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Mastering Music Branding: From Unknown to Unforgettable



If you’re an artist, you want to be known. I understand that it’s incredibly hard to be vulnerable, but most artists don’t realize that this vulnerability makes them unforgettable. This is why you feel stuck, even though your music and its presentation are great. The world needs your music, and the only way you can share why the world needs your music is to become vulnerable and open up yourself to the world.


Branding Is All About Impression

Impression is an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence. It is often done with distinct messaging and imagery so that the impression can be formed easily without much brainpower to think.


People Don’t Follow the Best Artists

People listen to and follow the artists who communicate their reasons for creating their music the best. Is it easy for me to understand who you are? Cool. Is the music quality enough? Yes. Is it entertaining so I can escape reality for a minute? Yep. Done. Watch my video on how to make musical crack!


Upon First Listen or Impression

If what you’re communicating in your music doesn’t help your listener survive or thrive in that moment, they will tune you out! This is a value proposition. The listener is looking to add value to their life via your music, lyrics, and story. If you can do that, you’ve passed the test of branding. Make sure you make a great impression.


Who Are You?

Name, location/birthplace, age, genre. This is the first thing people want to know when they come across your music. This is the first step to being unforgettable. Now people can say, “Hey, I found this artist from Philly or Atlanta, and they make music like this!”


What Is Your Backstory?

After potential fans have had an experience of you, they are looking for a backstory. Almost immediately, because people don’t want to feel like they’ve missed out on something. They want to be early so they can tell their friends and get an ego boost. “I was following him or her back when they only had one follower.” People need to know your backstory. This lets them know where you came from and why your viewpoints are the way they are. It also gives people more foundation to support you and fans to defend and fight for you because it offers more reliability.


What Do You Want from the World?

Outside of doing music to have fun, what do you want? Money, power, respect, security, or freedom? You must clearly define what you want, or else communicating becomes unclear with no thrust for the communication between you and the fans. From there, tell the world what you want, act like you want it, and watch the world give it back to you. Clear communication is a must!


Who Needs Your Music?

If you are passionate about who needs your music in the world, you will fight for your artistic expression. If you don’t know who in the world needs your music, then you won’t put as much passion and energy into creating excellent bodies of work.


Are You Helping Your Listener Survive?

What about your listener? Does your music and your story help them survive and thrive to the next day? After all, isn’t that all we see from fanatics time and time again? “Oh my god, you did this thing, and it helped me through.” A lot of times, you can find what your listener wants by what you want. Finding the want is easy, but executing it at a high level of helping them survive is the challenge.


How Are You Surviving Your Current Obstacles?

When you propose this part of your story to your fanbase, they will not only relate, but they will begin to resonate with you right now because they want to see you overcome those obstacles. Now you’re primed to take these people on a journey with you.


How Are You Going to Thrive?

Followers follow a leader who thrives and wins! Ultimately, you’re a champion to these people, and they want to see you win the game! The whole point is to take these followers somewhere. From a documentary standpoint, this is necessary for the followers to stay engaged with you.


Where Are You Going?

Ok, great, we’re showcasing how we’re going to win the game, but where are we going? Where is the end goal or at least the checkpoints? If you don’t tell these followers about the checkpoints or inform them when you’ve hit them, how are they really going to keep following you? Also, you can’t have goals so short-sighted that your followers fall off.


Core Values

Core values are things that you value the most. Things that you place the most attention, intention, and passion upon. It could be music, family, God, helping people, fashion, fun, anything that you wouldn’t mind sharing or talking about at the drop of a hat without trying.


Let’s Brand This Story

Remember, branding is all about the image people craft in their minds and the quality of the experience they received upon first and second impression of you. The impression can be made through any audio-visual medium, but you should always push for as much quality as you can afford and pack each impression with as much value as you can so long as it relates to you and shows your vulnerability. This is why many artists choose to do podcasts because story narratives can be told all in one sit-down. On the flip side, single-shot music videos help tell the story of the music through inexpensive visuals that keep the follower engaged with the story. Lastly, the quality presentation of online storefronts allows people to buy from you like there’s no tomorrow.


Ok, But What Do I Do?

Here are my favorite branding tactics when I want to make an impression. Telling a story narrative in an interview style where the camera is focused on you. Telling your music’s narrative through single-shot micro music videos, and capturing documentary-style footage of the action that’s moving you towards the goal. All of this has to be done with a decent camera shot.


What If Listeners Don’t Stick Around?

If listeners don’t stick around, it’s because their first impression was not great or you’re not around enough in terms of content to take them on a journey with you and keep entertaining them.


Can’t I Just Be a Mysterious Artist?

It will be extremely hard to keep listeners engaged with music alone. A story still has to unfold for fans to follow. You have to figure out how you’re going to entertain them.



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If You Communicate Clearly

Branding will be easier than you thought and you’ll retain your listeners and fans way longer than an artist who has mixed messaging.


If You Don’t Communicate Clearly

Listeners just won’t stick around and you’ll constantly be struggling, trying to find new listeners all the time.


Conclusion

If you were struggling with:

  1. Crafting your brand image to stand out amongst the crowd,

You now have the means to get this done and be the next best thing smokin’!

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