About Branding, Message and Voice

~ What's this all about and why is it so important? ~

BMV box shot
Everywhere I look these days it’s all about branding, personal brand, your artist brand

…and they’re not wrong – branding is probably the number one most overlooked aspect in art business that my clients overlook.

They want to jump right into marketing and promotion and shows and sales and making money (which is great and necessary… but…).

Branding isn’t something you want to throw on without thinking about it… and understanding what it means and how it will be received by your prospective audience.

An artist brand isn’t something that gets thought up by sitting around a table with a bunch of ad execs deciding what’ll get people to buy…

You are an artist.

Your brand is like a css style sheet for your website. Your brand creates the container, or framework for all your marketing and promotion efforts. It’s a template or shortcut to the very heart of why you do what you do.

Take your time to get your framing right, so that all your decisions and actions from that point are aligned with your goals and your business core.

Stephanie was generous enough to allow me to share our branding conversation with you in the BONUS case studies section. Thanks Steph!


“Oh, pffft – I’ve got this DOWN.”

You may have already nailed your branding if:

  • you fully understand what human emotional needs your art fulfills and
  • you can market and sell by understanding your audience and
  • you can immediately attract interest and attention because you can speak to their needs…

…then yes, you’ve got this – carry on.

You may have already nailed your branding if:

  • you know who your audience is and where they are and
  • understand what events and promotions will attract the most attention for your audience and
  • you know where and when to find them and
  • you know how to talk to your audience so that they will listen

…then yes, you’ve got this – carry on.

You may have already nailed your branding if:

  • you’ve created a cohesive, integrated brand and
  • made it consistent across all broadcast portals and in all visual merchandising materials and
  • have created an instantly recognizable tone in meaning, content and voice…

…then yes, you’ve got this – carry on, ‘cuz you’re clearly kicking it.

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LemonBarf<< This is an unfortunate branding choice. Barf means “snow” in Farsi. There’s a whole line of “Barf” brand soap products available in Iran.

So, what’s in the box?

This “box” has:
3 hours of MP3 audio
+ 66 page PDF
+ 27 page workbook
+ BONUS Case studies: #1 MP3 audio + #2 is a PDF download.

Branding, Message and Voice is helping you create a powerful, cohesive broadcast image and message, based upon your own unique self.

It’s all you. Your core, your genius.

Message, Meaning & Voice has been split into 6 parts:

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Search for Meaning
  • 2. We’re All Needy
  • 3. How You Spend Your Days
  • 4. Your Audience
  • 5. Visual Branding


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1. The Search for Meaning

This is where we figure out the why of what you’re creating. There are some powerful motivating factors inherent in even the most whimsical art endeavours.

Unfortunately, my experience has shown me that most artists don’t really know why they create the art that they do. They’re only vaguely aware of their own motivations.

Without understanding your own meaning, there’s little chance you’ll be able to create an artist brand powerful enough to connect to the number of people you need to create a successful and healthy art business.

2. We’re all Needy

Art isn’t a necessity.

Art isn’t a commodity.

Art isn’t about satisfying human physical needs.

However, art does fulfill foundation emotional and spiritual needs that are just as necessary as the food we eat.

Boiled down, there are only 5 basic human emotional needs.

In this section we connect you to how your why, passions and motivations to create art connect to the emotional and spiritual needs of your potential audience.

Knowing what needs your art fulfills is gold when it comes to writing promotions, headlines, looking for and engaging with your audience and even what colour choices are more likely to attract your potential perfect right people.

3. How You Spend Your Days

Set aside some time to decide early on what activities and sales methods you are and aren’t willing to include in your biz.

This is part of your branding.

All your show and sales venues, revenue streams, studio time, networking events and all the other possible art pathways collectively help to create the tone and message of your brand.

Deciding early on what fits with your passions and brand is what this chapter is all about.

4. The Audience

Do you know who your first customer is? How about your 2nd customer?

Do you know where to find them online? How about offline?

Do you know how much money they have or what kind of promotions, up-sells and cross-sells you can offer?

This chapter is all about that, and how to use your competition to build your own business. (Don’t worry it’s not sleazy or creepy – that’s not how I roll.)

5. Visual Branding

Here’s where it all comes together.

All the work that you’ve done to understand your biz and what you offer and why people are buying are wrapped up in your visual identity.

Online you have a thumbnail to make an impression and then a few moments to create interest and the right message to keep your perfect potential customer on your profile, website, blog or where ever it is that they find you online.

