6 Tips for Reshaping Your Creative Work into a Strong Brand
By Guest Author - 5 min read
The first step to securing your next job is your ability to build a strong brand that is relevant and easy to understand. In this guest feature, the team at Format tell us how to refine your self branding both online and offline.
Whether it be the visual cues or the practical next steps, Format’s got you covered. Keep reading to find out why putting time and effort into creating and maintaining a strong brand identify will lead to long-term success and a loyal following of clients.
Plus, Format is offering all EyeEm Creators 20% off. Use this link to find one that suits your visual style, and use the code EYEEM at the checkout to make your online portfolio your own.
Format’s Guide to Effective Creative Branding
1. Establish a Clear Foundation
Establishing a concise brand image makes your content more memorable, shareable, and in turn, more likely to be noticed.
Every brand, whether it be your phototgraphy company or personl branding, begins with three key components: a logo, visual language and brand personality. It’s these elements that allow potential clients and other creatives to understand your vision easily and quickly.
A logo is a visual flag for your brand. It’s meant to cue instant brand recognition and represent the creative vision your brand stands for.
By having a logo, you’re communicating the perspective you bring to the table. It’s important that your logo is relevant to your style so that clients feel they understand your approach even before they’ve seen the rest of your portfolio.
To make the biggest impact, ensure that all of your digital content, from your brand website to your social media feeds, draws attention to your logo. However, sometimes it can be hard to know how to make your logo stand out without taking over all of your visuals. Take a look at our collection of portfolio themes for inspiration. Each one has been designed by our team to easily integrate your logo into the flow of your personal portfolio.
The visual language includes the fonts, color palette, iconography, image style, and other visual cues associated with your brand. For example, part of Starbucks’ visual language is the presence of lots of white space in the design of all of their associated products, such as tumblers or in-store menus.
Having a consistent visual language will help your audience recognize your brand and remember it. When used well, your visual language can act like a subconscious reminder in the consumer’s mind.
Your brand personality goes beyond your logo and visual language. It’s more about how your audience perceives you with the bigger picture in mind. So, how do you come across to your audience?
To effectively build a successful brand personality you must first ask yourself, how do you want to be perceived as a brand? Do you want to be seen as spontaneous and high energy, or more minimal and deliberate?Are you a dreamer or a maker?
Your brand personality should be as unique as you. It should represent your creative visions and your maturity as a brand. However, it is critical that it is consistent throughout. The key to making your brand more trustworthy, reliable, and more successful is your ability to be consistent with your brand personality.
2. Streamline Your Visual Language
Bringing together all of your visual elements is an important skill, and one that will develop as your brand grows over time. In order to have a cohesive brand, the imagery associated with it needs to work well together.
Think about your visual language on your EyeEm Profile. Are your images cohesive in terms of colors, tone or style? Whether you’re a photographer or a creative, it’s important that any images you share appear unified in terms of look and feel.
You need to take all of the visual elements of your brand, whether it be your choice of images, video content, graphics, logo, color palette or fonts and ensure they complement one another. By doing so you are able to bring a cohesive narrative across all of your brand’s digital platforms without having to think about every single thing you build, post or share.
3) Know Your Target Audience
Before adding content to your website, portfolio or social media platforms, it’s a good idea to first consider your audience. This tip seems obvious but it can easily be pushed aside once your brand starts to grow and the projects start coming in.
Building a strong brand takes time and an eye for detail. One of those details is your relationship with your audience. Does your brand consistently deliver content that’s relevant to the needs of your audience?
The other thing to ask yourself is who are you looking to reach with your online presence? What are their wants and how does the content you post meet them? By trying to appeal to ‘everyone,’ you run the risk of not getting anyone’s attention. So be intentional about the relationship you want to nourish with your audience both as it is, and who you would like it to be.
4) Make Sure Your Content is Relevant to Your Sharing Platform
How would you describe your personal social media habits? Do you go to different platforms for different things? The same thought process should apply to how you decide the type of content you post where.
Each digital platform should play a different role for your self-branding. Here is one way you could separate your digital assets to build a stronger visual language and brand personality.
Separate Your Personal and Professional Profiles
Using your personal social media accounts as a platform for your art makes sense on paper. After all, being an artist is part of who you are. But, taking the time to separate your personal and professional social media profiles signals to clients that you take your work seriously and protects you from late-night messages from the client asking for ‘one more edit.’
Top Tip: Even when your content may differ depending on the platform, it’s important to keep core elements of your brand consistent. For example, logo, color palette and profile pictures should remain the same across all platforms. This will make your audience feel more familiar with your work and be able to navigate through your brand’s channels of communication confidently.
5. Be Consistent With Sharing Quality Content
The frequency of your shared content makes a difference in how potential clients perceive you. Try to find your own balance between posting so little that your potential clients forget you exist, and so much that they unfollow you.
Of course, it’s not all about frequency – what you share has to be relevant to your audience as well. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on what went well and be intentional about what you choose to post in the future.
There are a number of social media management platforms that are built to help you identify optimal posting times and gather information about post engagements. If you are just starting out, you can also keep track manually of your performance, but this will start to get impossible when your following grows so it’s important to think about what you’ll need in the long run.
6) Ensure Your Online Brand Experience Matches The Real You
An important thing to remember is that clients expect continuity between the way they perceive you online and their experiences working with you on projects in real life. As a result, it’s essential to prioritize authenticity when refining your online brand.
Anyone can have an online brand. To the client, what makes you stand out among the competition is the level of polish and consistent brand experience across platforms. Everything you post, share and communicate - whether visual or verbal - is about providing clear opportunities for potential clients and other creatives to form a connection with you.
Building a brand from the foundation right through to the offline experience is a complex skill, but if done with intention and big-picture thinking will take your creative work to new places.
When refining your online brand, it’s essential to think about every channel in which your brand communicates to your audience - what it sounds like, what it looks like and how it meets the needs of your dream audience. Once defined you are able to carry your vision with confidence.
Take a look here to discover the right template for you and your visual style. Plus get 20% off with the code EYEEM.