The Internet Guide for Rappers – 10 Steps to Establish Your Artist’s Online Presence and Branding [eBook]

By 44faced on Jun 24, 2016 in eBooks - 1 Comment

The Internet Guide for Rappers: 10 Steps to Establish Your Artist's Online Presence and Branding [eBook]

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The Internet Guide for Rappers: 10 Steps to Establish Your Artist’s Online Presence and Branding is an eBook guide for rappers to take control of how they are perceived. According to the principle, “if you do not brand yourself, you will be branded,” by implementing the steps in this guide, you will learn how to stand out among the millions of other rappers out there.

What Will “The Internet Guide for Rappers” Give You?

The Internet Guide for Rappers will give you the ability to:

  • Project a consistent set of values, strengths, motivations, beliefs and interests in your online presence
  • Avoid oversights and mistakes that many aspiring artists make, which end up costing them their reputation
  • Find what makes you unique as an artist, and learn how to emphasize that uniqueness in your communications
  • Gain the confidence to present yourself in a concise, professional manner to any intended audience, from potential sponsors to your fans
  • Write an impressive, comprehensive artist bio relevant to every audience
  • Make photos that will communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness
  • Use a communication plan example template and printable checklist to plan your networking activities with various people, audiences and communities in the upcoming 12 months

Why Did I Write “The Internet Guide for Rappers”?

I wrote The Internet Guide for Rappers after having worked with rappers, artists and producers, and seeing common mistakes repeating themselves. Either I would keep getting asked the same questions, or I would see some lack in the artist’s online presence or the way the artist was organized, which was holding them back.

I designed The Internet Guide for Rappers also as a DIY guide for artists to take control of their digital presence and career. The guide aims to be practical and hands on. It is made of actionable steps to realize each of the points. It also takes online presence and branding from the ground up; all the way from rethinking your artist name, to how you’ll plan your every action in the upcoming 12 months in order to reach your goals.

Here’s what The Internet Guide for Rappers includes:


What is The Internet Guide for Rappers, and what will it give you?

Step 1. Choose Your Artist Name

A step-by-step process of scrutiny on your artist name: its strengths, weaknesses, what you can change, and what you can’t.

Step 2. Get Your Artist Name on All the Web Property You Can

A one-time task that will set the foundation of your artist name’s online real estate.

Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile

An essential process that will guide you to find what will make people want to become your loyal advocates.

Step 4. Write Your Artist Profile Statement

Frame the perception you want others to have of you as an artist in a 1-2 sentence zipped format.

Step 5. Write Your Artist Bio

How to put together a snapshot of your strengths, motivations and uniqueness as a rapper, including examples.

Step 6. Make Your Artist Photos

What kinds of photos you need to have of yourself, and tips for how to make yourself more photogenic.

Step 7. Create a Communication Plan

A guide for how to plan your networking in the upcoming 12 months in order to help you realize your goals, and also to open you up to new opportunities.

Step 8. Implement Your Communication Plan

A checklist for you to apply across all your communication channels to maximize the impression you make.

Step 9. Setup Your Artist Profile as an Extension of Your Personal Brand

The importance of differentiating your artist profile and your personal brand from the very beginning, and how to setup your artist profile as an extension of your personal brand.

Template 1: Artist Characterization Template

A guide to fill out your artist characterization, as described in “Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile.”

Template 2: Artist Bio Template

The must-have parts of every artist’s bio to help you write your bio comprehensively and quickly, as described in “Step 5. Write Your Artist Bio.”

Template 3: Communication Plan Example Template

One example of how a 12 month communication plan looks like, for you to apply to your own networking actions over the next 12 months, as described in “Step 7. Create a Communication Plan.”

Template 4: Communication Plan Checklist

Template of the communication plan checklist described in “Step 8. Implement Your Communication Plan” for you to apply across all your communication channels, to maximize the impression you make.

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Artist Bio Template

By 44faced on Jun 17, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Here’s an artist bio template to help you write your artist bio with.

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Artist Bio Template

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Artist Characterization Template

By 44faced on Jun 17, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Here are printable sheets of the questions that form your artist characterization.

Click on the images for bigger versions.

Artist Characterization Template

Artist Characterization Template 2 of 3

Artist Characterization Template 3 of 3

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The Importance of Differentiating Between Your Artist Profile and Your Personal Brand From the Very Beginning

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Artist Brand vs. Personal Brand

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What’s the difference between your artist profile and your personal brand?
As mentioned, your artist profile leads primarily with your artist name.
But in many cases, people will think of your real name together with your artist name.

