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The Artist and The Message — 6 Steps To A Better Tagline

The Artist and The Message

The artist is a creative specialists. Whether he is one who paints pictures, writes books, designs patterns and spaces, or takes the stage — the professional artist is a message driven business owner. They care about their art and being true to what they’re trying to say through that work. They are an exciting group to be around because they’re passionate about their work. But inspite of all that passion, some miss the spot when it comes to marketing their message.

Let’s Begin Again

It takes as much effort to sell your product (book, painting, song, performance) as it does to create it.

It takes as much effort to sell the thing as it did to create the thing in the first place — sometimes more. 

The artist knows that feeling — that sigh filled with relief and delight in finishing the work. But did the world (other than your mom, your man or your best friend) rush in to snatch up what you have? Unless you’ve made a name for yourself and/or your art, then “no.”

Now a new kind of work begins.

What’s Your Message?

When you finish creating, take a break to celebrate —  and then come back to the table with a fresh heart, because you have fresh work to do. And it begins with your message.

Your audience, the people who like what you have or would like what you have if they knew about it, need some things from you. They need to know

  1. what you have,
  2. how it changes something in their life and
  3. what they have to do to “get one of those.”

It boils down to the message behind the product. In fact, every product needs a clear message, a simple way for your audience to understand your product, an easy way to share that understanding with family and friends.

This is where the tagline come in.

Say More With Less

There’s too much going on in the world for people to remember you, unless you make it easy for them.  An effective tagline is simple way to carry your message.  Remember the iPod example in “It’s Not Sexy, It Just Works — Get To Your Core Marketing Message?”

The iPod’s tagline was “1000 songs in your pocket.” Right now BMWs tagline is the “ultimate driving machine.” These taglines not only make it easy for your audience to understand exactly what the product is, but it’s also a message that’s simple to share. And shareable information is spreadable. You can tweet it, text it and talk about it with ease.

But how do you get to this tagline.

Start Big…

…and then work your way to a smart oneliner.

1) STREAM of Thought

First, write down exactly what your product is and what it can do for your audience. Include who it’s for and what makes it special. At this point don’t edit yourself — just write, just let it flow.

And if you’re not big on the writing thing, then pull out a recorder (there’s probably one on your computer or an app for your phone that can record you) and just start talking about your book or your servive or your album.

2) ONE Word and Then Another

Write down the one word or short phrase that best describes your book/album. And if you can’t limit yourself to one, then write down as many words or phrases as you need. Your word may reflect the style of your product or team. It could be a word that reflects how it feels to use your product. Just get them down on paper and leave them there.

3) WALK Away For A While

Now, it’s time to go do something else and come back to this in a few days or maybe even a week or two. You need to let your words become cold so that you come back with a fresh perspective.

4) REVIEW After A Week

When you come back, listen to or read what you wrote. You should be squirming a little — you won’t like everything you hear. But calm yourself down and pay attention. Pull the words and the phrases that still sound good and feel good. Write them down on a fresh sheet of paper. You will start over with these.

5) REPEAT, Repeat, Repeat

Repeat the exercise again. The more you do it, the closer you’ll get to your core message.

6) BRING The Team In

If you really want to step it up a notch, then bring people into your brainstorming circle that you trust. Let them listen to your music, read your work, use your product. And then brainstorm with them. Pay attention to the phrases that you keep hearing. Pay attention to their fresh take on things (they should be talking more than you — there’s power in listening).

These 6 steps will get you started on the road to a tagline that makes sense. Sometimes it comes quick and easy. But sometimes it takes a little extra research and ruminating before you find that phrase that works. But it’s worth it. Once you have the right tagline, you can use it everywhere because that bite-sized message that travels well.

More Coming Soon

3 comments… add one

  1. many thanks for the suggestions

  2. Thanks for the help. Love your picture – you have a contagious smile!

    1. Glad to help.


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