Brand Strategy For Indie Artists
The Digital Age
Social media gives you an amazing platform to share your journey with your fans.
Now more than ever you can show others who you are and give them consistent content that will keep them engaged. You can release songs and get feedback from your audience almost immediately. You can share videos of you at the studio and perform live on Instagram and TikTok.
It’s important to utilize at least some of these tools when you’re creating your brand. It gives you the ability to share your vision and identity more than has ever been possible. Let this be a tool to help you define your brand.
Think of social media as a way to give your audience a window into your life.
Everything you post should fall in line with your purpose. It gives you the ability to gain the trust of your potential fans by being authentic and showing them what you represent. If they like what they see, they’ll follow you and this gives you the ability to continue developing a relationship with them. Try to find the things you admire about other artists and see which of those traits also represent you as an artist. Think about how you can use those same characteristics and change them into something that is unique to you.
When you’re building a brand it’s important to think about the foundation first.
What do you want to accomplish? What does your brand represent? Who is your core audience? Why do you make music?
You want to find out specific answers to these basic questions. One of the most important aspects of branding is coherency. Your brand should look similar across all of your social media platforms and everything you post. This is your identity as an artist and if you start posting things that don’t align with it, the illusion will fade.
Lauv is a great example of coherency. If you search his name on Google you will see most of the images he uses have a common theme. He uses bright mismatched colors in his press photos and he even dyes his hair different colors to match this. You can look at any of his social media accounts and you will find similar color schemes. His music videos also use bright colors in the interior decor, lighting, and outfits.
Simon Sinek has a Ted Talk called “Start With Why”. In it he talks about the importance of a company figuring out its purpose. This doesn’t only apply to large corporations but can also help you find your identity as an artist.
It’s important that your aesthetics are unique and easy to identify.
What makes you different as an artist? How can you convey this through your photographs, how you dress and any other visuals you may use?
In the attention economy we are bombarded with so many different artists, influencers, and advertisements. You want to figure out how to stick out and how to create something different.
Things you should try to represent in your visuals are the overall feeling of your music.
What’s your style? How can you use visuals to represent the sonic quality of your music?
These are all things that you can convey to your audience through your branding. If you’re punk rock you might wear a leather jacket and have a mohawk (cliché, I know, but you get the point). If you’re writing sad songs, all of your photos might be grey or monotone. You want to make sure your brand is clear throughout all of the content you release. If you search any major artist on Google you will see a common thread throughout most of their photos. Do some research and figure out what your themes can be.
Some examples of great branding is Skrillex’s signature haircut.
He’s had this haircut since the beginning of his career and if you showed someone a picture of just his hair they would know it’s Skrillex. It’s an edgy look and it’s a great visual representation of the type of music that he makes. Another example is Ed Sheeran and his acoustic guitar. If you look up Ed on Google you will see he has his guitar in most of his photos. This is how he represents his singer-songwriter type music.
A great way to figure out your own aesthetics is by creating a mood board.
You can do it on the computer or with a poster board. Simply find images you like that represent your music then put them on the board. The images can be photographs, color schemes, quotes, or anything else you find interesting. Eventually you will start to see themes that are running through the board and this will give you ideas on how to best represent yourself.
What you’ll need
After you’ve figured out what you want your aesthetic to be you’ll need a few different things to use across all of your social media platforms.
These things include a logo, photos, banners and any merchandise. Something to keep in mind while building an aesthetic is the visual artist that you hire. You should try to find one artist that can work with you over a long period of time. This way you can keep your aesthetic consistent throughout your career or at least a release cycle.
You can have them make cover art for each of your singles so that they all have a similar look and theme. A great example of this is Halsey’s artwork for her album “Manic”. The single “Graveyard” and it’s remixes have similar artwork to the album cover. Also, the artwork is tasteful yet “grungey” which is similar to the style of music on the album.
There’s a lot of different websites you can use to find graphic artists. They’re not necessarily expensive either. It’s important to find someone who’s art you feel a connection with. If you don’t connect with it, your audience won’t either.
Once you have your logo you can put it up on your socials. Ask your graphic designer to give you different versions of the same logo so each of your socials have a variation. You can also use websites such as teespring.com to put your logo on t-shirts, hoodies, etc… It’s printed on demand so you don’t need to invest in inventory.
In order to engage your fans you also want to keep in mind the diversity of your content.
You shouldn’t use the same content on every social site and you should use a wide range of tools. Everything from going live and posting photos on Instagram to posting covers on YouTube. Creating diversity with your content allows you to stay interesting and engage a wider audience. Social media platforms are inherently different and should be used differently. People go to Twitter to read and to TikTok to watch short videos, you want to use the advantages of each platform.
If you want to create extra content you can use clips of your music videos for Instagram.
You can also create shorter videos specifically made for certain platforms that tease an upcoming release. You can create single covers and play acoustic versions of your songs. There are a lot of different options and you don’t have to stick to one. Try a bunch of different things and see what your audience engages with the most. Machine Gun Kelly’s instagram is a great example of diversity of content. He posts everything from album covers to behind the scenes videos to awards for his music. He also uses clips of music videos, pictures of album covers, and show fliers in order to create more content.
By switching it up he keeps his content interesting and engaging.
Along with social media it’s important that you develop your own website.
You want to use your social media to generate traffic to your website. This is important because social media is subject to other companies. If your entire fanbase only follows one of your accounts and that platform is shut down (think myspace) then you’ve lost your entire following. Having your own website gives you something that you have full autonomy over. You can create the layout and design the graphics to also fit within your brand. You can also add a store to your website in order to generate revenue.
Are you already following Supreme Tracks on social media? Send us a message to share your thoughts on our branding, or if you need assistance with your music tracks – we offer a wide range of services that will help you to kickstart your career!