Your personal brand is everything represented under your real name.
It is already interlinked with your artist profile from the very beginning.
you need to take that into consideration as you develop these brands.

You can think of your artist profile led by your artist name as your business brand,
and your real name as your personal brand. In a lot of businesses,
the business leaders represent the same values, ethos, beliefs and interests of their business.
These qualities guide who the business leaders communicate with,
how they communicate, and how they’re perceived.
Business leaders who communicate these qualities genuinely and consistently
over time end up becoming recognized for sharing those qualities with their companies.
For example,
Dr. Dre and Beats by Dre,
Steve Jobs and Apple,
Richard Branson and Virgin.

Likewise, when setting up your artist name as your brand,
you need to take a hard look at the person behind the artist.
You need to make sure the two versions of how you’re perceived complement themselves and
maintain that consistency of presenting your strengths, motivations and uniqueness.

If you fail to do that and neglect your personal brand, you run the risk of
your professional profile being “amateurized” by the things people will find online connected to your real name.
The most obvious instance is with Facebook.
On Facebook, you’re usually identifiable by your real name, and
you keep in contact with your friends from school and family.
So think what would that photo of you drunk at a party communicate to
A&R reps of a label you might want to sign to?
What would all kinds of statuses and comments that are only
relevant to a handful of your close friends and family communicate to the fan base you want to grow?

Also, a lot of networks you will be on require that you identify yourself with your real name.
For example, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+.
people interested in finding out more about you,
whether the “real life you” or the “artist you,”
will search for your artist name and your real name, and in those searches,
will find results from both your artist name and your real name.

So by understanding the connection between your artist profile and your personal brand,
you can maintain consistency in the values, strengths, motivations and uniqueness you project,
and the perception you create.
whether or not you like the idea of branding yourself and your artist name,
the principle is very simple:
If you don’t brand yourself, you will be branded by others.
So follow this advice to setup your personal brand and have your artist profile as an extension of it…

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Step 10. Setup Your Artist Profile as an Extension of Your Personal Brand

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

10. Setup Your Artist Profile as an  Extension of Your Personal Brand

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Step 1. The Google Search

Similarly to how you ran a google search for your artist name in “Step 1. Choose Your Artist Name,”
run a Google search for your real name.
Note how you’re represented (if at all),
and which pages are at which ranks.

Check up to about 50 results.

Also, search in boardreader.com and socialmention.com to see
what’s being said about your name in forums and social media.

Step 2. The ID Clean

Remove any of the following you can already identify from your Google search:
Inactive accounts
Negative comments
Inappropriate photos and statuses

Step 3. The Privacy Setting Adjustment

Identify the goals and audiences of the social media pages you run under your real name.
For example, your personal Facebook profile page, your LinkedIn page, and your About.me page.
Make sure the privacy settings are adjusted so that you’re sharing
the appropriate materials to the appropriate people.

Step 4. The Personal Brand Characterization

Review the questions listed under “Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile” and
write the answers relevant to your personal brand.

Note any differences between how you want to be perceived by your real name as opposed to
how you want to be perceived by your artist name.
Why are these differences there?
Answer that to yourself, as it could be very well justified.

Then, create a plan for how to manage these differences.

Check these differences in relation to your profile statement,
your bio, your photos, and your communication plan, and
see where to implement this personal + artist profile branding fusion.

For example, you might be known for doing unexpected, bizarre things under your artist name,
but in real life you’re a quiet, intelligent person.
So how can you reconcile this difference to your advantage?
One possibility is to do the occasional non-music related update: Posting about things that show
your human side and vulnerabilities can be a great way to get people more attached to you.
Post a status about your sister having a baby, or
about some non-music related interests you have, like some
intelligent insight into a movie you watched, a book you read, or something that happened in the news.

The goal is that you’re 100% confident and comfortable with being able to fuse
your real name and your artist name (i.e. John “Artist Name” Smith)
in any communication you’re in. Also, that you know this fusion works to your
professional advantage. To end with, let’s take a look at the
opening paragraph of 2 Chainz’ Wikipedia page, which is just one of many
examples of such a fusion:

Tauheed Epps (born September 12, 1977),
better known by his stage name 2 Chainz (formerly Tity Boi),
is an American rapper from College Park, Georgia.
He initially gained recognition for being one-half of the Southern hip hop duo Playaz Circle,
alongside his longtime friend and fellow rapper, Earl “Dolla Boy” Conyers.
They are perhaps best known for being signed to
fellow Georgia-based rapper Ludacris’ Disturbing tha Peace label,
as well as their debut single “Duffle Bag Boy”.
Source: Wikipedia

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Step 9. Implement Your Communication Plan

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Step 9. Implement Your Communication Plan

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When implementing your communication plan,
check out this to-do checklist for you to apply across all
your communication channels to maximize the impression you make.