This section is about consistency and a unified branding strategy across all your broadcast channels. It’s about creating a trusted experience for your collectors all over the internet, and even *gasp* in the real world.

The Workbook

27 pages of lists, checklists, spreadsheets and questions to get you on your way to developing a kickass artist brand.

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 1.18.01 PM  Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 1.15.38 PM  Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 1.16.53 PM

For those of us that like to have something physical to hold, hi-light and write in the margins – you can print off the PDF and the Workbook.

26 pages of worksheets means there’s no guesswork for you.

It’s all there for you to build your unique art biz based on your special perspective, vision and creativity.

The PDF’s have been set to the lowest print setting so they don’t suck out every drop of ink from your printer cartridge.

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BONUS 2x Case Studies

The first case study is with Stephanie Graham, a photographer who had some great branding questions to ask me and was generous enough to allow me to share the recording with you.

This particular consult was pretty expressive of my process to get you in touch with the why of your art and how you can take it off the walls and give it legs so it can walk around for awhile.
(“Give it legs” is my term for repurposing your art and giving it more than one purpose and revenue stream. Earn more off your art.)

Steph was great to work with and I’m interested to see what and where she goes with it.

The second PDF is actually an amalgam of 2 clients that had similar branding issues, but very different art businesses.

I didn’t get word back in time for this class, so I went ahead and took their art biz questions and laid them onto a very different type of art business. The specifics will change, but a lot of the core questions and issues in business remain the same.

P.S. I love the emails you send out from you website – the best ones always come whenever I have a crappy art day. Thank you.

~ Becka K. Cartoonist, Kitchener, ON.


You’ve done so much work for me and my BIZ!
Yes, I can use the word now… and of course you are also a business woman, so I hope that our coaching converstation will give you more work.
And now I have to tell you that I just sent a letter to Finnish Mental Health society to offer some cooperation. And I have also asked could I began the basic studies in expressive arts therapy in Inartes Institute. The course would begin in a year.
 Thank you so very very much
~ Mirja N. Artist & Designer, Vesanto, Finland.


Lezley – what a gem of a coach, ass-kicker, artist, cheerleader you are!
Unicorns? Love ‘em!
I so adore you! Thanks for another fabulous dose of inspiration!

~Frances F. Artist & Delight Detective, Port Townsend, WA

My clients are the f*cking BEST.


A note about patience and organic growth.

Art is the long haul pathway.

In the creative industry it’s common to work for 8-10 years with very little money, before you start seeing real traction and significant growth in your audience and biz.

There’s no such thing as an overnight success… it’s 10 years + an overnight for most artists.

However, branding will help you expedite that process… to a degree.

Creating a unified, consistent brand is the best way to build:

  • loyal fans wanting exactly what you, and only you can do
  • repeat buyers – because you fulfill their needs >> and they’ll love you for it.
  • customers feeling connected to you – enough so that they tell you what they want to buy

You can build an abundant business with those results.

Understanding your “why” and how your art connects to “need” gives you a fast track template to build your art biz.

Your template helps you focus on those series, collections, revenue streams, venues and opportunities that are in line with your goals and the needs of your audience.

All the things valued at: $1174

Now forever free in the Library!

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Take a Listen and a Look:

Instant Download - Circle Badge RedIt’s nice to get a preview of what you’re getting so we decided to offer up the Introduction PDF as a free download.

The audio is a small 4 minute portion of the Introduction for you to get a sense of the production values of the recording and whether you can stand to listen to me talk with you for a few hours about your branding and message.

(Though, if you still want the information, but hate my voice – you could just stick to the PDF. lol)

The call was very helpful and gave me lots of information as well as things to think about. I’ve become more excited about combining interests into money/art making opportunities (like prop making objects from my own stories to sell).The call was also a nice mix of casual while still remaining on topic.
I get extra excited about things I can make as well as how I can get others excited about them, and sell them to them. The prop making items from my own comics idea prompted me to make a prototype item from my next comic book and I hope to soon start exploring mold making so I can reproduce such items to sell.
I would highly suggest them to try a conference call after giving some deep though to what they want to accomplish (and making sure they take advantage of it by having plenty of questions).
~ Francesca R. Artist, Cartoonist, Maker. VA, USA.


Now available forever free in the Library!
  • Get this class
  • + WTF is a JPEG
  • + 33 Days of Mailchimp
  • + 40 for 40 Promotional Ideas for Artists
  • + all the other stuff…
  • $590 per year


All the things valued at: $1174

Now forever free in the Library!

Join the Library