First things first. You MUST have a cohesive body of work that has a common thread. Your audience must be able to see just one piece of your art and know right away that it is yours. If you're work has not developed to this point, you are still discovering your style. And that's okay! But until that distinctive style is discovered and mastered, you do not have a brand. Once you have a clear understanding as to what it is you are offering the world, it will be much easier to understand just what your brand is, the words that describe it, and how to effectively market it.
A brand is your unique message that sets you apart from the rest.
It is what you have chosen to share with the world that is uniquely yours! It should include a strong visual component along with a message that tells the world what you and your art is about and it should resonate with your audience.
Choosing a set of strong, cohesive words that distinctly describe what your brand is all about will serve as your guiding light when marketing. They will be the words you return to when you question if a picture you're about to post fits your brand, or if your recent trip to Italy is something you should share in your next blog post. Your brand words are what provide clarity and should inspire and motivate you. But, it's not just about choosing words. It's about choosing the RIGHT words.
What is it that makes you refreshingly different? What is it that your audience values about what you create? What are the things that set you apart from the rest that you want to be known for?
Some artists will choose brand words that are popular, but not distinctive. For example, maybe your words are "quality, professional, and colorful." The thing is, most expect an artist to be those things. Those things are automatically communicated in your work. What do you offer beyond the expected?
In my work, I could just as easily use those three words, but they definitely don't make me stand out in any special kind of way. My chosen words are "narrative, whimsical, and surreal." Every piece I create tells a story. It's like my work jumped straight out of a fairytale and each piece offers a story all its own. My art is also whimsical. There is a sense of light-heartedness, humor, and irony to it. It is also dream-like and a little strange.
These words help guide me in my marketing efforts by reminding me to consider whether or not each action in my business reflects my brand. From my logo to my graphics, my social media posts to my blog - everything must reflect my brand words for it to make sense to my audience and keep them engaged.
We could make an entire list of words that we feel our brand stands for, but to gain succinct clarity, you've got to narrow it down. Choose three words to create clarity for yourself and your audience and you will find you will be able to market more effectively. More than three words diminishes the probability of achieving impact.
What are your brand words?
Begin by writing as many words that come to mind that describe your art and message. Then, cross off any that would be commonly expected by your audience. Next, cross off those that least reflect your brand. Look at those you have left and narrow them down to the three that most strongly relate. But, before you settle on these three, break out a thesaurus, look up these words, and see if there are stronger, more emotive words that can create an impact, all while reflecting what your brand is about.
Tell me yours!
Now it's your turn! Take some time and discover what your three brand words are. Then, share them in the comments below or post them with the hashtag #marketingyourcreativebusiness!
©2018 Becca Basic, LLC
Becca Basic is an artist who's passionate about helping other creatives learn the business skills to live their dreams. If you find this post helpful to you, please share it so that it may help other artists like you!