Personal branding has never been more important for independent creatives and niche small businesses. You know that you need to have an on-line presence but the virtual marketplace is a busy one, so how do you avoid being crowded out? How do you communicate your originality before someone else claims it as their own? How do you take some control over the way people perceive your work, product or service, on-line and off? The answer is that you need to address your personal or micro-brand and communicate your professional or business philosophy. I know! This sounds awfully egotistical but it isn’t really. It’s communicating about yourself in words and pictures. It’s giving people an insight into what you do, how well you do it and why your creativity, innovation and inspiration is worth buying into. It’s not the whole you. It’s part of you – the bit that you stick above the business parapet.
Press pause for a minute and reflect on how you make your own purchasing decisions. Other people are going through that very same process when they are assessing whether your art, product, process or service will meet their need. At its heart, your personal or micro-business brand is a ‘show and tell’ of how you solve a problem other people may have and how you can make their life or business better. What is your marketplace profile? Do you have one? Is it consistent? Does it work?
Why is Piction Media suddenly flinging itself into this ball pool? It isn’t. We’ve been helping people promote themselves for a long time. Over the years, friends and clients who were keen to promote their creative ventures kept asking for our help to get their personal and business profile out there. Of course the big branding agencies were out of their financial reach but they knew we already worked in branding, supporting the leading agencies with their global brand campaigns.
Our micro-branding service has grown by word-of-mouth because we create visual and verbal identities with artistic and philosophical integrity. All too often, we’ve picked up the pieces when people have come to us with very un-bespoke, bog standard template web sites – impossible to manage themselves and aesthetically not in keeping with their identity as a professional creative. We’ve helped creatives write about themselves for their on-line presence, which is a difficult hurdle for anyone. We’ve rescued them from truly awful logos and supported people to leap the writing-hurdle of press releases and biographies for galleries and exhibitions. Recently someone whispered: “Is this side or your work a secret on purpose?” It isn’t. It’s just that what originally started as favours has taken on a life of its own as the the need for people to manage their online identity has grown. It’s part of what we do everyday now and so we’re giving it a name. So, prick up your ears chaps and chapesses because it’s official – Creative Profile is a branding service for creative individuals and small businesses. It’s very bespoke, very friendly and very ‘right now’. But you know that already or you wouldn’t be reading this. I’ll leave you with the following questions to mull over your tea-break:
Who are you? What do you do?
Who is your audience?
What do they know about you?
Ali Kay, 2010