Back To Basics Series: How to Build a Brand as an Artist Vol. 2

 In Back To Basics Series, Blog

Back To Basics Series : How To Build a Brand as an Artist Vol. 2

How to Identify and Create a Brand Around Yourself

Welcome to the Back to Basics series. In this bi-weekly series we cover everything you need to do and understand as an artist (or even as a general business person) before you begin to really “push” or promote yourself / product. This Installment will cover

  • How to Identify your brand

I can’t say that I came up with this method myself. It was a lesson taught by Tom Bilyeu of Quest Nutrition. I came across this info on a very powerful podcast I listen to called “School of Greatness” I highly recommend listening to it and checking out more on Tom and Quest, a phenomenal entrepreneur and company.

So you are a curious artist and you consistently watch what the other people in your field are doing. You ask questions like; why did they release their music at this specific time? Why do they release the images they do? Have the conversations that they have online? Is there someone tracking each post, release, word, or advertising to see what works, what doesn’t, and how to get better results? Maybe you weren’t thinking any of these things, but you are now. Or maybe you read our last post and now your interest in building a brand around yourself has been sparked. I will tell you that no artist (or person in business) is making any large gains without, at the very least, taking the steps mentioned above. People making large gains are treating themselves as a brand and their art as a business, just as any person going into a business should.

By now you’re saying right, right, right, I get it.. I need a brand, but what is my brand? I’m just an artist.. well luckily for you, we are here to ask you all the right questions.

When someone is going into business this is usually what happens.

  1. A person says “Oh I really like making cupcakes, it is my calling and my passion. I’m going to start a bakery”
  2. They then rent a space and get everything they need in order to open the doors “Okay I got the bakery, now we’re going to need to spend money in marketing to get the word out”
  3. They then spend money in marketing hoping to get people in the door.
  4. The bakery owner than hopes that customers will feel the same love for their cupcakes as they do.

That is typically how a person starts a business, while in fact the situation should go completely the opposite. Yes, in complete reverse order. Below are the correct steps in which an artist (or business person) should take when starting a brand.

Build a brand as an independent artist - Dream Machine Recording Blog


  1. First the entrepreneur should start with the end result they want the customer to experience “what do I want people to feel when they eat my cupcakes?”

for example: 

  • I want people to feel happy to be enjoying a treat that is made with wholesome ingredients.
  • I want to create situations for people to gather and share my delicious and wholesome treats (much like Coke has created a brand around gathering and sharing something we all can find common ground on)

See the difference? Instead of the owner making a company designed specifically around something that he/she likes to do, the entrepreneur creates a company in which he/she intends to drive a certain feeling out of their customer. That is POWERFUL stuff. Now, instead of the company being solely themed around sales the company is now themed around “wholesomely delicious cupcakes that you can’t help but share.” That’s a mighty fine tag line, and it also has switched this cupcake maker from a bakery to a brand. The bakery is now more than a place that sells treats, it’s a place that cultivates memories, good times, love, and sharing. If you ask me those four words are much more powerful and relate-able to than “sales.” We have done so much already just from step one.


  1. Now, we do step (3) from the traditional way and ask “Who is the market that would be interested in our central theme.. wholesomely delicious cupcakes that you can’t help but share”

How about:

  1. Mothers; because kids like treats and children’s diet is at the top of any mothers priorities.
  2. People throwing parties
  3. People interested in health

Now we have to ask ourselves, where are these clients located? This will determine where our money for marketing will go. Note: This step requires research. Do not short yourself on this step. Remember, you are re-branding yourself, do not cut any corners. Where are moms? Where are people throwing parties? Where are people interested in health? Where do they shop, where do they hangout? What do they do in their free time? Spend time looking into the demographics of social media sites  to find out which one would be your best outlet. Look for websites with your right demographic that would benefit you to advertise on.. (health blogs, blogs for mothers or new parents) those are just a few things that come to mind. The link above links to a site that breaks down the demographics of the top social media sites.


  1. Now that we have figured out who our perfect client is, and where they are located we have to get creative. This is where the fun starts. We have to come up with a marketing strategy that communicates the experience we want our customers have when they use our product. What we don’t want to do is strictly communicate that a new bakery is open offering wholesomely delicious cupcakes. It seems a bit wrong right? Yes, we want people to know that a new bakery is open but how can we make that a stronger message? We communicate the experience our customer will have after eating our cupcakes! In this example that experience is either
    1. I want people to feel happy to be enjoying a treat that is made with wholesome ingredients. OR
    2. I want to create situations for people to gather and share my delicious and wholesome treats.

How do we communicate this? That is up to you. As long as the experience after consuming our product shines through than it is good marketing. Maybe we shoot a video of people at a gathering in which only ONE of our cupcakes is there. The people in attendance play a classic game of rock, paper, scissor, shoot to see who gets it. What do you know, an innocent little girl wins! Her face lights up as she goes to whisper in her mother’s ear. Next thing you know her mother is slicing the cupcake into 20 of the smallest pieces. So small they can hardly be held in each persons fingers.. but after placing that tiny bite in their mouths everyone reacts like it was the most flavorful mouthful of cupcake they have ever tasted.. “Wholesomely delicious cupcakes that you can’t help but share” flashes across the screen with the address and a Now Open! That is how you communicate your end experience.


  1. You as the new owner now have built your company around a feeling and an emotion, not just a product. You have figured out your target audience and devised targeted campaigns specifically towards that audience. You are now entering business with a brand that can transcend any of your products. People can attach themselves to your beliefs.

That’s it. It is a simple formula that most artists do not feel they need to spend the time to understand and implement. Now that you have these tools at your disposal spend some time figuring out what you want your brand to be and how to communicate your customers experience.

In our next post we will cover some more essential pieces of the puzzle that you need before you begin to push your brand and products. Good luck working towards your brand, please feel free to reach out in a comment below with any questions. We would love to help.

Until than // Dream Big // Nick

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search