The Brand

You know what you want to do and think you’re ready for it: you want to do music! Years ago, the most amount of work had to be preparing yourself, improving the technique of playing, keep on writing songs and became better … and yes, promote your music. How’s today? Things have changed, but the essence is the same: you got to be good, your songs have to be the best! The promotion today may be different, as the market changed and it has no borders (that’s the internet thing).

How exactly ”you got to be good” translates in today’s market? Well, you have to create a brand, and the brand is your name! In order to sell big, you have to be a brand! What else is Led Zeppelin or 50 Cents or Beyoncee or U2? We can argue as much as you want, but one thing is clear: you know what you buy when you buy Zeppelin or U2 or Outkast! They established themselves in the music with a certain way of doing the songs, with a certain sound, and, if you’re a fan, you expect the new releases and you buy them. Maybe some releases may not meet the expectations, but that doesn’t count too much in the grand scheme of things.

Just think for a moment and try to imagine yourself being in U2: you have to practice, to be in shape, to attend press conferences, to travel, to eat properly, to go in the studio, to make a video or two for each album, to play gigs all over the world, to spend time with the family, to oversee your financials, to keep an active presence in social media, to compose and rehearse, and many others! It’s not that easy! Yes, U2 is a big brand, but you know something? They were small like you in the beginning!

If you envision where you want to be and what it takes, then you did the first step.The first step is to know what you want, and behave and live as you’re there already. Because when you’re there you have to do them all, while now you think you can do this first, then that, and so on. What are the others doing? Exactly the same; they work and study for many years to become a doctor or a lawyer or a scientist, and in the end they may be what they want to be, with some at the top, and others making a decent living. Think of the years needed to get there, and the amount of effort and money. I don’t think music is any different; it is however harder, because, unlike a doctor or something else, in music you can’t cheat. There is something interesting about us, humans, as we recognize right away that a song we hear conveys sincere emotion, without being able to explain why.

So, if you’re convinced that you have the talent and are willing to do the work, you can afford to dream for a short period of time, and, while you dream, define exactly where you want to get. Then stop dreaming once you know it! If what you want is the glitter, you’re in the wrong business - I recommend better the fashion industry! If what you want is to make a living out of music, that is possible, but you have to be talented, hardworking, stubborn and very creative. If you want to become a brand, be ready for a very long ride! And that only if you are very talented and willing to work extra hard!The secret is to understand that the beauty of it all is in the trip itself, and not where you’re headed!  That makes it fun and exciting!

Let’s analyze the idea of the brand. You need to have a message, a mission if you want. It basically means you need to define what you do to your fans, and to establish a clear identity. That should be both a musical and a marketing mission.  And once you have that, then you need to start to build on it, every day and hour by hour.

Your music is the foundation of your identity. You have to have that. Then, you have to have the image. This image is a work in progress, and needs to address the how, when, where, and to whom you want to communicate your message. The moment you establish yourself as a brand, your fans/customers must know exactly what to expect from your music (including the surprises). Yes, it is like a promise, in fact the idea of the brand is the promise to your fans.

How to clearly define your brand, how to develop it and what strategy you should use is the subject of some other blogs. What is important for now is to understand that, by building yourself as a brand, your fans will follow you, trust that you deliver and are willing to pay more for that.

 

Stay tuned,

Flo Fandango

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