A Concise Guide To Branding For Musicians

Brand-Feat.-1Successfully marketing your band online can be a challenging task to say the least, particular given how much digital noise one must cut through. Branding can be one effective way to set you apart from your industry peers and better connect with fans.


Guest Post by Jessica Hackett on Soundfly's Flypaper

Is your music being heard over the white noise of the internet? Advertising your band online is a daunting task, but band branding can help simplify and strengthen your marketing efforts. The internet is inundated with aspiring musicians, so in the age of oversharing, success is all about finding your niche.

“Branding” is essentially telling your story in a way that sets you apart from other musicians and connects you with your fans. It’s an especially effective marketing tool for artists. Defining your brand and constructing a marketing plan around it will streamline the way you communicate as an artist and help the content you post to better resonate with your fans.

Defining Your Band’s Brand

Your brand is your story. Define it by focusing on what drives you, inspires you, and sets you apart. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are the themes of your work?
  • What values are most important to you as an artist?
  • What inspires you?
  • How would you describe your personal style?
  • How do you want your audience to describe your live show?

Think about the language and tone that best represent your brand, and the artwork and imagery that fits your aesthetic. Be specific, be unique, and incorporate the parts of your personality that you feel comfortable sharing. The more you can flesh out the character of your brand, the easier it will be to establish consistent marketing habits and build a recognizable presence.


+Read more on Flypaper: “How to be Every Sound Guy’s Best Friend”

Branding Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you know what you’re sharing, come up with how you’re going to sell it. Your brand should be at the heart of your marketing strategy — everything that you share, publish, and promote should be in line with the values and brand identity that you’ve defined.

If it helps, think of your brand/band as a character. Your marketing reflects that character. Maybe your brand is DIY, messy, and loud — then make sure your vibrant tour candids on Instagram and open songwriting sessions on Periscope show your fans that personality.

Push yourself to come up with a list of ideas that your brand “character” would share, interests that you want to explore with your followers, and images or photos that fit the look you want to project. Don’t forget to research the best social media platforms to post your content.

woman writing

+Learn more: Discover your creative voice as a guitarist with Soundfly’s new series of micro-courses, “Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist”!

Planning a Content Schedule

Once you’ve brainstormed the kinds of content that your brand should post, start categorizing the types of content. Look for ideas that you can repeat and adapt, and then set a post schedule including both one-off content and recurring content ideas.

#ThrowbackThursday is a popular example of weekly content. Yours can be trending, formulaic, or completely off the wall. What’s important is having the idea set ahead of time and knowing that it fits within a larger, cohesive plan. You’ll be cutting down the work that you put in by taking some of the constant brainstorming and guesswork out of your day-to-day marketing.

The better you know yourself as a musician, the better music you create. The better you know your band as a brand, the better your fans will get to know you.

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  1. Excellent advice; the guiding questions in particular are very helpful (although I cringe at the word “brand” applied to art; perhaps we can find a more apt term, like “identity” or “character” of “philosophy”).
    One question: In terms of likelihood of succes, what extent should an artist consider the existing market and trends in forming their “brand” (or “identity” etc.)? Should you just stick to your guns, without even considering those trends? Perhaps the unique non-trendy identity has an advantage in that it stands out from the crowd; on the other hand, the more calculated market-analysis trendy approach is safer.

  2. Hello X, I am not the author of this post but I would like to take a crack at your question.
    When developing a “brand” I’ve found that the most successful brands are those that stick as close to their actual personalities and interests as possible. That is because they’re easier to maintain as far as publishing content goes, and it keeps the entrepreneur (the artists in this case) more engaged when developing content down the road (bc they actually like it). You will always find a crowd that fit your interest no matter what they are. To increase the likelihood of success for your brand you would have to make sure that the content is high quality and consistent.
    I hope I have been of some help to you.

  3. Really great posts. I like the break down on how to identify your brand, I haven’t seen it put quite like that before!

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