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Guest Post – Jamie on: Establishing a Personal Brand


Hi Everyone!

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!

Links: http://www.mailchimp.com/, GoDaddy.com

***

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)

21 Responses to “Guest Post – Jamie on: Establishing a Personal Brand”

  1. Very informative! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Erica says:

    Ms. J – Yes, Jamie knows what she’s talking about ;o) You’re welcome!

  3. Good post and informative – not sure what brand I am, but I am trying to network. I’ll have to check out The Variety Pages blog.

  4. Diane says:

    I’m trying to brand myself. Good tips from an expert! :O)

  5. Great job both of you 🙂 I am looking forward to Jamie’s posts.

    I started using Twitter and Facebook with the same intention. Admittedly I do get lazy, because it does take up a lot of time, but I am working on efficiency.

    Really need to get going with that website too, as no doubt it will take me ages to figure out how to set it all up.

  6. Erica says:

    Mary- Thanks, I don’t really know what “brand” I am either. Networking is the best! Definitely, you’ll love it!

    Diane – Yeah, she knows a lot! It’s an every day thing this whole branding experience ;o)

    LW – Aw thank you! I know – I’m looking forward to them too ;o) Don’t worry about the website – if I can do it, anyone can ;o)

  7. Jamie D. says:

    Thanks again for having me, Erica!

    I’m really not an expert…just someone who likes to figure things out, and actually *likes* planning marketing strategies.I used to sell for a door-to-door company, and my whole business was built around selling without any “in your face” type sales pitches. I’m a big fan of subtle marketing (sales without actually asking for a sale), and I’m hoping it will work with book sales too.

    I can’t wait to see what fun things I come across while researching and writing for this particular series. 🙂

  8. Wow – very interesting stuff. I’ll definitely be checking out The Variety Pages! Great post, ladies! 🙂

  9. Erica says:

    Shannon – Thanks! Yay, you’ll like it over there ;o)

  10. Erica says:

    Jamie – Thank you for coming over and sharing such great information! Oh well, if you’re not an expert now, you will be soon ;o) I didn’t know that, but yes I agree, subtle is always better ;o) Thanks again, can’t wait to see your series come to fruition ;o)

  11. Great advice, Jamie!! It is hard to find time for all of this stuff, but I think having a platform definitely pays off. We just heard a Harper Collins PR rep say that 85% of marketing and promotion and platform rests squarely on the author’s shoulders. Yowser.

  12. C R Ward says:

    Great post! Thanks to you both. I’m looking forward to Jamie’s series more than ever now.:-)

  13. Erica says:

    LiLa – Wow! That’s a big percentage – guess it’s a good thing we’re starting early ;o)

    CR – You’re welcome! Jamie knows what she’s talking about! Can’t wait for her series either :o)

  14. I’ll definitely be checking out Jamie’s blog. This is good stuff.

  15. Erica says:

    Susan – Yay! Yeah she had her first post on it yesterday, very good ;o)

  16. jdcoughlin says:

    Great information. I skipped over to Jamie’s blog, but I’m going back later. There was a segment on The Today show last week about branding, no matter what your profession. I found it rather interesting because it isn’t something I saw as being in my own hands, but they and Jamie bring up some very good points. Thanks for prompting me to get on this!

  17. Erica says:

    JD- You’re welcome! I hope you find what you’re looking for. She does have a grat blog over there ;o)

  18. Thanks for the post. I will check out The Variety Pages. I am not sure what my brand is yet but I am trying to network the best way I can fit in to my crazy schedule.
    Thanks!

  19. Erica says:

    Christine- Oh yay! You will definitely enjoy her blog! Yeah I hear ya, I don’t mine yet either ;o)

  20. Tom Bailey says:

    Fortunately I am my own brand and that works in business. Creating a brand etc is very interesting stuff because it can be figured by what you want out of it as a starting point or who you are as a person as a starting point or who your target is or what your are looking to do in the end with your target.

    Best regards,
    Tom Bailey

  21. Erica says:

    Tom – very true. It is interesting. I have a feeling it won’t be something I learn overnight ;o)

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