Profiling yourself

Let’s start with the most simple questions:

Facebook is one of the best places out there to promote your music, once you master how to target the right people in their ads, you have full control of how many followers you want to get daily. Is quite simple but for this, we have to ask you a question that shocks new artists when they work in music marketing.

Who do you sound like?

If the answer is ”nobody sounds like me” etc… then you have no future in the big music industry. For the audiences and Labels, we all sound like somebody who was successful before us. This is totally ok, actually is the most powerful tool you can have out there is profiling yourself in music.

Let me use myself as an example:

I am mixed Spanish, Dominican and American. This for a Label means:

  1. He can connect with latino audiences
  2. He can sing in English and Spanish

What’s your genre and sub-genre?

Now, we have big genres in music, Pop, Metal, Hip Hop, EDM, Country…. and those Genres have sub-genres like Alternative Pop, Heavy Metal, Rap, Trap, Chill House, Dubstep…

I do some type of Pop with some Spanish influences and a bit of electronic collaborations. This starts bringing some artists to mind:

We could say… Ricky Martin, Bruno Mars, Shakira, Camila Cabello, Jason Derulo, Becky G, Jennifer Lopez…

You can find more artists checking the recommendations Spotify shows you when you scroll down on an artist page. It will say something like: Fans from ”name of the artist” also listen to…

Write down all this artists, we are narrowing your probable audience.

Who follow those artists mostly?

This is something you can probably find with a google search or with an Instagram following check, maybe just by watching their live performances or any other method online. Ricky Martin is followed by parents who grew up with him, also he has a massive latino following. Camila Cabello has a teenager type of following, Jason Derulo kind of the same…

Find each of their audiences and discard the artists that start to not fit with your sound or your profile. Do not narrow it too much as in music, audiences as a mystery and results will always impress the artist.

As an extra if your audience is too wide, you can narrow a bit more by asking more personal (and sometimes uncomfortable questions) I recommend you not looking for incredibly big names of the industry, it’s better when an artist has less than half a million listeners as their fans will be more into that specific genre.

Is your Music Christian or related to a religion?

If your music is related to God in a Christian way then your audience just got narrowed quickly, the same happens with other religions. If your music is not related to this, skip to the next question.

What Age group do you think will listen more to your music?

The rule in here is always open the age group to a bit more than we believe in the first place. In my example I aimed for teenagers, but ended up with a predominant audience between 20-30 years old. Ask some of your friends and explore online what age groups are predominantly listening to your genre or those artists that sound like you. This is extremely important to create the perfect ads.

Is your music aimed to Male, Female, LGBT Community or any others?

I am a man, I look young, I can dance. This is how I thought of this questions. I thought, if I am a man, probably more female audience will listen to me, wrong completely as my music has no gender or orientation. This is my case but what is yours? If you music is about Philosophical questions, you might want to use that to narrow it. If is aimed to make people jump during their parties, use it too. The more info you have to profile yourself, the better.

Typical mistakes doing this

As I wrote before, be sure to not narrow it too much, keep all the possibilities open and register all the options you thought on paper. Sometimes the probable audience we believe at first is far from the reality.

My audience started with American people listening to my music, transitioned to being mostly asian, then moved to a worldwide mix. I would have never imagine that people in Africa would be listening to me, or that I would go on tour around China. Be open to all kinds of possibilities and explore the markets. In Japan for example people love Iggy Azalea (rap) and Ariana Grande (pop) as well as their Japanese Artists. Korean pop is more listened In the USA than in Asia (without counting Korea) Latin music has massive success away from South America.

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