Brand refers to one's identity.
- Perhaps the style of your art is quite distinctive. Ideally, there should be something about your work that makes it different than your peers. This could be something like your stroke technique or the colours you love to work in.
- Maybe you work in an unusual medium or with unusual methods. For example, perhaps you work in coloured pencil on board instead of paper or perhaps you always use solvents.
- Do you work in an unusual location? Perhaps you work in a renovated chicken coop and you offer workshops there too. That isn't too common.
- Perhaps your choice of subject matter is rather unusual.
- Consistency is an easy way to achieve branding. You might wish to have a certain font used in all of your correspondence - from business cards to your website. Choose colours that reflect you and use them in all of your press - from media cards, advertising, letter head, to mailing labels etc.
- Use consistent framing so that if someone were to see your work in a show, they would know who the artist is.
- Display consistent values. Become know for integrity, fairness, and honesty. Display a consistent level of quality in your work. Why not make excellence part of your brand? How about being consistently passionate and enthusiastic?
- You might wish to create a logo. Or how about coming up with a tagline?
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Marketing can be fun and creative, in fact I think it should be. For more info you can surf the web, you can look at books at your library or you can check out magazines (yes, there are marketing magazines, you can find them at larger booksellers). If you would like some input from others, why not invite a few friends round? Together, have a look at the product(s) you produce and ask for ideas. What do they think is unique about you and your work? How do they perceive your 'brand'? Do some brainstorming. Don't forget that you can get great ideas from your mentors. Who do you look up to? Think of some local artists that you know and admire (they can be woodcarvers, potters, not just painters). What do their business cards and media cards look like? How do they advertise and promote themselves?
As you can see, this isn't difficult stuff. Maybe you just need to take some time to consider this aspect of being an artist. Why not get creative about selling your work? Maybe all you need to do is to focus on this for a bit. Why not ask more from yourself? Maybe you just need to commit to coming up a bit higher in a few areas - some key areas that will help you perfect your branding. For example maybe you need to commit to having all of your framing look great (no sneaking in some cheap frames, or poorly cut mats hoping people won't notice), maybe you commit to only showing your best work (no sneaking in a few lesser works in the hopes that someone won't notice and will buy them - remember these works reflect on everything else you are showing), and perhaps you commit to being enthusiastic in front of your customers (no more complaining about slow attendance or poor sales).
I hope these posts have started you thinking about your marketing plans. It really doesn't take thousands of dollars and a team of marketing professionals to give your business a boost. You are more than capable of doing this yourself. If any readers have some ideas they would like to share, please start a discussion and write a comment. Are you ready? Get branding!