Five Steps to Level Up Your Artistic Brand!
Who are you as an artist? What are your values? What exactly is your brand?
As creatives, it can be difficult to narrow down those definitions – and more difficult
still to take those concepts and turn them into a coherent, recognizable artistic
brand. As your own CEO, however, you have to define and articulate who you are as
an artist, what your mission is, and what makes your artistry unique and valuable—in
essence—BUILD YOUR BRAND.
1. What is your identity?
Defining who you are is important to giving your brand a recognizable voice. You should
be able to summarize your identity in one 30 second pitch that you can deliver at
To determine your identity ask yourself:
- How does your art impact the world around you?
- What’s my story? (Maybe your art is made of 100% recyclable materials, maybe you capture
Americana for generations to come, maybe each of your pieces is a part of your heart
including giving a percentage to a cause about which you are passionate.)
- How does your art make people feel??
- How do your artistic expression/projects convey your thoughts, visions, and world
- Who is your market?
- What do you have to offer your audience that is unique compared to your competitors?
Now that you know who you are, ask yourself:
- How are you conveying that identity to your audience?
- What imagery or logo are you using to become recognizable?
- What colors, fonts, tone do you use to help others identify your brand?
- Is the voice, tone, impression of your work and your marketing to your customers consistent?
2. What brand experience can people expect?
Think about photographer Annie Leibovitz. What is her brand? She takes edgy, raw photographs of people that essentially capture
the essence of her subjects. Or Paul Lindahl, graffiti artist and co-founder of Colossal Media whose hand-painted advertising murals for big names like Netflix, Google and Converse
are known for their engaging storytelling and curiosity building. What about you?
- What experience can my audience expect from interacting with my brand?
- What is my brand promise? (Reliability? Fun? Thought provoking? etc.)
- How can I convey those experiences and benefits to my audience?
3. What channels will you use to connect with your audience?
Which channels will have the biggest impact on your desired market? Today it is easier
than ever to connect with a national and even global audience. The key is knowing
how to do it and then doing it.
- Do you have a website? A website, which can be your online portfolio, is certainly a must. There are so
many options out there for creating a visually powerful website all on your own, (Checkout
SquareSpace.com or Wix.com to get started, for example). If going it on your own isn’t for you - there are
several websites where you can hire someone affordably to create a website for you
- take a look at 99designs.com or Upwork.com, and you can also check your local Chamber of Commerce to find people in your community that could build you a high-impact website to support
your brand.. Make sure you have an “About Me” page that quickly showcases your artist
statement and connects them to what’s unique about you and your artistic practice..
- Do you write a blog? Are you blogging (or vlogging - which is a video blog) so that you can generate organic
content that gets people to your site to see your work? Make sure your voice and tone
are consistent with your branding which will give your content authenticity.
- Do you engage on social media? Do you post on a regular basis? Have you grown and expanded your presence on social
media? Is your messaging consistent? Can your audience distinctly recognize your brand
from your content (think message, tone, colors, fonts)? Are you using hashtags that
help you reach new audiences and ensure your target audience can find you?
- Are you engaging on the right platforms? It’s often easy to get caught utilizing one or two platforms. Is it time to expand
to new platforms. Knowing your target audiences and reaching out to that demographic
through the social platform they utilize the most is extremely important to building
your brand. In addition to your current platforms, it could also be time to expand
from exclusively using visual posts to including video or even audio podcasts.
Here are just a few of the most popular platforms (based on the size of the total
- Are you staying connected? Make sure you devote time to staying connected to people who are following your
brand by giving them a shout out, responding to them when they write comments, and
asking them questions about what they need from you. Branding is all about relationships,
so build on those relationships as often as possible!
4. Does your brand project quality, competence, and consistency?
When you look at highly recognizable and prolific performance artists like Lady Gaga
or Elton John, their brands are pretty clear and recognizable. Even though one might
say Lady Gaga’s brand is every-changing, that is where her consistency and competence
lies. We know to expect the unexpected from her which is part of why her fans love
her so much. They can’t wait to see what she will do next.
Ask yourself the following questions to do a brand analysis:
- Is your brand message consistent?
- Can your audience clearly recognize your content?
- Can they clearly recognize your products/services as “yours”?
- Is your brand memorable?
5. Is your brand growing and your online marketing strategy working?
It’s not enough to guess whether or not your brand is getting exposure. Analytics and numbers aren’t just for people with MBA’s. Evaluating your online presence regularly (weekly
is recommended, and at a minimum monthly is a must!
Here’s how to do it:
- Utilize the free tools on your social media platforms (like Facebook Insights) to evaluate engagement.
- Check your website summary on Google Analytics. It will give you information on who is visiting your site and even what they are
looking at across your site. It can help you to monitor customer navigation problems.
- Third party social media analytics tools (like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer Analyze) can give you a broader picture of engagement with your followers.
- Check for signs that your online marketing is working:
- Are you seeing more people share, retweet, or like your posts?
- Are visits to your website increasing?
- Are sales improving?
- Do you have a steady increase in new followers on your primary platforms?
- It is also important to ask and answer these questions on a regular basis:
- What are my goals with social media? (Drive traffic to your site, overall engagement,
- Have I reached those goals? (And determine which metrics will you use to prove you
have reached your goal.)
- What can I do better to improve engagement, brand recognition, sales?
Perfecting your personal brand is key to your success as a creative entrepreneur.
The Creative Catalyst Online Certificate helps you better articulate your creative purpose and challenges you to identify
areas you need to improve. Want to learn more? To join our next cohort or request
more information, email CreativeCatalyst@uncsa.edu!