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Take 20 minutes to define your brand with this free guide

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Take 20 minutes to define your brand with this free guide

We created a guide to help you define your unique story, or personal brand. It starts with putting your artwork into words and thinking about why you are unique. Plus, it’s free and should take you less than 30 minutes.

Sign up below to get it emailed straight to you.

As an artist or creative entrepreneur who deals with making work that is close to your heart, incredibly intuitive and part of how you simply are as a human being, it can feel impossible to translate your work into words and marketing efforts that mean something real, that make an impact on the people that matter, and that feel right to you.

As a small business owner—artists and creative entrepreneurs, that’s you—you may be unsure of your personal brand. You may be thinking, “Do I even need one? ‘Brand’ sounds like a word that only corporate companies use.” 

But you do have a serious business: your work. And you do indeed have a personal brand, it already exists within you. It's way easier than you think; it starts with putting your visuals into words and thinking about why you are unique.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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Be specific: honing your unique story

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Be specific: honing your unique story

As you navigate the art world, remember that you have a unique story to share about your practice. This story is a condensed verbal delivery of your personal brand.

HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR TELLING YOUR UNIQUE STORY:

1. CARVE OUT THE TIME TO GET IT RIGHT

You need to set aside time for yourself to craft your unique story. Take a look at your schedule and determine when you most like to write and feel self-reflective. Over morning coffee? At night after a day’s work? On the weekend?

Make it count! Schedule a few hours in your calendar and show up. This is a very important meeting you have with yourself.

2. REFLECT ON WHY YOU ARE AWESOME

It doesn’t matter if you hate writing, despise thinking about yourself, loathe self-promotion, and would rather crawl in a hole. Now is the time to pat yourself on the back a bit, reflect on all of the amazing things you have been doing and think about why you are so awesome.

Let’s get started. Answer the questions below honestly and with as many descriptive words as possible in a free-form style. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or coherent thoughts, just write and avoid jargon. Be yourself. No one is reading this except for you.

  • What do you do? What does your work look like? (If you make visual art, get down into the nitty-gritty and describe one of your most successful projects or pieces in great detail. If you offer services, write out the exact steps you take on a project from beginning to end with an ideal client.)
  • How do you do it? (List the cold, hard facts about how you do what you do. Take nothing for granted. For the makers: how much time does it take, what kind of materials do you use, what does it look like in space? And if you offer services: how much time does it take, what is your approach and attitude, where do you do it? What are the results that people get from you?)
  • How did you arrive at this kind of work? (What is your applicable personal and professional history that has led you down this unique path? What inspired you to start doing this? Go back in time and think about the days before freelancing, or that amazing project that launched you.)
  • Who are you as a creative professional and how do you want to be defined? (As a creative, you might wear many hats, but only state the thing that you want to be known for by your ideal audience.)

OK, you’re done! Save your writing and get ready to move on with your day.

But first, schedule a time tomorrow to review this. It should only take about 30-45 minutes. Do it. Show up. Don’t wait until next week!

3. WHAT NICE THINGS HAVE OTHER PEOPLE SAID ABOUT YOU?

So you currently have a giant document full of information about your work that applies only to you. These notes provide the actual words that reflect your very own personal and professional history that drive your creativity and passion for what you create.

Next, you need to remember the nice and amazing things that your audience (friends, fans, clients) has said about you and your work.

Write from memory, and if you have some great testimonials kicking around then copy them into this doc.

4. SHOW WHY YOU CARE

You’re more than just your work.

Your career path and personality make you unique, so just describing yourself as a “designer” won’t help you get new clients. Tell us exactly what you design, why, what it means to you, and how you got there. Give your audience something to care about and remember.

With that frame in mind, review your notes and take the first stab at writing your unique story as if you were telling the story to someone who loves what you do. Don’t bore them, engage them.

Set your timer for one hour.

First, clearly state what you do. Tell us why you are unique and how and why you do what you do. Next, reflect on any interesting tidbits of your professional path or applicable personal details that make you stand out from others in your field. And finally, what are the amazing results that clients get from working with you?

Sleep on this first draft, take a day or two, and better yet, engage the help of a friend and schedule in your next meeting to whittle this beast down to a manageable statement that you can use on your website and other marketing materials. It will also translate beautifully to how you talk about what you do.

You’re close. We know you can see the light.

5. KEEP REFINING

The goal for the next sixty minutes is to finish editing your draft down into a manageable professional story that is engaging, genuine, and all you. The goal is to have one to two concise and powerful paragraphs that are malleable enough to share on your website, use in your marketing efforts and feel proud of.

Spoiler alert: this step really isn’t the last, since your unique story will be ever-evolving and changing as you do. Roll with it and come back to these questions often when you feel a shift in your work or when you know that you have something wonderful to add.

And if you want even more help, and a nifty guide and workbook to help you hone your story even further, download our free DELVE 3 Step Brand Guide!

How do you tell your story? Let us know!

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Your new best friend: the editorial calendar

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Your new best friend: the editorial calendar

The editorial calendar is your vehicle for staying organized, maximizing your time and maintaining a clear communication plan.

