Building a brand

Your brand is your music at first glance. You want it to look like your music sounds. Music is not age-specific but branding is. Fans could care less how old you are, but they do care how good your music is. And when your brand is the first thing they see, it needs to match YOU and your music… however years young you are.

Image is a big deal in music. It often compels or repels someone to click on your music. It speaks for you, for good or bad. You want to be sure that what you’re saying with your visuals is what you mean to say, and you’re not just throwing up a photo your friend snapped ;).

Let’s say you do put a lot into your visuals. But do they fit you? Is it time for an upgrade? What do your visuals say? Do they look like your music sounds? And more importantly, do they fit your aesthetic style and age or are they trapped by them?

Before you go down a rabbit hole of however years old or young you are… just know that whatever BS you’re telling yourself about whether you’re too young, too old, too thin, too fat or not good looking enough — it’s all an excuse. Truth is, you can brand an artist at any age to look great — it’s all in the details and aesthetic touch. That voice in your head that tells you that you have to be skinny or young or beautiful (or whatever standards you’re holding yourself up to) is a lie.  In its raw form it’s… FEAR. Fear about showing yourself – about being “seen.” Anyone with good branding looks hip and cool and perfect for their age. It’s all how you dress it up.

But careful about trying too hard. Trying to look young if you are older, or trying to look older if you are younger. The trick is in being true to yourself and your age. Embrace it. It looks better on you that way, and you won’t look like you’re trying too hard.

Yeah, big labels are, for the most part, only interested in you if you’re younger because they believe that’s what sells and/or they want an artist that wants to tour (older artist generally don’t) — and an artist they can capitalize on for as many years as possible. It’s all money at the end of the day for them. But you don’t want to position yourself for the young pop market if you’re not aiming for it.

And in the independent world, if you’re not signed to a big label, you don’t have to worry about that, cause your fans won’t. Fans are looking for music that speaks to them – that blows them away.

Please yourself and please your fans. Step into your persona and look as good as you can doing that.

The truth is  —  news of great music, and a great brand to go with it, travels fast.

You want to level your brand up so people feel your confidence. And just as in music, it’s not about chasing the pendulum, it’s about carving your own style while being relevant to current trends.

So today is the day that you level up – yes?

Here are my Top 3 Tips for Creating a Brand that Fits You and Your Music:

1. Step into your Persona.

You want your brand to look like your music sounds. Notice what other artists you like wear. How they style themselves. Collect ideas and style concepts. Spend time thinking about your persona. The role or character you want to play. Having a persona makes it easier to step into ;).

2. Make a Pinterest or Instagram board.

Spend an afternoon making a Pinterest or Instagram board. Start with music artists that have the style you like with notes about what you would do slightly differently. Collect other images and accessories you like.

3. Hire a stylist or work with a fashion-forward friend or young designer.

If you’re spending all that time, energy and resources making great music, spend some of it on your brand. The last thing you want to do is style yourself, especially if you don’t have a great fashion sense. Find a stylist of fashion-forward friend and snap pics of you dressed as you would before you hit the stage (makeup and hair done.) You don’t want to guess at it. Your persona is how people see you. Do it right, you deserve it.

You’ve GOT THIS.  

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