Your brand is a combination of things that identify your particular products and services, differentiating you from others who provide similar products and services. For entrepreneurial creative professionals, this brand usually centers on you and your name.
For example, Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite writers, has established a brand that communicates a poetic, dreamy style of light horror and science fantasy. When you pick up a book by Bradbury, you kind of know what to expect.
Another example would be Salvador Dali. His brand was creating works of art that were surreal and mildly disturbing. When you see one of his paintings, you usually know its one of his before you read the artist plaque.
So how to creative professionals develop and nurture a brand? For those whose work is artistic — writers, painters, photographers, and the like — it is usually through creating and developing a signature style. You know when you see a photograph taken by Ansel Adams. You know when you’ve read a short story by Ernest Hemingway. You know when you’re viewing a Claude Monet painting.
Other creative professionals can do this, too. But often they add on elements of signs, symbols, sound, and typography. In other words, they have a logo that identifies their work, a signature tag line or catchphrase, and even a color scheme that runs through all their marketing material.
For example, Wolfgang Puck and P.F. Chang not only have a style of food they tend to prepare, but also a stylized way they present their name in all their marketing efforts.
Branding is both an art and a science. There are “rules” in nurturing a brand, but creating it is usually a bit more organic for creative professionals. It needs to be an extension of their creative expression.