I often get statements along the lines of: “I am so passionate about (fill in the blank with the awesome thing you make/do/offer” but I have NO idea how to get the word out.” It is fairly typical for the artist personality to be paralyzed by the thought of marketing their work – or even more scary – building a personal brand. “What the heck is a brand? Do I need a brand name? I just like to paint, and everybody should be able to see that, right?!” Well…not quite.
A Forbes article from 2011 differentiates between the old idea of brand name, and the idea in contemporary marketing of a living brand:
It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.
In a recent networking meeting with a group of artists, I heard a woman who serves as a marketing director at Google use the phrase, “As an artist, you are your brand.” What? That’s kinda scary. I am my brand? … You know what? I agree with her.
Especially with the rise of social media marketing, consumers love the idea of knowing the daily in’s and out’s of the person who made the item they have purchased, or are considering purchasing. Buyers want to connect with you! You may not realize it, but you have already begun building your personal brand when you sit down with someone in a coffee shop and talk about your art with her. And even when you segue into a conversation about tacos. Do you LOVE tacos? Then that is still branding. Ok, before you give up on me because you think I am crazy, here are my top five VERY basics of branding.
Hopefully these five tips make branding seem less intimidating. Colors and logos and such will come later, but it all starts with understanding yourself, and what you care about. You’ve got this. Feel free to shoot us an email if you have other questions about branding, or consider applying for coaching to go deeper.
With gratitude for your creativity,