Music Marketing and Branding: All Careers in the Music Industry Need Effective Branding!

Congratulations! You’ve chosen an exciting career in the music industry – you’re in the right place at the right time! The music industry is thriving, despite the woes of the major record labels, never before has so much opportunity presented itself to music and its related industries. Our chosen field is wide open whether you are:

• A solo artist, full band, DJ, singer/songwriter, producer, composer, musician, promoter, venue manager, beat maker, agent, A & R, recording engineer, acoustician, publisher, photographer, attorney, record label owner, manager, or a combination of many of these talents and skills.

So where’s all this new opportunity coming from? It’s simple: the internet. Anyone can showcase their products or services on multiple sites that can be viewed by thousands – that’s the good news. The bad news is: Anyone can showcase their products or services on multiple sites that can be viewed by thousands – sounds a lot like the good news doesn’t it….that’s because they’re one and the same. If anyone can showcase products and services online it vastly increases opportunity and competition in all areas of our industry.

YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE MUST STAND OUT FROM THE HERD! PERIOD!

Quintron and Miss Pussy Cat know their target audience and market very effectively. Unique and memorable – check out their site: http://www.quintronandmisspussycat.com/index.html

• In order to stand out, your ‘brand’ must be unique and memorable. What’s a brand? Simple: It’s everything you do that tells your specific audience who you are and what they can expect from you! Your ‘brand’ is much more comprehensive than just a recognizable logo. It includes all aspects of ‘design’ from the clothes you wear (which should reflect the audience you’re appealing to), the design/look/feel of your website (and all other online sites), merchandise, videos, marketing materials (including emails), stage performances and communication style. YOU ARE YOUR BRAND! Your logo should also reflect what you want to convey to your audience. Some popular images used in logos that convey a certain brand immediately include (and certainly aren’t limited to) skulls, eagle wings, hearts, guitars, lightning bolts, dollar signs, headphones, microphones and many more. Certain colors also belong to certain genres, for example: black/white/red/silver belongs to any audience that appeals predominantly to males. Other considerations: Are you value oriented, experienced, fun-loving, irreverent, trend-setting, traditional, etc.? Consider your genre and audience; combine that with the personality of your product or service to create your ‘brand’.

• Consider This: A young, fun-loving, all-American-girl-next-door, female pop star would brand herself very differently from a flirting-with-disaster, edgy, socially irreverent, in-your-face punk rocker or urban artist. Their marketing, merchandising, performance styles, and online presence would tell you right away who they are and what you can expect from them.

• And this: a less experienced, value oriented recording engineer, producer or studio owner would market themselves differently from ones whose branding efforts reflect years of expertise, high end recording equipment and superior engineers. Remember: your brand should let your audience know what to expect from you! If you brand yourself as an expert, tops-in-your-field entity and charge your clients accordingly… they’ll expect the highest quality. If you can’t deliver what you’re claiming…claim something else! Remember – there’s room for everyone. There are just as many (if not more) people looking for value rather than the high dollar price tag that comes with tops-in the-field. Word of mouth can either be your best friend or your worst enemy – you decide!

Need help developing a unique and memorable brand? Consider the following:

• This publication forces you to pinpoint your target audience and develop an effective branding strategy: Indie Marketing Power by Peter Spellman. Available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/Rs6uFJ While there are numerous publications out there that are extremely useful, I like Spellman’s comprehensive approach to marketing and branding. It’s a read you won’t regret. I use it my marketing class at Houston Community College and response from students has been overwhelmingly positive.

• Take a college course dedicated to music marketing. The music industry has grown so tremendously that music marketing classes are broadly available, especially if you live in or near a music oriented city like Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, NYC, Houston, Nashville, etc. I’m also a professor of music business studies at Houston Community College where we have a thriving music business program (we also offer certificates and Associate degrees in music business). Among other courses, I teach music marketing in Spring and Fall. Follow this link to sign up for my music marketing/merchandising course for the Spring 2013 semester at the Spring Branch Campus of HCC: http://bit.ly/VrwGyf Please email me if you have any difficulty registering: jen@jenthemusicmaven.com

• Schedule a consultation with me! Don’t have time for a college course or to read an entire book before you get started? Schedule a consultation with me and I’ll design a unique and memorable branding strategy just for you. Throughout the month of January, anyone who is on my newsletter list gets consultations for half-price ($25). Consultations last at least an hour and can be conducted in person, phone, or Skype. Students always receive consultations at half price! Sign up for my newsletter list here: http://jenthemusicmaven.com/contact
2013 is here!

Don’t delay success – Opportunity is everywhere!

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