You’ll agree with me that there are a lot of musicians out there with most not yet even discovered. Even in the not-so-popular genres, there’s a lot of competition as each musician fights to stand out as a musician. 

With this competition, most upcoming musicians assume there’s no space for them in the industry as the competition gets to them and lowers their confidence in themselves and their talents. But if they’d approached things the right way, they’ll stand out as a musician, even within all of the competitions. 

So How do you make yourself stand out as a musician? How do you compel people to buy into your talent and sound instead of the other thousands of musicians out there? 

Well, the basic answer is to create a Unique Selling Point! A unique selling point, popularly known as a USP, is that particular thing about you that makes people pick you over your nearest competitors. It’s important to have a USP as a musician because if you don’t have one, how do you stand out as a musician? If you sound like other musicians, what’s stopping the audience to pick the other musicians over you? However, if you have something about you that’s unique to you and alien to other musicians who are your nearest competitors, you’d naturally stand out as a musician and be more desirable by your audience.

Sometimes you may have been blessed with a natural USP from the onset. You might possess a really nice, original voice, or you might look and dress differently than the other people making music in your genre. You might live in a different part of the world and target an audience that doesn’t usually hear your type or genre of music. 

Other times, however, you may not have a noticeable selling point that isn’t already offered by another musician. When you experience this, to stand out as a musician, all you need is to create your own unique selling point. 

This may sound new to you cos now, you’re thinking if it’s possible to create a USP. Yes, you can create a USP! Here’s how it works- you decide to do something that no other musician is doing, and go on to incorporate it into your marketing and music career. This is the easiest way to stand out as a musician. 

Although not all musicians know this as most don’t even see this as essential, the few ones who incorporate this into their music career actually stand out in their genres. Here’s a secret most upcoming and independent musicians do not know, if you don’t manage to make yourself stand out as a musician, your music and your entire career will be overlooked every time. 

A lot of times, we’ve seen decent musicians who do not have anything wrong with them but because they don’t have a USP they can capitalize on, they fade away. You may not consciously see it this way, but definitely, there are times you’ve heard new music and you’d be interested in finding out who that is so you can hear more of their stuff. 

Sometimes, experts advise that it’s easier to break into the industry by trying to blend in, but in the music industry, this is just not the case. Blending in just isn’t enough to stand out as a musician. You need to offer more, something very different from the norm to succeed and also attain longevity. 

Now in the attempt to create a USP to stand out as a musician, you shouldn’t try to be an eccentric musician or try to do something stupid to get people to like you or listen to your music. All you just need is to have something about you that will stand out and that will keep you in the mind of your audience. 

In this article, I’ll be assuming that you do not have a natural USP that automatically makes you stand out in the music industry to help you create one. That said, what can you do to make yourself stand out as a musician? Here are 4 ideas you can implement to help you stand out. 

4 Ways To Stand Out As A Musician

Have A Distinct Sound 

An easy USP you can implement to stand out as a musician is to consciously sound different from your immediate competitors. Although your voice may not be entirely different from the others out there, there are other things you can do to tweak your sound to sound unique. 

For instance, you can use a backing track that’s different from the commonly used ones out there. This will make your sound stand out. Although you should keep it similar enough that it’s still recognized as being within your genre, you can approach it from a different perspective to stand out. 

If you don’t want to drastically change the style of music you make, probably due to how you want to adopt the style, you can always implement small changes that can become your signature sound to make your music sound unique. 

For instance, you may have it that the majority of your songs have a guitar solo in them or probably a violin. This will be unique to you and make you stand out as a musician easily. This will give your audience a talking point and also engrave you on your audience’s hearts. 

Lastly, you can add a vocal signature to your tracks.  A vocal signature is something you always say or sing in your tracks which will instantly make people recognize that you’re on the track. 

For example, Wizkid always sings “starboy” in most of his songs to depict that he’s on the track. This instantly helps people recognize him and helps him stand out as a musician. This is a very good example of a USP because even on tracks where Wizkid does not utter “starboy” at the beginning of his tracks, people still recognize him the moment they hear his sound. It’s a perfect mix of good branding and USP implementation and this should be your goal. 