Print it out and mark each action as you do it.

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Communication Plan Checklist

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Step 8. Create a Communication Plan

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Create a Communication Plan

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Your communication plan should be part of your general plan
(the vision, goals and targets you’ve defined)
to become a successful artist.

In other words, all your artist related communications need to
respond to how they help you
reach your goals and targets.

Therefore, defining your vision, goals and targets is a necessary preliminary process
you need to have done before working on your communication plan.
so if you haven’t done it yet, define your vision, goals and targets.
Otherwise you will most likely be setting up all kinds of
ineffective and untargeted actions as part of your communication plan.

So what is your communication plan?
Also, how does your communication plan differ to your vision, goals and targets?

Your communication plan defines how you plan to interact
with various people, communities and audiences to:
Help you realize your vision, goals and targets.
Open you up to new opportunities that emerge from networking with others.

Some possible segments you could prepare your communication plan for:
Labels you are interested in
Owners and editors of blogs you want to be published on
Artists you can learn from
Artists on your level
Artists you can teach
Music industry contacts to take notice of you
Music industry contacts to learn from
Your social media friend base
Your YouTube subscribers
Your Soundcloud followers
Your Twitter followers
Your Facebook followers
Your Instagram followers
Your mailing list

Equally important, list websites, forums and any other places
where a potential fan base for the kind of artist you are lurks.
Add those places as targets to hit in your communication plan.

to write your communication plan, you need
a good understanding of the kinds of people you aim to communicate with:
What do they want?
What do you want from them?
What can you contribute to them?
How can you arrange your communication with them so that they benefit from you?
How can you arrange your communication with them so that
you can both maintain a valuable, mutually beneficial relationship?

Also, you need to know all kinds of communication formats and lingo
that these people use so that you can
prepare for how to best approach them.
There is more on that in “Step 9. Implement Your Communication Plan.”

Check out the Communication Plan Example.

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Communication Plan Example

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Step 7. Make Your Plan – Define Your Vision, Goals and Targets

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Step 7. Make Your Artist Plan - Define Your Vision, Goals and Targets

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In this chapter, you will gain success mindset tools to:
Take charge of developing your artist’s online presence.
Create a plan that illustrates your vision, and
Set goals and targets to realize that vision.

The main areas of your plan are:


Your vision is how you see your optimal situation
in the next 3 to 5 years.

For example, your vision could be stated simply like this:

I want to be a happy and successful person,
making a living from music,
in the next 3 to 5 years.

It is worthwhile expanding on your vision.

write a short story:
how would you optimally see your life
in the next 3 to 5 years?

One approach is to think of yourself being interviewed in 3 to 5 years.
write your interview answers:
What have you reached?
Where did you start?
What moves did you make to get to where you are now?


What do you need to achieve
in the next 12 months
to realize your vision?

For example:
1. XXXXXXXXX amount of album sales
2. $XXXXXXXXX amount of quarterly earnings

Write no more than 1 or 2 goals.
Also, the goals should be quantitatively measurable.


What do you need to achieve
in the next 9, 6, 5, 4 and 3 months
to realize your goals?

These goals will vary according to the kind of artist you are,
and the kind of situation you are in.
For example,
you might be a solo artist, or
you might be part of a band or crew.
Maybe you don’t even have the equipment you need to work properly yet,
maybe you’re in a good state right now, or maybe you’re struggling, etc.

Here’s an example of how targets can be laid down:

In 9 months:
XXXXX amount of album sales

In 6 months:
Album release
xx amount of contests attended

Online presence:

Subscribers = 500+
Listens = 10 tracks, 10,000+ listens per track. Single, 100,000+ listens

Subscribers = 500+
Views = 10 videos, 1,000+ views per video. Single, 50,000+ views.

Page Likes = 1,000+
Average Engagement per Post = 100 (80+ likes, 15+ shares, 5+ comments)
3 posts per week

Followers = 1,000+
1-3 tweets per day

Followers = 1,000+
1 photo per day

Email subscribers = 500+
Users per week = 500+

In 3 months:
Research and decision on contests that you want to compete in the next 12 months
Research and decision on potential labels, investors and key music industry contacts.
to have an Online presence setup with regular working process
and a team to publish and promote quality content
in order to progress toward your 6 month targets.

Your targets are periodic short term goals that you can plot out
in intervals of 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, etc.
up to 12 months.
Once you have your periodic targets written out,
your goals and your vision,
then you should have a clearer path laid out
to make your vision a reality.
After doing so, you can bring that goal-oriented layout down
to your daily scheduling, and
look at what you need to accomplish
even on a day-by-day basis
in order to live
on a progressive path
toward your vision.

