How to Make Your Band More Visual and Win the Internet

Posted by Brandon Whalen on Dec 10, 2015 10:00 AM

bandImage via

This article originally appeared on Haulix Daily.


With the digital age giving us the ability to explore the world of music from the comfort of our own home, there's no longer any denying the importance of strong visuals. Having great videos and photos can make the difference between someone clicking on your band or someone else, and the ability to become great at crafting strong visual accompaniments to your music is entirely within your means. It takes time to refine your talent, of course, but with a little hard work you can begin separating yourself from the throngs of aspiring full-time musicians with slick visuals that help take your career to the next level.

Today, we're excited to share a guest piece from My Body Sings Electric, which is one band that knows all too well the power of having strong visuals. We have been blown away by their work, both in the studio and through the videos they release, so we felt they were the perfect people to speak to the growing importance of a imagery as it relates to a career in this industry. You can read their thoughts below.

As a musician, it's a struggle to grab anyone's attention long enough to listen to a three-minute song. We've all become so attached to the tiny screens in our pocket that we're always distracted. We prefer to tap around the apps on our devices while listening to music at home or at a show rather than truly immersing ourselves in the experience, and it's making it more difficult for musicians to build their fanbase.

Today's music industry is an economy based on attention rather than dollars. Nobody buys your $8 albums, but everyone has a brand-new $900 computer in their hand – go figure. Bands used to compete for shelf space at the local record store, but now they battle against BuzzFeed’s mind poison, Facebook posts from Grandma, and the potential for partial nudity on Snapchat.

In the last 30 years, humanity's preferred communication method has shifted away from listening and speaking to almost entirely communicating via visual media. For musicians, it means the very fruits of our creative endeavors exist in a medium that is going the way of the dodo. Soon our ears will have evolved into direct ports for our brain computers.

So you're in a band? Good for you, but let me tell you something: nobody cares, especially not me. Nothing is cool.

It's not because I'm an asshole (I am), it's because I'm your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill, lizard-brained, idiot human being. I'm primitive, I don't think for myself, and I have access to billions of photos and videos at my fingertips. How the hell are we supposed to get anywhere in the music business if it's so hard to win anyone's attention?

Here's my best advice – as a fully-grown manbaby who has wasted his entire adult life and all of the boundless potential that exists in the richest country in the world in order to drive around in a shitty van with his buddies: you need a stellar visual element involved with everything that you do.

Song teasers and lyric videos

Time to release a new song? Use YouTube over SoundCloud. Create a series of teaser videos with photos from the band to build the excitement. Then, release your music using a photo slideshow or a lyric video. Keep it simple, but keep it visual.

[Why You Should Release a Lyric Video for Your Next Single]

Music videos

You don't need to break the bank. You have an iPhone that captures 4K video and iMovie is $5. Think of something that's simple to shoot, but has a big impact from a visual standpoint. Colors and movement are the keys to a good video. And remember, if you go set up in a field and pretend to play a live show, there's no hope for you or your stupid band.


It's no secret that Facebook pages are turning into flaming hot piles of garbage and Twitter is imploding under the weight of its own incompetency. The masses (not just the kids) are moving toward more visual platforms. Use them, and get good at them. There are kids who sing six-second covers on Vine who make more money than your parents.

Live shows

During your live shows, it's your job to create something more visually interesting than whatever your fans can find on their phones. The reason EDM is so popular right now is partially due to the insane light displays, but you don't need that kind of budget. You can think of a simple but effective way to incorporate lights into your performances.

If lights are beyond your means, you can start with the basics. Make sure you're moving! You're the most important visual element in your show, so shake your money maker. Lastly, make sure your group looks the part. If your bassist insists on wearing JNCOs and a weed-leaf T-shirt to your indie shows, it's time to find some other mouth-breathing high school dropout string plucker to fill his or her place.

[6 Ways to Improve Your Band's Image]


Brandon Whalen sings for My Body Sings Electric, owns a cat, and works as a freelance marketing consultant to fund his impoverished lifestyle as a musician.

Get In Touch With Local Bands

Topics: Music Business 101, Marketing & Promotion


Get weekly updates on articles, gigs, and much more!

Posts by Topic

see all