By Misti Patrella
There is a LOT of confusion out there about branding. It’s such an over-used and almost irrelevant word any more. Forget about typing ‘branding’ into the search box. Oh! And the cost – especially when you have to make careful financial choices for your business. Who wants to deal with it?
All of that can be true, but not helpful for this moment. You’re here to learn for a sec. Now clear all of those mucky thoughts out of the way and let’s talk about what branding really is.
Branding is the way you differentiate yourself from your colleagues and competition.
That’s not so bad, right? Another way to look at it is that:
Branding = Voice
I don’t mean the tone with which words lilt from your mouth when you speak. (Although if you are a singer…I do.) I mean the way you create your art. The messages you want to deliver. The thoughts you want to inspire. Your personality. Your energy. Because when people purchase what you create, whether it is a painting, a piece of music or a photograph, they are appreciating that voice.
Why does branding even matter? I’m an artist.
For professional creative folks and artists, branding is important for several reasons.
Gets infused in all visual and verbal communication, thus helping people who are looking for you to find you amongst other artists.
When done well, it is a reflection of you and your art and is not salesy.
Example – Corey Huff from The Abundant Artist has some great artist branding examples in his Personal Branding for Artists video. Click that link and watch – it’s short. Keep an eye out for the personality of each of the examples.
It happens whether you mean it to or not based on the work you create. Better to be intentional with it right?
Fine, I buy it. I need to develop brand. But I do several different things!
That’s just fine. In fact, even cooler! I am a biz & marketing coach for creative people AND I’m an actor. Both I do professionally and that is okay. Got check my site – I talk about both openly. http://www.mistipatrella.com Your brand is a reflection of you. Not the work you do, or the different media wherein you play. The best thing about your different lines of work? You. Your brand should and can encompass all of what you do.
Let’s do dis.
Now it’s time to do some soul searching. Don’t worry, these questions aren’t novel-starters, but you will get clarity on a your Artistic Voice. This math is easy.
Personality + Message = Artistic Voice = Brand
Personality. What do you love about your work? How do you talk about your work? What emotions do you like to invoke? How do you feel when you create your pieces?
Message. What message are you trying to send through your pieces? Who do you create pieces for? Who is your target market? What do other people say about your work?
Now, we are going to put that information together and into use. When you are building your site, or designing a business card for yourself, or writing your next blog, make sure that your message is fully infused with your personality.
Use your Artistic Voice every time you communicate with anyone visually or in writing.
That is how you build a brand, and distinguish yourself from your competition.