Step 4. Write Your Artist Profile Statement

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

Step 4. Write Your Artist Profile Statement

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Based on your artist characterization,
create a profile statement that takes
everything you wrote, and summarizes it
in a short 1-2 sentence package.

Your artist profile statement should cover:

Who are you?
What do you do?
How are you unique?

Think of this as an elevator pitch.
If someone who doesn’t know you stands next to you
in an elevator, and asks you,
“What do you do?”
You need to explain that to him or her in up to 6 seconds.

Why do you need this statement?
You need it to help you in communication and networking.
When you speak with other people, it will
show confidence when you can sharply and confidently relay this statement.
This is useful in any life situation. Even outside of your artist-related scene.
people you come into contact with will always be asking you what you do,
and you’ll need to respond.
If you’ll be trying to get labels, investors, or other business possibilities in
developing your career as an artist,
this will be useful.

Moreover, be prepared to adjust this statement according
to the person or audience you’re speaking to.
For instance, how you speak to a fellow artist
is different to how you speak to a potential label
you’re interested in getting signed to.

These scenarios might appear to be natural.
That is, naturally you would speak one way or another
to different kinds of people.
But by taking the time to define how
each one of these audiences should optimally perceive you,
you can work to frame that perception in how you appear to them.

Your statement is an important first appearance in doing so.
It means that when you’re at a certain event, like a concert,
you can envision who you might meet,
and how you want to present yourself to them in advance,
and be better prepared for all kinds of encounters you can have.

It translates also into the virtual space.
If you simply copy/paste the same statement across all platforms you’re on,
then you’re missing the point.
Each one of those networks has
different audiences and expectations from the people who use them,
and you should speak according to the different atmosphere on each network.

Your profile statement is also the core unit of your bio,
which we will learn more about in Step 5.
You can also think of it as the first statement
at the top of your artist CV that you would
send to labels and investors.

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Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile

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

Step 3. Characterize Your Artist Profile

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Characterizing your artist profile is essential to your online presence.

The goals of your artist profile can be defined as:

Differentiation – Find what sets you apart as an artist. Emphasize it.
Loyalty – By standing for what matters to people, you gain their loyalty.
Advocacy – People you touch will want to tell their friends about you.

In this step, you will work out:

How do you want others to perceive you and know you?
How do you want them to speak about you?
What do you want them to see when they look you up?
What specific thing would people come to you for, which only you could provide?
What matters to them?
How will you fulfill what matters to them?

Before setting off to answer those questions, there are some more
fundamental questions to characterizing your artist profile:

What Are Your Biggest Strengths?

What are your biggest strengths as an artist?

Maybe your biggest strength is in having mastered a certain technique?
For example,
Tech N9Ne = Speed Rapping
Slick Rick = Storytelling

Or maybe your biggest strength is in making people laugh?
For example,
Big L = Punchlines 🙂
Lil Wayne = Wordplay 🙂

Or maybe it’s is in the way you talk about political/social issues?
For example,
Immortal Technique/Public Enemy = Conscious/Political Hip Hop

Or maybe it’s in the way you can paint a vivid verbal picture
of your life’s highs and struggles?
For example,
2pac, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar

Or maybe it’s in a common theme across your lyrics?
For example,
Future = Drugs

Whatever it is,
try to define it as precisely as possible.
Here are some questions to help you define your biggest strengths:

What do others say about your work?

Think of what you’ve heard others
say about your work
and the common compliments you’ve received.
If you’ve never heard any or can’t remember,
then ask people who have heard you play
what they think are your biggest strengths
as an artist.
People usually say
what they like and are most impressed with
about your work.

Is there anything written about you in chats, forums, or other social media?

Review what people say about you
and find those one or two words
that keep repeating themselves.
Also, reference these tools
regularly to stay updated on
what people are saying about you.

Google Alerts
Setup a Google Alert to get notified whenever Google
indexes stuff about you and your artist name.

Social Mention
Run a Social Mention search of your artist name
to see what’s being said on social media about you.

Run a Boardreader search of your artist name
to see what’s being said on discussion boards about you.

What Motivates You?

Why do you ultimately put so much time and effort into music?

Dig into the story of your life.

Find that emotion that makes you
strive to put in the hard work
to improve yourself as an artist.

How does that emotion feel?

What does it want?

Behind all the surface achievements,
clothing and lingo
there is an innate
dwelling deeper within you,
the reason why you want to develop your artist presence.

What do you want to achieve out of all the hours you spend on your music?

Dig deep into yourself and pull out that answer.

Write the story that led you to this motivation.

This specific motivation you have now hasn’t always been there.

When did you start feeling it?

What happened to you?

How did your location,
all influence this motivation?

By finding that reason
why you want to develop your artist presence,
and extracting this story out of yourself,
you can strike a common chord
with that same place
in other people.

By sharing your story and your motivation with others,
you allow that motivation you feel to be shared with others.
When others can relate to your story and get inspired by you,
they will want to keep coming back to you.
Your story and your motivation
is a fundamental unit that enroots all 3 goals of your artist profile.

differentiation – Your story is unique to you.
No one else has been through what you’ve been through
to be where you are today,
and where you want to be.

