So Mr. Alex Real (@iamalexreal), asked me a couple of questions on Twitter in the last couple of days, that I believe every upcoming music artist should know the answers to. So I decided to compile them all into one blog post.
I’ve noticed that not a lot of “upcoming” artists, or people that are currently calling themselves artists, really give much thought to branding or marketing their product. Not because their neglecting the topic, but usually because they’re better at being creative in the booth (well some of them) and so they stay in their lane and never bother to seek out information on marketing their music and working on their brand.
So here are the questions and my answers below. I hope this helps you to start thinking about marketing and branding your product (aka YOU).
It definitely is! I chose my name specifically for branding purposes!
(Note: Sanaa Brooks is NOT my birth given name, it’s the alias I made up that I wanted to use in the music industry, and in case I decide to write any novels.)
I want people to see me as a young, professional and sophisticated woman. I know getting into the music industry is hard enough, let alone trying to get into it while being a woman. People have ALWAYS told me that I was getting special treatment because I’m a girl (not true, I was just putting in more work than they were) and I don’t want that rep in the music industry.
I want to be known as the confident woman that walked into the door looking fly as hell from head to toe, who also knew everything she was doing and wasn’t afraid to do anything. I want to be known as one of the best mix engineers in the business. Someone who didn’t have to take their clothes off to get famous.
Have you thought about how YOU want people to see you?
Hell yeah! Especially if you’re not good at branding, you should definitely ask or hire someone else to help you. A lot of people are good with ideas and knowing what they want the final product to look like, but have no clue how to get there. So why not hire someone who knows what they’re doing? Or even ask someone you know (or don’t know) if they’re willing to help you out? If they believe in you, most likely they will.
A lot of these celebrities aren’t even dressing themselves! They have stylists, hair dressers, make up artists, and a whole freaking team behind them helping them look the part. Same way you wouldn’t trust your illiterate friend to write your next hit single for you, is the same way you shouldn’t trust yourself to market you if you don’t know how to.
This doesn’t go for everyone, because some people can throw down in the booth and then sit down and figure out how they’re going to market the single they just put together so that it fits the brand they’re trying to create. But some people can’t do that. Leave the hard stuff to someone that can! Every successful artist has an amazing team behind them, and one of those people on that team does their branding and marketing for them, so go out and get you one of those people!
Are you good at branding yourself or do you need to bring someone on to your team to help you?
The answer is NO!
I really think that no one should have to pay a blog for them to feature them on their website or promote their music. There are other ways to get around, trust me! If they REALLY want to promote you, they’ll do it for free. And if they don’t want to, then why the hell are you even bothering?
Not even the BIG blogs charge people, it’s usually the smaller ones that are acting big and just want money. Real bloggers know there are other ways to make money, so they usually don’t charge people to blog about them. And if people are just throwing your music on their blog even if it sucks, they’re going to start losing followers, so it’s only going to hurt them more in the long run.
If you really have the money to spend, hire a PR person. These are people that will get you publicity free of charge! (Meaning you’ll pay them for their services, but you won’t have to pay for someone to blog about you.) Trust me there’s a big difference!
Have you been paying to get featured on blogs? Maybe you should hire a PR person instead?
Quality is ALWAYS better than quantity, and if you haven’t learned that yet, you’re probably in the wrong industry sweetheart!
Everyone will appreciate the fact that you took your time to develop your skills and work on your music, no matter how long it takes. NO ONE wants to listen to 20 songs that are just okay! I’m sure as hell not going to, and that’s not going to make them come back for more.
Even if you only release four songs this year, as long as they were recorded well, produced well, mixed and mastered well, has great art work to match, and has a marketing plan behind each song, you’re going to go a lot further.
Just remember that you have 30 seconds to capture someone’s attention (hell sometimes you only have 10). If someone comes across a “just okay” song and stops listening to it half way through, 90% of the time that’s it! They won’t even consider listening to another song, and now you’re labeled as a “just okay” artist.
(Notice that they haven’t even listened to the other 19 songs so they don’t even know if you really have talent.)
Just because that ONE song wasn’t up to par, they don’t believe you can do any better than “okay“. And as I said before no one wants to listen to “okay” music.
Now if they listen to the first 30 seconds of a song that you spent time on, they can hear it in those first couple of seconds! Now they’re interested! They may even browse through the other 3 songs to see what else you can do.
People can HEAR good quality, believe it or not. So don’t sell yourself short and get labeled as an “okay” artist just because you wanted to release 20 songs this month! It’s the people that aren’t taking the time to perfect their craft, that aren’t getting anywhere!
Do you focus on quality or quantity when it comes to your music?
That’s it for now!
If you’d like more help with this topic, or you just have more questions you’d like answered, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not be a music professional (yet), however I’ve learned a lot in the last few years, reading music blogs/magazines/articles, majoring in advertising for a year at St. John’s University and attending the Institute of Audio Research this year for Audio Production and Recording, so I may be able to help. Oh plus I have this thing called “common sense” that most people don’t seem to have anymore.
Thanks for reading!