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There is a Message (and Sunshine) Out There!

I find that I am not very inspired to take pictures (or do much of anything) when the weather is grey and damp. Thank goodness I could escape for a short while to the #Palm Springs Photo Festival last month. This was my first trip to the festival, and proved to be a great opportunity to recharge those creative batteries, and refocus on the business and marketing side of things. (Did I mention there was also lots of sunshine out there?)

When I wasn’t enjoying the sun, I learned a few things in Palm Springs, and met some great people. The most important message I’m bringing back and delivering to you is this — marketing is hard, but necessary. Even for artists! Although my professional background is in marketing, I don’t do well marketing my own work. This is one of the hardest things for most of us. And it just might be the magic that separates successful artists from the millions who toil in obscurity.

My advice is to learn everything you can about marketing, and apply it to your work and your life.

Here’s just one quick lesson on “branding.” It’s a buzz-word that’s been around a long time, and it really just means creating an identity that encompasses everything from the colors a company uses, its logo, dress style of its employees, and lots, lots more. It’s about consciously presenting an image that helps people remember you in a positive way, and makes a positive association to whatever it is you have to sell. And yes, artists do have something to sell!

I took the adjoining picture on Palm Canyon Drive. And while the gentleman with the flag may have a powerful message to communicate, his lack of branding hurts the delivery of his message. First of all, dressing as a tourist may make him appear less threatening, but makes it hard to take him seriously. Let’s focus on his sign: The slogan is not bad “Help Save American’t.” Catchy! But the hand-written font is hard to read, the choice of color is weak, and taping his banner to an old Ron Paul campaign sign undermines its importance.  I considered giving him some advice, but it turns out the guy was a little crazy and just wanted to ramble on about the state of the country. For him, ignorance of branding is bliss, and I’m not sure I want to help him to more effectively deliver his message.

You’re different. Think about the way you present your work. From the style of display you use, to the style you wear, your business card, website, etc, etc. Everything about you makes an impression on how people remember you and your work. We can all do better. And being aware of that is the first step to improving.

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2 thoughts on “There is a Message (and Sunshine) Out There!

  1. jeff2194

    Scotto
    There is truth in your words. I would rather take a sharp stick in my eye than try to market myself. This is something that I struggle with and can’t seem to figure out the solution. You, at least, have creative juices and good writing skills. I like your website and blog. By the way, I can’t figure out what the slogan “Help save American’t” means. What is an American’t?

    Reply

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