Unsigned bands constantly seek information on how to get signed. Due to the various complexities, I’m not going to answer that question, however I do want to shed light on one of the most important, yet unnoticed, band members to assist in getting signed – the Creative Director. In today’s industry, the Creative Director can often be the difference maker between an unsigned band and a major label recording artist. They’re the wizard behind the curtain, creating content to compliment the music, talent and overall business presence. Even though the formula for getting signed changes by the minute, upon my experience of client signings in the last year, the Creative Director has become the new X FACTOR, drawing labels into their web and getting bands signed. Simply put, every band needs a Creative Director if they have aspirations of expanding. Music alone no longer gets you noticed. You’ve got to have several creative arrows in your quiver, and the Creative Director helps. Here are the Top 4 reasons why you should hire a Creative Director:
1. Brand Consistency
Band members are a creative bunch. Creativity typically spawns multiple ideas, often translating into a disconnect creative campaign. Having a Creative Director allows bands to streamline all the creative thoughts to one point person. The Creative Director’s primary job is to develop, execute, and maintain a band’s overall brand image. Again, don’t rely on music as the sole ingredient to capture a label’s attention. Use the Creative Director to develop strategies that allow everything the band eats, sleeps and breathes to have overall visual consistency.
2. Marketing Momentum
If your band aspires to be with a label, having a Creative Director coupled with creative content (outside of music) allows a potential label to plug into any existing vision as opposed to starting it themselves. Building a marketing campaign from scratch takes lots of time and resources. If your band has already moved the needle in the marketing and promotions department, this equates to less effort and less money that a label will need to potentially break an artist and build name recognition. This in return makes the band less risky and financially more attractive.
3. Visual Expression
The curse of most indie bands is the fact they try to do too much. Sometimes this is out of necessity, other times it’s out of an unwillingness to relinquish creative control. Let it go! The Creative Director should implement the band’s visual expression, just as the band performs the group’s musical expression. They work hand in hand.
4. Cost Effective
Pending on the use of the Creative Director (social media, branding, content, videographer, etc.) their role actually becomes the most cost effective. Two primary reasons: (1) They assist in generating visual components. These visual components help build a band’s intellectual property catalogue. Whether that catalogue consists of videos, concert posters, logos, social media strategies, etc. – intellectual property is an asset. These assets are typically negotiated with labels and become another income stream for artists. Don’t let music be your only negotiation chip at the poker table. In short, it pays (literally) to have a Creative Director. (2) Pending on reputation and experience, Creative Directors do not have to be costly. For example, many colleges and universities have videographer students, graphic design majors, and so forth that are more than willing to implement “internships” with bands. This means you can essentially employee full time Creative Directors for nothing more than them receiving a college course credit.
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