Making A Good First Impression In The Music Industry
Whether it is in your personal or professional life, you have an average of 30 seconds to make an impression. The human brain is wired to analyze a situation quickly and form an opinion within seconds. When you are selling a product, which is your music, you have the same amount of time to make an impact. People are very quick at forming an opinion on a website, page, or profile. We are looking at them almost all day, every day. For musicians, there are three important factors that go into this first impression: Branding, Numbers, and Music.
Branding: Be Unique, Appropriate, and Consistent
Make sure your brand makes sense for your business and your product. If you are a metal band, the brand has to reflect that right away. Of course, rules were always made to be broken, and having a happy light theme on a heavy genre might be hilarious. Just make sure if you’re breaking a rule, break it consistently.
Once you choose something, try not to take a different direction on every release, or switch it up completely every few months. Stick to something long term, a rebrand is a huge decision. You are building a fan-base that you want to recognize you by your name, recognize your artwork when it comes up in a feed, and easily be able to find you when googling your other socials. Everything should match across all platforms and socials. When I go to a SoundCloud account I want to be able to tell which are the artists tracks and which are reposts right away.
Take our company, The Drunken Coconut, for example. Our brand is about positivity and trust, but we also are simple and light-hearted with everything we do. From the second we named The Drunken Coconut in 2016, we never had a single piece of artwork, new product, program, group, slogan, or even colour that didn’t make sense with our brand. Everything was always light-hearted, tropical, and coconut themed. Look at our platforms “The Husk”, and “GROW with us”. It all matches. Our slogan is that we keep our artists “rolling”. When you look at our artwork on Spotify and Soundcloud, visualizers on YouTube, and the colours in our website, you will notice a clear consistency. We always use bright and fun colours, but keep things extremely minimal. If we are putting any sort of photos in, they are always palm trees, coconuts, or something else related to our brand. If we did something cluttered, aggressive, and dark, it wouldn’t make any sense at all. It is always easy for one of our fans or clients to tell they are in the right place when they visit one of our pages or platforms.
You also want to make sure that your brand is something unique enough that it is recognized in a crowd. You’ve got millions of artists to compete with, so make an impact. Anyone that hears our business name is intrigued right away. It’s a great conversation starter. We also hear from people that have seen our business previously and still remember when coming across us years later.
Numbers: People Love a Good Bandwagon
When you are clicking through suggested pages on SoundCloud, which profile would you find yourself clicking on first? One with 135k followers, or one with 53 followers? If you hadn’t heard of either artist, you’re more likely to click the artist with more followers. Why? Your brain says. “This artist is someone that’s obviously pretty popular and I haven’t heard of them yet. Maybe I’ll like them.” In your mind it’s more guaranteed that this profile will be more interesting and is more likely to have better music. Why? Because more people follow it.
Here’s what some of you artists or indie blog owners will say. I can already hear it. “I always look for the undiscovered. The real gems are those with no followers. I have a buddy that makes way better music then blah blah”. Good for you. That can be true. Of course, there can be better artists with no followers at all. There can be better artists that make music and never show anyone. The regular average music listener doesn’t think like that. They look for popular artists that they haven’t discovered yet. Ones with numbers because that tells them other people find that artist interesting and they are worried they’re missing out.
“Oh what about people that have crappy music with botted followers?” Well they’ll find out when they get to the profile, but they still clicked on it initially. The crappy music means they wont follow, but the numbers got their attention.
Numbers also mean trust. If you went to a Facebook page for a business and it only had 5 likes, you’d probably determine right away that you were on the wrong page or that it wasn’t a very good business. Businesses spend lots of money to look trustworthy and loved so that they can lure in people that are looking for a good product or service.
Music: Make Sure The Product is Good
The opportunities will come, and you better be ready for them. If a label owner, a blog, a manager, a booking agent, a big artist, or even just a fan comes across your profile you want what you are offering to be enticing. If you are going to advertise or network at all, make sure that your music is ready. What if someone from your dream label was stuck in an elevator with you. You may hit it off and start talking about your music, but when you show him a track, it hits a dead end. He liked that you were professional and easy to work with and he was so hoping that your music would be good too. But it isn’t. So, he tells you to contact him in a couple years when you’ve done a bit more work, but there’s no guarantee he will remember you by then.
Now, this is an extreme example because you didn’t go looking for this person. What I’m trying to say is that this is what will happen if you start really trying to advertise before your product is ready. If you’re putting money into advertising, you want to have the best chance at grabbing every person you can. Someone might stumble upon your profile and click your tracks and decide not to follow because the music was a bit off, or a bit boring. This goes for any business. Make sure you’ve got something really valuable or enticing to offer any person that looks at you. Don’t waste the opportunity.
For more help on all aspects of the industry, and for opportunities to networking with other artists and music professionals, join our group on Facebook, /musicindustryinsider.
Our users of The Husk download gates also benefit from free content, helpful tools, and promotion opportunities so make sure to head over to http://thehusk.ca.
Also if you’re looking for a great way to advertise and grow your numbers, check out our other platform Grow With Us at http://thehusk.ca/grow