A few months ago, I was at a writing conference and one of the speakers spoke about the importance of creating your own brand or signature look. In his case, tie dye shirts are his staple of how he stands out from the crowd. While others have created some other kind of persona.
Personally, I’m not a stand out from the crowd kind of person. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my own brand. My name is my brand; and, I would say for most authors their name is their brand. But what does that mean? In a sense, who are you and what do you want your name to say about you? What do you want your readers to think when they hear your name?
As writers, published or not, have you taken a moment to decide on your brand? Perhaps you know what genre you want to write in, or have a few you are dappling in, but having a strong sense of who you are will help you as you put yourself out there more.
We all have our reasons why we write, even if we’re not quite sure what they are yet. When you come in to knowing who you are, what you have to offer, and why, you can better connect with and bring some value to your readers life.
Let’s explore this a little further, as a writer, what do you want to be known for? Take a few minutes to consider these questions:
- What do you love?
- What are you passionate about?
- What interests you?
- Where do you want your writing to take you?
- What do you want to write about?
- What kind of readers do you want to attract?
- Which authors have inspired you? What was it about them that you admired?
- What kind of stories to you want to tell?
- Do you want to write sequels or have an ongoing character?
After you have taken some time to answer these questions, you should decide what genre you are going to write in. Many times new writers want to explore various genres and can end up losing focus. Instead pick a genre you want to write in and stay with it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t explore other genres but choosing a genre, especially when starting out, can help you build your brand. Look at Stephen King, his name—his brand—is associated with horror and suspense and if you are looking for a good scare, you are more likely to turn to one of his books to give the fright you are looking for. We all have our favorite authors and why we read them. How have they branded themselves?
In the end, remember your brand is you and the persona you are building should be authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not because your readers will see through you. Regardless the persona you choose to build, stay true to yourself, your brand, and your readers.