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The reason why personal branding is important is easy. If you fail to brand yourself, someone else will do it for you, and most likely the results will not be to your satisfaction.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media evangelist, and author of two New York Times bestselling books, Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion and The Thank You Economy. Vaynerchuk adroitly puts it this way, “I don’t care what business you’re in, everybody today is in the branding and customer service business. Whether you know it or not, you already are.”
Case in point is Wyland, the marine artist who dropped his first name from everything associated with his art career. In the art world, he is Wyland. He is a brand on a rather grand scale for a living artist.
The copy you are reading here is taken directly from my new Guerrilla Marketing for Artists: How to Build a Bulletproof Art Career to Thrive in Any Economy. An announcement about its availability will be soon. Readers of this blog will be the first to know. If you are not a subscriber, sign up now to get notified and to receive updates to this blog.
Also look for an announcement about a new webinar on the topic of Guerrilla Marketing for Artists. Go to http://x.co/barney to join the list. Tell your friends about it, too!
You may not be able to emulate Wyland by painting 100 whaling walls on buildings all around the globe, or have an image on a California license plate that collects additional fees for marine conservation groups, but that should not stop you from letting his branding techniques inspire and inform you. Start with what you have and work outward, remaining consistent with your message, your mission, and your style. Ask yourself how you can use your art, and possibly your status, to change the world around you.
The saying, “Fake it until you make it” has some truth to it. If you do not learn to take giant steps that move you outside your comfort range and push you to achieve new things, it is extremely difficult to grow as an artist, and as a person. Faking it does not mean being a fake. You need to be truly authentic in what you do and how you present yourself. Faking it in this context simply means you are learning on the fly and sometimes only one-step ahead of your audience and benefactors.
Properly applied, personal branding is a powerful tool for artists. Artists have the ability to take full advantage of creative options to define themselves and their art businesses. Learn how you can decipher your own personal style. Use it to develop an overarching iconic look to your marketing to help create new awareness and interest in your work.
A personal brand is a story about you. It is what others say to describe you. If you accept you have a brand, and you do whether you believe it or not, you can use the knowledge to influence how the story is told. Think of what people say to describe you when your name slips their mind. When that happens, it is your brand doing the talking.