You have made a kick-ass single and are about to release it to the masses. Your dream is to make the big-time and to have a career doing what you love to do. But on the road to success, you have got to make it past the first step: getting the listeners, A&Rs and/or talent scouts attention!
We’re living in a time when there is more music than ever before. We’re also living in a time when it is easier than ever to reach out to the masses, which is great news for you as a struggling musician. Except that it’s just as easy for basically every other struggling musician. How do you cut through the static? How do you get people interested in your music?
The important first impression that comes before the public even hear your music and that is the visual impression. Of course this is not always true; listeners exploring new music and talent scouts who are looking for the next big thing sometimes stumble upon an artist who doesn’t look like they have much to offer, but they are just amazing. I’m talking about enhancing the possibility that the ‘right’ person gets interested in your music, or put in other words: creating your own luck!
For that, one of the most important tools to use for getting in front of the line is the visual material; cover art, artist pics, logotype, music videos etc. If these things are done professionally, your profile will be the one that the listener or talent scout stops at. However, if it’s unprofessional (for example a blurry iPhone pic as cover art), it may drag down the first impression.
I understand that not everyone has the money to spend on a professional graphic designer or a photographer, but if that is the case, just keep it simple! No need to aim at that super-cool picture where it looks like you are holding the devil in one hand and the earth in the other and there is fire in your eyes (you see what i’m getting at). Plain and simple might not say it all, but at least looks professional.
Another easy way to make a better first impression is to always keep a professional tone when communicating to listeners and other recipients. When you put your music online, it’s often on a profile (on Spinnup, Soundcloud etc.) where you can have an image and also describe yourself as an artist. This is actually a great opportunity to show how professional and serious you really are with your music, which truly makes a difference in the minds of possible fans, talent scouts and other music professionals.
Now I’m sure these all sound like obvious things to many of you but I believe it’s too easily forgotten when you are focusing on your music. It’s too often you see a good artist who hasn’t got these things together. It’s a shame since it really is a deadly weapon that a struggling artist has to fend off his/her/their competitors with!
Scout: Oscar Larsson