Author Branding- You’ve Got The Look
Somehow we made it to Friday and it’s my last day this round in the Tollbooth. We’ve covered an amazing amount of territory on author branding but in some ways we’ve barely skimmed the surface.
Today we’ll talk about taking your personal brand statement and translating into an active brand- getting the look. And I’ll recommend other resources on personal brands.
What does your brand look like?
If your personal brand is you… it looks like you. The way you dress and physically present yourself. But as authors, most of the time we aren’t meeting our audience face to face. The way you convey your image on the web, in business cards and brochures, in bios blurbs and conference materials must reflect you. It has to have THE LOOK of you.
But how do you get there?
This week both Mara and Shawn spoke about trying to come up with a website that reflects their own personalities. Today I’m talking to Julie Berry, author of the much buzzed about The Amaranth Enchantment. Julie has a gorgeous website. She’s also done a smashing job of conveying who she is in interviews and print media. How many other debut authors rate a prominent article in a major paper like The Boston Globe? She lives her brand and today she’ll take us through finding her look, step by step.
Hi Julie! I’ve told you many times how much I love your website. It’s packed with information and it conveys the “real Julie”. Was that hard to pull off? How did you do it?
Hi Tami. I spent a long time thinking about and planning my website, and my author “brand” in general, before I built or bought anything. That’s probably lesson number one, the tailor’s proverb: measure twice, cut once. I think many authors throw up a website, pull together a bookmark, a brochure, etc., and before you know it their non-deliberate brand is a hodgepodge of things that don’t fit. But because you’ve invested time and money in those marketing collateral assets, you’re stuck with them.
Plan first! Great advice. Just the thing we’re doing with our branding worksheet and personal brand statement. What was your next step?
I looked at many author websites as I thought about what image of myself I wanted to project. A part of me would have preferred not to need to create any type of image of myself — to just hide behind the books, so to speak. There’s something a bit artificial and uncomfortable about promoting yourself, as opposed to your work. But, I knew that as a new author, I would want to engage with my readers, and so I needed to come up with something that I felt was true to who I am (or as true as possible), and something that, at the end of the day, I could live with.
Great we’re still on track with you. So how did you seize on your own individual look? Your website is so personal, fun yet informative.
I’m impressed! Not only that you came up with that gargoyle, envisioning even his tone and personality (a lot like your own!), but also that you carried it through. The reading rather than writing piece is fascinating. Once you had that image how did you translate it to a website?
Thanks Julie! This is all tremendously helpful. Julie was able to do lots of her development on her own but when she needed the help of a professional illustrator and web designer she sought help. What she ended up with is AMAZING. That gargoyle can follow her anywhere.
Now a few more links to branding and design resources.
I got ideas for my website by scouring design resources all over the internet. I particularly liked looking at sites that collect a wide spectrum of websites, not necessarily author sites. Here’s one. And another. And another. Talk about taking a peak at something and looking up to see the whole day is gone! But they’re great fun.
This site has some good articles about personal brands.
This article has GREAT information about how to project your brand on the internet and it’s specific to authors.
So that’s it for my week. There are lots of other issues to cover. What else do you want to know about when it comes to finding and projecting your personal brand? Comment here and I will always respond. Or you can email me after the week is done at tamilewisbrown at yahoo dot com.