Guest Post – Jamie on: Establishing a Personal Brand
We have a special surprise today – my friend and critique partner Jamie over at The Variety Pages is providing the post today – so I can be lazy… LOL – no not really, she’s been busy working on her own personal brand, and since she’s researched it quite a bit, and is beginning a weekly series called “Writer, Brand Thyself.” on her blog. I’ve asked her to guest post (my very first one!) She is knowledgeable, a great writer and it’s just a matter of time before her wonderful books will be on the shelves ;o)
Without further adieu – Jamie! *applause, cheers*
Establishing a Personal Brand
The word “platform” is bandied around the writing community as something mysterious and difficult that writers need to establish at some point. A platform is really just a body of work that establishes someone as a professional in a certain field, and for a fiction writer (like myself), that is something I can only accomplish by writing and publishing good books. Non-fiction writers can do this early through blogs, web sites, etc…but there’s really no way I can “prove” that I write good romantic suspense without actually writing and publishing it.
What I can do before publishing though is to start building my personal “brand” – the name recognition that will help market my books when they do start coming out. Social media makes this easier than it’s ever been, and all we have to do is participate. The only real problem with that is finding the time to be involved in networking groups and communities – time that we often don’t have to spare.
I work full-time (40 hrs per week), and though I don’t have kids, I still have dinner to make, household chores to do, a TV addiction, books to read, pounds to lose and my husband and pets to take care of. Add writing time to that (late at night) and my only option for getting it all done is multitasking. When I started thinking about actually selling my novels someday, I knew I had to start getting my name out there, and building up a network of potential readers. I decided to get serious about social media.
I started by re-inventing my blog, then joined Facebook and Twitter. It was hard to keep up with it all, so I started looking for ways to tie everything together and spend less time keeping up. Now I’m adding more networks to my list, and exploring all the ways I can make participating in each community as easily and efficiently as possible. Just recently I’ve added a personal web site (which is one of the least time-intensive ways you can get information out there after it’s set up), and I’ve also started a weekly newsletter – both of which I’m using to both solidify my personal brand and bring all my social networks together. I created both of those using fairly simple online programs (GoDaddy.com and Mail Chimp), and customizing templates to meet my needs. Planning is the key – everything I’ve done I’ve planned ahead to make it as efficient and easy to use as possible.
I know I’m not the only writer out there interested in building a personal brand before my books are on the market, so I’ve decided to create a series on my blog called “Writer, Brand Thyself”. Every Wednesday I’ll be posting about my experiences with social media and how I’m using different networks to make connections and promote my name as a “brand” as efficiently as possible (ie, without cutting into my writing time). I’m going to explore everything from choosing a name and where to start to using RSS feeds to connect networks with current information. If you’re interested, please join me, and hopefully we can all learn to “brand ourselves” together.
Thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog, Erica – what an honor!
Aww thanks, Jamie! Thank you for stopping by and for sharing what you’ve learned ;o) Check out her blog The Variety Pages folks!
What do you think about your personal brand? Have you created one yet?
That is all – happy Tuesday ;o)