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  • Siren Creative

Captions and content; copywriting for artists

Digital platforms are pretty much the only way to connect with your fans right now, especially social media. So it might be a good time to look over your captions and copy...

Copywriting is by definition the art of writing text for publicity purposes... which sounds pretty fancy. But it more everyday terms, copy is anything you write for public consumption; social media posts and captions, PR press releases, think pieces and anything written on your website.

With most people's energy focused on their digital spheres, now is a good time to take a hot minute to think about how you sound across your copy.

Even just a speedy Google throws up a whole heap of really good articles for copywriting tips and trends for the coming year. However a lot of these are geared towards businesses, so is that really the right fit?

Yes and no.

At the bare bones of it your career as an artist is your business, and it really does help to keep that mindset: you offer both services and products, you have aspirations that are contingent on buy-in from a target audience. Your strategy probably depends on both B2C and B2B connectivity, whether you know it or not. In other words, you need your customers (your fans) but you also need support from the industry; promoters, media, other artists and DSPs et al.

But also no; because your business is you. And because it is incredibly easy to underestimate audiences - especially online. If your captions on Instagram read like a sales pitch or like a marketeer, you're about to turn off a lot of people. *Authenticity* is wildly boring word but this point, and probably because it is so unbelievably important - but no one can really tell you how to do it.

So how to balance a smart marketing approach with your core artist image? Here's a few pointers....

- Find what feels sustainable. If you really struggle with putting energy into socials, or you don't feel comfortable composing long reads... don't. Find a good approach that you feel comfortable with, that you can keep up with over time. Maybe you post 3 times a week and your caption is only a few sentences. Or maybe you can muster up a longer, thoughtful caption for 1 post a week?

- You will probably struggle to be something you're not. Define who you are as an artist and what your tone of voice sounds like. But you have to be comfortable in that role. If you're out here trying to be Billy Big Balls and you're actually a shrinking violet, you are not going to pull it off. And your audience will sniff that out...

- Plan your content ahead of time where you can. Stories are great for in the moment posting, but the content that's going to live on your feed ideally has a purpose. Consider what that purpose is beyond just getting something up; who is this aimed at? What problem are you solving for them, and how? Like so, from our own social planning...

Who is this aimed at? Artists + indie labels.

What's their problem? Not all artists are marketeers and not all labels have marketing departments or resources.

How are we helping them? Posting up this handy little article to lay out what copywriting is all about.

What's our tone of voice again? Pretty casual to be honest, but we know our shit - and we are maybe a touch sweary.

Even if it's just writing out your caption in notes first, or you can try a content scheduling tool like Later - where you can see your grid laid out ahead of time, as well as plan in your copy and hashtags.

- Be a human, at the very least. Even if you want to be the next Mötley Crüe take a moment to figure out which lines you don't cross. It's good to be provocative, but there's a big difference between being a hellraiser and being an arsehole. Also take a minute to think about how this is not the 80s anymore, times have changed - you can't get away with shit.

- Treat your copy like part of a normal conversation. There's a lot of tips and tools out there to create two way streets on socials, and you definitely want your audience to engage. But would you seriously sit down next to someone and be like "Treated myself to a second coffee. What's your favourite type of coffee?" No, because that sounds like Brick from Anchorman. Sometimes the daily grind is a great conversation starter on socials, but just think about why that's interesting, what's the context? We probably wouldn't post about coffee (no one is interested in that side of us sadly) but if we did this might be it.... "You have to drink black coffee to be a cool kid apparently... so anyone else out here drinking mocha?" Yeah we said it. Mocha.


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