© 2021 Vinny Ribas
Most artists are very aware that they need to establish their own brand. But many artists do not know exactly what that means and how to control it. In the simplest terms, your brand is what people picture when they see or hear your name, hear your music, see your logo, CD cover or picture, watch one of your videos, leave your performance, hire you and even read, see or hear you being interviewed.
As you can see, your brand extends across every touch point your fans and other people in the industry have with you. It is up to you to control every aspect of your branding to get the results you want. That is why it is critical to do all of the following:
- Establish the image, sound and personna you want to be known for. What do you want people to think and say about you? How do you want them to feel when they think of you or hear your music? What do you want them to say on social media during or immediately following your live performance? Your goal is to ensure that everything you do, say and release makes the right impression.
- Evaluate your brand. You might not get it right when you first come out of the gate. Survey your audiences and followers to learn what they are thinking and feeling about you, your music and your show. Take reviews and comments about you and your music seriously. Let your following be your guide.
- Make adjustments regularly. Constantly tweak your branding as needed until you finally get the responses you really want in every area of your image and career.
- Reinforce your brand often. When done in a professional manner, it is almost impossible to over-promote your branding. Of course, you don’t want to become 100% predictable. There should always be at least a subtle air of mystery around you and your music; just enough to keep your fans guessing what you’ll do next.
- Extend your brand. The more ingrained your brand becomes in the minds of everyone, the easier it becomes to expand your brand beyond your music. For example, if you write poetic lyrics, it might make sense to publish a colorful lyric book. If your brand includes physical fitness, you might develop your own line of workout clothes.
In the end, your goal is to become the go-to person when a person, another artist or a venue wants what you offer. For example, if you’ve branded yourself as a dance/party band, you want to be the first act someone calls when they want to hire that kind of band.
It is critical to understand the consequences of poor branding. If your branding is off the mark, one of 2 things will happen. You’ll either never cross the minds of people needing your talents, or you’ll be hired based on the perception someone has of you, but you won’t be able to deliver what your branding promised. Neither one is the result you want.