Marketing yourself as an artist is hard work. As an artist, you're not only responsible for making good music, but also for making other forms of content and for running your brand as a whole. All this stuff can get very overwhelming quickly, but with the right mindset and tools, anything is possible! To help you on your musical journey, we're giving you our top 10 tips on how to market yourself as an artist.
1. Make sure your social media channels are uniform
When people look you up, the first thing they see is your social media channels. Keep this in mind when designing your socials, and make sure that all your socials are consistent with branding, username, and press pictures. This is a critical first step to having a successful artist brand.
2. Think about how to express yourself
The relationship between a fan and an artist goes deeper than just music. Fans that are very passionate about engaging with their favorite artists feel like they are part of that artist's story. Think about your story and how to tell it so that as many people as possible can join you on the ride. This goes beyond social media, although social media certainly plays a significant role. Knowing exactly how you want to present yourself will give you an advantage when it comes to engaging with your audience.
3. Study the different social media platforms and use them strategically
Most people know the big social media platforms already, namely Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, using these effectively requires you to understand what kind of content does best on each platform. Explore these platforms yourself and take a serious look into what type of content performs well on them, and adapt your social media strategy. For example, Instagram is great for personal communication with fans, while Facebook can be an effective place to gather fans and make a fan group.
4. Engage with fans personally
Fans feel special when they talk to their favorite artists. For this reason, it's essential to have a line of communication between you and your fans. Take the time to respond to messages and develop personal relationships with those who support you. When you're touring the world, these are the people that will show up to your gigs with big signs while wearing your merchandise.
5. Think through your social media strategy
When you're posting, make sure you're sticking to some kind of plan. Knowing what type of posts you want to make in advance is always better than trying to find some last-minute content for the sake of posting. Think about what kind of language you use with your audience, and make sure to stick to it!
6. Team up with other artists and make an engagement group
Making your socials pop is a lot easier if you have the support of other artists. One good strategy to make your socials more active is to create a group of other artists where everybody agrees to engage with each other's posts. This way, fans of one artist will get exposure to new artists, and social media algorithms will pick up the activity and push everyone's posts more.
7. Invest in good press pictures
Your press pic is the face of your brand. It may seem like basic advice, but there's a lot of artists out there with outdated press pictures. Make sure you present yourself in the best possible way and find a good photographer. Press pictures will stay with you forever!
8. Find an excellent graphic designer and develop a good relationship with them
Graphic design is a massive part of your brand. Unfortunately, it can get expensive very quickly, so you should make sure that you're getting exactly what you want out of a designer. The best way to keep costs down and quality high is to find someone you work well with and have them design everything for you, instead of looking for individual designers. Be ready to spend some money on graphic design and think long term instead of short term.
9. Don't forget about video content
Video content is the hardest and most expensive part of the music marketing process, but it is also the highest performing content type on social media channels. Good videos are essential to your success as an artist. These days, the barrier to entry with video content quality is very high. If your budget is small, consider focusing your strategy on livestreams and personal videos shot with your phone. While they may not look as nice, the personal element of this content type often actually outperforms the expensive, professionally produced content. It's all about the message and how you convey it.
10. Remember that everything you post will be online forever
You can always delete a post, but in the age of screenshots and social media shaming, deleting a controversial post has almost no use. Make sure that you think through every message you post clearly and be aware of the risks that come with posting it. Do you have a weird feeling about an off-hand comment you want to make? Don't post it. What you post on your socials will be permanently tied to both you, both personally and as an artist, whether you like it or not.