Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Branding

Last week Meghan Ward had a list of ways to effectively implement your writer brand. Oh yes, I know you're all, "WTF do I care about writer brands, I'm not a marketing person, nor am I published. At the very least this is not something I need to be concerned about at THIS point."

Oh no, you do need to be concerned about it. Brand starts right when you log onto the tinterweb and send anything out using your nimble little fingers. It starts when you blog, tweet, or accept friends on Facebook. Whether you have a web site or not, YOU ARE A BRAND.

Some people won't want to care about their brand until later on. And I understand that. It's not your focus. (Duh. Cupcakes are.) Your focus is WRITING. Yes. As well it should be. But again I say: your brand has already been established when you posted your first comment on Nathan Bransford's blog with your Google profile.

When to pay attention to your brand is your own decision but in case you want to give it some thought, here is a quick primer (also you should read Meghan's post for more):

Be consistent
Use the same name, or a derivative of, across all your social media accounts.

Be memorable
You don't have to come up with a logo (although it's not a bad idea), but you shouldn't be represented by a black mass of tsetse flies.

Be appropriate
You know, use your name or else at least something you've decided to brand yourself with. Don't use something like a swastika. If you use a swastika as your brand, please stop reading this blog and don't come back.

Remember the golden rule
Publishing is SELLING YOUR WRITING. Your writing is a PRODUCT. So when you SELL YOUR PRODUCT, you have a better chance of seamlessly slipping into people's consciousness by having a nice, consistent, memorable brand. Yes.

Learn from others and pick up on subtleties
Check out Allison Winn Scotch's web site. See the colors she uses? She uses that pretty brown and aqua color scheme throughout everything -- so you remember it. Good branding. See Tahereh's blog? She uses a distinctive font and also a distinctive way of writing (energy, caps, heading size) that you recognize.

Be aware of what you set
Once you put something out there, it already starts working as your brand. You can change it if what you put is not very cohesive, but whatever you put has already started working for you.

Bottom line: do if you still don't care about brand, that's ok. Just remember that it's out there waiting for you to control. It's never too late.

9 comments:

Lt. Cccyxx said...

But...but...Sierra, I spent all weekend working up a new logo that was a black mass of tsetse flies. Dammit. How about a plague of locusts instead?

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Great advice, as always, Sierra. I'm not sure how I'm branding myself honestly, lol. My things definitely don't match up nicely--my blog has wild colors, my website subtle colors, and my twitter page, paisley. Maybe I'm branding that I'm eclectic (or color blind). :)

Tahereh said...

loool tsetse flies!

hehe. this is a really interesting post, Sierra. i'm wondering if you've read Maureen Johnson's recent blogpost (in a sort of counterpoint to branding)?

it'd be interesting to hear what you think about that.

:D

Simon C. Larter said...

What kind of brands should nemeses create? The Brand O' Impending Doom? I like that one. How about the Brand of Inevitable Destruction? Yes, that one's good too.

I'd say this was a helpful, well thought-out post, but I'm contractually obligated insult you instead, you black, seething mass of tsetse flies, you.

Roh Morgon said...

Thought-provoking post. I hadn't considered how difficult it would be to change logos, etc once a person is established. Guess I better hurry up and implement a web identity with a little more intention instead of what works for now.

Thanks!

JEM said...

Great post! I guess I mostly hope my personality is enough to start a brand...:). I do recognize the importance of marketing and branding (hello, college major), and I try to keep my mind focused on that whenever I put content out there.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

i love it when you blog about being responsible and thoughtful. it makes me want to work harder. it also makes me realize how much my blog layout BLOWS.

Mike Chen said...

I think you forgot one other point:

BE AWESOME

Sierra Godfrey said...

Hee hee thanks guys. I love your rections, and Amber I debated being so responsible with this post.

The important thing to remember is that if you're not interested in branding, you don't have to do it. But if you are, it's already there.

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