You Are A Product, Sell Yourself!

SSo you’ve got the perfect song written, recorded and ready to launch to the world. The only thing that’s missing is you!

There are thousands of artists making great music, but what really makes a band stand out is the band themselves. Think about your favourite artist; it’s not just the music that you love right? It’s how they look, their live performance and their story. As an emerging band you should begin to think about building your own image to compliment your music.


The best thing you can do is present yourself as a full package, making sure your music and your image are consistent with each other. In other words, there’s a reason you don’t see Kanye West sporting eye liner and an emo fringe. Know your target audience and reach out to them. Then you can start getting creative. There are hundreds of moody-looking indie bands with floppy hair, trench coats and guitars. And that’s good. That’s the indie look and that’s what you’re appealing to, but make sure you stand out above all the other moody-looking indie bands! Record labels, publishers and press will all be asking, “What makes you different?”

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Identify the thing about your band that makes you unique and exaggerate it in every way possible. If you have a charismatic front-man or (even better) front-woman, then have them at the front of your photos looking charismatic! Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a great example of this. Singer Karen O’s eccentricity is the selling point of the band so it is highlighted and exaggerated. Of course their music is pretty awesome too, but it is the enigma created by the iconic fashionista that makes them so marketable and has ensured their longevity.

It can also work if you aren’t lucky enough to have Karen O or Freddie Mercury up your sleeve. The XX achieved huge success this year with their eponymous debut album. Not blessed with movie-star-good-looks, charisma or ego, the band accentuated what was unique about them; their minimalist, bleak, almost insular sound. Accentuating this, their album cover is simply a white ‘x’ on black background and their stage show is dimly lit and unassuming. Modest yet powerful imagery; perfectly complimenting their sound.


Your story is the tagline to your product. It is something descriptive about your band that sets you apart from others and it should be a fundamental part of your press releases and biographies. It must be something quirky and original that will get people talking about you. Again, take what is unique about you and embellish it. Don’t lie, but be creative.

One band in the UK currently making some noise is The Little Comets. They achieved popularity after circulating Youtube videos of themselves bursting onto public transport and into university lecture theatres to play unannounced guerrilla gigs. They became known as “the guys who crash lectures.” Now, every interviewer wants to question them about it and people are telling their friends! In reality, they backed this up with relentless touring, original songs and strong commitment. It does however highlight the importance of creating a marketable tagline that helps define your band. They are using themselves and their personality to help sell their music.

As well as having a story that is marketable, the little details that comprise your band make you far more engaging to your audience. The more you know about a band, the more you love them. It is important to include interesting and intriguing bits of information on your press release as bloggers will often paraphrase or often copy straight from it. You are making their job easier by giving them a good story to quote and you get a strong say in how your band is defined.

Aren’t We Forgetting Something?

Don’t forget that you are a musician first! The image and story mean nothing if you can’t write a half-decent song. It might seem that image and gimmicks trump musical quality in the mainstream but as an emerging artist or band, you’ve got to have both. Good marketing is based on finding a whole in the market and filling it. Identify what is unique about you and multiply it by 100!