The concept of a “brand” can be nebulous. On the face of it having an identifiable brand might seem all about corporate/big business. Yes, the major “brands” have that look and feel and strong ties to giant marketing machines, but artists need to have a branded look, too. And they can really become more human by giving branding some space in their business.
In today’s 11-minute podcast, I will let you in on a few secrets to help you tweak your branding and fine-tune your public-facing information. From your website to your social media and even in your in-person events and art shows, you will connect more quickly and be more memorable if you pay attention to your branding.
It’s another piece of the puzzle that will help you Find Loving Homes for Your Art.
I suspect that there will be some questions and I look forward to your comments as always!
I struggle a bit with understanding my own brand! I know I have one but I’m not sure how to summarize it. It’s to do with rich but natural colours, texture, a unique printmaking style, attention to detail in my work and customer service. How would you summarize it? I’m curious about your perspective as you know so much about my work and marketing efforts.
Sorry for the delay. Still not getting my emails!
I think “HOME” “COMFORT” “SERENITY” and believe it or not…”GEOLOGY”; because of your deep dives into the earth’s textures.
But, how that all comes together is the trick, right? I think everyone wants to feel at “home”. Everyone wants to feel “comforted” and who doesn’t need a little “serenity” in their lives?
How do you make people FEEL those things? How do you create an almost visceral sensation? Words, taglines, within your videos, on your IG feed and your Stories (which seem off-brand to me by the way) and in your descriptions of your work.
Is any of this connecting?
Thanks for those words, McKenna. It’s really interesting to hear your perspective. Those words do resonate with me and remind me of the type of simple language used by my customers to describe how the pictures make them feel. Please explain why you think my Stories are off- brand. I’d been told that stories were a good place to be light hearted and show some of the behind the scenes action.
I am not an expert (AT ALL!) on IG, but I think every single “move we make” online needs to always resonate with our brand and reflect who we typically project to our customer base. Would you ever have comical or whimsical decor at one of your studio openings? It would seem an odd partnership for your overall presentation.
Bottom line: I don’t see “goofy” or “silly” in your overall oeuvre. You are contemplated, exacting, passionate, and down-to-earth. The photos of you on your site are almost always “Rembrandt-ish”. They show you a serious light. That might be because you are a serious creative working in a serious (and painstakingly difficult) medium.
So the idea that your stories would show some side of you that is found nowhere else, seems “off-brand”. It’s probably why I am so hesitant to do stories. I really am still a bit in search of my “brand” for inclusion on IG.
Your “story” is you. Your story is pulling a new image, prepping a layer, making your marks. At least that is what I am drawn to. Maybe, your story is also YOU. I would think you could be a powerful voice discussing your process, too?
If your work was comic driven, I would have a different point of view. All that said, the idea of “loosening up” a little might have some benefits. Maybe showing some “real” moments in your life? Ink spilled? Ink on your face? Walking with your family? I don’t know… I repeat: I’m no expert on IG. I just was a bit “put off” by the glittery/busy/flamboyant look and felt it was out of character. However, maybe your website is not representing your character and needs more of your “light-hearted story” presented there?
Thanks Mckenna, that is very interesting. I think you’re right that the giphys I’ve been using are off-brand. I don’t like them and steer well clear of that sort of thing in my private life and public persona normally. I’m getting conflicting messages though as my social media trainer said the whole point of stories was to have fun and use the giphys to attract people’s attention. They’ve also been saying that I need to include my own face (preferably smiling) in my Instagram posts. I need to “humanize” it and show that I’m approachable and know how to have fun. The photos I have of myself on my website took a lot of effort and styling to achieve with professional photographers. When I take my own selfies, I’m usually appalled as I haven’t had time to present myself really well. I’ll need to find a path through this that’s quick and easy but also on-brand and projecting the quality of my work. I may drop the giphys or just use the more tasteful ones.
Just show YOU. Just be YOU. If you generally have a more stoic and studied persona, then that’s what you need to share. For example: Would the Dalai Lama suddenly share goofy photos of himself to meet some criteria set by someone who doesn’t know him? Is he less respected or beloved if he is perceived as serious and deliberative?
Your brand is your studiousness and deep attention to detail. Your brand is persistence and purposeful and very deliberate artwork achieved with a serious, formal, and unforgiving methodology. Your work is not whimsy nor even cartoonish in the least.
What you might consider is asking for your clients to pose for a picture with you and their purchases. Easy to enjoy and very relatable.
I am drawn to smiles, but I am also drawn to seriousness and artists who are deeply committed to their craft. It’s always been refreshing to visit your website and feel the solemn professionalism that permeates your presentations.
I can’t tell you how good and useful it is to hear you describe my artist persona! I’m going to copy those words to a doc where I can refer to them. I think I’m afraid of being seen as “serious” (even though I am!) as I may have some teenage hang ups about serious being dull and boring. I do want to show my sense of humour but it can be a bit ironic and unsuitable for a professional presentation – it would undermine what I’m trying to project. But just showing a friendly, welcoming face would help people to relate and not be afraid to come and see me or get in touch. Great advice as usual, Mckenna. I think my social media trainers know their stuff but not the nuances of selling art.