Articles

Category :

Career Advice

A Quick & Dirty Guide to Branding


A Quick & Dirty Guide to Branding
By Robin Yukiko - March 8, 2013

As a textbook Gemini, I struggled with branding for a long time. It was frustrating to me because I would see beginning artists nail this aspect without realizing it simply by being who they are (matching their inner self with their outer self). But when you feel like two (or more) different people, it's tough to reconcile these pieces.

The trick is finding cohesive elements within yourself that are slow to change. I have broken down the topic into elements I feel are important when branding yourself.

Message (or Mission Statement)
  • What do you sing about?
  • What do you strongly believe?
  • What are you trying to tell the world?
  • Can you incorporate your other interests?

Personality
  • Are you a hoot? Melancholy? What’s your default state? (Note: Your persona does not necessarily have to be your real personality. You can create a “character”, but it has to be solid.)
  • How do you get your point across? Through shouting, pondering lightly, with pure, ice cold logic?

Image - Make your look match your sound
I never understood the point of designer labels until I started shopping consignment and really got to know designers. Clothing brands have a style, a favored cut, a personality. That’s not to say they don’t branch out, but most of the time I can tell who the label is without even checking. It’s called good branding. That’s why you need to know how to dress yourself so your look matches your sound. Things to consider:
  • Cuts you wear (flattering for your body shape)
  • Colors (be mindful of the following:)
    • Skin tone
    • Color scheme connotations (e.g. black/red = goth, hot pink = pop, earth tones = folky, etc.)
  • Accessories (tough? dainty?)
  • Makeup (if applicable)

It's also important to have an everyday look that you can level up to a gig look.


Peruse some magazines and find brands that you gravitate toward. They don’t have to be big labels, but their style should be clearly defined. Then copy-cat the look for cheap, or shop thrift/consignment.

Platforms
This is the easiest, but most tedious. Make sure that, once you have your message and your look down, you can make these things visible and streamline on your website. Then match every social media platform you use to the best of your abilities.

When you brand yourself successfully, you empower yourself. You are fortifying your self-awareness, confidence, and taking control of people’s perception of you (to a point).

Those who are afraid to label themselves are afraid to commit.


Commit to yourself! Do it by branding.





Robin Yukiko is a Berklee College of Music grad, singer-songwriter, pianist, and music educator in San Francisco. She performs regularly and hosts the SF Singer-Songwriters’ Workshop at the Musicians Union Local 6. Robin is currently producing her second album and enjoying nerdly pursuits. Join Robin’s mailing list at www.robinyukiko.com/contact.



Live-Banner-General-Homepage.jpg





5 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Your Demo

Everything You Need to Know About Branding

How to Sell More Music as an Unsigned Artist

Musicians, the gig economy, and online learning... a happy (but dysfunctional) family.

If You Want to be a Recording Artist You Need the Right Development

15 Things You Must Do to Make it in the Music Industry

Saying no to everything else

Managing Expectations

Consistency Equals Success

How To Get Better: Practice

Separate The Emotion From The Event

Turn it down a few notches, please!

Are You Taking Ownership Of Your Songwriting Success?

The Shawshank Songwriter

Show Me Your Songwriting Friends, And I'll Show You Your Future

Getting out of a bad place

Taking your Music From a Hobby to a Career

How to change or build your career

CHOOSING THE PERFECT BAND NAME

4 important qualities of a band manager

Touring Advantages/Disadvantages From Less Than Jake

What musicians can learn from Joan Rivers

What you can learn from Bob Dylan's Career

Yes You're Talented, But Remember This…

Two Things That You Can Do to Start Making Music Industry Contacts Today

Promoting Music Internationally – The Right Way

How to Sell More Merchandise at Your Show

How To Reach The Best Music Business Contacts. Period.

4 Ways To Be A Boss A$$ Indie Artist

Are you over looking this strategy to becoming a better musician

Why You Should Be Doing House Shows

It's All of Your Business

Don't Buy Your Own Tunes

What If You Didn't Need Money or Attention?

