Adva Mobile Blog: 3 GOLDEN RULES OF BRANDING FOR ARTISTS (AND BEYOND)

About two weeks ago I attended the Music Expo Boston, which is a full day of educational sessions featuring masterclasses by artists, music business discussions, and product demos.  Held in the iZotope headquarters at Cambridge, one of the sessions blew my mind away so much that I wanted to share with you. 

Jeff Straw is a brilliant mind, who stands at the intersection of music and business as the director of marketing of Pyramind. As the person behind the marketing and content of the successful music school based in San Francisco, he talked about social media strategy with an emphasis on visual material. His talk had very important lessons for marketing strategy that we can all use as artists. So here are some of my thoughts based on his presentation:

Branding is key:you need to have a brand. It sounds simple, but it boils down to these three rules:

1) Be authentic: There is nothing worse than an inauthentic person on social media – for example, you can describe what your typical day is like, show your flaws as a human being and don’t just show success.

2) Be consistent: Don’t abandon the platform, stick to your schedule. Pick the platforms you want to post on and do so consistently. The way to drive engagement is to put out content.

3) Create unique posts:  Your Twitter voice should be different than your Instagram voice, and that should be different than Facebook voice.

Another concept Jeff talked about is visual consistency. This is something that typically gets overlooked and neglected by artists.  Let’s say your band has pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It would probably be very helpful to you that all three platforms have same or similar visuals – just so people can find you! We are living in an era with millions of social media pages and there is a good chance that there are at least a dozen pages that share the same name with your band. Ironically, the key to distinguish yourself is to keep your visuals consistent throughout all of the platforms. A consistent visual helps create your brand.

Speaking of visuals, another aspect Jeff emphasized for branding is your logo. It’s the most important thing for your brand because it follows you around. You don’t have to keep the same logo over the years but it is still important because it defines your brand. When speaking of the logo, another aspect is the font choice. Band logos can have characteristic font choices that make their brand recognizable. Some examples on the top of my head would be Led Zeppelin and Run DMC. Especially in the case of Run DMC, when people start making parodies of your logo and t-shirts out of your fonts, that’s when you know your brand has made it! In the age of memes, we all remember how successful the online meme campaign for ‘Straight Outta Compton’ was and how people changed their profile pictures with the “Straight Outta…” meme versions when the movie came out.

When it comes to content, Jeff’s take is that video is everything. I could not agree more, social media is indeed dominated by video. He suggests getting a tripod for your smartphone. It’s a smart choice to produce quality videos as the camera qualities of smartphones have been incredibly improved compared to the last few years. Echoing to last week’s blog post, he thinks that a mediocre video with great audio is much better than a great video with mediocre audio as people LOVE visuals. Audio should not be neglected at any cost, as investing in good microphones will only make your brand soundbetter. 

What are some of the visual strategies you use for branding? Feel free to post them in the comments section below!

Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify, and you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter @alpertuzcu, or visit his website http://www.alpertuzcu.com