Due to the current state of the world, many of us have a bit more downtime, making this the perfect opportunity to dig deep into your body of work and assess your visual voice and whether or not your portfolio communicates it well. If you’re an artist marketing yourself today, it’s so important to have your vision highlight your assets and attributes.
Start by thinking about what your emotional brand is. What are the personal attributes that make you unique? These attributes describe the essence of who you are as a person. First, create a circle with the center saying "emotional brand" and draw lines extending out that describe your attributes. Having a strong emotional brand helps creatives remember you and better relate to your work, creating a deeper and more powerful connection.
Now that you better understand your emotional brand, move onto your physical brand. How do we visually communicate this? By creating a strong understanding of what attracts us. Start collecting imagery that visually speaks to the work that you want to be doing in the next one to three years; cull images that speak to you visually and have different creative features that connect with you. Now you have a selection of images that speak to you, what are the visual characteristics that are drawing you to this selection of images? Is it the compositions, the lighting, the relationships with the subject? Take a step back, look at your work as a whole, and begin to shoot for the missing areas; this will allow you to edit your current images to create a vision-based portfolio.
Now when your audience closes their eyes and hears your name, can they see and describe your style? If the answer is yes, you have a strong emotional and physical brand. Your vision is you.
Now that you’ve done the work to understand your emotional and physical brand and how they work together, you can begin communicating both verbally and visually who you are and what you can do. The next step is presenting your vision. In today’s marketplace, one of your most important vehicles for communicating your work is your website.
Start by looking at color, shape, subject matter, and contrast. These variables bring your images together and make visual relationships. If your style is consistent, then it becomes easier to pair your imagery together and present a more vision-based body of work.
When laying out your site, remember that the average viewer only stays on your website for about five clicks. That means whoever is landing on your site needs to know who you are and what you can do within seconds; this is what makes the editing process so important. When you organize your images into categories, keep in mind the hierarchy. Your first category should be the top specialty you want to market. That way you're immediately letting them know who you are and what you most like to do.
After your top specialty, the next most important page of your website is your About Me or your bio page. Why is this portion of your site so important? This page allows you the opportunity to make a unique impression on the creatives viewing your site. What makes a good bio? Get into the core of your personality and tell the viewer about your likes; the more real you keep it, the more interest you will gain from creatives.
Your vision and brand are communicated in the ways you showcase your imagery. All of this attention to detail will impact the creative when they are remembering the look and feel of your brand. So, remember: be you!
You have your emotional and physical brands solidified, your website is looking better than ever, so now what? It’s time to focus on your social media platforms; what should you be posting? How often should you be posting? What apps are you using to help manage your platforms? When should you update the content on your social media? The answer to these questions varies depending on the individual needs of your business; you may choose to post new content every day or update your social media accounts every week. Study your audience and use the strategy that’s best in capturing their unique attention.
Right now, Instagram is one of the most exciting marketing tools to surface in the last few years and the one you should be utilizing the most. It's not a fad. It's here to stay, and you should embrace its power to stay connected with existing clients as well as potential clients. Your goal should be to use this platform (and others) to share your business with your audience. Pull them into your world. Think of your posts as an extended resume. Give them a chance to follow you, see your vision, experience your way of working, and validate your career.
Instagram is all about visual storytelling. Here's your chance to show off your aesthetic. Flaunt it. Walk your followers through what inspires you. Show them how you see the world around your business. Sometimes the posts can be spontaneous, and in the moment, sometimes they are well composed and all about your strengths. If pulling your followers into your creative process is part of your brand, do it. Let them see how you work, what's important to you, how you flourish under any circumstance. Be consistent with how you visually illustrate your brand. Don't shy away from posting you at your best, but also remember that your followers want to get to know you too. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Show them that you are all that and more. The goal of your account should be to add value and appeal to your feed.
To help keep you productive, efficient and creative with your posts, here are some tools we suggest adding to your workflow:
The most successful marketing campaigns are ones that utilize multiple channels; we call this a multi-prong marketing approach. However, with people temporarily out of work or working from home, for now, more tactile marketing practices may feel irrelevant. So, how do we let creatives know that we are continuing to shoot in more creative, time-sensitive ways? We embrace the power of email marketing.
A question that we get a lot is whether or not email promotions are still a relevant way to market being that so many inboxes get inundated with emails daily; the answer is yes. Email marketing continues to remain one of the only means of marketing that is trackable, budget-friendly, and allows you to assess and classify your leads.
With email marketing, there are a few variables to consider:
Think about your work as a campaign, not as individual pictures that you recently shot; make it cohesive and flow well.
Try a modular layout; this will give your images more room to exist, allowing the viewer to see your imagery in the way that it was intended.
Either option works. Be sure that the design of your email speaks to your physical and emotional brand and does not overwhelm your viewer.
Use this as an opportunity to show your cohesive vision and variety of work that you are capable of producing to your target audience.
We recommend sending six times per year; this allows you to touch your target audience every other month.
We suggest using a subject line tester to make sure that you keep all emails out of spam.
Optimize your call-to-action by making it visually distinctive and prominent
If adding text to your email, keep it light, and engaging.
You have a powerful marketing tool in the shape of email marketing; don’t let it fall to the wayside because you think email marketing is dead. All you need to do to be successful with it is reshape your strategy and pay attention to the elements we have pointed out. You’ll be on your way to better conversion rates and more engagement via email marketing in no time.
For commercial artists, it’s your job to be in the right place at the right time in order to execute superior creative work. In order to do this effectively, you must have a deep understanding of your niche market.
Ask yourself these questions:
Once you are able to answer these questions, you should have a better idea of what market you should be targeting. Next, study the latest work being produced and figure out which brands are a good fit for your work.
Once you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your chosen market, you need to make a marketing list of the people in charge of hiring for this type of work. There are many ways to find these names:
Look for titles like Creative Director, Art Producer, or Art Buyer; try to get their email address, as well as their physical mailing address. Being able to follow up with a postcard promo or personal note after sending an email is always a bonus.
Now that your lists are prepped, send those targeted promos! At the end of the day, all clients/brands have needs. Study them and be ready to be there at the right time. So, get out there, define your market and reach out to those folks who need to know about you!
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