Yesterday, I wrote a review of DiAnn Mills‘ latest novel, Fatal Strike, and provided a glimpse into how her amazing mind works. Today, you will have a chance to read what DiAnn has learned about branding, a word that’s taken on a completely different connotation in this day and age!
Branding Your Writing Career by DiAnn Mills
A writer’s brand is a red carpet of introduction to readers and the publishing industry. It’s an identity that shows genre and demonstrates what others can expect from writing projects, social media posts, and anything attributed to the writer’s name.
Branding is not a marque in a writer’s front yard with a smiling face in three dimensions, “Buy Now” in neon lights, and the title of our latest book in life-size letters.
A brand is critical to a reader’s positive emotional experience. It’s why a reader focuses on words composed by a unique writer; the reader knows what’s waiting for them. There’s no need to contemplate the content because the brand says it all. The writer can be trusted because of a developed brand.
For some prominent writers, their name alone is an identity. For most of us, we’re not so fortunate, and we strive to establish our identity.
Through everything we write, our goal is to send a subtle message:
- I’m relational.
- I care about you.
- Your needs come before mine.
- When you close one of my books, my brand will still be there encouraging you to be your best.
- Everything I write will show you I can be trusted.
A writer’s passion and expertise are shown in—nonfiction, blogs, social media posts, short stories, and fiction. The writer understands the value of reader experience and expectations. Unfortunately, If we disappoint our readers, they will move on to the next writer. To avoid losing our readers, we define and specialize our identity in an unforgettable brand.
To develop a solid image, we begin by knowing who we are in this wild and wonderful world of communicating through the written word. We writers must visualize what a brand looks like to a reader.
What does this mean for you?
The following tips will assist you on the path to an outstanding brand.
Establish the genre you are most passionate about. If selecting a genre is confusing, seek out your favorite type of reading. There lies the answer.
Develop a mission statement. What are your goals and values for a successful writing career? How would your dreams reflect in a brand?
Invest in a professional photograph. Consider you who want to project in choosing a pose, clothing, and setting. Be consistent with where your photo has visibility. Readers anticipate the same view wherever they find us. Why confuse them?
Launch a website or blog presence so readers and those within the industry can find and learn about you.
Focus on how your reader will respond to your writing. Are you effectively writing to heartfelt needs? There lies your brand within the depths of voice and delivery.
Create a tagline to use as a signature on e-mail, social media, website, and book signings. Investigate what other writers use and ensure yours is unique while leaving no doubt to who you are as a writer. Your tagline must breathe with personality. This may take a while to develop, so don’t rush the process.
Ensure contact information on every social media platform and mailing reflects your brand along with easy methods of contacting you. My return address labels list my tagline, thus my brand.
Understand and know your target readers. Spend time completing a character sketch for the perfect reader. How can we write for an audience when we don’t know who they are? It took me a long time to accept this concept.
Investigate social media platforms to discover where your readers hang out. For some, this may mean a tutored course.
Research favorite writers’ platforms. What do you like? Dislike? In what ways can you make yours distinctive?
Initially, establish a website, Facebook, Twitter, and a blog. The latter doesn’t have to be a personal blog but can be another prominent site where you regularly post. Then establish a presence on all social media platforms where you have readers.
Consider the psychology of color and learn the palette for your brand’s personality and reflect it everywhere.
The truth is our brands are expanding each time we meet a reader’s eye. The question is, do we want to direct them to a positive identity or let it happen on its own? Let’s seize control and direct on our careers with confidence.
Writers, we want loyalty to our books. A highly visible brand allows our reputation to expand, generating more readers and establishing our message in the world of publication.
What are you waiting for?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Mountainside Retreats: Marketing, Speakers, Nonfiction, and Novelist with social media specialist Edie Melson. Connect here: DiAnnMills.com