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Team Maverick 

Social Media Handbook for Music Artists


Jessica Sophia Bruno is a multi-talented powerhouse who has merged her social media savvy with her extensive entrepreneurial know-how. Her background in music and her very own social media business, means we get some great tips on the best practices music artists can use to grow their audience and brand.

M SOUND:

Could you give us a little intro to Jess and what you are all about, what you do?


JESS:

Hi, I'm Jess Bruno. I am a social media strategist and coach.


M SOUND:

Amazing. So I was looking at your website, fabulous website by the way. Your copywriting is so good, obviously, but you're a singer and you were a vocal coach. So can you speak to us a little bit about that journey?


JESS:

I never get to talk about this stuff and I haven't since I started this business, I love getting the opportunity to talk about it. It's so exciting. Ever since I was tiny, I was very much the performing arts, and theater girl. I did Saturday school and went to a private music secondary school. I did music in college, and then I did vocals as a BA in uni. I was like, "I'm going to be in the industry, I'm going to be a singer. This is what I'm doing, I'm on the path." I did the whole band thing. I really had to support myself because music is really expensive.


M SOUND:

Oh my gosh, yes!


"My passion is music, I love it but now, I'm relying on music for money. I'm not enjoying it anymore and I want it to stay my love and my passion."

JESS:

So to support the music side of my journey, I started working in events and I fell in love with both sides. These events were not in the industry really, it was kids' parties and private events but it was really fun. I was doing vocal coaching for about three years, but then it was really tough because "My passion is music, I love it but now, I'm relying on music for money. I'm not enjoying it anymore and I want it to stay my love and my passion."


I worked with amazing people but I just got to a point where I was like, "I need money. I'm broke." I love singing, and I love the industry but I didn't have enough knowledge about it even though I did all this studying. Studying only gets you so far, when you go into the real world, it's completely different. That side of my life was struggling, I was doing really well in the events and marketing industry. I was growing, I helped put on one of the biggest events in the UK when I started with this company. It had music in it, I was really connected with it. When I started with the company, they were doing one event once a week with 200 people. After about a year, we were across the UK, with four events every weekend, 1,000 people at each event, literally through marketing and social media. That was drawing a lot more of my attention and I was actually making money there, I was able to bring in artists that I knew, and I was making it a very creative thing. It was a whole performance. It was so, so, so fun and then, after a couple of years of doing that I was like, "Right, I want to try it on my own." and now I have this business.


M SOUND:

That's incredible. Would you ever consider going back into singing?


JESS:

My partner is a musician/producer. Plays everything, has his own studio, and sometimes he'll call me if he needs a line or when he's got a singer in and they're struggling. He keeps me really connected in the industry, he's my plug to music. I've worked with quite a few singers, helping strategies online, and stuff like that but right now, I don't see myself being a singer again because I've got even more love for the role that I'm doing right now.


"Kim Chandler's vocal exercises are the shit."

M SOUND:

So you were a vocal coach, what piece of advice did you find yourself giving singers?


JESS:

Kim Chandler, have you heard of her?


M SOUND:

No, but tell us more.


JESS:

Kim Chandler's vocal exercises are the shit. All of the singers that I worked with, had soul voices and they all wanted to have the most killer runs, I taught them how to do runs and teach them all the technical stuff. But doing an hour with me once a week in the session isn't actually going to change much. It's going to take a really long time but if you do Kim Chandler's vocal exercises every morning, you will get your runs down.



"I lost so many followers because my Instagram up until that point was just for boys on Tinder and boys on Tinder didn't care about my engagement."

M SOUND:

Kim Chandler noted. It's going in the books. You are a social media strategist. Can you speak to us about your social media program and your company?