This “vision, goals, targets” layout is a goal-oriented method of reaching success
that you can apply to any field.
The fact that you can now apply it to realize your artist vision
will give you experience with implementing a success mindset and approach
that you can also apply to literally anything you want to be good at in your life.

In terms of developing your online presence,
notice how making purposeful use of each platform to continually strengthen your presence:
Is not a goal in and of itself.
Instead, it is a means toward reaching your goals.

You don’t need to be on every single platform.
The noteworthy term here is “goal-oriented.”
That is, you should be able to justify the use of each platform
in terms of how it helps you reach your goals.
For example, you might even narrow down your online presence
to only using SoundCloud, YouTube and a static presence on your own website,
because you might find that, at this stage, you do not have enough resources
(i.e. your own time, money and/or other people helping you)
to update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+
in any kind of qualitative way.
Having these networks empty or charged with just a few posts
in the last 12 months, is more detrimental than beneficial to your goals.

Here are some questions to help you determine what and how much to invest into your online presence:
How much will a certain platform help you reach your goals?
What needs to be done on that platform to help you reach your goals?
what content?
How often would new content need to be added?
How much promotion would be needed per content item?
How much time can you dedicate to this?
Who else could help you (i.e. think in terms of developing your team)?
Could you even hire someone to help you with this, or offer them something of value in exchange?

Summary – Vision, Goals, Targets

Vision – Think about your vision,
then write it down.
Write it as a short story of how you optimally see your life as an artist
in the next 3 to 5 years

Goal/s – Write one or two things you need to
accomplish in the next 12 months to realize your vision

Targets – Write short term goals over the
next 12 months to realize your goal/s.

These Vision, Goals, Targets Templates are here to help you
spend time thinking about what moves you make next.

Print out these templates.
take the time to think through your answers to the questions.

My Vision

How do I see my life in the next 3 to 5 years?
What have I accomplished?
Where did I start?
What moves did I make?
What was the transition point?
What was my biggest struggle? How did I get through it?

My Goals

What are one or two things I absolutely must
achieve in the next 12 months
to make my vision a reality?

My Targets

In 6 months, I need to have ________________________
In 3 months, I need to have ________________________
In 2 months, I need to have ________________________
In 1 month, I need to have _________________________

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Step 6. Make Your Artist Photos

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Step 6 - Make Your Artist Photos

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To get started making your artist photos,
you need at least two kinds of high resolution photos of yourself.

1. Live and Recording Studio Photos

Live and recording studio photos are photos of yourself
playing in concerts and recording in the studio.
In these photos, you are in action, completely immersed in your music.

One of these photos should be able to be used as a headshot.
Take what you wrote in your characterization,
and aim to get a shot that expresses your biggest strength, your motivation and your uniqueness.
For instance, if your strength is charismatic leadership,
then a shot that communicates charismatic leadership could show you playing
in a concert where you’re guiding the movements of the audience,
where they are following what you are doing.
Likewise, if your uniqueness is your depth in depicting life’s struggles,
then a studio shot of you, after a long session, tired, sweaty,
with your eyes closed, listening to a beat intently, would be a good choice.
However, you need to think it through according to what you want to portray.

2. Studio Photos

Studio photos don’t necessarily need to be taken in a photography studio.
Rather, the term stands for photos that have you looking your best
outside any performance setting (live or recording studio).

You should be in clothes that capture the life you want to depict.
Think in terms of people looking at these photos to get a feel for who you are
and what perceptions you communicate.

That same strength, motivation and uniqueness that
you characterized needs to be communicated in these photos.
It needs to come through everything from
how you dress, to the camera angle, to your facial expression and body language.

If you hire a professional photographer who has experience
taking studio photos of public personalities, then
you should be able to discuss your characterization with them.
They should be able to help you present yourself the way you define.

If you don’t have the funds to hire a professional photographer, then
find a few friends and/or family who have an interest in seeing you reach your goals.

Discuss your characterization with them.
Review how your inspiration/competition presents themselves visually online.
work out the details of:
Clothes – What clothes best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Colors – What colors best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Background/Setting – What background and setting best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Body Language – What body language best communicates your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?
Facial Expression – What facial expressions best communicate your strengths, motivations and uniqueness?

Whether or not you can hold that kind of a meeting,
you can also scan through photos of yourself, picking out things you like and dislike.

Do you like/dislike the way you look from certain angles?
Do you like/dislike certain ways you pose?
Do you like/dislike certain ways you smile?
What clothes, colors, backgrounds/settings, body language and facial expressions do you like most?

