stand out in music industry

5 Ways to Stand out in the Music Industry

If you’re part of the modern music industry, you’re most definitely fighting to get noticed amongst all the competition. Simply writing and performing good music just doesn’t seem to do the trick anymore. So how do you make sure your band is recognizable in a sea of musicians trying to make it big?

For starters, you need to think of yourself as a business and take over multiple areas of production. These include marketing, promotion, publicity, design, and communication with your audience. If you want your music to be appreciated, you need to ensure it’s reaching your fans effectively.

This might seem like a lot to handle, but we’re here to tell you that it’s all very simple. Here are some effective tips on how you can make your band stand out.

1. Focus on your style

Fashion has always been a vital part of the music industry. We might not remember every famous musician, but we surely remember the ones who have a unique sense of style.

Why is style important?

The way you dress up and appear as a band will help create an aesthetic for you that fans can directly associate with your band’s image. Entertain your audience through more than just your music. Add in a unique sense of style to your image and follow it consistently to create a different identity for yourself.

Famous pop artist Lady Gaga caught the world’s attention when she wore a meat dress to the MTV Video Music Awards, and has been hailed as one of the most outrageous fashion icons in the industry ever since.

While you don’t have to go as far as wearing clothing made of flesh to stand out, it doesn’t hurt to add a kick to your costume design and garner some extra fan attention.

2. Keep fans on their toes with social media surprises

Keeping up an active social media presence is a given for any popular musician. But it’s not enough to just have a large following on social media. You need to stand out from the crowd by regularly posting surprises and teasers to keep your fans engaged.

Fans will expect you to post normally like every other band does, but you can keep them on their toes by throwing in a surprise performance video, a live Q&A session, or even an interesting story.

Famous boy band Big Time Rush surprised fans around the world during the pandemic by recording an acoustic version of their old hit “Worldwide” from their homes. The band reunited over Zoom and shared it on their social media, causing many old fans to look them up and rediscover their music.

3. Stand out amongst locals with eye-catching band posters

Social media is a great way to reach out to the world. But sometimes you need more direct measures to engage those in closest proximity to you. You have a better chance of being recognized within your local community.

Look for places in your community that have high foot traffic and have a set of eye-catching band posters ready to be put up. Designing a professional poster might look challenging, but it’s a lot easier than it seems. With online design tools like PosterMyWall, you can get free access to a wide range of music posters and concert flyers to use and customize according to your needs.

How can you get the most out of your posters?

Here are some tips on how you can optimize your posters and have them reach your audience effectively.

  1. Place your band logo at the top to make it noticeable.
  2. Add a fun photo of your band in a unique get up to catch attention.
  3. Use PosterMyWall to add a QR code to your poster that links fans to your website and concert schedules.
  4. Build a more diverse fanbase by placing your posters around schools and colleges to attract younger audiences, and at newsstands for the older generation.
  5. Encourage fans to carry your poster to gigs by adding in a free band T-shirt voucher.


4. Say yes to local gigs

Performing live is one of the best ways to engage an audience and market your band. A great way to get noticed is to focus first on your local scene and say yes to all gigs that can help you gain more traction.

Don’t hesitate to play at charity events, fundraisers, bars, or even open mic nights at the local cafe. Make sure to fit these small gigs in between your concerts and other big performances. Doing this will help you build a strong local home following and will show fans that you’re an approachable and relatable band.

The band Velvet Underground decided to play their first gig at a local high school for a rather low price. Despite having recorded a demo earlier that year, the band made a conscious decision to say yes to local gigs, which helped gain them the massive following they have today.

5. Utilize the radio for giveaways and contests

Even though most music has gone online, the radio still plays an important role in people’s lives. And nothing gets the buzz going more than a radio contest. Partner up with the most known local radio stations and arrange some ticket and merchandise giveaways to create excitement among your audience.

Arrange fun contests for your fans. Have them take part in a fun radio band trivia for the chance to win free show tickets and band merchandise. Most modern bands tend to stick to social media for such interactions. Using the radio will help you interact with a different audience and stand out more.

This is not only a good way to promote your image and new music, but will also create more traction for some of your old songs and potentially engage new listeners.

Final Thoughts

The music industry today is very saturated. It can be hard to stand out when you’re faced with so much competition. Sometimes, you find yourself blending into the crowd and going unnoticed.

You know it’s time to switch things up if you find yourself facing one or more of these situations:

  1. When your music or style is too similar to your competition
  2. When you seem to be losing fans to rival bands
  3. When your social media following seems to have stopped growing
  4. When you feel you’ve outgrown your current identity

If any of the above is true, you need to work on how your fans see you. With the abovementioned tips, you’ll be able to create a unique identity for your band that is sure to stand out from among the crowd.

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