“The Musician’s Image” is a series on successful musicianship that will consist of three subjects: social media, website and PR/Advertising. This is Part 1 out of 3 Parts covering Social Media.
As an artist of any kind, your #1 priority should be your art. However, the thing that many artists don’t get, and the purpose of this article, is that the art might not actually be the most important factor in your journey to success. While there may not be a specific formula for success, a large role is played by your image as an artist and how you present your product: your music. Let’s talk about why your image is so important and some ways that you can handle it yourself.
Nowadays, even being an perennial talent does not mean that you will see the big time. Some will say that there are exceptions, that some people are destined to take their unprecedented talent to the stage, but I say that isn’t true. Every successful musician that ever existed in the music industry that we know today was backed by a person or team of people that supported their other interests. Today, that means marketing, PR and image management. While that might not be the explicit reason behind their success, it has no small part by any means to do with it.
What is my “image?”
Your image is how you appear to the world or how people perceive you. If you don’t learn anything else from us, know this: you want to have a good image!
Once upon a time, word of mouth was perhaps the primary method for anyone to learn and sculpt an opinion about an artist. Nowadays, the digital world is the new word of mouth. We have all sorts of tools baked into our everyday lives that allow us (and perhaps encourage us) to make hasty judgements on anyone and anything that we see there.
Social media is the most familiar – you’ll come across a page or some content from an artist and will usually be able to tell immediately if you’re interested. If you decided that you were interested when you saw that page or content, you might go explore more of their social media. You might look for a website to visit, or perhaps even go right over to your favorite listening platform and look up their work.
It may seem scary to the camera shy, but all of this makes the digital world one of unprecedented opportunity! You are now able to get in front of the people that are important to you and showcase your image the way you want to be seen. If they like what they see, you’re in business!
Your image is a culmination of several things, and there’s a lot that goes into developing it. For this article, let’s take a look at social media. Social media is potentially the easiest yet most effective way to develop your identity and get people on board with you. It’s most people’s Step 1, and for good reason.
Why is social media valuable?
Chances are, you already know why you should be using social media. Everybody uses it, it’s accessible everywhere you go, it offers an easy avenue for fans to learn about you and be informed when you’ve got something important like an album release or a concert coming up, and here’s the best part: it’s free! Your followers have a front row seat to your updates, so it’s your first line of defense against underexposure.
As we go through the rest of this article and while you’re building your presence, remember your ultimate goal: what you want is to develop your audience and get them to consume your products like music, concert tickets and merch. How does social media help fulfill that goal? By developing your relationship with your audience, you’re encouraging them to engage with you. Someone who’s actively engaging with you is developing their interest in you, and is thus much more likely to go buy what you’re selling.
Where to start
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are perhaps the three most popular social media platforms for anything creative. We suggest that you begin by picking two or just go for all three and set up your account to make painfully obvious who you are and what you do.
Fill out your bio, post some content to get you started that helps paint the picture of what you do (concert and photoshoot pics, videos of you performing, creating or even just talking about you and your art) and make sure that you link to your website if you have one. We’ll talk more about your website in another article, but suffice to say that we suggest that you get one if you don’t!
There are, of course, hundreds of other social platforms that vary in purpose and popularity. Yes, it’d be great to be able to post across dozens of platforms and be successful on all of them, but you may find it difficult to balance without a dedicated social media person on your team. Try not to spread yourself too thin and instead focus on really nailing down your presence on a few solid platforms like those mentioned above. It’s better to be doing well in one or two places than to be struggling on 10!
Other platforms that are specifically for musicians are Reverbnation, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud. Being a music-centric platform can be both good and bad: its a much more limited audience than, say, Facebook, however that limited audience is there with the purpose of consuming music. You should definitely not allow these sites to be the only platforms that you have a presence on, but they can be extremely useful and offer tools that even the big guys don’t. You’ll need to choose based on how you plan to use them.
Reverbnation and SoundCloud are both listening platforms that allow you to distribute your music, but Reverbnation has tools to create a sort of EPK (electronic press kit) and to showcase upcoming concert dates. Bandcamp is a very versatile platform that essentially allows you to create a small website, develop an EPK, sell your music and more. Bandcamp is a great place to start for musicians that don’t already have a website – do yourself a favor and check them out!
A special mention is in order for YouTube, perhaps one of the strongest tools for musicians. If you can find a way to get high quality video content for YouTube, DO IT! Over 30 million people watch videos on YouTube every day, and if the audience isn’t enough for you, the functions should be. Features like their powerful search engine, “related videos,” autoplay and more increase your chances of getting heard, even if you’re not raking in the big bucks yet. It’s an excellent place to get discovered and develop a fanbase that artists have been using for years – get on it!
Access Media is a pro video and photo production, recording studio and digital marketing house. If you need content for social media, YouTube or any other project, we’re here to help. Please visit our Our Work page, our studio memberships page or just contact us to discuss your needs and how we can help!
Want to learn how to use social media successfully?
You’ll have to wait for Part 2 of the Social Media issue! Don’t worry, it won’t be long: we’ll be posting that part this upcoming Friday (Oct. 26th, 2018) so make sure you check back with us or sign up for our mailing list to get reminded when it’s posted!
We’ll be covering how to grow your followers and what makes good social media “good” social media. That’s pretty important, don’t you think? Thanks for reading!
Get In Touch
2909 San Jacinto St.
Dallas, Texas 75204
Mon: 10am – 7pm
Tue: 10am – 7pm
Wed: 10am – 7pm
Thur: 10am – 7pm
Fri: 10am – 7pm
Sat: 10am – 7pm