With today's easy access to the internet, there's no excuse for not building your own brand. If you feel like more people should know you and your work, read on.
Your brand is how people will remember you. If you're an artist, it could be your style, the type of work you do, or maybe even your work rate. Brand is synonymous with reputation. It is what other people say about you.
Having a strong brand is obviously beneficial. When you are the first name that clients think of in a particular niche, it is easy to get job offers, commissioned assignments, contacts, invites. When your brand is strong, people think of you, people come to you. When your brand is not strong, you have to market yourself to clients one by one. The latter is a lot of work. How many doors do you have to knock on before someone buys your cookies?
Take Parka Blogs for example. I want my blog to be associated with artbooks and art products. That's why I post content regularly relating to artbooks and art products. Over the years, it has developed its own brand and is now, probably, the best place to check out artbooks and art products due to the thousands of reviews I've posted over the years. I get requests to review books and tech products (artist reviews) frequently. That's because when people think of a book or product they want to check out, they think of my brand, and hence they contact me. I've independent creators, publishers, book distributors and art suppliers who contact me too because they want their items featured on my blog.
How to build your brand
It takes effort to build a brand.
First, you have to share your art online. Second, you have to write about your art. Third, share your work frequently.
It's not enough to just post your artwork online. You need to write something about it so that search engines can index it, so that people are able search for it. On some platforms, you can just tag your artworks. For example, searching keyword tags is how images are discovered on Instagram.
You need to have your own website and share your work there. Because your website is new and no one knows about it, you also need to share your work on other sites, like DeviantArt or whatever art forums or Facebook art groups that are out there.
You have to share your work frequently and regularly. If you're in a Facebook art group and you post art weekly. When your work is always out there, people will start to take notice of you. They will notice your constant presence, they will get a sense of your work rate, they will also be able to recognise your style, and they will remember your name in their subconscious. That's all part of building your brand.
With my Youtube channel, I wanted to be know for sketching, tech and art product reviews, that why I post content related to those subjects.
You have to determine how you want to be remembered. Put out work that you want to be associated with. If you want to be a graphic or web designer, post examples of page layouts, logos or websites you have designed. Don't post unrelated content on your website or you will confuse your audience. You need your audience to associate you with a certain keyword, style or image.
It does not take a lot of time to share your work. Dedicate 30 minutes to sharing your work on various social media sites and online art groups. The time you spend here is more productive than when used to check updates on Facebook.
To have something to share, of course you will need to create work. If you want to make a living through selling art or design, you need to make work and show off your work. Create lots of artworks, queue them up, so that you can share them regularly. When you have a batch of work to post, choose the best way to present them. See if you can post them through a schedule, like once a day, or maybe three times a week. And stick to that schedule.
If you post your work on Instagram, use Socialblade to keep track of followers that you get. You may find that as you post regularly, your followers will increase consistently. With my Instagram page, I get followers whenever I post regularly, but once I stop posting for weeks, the number of followers dropped off.
The number of followers you have is just a vanity number. If you don't post regularly, people will still forget you. So how regularly should you share your work? There's no perfect number. Once a week is the bare minimum I would recommend. Three times a week would be good. If you can post every day, that's pretty incredible, but don't get yourself burned out. You can create a batch of work and post according to schedule. That's what I do with my blog and Youtube channel.
How long will it take for people to recognise you?
It really depends on how long you have been posting. You will get new audience each day when you post regularly. And by posting regularly, you'll constantly be in other people's mind.
Your brand doesn't build itself in a day, a month or even a few months. Brand building is a constant process. And don't think of it as a chore, think of it as a challenge. Being a freelance artist or designer means you have to multi-task and handle certain activities by yourself, and that means marketing too.
You'll need patience to build your brand. This is not something you can buy with money. And because it's something you can't buy with money, it's something more valuable, and it's something that will also help you stand out from others.