HOW TO BRAND YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST (A COMPLETE GUIDE!)
decide what you're making
Before you have a brand, you have to decide what you're going to offer. This can be anything you want it to, but you MUST be incredibly clear on what it is. Think about the benefits as well as the results. What will people feel when they have your product, how will people identify themselves, and what will people think of themselves once they buy.
For example, you make ceramic mugs. But really help people build and invest in their homes with handcrafted drink vessels. They feel cozy and at home when they use them, they identify as a home-body and they think well of themselves for buying handmade.
remember why you're making
Remembering your Why is crucial to playing the long game in business. This is two-fold. There is the Why for Others and the Why for You.
The Why For Others is all about the good you're bringing them. You're making change and affecting the world in some way, so you have to know what that is if you want to be intentional about it.
The Why for You is to keep you going in the hard days, when it feels like there's no good going on and you can't get your head above water. Maybe it gives you purpose or helps you through mental illness. Maybe it's to feed your babies or care for your home. Remember your why and don't forget it when it gets tough.
test your products
Once you know your Why's and your What's you have to figure out your How's. This is the platforms you use, the methods you present your work in, and the way you plan to showcase and sell your work. This requires a lot of testing, tweaking, and marketing. This is not just your products, but who you're marketing to, how you're getting it out into the world, and your visual branding. As my coach Dana Malstaff says, "Success is in the tweak, not the pivot."
"Success is in the tweak, not the pivot." -Dana Malstaff
find your unique value proposition
After you've got your Why's, your What, your How - you need your Who. This is also a process of tweaking, but it's incredibly helpful when building your visual brand. Once you know the person who will buy your products, you know how to visually and verbally present it to them in the most attractive way - and you have to know why you’re unique. Watch the video below to hear my thoughts on UVP!
The longer you're in business, the more you can narrow down your market to really target the specific people who are more likely to purchase.
develop your skills
Makers are generally great at continuing to build their skills, but sometimes in the thick of business we can forget. Be sure to continue to build your skill set so you can improve your craft and keep up on current growth patterns and trends in the business and online world.
build a visual brand guide
The next step is to pair each of these outlines with visuals that convert. It's not just about being pretty and professional, it's about being intentional and purposeful behind those visuals.
If you're unsure of where to start, we have a whole library of brand kits to choose from (100% customizable in Canva) to get you started. Simply click here.
build an online space
Once you have your branding nailed down you have to present in some way to the world. This is done in online spaces through a website & social media and offline through print media and showcases.
This space shouldn't be an echo-ing chamber, but a place where your Who feels comfortable sharing their thoughts, desires, and questions.
lastly, keep your message simple
If you make a space for your Who without a purpose in mind, they'll get bored and wander off. Build a strong, clear message revolving around what you're about and you'll begin to build a tribe that converts and is consistently in love with the work you're putting out into the world.
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Alongside her husband, Lilah Higgins is the co-founder of TheForge, a leadership training community for faith-driven business owners. She designs and coaches established business owners through her brand agency, The Higgins Creative. Taking her fine art training & strategic mind into the online space, she helps clients brand cohesively and effectively across platforms, bringing them the confidence they need to become industry leaders.