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I was feeling particularly chatty online, after having been away for a couple weeks, and stopped off at A Writer's Bucket List on Facebook. A writer asked if anyone had a brand and why they cared to have one. In my skimming, I stopped in my tracks, fingers itching to answer. Branding. How can anyone NOT want to brand himself? My answer was this:
Branding is the manner in which people instantly recognize you (don't we all want that?) rather than us being lost in the frenzy of so many others. It's a way to be seen and heard without having to say "this is me, this is what I do, this is why I'm important." We should work hard to have a brand so that we are the ones that first come to mind when someone needs what we do...instead of our what our competition does. There are so many reasons for branding. Mine is FundsforWriters on one hand, The Shy Writer on the other, and ultimately author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series. The last one is least known of the three, and I'm working on that. I started with a fantastic cover around a strong story. That cover is part of my brand as its format is used for all the books in the series. But as a freelance writer, pick how you'd like your name remembered, then put it on everything you do in a certain font, with a tagline behind it. Say it, type it, forward it, etc. so that it's you. There are just too many writers out there not to have a brand.
We wear certain clothes, cut our hair a specific way, prefer particular make cars, eat some brand foods and not others. We're consistently identifying (branding) ourselves with our choices. How we write, who we are friends with, who we work for. There are so many sayings out there from sages going way back for centuries about how we are remembered by the company we keep or the character we develop. Yet when it comes to a writing brand, we get all deer-in-the-headlights, and because we aren't sure what that means or how to achieve it, we discount it. "Do we really need a brand?"
Let's look at it in reverse. If you do NOT have a brand, what happens to you?
Nobody sees you! Nobody knows who you are!
When do people remember you? When they put you with a familiar item. Clothing, smile, joke-telling, beauty, height, high-pitched laugh, prowess in an activity, kindness, brashness, and even relationship. When people think of you, what do they think of? If they cannot think of anything to make you stand out in their mind, they easily forget your existence.
So how in the world can you ever consider NOT having a brand?
Let's paint you with a broad, nobody brush for a moment.
- You read everything and anything.
- You eat everything and anything.
- You don't like or hate anything.
- You vote for anybody.
- You avoid being good or bad, high or low, first or last.
- You fight to remain anonymous.