Loyalty – Inspiration is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
If someone gets inspired by your story,
by what motivates you,
then they will likely want to come back to you.
Moreover, they are more likely to want to see you succeed,
because by identifying with your motivation,
your success becomes their success.

Advocacy – If a person who shares the same motivation as you
feels like s/he knows others who would also feel it,
s/he would want to tell them about it.

What Makes You Unique?

What marks your uniqueness as an artist?

Maybe you work out impressive wordplay,
funny punchlines or other techniques
that makes people laugh or
go “Oooh!” whenever
you pull them off (i.e. your uniqueness = creativity)?

Or maybe you’re known to spitfire
what you’re saying faster than
every other artist (i.e. your uniqueness = speed)?

Or maybe you do erratic things that most
other artists don’t do, and select words that most
other artists don’t say, and somehow end up
making it all work (i.e. your uniqueness = bizarreness)?

Or maybe when you step into a room, without any effort,
people just start taking notice of you (i.e. your uniqueness = charisma)?

Your biggest strengths could be the same as what makes you unique.
However, it’s important to think in terms of
how that strength communicates through your uniqueness.
For example, if you’re an excellent battle rapper,
then battle rapping is your strength,
but there are a lot excellent battle rappers around,
so it’s not necessarily a uniqueness.
Uniqueness is what is unique to you,
and only to you.

What makes you unique as a battle rapper then?
It might be that as a battle rapper,
you use unorthodox techniques of wordplay.
For instance,
you’re the only battle rapper who doesn’t even rhyme,
but you put your words together in a way that somehow works,
if you have a lot of battle wins under your ranks,
then other aspiring battle rappers would want to learn from you
what are those unique unorthodox techniques you use.

Therefore, think hard about what you,
and only you,
can do.
What would people come to you specifically for to get advice on?
If you really can’t find anything, then think in terms of
where would you like to be?
and what would you like to do that no one else can do?
how could you reach that?

4. Who Is Your Inspiration/Competition?

What artists have the kind of reputation you want?
By answering this question,
you not only define the artists that you aspire to and
who you can learn from…

you also define your competition.

What are these artists’ biggest strengths?

What gives them a strategic advantage over other artists…
and over you?

What motivates them more than anything else?

What makes them unique?

To answer these questions, divide the artists into
those who you see as competition you can overcome in the short term,
and competition you aim to be as good as, if not better than, in the long term.

Study them.

Study not only their music, but also their communication:
how they speak in interviews,
in videos,
how they look, clothe and present themselves,
their body language.
These artists are there for you to seek examples from and
use to improve yourself,
to aspire to their level and beyond.

Moreover, by studying your inspiration and competition,
you need to review your own answer to what makes you unique.

Are you still unique in relation to your inspiration/competition?
Are you doing something they are not doing?
If not, what do you need to do to really mark your uniqueness
and differentiate your artist presence?

The answers to all of these questions
form your artist profile characterization.

Print out the Artist Characterization Template
as a guide to help you answer
these questions in a pinpointed manner…

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

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

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

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Get all the web channels you can with your artist name …
“own” them.

For instance:
Your Soundcloud page – soundcloud.com/yourartistname
Your Bandcamp page – yourartistname.bandcamp.com
Your YouTube channel – youtube.com/yourartistname
Your Facebook page – facebook.com/yourartistname
Your Twitter page – twitter.com/yourartistname
Your Instagram page – instagram.com/yourartistname
Your Tumblr page – yourartistname.tumblr.com
Your Google+ page – plus.google.com/+yourartistname
Your LinkedIn page – as your real name, not your artist name
Your Pinterest page – pinterest.com/yourartistname
Your Flickr page – flickr.com/photos/yourartistname
Your Website – yourartistname.com

In addition to these social media pages and your domain,
there are a lot of musician social networks,
including ones more relevant to your style.
Current popular social networks for hip hop/rap/RnB artists
include DatPiff, LiveMixtapes and SpinRilla.
There are lots of other music social networks worth being on,
so that you know that you own your own
name on that network from the beginning.

It’s not the purpose of this guide to list all the music social networks.
Review Google’s search results for
“music social networks”
to find some that suit you.
It’d be worth finding a few that you think would benefit you
(your networking, communications) and sign up to them.

As well as all the above sites,
register your artist name on
any relevant discussion forums
you could potentially participate in.

This action needs to happen
even before working out
which pages you plan to actively communicate on.
That is, get all the possibilities you can with your artist name,
and afterwards work out what to do with the possibilities you have.
This is a one-time task that will take you 2 to 6 hours to complete.

Note also that this is a research stage that can serve your communication plan
(described in “Step 7. Create a Communication Plan“).
During this stage, keep your eye out for opportunities:
Do these sites have active communities of people who might like your music?
If they do, note them for later reference.

Also, at this stage, don’t waste your time filling in profile info.
Most of these sites try to make you add your profile photo,
write about yourself, invite your friends, and fill in other info
about yourself right after you sign up.
Don’t do all that yet.

