Today, Your Personality is Just as Important as Your Music

November 16, 2015 // by Ross Barber-Smith

“Today, your personality is just as important as your music.”

Now, I know a lot of musicians aren’t going to like that. Many will argue and debate that their music speaks for itself.

In some cases, it might – if it’s truly exceptional. But even if it is truly exceptional, I think that fans want more than that from artists now. They want a connection, a relationship, to feel that they are noticed and appreciated.

This is why I believe that as an artist: the way you communicate with your fans is just as important as the music you’re putting out into the world.

Tell Them Your Story

A lot of the time, we, as music fans, will stumble across an artist on social media without hearing them.

Instantly, we make a snap decision about whether we want to dive deeper or not.

We may base this on any one, or any number of things:

  • The visual appeal of their social profile (ie their branding, use of photography etc)
  • The things that they say (their latest status update for example)
  • The number of followers they have (sad, but the higher the number of followers, the more “valid” or “legit” they seem)
  • The level of engagement they have (more likes/retweets suggests they’re doing something right)

Because you only have one chance to make a first impression, make sure that you’re making a good one.

When I land on someone’s Twitter page for the first time, and all I see is them complaining about other artists, or even just complaining in general, I’m instantly turned off. It might not prevent me from listening (as I LOVE finding new music) – but if someone is on the fence, it may push them off… and not in your direction. So just be aware of what you’re putting out there and what vibe that may send to new or potential fans.

If I see that an artist is engaging with their audience, asking questions, replying to comments etc, I’m more interested to find out what they’ve got going on. If an artist is simply broadcasting their upcoming shows, new single, asking people to share a new video etc, I’m less interested. Sure, I may like the music, but they aren’t really giving me any reason to become invested in them as a person, or as an artist. And I believe that today, you need that investment and that connection with your fans in order to maintain a career.

There have been many instances where I’ve heard an artist’s music, and liked it…. not loved it, just liked it. Sometimes after getting to know the artist more on social media, I’ve grown to like their music even more, because I like them as a person. It’s even gotten to the stage where I’ve wanted to buy their merch or support their crowdfunding campaign just because I want to support them – regardless of whether I like their new record or not.

So, while the music should still be the main creative focus, you should be showcasing your personality and building some kind of relationship with your audience… as they’re the ones who’ll be funding your career. If you can get them invested in YOU, you’re on the right track.

If you like this…

I’m working on a book about relationships and connections in the music industry, focusing mainly on the artist/fan relationship.

Interested? Complete my survey here and I’ll keep you updated with all the latest details!