Your brand is who you are. It’s your reputation, what people think of you and how they evaluate you. If you don’t have a personal brand, then other people will create one for you – and it may not be to your liking.
So if the idea that “you are your own best marketing tool” has any truth to it at all, then we must ask: What is my brand? And the answer is: Your brand reflects who YOU want to be as a professional.
What’s the best way to promote your brand? Be creative. Don’t just go with clichés or old ideas that aren’t necessarily interesting or seemingly memorable. Keep trying new things, even if you fail first (you will forget). That is what separates successful artists from those who are not.
The fact is, the more your brand stands out from all of the others in your industry, the more you will succeed.
So take these pieces of advice and think outside the box when it comes to promotion.
Here are some tips you can apply:
Don’t try and be like everyone else with an online storefront and/or Etsy store.
Although these can be used, all artists and makers have them, and they don’t set you apart from the rest.
Instead of just using your website for selling items that people can purchase, create a “behind the scenes” page on your site that shows what goes into making your product or telling your story behind it (i.e., if you make things with recycled materials, show the process of how they were collected and what goes into turning them into a wearable piece).
This is a great way to add personality to your brand. People love seeing how things are made, and this will attract people who have similar interests.
In an online world where it seems like everyone is trying to sell you something, and everyone has similar products and services to offer, adding a personal touch can set the artist apart.
For example, if you make jewelry using recycled materials, you can include pictures of how/where your materials were collected (see above). Another idea would be having an informal section on your website where your fans can ask you questions or give feedback about what you do.
Be creative with how you communicate with potential customers.
The more ways people have to contact you, the more exposure you will get. But there are many different routes, so be creative and think outside of the box. For example, if you make jewelry that isn’t available in stores, you could have a “mail-order” section on your site where people can purchase the same items that are in your online store (if you don’t want to create an entirely separate website).
Another idea would be doing something like having an online live-streaming event where you show people how to make one of your products. This way, you can market your brand to more people and attract those who like or are interested in what you do (i.e., if the live stream is about how to make a necklace, anyone that likes jewelry can tune into the event).
Explore other platforms.
Visual artists, painters, and photographers can’t always hold exhibits or live events. However, they can keep in touch with their network by sending newsletters that showcase their latest outputs. Some even do their marketing and advertising via the direct response route by sending emails.
The important thing is to explore other avenues so you can drive people to your brand. You never know what will work or which kinds of marketing will get the most results. So keep trying different things.
Don’t forget about your existing network.
If you have a personal blog, update your readers on what you are doing. You can also add a link to your website on other social media channels if they are related to what you do.
If the person is connected with similar businesses or industries, showing them what you have been up to can be a great way of networking and making connections.
You should also take advantage of any opportunities that arise from existing contacts. These can be anything from opportunities to work together, sell your products in their store, or feature you on their website/blog.
If they like what you do and support it, they will want to show others and help out. After all, who doesn’t like helping a friend?
To summarize, you can market yourself by showing your personality and giving something back to people. This can be achieved in many different forms, so creativity is key. So try out different marketing strategies to see what works for you!