For Creatives: How to Develop an Effective Personal Brand

September 17, 2020

By Autumn Barker

Developing an effective personal brand can help your art get discovered

Branding is one of the most important pieces in any brand or business’s arsenal. To put it simply, your brand is the way your audience perceives you. Your branding should leave a lasting, positive impression on your audience and give them an idea of what they can expect from you. Let’s discuss why Developing an effective personal brand is important.  

Good branding can also help set you apart from your competition and showcase what makes you unique. For creatives, branding helps your followers and fan base identify your music, art, poetry, photography, etc. and promotes recognition across your channels. 

It can be difficult to know where to start when developing a personal brand, which is why we’ve broken the branding process down into the six simplified steps below.

6 simplified steps for a brand building process

Define Your Brand

This can be one of the most challenging parts of creating a personal brand. After all, you’re essentially turning yourself or your art into a product to share with the world. To successfully define your brand, you’ll need to identify your purpose. You can do so by asking yourself a series of questions like the ones below: 

  • Why do you create your art? 
  • What is your story? What inspired you to do what you do? 
  • What do you offer your audience? 
  • What sets you apart from other artists in your space? 
  • Which artists inspire you?  
  • How do you want to engage and communicate with your audience?

Answering these questions will give you a clearer picture and purpose for where you want to take your brand. 

Establish Your Brand Identity

The next step in creating a personal brand is to establish your brand identity. Your brand identity consists of your values, your brand message, and how you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand. 

Jeff Bezos said it best, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” 

Some questions that can help you establish your brand identity are: 

  • What are my values? 
  • What do I care about? (think about things you’re passionate about outside of your art)
  • What is my brand aesthetic? Is there a specific look that aligns with my brand stylistically? 

It can be helpful to go through these questions with a group of close friends whose opinions you trust as they may call out things you won’t think about. 

Identify Your Audience

Now that you established the foundation of your brand, it’s time to define your target audience. Your target audience is the consumers and fans that are most likely to engage with your brand. To identify your target audience, think about the types of people who have gravitated toward your art or music in the past. 

Ask yourself these questions to help with the process: 

  • Does your art or music appeal to one gender over another? 
  • Do the people that regularly engage with your art fall in a specific age range? (e.g. Gen. Z, Millennial, etc.)
  • What do the people in your audience like to do for fun? 
  • Do the people in your audience have jobs or are they still in school? 
  • What are the people in your audience motivated by? 

The more specific you get while defining your audience, the better you’ll be able to understand them, which will help as you establish trust and build your credibility. 

Create Content.

Okay, so that you’ve defined your brand and identified your audience, you’re ready to start creating content. Content is key in establishing brand recognition and building connections with your audience. As you create content and begin putting it out on your channels, you’ll gain a better understanding of what types of content resonate with your audience. 

Be Authentic 

As you begin to develop your online presence, it’s important to be yourself. You don’t have to put your full personal life on display, but your followers will notice and call you out if you’re not being authentic. Your content should feel natural and organic to your brand and should always be created with your audience in mind. 

Be Consistent. 

Be consistent in your content, both in its appearance and in posting it. Everything you post does not need to be or look the same, but there should be a thread of consistency that weaves through your content and ties back to your brand. 

It’s also important that you show up regularly on your chosen platforms, If you’re not regularly posting and engaging with your followers, they’re going to lose interest and move on. 

Sell Yourself.

If you’re an independent artist that’s trying to do it all yourself, it’s important that you’re constantly pitching your work to labels, publishing houses, or galleries. Developing a brand and establishing your online presence through consistent and authentic content can help, but ultimately, you are your brand and there’s no one better to sell your brand than you! 

Let Us Help!

If you’d rather leave the brand development to the experts and focus on your art, Brand Manifest has you covered! We offer a wide variety of services developed specifically for creative individuals like you. Check out our website to learn more about our marketing services designed for creatives.