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How To Grow Your Brand On Instagram As A Musician

Written by Jake Smedley | Feb 5, 2023 8:38:20 PM


So, you're debating whether to start an Instagram account for your music.


Or maybe you already have one, and you're looking to grow your following!


Whatever the case, Boost is here to help you achieve your artistic goals!


Want to get your music on active & relevant playlists that actually get results? 


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Why Should I Care About Instagram?

Instagram is a great way for musicians to get their music heard by more people. Not only is it a great platform, but it has a ridiculous amount of active users every day.


Among those active users, are your current/potential fans!


Don't miss out, and think that you're too good for that social media stuff.


All it takes is one Instagram post to get the ball rolling!


"But, I don't care about content, I just want to make music...."


If you're an independent artist, who do you expect to brand yourself?


Even if you are signed to a label, many labels only take artists that have strong followings on social media platforms.


It's a necessity to have a solid personal brand identity in the music industry nowadays, and we're here to walk you through how to build one on Instagram!


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Personal Branding For Artists (Stop Complicating It)

Before we begin the Instagram rabbit hole, you first need to have an idea of what your personal branding will look like.


As a whole, it's important to not complicate your brand identity as an artist.


A super easy way to come up with your branding is to listen to your music.


What exactly is your message in your music, and how can you add visual elements to that?


Visualizing your music can be hard for some, but start thinking of images/feelings/words that embody your music.


Once you have that down, proceed to translate it into colors, fonts, and images.



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Music Isn't A Hobby. It's A Career.

Here's why should take your branding seriously,


If you're a music artist, and you want to create an impact in the music industry,


You need to have a brand.


Your brand is how people remember you, what people think about you, and ultimately how they feel about you.


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What Is ‘Good' Artist Branding?

What rapper do you think of, when you hear the word "Philadelphia"?


Probably Meek Mill.


Why's that?


Because he has made Philly a part of his artist branding. He mentions it songs, and music videos, and has made an impact in the city.


Which artist do you think of when you hear the word "Red Lipstick"?


Probably Taylor Swift, right?


Because in her album covers, music videos, and imagery she often wears red lipstick. Or at least she did at some point.


Anyways, good artist branding is essentially asking how you can be memorable.


Now, I'm not saying that you should dye your hair a new color every day but do something that's a little unique.


Share something about yourself that makes you stand out a bit because, in reality, that kind of stuff is what makes people remember you!




An Effective Personal Brand Visualizes Your Music

Lastly, visual representation is key.


Think of how many artists there are in the music business.


Do all of those artists have good imagery that represents their music well?


Probably not!


So, let's begin with how you create your artist brand on Instagram.


The Ultimate Music Branding Guide For Artists!


Profile Setup

The first step is to create an Instagram account (obviously).


Think of your profile as your home base, or website.


This is where people will find out all about you, your music, and what you're up to!


Make sure your account type is set to creator!


This gives you the analytical tools you need to be successful on the platform.

It will give you insight into what content works, what doesn't, and where you're performing best!


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Username & Name

Let's begin with creating a username & name.


Your username should be as easily typeable as possible.


No unnecessary periods, underscores, or anything that will complicate your username.


Then, once you create a username you will also have the option of creating a name.


Make sure you spell out your artist name completely, you can add whatever you want but this is where you want your artist name to be!


As an Instagram musician, you have to make it clear that this is YOU.



Make Sure Your Instagram Profile Picture Is On Brand

Your profile picture shouldn't be your dog, your car, or even your guitar.


It should be you.


A nice, professional-looking profile picture will establish your presence on Instagram.


You don't need a professional photo shoot, but make sure you have a cool picture of yourself that looks good!


Getting a nice-looking personal profile picture will allow you to post frequently, getting rid of your fear of someone viewing your profile.



The Science Of A Great Bio

Now, the bio is a little tricky.


Some people have a super-length bio, and some artists choose to be more mysterious and put nothing.


Now, I would recommend being somewhere in the middle!


Independent musicians need to give their bios a lot more thought and work. 


Not just on Instagram, but also on other social media sites where a musician wants to grow.


What Should My Bio Be About?

I hate it when an artist's bio has a super long string of words mush.


Not everyone has time to read every single detail of your life!


Making it short and sweet, but quality is the way to go.


Who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?


The last one is the one that people always miss.


So many bios don't get me interested or give me a reason to care about the band or musician.


"Paris/Pianist & Singer/23."


That's it??


This is a very important part of your Instagram feed and profile as a whole.


Sharing something small about yourself is what separates you from the rest!



Post Aesthetics

Now, we're getting into the juicy stuff.


Now that you've set up your account, let's move on to the fun part: posting to Instagram.


Instagram is a great way to share and market content.


You can't get more people to follow you if you don't post pictures and videos.


It's all about telling your story and using the posts you share to continue that story, so keep that in mind as you write your posts, images, and videos.


Your main goal is to hook fans and pull them into your world by giving them content that is interesting and fun.


It may take you a while to figure out what kind of content your target audience likes, so don't be afraid to try different things until you find what works.


Also, I want to make it clear that you don't have to be a professional photographer in any way to do well on Instagram, even though it is an image-based platform.




Profile Sections

The Instagram platform is made up of different profile sections.


Each section has a different purpose, and it's important to fill up those sections.

  • Posts - your regular content

  • Reels - only reels

  • Guides - different categories of posts

  • Tagged Posts - posts you were tagged in


Fill these categories up with content!


