Branding In The Music Industry
The Importance of Branding in the Music Industry
As a student of music industries management, I've learned a great deal about what it takes for a music artist or band to achieve a level of success. What a lot of people don't realize is just how crucial branding in the music industry is. In this day of digital media and social networking, it is both more difficult and easier than ever to get your foot in the door. With so many new artists and bands emerging and trying their hand at a career as performers, it is easy for others to get lost in the shuffle. To really stand out from the crowd and start on your road to success, you need to brand yourself (or your band) and put yourself out there as much as possible.
In this lens I will discuss the importance of branding your band and treating your music career as a business and not just a hobby. I will also share some simple tips on how to get started with the branding process and how to make yourself stand out from the rest.
Establishing Yourself as a Brand
One of the most important and valuable steps you can take in your career as a musician is to build yourself, or your band, as a brand. If you are looking for a successful career in the music industry as a performer, and your ultimate goal is to make a living from your music, then you need to treat yourself as an artist, or your band, as a business.
If you start to take your music seriously and look at is as more than just a hobby, you are well on your way to achieving the success that you are striving for. To make a living from creating and performing music, you need to invest (both time-wise and financially) in your band and market and promote it as you would a product from any other kind of business.
Register your Domain Name
The first thing you should do after choosing your band's name is to register the domain name online. With the popularity of the Internet these days, it is likely that the first thing a prospective new fan will do when they hear your band, is look them up online. By having yourbandname.com registered, you are making it so much easier for your band to be found on the Internet. Once you have secured your .com address, you should think about purchasing other domain names, too. Snatch up .net, .co.uk, .org, .info and any others that you can grab!
Your band's website should be the hub for all information and should be updated regularly along with any social networking profiles that your band may have. Make sure you create links between your social media profiles and your website, so that fans have access to all of the information and interactions.
Make sure there is an option for people to subscribe to your mailing list somewhere on your website. Having a huge following on social networking sites can be handy, but what if something happens to one of those websites down the line and your profile vanishes? Where are all those fans then? If you can build a list of people's email addresses, you have a direct contact to them for as long as their email address is in use.
Social Media Marketing
Being active on social networks is one of the most valuable things you can do to market your band. Set up accounts on profiles on any networks you can find. The bigger your reach, the more fans you can target. It is important, however, to keep all profiles up-to-date, and not to let any fall inactive. Many social networks these days offer synchronization between accounts, so you can just post on one and have it update the others that it is linked to. For some, though, you will need to manually update. Management of social media profiles is essential in keeping your fans interested and informed when it comes to your band.
If you can't handle dozens of different social networking accounts, then make sure you are signed up to at least the following:
Facebook - Get yourself a fan page and promote it as best you can.
Twitter - Can be synced with many other social networking sites, and is great for fan interaction if used correctly.
YouTube - Great for sharing your music and videos with the world. Also offers monetization on original videos.
ReverbNation - Social networking for musicians! Keep track of fans and link to other social networking profiles.
MySpace - While it may not be as popular as it once was, MySpace is STILL good for music and a great way to promote your band.
Remember, however, that the marketing and promotion of your band does not rely solely on social media. Social networking websites are just tools to help you build the business that is your band. Use them effectively, but remember that YOUR website and mailing list is where the focus really needs to be.
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Create a professional looking logo for your band in minutes.
Create a Unique Logo
One of the best ways you can brand your band is to create a logo that people can automatically associate with it. As I specialize in the hard rock/metal genres of music, I have added a picture of the logo of a well-known, successful band - Avenged Sevenfold. The logo - known as the Deathbat - has become synonymous with the band, and millions of people around the world recognize it and automatically know it is Avenged Sevenfold without having to even have the band's name anywhere on it.
Creating a striking and unique logo for your band that can be used on merchandise, posters, banners and around the Internet is a huge step in establishing your band as its own brand. Once people start to see and recognize your logo, it will be much harder for them to forget who you are. If the logo is really cool looking, people will be proud to wear it and show it off for you.
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Creating an Image
The image of your band is sometimes just as important as your music. Make sure your band LOOKS like a band and carries an image that your targeted demographic can relate to. Many musicians greatly underestimate the important of image in the music industry and fail to realize that the business has moved beyond just the sounds of a band. Image goes beyond just the visual aesthetics, too. How you carry yourself and behave also plays a huge part in how people see you. Aspire to be a band that people can look up to in one way or another. Send a message that your fans can take on board and give them something to BELIEVE in.
The Importance of Branding
Any marketing guru will tell you that the biggest and most important aspect of marketing is branding. This is as essential in the music business as it is in any other. Potential fans need to be able to remember and associate with you. With so many other artists and bands out there, it is important that you take the necessary steps to stand out from the crowd and not just fade into the background. Once you start to treat your band as a business and understand the importance and value of branding yourself, things will start to fall into place and you'll be taking steps in the right direction. The brand of your band is the foundation of your business, and once the foundation is laid you can build upon it. Without a starting block, a business cannot be built. When it comes to your career, you don't want to be going around in circles, you want to move forward.
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© 2014 Leese Wright
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