Artist Branding 101: 4 ways artists can build their online brands

Artist Branding 101: 4 ways artists can build their online brands

In this generation you have this reach that no other artist in history has ever had! You aren’t just some dude on the corner handing out his mixtape. You’re brand and an artist with access.

When building your personal brand you would utilize the marketing techniques that businesses use and apply them to yourself. Marketers are tasked with trying to be as genuine as possible to convince people to buy a product. You have the advantage of actually being a person with desires and passions that drive you. You want to make connections with people through your work. With the proper online presence you can do just that.

Here are a few basic branding tips for a few social media platforms:

The key is to stay consistent because building an audience takes time and effort.

I learned this method from this marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. Basically, don’t create artwork just for the sake of your next post. Create for you, hustle for your art goals, and your art gigs. For branding, only concern yourself with documenting your art life. You frame your story and your stories will build your online presence. The key is to stay consistent because building an audience takes time and effort.


By knowing how each platform works and what they are designed for you’ll know how best showcase your artwork. For now we’ll stick with social media platforms.


Designed for: Socializing Through Visuals.

Aside from Tumblr, this is the best way for visual artists to showcase work, connect with people, and be a gateway to your other accounts. Instagram is also good for musicians if they utilize the video component for their tracks. The key is to think of it as curating an art gallery of your own work via images, video, boomerang, photos. Get creative with how you want people to see your work.

Above all, it’s good for #selfies


Designed for: Sharing Moments???

Snapchat is a mysterious beast, but that’s what makes it so fun! If you don’t fancy Instagram Stories then Snapchat is more than enough for your brand. It’s easy, whimsical, and forces you to be yourself, to be authentic. Snap stories are no fun and are less engaging if you’re fake. People want to have real connections with the artist and their work. Above all, you can control what people see of you. Again, if your Snapchat is too private then I suggest uploading your choice Snapchat moments to your Instagram stories.


Designed for: Socializing to the Max

The reason why Twitter is still relevant because it can be the most intimate platform to work on. You can effortlessly talk directly to anyone and it can give a robust view as to who you are.

Comic artists share their recent sketches and connect with other comic artists. DJ’s share their mixes with links to their Soundclouds. Every of artist of any medium can utilize Twitter.

It’s a space that can help enrich artists and communities.


Designed for: Socializing Through Blogging

Tumblr is so large that it’s various communities can make a new comer feel a bit insulated. In my opinion it works well as a living portfolio. It benefits mainly visual artists, but can be friendly to other mediums.


This storytelling platform has been optimized so that anyone from any walk of life can share their experiences. The software gurus made it easy to show you how long it would take you to read each article. On Medium the most honest and intimate stories tend to do fairly well. There is mostly non-fiction here, but a fiction story has been trending on the site and it’s making people rethink the community. (I’m all for a fiction community, tbh)

Know your intent for posting. Do you want Marvel to pick you up and sign you a deal to do covers? Do you want more DJ-ing gigs? Do you want to just build a following and have a place to house your art? Amidst your cute selfies and photos, post your work with purpose. Curate your space and have a focus. Look into your industry and build your portfolio based on that. If you don’t know your purpose then this is the perfect time to search for one.

You need art friends. Even if they work in different mediums, you need people who you can support and be supported by. This isn’t mere networking, it’s building a relationships. Collaborate with them. Retweet their mixes. Draw fan art of their characters. Make something meaningful. Art friends can be a godsend!

Final Thoughts

Remember, always know that your accounts are all interconnected. Where one platform lacks you can supplement with another. You can post your artwork on Instagram, use Tumblr as a portfolio, and post doodles on Twitter. The choice is yours.