Branding YOU!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I suppose if you are planning on writing one thing you should probably stop reading right now. However, if you are planning on writing several books, blog posts, articles, etc…you should carefully plan your branding. If you have a single book and it’s called: Barefoot After Midnight and you don’t plan on writing anything else (including blog posts or informational articles) you would name your website; but in reality, most of us write all sorts of things so branding one article, one blog, or one book is short sighted. Readers should be able to google our name and come up with all sorts of ways to get in touch as well as ways to read what we’ve written or purchase our published works.

One of my dear friends, Bette Lee Crosby, has many published works. When you google her name, you’ll find scads of results…of course querying by the name of any one of her books will also yield results, but you don’t need to remember the exact title of her book because you’ll find it just by looking her up by name. Notice that the name of her website is NOT the name of her first book—it is her name. Similarly, you’ll find Bette on Facebook under Author, Bette Lee Crosby and it’s easy enough to find without even typing her last name—just Bette Lee is enough to bring her up using the search bar.

Careful planning goes into branding yourself. You could just toss up a website and start a Facebook page, but there’s a bit more to branding. If you were branding a product or company, you might use a carefully designed logo. In the scenario where you are branding YOU, it is recommended that you use a headshot. When I was branding my business, I met with other business owners and discussed my logo and my headshot. At that time, my photograph was nicely done (yes, professionally) but I was wearing something that said “now here’s a serious business owner who probably enjoys golf” and for those of you who know me, I’m not serious, you’d never assume I owned a business, and mini golf is as close as I like to get to golfing. Make sure everything you are using to market yourself fits in with your brand. The best way to do this is to answer the following questions:

What message am I trying to convey?/How do I want to be perceived? (this is really one in the same because the perception is more important than your actual intention—so be sure to get a second opinion)
• If I want people to know that I’m funny and easy going I might want to wear a funky necklace in my headshot and I would definitely want to be wearing a smile. If I am publishing a series of self-help books I might want to look confident and self-assured yet very professional and a funky necklace would not be a good fit.

Who is my target audience?
• People will say to me “I want to have 1,000 followers on Twitter” and yet they’ve only tweeted a handful of times. Know who your target audience is and get involved with what they are involved in. If you are checking your Facebook page once each week you will never have or engage a large enough audience to make a dent in your target market.

How can I personalize things?
• Maybe it’s a fun picture of you and your family, a funny story included in your biography, and funky looking background on your web page. If you let people know a little about you they’ll be more attracted to you. I’ve read plenty of books that didn’t appeal to my tastes, just because the author was really cool. Turns out I ended up loving the book…so be yourself and have fun. Not everyone is going to love what you have to say but if you can draw most of them in they’ll be more open to your ideas because they’ll like you.

There’s obviously more to marketing and branding than I could fit into this post, but I’m hoping some of these thoughts and ideas will get you thinking. For those of you who already have websites, social media, goodreads pages, etc… what do you feel you did great and wouldn’t change? What do you wish you had done differently? What pearls of wisdom can you pass on to others?

For those of you who have not worked on your marketing or branding yet, what’s the biggest thing stopping you? What would you like to ask someone who has been successful in their branding?

Everyone – please feel free to share your favorite author page, blog, etc… and we can take a look at what’s working and what’s not? (and yes, if you like your own, go ahead and share)

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, two young children (Carmen 6 and Andre 5), three dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. Crystal and her husband, Mark, are expecting another son at the end of September. You can find Crystal blogging at:


Crystal Otto said...

Thanks MP!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing such a nice blog.
All the points you explain very clearly and easy to understand.
Thanks for sharing such a nice information on brand consulting.

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