So where do you begin? Firstly, you need to stop thinking like an artist and start thinking of yourself as a brand. In the current industry, musicians need to have interests ranging far and wide, building portfolio careers. What makes you unique aside from your talent? What sets you apart from your contemporaries? Don’t assume that an audience will know this. Also be careful not to just describe your talents, you have to show them. It’s crucial that you succinctly combine these elements and create an image that interprets them. This is why the idea of a brand is so important in the classical music world, as it allows people to receive so much information from a website through colour, image, the logo and layout, but most importantly how these come together to create a certain feeling and the right brand message.
Some artists do try to design and create their own brand, however, artists can often need an outside perspective. It can be difficult to present an accurate representation of yourself whilst also representing how you want to be portrayed. This is a major consideration for the designer and it’s often incredibly beneficial to have an external, professional perspective. If you do decide to go to an agency make sure that they are the perfect fit for you and that they understand exactly how you want to be portrayed and perceived, what makes you stand out and that you can collaborate. Through experience in understanding artists and a sensitivity of their image, our team at Classical Music Design are able to quickly and accurately form ideas of the finished direction from our initial meetings, guiding the client through the process via their input and editing ideas through discussion to create what they have in mind. Every agency is different so make sure you meet several different designers to make sure that they are right for you.
If you do decide to create your own brand, you need to make sure that you exhibit your artistic depth whilst also demonstrating a commercial edge. Unlike product-focused brand, classical music is focused around skill and talent, so this is the most important factor that you have to consider. With the help of all the digital assets listed above (photos, videos, music, etc.) you have aim to establish yourself through your style and skills. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t try and stretch your budget too far; don’t book yourself an underwater shoot just because it looks great; if your budget doesn’t stretch, it could look unprofessional and harmful for your brand.
Your design and branding is the first impression that people will have of you but it’s also important to ensure that all the content on your website tells your story effectively. Once you have hooked in audiences, press and industry members you need to encourage them to stay on your site for as long as they get all the information. Keep biographies interesting and concise, concert dates clear with easy links to external websites, embed all video and music links so that they easy to access and that all copy is tailored to suit your personality. Think about the audiences you are attracting; if you have an international following, and your budget allows, choose a good, experienced translator to rewrite your copy in different languages, to ensure that the tone remains.
Finally, we’re living in a mobile world where technology is literally at our fingertips. It’s so crucial that websites are responsive and mobile-friendly, not only to make you more accessible to the industry but more importantly, Google is now promoting mobile-friendly sites in the search engine. SEO (search engine optimization) is now a major part of the website now, so do get some advice and do your research before you begin.
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