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Communication is the means by which you inform your fans about your artistic profile. In a sense, your communication represents your voice as an artist in the eyes of your fan. It is the way you establish a dialogue and build a relationship with your following. Developing effective communications consists of four phases: determining the communication objectives, identifying your target audience, designing your message and selecting the right channels to communicate with your audience. These four phases are formed around the macro-model of marketing communications, from which a simplified version is shown below.

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Determining the communication objectives

The process must start with a clear communication objective in mind. The four possible objectives are category need, brand awareness, brand attitude and brand purchase intention. The most common communication objectives for artists are creating a brand attitude and brand awareness. By creating a brand attitude, a fan evaluates the brand in such a way that he or she sees this particular artist as a supplier of the music that he or she liked. Brand awareness gives an artist a preferred position in the eyes of the fan, compared to other artists.

Identifying the target audience

The second step in the process is identifying the target audience. Seven types of audiences are identified: potential fans of your artistic profile, current users, deciders or influencers; individuals, groups, particular publics or the general public. The target audience is a critical influence on the communicator’s decisions about what to say, how to say it, when to say it and where –or through which channel- to say it.

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Designing the message

In designing the message, you determine what you want to say (message strategy), how you want to say it (creative strategy) and who will say it (message source). In determining message strategy, you will have to search for appeals, themes or ideas that will tie into the positioning of you as an artist and help to create similarity and difference to other artists within your genre. In the creative strategy, you will translate what you want to say in how specifically you want to say it. The message source can either be you, the artistic profile itself (talking from a 3 person) or another (unknown) person. Artists choose to speak about themselves in the 1 person when it comes to the message source. Selecting the communication channels

The communication channels used by an artist can be divided into two types: external channels and internal channels. External channels are the channels that are not controlled by the artist. Internal channels are the ones controlled by the artist; you can build a fanbase on these channels. In general, there are seven types of external communication platforms, from which four apply to artists in the music industry: advertising, public relations, direct marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. The communication channel matrix for artists is as follows.

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