Today we turn our attention to branding, a subject many writers never consider. In their desire to just be writers they once again forget that to have a successful career as any type of a writer, including as authors, they must also be good businesspeople. This means acting as if their writing activities and written products—as well as the creators (authors) of those products—constitute a business.
Most business possess an identity—a brand. Most writers conduct their businesses without ever branding themselves in any way. Or, if they do end up with a brand, it happens haphazardly, accidentally, or in a manner that later doesn’t fit their needs or their image.
Believe me, I know this well. One of the reasons I’m so excited about today’s guest blogger (and tomorrow’s, too) lies in the fact that I am in the process of trying to brand myself. I sought out these two branding experts because I needed this information. Since I consider myself an “Everywoman”—a writer just like most others—I assume other writers must need it as well and will benefit from these posts.
Non-fiction authors or aspiring authors trying to get read in today’s crowded marketplace need to get what leading brand strategist Robin Fisher Roffer calls “mindshare.” Robin, the CEO of Big Fish Marketing, one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent brand marketing firms, is the author of two books of her own—Make a Name for Yourself: Eight Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success and The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You. In the following post she gives trade secrets away that will help you get started on a branding strategy. Even if you’ve never thought about (or heard about) branding before, it’s time you began branding yourself.
How to Fearlessly Brand Yourself As An Authority
By Robin Fisher Roffer
Over the last ten years, I have transcended my role as a female business owner who writes books, and I’ve created myself as a brand. Whether it was going after media clients for my agency. writing a book specifically for women, called Make a Name for Yourself, or writing a book for people like me who feel on the outside, called The Fearless Fish Out Of Water, I have carefully crafted a value proposition that emotionally connects with my target audience.
What Do People Think When They Hear Your Name?
When you think of Coke you think refreshing. When you think of Target you think cheap chic. The question is what do people think when they hear your name? At the end of the day, your own personal brand strategy is the foundation of your success as an author and beyond. The truth is, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and at this point in your career they probably already have. The good news is, it’s really not too late to change perception and reinvent yourself as an authority.
What’s The Mission Behind Your Writing?
A big part of authentically branding yourself, i.e., peeling away the masks you wear to reveal the true you, is to make a mission statement. What is your mission in life? Why are you here? What is your message? What are the gifts and talents you possess that can be poured into the pages of your book? This is all part of branding—taking who you are at your core and changing people’s lives through the words you write.
In What Ways Are You Being Inconsistent?
It’s really about practicing what I call the Holy Trinity of Branding: consistency, clarity and authenticity. This is the thru line that will grab people’s attention, make them sit up and take notice and want to read your book. My line is “Reinventing Brands. Reigniting Professionals.” Your line should run through your business, your publicity, the messages you post in a way that’s consistent, clear and from a very real place that resonates with your true nature, with the essence of who you are— your soul.
Are You Telling Your Greatest Story?
With everything online, there’s a huge radar out there for BS. People can see right through you if you’re putting on any kind of mask. That’s why it’s important to look inside first before you write one word of your book. If you’ve already written your book, go back and see what pieces jump out as real and make that the content of your speeches. Talk about the things you are really passionate about and what you believe in. Your audience will run to the back of the room to buy your book just to get a piece of you.
Do You Look The Part You Play?
What attracts us to Apple? It’s always sleek, consistently beautiful, well designed, a little irreverent, and on target. You should think about your book cover, your website design and the clothes you wear in the same way. Do they speak volumes about you? Do people get who you are at-a-glance? They should! That’s because Americans naturally pigeonhole people, put them in categories—box them in. It’s convenient. It’s tidy. So, you want to make sure that you’re driving their perception of you.
Are You Owning Your Gift?
I used to live across the street from Aline Brosh McKenna, the award-winning screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada. When I started to write my second book Aline said, “This time Robin, you need to rip the scab off your wound.” It was great advice. What we have is a wonderful gift—to be able to write, to be an artist, to be able to express yourself in a way that’s easy for people to get their hands on. Feel good in knowing that anything is possible if you’ve got a pen in your hand or a computer at your fingertips. Own your gift, build your brand and shine on.
About the Author
Since 1992, Robin Fisher Roffer has been CEO of Big Fish Marketing, one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent brand marketing firms. She has provided the rocket fuel that has ignited the launch pad of dozens of brands all over the world for top media companies like Sony, Time-Warner, and 20th Century Fox.
A dynamic and engaging speaker, Roffer has given keynote presentations to some of the nation’s biggest companies and organizations, including AOL, Mattel, Discovery Networks, Verizon, UBS, Wharton School of Business, and many more.
Drawing on her experience in creating some of the world’s leading entertainment brands, Roffer penned her first book, Make a Name for Yourself: Eight Steps Every Woman Needs to Create a Personal Brand Strategy for Success. Her latest book, The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You, shows professionals how to stay connected and relevant at work while maintaining a unique identity.
To purchase Robin’s books, click here.
For more information on Robin’s “Reinvent Yourself Workshops”, please visit http://www.relevanceinstitute.com/