Why Bands Need to Stop Bitching

What's In Your Toolbox?

Why You Need a Live Music Producer (And Don't Even Know It)

Many Eggs, Many Baskets: How to Make a Living as a Musician in 2014

Your Music is Just a Hobby. So What? Part 1 of TBD

Defining Success And How To Achieve It With A Career In Music

Why Talent Isn't Enough

Why You Need Your Own Superhero Alter-Ego

How To Make It In The Music Industry

What If The Label Says "YES"?

How to Avoid Artistically Starving to Death

20 Worst Indie Artist Mistakes

Why Your Most Important Tool In Being A Successful Indie Musician Might Actually Be Your Day Job

The Importance of Branding as Recording Artists

Why Bad Days Can Do You A World Of Good

How To Tell If You Need Singing Lessons

How To Ruin Your Music Career In 10 Easy Steps – Part 2 (Steps 6-10)

How to Stay Motivated to Make Music

The Self-Promotion Tactic that Fails Every Time

3 Important Lessons In Success From Bob Dylan

Sell 1000 CD's In a Weekend

Music Licensing – 90 Day Challenge

Superfans: The Key to a Sustainable Music Career

A Solution To The DIY Artists Biggest Challenge

How To Ruin Your Music Career In 10 Easy Steps – Part 1 (Steps 1-5)

What to Look For In A Distributor

Does 99% of Jazz Suck? – The Jazz Kickstarter That Seduced 870 Backers

Are You Making These 9 Band Rehearsal Mistakes?

Enhancing Your Music Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Press Kits for Musicians

7 Important Aspects to Getting Noticed in the Music World

7 Tactics to Double the Size of Your Fanbase

Why The Vocals On Your Track Are Vitally Important And How You Can Improve Them

Top 3 Tips To Find The Right Singing Teacher

Some Will Always Say You're Wrong

That Time'n Thang

Leap Of Faith

Showtime

Question & Doubt

Eat Lighting

Connecting With People In The Industry

Five Reasons You're Not Licensing More Music

The Importance Of Following Up In The Music Licensing Business

How To Fund Your Band's Kickstarter When You Have No Fan Base

Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage

Why it Pays to Replace Self-Promotion with Selflessness

Rules for Confronting a Difficult Band Member

Valuable To Others, or Only You?

It's All Who You Know?

Ignore Your Website & Social Networks and Your Career Will Suffer

Three Intelligent Ways to Make a Living as a Musician

What Musicians Should Carry at all Times

Sometimes Big Promo Doesn't Work

Avoid Band Drama: Be Up Front

How To Effectively Handle A Flaky Band Member

Why No One Is Listening To Your Music

Establish Your Blueprint

How To Avoid Serious Mistakes When Choosing An Agent

Managing The Fear of The Unknown In The Music Industry

How To Balance A Family, Your Music Career, And Your Stresses

MusicPreneur - The New Music Industry Mindset

Band Leading 202 - Gigs

How Does An Independent Artist Stay Relevant While Creating New Music?

What It Takes To Be A Successful DIY Independent Artist

Band Leading 101 - Rehearsal

How To Make Lots Of Money Selling Your Merchandise

Why You Need Great Pictures As An Artist

Overnight Success - Does That Happen?

The Power of Positive Thinking

Goal Setting Tips That Work

Easy Tips For Engaging Your Fans

Getting Things Done As A Team

4 Common Newsletter Mistakes You Should Avoid

Creating Your Social Media Image

Effectively Utilize Your Youtube Music Videos

Tips For Building A Bigger Fanbase

How To Build A Professional Music Team

The Top 5 Ways To Get Noticed in Today's Music Industry

Why Radio Spins Matter And Tips On How To Get Them

Networking Essentials For The Music Business

Why You Should Be On Pinterest

Signup Free