Dress Differently

Another really awesome way to stand out as a musician is to create a style. There are two different ways you can implement this.

The first is to go all out and dress completely different from everyone else in your genre. You don’t really need to dress in an eccentric or flamboyant way, although you can if you want to and your brand revolves around that style and thinks it works as the perfect image for you. You just majorly want to create your own dress sense. 

The other option is to implement a style that’s been trendy in the past. You can choose to dress in a way that people have seen before but isn’t what people in your genre would usually wear. 

An example is the new altè wave that happened in afrobeats. The artists within this sub-genre style of dressing are usually baggy clothes, inspired by the old-school style. 

Interact With Your Fans Differently

Although there’s an increase in the number of musicians that interact with their fans effectively, there are still a lot of musicians who do not. It’s very possible to still be successful without always communicating with your fans personally, doing so can stand as a good USP in itself, especially if you do it in a very unique way. 

The reason this is very important and can play a good USP to help you stand out as a musician is that communicating with your fans directly, makes them feel like they’re a part of something bigger. When they feel this way, they’ll always keep you in their minds and reward you with their streaming and die-hard fans’ efforts. Remember, the key is to keep them involved in your music career. 

To do this, you can begin by having social media interview sessions with your fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and directly replying to their messages. You can also do a meet and greet after your shows to enhance your relationship with your fanbase.

You can also create an email list with your fans and reach out to them via emails personally. Emails are very personal ways to reach out to your audience. It makes them feel special and makes them happy that a musician tries to look out for them at instances he gets. This could make you stand out as a musician and be your USP. 

Be The Best In Your Genre

This is the hardest USP to attain on this list as it’s not always under your control to be the best in your genre. But being the best in your genre, or at least one of the best is a very good USP that helps you stand out as a musician. It’s a very easy one to understand because for you to be the best or one of the best in your genre, this means you already possess something that helps you get people to always listen to you. 

The major question is— how do you make sure you’re the best or at least one of the best?

As discussed earlier, this may not always be possible. Sometimes there are people that are just supposed to be better than you fundamentally. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get better in your craft to reach a level where you’re seen as one of the best among your competitors. 

However, if you don’t reach that level, there are other ways around this. For example, let’s say you’re not the best in your genre but you have a unique voice, the voice can be used as a strong Unique Selling Point. Your competitors may have a better image or fan interaction, but since your USP is your voice, you can market yourself as “the voice of *particular genre*”.

Another great option is to niche down your music and what you’re trying to be the best in. Instead of trying to be the best Afrobeat musician, you can niche down to being the best Ghanaian afrobeats musician. It’s important to niche down to target a particular audience. Here’s an article to put you through music niche marketing. 

Being the best isn’t always easy, but as you can see presently, it’s a very great USP for independent musicians

As you can see with the 4 ways above, it’s obvious that any musician can have a USP and stand out as a musician on their own. Think about what your USP can be, and work on implementing it. 

Promoting your USP

There’s no reason for a musician to identify their unique selling point if nobody knows what you offer as the USP that’s unique to you. When you discover your USP, you need to let people be aware of it. Sometimes your USP may be obvious to some people, but that doesn’t happen regularly on a 100% scale.

You’ll need to point out your USP so people can recognize what you’re doing is different and is a big deal. This will help you stand out as a musician. 

How do you do this? Although there are a number of ways to promote your USP, the best way is to just say it. For example, if you’re at a concert and you have a trumpet player who was a part of all your tracks in your previous album, you can ask the crowd to give a round of applause to your trumpet player and let them know how the trumpet player is a regular feature in your tracks and that they are very exceptional at making your music soulful (or any other word you want your fans to describe your music as). 

This will help you project the idea into the heads of your audience that you sound unique due to the addition of the trumpet player and will have people remembering you for being different.

A USP Is termed a unique selling point because it’s supposed to be something that you can use when you’re trying to sell an idea to people. In this situation, you’re selling the idea of yourself and making sure the idea is clear and why you stand out from others.  If it’s not instantly clear immediately you mentioned it, proceed to let people know why you’re unique. Make sure you do not sound big-headed or boastful while trying to promote your USP. 

 

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