Here are 5 Brand Building Tips for Indie Artists – Building a brand is the single most important skill of an independent artist. Here are 5 essential tips to build your brand effectively as an independent artist:
After traveling to Atlanta, GA, for the A3C Festival, making it back home to NYC just in time for CMJ Festival and capping off the month with a Success Workshop with Shaheim Cynclair, Meshae Studios is more than motivated to help motivate you. We have compiled a list of the five most important key points that we learned at each event.
1. THE DAYS OF THE MAJOR LABEL ARE COMING TO AN END.
If you haven’t noticed there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of artists of all genres that dream of getting signed. There are also those artists who create major leverage for their brand and their business so that major brands can sponsor them or even put a price tag on them. Lastly, there are the artists who create leverage and keep their independence because they know their worth.
Chance the Rapper is the perfect example of an artist who is focused on keeping his independency, while consistently spreading his music (for free) and, currently, selling out of venues across the country since the recent kick-off of his Family Matters Tour.
2. BUYING FOLLOWERS IS NOT COOL AND IT WON’T “MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL”.
To some extent we all believe that the “Likes”, “Comments”, and “Sharing” we receive for our social media content actually matter, in regards to being ‘successful’ on the web. We’re here to let you know that internet success will more than likely be a waste of your time, energy, and money if you believe that anyone who simply perpetuates to have hundreds of thousands of “followers” actually monetize off of those counts.(Besides who wants to be caught up in their own “Mase-effect”.)
For the individuals who DO MONETIZE off of the amount of followers and likes they receive usually offer a service to various brands and they have a TARGET AUDIENCE. If legitimate brands are investing into a public figure to promote their product they want to make sure that their target audience, as well as their mission, aligns with their brands.
TARGET AUDIENCE = Consistent Consumers/ ‘Real’ Supporters
3. GET OUT OF THE STUDIO AND GO TO THE LIBRARY.
This one is as simple as stated: stop worrying about recording a record and do your research! It’s better to record one single instead of an entire album, mixtape, EP or whatever you guys are calling it nowadays. Invest in proper studio time to record, have that track PROFESSIONALLY produced, engineered, and mastered, and last but not least, secure effective promotion and marketing. When you narrow down those to your ideal choices to move forward and invest in, continue to map out your career in a timely (quarterly) fashion so that you can properly record your results to see if things are changing.
You and your fans will notice a difference.
4. SEEK OUT A MENTOR
Every successful person, no matter the caliber of success or industry, has a mentor. Someone who they admire and look-up to. Someone whose journey and accomplishment align with their own. You should not mirror and be identical to your mentor, but you should constantly keep in contact and update them on your progress. Your mentor doesn’t have to live in your city, there’s mobile video sharing apps and smartphones for that. Expertise is a must, because in order for a person to be an ‘expert’ in a field they will have experienced the ups and downs that came along with their journey. Another key to having a successful mentorship relationship is to LISTEN.
Your mentor’s job is to see you through your learning experience and give effective feedback and advice so that you can focus on your goals as clearly as possible.
Listen because 99-percent of the time “they’ve been there and done that”
5. INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS
Question: How many seminars and conferences have you bought tickets for and attended? If so, did you make the most of your investment by attending the panels and discussions? Did you effectively network by collecting other attendees information, including special guests and panelists? Did you ask questions?
For those artists and professional freelancers who have yet to set a date to attend a conference, whether in their city or beyond, we suggest you find the time to save up and do so. It only makes sense to view your brand as a business, as repeated by music industry guru Karen Marie Mason at the opening panel of A3C. She even explains how that right now is the best time for a creative artist to independently flourish, due to how the traditional marketing of music has changed completely.
You are strongly encouraged to invest and take advantage of the opportunities and funding that awaits you.
Simple list, right? There is nothing about this list that should be foreign to you if you consider yourself to conduct your brand and business professionally. We all want success to unfold in our lives, not just for ourselves but for our future employees and most importantly our families and future families. Create something with purpose. Find your purpose. And don’t forget to find you a seminar or conference to attend throughout the new year. 2016 will be a promising year for us all if we all plan and execute effectively. Festivals and conferences will be taken place all across the country including, but not limited to: the very popular SXSW in Austin, TX next Spring and there’s even a debut conference taking place in NYC summer 2016, Hip-Hop Retreat Week. Don’t miss out next year or you will be seeing another list next year, around this time, wondering: “what if?”.