Recently I was interviewed as an expert on branding for artists. Afterwards, I realized I wanted to share a bit more info with you.
Branding is often misunderstood and completely overlooked by artists. I hate seeing this because it really is a critical part of your art business success.
In fact, branding is the step before marketing. Yet, typically artists will dive right into marketing without truly understanding what your art means to the customer and worse not really knowing who your best customer is.
You will usually end up with random, hit or miss results, a lot of frustration, and feeling very discouraged.
Why brand as an artist?
Simply put, to stand out and connect.
There is more noise than ever to compete with. You brand to ensure you are the signal and not part of the noise. We select brands we know and trust because it is a shortcut through the abundance of choices.
You are doing a disservice to your customer (and yourself) by not standing out to meet their specific needs, wants, and desires. Branding mitigates the gap from stranger to customer.
I know this will be hard to believe as an artist — but, art is not essential to our survival. Art is a want versus a need and is a luxury. You must integrate this truth within your brand.
What is a brand for an artist?
Branding allows you to show up in a true-to-you way, expresses meaning and a relatable sense of purpose, and forms a vital pact with your audience.
Branding is for any business including your art business. It is not just for large corporations or celebrities.
A brand is not your logo, fonts, icons, social media, website, colors, images. These are just expressions of your brand used in your marketing.
How does branding fit in?
My simple 3-step formula for you is: 1. Branding + 2. Marketing = 3. Sales
1. Branding — Meaning/Feeling
Your relatable essence to connect with your customers
2. Marketing — Community
Create experiences through shared aspirations, ideals, beliefs
3. Sales — Trust
Transactions occur after the relationship is established (1 + 2 = 3)
Do you see how branding sets the stage for humanizing your business, enables an ongoing conversation, and leads to a trusted relationship?
Where do you start?
I suggest you start by answering these 3 questions about you, your art, and how these integrate into your business. Your answers will start your process of creating a relatable experience for your customers.
1. Who are you? (What are you about? What do you stand for?)
2. What do you do? (What is your expertise?)
3. Why does it matter? (What reason will incite them to connect/buy?)
Bonnie Glendinning, Founder of The Thriving Artist and The Artists’ Mentor, and is a Brand & Community Strategist for Artists. With her professional artist programs, she empowers artists to live and work prosperously. Join Bonnie and other artists in her Thriving Artist Path global community, on Periscope @thriveartist, and here on the web.
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