For the not-so-savvy social marketer or the less business inclined artist, strategizing your brand may be a new concept as it’s not a skill that is taught or really discussed. Being aware of basic brand developing strategies others use can help us as we develop our own. These are the lessons in brand perception that will help leverage your own brand.
Strategy: Everything has a purpose and reason behind it. Logos, fonts, colors, names, titles of art, collaborations, partnerships, names, and more all contribute to developing a brand. Your online presence, studio space and you are also a part of this. All of these things are chosen and exposed for the sake of your brand. When you choose to showcase artwork, post, and image or debut a new item for sale, these are also a part of this strategy.
For example, you could publish multiple images of a work in progress to build some suspense, get people into the door for an event or even build sales. You could post work or image-based on holidays or local events. When you develop your brand there needs to be a reason behind what you are doing and a method to the madness of your creative work.
Curated Reality: This curated view that is developed with a strategy in mind is deliberate and manages to hide the reality. As you follow another artist or creative, some of the seemingly “fun images” are the process pictures or videos. These images however are usually staged or faked out for the sake of the photo. This means that in developing your brand you need to add, delete, and alter on a constant basis. This is all-encompassing and includes how you create your studio, your social media, your website, your signage, your marketing materials, and even your artwork. Curate and choose what you share.
Never See the No’s: Curating your artist life will take time and finesse. As you look to other creators, a key distortion this view causes is the fact that this view hides all the no’s. While it may appear like some creatives always get the grants and shows, what you don’t get to see is all the rejection letters they receive in their inbox. We don’t get to see the big mess, the problem solving, the mentorship, the scrapped ideas, and the emotional roller-coaster that some artwork and creative processes cause. Part of the cool factor of “behind the scenes” is this view into the process, however, that process is also curated. This can create unrealistic expectations of what it means to be an artist for those unaware of this strategy. It doesn’t allow emerging artists to see both the highs and the lows. This can also lead some who are savvy at social media to spend more time developing an “artistic lifestyle,” and less time learning to do the “work.”
Transparency: Being completely open and transparent can be its own way to gain fans and audience but that doesn’t mean put everything out there. I’ve honestly read posts from artists about their dogs talking a poop in the yard, too much information, and gross! Finding your curation balance will be an adjustment if this isn’t natural for you. For some, this will mean scaling it back and cleaning up your image. For others, it will be willing to open up and share more about you as an artist. Whichever option seems more difficult for you is probably what you need to do.