Thursday, August 21, 2014

Learn How To Build Your Image And Brand As An Independent Artist.

Build Your Brand And Image The Right Way
There is a saying ‘image is everything’, which perfectly describes the current music scene and the industry at large.  Making music is easy when people value your contribution, love your music and see  talent in you, but if you are going to sell yourself and reach even the undecided, you will need to understand everything about image and more importantly, understand what image you will need to present out there and how.  Read on to get insight!

1. You cannot have an image without music.  It should start with the music
I’ll go right on and accuse many upcoming musicians who are easily blinded by their desires that they put too much effort in building the image to the point of forgetting to make quality music.  You are a musician, therefore your music should come first.  Image will never be more important than the music, as an upcoming artist you should focus on letting your music define and speak for you, everything else will fall in place.
While image may be everything when packaging yourself, the actual product is your music.  Quality music is handmade and human.  Be multifaceted when creating your music, be honest and set high expectations for your listeners and aim at meeting the promises you made.  This is how you will get to build an image – from your music.  Every musician wants to get rich, but most fail because they lose focus.  My advice to you is to focus on your music, and let your listeners judge you.  This is how you get to know who you are, why you are doing what you do and what is really important in your future life.  From here, you will have an idea to build your image upon.

2. Know what your image is and be ready to build upon it
There is no specific advice on sprucing up your image that I can give you, but I have invaluable tips that you can use to convey something about yourself even without opening your mouth.  An image is a holistic label for many things that include your appearance, your vibe, your past, your future, your association, your style and fashion and your personality.  An image is not something you just wake up and decide on, you have to first know who you are to properly market yourself.  Understanding the meaning of a true image is the first step to effectively branding yourself.
Building an image is a process that takes time and effort, and if you are promoting a true picture of yourself, something you believe in, and have a clear vision of where you want your music to take you, you will not have a problem branding yourself.If your image is made up of intangible and often unquantifiable elements, you will be striving to appeal to the hearts and minds of people and there are only limited ways to do this.  You are off to a good start settling on colors, getting a logo designed, getting a professional mixtape covers designed for your releases and having a website that gives a name to your image.

3. What to focus on when building an image
Building an image is something you first do for yourself, then for the world.  It’s not the other way round.  You will be aiming at coming up with an image that people can easily identify with you, something they can recognize and can remember because the impression it leaves is a lasting one.  The areas you will focus on when creating and marketing your image as a professional, entrepreneur, musician, idol or celebrity are:
  • Your music genre and your sound in general.
  • Your choice of clothes, fashion, hair styles and physical appearance.
  • Your name, logo, cover art, website, color choices in posters and mixtape art etc.
  • How interact with, and talk to, the media and your fans.
  • The instruments you play.
  • The brands and people you associate yourself with.
  • Your past including your journey to stardom, and past experiences etc.
  • What you want to become or next and how you work towards it.
Many upcoming musicians get the wrong idea of an image, and assume that pop culture, style and trends constitute an image.  You will never be unique if you follow the crowds because you will get lost.  If you believe your image is wearing torn jeans and performing at the subway, by all means pursue it and see what it brings from inside you.  It pays to be unique.

4. Why is image important for musicians?
Before I delve into the importance of creating an image, I should point out that an image in this case has to be a genuine outlook you want to portray.  If you try something and it does not feel authentic, if it feels different and you are not comfortable with it, then you haven’t discovered just what will make you tick.  You will have to do a little more searching to know who you are and how to present yourself to the world.
Image is very important for musicians  for the primary reason that people need a lot more than amazing music to help them make decisions whether they like your music or not.  Some will fall in love with your music without caring who you are, but a true fan will want to know the person, to understand where the music come from and what nurtured such a talent.  Your image is what will convince prospective fans that you are human and reachable and you are the visual representation of the music that touch their hearts.
The role of a musician’s image cannot be overstated and it is unfortunate it is often misunderstood.  When you decide to present yourself to the world, you have to package your music and give it a personality and your style.  It is true to say that image is everything that matters before someone actually listens to your music.  Once they listen to your music, your image will have served its purpose and will come second henceforth.

5. How do settle on an image to sell to the world?
Your image is basically an invitation for people to your party, and your music is the actual party.  Whether anyone shows up depends on how well the invitation was.  To appeal to the people, you have to know them, and you have to appear to offer something new, something unique.  It is also important to invite the right people to your party, which sums up the importance of creating an image that appeals to your target audience.  In a nutshell, here are the most important things to consider when creating and marketing an image:
  • Your image must tell a lot more about your music than about yourself as an individual.  This means that you have to dress for your genre and your vibe should sum up your music preferences.
  • Present your image confidently, and be ready to impress.  Confidence is one thing that people can sense from a mile away, but it is something you cannot fake.  See how the people closest to you respond to  your image then start improving it gradually.
  • An image should also have a personality.  When you add a personality to your image, it adds a lot of emotion to the image and you will be remembered even by people who see you the first time for longer.
  • Give people an easier way to describe you and your music.  There is no correct and incorrect way to perceive you and your music, but you can influence how people describe you to themselves and to the people they know.  This is the secret to successful image branding.
Start searching deep inside yourself today to find out who you are and what image best sells you and your music.  I believe this post has all you need to point you in the right direction.
Good luck.

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