PS: Don't worry about creating Instagram guides until you already have been posting for a while.


Call To Action or Direction

When setting up an Instagram account, you should be thinking about the direction you want your fans to move in.


It should be, to get them to listen to your music.


Here's how the domino-like system works:


Instagram Photos on their explore/home page ----> profile ----> music platform.


Sounds pretty simple, right? Cause it is!


But, so many artists don't take the time to develop a solid CTA and work on their branding.

It's hurting their career, badly!


Don't be this artist.




We got the profile set, but what about creating content?


Keep in mind, that you don't have to become a full-time content creator in order to be successful on Instagram!


If you use your time wisely and post-effective content, you will have a fast-growing Instagram account in no time!



Let's Start With Reels

Instagram Reels are short videos that can be up to one minute long.


You can add audio, special effects, filters, and other creative tools to them and then share them on your feed.


Also, if your account is open to the public, you can share your Reels on the "Explore" page, where potential followers and fans from all over the world can find you.


Reels are a great way to keep people interested and amused.


You can make fun videos with your band that follow a trend or a challenge, or you can put together a bunch of clips from your tour, concerts, or everyday life as a musician.


Instagram also lets you enhance the speed of your Reels, which makes them more entertaining and lets you show as much content as possible in a short amount of time.



Reel Audio Tricks

Instead of using songs from Instagram's music library for commercial purposes, you can make your own audio for your Reels.


To add this kind of sound, all you have to do is record the original sound along with your Reels video.


You can then play with the camera audio and narration while editing your Reels. This is a feature that lets you record audio over the video.


The final version of the audio will become your original Instagram track and can be used in your other video.


Creating original audio is the key to potentially going viral, but piggybacking off of other people's trending audio is a great way to grow as well.


Make It Aesthetically Pleasing!

Your content cannot be dull, it has to always have an aesthetic.


This may seem like a huge hassle in the short term, but it pays off as your Instagram feed fills up with great-looking content!


Best Music Hashtags on Instagram!


Utilize Hashtags To Get Discovered By Fans

I know you're tired of being a graphic designer by now, but here's something you can do that won't require images!


When you post a photo, choose at least 5 relevant hashtags (you can use up to 30, but that's too many hashtags). This is how photos are found on the Explore page & beyond.


Adding quality hashtags to your post can make all the difference, by giving your content the reach it deserves.


You can also use hashtag tools to make your hashtags more popular!


We like because not only can you look up hashtags, but you can also schedule posts.


It divides your search into three categories: low competition, medium competition, and high competition. This makes it easy to choose a few hashtags from each category.


Don't forget that you can always make your own hashtag and get people to use it.


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Use Instagram Stories Often

You can also post to Instagram using "stories."


Instead of staying in your feed, as posts do, a Story only stays up for 24 hours.


Instagram stories are a great way to share quick updates, sneak peeks, and even snippets of your everyday life.


Because Instagram stories aren't permanent, they don't need to be as well-thought-out as the posts in your feed, which often have the same theme or look and feel.


Stories are another great way to keep your fans interested.


So don't be afraid to show a little bit more of who you are.



Here are some ideas for stories:

  • Let people see what you're working on early.

  • Get polls, questions, sliders, or quizzes to get feedback from your fans

  • Q&As every month - Voting on designs for merchandise

  • Use Stories to share your Spotify music right away.


Fans can also send you a Direct Message by replying to your Stories. Using DMs to talk to your most active fans often will help you build a relationship with them.


In the end, this direct interaction is the fuel that can help followers get closer to becoming true fans.


Once you have 10,000 followers, you'll be able to use a feature that lets you link right from your Stories.


Fans will be able to "swipe up" from your Stories to go to links like your website, online store, or YouTube channel.


You can also save Stories to your Highlights if you want to keep them for longer than 24 hours.


Create highlights for frequently asked questions, information about your gear that fans can use as a quick reference, or your highest-quality story posts.


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Engage With Others Daily

Now that your profile is set up, don't forget to interact with the people in your community.


Reply to comments and direct messages, and ask questions in the descriptions of your stories and posts.


Managing your community is the key to having a good relationship with your followers, and it also makes your fans more loyal and attached to you.


So-called "social listening" and "engagement" can also help improve the user experience and give you valuable information about the music industry, as well as about how your competitors and potential partners are doing.


So, it's important to look around the Instagram app!


Don't be afraid to follow artists, like their posts, and comment on them to show that you're interested.


However, don't Spam! Don't say things like, "Check out my new music."


If you just share what you're passionate about and work smart, you'll be successful and gain new fans.


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Offer Feedback On Other Artists' Music

But, how do I build a community with zero followers?


A great way you can do this is by offering your feedback to other musicians.


This allows you to help other people in their music careers!


Don't just post the same comment over and over, because Instagram's spam filters will put an end to that very quickly.


Leaving a generic comment also just gives the vibe that you don't care.


If you want to build genuine connections, then be genuine with people.


It's not rocket science, you just have to do it!


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Perform On Live Streams

If you have the time and want to create a community fast then live videos is the way to go.


Instagram Live, similar to TikTok Live gives you the chance to answer any questions, talk to your audience live, and even perform!


Not many people have the guts to go on Instagram live, so if you're extra confident you should give it a shot!


Like Instagram reels, this is how you can grow fast & get more engagement.


Well, hope you got something from this!


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