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Research can often end up being an afterthought in the life of an artist. After all, on the surface it might seem unremarkable and irrelevant.
But there are a surprising number of ways it can make a difference for you.
The first is in setting up an online presence. Researching domain name and username availability – especially for social media – can save you a lot of headache and heartache down the line.
If you want to create a consistent online brand – as so many marketers encourage us to do – it begins with registering and establishing the various accounts, you intend to set up and use.
Part of that research should include knowing how your artist, band, or brand name exists across different industries. Perhaps your name is so unique that no one has even thought of it, but let’s be honest, that’s rare. Even if you don’t wish it, if the name you’ve chosen is being used in another industry, the association is inevitable. It would be worth considering whether your values match up with said companies before settling on a name.
And if your artist name is something like Chris Jones, you already know that you’re going to be competing with oodles of other Chris Jones’s, and that means differentiating would be word to the wise. You might even want to come up with an original artist name.
It’s also good to be thinking about any negative sentiments associated with a word or name. Kerrang! says some of the most offensive band names of all time include:
- Dying Fetus
- Diarrhea Planet
- Cripple Bastards
It’s not hard to figure out why. And sometimes this can work in your favor. But let’s face it, no band called Goatwhore is going to be allowed into churches and other venues or festivals with conservative values any time soon. So, you can end up limiting your opportunities.
Additionally, it’s good to take an expansive view of a name. After all, whatever music, or art you create is going to be (more or less) permanently associated with that name. And when I say expansive, I mean looking up what a word means in other language and cultures, if it has any negative associations, if it could be potentially offensive to other cultures, and so on.
It has often been said in music that you should know the rules before you break them, and that applies here too. It’s one thing to use a name that’s unintentionally offensive. Quite another to know that it could offend some and use it anyway (because then you’ll have a better idea of what to expect).
There are many other ways research can help in your music career, and we’ll have other opportunities to look at these in more depth. Things like:
- Competitive research and SWOT analysis
- Tools and resources
- Dream 100
- Radio stations
- And more
So, don’t write off research. Know that actively engaging in it can help you advance your music career.
For a proven, step-by-step framework in cracking the code to independent music career success, and additional in-depth insights into making your passion sustainable and profitable, be sure to pick up my best-selling guide, The Music Entrepreneur Code.