What defines your image as an artist?

Ιn the music world, your fans’ opinion and perception of your personality is what defines you as an artist after your music. Your image as an artist can be divided in three parts: your personality on stage, your look and your actions off stage.

By Teresa MartiniContributing Author

Article photo - What defines your image as an artist?

During my career in the music industry, I often realised that there is a lot of confusion about what “image marketing” means. First of all, it is important to define what is somebody’s “image or rather the result of several factors that create a specific idea and opinion in other people.
Especially in the music world, your fans’ opinion and perception of your personality is what defines you as an artist after your music. 
Your image as an artist can be divided in three parts: your personality on stage, your look and your actions off stage.

Your personality on stage

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde couldn’t have said it better.
There is no point in trying to be someone else. If you are a fun and bubbly artist, then be it. If you are more reserved and introvert, it is also ok! Being yourself is what makes you YOU and it helps you distinguish yourself from other artists.
I always found it very fascinating to look at musicians while they are performing as I always try to understand what makes them different from the rest. Sometimes it is their moves, sometimes it is their looks and the way they engage with their fans. I have seen artists jumping on stage throwing cakes in the middle of the dancefloor and I have seen artists who are just so shy they cannot even take their eyes off their CDJs. But guess what? Both are extremely successful and always sell out their gigs. How is it possible? 
There is no point for someone a bit more introvert to start jumping around pretending to be someone else simply because people can sense if somebody is doing something just for the sake of it and feeling uncomfortable. 
Can you imagine Marco Carola dancing and jumping on stage? And can you imagine Carl Cox sitting down during a whole gig? Nope, and this is exactly my point.
Each musician is different, and those little differences should be embraced because they are what make us unique and recognizable. 

Your look

If I think about the European techno music scene, the first color that comes to my mind nowadays is black: in fact, most artists playing this genre prefer to wear a total black look on stage and off stage. 
Things have changed through the years though: in the beginning, techno music was an extremely colorful genre where people could wear whatever they wanted without being judged. What happened then? Did the music actually get so similar that even the people listening to it and playing it started to become all the same? Or is it simply a matter of wishing to belong to a community? Either way, one thing is important: if you feel like wearing black makes you feel confortable, then wear black. 
If you prefer to wear flowered shirts or pink shorts, then wear them. 
As it goes for your personality, your look does represent you. Some artists are extremely recognizable for what they wear and this is what make them different: Peggy Gou for example is the perfect example of a great unique style: colorful and extremely creative. On the other hand, if I think of Amelie Lens I think of  black and sporty clothes. 
And guess what? They both are great artists because they are embracing who they are without pretending to look like someone else.
Another great example? Think of artist like Daft Punk, Marshmallow or Boris Brejcha: not many would recognize them on the street. However, as soon as they are on stage wearing their masks, you would recognize them right away. 
This shows again that being unique is key to be remembered. 

Your actions off stage

Your image is also the result of your actions: in fact, one artist can be perceived in a certain way according to his/her use of social media and press. 
Many artists in fact use different type of media in order to influence in a positive way the public’s opinion through interviews, Instagram posts and much more. 
Again, if you are an extremely charismatic artist on stage, your fans would probably expect the same type of behavior on social media and during interviews. A great example is U.K. DJ Eats Everything: thanks to his charisma and sense of humor, his fans  know exactly what type of content they will get on social media. 

How can you improve your image?

Being yourself is just step one. It is important however that you always research what other artists do in order to be successful and try to analyze their body language, their outfits and the way they interact with their fans and with the media. There is no harm in taking inspiration from others and to learn from the best. Make sure you do not copy, but simply adapt some little self-marketing strategies to yourself and you will see the difference.
If you think an artist is pretty amazing on Instagram, there is nothing wrong in using similar content.
If you think a certain DJane has a great style, then look more into the brands that she wears for example.

If you think you are still a little bit lost about your image, I can only recommend to work with professionals who can help you achieve the best version of yourself. 
Nowadays most artists work closely with a team of publicists who can help achieve a great and positive image on different channels. 
You feel like your look is a bit outdated and not cool? Then hire a stylist for a day or two and get tips and advices on what would valorize you even more. 
Are your feeling nervous on stage? Try to speak with a behaviorist, you will learn a lot about body language and how to perform in front of your public.

About Teresa Martini

Terry is a marketing and event director from Italy based in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing her bachelor degree in Tourism Business between Milan and Amsterdam and her master in Events & Festivals management in Edinburgh, her career took off when she started working for Sven Väth and Cocoon Music Event GmbH in Frankfurt in 2012. After 6 years, she has decided to start her own adventure by offering her services as music marketing specialist to companies and brands which need a hand pushing their image and promotion to the right markets. Furthermore, Terry is now part of the MusicNGear team!

Contact Teresa Martini at teresa.martini@musicngear.com

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