First off, many artists don't think of themselves as a business. They know they have to do earn a living, negotiate deals, build relationships, and that their ability to do this impacts their career, but they make art and want to focus on that. However, when it all falls down, an artist isn't any different from a company. Just like Google or Nike, they make a product for consumers and have to stand out from the competition to attract a consumer's attention and money. With that being the reality, it's an artist is at a loss if they do not think of themselves as a media company.
So, let's explore a few reasons why that's the case.
Don't Get Lost in the Crowd. Creating online content is as easy as 1-2-3, so there's a ton out there, grabbing everyone's attention and sucking away their 24 hours. If you're not positioning yourself to create the best content, successfully tell your story, and engage your audience on an emotional level, you'll have a hard time standing out in the market. In the information age, what people want is content. They scour the internet for it, visiting site after site to find new content to consume, share, and discuss. If you don't provide content, you become another nameless, faceless, online entity. Now before you ask, yes, your music is indeed content, but look at your music as the minimum viable product or the foundation product you offer. What I mean by that, is that you can build upon the art that you've created. Remember that the music and your brand is your anchor, your foundation, and you can add layers to the story and the experience for your current fans as well as to attract new ones.
Content Allows You to Reach the Masses. As I mentioned earlier, content is what people are on the internet for. But not everyone is looking for the same content. A large percentage of audiences want music, but some want videos, others want articles, pictures, and there are even those who desire a mix of all of three plus more. Creating different forms of content gives you more avenues to reach the world with your art and stories. Different content works well depending on the platform. By creating multiple types of content, you expand your reach and allow more people to discover you and ultimately navigate their way to your music.
It's Cheap and Accessible. There are too many avenues to create and distribute media content for free or cheap. So many ways that it doesn't make sense not to take advantage of it. Whether it's music, podcasts, articles, long form videos, short form videos, educational platforms, photos, live-streams, whatever kind of content it is, there are multiple platforms available for you to generate and circulate new media. On top of that, in 2018, you can now do this with high quality content. If your concern is that your quality won't be as high as a big brand, then take the approach of having a more engaging story. There's not really an excuse, other than it takes time and effort to develop and produce content, and even them the time and due diligence is worth the reward. As Arthur Ashe said, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." Figure out how to leverage what you already have done or what you have planned and get more content from it.
It Expands Your Creativity and Value. With more content, you can reveal additional layers to your music, your story, and the experience. Furthermore, you can enhance your public brand and image by using content to show the different layers of your personality and interests. This ultimately will give you more depth and allow fans to connect with you in a multitude of ways.
As a marketer, I think it's crucial to have a multi-faceted and versatile brand, and to do this you have to think and act like a media company. Go out, be creative, and create fresh, engaging content. Whether it's lifestyle videos, blogs, music videos, livestream, or whatever else you think is cool, just go do it.
The world is yours and everything in it, it's out there. Get on your grind and get it.