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Branding for Musicians: A Simplified Guide to Marketing

Brand Feat.

Is your music being heard over the white noise of the internet? Advertising your band online is a daunting task, but band branding can help simplify and strengthen your marketing efforts. The internet is inundated with aspiring musicians, so in the age of oversharing, success is all about finding your niche.

“Branding” is essentially telling your story in a way that sets you apart from other musicians and connects you with your fans. It’s an especially effective marketing tool for artists. Defining your brand and constructing a marketing plan around it will streamline the way you communicate as an artist and help the content you post to better resonate with your fans.

Defining Your Band’s Brand

Your brand is your story. Define it by focusing on what drives you, inspires you, and sets you apart. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are the themes of your work?
  • What values are most important to you as an artist?
  • What inspires you?
  • How would you describe your personal style?
  • How do you want your audience to describe your live show?

Think about the language and tone that best represent your brand, and the artwork and imagery that fits your aesthetic. Be specific, be unique, and incorporate the parts of your personality that you feel comfortable sharing. The more you can flesh out the character of your brand, the easier it will be to establish consistent marketing habits and build a recognizable presence.

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+Read more on Flypaper: “How to be Every Sound Guy’s Best Friend”

Branding Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you know what you’re sharing, come up with how you’re going to sell it. Your brand should be at the heart of your marketing strategy — everything that you share, publish, and promote should be in line with the values and brand identity that you’ve defined.

If it helps, think of your brand/band as a character. Your marketing reflects that character. Maybe your brand is DIY, messy, and loud — then make sure your vibrant tour candids on Instagram and open songwriting sessions on Periscope show your fans that personality.

Push yourself to come up with a list of ideas that your brand “character” would share, interests that you want to explore with your followers, and images or photos that fit the look you want to project. Don’t forget to research the best social media platforms to post your content.

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+Learn more: Discover your creative voice as a guitarist with Soundfly’s new series of micro-courses, “Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist”!

Planning a Content Schedule

Once you’ve brainstormed the kinds of content that your brand should post, start categorizing the types of content. Look for ideas that you can repeat and adapt, and then set a post schedule including both one-off content and recurring content ideas.

#ThrowbackThursday is a popular example of weekly content. Yours can be trending, formulaic, or completely off the wall. What’s important is having the idea set ahead of time and knowing that it fits within a larger, cohesive plan. You’ll be cutting down the work that you put in by taking some of the constant brainstorming and guesswork out of your day-to-day marketing.

The better you know yourself as a musician, the better music you create. The better you know your band as a brand, the better your fans will get to know you.

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Jessica Hackett
Jessica Hackett

Jessica is a writer, editor and content strategist helping artists find their voice on and off the internet. When she's not meeting with clients, editing e-books or scribbling ideas on the backs of old receipts, she's hiking around America and eating burgers. A former 5th grade clarinet star and reformed college musical theater diva, her tastes have evolved to include exclusively sad, strange female musicians, and Top 40 from the 40's. She writes about becoming more creative, less crazed on her website.

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