Saturday, July 21, 2012

4 Valuable Truths for Creating Brand | Kathleen Shannon

> > > I just about peed my pants when Kathleen agreed to write on this week's topic of The Bad and Beautiful of Creativity. She is one of the most creative bloggers I've stayed updated with and her knack for creating new and fresh content and products has me mesmerized. Today she shares some super valuable truths on how to brand yourself and your creativity. Enjoy ~JM

Thanks, Julianna for having me over to contribute to your The Bad and The Beautiful of Creativity series. 

In my field I work with a lot of creative entrepreneurs who struggle with bringing their own personality into their professional brand, or on the flip side making their career personal. But when it comes to making a living being a creative, it can be really beneficial to blend the professional with the personal. A lot of artistpreneurs think this will make them unprofessional or not taken as seriously by their clients but here’s the deal: everyone wants to work with a real person. Genuine connections with your customer will earn you some serious trust - which in turn produces really great work and raving fans. 

So here are a few tips for marrying your personal brand with your professional brand: 

• If you’re a solo entrepreneur brand yourself with your own name. Here are a couple reasons for this. 1) Your name is classic. If you’re going to invest time, money and sweat equity into your brand it might as well last a lifetime. 2) Your interests may change but you won’t. If there is one thing I know about creative entrepreneurs it’s that they’re not at a lack of ideas. Today you may be a jewelry designer but tomorrow you may be passionate about eco-styling. If you’re branded under your own name you don’t have to create a whole new brand for each business venture you develop. 

• Pick the social media platform that is right for you. If you hate writing then maybe a traditional blog isn’t for you. Instead, you might like the constraints of 140 characters of Twitter. Or if you love taking pictures try Instagram. If you’re a tastemaker with a passion for curation Pinterest is right up your alley. The main thing is to pick a social media platform that you genuinely love then you’ll be more likely to engage in it. In return, you’ll quickly build a community of likeminded artistpreneurs and raving fans. 

• Write the way you speak. I’m not saying to drop the eff bomb every other sentence (though, if you can rock it - go for it!) but don’t get caught up on trying to sound like something you aren’t (whether that’s super professional or saccharine sweet). For example, I have a friend who is sarcastic and hilarious in real life but comes across sounding like a stepford blogger robot in her posts by using words like “lovelies” and “adore” - she never uses those words in real life! And on that note - if you’re just one person don’t use “we” to sound like a bigger company than you are. 

• You don’t have to be everything to everyone. This is probably the scariest but if you are your authentic self you will automatically attract more dream customers who don’t mind that you use the eff word in client meetings or decide to one day to style your hair in dreadlocks. Stop worrying about alienating the kind of clients you wouldn’t want to work with anyway.

>Talk to her on Twitter @braidcreative

Kathleen Shannon is an art director turned free-spirited champion for the small creative entrepreneur through her business Braid Creative & Consulting. Her don’t-just-dream-it-do-it style pervades everything from her clothes, to her home, to her food. She'll follow a whim from painting larger-than-life stripes in her living room hallway, to urban-cowgirl-outfitting her personal style for a summer, to trekking the foothills of Mount Everest – just to have a good story to tell. She blogs at and

**This post is part of July's Blog Series, The Bad and Beautiful of Creativity. Missed one? Catch up here.
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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