Lately, I have been thinking a lot about branding. Not only because we have been thinking, planning, and talking logo at 24 Carrot Writing (see the introduction post here) , but also because I have been working on my personal website. I am constantly considering how I want to present myself, and here at 24 Carrot Writing, while we come up with a lot of cool ideas, we always circle back to the question: “How does this fit in with our main directive?” So, what is branding and how does it fit onto a writer’s life?
Branding is the ways in which a person or company establishes their image. It is the promise they make to their customer and the thing that makes them recognizable. Branding includes core values, interactions, slogan and logo. Anything a business puts out into the world, including websites or promotional materials, communicates its brand.
But why is all this business jargon important for writers?
Branding is unavoidable. Exposure from your work, blogs, social media, interviews, and podcasts all communicate your brand as a writer. As your public image is being formed anyway, you can be proactive in shaping it. Branding is ongoing and evolving, and you should play an active role in the message you communicate to your readers.
So, as you shape your brand, consider the following:
- Brand should be independent from your book. The brand should transcend the book, so future books can benefit from the identity you have already built.
- Branding often builds an audience even before your book is released, so work on those platforms now.
- It should communicate what makes your work unique. What is your angle? That is your implied promise to your readers.
- Know your audience. Make sure your brand correctly represents you and your work, and communicates effectively with your intended audience.
- If you choose to have a logo,
- Make sure the text is clear and readable.
- Be consistent. Don’t make modifications. You want the logo to be memorable and recognizable.
- Consider having your logo professionally designed. It is your professional image, after all.
- One could hire a graphic designer
- Some print-shops have inhouse designers
In the world of platform building and author websites, a logo or badge can be useful to show your affiliation with a particular online group or challenge. Those of us who have participated in 12x12, or Storystorm (previously PiBoIdMo), or NaNoWriMo proudly display those badges on our websites. Displaying logos or badges can be an indication of how active one is within the writing community, and that in itself also helps build one's individual brand.
You are your brand. Moving forward, what strategies will you use to mold your brand?