This is yet another post by one of my Coffee House Writer friends. This one is important on how to define and build your author brand. You can find the full article with this link. I hope you find it helpful!
Attention Writers! Have You Defined Your Personal Brand? By J.L. Willing
I know what you’re thinking. Writers don’t need a brand. Our name is our brand…right? Wrong. Personal branding is about far more than the name of a company. It’s about the voice of that company, the style, the tone. It’s about what that company stands for. Most importantly, it’s about the dialogue that company creates within the community.
What are the narratives surrounding you and your writing?
What do people say about you as an author? If someone were to read a collection of your work, what sort of picture would they form about who you are as a person? Would it be a clear picture? Or a confusing one?
It’s about connection.
Are you connected to your readers? Do they get you? If the answer is no, then you need to put in some time and effort into developing your personal brand.
What Is A Personal Brand?
As writers, the number one piece of advice we’re given is to generate and release content consistently. We’re told over and over again to produce, share, repeat. However, this cycle won’t work if we’re releasing work which confuses our readers. The key is to generate content which aligns with our purpose, with our values, with whom we want the world to see us as. Once we do this, we’re able to connect with our readers and followers in a deeper, more meaningful way. This opens a natural dialogue about us and what we stand for which, in turn, leads to more followers and a stronger public image.
You like a person or company’s page because the content they’re putting out hits home with you. It’s not about the work at all, it’s about the people behind the work.
Think about it for a moment. When you’re browsing through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., what are the things which stand out to you? Odds are, the articles, posts, and pages which stand out are the ones which resonate with whom you are as a person. You like a person or company’s page because the content they’re putting out hits home with you. It’s not about the work at all, it’s about the people behind the work. Their content comes through because it’s human. Even if it’s something funny or dark, you can see the people behind the content. THIS pushes you to hit that like button and share it on your own page. You’re connecting with the personality which comes through their personal brand.
How Do I Define My Own Personal Brand?
The first step you need to take is to really get clear about what your purpose is as a writer. Yes, I realize as writers our job is to write, to generate content but I’m not talking about merely writing and producing here. Understanding your purpose is about narrowing your focus as a writer. It’s about clarifying yourself for your readers and setting up some guardrails for your writing. You should only publish works which align with your personal brand. Anything that doesn’t should be put on the backburner or reworked so that it does.
1. Where Do You Shine?
Let’s try a little exercise, shall we? Get out a pen and paper and write down five to ten things that you’ve done in your life that you’re proud of. Try and think of things that really made you feel good. Now I want you to rate them. As you do so, think about the way they made you feel, not necessarily the impact they had. These don’t have to be HUGE things. The important thing here is to get in touch with things that really impacted you and your confidence.
Once you have your list in front of you, it should be easy to see a common theme. Think about why these things made you feel so good. What was it about the success or accomplishment that really stood out to you? Try and come up with a few keywords that describe all of them. Circle these words, we will come back to them.