Developing Your Brand
When I first started writing I thought it would be so easy to get published. Write the book, get the agent, get a publishing deal, and there you have it. As I researched and read blogs about the industry I realized how little knowledge I had when it came to the writing industry fundamentals.
Brands, voices, platforms, marketing … it overwhelmed me, but I figured I could handle it, right?
Not so much. Thankfully I am married to a talented and artistic designer who understands marketing and design from a creative standpoint, who just so happens to own Author Lab and Tekeme Studios. Yes, that’s us.
Anyway, George and I discussed my “voice,” asking questions like:
1.) What kind of topics do I write about?
2.) What kind of prose do I have? (Poetic, literary, technical, simple, etc.)
3.) What is the main theme behind everything I write?
4.) Who am I and what do I represent as a unique author?
Then, we took the answers and developed the first part of my brand. The ONE WORD that describes my writing in the shell of a nut. Hope. For me, the ONE WORD is hope.
After we had ONE WORD, we developed a tagline that summed up my answers to the above questions and elaborated on the ONE WORD. The tagline is beauty after rain.
So, hope turned into beauty after rain. Meaning, I write about difficult things and the beauty that comes after the storms in life. This became my brand. Beauty After Rain. And after that, we developed a website. The theme of the website was beauty after rain, with hand-drawn creative elements. You can see a snapshot of the site here. (FYI – I am showing this site for informative purposes, but I have taken it down because it no longer represents who I am and the way I want to present myself to the world, which is why it’s not in our portfolio.)
In essence, developing your brand is easy, but not easy all at the same time. And you’ll need this brand to carry you through your writing career and all of your marketing material. You can’t steal this from someone else, no matter how much you love their presentation. This is YOU. And the only way you can have an effective brand is by knowing yourself, your voice, your writing, your career goals and direction, and what makes you unique.
The basic things to ponder when developing your brand are:
- As I search myself and my writing, what is the ONE WORD that sums it all up?
- Turn your ONE WORD into a tagline.
- Turn your tagline into a concept that can seep into your web presence, print presence, and real life (speaking) presence
- Develop a web presence on a blog or website (with a good logo that utilizes your brand).
- Write, maintain a web presence, seek out speaking engagements, and develop strong connections with your readers