💡✍️ADN #067: How To Build A Clear Narrative

artist development artist development newsletter music music business narrative Mar 03, 2024

Hey Friends -

Last week, we explored the art of practice.

You can re-read last week's newsletter here if you want to refresh.

Today, we will talk about how to build a clear narrative as an artist.

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Be strict with your message and flexible with your medium to spread it.

What does this mean?

Here is an example -

Our mantra for War Buddha Records is "Fit Out, Not In."

We won't ever change that.

We use it daily in the following ways:

  • Conversation
  • On social media
  • When thinking about what artists to sign
  • Merchandise
  • Pitch decks
  • Press talk points
  • And more

We are building our business to support the large community of independent artists who want help with publishing, sync, social media, content, distribution, marketing, and more.

We are very clear on our messaging within each of these pieces of our business.

By being strict with our message (the kind of artists we are looking to work with), we can quickly identify if an artist is a good fit for us.

Here is our full manifesto:

You can see we are clear with our message, and this helps us identify if an artist is an excellent fit for our label or any of our growing services.

We are looking for artists that:

  • Fit out, not in
  • Are relentless
  • Willing to break the rules and go against the grain
  • Understand that the process might be messy
  • Willing to challenge the seemingly impossible
  • Show consistent daily action toward their goals

Strict in our message.

Next, we aim to be flexible in how we spread our message.

We are open to testing our ideas.

Where will we find our audience and the best artists for our business?

  • Live shows?
  • Social media?
  • Newsletter?
  • Billboards?
  • Word of mouth?
  • Press?
  • Somewhere else?

We are exploring these answers for our business, but the same concept applies to your artist development.

Action item:

Ask yourself if you know who you or your artist are making music for.

"I make _____ music for _____, ______, ______, types of listeners so that they will feel ______, ______, ______.

Then, build your audience by putting the answers you gave into action.

  • Target your audience on social media by clearly stating who you are, what your music is about, and who it is made for.
  • Seek support slots with artists you think have a similar audience to the one you want.
  • Target the press with a straightforward narrative about who you are.

Are there 3–5 artist audiences that resemble the type of fan you think is your target?

After naming them, study how those artists found their audience and how they are engaging with them now.

Then, start testing similar tactics.

Always try your ideas, too.

Your unique perspective on the audience you aim to build is your most valuable tool.

Be strict with your message and flexible in how you spread it.

See you next Sunday!

Neil Mason

Artist Development

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