Aim to replicate the best in all of the just-mentioned during your photo shoot.

As well as these elements, follow a few photography tips on
how to make yourself look better according to your body type:

If you blink during photos, then close your eyes before the shot, and gradually
open them toward the shot. This also helps to make you more relaxed in your shot

Avoid goofy smiles by putting your tongue
behind your teeth when you smile

To avoid red eye, look at a light
before the photo. This will shrink your pupils during the shot

Turning your head to a three-quarter angle gives more depth
than when you face the camera directly, which can make your face look flat

Standing in front of a white background brightens your facial and skin features. It
also makes it “easier” for the camera to find the right balance settings,
thus avoiding adding too much hue to your skin

Take a lot of photos in your shoot. The more photos you take,
the more photos you have to choose from.
Rarely would you look the way you want in every photo,
so the more to choose from, the better

Make sure the room’s light is in front of you, not above or behind you,
otherwise all sorts of shadows will cover you. Look toward the light source to add sparkle in your eyes.
If you’re taking photos outdoors, then taking them at dawn or dusk,
when the sun is low, is best for avoiding unnecessary shadows. Likewise,
face toward the direction of the sun when taking the photo

Hold an object. An object both relaxes your posture,
and it also adds to your personality.
Choose an object that best accentuates your biggest strength, motivation and uniqueness.
For example, think of the Eminem chainsaw photo that accentuates the Slim Shady crazy image.
Common ones among many rappers: a mic, the white cup, lots of 100 dollar bills, or
showing off jewelry (chains, rings, watches), and hand signs

Get into a conversation with your photographer during the shoot, and joke around.
A natural smile or any natural emotions you can awaken through a conversation in a
relaxed atmosphere will always look better than fake smiles that are forced

Feel good.
Being in a good mood adds confidence and
projects positively through your photo.
Prepare yourself toward your photo shoot by being around certain friends that you
always feel good around,
have your favorite meal or drink coming up to the shoot (just don’t stuff yourself too much),
have a good night’s sleep the night before,
and do a bit of exercise in the morning of your shoot,
all with the aim of feeling good and confident when going for the shoot.
Arrange your day where your photo shoot is the central item for that day,
and everything else is there to support it.
You don’t want to do it on a tight schedule among the stress
of needing to complete all kinds of other things that same day

To make your face look thinner and eliminate a double-chin, push your face forward a little bit

Practice in front of a mirror. During that time, work out what positions you look best in,
and take mental notes of what you are doing mechanically to be
able to replicate that on your photo shoot day

3. Cartoons, Caricatures, Portraits, Sketches and Drawings

After you’ve taken your photos, it is worthwhile to turn your
favorite photos into various other graphic formats,
like cartoons, caricatures, portraits, sketches and drawings.
There are a lot of services online to do this without spending too much.
Run searches on Fiverr for the following words:

draw you

The same principle of looking for what kinds of images communicate
your biggest strength, your motivation and your uniqueness
applies to the kind of drawing you choose.
For example,
someone who makes funny, goofy caricatures wouldn’t be suitable if
you’re trying to portray your strong leadership qualities,
but might be suitable if you’re trying to express your bizarreness.

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Step 5. Write Your Artist Bio

By 44faced on Jun 16, 2016 in eBooks - 0 Comments

Step 5. Write Your Artist Bio

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Your artist bio is a snapshot
summarizing your strengths, motivations and uniqueness.
Also, your artist bio uses your achievements, current activities and upcoming projects
in order to communicate that artist profile you characterized.

Like your profile statement, you will need your bio for different reasons
according to different requests. Each time it should be
adjusted according to the purpose you’re trying to achieve with it.

The following is a list of
core artist bio elements
to include in your artist bio:

Your artist name
What kind of artist are you
Your genre of music
Where you’re from
(Optional) Positive quote about your music from a music industry contact
Past experience
Current Activities
Near-Future Plans
Next Project
Remind about one thing you want people to remember about you

Make sure your bio communicates what you earlier defined
as your strengths, motivation and uniqueness throughout those points.

Take a look at some example artist bios.
Simply take about 5 of your most influential artists,
Google their names together with the word “bio.”
For example,

future bio
young thug bio
kendrick lamar bio
eminem bio
drake bio

What elements from the above list do they use in their bios?
What don’t they use?
Do you think by adding any elements they missed they would make more impressive bios?

One common mistake artists make in their bios is
writing their life story: their childhood, experiences and hardships.
You can do this with your fans, but
your artist bio needs to integrate you into the music industry.

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