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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?
Tech N9Ne = Speed Rapping
Slick Rick = Storytelling
Or maybe your biggest strength is in making people laugh?
Big L = Punchlines 🙂
Lil Wayne = Wordplay 🙂
Or maybe it’s is in the way you talk about political/social issues?
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?
2pac, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar
Or maybe it’s in a common theme across your lyrics?
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.
Setup a Google Alert to get notified whenever Google
indexes stuff about you and your artist name.
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.
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,
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 not only their music, but also their communication:
how they speak in interviews,
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…