By: Linda Whitehead
In this inaugural edition of ADBASE Insight, we would like to get you thinking about the idea of branding your business. We will provide more detailed, practical suggestions on how to do this in a later article. Let’s begin by exploring the definition of ‘brand.’
Your brand is the net result of every interaction, experience and perception your customers and prospects have when dealing with you and your service. You are responsible for shaping these perceptions, otherwise your brand will still exist as seen by your clients and prospects, but it won’t be the brand you intend it to be.
Your reputation is key
The most important component of your brand is your reputation in the marketplace. Many marketing experts believe your reputation is in fact your brand. Your reputation is what you mean to the marketing and art buyer community, and the unique way that you deliver on meeting their needs. Your reputation is a key asset in establishing the value of your creative services. Also essential to your reputation as an artist is having a focused style that expresses your creative vision. Developing a brand that supports your style will contribute to your reputation, which in turn strengthens your brand.
Creating a strong brand will help you:
The time to start is now
Remember that there are approximately 15,000 commercial photographers and a similar number of commercial illustrators in North America. A positive brand perception will increase your value in the eyes of your marketplace, enabling you to charge more for your services and be less affected by price competition, even in tough economic times.
A brand encompasses a holistic and consistent approach to every single customer touch point. It is not just your logo or your website design or your portfolio presentation and content – these help convey your brand but do not define it in isolation. If you want to increase your income and differentiate yourself from your competitors through branding, you should consider taking the following steps:
Meet your clients’ specific needs
For example, ADBASE recently conducted research with art buyers and discovered some dissatisfaction with artist’s email marketing approaches. The overwhelming quantities of unsolicited emails from artists who do not focus on a style, or even type, of photography used by an agency’s client list was an often mentioned complaint of art directors, art buyers and photo editors from all sized agencies.
Having this type of understanding of your prospect’s desires enables you to think about how you will present your brand and conduct your marketing efforts. Proper targeting demonstrates that you understand your market – that perception in the minds of your prospects will strengthen your brand.
Study your competition
Identify all of your customer touch points
Articulate your brand vision
Leverage the power of ADBASE
The first and most important step in building your brand is making contact with potential clients. ADBASE allows you to contact creative buyers who are specifically interested in your particular style or specialty, so you can create highly targeted campaigns, generate more qualified leads, and build your personal brand.
Republished with permission of ADBASE Inc. www.adbase.com