JESS:

Right before lockdown like everyone else, I was made redundant and I was just doing little bits from home, all of my friends and their friends were either wanting to grow as a personal brand, or a lot of the singers that I knew in my circles started side hustles to support themselves in the pandemic. One of them started a brownie box business and everyone was doing loads of different stuff. They kept coming to me with screenshots of their Instagram captions being like, "Does it sound okay?" "Is this all right?" and I was just like, "Hang on. Everyone's coming to me. Why don't I just use my profile right now to give out blanket tips?" because everyone's asking me the same stuff. So I started making content for my own profile and I'd never done that before! I lost so many followers because my Instagram up until that point was just for boys on Tinder and boys on Tinder didn't care about my engagement. I started having people come to me with their social media, wanting something a bit more in-depth

It happened quite organically. It was a few months down the line and my mum said to me, "You should start charging people for this." then, I got myself a business coach and I did this group coaching accelerator where I learned so much. In the business world, you literally have to just slide in those DMs, you're going in cold, that was different for me. I was charging really shit. I was not making any money because I didn't know what that was. My business has really changed in the past two/three years, everything's transformed, from the amount of money I'm making to how I'm able to support my family.


M SOUND:

That's incredible. So just keeping in that mindset, was there a moment that you felt "Okay, there's a shift happening in the way I need to run this" or was it something that grew over time?


JESS:

It grew over time but the group business accelerator really helped me. I've got a business mentor now who in the space of the last two months, my whole business has flipped on its head. When you're running a business for yourself, you have to constantly keep up and constantly keep changing and make sure you don't stay stagnant. You have to keep understanding what's trending, what your audience likes, and what they don't like, and jumping on stuff that is relatable to them. Last year, it was crazy, in the online business world, we were all making so much money. Now it's gone back to normal and in these summer months, if you're a new business, there's a big lull usually in summer. I think it's much quieter. Especially in service-based businesses, we have these peaks. It's really important to prepare for the dips.


"Super important to pay yourself a salary."

M SOUND:

That's so true, that can also translate in the music industry/entertainment industry because you do have to take what you get for that one moment in time and try to make that last for as long as possible.


JESS:

Super important to pay yourself a salary. If you have say a summer and you're a musician, you've got all your gigs, you've got what you're doing in the festival season. You make a ton of money in July and August. You might not make anything in October, you might not make anything in January and February. Instead of putting that massive ton of money in your bank account, pay yourself a salary. It's game-changing.



"I want your platform to be like a love letter to you five years ago - Having that purpose will make it so much easier to not focus on vanity metrics."

M SOUND:

Do you have any advice for those who are too afraid to start on social media or even too afraid to post on social media?


JESS:

People usually get really in their heads not posting and really overwhelmed just leaving it, when your ego gets in the way. When you are posting on social media just for your own benefit, just to get likes, just to get followers, just to get big, just to make it in the music industry, it's not enough. And your imposter syndrome is going to be shouting at you in your head throughout when you only get 30 likes on a post.


What I do with my clients is, find the root of why are we doing this? It has to go deeper than, "I want to be on TV. I want to make money for music." You have to go so much deeper than that because then you have a purpose. If someone's struggling, especially artists, we make music for our past selves. It could be yesterday's you, it could be this morning's you. We usually make music for ourselves. What I say to them is, "I want your platform to be like a love letter to you five years ago." You always put out content that you think they would need to hear right now. Make it really niche, make it really hyper-specific to what you needed to hear rather than, "It's all going to be okay." It's too generic. Everyone's saying it's all going to be okay. You need to make it specific. Having that purpose will make it so much easier to not focus on vanity metrics.


M SOUND:

Well, I suppose it goes into what you just said, but for those who are trying to find their brand or their aesthetic on social, do you have a few tips on that or the process of finding what that would be?


JESS:

I will caveat this by saying I don't have any branding knowledge, and I'm not trained in branding or anything like that, but don't spend hours on Pinterest looking for the perfect color palette. You'll never find it because you don't know who you are yet. It needs to be a blend of your audience, what they like to see, plus what you like and marrying that together. I'd say keep it simple, you are the only person that looks like you that is around, so videos and photos of yourself being authentically you are much better than a quote with a hex code behind it. If you want to put graphics up, just keep them really simple. Screenshot things, screenshot the notes app on your phone. Keep it really human and authentic. When we over-brand ourselves in the beginning or we're doing DIY branding, we can get so in our heads about it. Don't worry about it, just try it until you have a deeper understanding of who your audience is, who you are, and what your message is, when you want to get out there.


M SOUND:

If you could time-travel to Jess at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, what advice would you give to her?