As an artist you are a small business owner. You are responsible for making the work, the business side and the marketing side. We understand that it is really overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be.

Our philosophy: once you develop your unique story verbally and in writing, create beautiful documentation of your work, the rest of the marketing stuff falls into place with good design and a clear plan, and some minimal maintenance along the way.

I have heard content management/managers before. What is it? What do they do?

A content manager is you, or someone who will make sure that your work is updated on your website, documented and shared in a consistent, clear and compelling way online to achieve results.

What exactly is an editorial calendar?

It's simply an organized personal calendar that outlines your content for sharing online in different formats. This can be everything from establishing monthly content themes, determining what products/services you are sharing over the course of a year or month, updating your website or blog, sharing events, and planning all of the online content (social media, newsletters, press) that you will share to tell your ideal audience your unique story, so that they will know you, love you and buy what you do. The editorial calendar is your vehicle for staying organized, maximizing your time and maintaining a clear marketing plan.

The key is that you need to figure out the big goals first before you can get your editorial content active and working for you. Let's review the big stuff that you need to consider before you develop your editorial calendar:

1) Do I have a firm grasp on my unique story verbally and in writing? Can I write and speak clearly about what I do that feels natural and is memorable? This is fundamentally the most important part of telling the world about what you do. It's also one of the hardest things to do.

2) Am I aware of my ideal audience? Your audience should never be "everyone." It's important to define who they are. Once you narrow this down you will know who you are creating content for and it will be much easier to speak to them directly about what you do specifically. Your ideal audience might only be 50 people to start. That is ok.

3) What are my goals? Why am I sharing my work? Are you looking to get people to hire you, create awareness around your practice, or sell a specific product? Before you start dreaming up amazing content to share, you should be aware of what you want it to accomplish. Of course, you don't want to sound salesy or pushy, no real people do. But you won't achieve your goals without sharing your work in an effective, clear way. Operate under the premise that there is no one waiting to discover you in hiding.

No matter what your end goals are, we believe that online content management can develop two very important things around an artistic or creative practice:

  • It creates a community around your work. By engaging on social media, sending newsletters, writing guest articles, or simply sharing your work, you are creating conversations, building an audience and rallying support. People care!
  • It is the opportunity to create a personal online archive of your work, interests, passions and life as a professional. When you look back through a Twitter feed or Instagram account, for instance, you can see exactly what you have shared that builds a story about who you are and what influences your work. Your ideal audience will be very interested in this.

That is the big picture assessment of why it's extremely important to have a firm footing in your goals and unique story before launching into the development of your editorial calendar.

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Inspiration for 2017: Branding, professsional, and tax resources

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Inspiration for 2017: Branding, professsional, and tax resources

Do you have any of this in mind for 2017?

  • Set some huge professional goals and achieve them.
  • Connect with an audience that likes and supports my work.
  • Feel confident about how I talk about and share my work online.
  • Be inspired to take action on projects that truly matter.
  • Professionalize my practice in terms of money and marketing.

If you thought "yes!", to one or any of the above, then check out these amazing free resources that we've developed for you over the past few months. They will help you refocus after the holidays and make 2017 your best year yet!


THE KIND AESTHETIC 2 WEEK BRANDING CHALLENGE is a motivating way to help you create a solid foundation for your personal brand, which will make marketing your work easy. Sign up here. (It's an ongoing challenge so you can start at any time.)

We're visual artists and creative entrepreneurs, too. Sharing your work in a way that feels good can be overwhelming. You'll receive one email with a 5-15 minute challenge every day for the next 2 weeks.


Get our free 30-minute branding guide, specifically for artists and creative entrepreneurs here.

Take charge of how to clearly and genuinely articulate what you do and connect with the right audience. Plus, find more time to actually do what you love: make your work!

As a small business owner—artists and creative entrepreneurs, that’s you—you may be unsure of your personal brand. You may be thinking, “Do I even need one?" The answer is YES! And it already exists within you.


We are compiling an ongoing list of resources and inspiration called the DELVE Action Guide for Artists & Creatives. We need you to add to it. Tell us what you and your friends are doing to make the world better, more informed, educated, and kinder. What are you doing to take action? Comment on the page or email us.


Artists and creative business owners: have you been struggling with understanding how to file your taxes?

We have teamed up with tax expert/working artist Hannah Cole of Sunlight Tax to demystify your tax responsibilities as an artist, conquer your tax anxiety, and shed light on many common questions about your career. The course is full of helpful videos, downloads and worksheets to walk you through all of those complicated questions you have about running your art practice as a business.

Enroll in The Ultimate, Honest Guide to Understanding Artist Taxes today.


And don't forget to always check out when we might be hosting a live DELVE workshop near you, or ask us if we will host one for your group! And explore our blog for some great advice and guidance.

For 2017 we are working hard to bring you some online classes that are affordable and extremely useful and productive. But the biggest goal we have is to continue to build connections and our community of artists and creatives to make positive change, educate each other, and have meaningful conversations to take action on projects and causes that matter. Stay tuned!!

© 2016 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

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