All you need to do at this stage is just sign up
to the sites and own your artist name as their URL.

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Step 1. Choose Your Artist Name

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

Step 1 - Choose Your Artist Name

Do you have an artist name?

Is your artist name established?

If it is, is it consistent across the platforms you’re on?

Your artist name is the basis of your online presence.

It’s a major element in how people identify the “artist you.”

To the people who hear about you,
look you up in Google,
check you out in YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook …
your artist name is the entry point into getting to know the “artist you”:
your story
your values
your styles
your achievements
your experience
what you stand for.

It’s your artist ID.

It’s the place where, if handled well, can help hook people to you,
become loyal to you, and make them want to support
and promote you and everything you’re about.

Since your artist name is an essential aspect of your online presence,
then you should do the following actions to make sure
that it’s in a good position to develop upon:

1.1. Run a Google Search for Your Artist Name

What you want to see in the search results
is that there is
no or little competition on your artist name.

What you want to find
is that there are
no search results for your name,
except for pages you already setup and agree with.

The meaning = you have no competition

…when you set out to develop your online presence based on your artist name.

If this is what you found with your search,
then you can already move to
“Step 1.2.: Search for Your ID in the Trademark Search Engines.”

Other possible scenarios:

The Good Scenario

There are some other pages in the results
with your artist name, but they are insignificant.
That is, the name appears only somewhere
in the text of the page.
It doesn’t appear in any headlines.
Also, there are no results where
the name is used in the domain name
or in any of the social media IDs.

If this is the situation with your search,
then you can move onto
“Step 1.2.: Search for Your Artist Name in the Trademark Search Engines.”

The Okay Scenario

There are other pages with your artist name
in the page’s headline, but they’re old.
Also, there are not too many of them.
You can see that if you owned a lot of
social media and a domain with that ID, and updated actively,
then you would soon push the other results lower down the ranks.

If this is the situation with your search,
then you can move onto
“Step 1.2.: Search for Your ID in the Trademark Search Engines.”

The Not So Okay Scenario

There are other people using your artist name on social networks.
The .com domain of your ID is taken.
However, it’s a website that hasn’t been updated in a long time.
There are also a lot of search results that came up for your search.

If this is the situation with your search,
then you should contact the owners of those pages and domains.
Try finding their email or phone number,
and if not, then try
contacting them through private messaging.
If you can’t find it on the sites themselves,
then try Google searches with the following search strings:

your artist name + email
your artist name + contact

Likewise, if there is a domain taken,
search on www.whois.com to find the domain owner.
Ask the owner to transfer the domain at a reasonable cost.
You can run a value check on www.siteprice.org to find out
how much the domain is worth, and accordingly
you can make them an offer.
If you don’t have much money, then see if you can get an alternative domain
like a .org or .net version of your artist name.

The following steps will illustrate the importance of owning a domain with your
artist name.

The Bad Scenario

Your artist name is in use.

The .com .org and .net domains of your artist name are all taken.
A person or business is using it to base their own online presence.

If this is your situation, then you really need to revise your artist name.

For example, let’s say for whatever reason you chose
“Virgin,” or “Coke,” or “Starbucks” as your artist name.
Then, you’ve not only gone into direct competition with
multi-million dollar companies from the get go.
Eventually, the more you develop, the more you
risk having your online properties removed
due to copyright infringements.

You would then need to check
what you can do about your artist name.
If you haven’t got much output in terms of
albums, mixtapes, songs, merchandise or contest wins
connected to your artist name,
then you should have no problem in creating a new one.

Then, you can either delete your current artist name or leave it dormant.
If you have any products connected to your artist name,
then contact the relevant people on the sites
you have items published on to see if you
could transfer your artist name’s value over to another artist name.

1.2. Search for Your Artist Name in the Trademark Search Engines

Run a trademark search to make sure your artist name
doesn’t infringe on any trademarks.

In a world of rapidly growing Internet population,
you might not be only one wanting to use your artist name.

Also, you might later want to own
your own business named after your artist name.
So don’t limit yourself from the beginning.
Make sure that there is a place for you to be able
to do that in the future without risking
trademark infringement or having to make any name changes.

Marcaria.com International Trademark Search Engine
lets you run searches in various countries.
At least in your own country of residence
and the country you will be owning online properties,
check that you are in good standing to use your artist name
without infringing on any trademarks.

Marcaria.com International Trademark Search Engine

If you find a business operating under your artist name,
most chances are that
you can still use it.
It might only be a problem if it is a
business involved in music,
but if it is for different products and services,
then it is likely that you are still
good to go.
If you do find
that there is a similar business name
located where you are and
related to the music industry,
then you would need to take
that into consideration if you
make future steps to develop
your artist name into a business name.
If that is already a clear goal
to you, then it’s worthwhile
to review whether you can change
your artist name
(see the end part of “Bad Scenario” in Step 1.1.)

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The Internet Guide for Rappers Questionnaire

By 44faced on Jul 16, 2015 in eBooks - 0 Comments

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