The Indie Image (Part 2)
As we continue the journey to clean up the independent artist’s image, there are a couple more topics that must be addressed.
I am an indie artist junkie! I spend many hours looking through profiles, listening to new music, and just being baptized in the indie music scene. Through that passion I have come to learn some things that helps separate a “good” profile from a “bad” one. If you haven’t had a chance read the first article in this series, you can view it here where we looked at profile pictures and the music itself. There are more items, however, to be addressed!
If you have both grabbed someone with your profile picture, and moved them with your music, then they may begin to look at other parts of your page. My first reaction as I browse for music is to move on to reading the Biography of the artist.
I highly suggest you write your Bio in third person if possible. Ask for help writing it. Get an outsider's opinion on grammar, sentence structure, and how the bio should flow. A bio should also flow like a song and take you somewhere. It should have a clear message about who you are and what you are about.
Things that I commonly see that I suggest you NOT include: band break ups (or a trite story about how the band formed), bands/artists you’ve played with previously or recently shared the stage with, years you’ve been doing music, how old you are, your musical accolades (unless they are professional awards), and other insignificant facts that aren’t appealing to a casual reader.
Focus your bio on what you are about musically. Sell who you are and what you care about. Also, the first sentence should be attention grabbing, and not this…which I read yesterday…“We are up and coming in Christian music and we are going to be signed soon…” I only read the rest for entertainment. And don’t use the words “up-and-coming” because that’s in every Bio out there. Keep your bio generally short, well focused, and well crafted. A polished Bio can go a long way to impress a potential life-long fan!
We live in a status update world. This is how artists/bands connect on a daily basis with fans. So as I sift through pages and see all sorts of updates I have come to learn a few things from seeing professional artist status updates and indie artist status updates.
Try to limit your updates to one or two per day. Unless you have something major going on, you should be able to capture anything necessary in one update. Try to limit the amount of status updates that ask people to do something for you, whether it be, “buy our new CD”, or “listen to our new song”, or “click on this link”. People follow your band on Twitter and Facebook because they want a behind the scenes look, not to be bossed around into increasing your play counts or YouTube views.
Maybe tweet a photo of the band in the studio, or a quick video of the artist setting up for a concert, or a picture of you guys/gals at lunch. People aren’t following you for a continual advertisement about yourself. If they follow you, they already like you, they want to get to know you better.
Try to keep the updates professional, no picture is better than a bad picture, no questionable language or comments, no inside jokes, and try to avoid negativity…people get enough negative from the news already.
Set up a different account for your band page that is different from your personal. If you go by your name…call it “John Smith Music”. This will free you up to have a personal account to joke around on and have fun, while having a more of a “professional” account, since your music is your profession, right?
Lastly, be personable. People follow you to find out who you are as an artist/band, not the monotony of what everyday life on the road feels like. Try to answer the question “Who is this artists?” and each update shows followers a new aspect of your personality, and/or interests.
A clear and simple Bio and professional yet personable status updates can begin changing your image from indie to professional for free. We can all strive to clean up our image somewhat. I believe that the level of the image you portray will directly influence the level of followers/fans you have.
Sean is a full-time producer and songwriter in Lawrenceville, GA.
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