This is an excerpt from the popular e-course “Guide to Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople” which is available from The Arts Business Institute. Find it here.
Establishing a brand visually means using a consistent, recognizable look in all materials and communications. Your body of work has a recognizable style. So does your business.
Presentation is everything when it comes to marketing. Eye-catching designs create interest, but it is the concept and presentation of the whole package that will make you stand out. Choose an image and branding that works for you and increases the perceived value of your work in the eyes of your existing and potential customers.
Promoting yourself is an art in itself. Some artists rely on eccentricity, others on design and attention-getting logos. Others take a more subtle approach. Find the right words and images that will tell people who you are and will enhance the value of your work.
The brand message
What is the story, mission or focus of your business? Your Unique Selling Proposition will reflect this. Your activities will, too. Do you contribute a portion of profits to a cause? Are you passionate about something that is reflected in your art? Communicating this clearly and consistently reinforces your brand, yourself as an artist, and your work.
- Your website – header, and all pages
- Packaging and hangtags
- Business cards
- Trade show booth design and signage
- Your social media identity
- Your email signature
- Design of newsletters, paper or digital
- Promotional products (pens, magnets, etc.)
- Shopping bags you provide for retail customers
- Design of press releases and media kits
As you establish a concept and a brand that is recognizable for your art business, use it everywhere. It can take 7 to 10 contacts with others before they remember you. When you use a logo, branded colors, fonts, images and a tagline to represent your handmade line, you are telling them “this is my work.” Consistent contact lets them know that you are serious about your business and that you have an established business.
Your brand may remind them that your values are the same as their values. That they love your work and have considered making a purchase. Be present, be persistent. You will build your brand exposure over time, so creating the initial look and message is quite important. What is your work all about? Who are your target customers? What do they care about, and how does your brand appeal to them emotionally?
As you develop a brand concept and begin to market, use professional presentation always. Use excellent images, best practices, a website presence that is current and persistent social media messaging. You will gain followers, prospective collectors and wholesale accounts, and traction in the marketplace.