How to create your Professional Brand as an Artist

Hello Composers and Artists, Mike here. And in this article I want to share some of the most important aspects of branding, for your professional career in music.

First, who am I? Well, my name is Mike, and I am a composer, sound designer and artist like you! I am also the founder of, and I have even worked with branding as one of my main roles in another business I was in a couple of years ago.

But more importantly, I have personally learned and experienced the practical benefits of having a professional brand, both as a business and your own personal brand. And now I want to share some of the most important aspects of branding, for your professional career in music.

Create your Professional Brand

Let me start out blunt: your music can be of amazing quality, but if you neglect the business aspect of your career, you miss the biggest potential for your success. And the foundation of every business is…your brand. And this means both your professional brand, as well as your personal brand. Let’s dive into the subject of branding and see if there are things you miss out on, or could improve.

The Power of First Impression

Let’s be honest, people judge the book by its cover. And yes, what you wear and how you look will make a difference in the way people see you. The first impression is incredibly important in everything you do, and every type of content you put out for the world to see, or even private communication with people in the music industry.

What is Branding?

Branding is the complete packaging of everything you do, and everything you communiticate out to the world. From the products you create, to the visuals/images you use, to the words you write, the graphicals elements including your logotype, the design and so on.

What do you need for Your Brand?

Let’s face it, your are not Coca Cola. Those biggest brands branding document that guides everything they do is so advanced that it almost is a full bible of rules. Let’s just stick to the basics, and focus on the very essential parts of branding that would benefit a freelancer and solo entreprenour that an artist like yourself is. Here is a list of the most essential branding elements I recommend that you focus on to build your professional and personal brand as a composer and artist.

  • Brand Name (alias/artist name) - Optional
    If you want to, you can use your own name as your brand name. I have both an artist name, and in other cases brand myself with my personal name.
  • Your Logotype
    A logotype is only necessary if you want a business face. So if you use a brand name/artist name, I would say you need a logotype.
  • Portrait Picture
    This profile picture is super important, as you will use it in email signatures, and as avatars on all social media etc. Make sure it looks super crisp and professional.
  • Banner Image
    Social media websites, forums etc. often use a banner image in the profile, and it is very important that you keep a consistent brand wherever you are present. Use a high quality banner image that represents your brand well.
  • Portfolio Images
    I would recommend that you create a portfolio of high quality images that you could use for your website, press/media relations, social media, networking etc. For example, images of you in your studio. Just make sure your portfolio images looks very professional.
  • Design
    If you want to be really fancy with your branding, I recommend that you create a color theme and font theme that you use consistently for all branding elements you create. Good practical examples are images/thumbnails for YouTube Videos, or other social media images.
  • Your Quick Pitch
    I strongly believe you need to have a short paragraph that describes what you do, and how you can help people with our professional skills. The brief introduction of yourself. Here is an example, from my own perspective:

“My name is Mike, and I am a composer, sound designer and educator. I create worlds of music and sounds for creative projects. I also teach and share knowledge for composers and artists, so they can level up on their professional journey in music”.

Channels for Your Brand

Now, having a brand sitting on your drive on your computer will of course not do any good. You need to put it out there in the world. Your brand is what represents you, your fundamental marketing core that people will recognize you by. What are those main channels, where should you have a presence with your brand? Let me give you some practical examples to get you started:

  • Website
    Without a website, you are a like a store without a building. The website is the main location, the head office, of your brand. If you want to use your own name to focus mainly on your personal brand, the best thing is if you can use your name as the domain name. But that is very tricky these days as most names are already taken, so a nice short brand name might be the best choice.
  • Email
    Since email is the main source of communication for business, you should make sure you create an email signature, including your name, title (expertise), website address, and an avatar (small portrait image). You can also use this signature in forums online, or other places where you can automatically add your signature for branding yourself. Also, if you want to reach fans, and build an audience of followers for your music or brand…use an email service provider to set up and create your own email list.
  • YouTube
    People want visuals these days, reading is boring, static images does not have story…but video has it all. Even if it is just a VLOG you will quickly realize how incredibly powerful video is for making new connections, reaching more people in a more engaging way, and open opportunities for you simply because people “feel the get to know you” with video. Also, once you start making videos, make sure to use them on your website, social media etc.
  • SoundCloud
    There are many places to place your music, but the great thing about SoundCloud is that the embeds on websites, social media etc. work great and looks very good. This is more important than you might think. Sure, the audio quality is not the best ever, but the branding power outweighs this in my humble opinion.
  • Facebook Page
    Create a Facebook Page for your brand, and use that to join groups, communicate with people on Facebook etc. You can still use your own name for your Facebook Page if you want to focus on a personal brand as a composer and artist…but make sure you use a page for it.
  • Social Media
    This can be LinkedIn, Instagram or whatever you prefer. But focus on results. Don’t do it just for the fun of it. Social media can be a huge time waster and distraction. Where are you gaining the most connections, where are you communicating with the most important people that matter for your journey in music? Focus on those social media channels.

Now Take Action

The most important thing in life if you want progress, in my opinion, is to take action when you learn new things and implement them straight away. What aspects of branding are you missing out on right now?

Make a list of all those things, and start working on them today. Your brand is the face of your business, even the clothes you wear, how you act, talk, write, and present yourself are part of it. In essence, branding is about create “the image you want the world to see you and your business”. Good luck with your brand, and your professional journey in music! =)


Good tips Mike!

If I might be so free to add some of my own experiences.

What I find important to mention is, that you always have a second chance and always listen to feedback that is given, don’t take things too quickly as cricitc or as a personal thing, but try to take out what somebody is giving you. I am giving this as example with my company Triple Spiral Audio. When I first started out, it was more of a side project then a full time business. My artwork was horrible, my website didn’t work 100% and my logo was, well, not up to date so to say haha.

However my products where ok, I had a few customers and they really liked what I created. But as a company my presence was actually quite horrible (though of course at that moment I was really happy with it). A regular customer from the beginning gave me some tips though about the functioning of my website and that he had problems etc etc and also that he would love to see a bit more attractive artwork.
In the 3 months after that I tried to look at my company from a customer perspective and I saw all flaws and if I would see that in another company, I would not really like it (also for example how I sent newsletters which where quite “unprofessional”, too much sales, too much different pricings etc, all those kind of mistakes).
I changed a lot in the months after that and behold, I got really nice feedback and also a lot more customers. A customer who became a demo writer and a good friend told me that he really was put off in the beginning how things where looking, but that he really admired how things where changed and that pulled him over to check out again my products.
I sent out a mail to a few loyal customers with how they looked at it and they actually told a bit similar thing.
Nowadays my company is running smooth, having other labels on board, having A list composers as clients and it became a full time business.

Moral of the story: listen, absorb the advice and though first impression means a lot, it doesn’t mean you can’t change. If you are willing to change (if that change is actually needed), you can gain a lot from it, also as brand or company.

1 Like