Today we have Patrick Sesko – a graphic designer with 25+ years of experience – who will share his top 3 insights on how to build your artist brand.

Patrick works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to define their brand and connect with their audience. And earlier last year he helped me with my artist brand as well, which made a huge difference in how my clients experience my work and the how much I get paid.

Please enjoy the full interview here:

Who is Patrick Sesko

Patrick Sesko is a graphic designer and a brand strategist with 25+ years of corporate experience. He worked with large companies, such as Discovery Channel, but what he realized is that he wasn’t very fulfilled. That’s why he decided to make a shift to working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. And artists!

He realized how much difference he was making, when he worked directly with the individual.

(Good for us, hey!)

Why is branding important for artists?

Patrick’s answer:

If you are in business and you offer products for sale, whether you are the size of Coca Cola or a solopreneur, you need branding.

What makes branding so important for small businesses is the level of trust and credibility you are able to build with your audience.

Branding is not just the visuals (color, logo, fonts). It’s also strategic.

Branding represents the values you demonstrate in your business and how you show up for your clients.

Your audience is more likely to spend money on your services if your brand looks professional. Beyond your brand’s colors and logos, this includes your VALUES as a business owner, your MESSAGE, and your VOICE.

Don’t over-complicate it. You can just have your name typed out as a font, black on white, and that can be your logo (for now). The key is to use it consistently.

What are the common mistakes artists make in branding?

Patrick’s answer:

If you are sick of seeing your brand, you are doing it right.

1. Your logo

When learning how to build your artist brand, the most common mistake is putting too much importance on a logo. Instead, it’s more bang for your time if you focus on creating content for your audience that reflects the value and message of your brand.

Connect with your people in this way!

2. Brand consistency

The second mistake is being inconsistent with your brand.

A person needs to be exposed to your brand 5-7 times (!!!) before they remember your brand!

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Avoid copying

The third mistake in learning how to build your artist brand is copying off of a competitor. Copying styles because it’s trendy is not okay. It creates brand confusion and doesn’t give your brand any individuality.

It’s okay to want to model someone and to be inspired by other brands. But build your brand to represent YOUR values and mission.

What advice would you give a complete beginner on how to build your artist brand?

Patrick’s answer:

Here are a few tips, based on years of experience working with businesses of all sizes and across different industries:

  • When you are just starting, it’s important to begin by building your audience first. Because that’s how you find your voice and connect with your people.
  • Gain as much art business experience as possible, even if in the beginning you are only doing small jobs (some can even be free). Take on a small commission, list something for sale.
  • Be true to your voice and your values. Be you.
  • Building a brand is a “long game” so build slowly and intentionally.

“Brand on the run” game

Here is a quick and fun game to understand the power of branding.

Answer these questions rapidly, without thinking too much:

  • What brand comes to mind when you think of blue?
  • What singer or musician comes to mind when I say the word diva?
  • Recite or sing the first slogan or jingle that comes to mind? Which brand does it represent?
  • What color is Coke?
  • What brand do you think of when I say, ‘I’m loving it?’

I bet you said “red” and “McDonald’s” at least once. ­čÖé

We can understand what a brand is by noticing the images and slogans around us.

So when it comes to building YOUR brand, you want to stand out and differentiate yourself.

Brand strategy enables you to understand your values, message, and brand look, so you can apply those clearly and consistently to the art you create.

Start building your artist brand with Patrick Sesko

You can find out more about Patrick Sesko at patricksesko.com and his agency at sesko.com

Also, grab his free Essential Brand Roadmap guide. It’s the perfect starter kit for someone who is a beginner and wants to build their brand.

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And if you are ready to start making money with your art, I have a perfect video for you on 3 ways to sell your art online.

Lots of love,
Tatyana