How Important Is Your Image In The Music Industry?

There was a point in my life where I was in a rough spot financially. I had spent way too much money living and working in LA, and now I had come back to Canada and had to decide if I was going to get back into the music business.  I took time off, directed an independent film and then started to look for quick ways to make money online. After many months of persistence and 18 hour days (I literally was losing sleep daily), I found a method that started to earn money. I never had any interest in websites or online marketing, but suddenly I started earning money. Things were paying off. At the peak of my operations, I was earning over $20,000 US per month. Things were going well. I grew up in a middle class family in Toronto, and I’ve always been terrible at managing money. Instead of saving it, I decided to live it up (I thought I could continue earning the big bucks).  I moved to Newport Beach, California (a very expensive beach community) and rented a small home on the beach. Instead of buying a practical car, I bought a beautiful Porsche (bad move considering I would spend $500 just for an oil change).  Driving it around, I learned one thing: people respect and admire money, or the perception of money.  I would go through any drive through and people treated me with much more respect and a friendlier smile. I’m getting a lot more attention now, but I was literally the same schmuch I was when I was broke months earlier.  I remember once I parked and walked into a Starbucks right as Carmen Electra was walking in. She had seen me getting out of the Porsche, and once inside, she’s giving me the once over. I’m literally looking around to see who she’s looking at. It was me. Money, or the perception of money will give you a lot of attention. I was young, and I looked like I had a lot of money.

Beautiful newport beach california

So What Does This Have To Do With The Music Industry?

I would say a lot. If you are a music fan, are you more likely to subscribe to a Youtube channel with 3 subscribers, or 300,000?  On Twitter, will someone likely follow someone with no followers, or a few thousand? Same with Facebook. If you are trying to build a fan page, one with thousands of fans is an easier sell to a new music lover. You can have the greatest music in the world, but you have to get people to listen to it, and you have to build a reputation online to do that. It’s all about perception. People are often pawns and follow what everyone else is doing. It’s the crowd effect.

Image

How are you portraying yourself? Not to sound arrogant, but if you are an artist, you have to stand out and separate yourself from the the crowd. Find a style that works for you, and carry yourself with a certain aura of importance. People will respect you and will likely become a fan. Don’t be too conceited, because that is not going to help your cause and may backfire. Did you perform at a gig with a big crowd? Put a photo on all your networking channels. Were you interviewed by a cheezy local tv station? Who cares, put a video on YouTube. It’s still TV. People from another part of the world won’t know that it’s a local cable channel. 

(Be realistic with yourself. Back when I was 18, I just thought I was too cool, lol.  Looking back, I realize I was acting like a douchebag. But hey, there’s a market for everyone. Look at Jersey Shore.)

Artist image

Facebook

Lets assume you started a fan page and after a week, you still have no fans? One option is to pay a little money for Facebook ads to get new fans to your page. But if you have none to begin with, it will be harder to get people to like your page. In this case, I would suggest you go to Fiverr and hire someone to give you likes on your page. For $5 bucks, it will get you started and it will help you look like a more “legitimate” artist.

Twitter

I’m not really a fan of Twitter, but it seems every musician or artist has an account. If you want to build a quick following, very quickly and absolutely free, sign up at Twiends. You basically get points for following users, and in return, you earn followers from the points you accumulated. It’s a great system to build followers (remember, you want to portray the fact that you are an important, admired artist).

YouTube

With Youtube, a large following is great to have. But in this case, I would recommend that you DO NOT buy any followers. Many sellers claim to sell packages of Youtube followers, but in most cases they will be fake accounts and can lead to a ban on your account. Don’t do it, it’s not worth it. Put out weekly videos and build a following that way. Read this article on great tips on getting famous on Youtube.

Be Realistic With Yourself

Everything has it’s limitations. Be realistic with what you look like, your age, demographics you are striving for and the type of music you do. If you are a chubby, mediocre singer, don’t try to be the next Justin Bieber. On the other hand, if you are 16, in shape and have a great look, you could become a big star if you play your cards right, even if you have mediocre songs and an average vocal ability. If you are in your 30s-50s, you really should be focussing on your music to stand out more than anything else. It will be a lot more difficult to build a following through the social networking channels. But if your music and sound is exceptional, you have a good chance to make it on a big scale. 

(Korean artist Psy broke the mold with what people see in a typical artist. He mixed really catchy music with comedy to propel him to the top of the charts.)

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