Building Your Business Brand: Help For Creative People by Betsy Lewis
If you are a creative person, you are probably a Jack- or Jill-of–all-trades, and master of many. For artists and entrepreneurs, the world is full of shiny new things. We are curious, multifaceted, changeable and full of future potential. We tend to jump right in and lead with our hearts. And this is a beautiful thing. Unless like me, you need a better business brand.
Wondering what a brand is?
It is not just your logo, your business name, or the colors you use:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” --Seth Godin
For creative people, the operative word is “set." To build a solid business brand, we must tease out a unique and particular “set” of expectations--memories, stories and relationships--from all that we are and do. We must create a true (not phony) story about ourselves, make it the Reader’s Digest condensed version, and stick with it. Our story must be powerful enough to compel a consumer to choose us over another, and it must be crystal clear.
Our potential consumers have rich, complicated, and busy lives. They aren’t our best friends or closest family. They don't have the time or inclination to know all of who we are. Most importantly, we can't expect them to sort out the puzzle of what we can do for them--the items or services for which they would be willing to pay us.
I know and teach this, but it is a case of “do what I say, not what I do.” I love creating art and am eager to try all mediums. I have a passion for art marketing, writing, art therapy, psychology, and creating magnificent art events. I love consulting one-on-one with artists, business people, and I'm branching into non-profits. I am fascinated by technology, new ideas, start ups, and social media marketing. I have a couple degrees and a couple of almost degrees. I am a mom and a grandmother. I love music, big cities, travel, hiking--and the list goes on and on. (See how boring and confusing this is!)
The world is just too exciting for me. I want to do it all. When someone asks me what I do, however, I have a hard time coming up with a single succinct statement--better known as an elevator speech. And that’s not good for business. (An elevator speech is a 15-30 second presentation of who you are, what you do, and why someone should use your product or service--all in the time you would typically have with a person during an elevator ride.)
Last year I created a Building your Brand Worksheet and tested it with the social media marketing groups I facilitate. It’s one simple page with easy questions and it is surprisingly accurate at helping people zero in on what story they want to tell business-wise. It can also give you some clarity about what you want to leave out of your brand story.
Use this worksheet individually or in a group. Completing this worksheet with a group is especially useful because others can validate (or challenge) your results. With a group you can brainstorm logos, bodies of work, website specifics, mission statements, blog titles etc., and all based on your results from the worksheet. (I suggest not reading the bottom line until you have filled in all the questions.)
It's a start! Give it a try and let me know what you come up with.
Betsy Lewisis an Artist and Social Media Marketing Consultant who especially likes working with creative people. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs, writers and artists of all kinds become a force to be reckoned with in cyberspace. You can find her at Betsy Lewis Consulting and follow her blog at How to Build an Art Career in One Year.