Use Your Personal Brand Strategy for Inspiration and Focus
As author Jonathon Fields points out in his excellent post, A Modest Proposal for Publishers and Authors “If you want an enduring career as an author, you must become an enterprise.” That means developing a marketing strategy like an enterprise. One of the first steps in developing a marketing strategy is defining your personal brand.
Some think that a brand is simply a logo, (in this case your personal head shot) and the color palette, font and imagery you select for your web site and book covers. Those choices aren’t trivial. They have a huge impact on your public impression, but they are a subset of your brand called a brand identity. One is strategic and one is tactical. It’s the difference between why and how.
Personal Brand Therapy – Clearing Out the Mental Clutter
Defining your personal brand will involve some serious soul searching. Whether you work with a coach or go solo, when done right, you should emerge from your branding process feeling clear and energized with a new sense of focus. It’s akin to six weeks of intense therapy, because like therapy, defining your personal brand involves honest introspection. By focusing on your true values and assessing what works for you in your life and career and what doesn’t, you can create positive changes that support you creatively. As branding consultant Alexia Leachman describes it, personal branding involves clearing out your head trash.
Your Personal Brand Audit
In addition to helping you clear the noise pollution in your head, a brand audit (or assessment) will help you prioritize the 20 percent of the high-yield activities that produce 80 percent of your results.
Robert Fritz points out in his book, Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life, “Nature, including human nature flows along the path of least resistance.”Just like the river flows in accord with the riverbed, the goal is to build structures in your daily life that naturally support your creative flow with minimal resistance. Resistance quite literally is a drag.
Your Personal Brand Story Should Have a Plot
Part of brand development includes distilling your brand story: What drives you? What inspires you? What incites you? What do you have to give your readers that only you can give and why?
In Chip and Dan Heath’s bestselling marketing book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Thrive and Others Die, they make the case that great brands have a memorable genesis story. Jobs and Wozniak developed the first prototypes for the Apple computer in a garage…Steven King’s wife had to rescue Carrie from the trash bin, Kerouac wrote On the Road during a three-week bout of insomnia…
Okay, so maybe you don’t have your – “and the rest is history” – story yet. But you do have defining events that shaped you as a writer? What is your difference that makes the difference?
In writing this, I took a look at the personal bio of Janet Fitch, the author of one of my favorite fiction books, White Oleander. The beginning of her bio reads like an encyclopedia, but near the end, after she cites her academic career in Russian history, it gets interesting:
I woke up in the middle of the night on my 21st birthday, and realized I wanted to be a writer. What attracted me about history was the story, the characters, the writing itself. But I didn’t want to be an academic. I wanted to Live! I wanted to be Anais Nin, wear a cape and false eyelashes and have Henry Miller for a lover. It didn’t happen of course, Henry was dead by that time, but I became a writer.
In her bio we get a hint of what drives Janet Fitch as a writer and the promise that’s in store for her readers. To step into the shoes of a character and look through her eyes…to feel the stir of possibilities and to feel those possibilities fill our own lungs and begin to breathe.
from the blog, Making Bestsellers