Particularly with the explosion of Internet use, and massively increasing competition over most things, we live in a time where providing products and services that truly stand out is more important than it ever has been.
One of my favourite speakers on marketing, Seth Godin, stresses that for a product to now be a success, it needs to be remarkable in itself, instead of relying on the old ways of broadcast advertising an average product (or a product with little competition).
Being remarkable means that your promotion is taken care of by your loyal fans who spread the word of the quality and excellence of your product or service, aided especially well by the possibility of online interaction.
This applies to services provided by creatives, just as it does for products.
Being unremarkable is also no longer an option if you want to succeed as a fully booked creative in the long run. It really is important to be producing work that is remarkable enough to catch people’s attention amongst everything else out there.
How do you, as a creative worker, become truly remarkable, and push your self promotion power to the next level?
These are the key elements to remarkability that you can build into your work. They do not need to be incorporated in equal measures, but it is important to focus on the first element at the very least:
A Unique Style
At the basic level, you need a style that is recognized immediately as yours. This could be in the way you apply paint to a canvas, the kinds of shapes you use as a digital illustrator, how you apply light to your photograph’s subjects, or the way you apply bass to an electronic music composition.
Make sure you think about your style and how it adds to the individuality of your work (or if working in a collective or collaborative context, how you are contributing to the style of the group) before you embark on any piece of creative work.
Often, artists are set apart from others by the content they incorporate into their work, particularly if it is consistent throughout several of their projects. An example of this is the use of human forms in the sculptural work of artist Antony Gormley.
Make your work remarkable by using content that is ideally unique, or presented in a different way than what is ‘normal’. Consistency in the content you use is not vital for being remarkable, but will add to your style and unique signature if you choose to go down this route.
By signature I’m referring to the essence of the work you produce; something that is less tangible and obvious than the materials you use and the style you do things in. I suppose it can be seen as a combination of several elements of your style, content etc that you become known for through lots of practice.
I see a creative signature as taking your style to the next level, through hard work, persistence and time. Having a signature is required if you are to retain remarkability and still be able to evolve as an artist.
Think of what makes the signature sound of Sting or Madonna (whose output is constantly evolving, but still stands out and remains recognizable, for the most part) or the paintings of Picasso and the films of Ridley Scott.
Overall, make sure you stick to the very basis of being remarkable, which is having a unique style. Once you have a body of work that demonstrates your unique style, self promotion will become easier, less time consuming and make big steps for you.
Comments and ideas are welcome!