers, share your creative process, and keep them engaged with fresh content.


Step 10: Stay Authentic and Adapt

Branding is not an overnight task. As you grow, you may need to re-strategize and rebrand. Keep in mind that to be authentic, you would need to stay true to who you are and your core values.


Conclusion

As your brand shapes up, recognizability becomes even inevitable. People may listen to a see a cover art, or hear the line of a song and just know it's you. That's the power of a strong brand.


All the best in your branding journey!

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