Building a “brand” isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone; it’s a skill you may hone over months, if not years. But, it is something that can be easily broken down, step-by-step and it’s also an opportunity to flex your creative flair.
Imagine your Mixcloud channel as your own personal shop window, and the first step to growing your brand is to create a strong first impression for your visitors. That means defining and visualizing what makes you, you! Today’s music industry can be seen as oversaturated, and hard to cut through with all the algorithms sorting our content, so it definitely pays off to invest in the qualities that make you stand out from the rest.
In this guide we’ll walk you through all the ways you can curate your shop window, so to speak, including how to write a bio, select a visual aesthetic for your channel, and make most of other Mixcloud features to give it a boost of personality and professionalism.
Step 1: Writing Your Bio
Now, the reason this is first on the list is that it gives your fans a super-simple snapshot of what you’re all about and what to expect from you on Mixcloud.. Once you’ve got this set, it should act as a jumping-off point to figure out where you want to go with your visual branding.
A rule of thumb for channel descriptions is to keep them between 20 and 70 words. But, with that said less is more. If you can manage to articulate your concept in two words, like Basement Tapes, then power to you. In any case, here are some prompts that could help you focus the bio.
- Describe your sound in three words, or less
- Tell your fans where in the world you’re based
- Share the background to your music journey
- Describe the type of content you’re sharing on Mixcloud
- Include your Mixcloud Live stream timings (if you have a regular show!)
- Add a link to your social media channels
Step 2: Visualizing Your Brand
Creating a strong visual identity across your channel will help establish something that’s called “brand recognition”. This marketing term essentially highlights the power of being consistent across all your socials, merch, and anyway you express yourself visually. This will stick in people’s minds, in the same way, that if we say Daft Punk or Peggy Gou, we instantly call to mind their equally unique aesthetics right? That’s brand recognition. Your visual choices should be consistent and representative of your musical niche and personality.
There are three visual cues on your Mixcloud profile:
- The header image
- The profile picture
- The thumbnail images from your uploads or posts.
The largest, and most impactful is the header image which, in a way, sets the tone for the whole channel. The header could be an abstract image that serves as the backdrop, or it could be your logo in high resolution, or it could be an extension of your profile picture. The first and last options are the most common, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. With that said, making sure your visual choices are consistent and complement one another is key. Your profile picture on Mixcloud should be the centerpiece and the most memorable visual cue. It should also be the same one as your Bandcamp or Instagram profile, so fans can easily find you.
Step 3: Customize your Content & Playlists
Let’s get organized! Once you’ve started populating your channel with content, it’s useful to organize your mixes through playlists. This helps showcase your diversity and professionalism as a DJ — especially if you categorize your mixes by series or themes. You can also change the order of what appears first on your channel, and override the standard stream view. For more help on setting up playlists, visit this support guide.
Step 4: Use Posts as a Newsletter
If you decide to become a Pro member, you have the added benefit of utilizing our Posts feature, which allows you to publish updates and organize on your channel. Posts can also function as a newsletter, as Once you publish a post, your followers are emailed an excerpt of your update and can click through to read it in full. Pretty nifty, right?.
To start, use this feature to welcome new listeners to your page. Anything you didn’t mention in your bio can go here. Tell visiting listeners what you’ve got coming up (whether it’s a new guest mix or radio show), details of your next live stream, asking for their valuable feedback (e.g. what they want to hear more of!) This is a direct channel to your listeners, so use it to learn about them and the content they love most.
Step 5: Enable Monetization tools
Another perk to being a Pro member is monetizing on Mixcloud; in other words you can earn money directly from your most loyal fans. Activating the monetization tools available to you professionalizes your profile and encourages people to show monetary support for your creative work (in a similar way to how you’d buy a ticket as a music lover to see your favorite DJ), which is something that not only serves you but the wider creator community.
There are two ways to make money on Mixcloud: Tips & Channel Subscriptions. For more information on each, check out this guide.
Authenticity is key. By that, we mean that these tips are merely stepping stones for your own creativity. There is no rule book for personal branding, and often the most successful creators are grounded in being unapologetically themselves. Use this guide to structure you, but not limit you. Ultimately this is about connection; you sharing your love for music with a community of music lovers.