There are probably MILLIONS of artists in the world today. Seems like everybody is doing music lol! You feel like you’re different and special from the bunch but you’re having a hard time figuring out how to set yourself apart. What’s really going to make you stand out as that One in a Million? Branding. This is a crucial area where you can carve out a unique place and set yourself apart from the pack!
With the oversaturation of the music market, it is very tempting to just do what everyone else is doing. You see another artist’s success and think “if I make music just like them, I’ll be successful just like them.” While this may seem like the most lucrative route, it won’t help you create your own brand. People buy into brands and movements these days. The best route is to create your own lane artistically! Use the market saturation to your advantage! It’s very easy to stick out when you’re different! Tap into your innermost creativity and make music that is true to who YOU are. Do things that are unconventional. This is a very crucial step in branding yourself as an artist. If everyone is creating the same sound and you do the same, what sets you apart? If a person listens to 5 different artist’s songs in a row, including yours, and everything sounds exactly the same, how is that going to make you stick out creatively? If you resist the urge to follow trends, come with something different, something that’s YOU, you will automatically stick out. I will touch on marketing in another post, but anyone can copy your marketing methods. They can do the same exact stuff that you do. Marketing is marketing. But, nobody will ever be better at the way YOU uniquely create your sound than yourself. Your music is always going to be the easiest and best way to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.
YOUR ARTIST NAME
It all starts with having the PERFECT artist name that fits you. Choosing a name may seem easy, but it can be a bit complex. You’ve got to have a name that stands out, or either be such an eccentric artist that you stand out lol! For me, Tone Jonez came naturally as my name. My middle name is Antonio and my last name is Jones so being that I do music, my friends started calling me Tone Jonez. I’d suggest you create a name that is natural to who you are as a person. It will be much easier to identify with and to feel connected with the name. For instance, you could call yourself David the Mic Slayer but it sounds like a circus act lol! In a normal, non- musical situation, would you want someone to really address you as that? NO lol!
Try to shoot for a name that is as short is possible. It needs to memorable, relevant, and marketable. Write down a list of as many name choices as you can think of. Once you have a few solid names down, do a little Google research first and see if anyone else is using any of the names. Narrow your list down a bit more and check social networks to see if your name is available. You want a name that is available and unused on every social network. Next, narrow down your list again and check your remaining name choices in the Google keyword tool. See how much competition there is for the names. You want a name with low competition so you can really carve your own lane. After you narrow your list down to ONE name, you will build your entire brand from that name. Everything you do going forward must exemplify and vividly represent your name.
Your appearance is the next step in your branding process. This is a major part of Attraction Marketing, A.K.A. attracting your potential fans to you. This spans from the way you look as a person all the way to the graphics that you use. Create an image for yourself that people will be able to become familiar with and identify. Hire someone who is AWESOME at graphic design and photography to create images (profile pics, cover photos, album covers, etc.) that are in cohesion with your brand. This is very important. Your graphic/photo work paints a picture of who you are and your worth. Everything must be solid from the color scheme down to the design.But, before you hit up any graphic designers, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want. This will help keep turnaround times proper for everyone. Hire awesome photographers and videographers to handle photo and video shoots. For some of the best video work in the game, check out http://www.spacecherryfilms.com. A++ work! Tell them I sent you.
Another very crucial part of branding is having your own website. Having your own website is great for your branding because it is 100% customizable to fit your vision. With awesome platforms such as Word press, you can have a powerful website up in a week’s time. If you’re not a great web designer, there are a variety of dope web designers out there for hire! But, if you can’t afford a web designer, there are other great options such as WIX for easily creating flash and html5 based websites on your own( I suggest HTML5). NING is a wonderful platform if you’re looking to create your own social network for your brand. It’s definitely something to look into for future expansion at least. BANDZOOGLE is also great because it offers a variety of music specific tools for artists and musicians. Personally, I use Bandzoogle because it fits what I need it to do very affordably. For $19.99 a month, I get to customize my site, embed html, have a mailing list of up to 10,000 people(I actually recommend a different service to handle your mailing list such as AWEBER), sell music downloads with no percentage taken out, sell physical merch and much more! It shows up great in the Google search engine and my monthly profits make this small fee look like a joke. Whichever platform you decide to use, make sure your website is visually appealing, fast loading and simple to navigate.
Having a great online personality is a must. It’s a necessity in order for you to connect with potentials fans and grow a fan base. Your online personality allows fans to build trust with you and your brand. Because you allow them to get to know you as a person, they will support you over and over again without fail. One thing to always remember is that people are not buying into your music. They're buying into YOU. You can express your personality via social media posts, blogging, videos, photos, and a variety of other things. Let people get a glimpse of your life beyond the music. As always, I hope this was encouraging and I believe in YOU! Be Blessed -Tone Jonez