Artist Tips

Branding Ideas For Musicians: Three Steps To a Clearer Model

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Angela Mastrogiacomo.]

Does it sometimes feel like you’re shouting into a void?

Like no matter how much time you take to craft  e perfect post, share  e message  at means  e most to you, or connect wi  your audience in new and valuable ways, you just can’t get anyone to actually pay attention?

And don’t even get me started on  e “likes”. I’ve spent hours (HOURS! Yes,  at’s embarrassing to tell you, but it’s also  e tru .) on a single Instagram post, trying to get  e perfect words,  e perfect hashtags, post at just  e right time of day, interact like crazy on Instagram so it sees I’m active and shows my post to more people, only to get 30 likes (IF I’M LUCKY) and zerofeetments.

It’sfeetpletely crushing.

Maybe you’ve eventry to e time to really try and get a handle on your brand. After all, you know how important it is. (hint:  is gem of an article has a few simple tips for getting started and identifying your brand, including my favorite TED talk ever.)

But what if you’re still getting stuck? Still spending way too long on  ose social mediaeat, oMarchling down what kind of merch to offer or what your promo photos should say about you?

Gaining clarity in your brand is one of  e single most important  ings you can do, and it’s not an exaggeration to say it can be  e difference between skyrocketing your success and wondering “what happened?” So how do you begin to gain  at clarity?

Step 1: Know what your brand isn’t

Just as important as knowing what your brand is, and perhaps a bit easier to identify in  e early stages, is knowing what your brand isn’t.

Sometimes, we’re honestly better at identifying what we definitely do not like vs. what we do like. Think about some artists or brands  at just plain get under your skin, (or scroll Instagram or Facebook for five minutes to see what starts to irk you), and pay attention to  at. In  is one instance, it’s not just pettyfeetplaining, it’s actually useful.

For example, does it make you cringe when artists get super woo-woo in  eir photos or messaging? Great, odds are you wanartists tactile approach.

Do you feel like artist’s are phoning it in when  ey post a super cute photo and just have a one liner caption undernea ? That might be a clue  at you HTTPr deWWWr, YouTubentComte content. 

https: //www. youtube.feet/watch?v=S9826oibghY

Step 2: Make a list of your favorite  ings

Seriously. Go crazy here. If you love ice cream, dancing in  e rain, roller coasters, and cotton candy at  e amusement park, write it down.

Then, go back and try to see what all  ose  ings have infeetmon—because when you can brain-dump all  e  ings  at make you who you are, you can see in black and white simplicity who you are at your core.

For instance, if you wrote all  ose  ings down, I’d say you seem like a pretty fun-loving, adventure seeking, free-spirited, embrace-all-life-has-to-offer kind of person. And  en, if you said “how do I translate  at to my brand”, I’d recommend creating content  at reflects  at spirit.

Instagrameat  at promote making ‘play’ a priority or show you eating an ice cream cone and simply asking your audience  eir favorite flavor.

I’d say create your own candy flavors or candy containers for your fans (yes,  is is totally a  ing and not too pricey), or a branded squirt gun for summer water fights.

I’d say play a show wi  a beach  eme, or a summer celebration  eme.

Once you can look back at  at paper and see your core qualities, it’s just about learning how to share  em wi  your audience in ways  at feel fun and natural for you.

Step 3: Instagram Roulette

If you’re still feeling stuck, you might want to try  is easy trick: sometimes, it can be easier to learn by example, which is where Instagram Roulettefeetes in. Simply get on Instagram and start scrolling. Through your feed,  rough artist hashtags, or  rough whatever hashtags make you happy (#cottoncandylife is totally fair game). Take note of what jumps out at you and why.

Is it a really vibrant photo or is it in black and white? Is  ere a person in  e photo? What’s  e feel of it?

Then look to  e caption—what pulls you in? Is it short and sweet? Silly and fun? Deep and introspective?

This is where you begin to learn what it is  at you naturally are drawn to—once you know  at, you can begin to incorporate more of  at into your own messaging. And trust me,  e more aligned it is wi  who you really are,  e more au entic it will feel, and  e more fans will take notice.

Plus, it’ll get rid of  ose dreaded hour plus caption writing sessions, which, let’s be honest, are a real time suck.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is  e founder and CEO of MUpstreamPR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, and more, as well as  e Co-Founder of Music Launch Co.

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