Branding has become a hot topic in all aspects of business in the last few years, but now branding has become a powerful tool for creative artists to distinguish themselves from their peers. As an artist, your brand is what you are known for. Your brand is what people say and think about you. Your brand consists of your name, logo, and other physical and digital assets that you can control and present to the public. It also includes your image, message, and sound. A strong brand can gain the attention of many potential fans.
The first step is to identify your brand. Determine what your art represents; what you represent; what do you want to say; and what you want to convey through your art. Your brand starts with who you are. It should be a reflection of you without necessarily exposing every layer of who you are. Many artists take a slice of who they are and magnify that part of their personality as their brand.
Next, identify your audience. The relationship you want to build with your audience is the foundation of your brand and career so you should be mindful of whom your audience is. Who are your target fans? And be realistic. The answer is not everybody. Are your fans tweens, millennials, or baby boomers? Your audience should be as specific as possible from age group, gender, to subculture, etc. Identifying your target audience will allow you to focus your energies to build a connection with them, distinguish yourself, and grow your audience. Of course, identifying your audience doesn’t mean that you are locked in to that demographic, it just gives you direction. The goal of any artist is to grow beyond their target audience.
Now that you have decided what part of yourself you want to present as your brand and who your audience is, here are a few branding tips:
1. Brand consistency: Brand consistency is very important. Make sure your logo, images, visuals, and art all connect. Make sure that your social media voice and marketing tone are also consistent with your brand. Brand consistency also applies to how you identify yourself and how fans find you. All of your social, digital, and online profiles should be consistent. All of your user profile names should be the same. Everything should be cohesive!
2. Your story: What do you want the audience and your fans to know about you? A great story should include interesting info about you that will attracts fans and press coverage. Create an elevator pitch for yourself and your art that is a succinct description of who, what, and why. Also, have a few, similar variations of that story. Every artist has their own story and so do you. Through your story, you can develop a unique identity that will allow you to interact with fans in an imaginative way.
3. Create engagement and longevity: Fans are the people who buy your art, support you, and even promote you to their family and friends. As part of your brand, decide how you want to engage with fans so they will follow you, grow with you, and help to create longevity in your career. Think strategically about how you can best reach and connect with your audience and maintain that connection. You can use traditional marketing and promotional tools or use more contemporary and viral means to engage them or both.
4. Execute!! Now that you have identified your brand, your target audience, and some marketing and promotional activities that will help get you out there and grow your brand; it is time to put them all together and execute. You must commit to it and invest the time into it. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Focused and measured steps can be quite successful. Be strategic and consistent!