7 ways to identify the problem you solve as an artist

One of the most important things I do for my clients when we plan their Youtube strategy is to help them figure out what problem they solve as artists.


Knowing this will help you determine what type of content to create for your Youtube channel and helps you understand exactly who you’re going to be creating videos for.

And when you know these two things, building an ideal fanbase on Youtube becomes much more straightforward, as you’ll end up creating the right content that attracts the right people to your channel.

But how do you figure out the problem you solve?

There are seven strategies that I use to help my clients do this and in this post, I’m going to share them with you.

1. Criticize the status quo

The first strategy is to do what I call “criticizing the status quo”.

All this means is that you look at the current state of your music genre, identify things about it that don’t like, and then make content that solves this problem on your channel.

This strategy works really well because like you, there are fans of that genre that have this same issue with this genre, and are looking for solutions to this problem.

So the content you create on your channel will attract these fans and help you build a loyal fanbase with them.

A good example of an artist that is using this strategy in some kind of way is Hip Hop artist, Russ

Currently, mainstream hip hop is being dominated by so-called “mumble rappers”, and most of these rappers are always rapping about hard drugs, partying, money, and so on.

So what Russ does is call out these rappers in his music and on social media.

And the effect of this is that fans who dislike these mumble rappers tend to gravitate towards Russ.

2. Criticize the top dog

The second strategy that you could use to figure out the problem you solve is to “criticize the top dog”  in your genre.

By top dog, I mean the biggest artist in your genre at the moment.

This strategy is similar to the first one, but instead of criticizing a whole genre, you identify the top dog in that genre, become his or her biggest critic and then make it your mission to take the top spot from him.

“Criticizing the top dog” works very well because while popular artists tend to have a lot of haters, and these haters would like to see another artist topple the top dog.

And that where you come in. 

You want to create content where you pretty much criticize most things about this artist on your Youtube channel and it will attract the haters of that artist to your channel.

And by doing this consistently, you’ll be able to build a super loyal fanbase in no time.

 An artist that used this strategy very effectively is Tory Lanez.

Earlier on in his career, he came out as the “anti-Drake” and was always calling out Drake on social media, and in his radio interviews.

And because a lot of fans didn’t like Drake (and still don’t), these fans automatically gravitated towards Tory Lanez and gave him their full support.

3. Pay homage to a legend 

The third strategy is the exact opposite of the second one, and it involves paying homage to a legend (or legends) in your genre, which is a more positive approach. 

What you do when you carry out this strategy is that you pick an artist that truly inspires you and celebrate everything about them – basically you become the biggest fan (or “Stan”) of that artist.

Ideally, you want this to be an artist that is no longer making as much music as they used to. Not a peer of yours.

The problem here is that this artist has left a void in the genre that has yet to be filled, and that where you come in.

The kind of content you create with this strategy is for fans of this legend that are looking for someone to fill that void.

And when you create such content on your channel, you’ll attract these guys and build a fanbase with them.

An example of this would be to become the “Stan” of the legendary Bob Marley

Creating youtube videos that review his songs, albums, covering some of his songs, and so on. 

This type of content will attract fans of Bob Marley to your channel and before you know it, you’ll build a very loyal fanbase around you. 

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Nate Dogg, and his passing has left a huge hole in the industry. I feel there’s an opportunity for a new artist to fill that hole, and position themselves as the next Nate Dogg.

4. Put your city on the map

The fourth strategy you could use to figure out the problem you solve is to come out as the guy or gal that will put your city on the map, especially where no other artist from that city is doing so in a significant way.

And it doesn’t have to be just your city, it could be your street, town, or country, wherever you call home.

The problem here is that no artist from your city is playing at a certain level in the music industry, and you position yourself as the artist that will do just that.

So if you’re an Afrobeats artist from say Leicester, and there’s no artist from that town that has won a Grammy award, that’s a problem, and you could make it your mission to be the first Afrobeats artist from Leicester to do so.

With this strategy, your content will be focused on documenting your journey towards achieving that goal, and it will attract people from Leicester that want to see one of their own will a Grammy award. 

One artist that does this very well is Meek Mill

He positions himself as a champion for Philadelphia, always mentioning Philly in his songs, and even performed his first concert when he got out of jail over there. 

This is one of the reasons why hip-hop fans (and non-fans) from Philadelphia don’t play with Meek.

5. Play the minority card

The fifth strategy that you could use is a bit controversial but super effective, and that is to play the minority card in your genre.

And by minority card, I mean you to pick on something about you that makes you an outsider in your genre and make sure everyone knows about it whenever you can.

This thing could be your race, gender, sexuality, and so on.

The problem here is that your genre is lacking in diversity so to speak, and this needs to change.

You could then make it your mission to be the first artist of that minority category to make it big in that genre and document your journey on your Youtube channel.

This will help you build a very loyal fanbase of people that are sympathetic to this cause and should open a lot of doors for you as well.

A good example of this would be Hip Hop.

It’s a genre that’s dominated by straight black men, so if you’re an openly gay rapper, you could make it your mission to become the first openly gay rapper to win a Grammy and vlog about your journey on your channel.

6. Champion a cause

This sixth strategy you could use is one that doesn’t necessarily have to do with music.

It involves identifying a real-world problem that people have and making it your mission to solve that problem through your music.

These could be anything from depression, heartbreak, self-esteem issues, and so on.

The goal of this strategy is to target fans that are going through these issues and make it your mission to help them overcome these with your music. 

The content you create on your Youtube channel will be designed to help these people overcome these challenges and as you publish more of these, you’ll be able to build a fanbase in due time

The late, and great XXX Tentacion was an artist that took this approach with his music.

When he was alive, he’d do everything he possibly could to help his fans overcome depression through his music, his social media, and his actions in the community.

7. Create your own genre

Finally, the last strategy that I use to help artists figure out the problem they solve is to create a completely new genre for them.

There have been a few times when the artists is trying to do something really new in the industry, and their music doesn’t necessarily fit in any genre that we’ve had to create a new genre for them

And it’s not uncommon as new genres are created in the music industry all the time. Nothing stops you from inventing your own.

The biggest advantage of using this strategy is that you create your own lane so to speak and there’s no other artist competing with you in this genre.

Your content strategy here will be to document your journey towards making this genre more mainstream or critically acclaimed.

A great example of an artist that did this very well is the legendary Fela Kuti – the pioneer of the original Afrobeats sound.

Wrap up

So those are seven strategies I use to help artists figure out the problem they solve which in turn helps determine the type of content they create for their youtube channels

Now, you can pick one of these strategies and build your entire Youtube content strategy around it or you could combine 2 or more if it makes sense to do so.

Either way, you should be able to come up with excellent video ideas for your channel.

Need help with your Youtube content strategy?

Why not book a chat with me. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and could talk about Youtubing all day.

Look forward to chatting with you.

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