Create A Music Brand | Building A Successful Music Career
To be successful as a DIY Artist, you need to create a music brand. A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Where are you selling your music right now and how are you trying to create a music brand for yourself?
A few third party sites, DIY artists sell their music from are iTunes, Reverbnation, BandCamp, Tunecore, CD Baby & Distrokid are the main go-to’s for digital downloads. To learn more about these platforms and to decide which one is right for you click here. Top Streaming services include Spotify, Google Music, Apple Music/Beats and Tidal Music. What is the one platform that is missing from this list ideal to helping you create a music brand for yourself? Your Website.
With this in mind, why do so many artists put all their energy into selling music on other websites instead of their own? How does this benefit them? One key-phrase used way too often is exposure. How many shady bookers/promoters have used that word to coerce artists into playing their list of venues for free? Exposure only works if you, the artist, is getting something out of the deal.
Being a DIY Musician requires wearing many hats. These days, we can’t just be a creator. Some of the job titles we’ve taken on include booker, promoter, artist, event coordinator. And when it comes to our website, we are tech guru, graphic design genius and website aficionado. DIY does not mean do it all yourself! Learn to delegate & use your fans to help you build upon your business.
Technology has transformed the music landscape. Use its resources to your advantage. Most importantly remember your success depends on staying focused and building a team. There’s power in numbers. Building a successful music scene takes all kinds. Be gracious with your time & put your ego aside.
Sell Music From Your Website Directly to Fans
To create a music brand that is successful, the first thing you need is your own website. Get yourself a squarespace or wix.com. There are a variety of website builders with easy drag & drop functionality. If you are a little more web savvy, get yourself a wordpress site & choose one of thousands of music templates available to help you attract fans to your site. Keep in mind part of building a music brand is looking professional and people buy based on design appeal.
Take IKEA for example. Every one who purchases furniture from Ikea shares a similar taste, cheap, but elegant. It’s the staple of college furniture these days & walking into Ikea, design hits you from all directions. In fact, they make it a point to have you walk the entire floor since they know buying mentality increases when customers have options to choose from. With this in mind, build your website with your customers in mind. Don’t make your music hard to find, even a music tab can be confusing. Your fans live in an ADD world, we all do. Give them what they want on the home page of your site. To create a music brand, your music has to come first.
Make Your Music Accessible For Fans
TunePort is the music brand store for artists everywhere. Artists can easily embed their music store directly on their website home-page. No 3rd party links, one transaction, complete satisfaction. Most importantly, TunePort provides artists with a 590 X 200 Banner to help artists get their name out to fans immediately. Within the store are social media buttons to help fans connect with their artists and build this relationship. It’s simple & easy for fans to buy an artists’s music. Furthermore, TunePort keeps their name out of the mix, ensuring artists receive one hundred percent recognition for their music. Artists have the option to license their songs for TV/FILM, sell their songs as a digital download, upload zip files to engage fans with new content & much more. Custom options are key to giving fans and artists what they want and the TunePort Store does all of this.
Use Social Media & YouTube to Engage Your Fans & Create a Music Brand
Social Media is huge. Why not create a Fan Page for your hardcore listeners and once a week be available to chat for an hour? Building a consistent fan-base means connecting and engaging in relationship building. This is essential in helping to create a music brand for you and your band. 4 Killer Tips to build a Fanbase Besides Facebook, YouTube is a great medium to further create a music brand & offer a unique perspective to fans.
Hey You, Tube!
Online Video Presence on YouTube is another integral part of being an artist and creating a music brand. You don’t need awesome video footage, just have a good store. For instance, have some of your fans record a song you played and buy them a pizza. Ask them if they’d be willing to record 5 minutes of footage of you they can share with their friends. In return you’ll hook them up at your shows, first in the door, after-hour parties, etc.
Make it fun and a game. People like games. Hire a videographer and spend $100.00 to record your band live & make it look good. Honestly it will probably run you 150, but this is your business and you want to make yourself look good for the professional music community.
Be Creative with your Marketing Strategies
It’s no longer an album world. Sell an album with other creative content. Take a look at your team (your fellow band-mates) and figure out what you are good at & then turn it into something. For example, maybe one of your band mates loves to write or draw pictures. Why not include a story with the album? In seconds, you could turn this into a weekly Instagram Post. Each picture details the narrative of the song. When fans comment on the pictures, they are rewarded. Welcome to marketing 101. Great news, you don’t have to release albums any more. Digital audio files are fine, but focus on building momentum and releasing your songs after you’ve shared snippets of yourself in the studio, etc. Building a cool story will help you create a music brand that is completely yours.
Make Every Performance a Stellar Live Show
I used to play out all the time with just my acoustic, while that’s fine, having a cool rhythm section behind you will make things that much better! If you’re playing for tips, split 50/50 and if you are getting paid, same. Your rhythm section is key to selling your music and making it happen. Secondly, get someone professional to work your booth. It’s essential to have someone working for you to sell your merch so you can mingle. Trust me, I’ve played enough shows to know how tired you are after a set. You can’t do Everything, but selling merch is key to your survival.
Sell, Sell, SELL!
Get yourself a square or PayPal reader & spend 30 minutes training your person to do a good job. Provide incentives with specific sales goals to hit and always do bulk discounts with T-shirt & CD included. I highly recommend having albums to sell because it looks good on your table, USB’s not so much, but you can get the ones that look like little guitars and those are pretty damn cool. Use your Albums as Eye-Candy & use USB’s to provide new sources of content – aka: music videos, album pictures, new releases, secret footage of you in the studio, etc. Selling Merch is a skill and the way you do it will help you create a music brand that is entirely you. Triple your profits by selling USB not CD!