Online Branding for Musicians How to – Why Branding Your Band Is Essential

Before I begin writing this article, I’d like to say that most artists and musicians are sometimes intimidated with the word BRAND. A lot, or even most, have no idea what it means or what it is, and most importantly how crucial it can be to setting themself apart from all of the thousands of other acts out there; and being the band that ultimately achieves success.

First, let me point out that building your digital brand is not as complicated as you might think. As a matter of fact, it’s probably one of the easiest and least expensive forms of marketing your music, and your band. As I indicated, I am going to lay this out – step-by-step so that it is very easy to follow and implement. So, let’s get into it a little:

YOUR LOGO:

This is probably the simplest form of your brand. Every act should have a logo that in some way or another represents who you are. It should be simple and easy to understand. But you must have one. Don’t rush it – do many different ideas and samples until you pick the final version. Collaborate with band-members, fans, and friends for different ideas. Six heads are better than one.

YOUR STORY:

Remember, you essentially want your digital brand to tell the story of who you are. Focus on details that describe your image and likeness, your on-stage consistent look, and a consistent look and feel for your websites and social media. Once you devise your branded image, exploit it everywhere. When fans move from website to website, or see you perform, your brand must be consistent. Everywhere people look for you, they must be able to absolutely know it’s you – simply by seeing your consistent logo, brand, and image. It must be memorable!!

CONSTRUCT A COMMUNITY OF FOLLOWERS:

Personalize your fan engagement experiences. Build trust and affection in your close personal community. Engage as often as possible. Possibly use brand-infused giveaways as a way to increase your follower’s cooperation.

Use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to constantly spread your brand and expose it to as many followers as possible. By all means, shoot professional videos. Video will enhance your brand and give your fans a closer look at what you’re all about and become closer to you.

OVERSHADOW YOUR COMPETITION:

Dominate your particular music market by being distinctive in every aspect of your digital and traditional marketing efforts. Some examples are your official website, your social media sites and posts, new CD releases and especially in your merchandise. Your merch must be distinctive and express your image and brand in its designs. Along with your logo, merch designs should also reflect your band’s character and its overall story. The designs should be original and trendy. If they’re truly cool designs, people will buy them even if it had nothing to do with your band; hence, more collateral exposure for your brand.

PUBLICITY & MUSIC MEDIA RELATIONS:

Exploit your brand in the news media, interviews, radio, and in music review blogs. Getting coverage in any of the media outlets will create serious attention and awareness for your brand, and further enhance it. This type of outreach is better handled by a seasoned music publicist. It takes a great deal of time, expertise, and an accumulation of high profile media contacts. It’s extremely difficult for the average artist to be taken seriously by media outlets. A professional music publicist, who is trusted by the media, may cost you a few bucks, but it’s worth every penny.

SO, IN SUMMARY:

Remember, don’t get too intense or complicated. And most importantly, don’t get frustrated. Take your time – do it right and keep it simple. Don’t forget to work with all of your band-members, fans, friends and followers when it comes to establishing your logo, story, image, and designs. Six heads are better than one. Take a look at the extremely popular acts that you admire – see how they approach branding. You may want to consider emulating some of their ideas.

Branding is serious business. It’s not something to be ignored. It’s the visual representation of you as an artist. Just have fun, and do it!

Why Business Cards Are Useful To Musicians

Why Musicians Should Use Business Cards

Business cards, we’ve all had them. Some of us swear by them, others say “neh” and do away with them. Whatever type you are, I’m sure someone’s handed you one at some point. And you probably thought, “what the hell am I supposed to do with this?” Or maybe you were like “sweet dude, I’m gonna call you right away.” Either way, it probably got you thinking. You may have thought, “wow this person really comes prepared.” I seriously doubt you thought, “heh, look this guy, what a dinosaur, still uses business cards.”

In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few things you can do with business cards to stand out amongst the sea of musicians out there, and why business cards for musicians still can be used today.

Tangibility

Okay, it’s kind of interesting that in 2018 we’re still talking about them. I mean, we’re supposed to have hover-boards, flying cars, self-tying shoes, and time travel should be a thing of the past. Sorry, Marty, we’re not there yet.

As the world becomes more and more digitized with things like SoundCloud, Spotify and Facebook it may feel like business cards for musicians are a bit old-fashioned. But are they really? Well, we’re humans, so it’s only natural that we like the human touch. Handing something that is tangible to another person has much more of an impact rather than another ‘like’ or ‘follow’ on social media. In 2016 paper books made a 7% increase in sales while eBooks made a decrease of 4%. A big attributor to this was adult coloring books and children preferring paper books over a Kindle or iPad. What does this suggest? I think it’s kind of clear. We don’t like everything in our lives to be digital. We like things that have texture and we can hold in our hands. Digital can just get a little too sterile at times.

Forces You To Network

When you learn the knowledge of something for yourself, you take responsibility for it. Similarly, when you spend money on something, you’re more inclined to use it. A Facebook page or a Twitter account cost nothing. So it’s much easier to give it the old ‘oh tomorrow, tomorrow’ adage. It doesn’t feel too good spending money on that New Year’s resolution exercise equipment for it to just sit there, collecting dust. But what happens when you actually use it and you start to see results. You probably feel like a million bucks. Well, when you’ve spent money on some business cards, I bet you anything you feel pretty good when you start using them and start meeting people. All the while putting you in the right mindset to get you off your ass and get to those networking events or build up the courage to talk to that person that could make the difference.

What To Put On Them?

Your basic setup should be quality stock (stock = type of paper). A nice 16pt paper or 38pt triple layered paper works beautifully. Avoid basic, cookie-cutter designs or images. Make sure your business cards include the following:

  • Your name
  • Services provided
  • Phone number
  • SoundCloud, Spotify, Facebook, or YouTube
  • Email
  • Your website URL

Don’t overwhelm people with every single social media account you have. Provide the ones you use most and that best exemplify you.

Be Creative

Your card is a reflection of your artistry to an extent. So it should speak for you. Are you a plain and boring person? Then your business card should be plain and boring. Are you a simple yet modern person? Then your business card should speak of that. Try things like colorful backgrounds, or follow the trends of modern artwork and try to incorporate that into your design. It doesn’t have to stop there either. Why not have some funny quotes or descriptions of your services? Don’t just settle on ‘guitar player’ or my favorite ‘pianist’. Make the line about who you are. Just don’t overdo it.

Finally

Business cards aren’t the end all. When you have them, you aren’t going to just start booking outstanding gigs and getting more work (maybe you will). They are simply a way of having your information nicely placed for your prospect to take an interest into what you have to offer. Then, that may drive them to your website or demo reels. A good looking business card is just the first step, the rest is up to you…

I ask you this

How many of you musicians out there still use business cards? What are your thoughts about them while we move more and more into digitization. Do people really care about tangibility? For my networking musicians, if there were a website that helped musicians by taking the frustration out of designing business cards and other paper promotion, would you use it?