- Brainstorm ideas for an APPROPRIATE stage name. Remember, I typed “appropriate” in capital letters for a reason because most beginners do not think hard enough about their brand name. Take it from someone who has had the experience, I have changed my name about 3 times but thankfully decided to stick to what I have now because I actually thought about it a lot more! For instance, if you’re a producer, think of something unique and don’t just boringly create “JD Beats” just because those are your initials. Write a list of names that may be suited to you and your style and ask friends and/or producers what ones they think are best.
- Identify and define. Are you thinking? “HUH!” You need to understand the whole point of your brand and identity by being able to identify yourself as a musician, producer or band. It is similar when describing yourself and what you do in an ordinary job interview. Memorize your purpose and use it when networking with people in the music industry as it helps to introduce yourself.
- Create a theme for your music. No, I don’t mean for you to create a theme song like producers do with The Simpsons and almost all TV Shows. I am talking about your primary colours and how your fans and customers will recognise you. It’s like Richard Branson’s company the “Virgin Group” – their primary colour is Red. Chose it wisely too and unless you make Barbie beats or you are a female then don’t choose Pink. When you do choose your colour, you will need to stick to it for your entire branding image and identity which goes for your website, logo, graphics and more!
- Design a Logo. This has to be the most obvious. A logo is extremely important regardless of what genre of music you create or what type of industry you’re in – a logo is essential! If you are not into graphic design and you have an adequate amount of spending money in your pocket, and so I suggest hiring a freelance logo designer or finding a company that will produce a logo for you. Otherwise, you can use online websites that will generate a logo or you can download free software like Gimp. I personally use Photoshop which is brilliant but it is not free software. I go into more detail about creating logos in this article. How to Create a Unique Logo.
- Set Long-Term Goals. What would you most like to achieve and how are you going to do it? You may have multiple goals as a producer, musician or band and that is perfectly okay. Simply write down all of them but make sure they are specific and achievable. Avoid goals such as “create a beat for a signed artist” or “make a record deal” – these are not specific goals, they are more likely dreams (which are possible only when you plan correctly which doesn't include non-specific goals).
- Promote, Network and Market. You should not consider doing this unless you have actually acquired a brand image first. Creating a logo, choosing a name and defining your music will help to get your music out there and recognisable when people come across it more. You need to be remembered and UNIQUE!
Daniel J Hill (D-Funkdafied)