Having a Brand Name is one of the Hot Topics that new writers hear about. What exactly is a brand name and how do you get one?
Well, Pepsi is a brand name. You have a certain image that comes to mind when you hear the name.
Starbucks, K-Mart, MARVEL. All of these are brand names. You know them, you know what they look like, and when they don’t you know it really is not them.
It is your ‘image’ as a writer. When people see your name do they recognize it? Does it mean anything to them?
You want the answer to be yes.
Regardless of how you choose to publish your work, Having a Brand will greatly increase your numbers all around.
Now I am sure you already know that today is all about social media. If you want to be a Name and not just a name then you will want to get involved in things like Twitter, Facebook and have your own web page. It is the way things work in our modern age of eBooks and YouTube. (You may even think about having a YouTube channel, I do. I also have a channel on Twitch.tv but I have been out of the vid realm for a few months. Both are under the name Iniriba)
Now, think back to Pepsi. You know what image comes to mind when you think about it. Red, White and Blue can, circle with a swooshy in the middle right? Now, I bet if you went and looked up Pepsi Co’s webpage, twitter and YouTube they would all have the same image or at least something that matches on all of them. BRANDING.
The idea is to do the same thing with who you are as a writer. What image do you want people to think of when they see your name? Probably whatever you happen to write about, right? Ok cool. Now what?
Hire a pro.
Seriously. There are many folks out there who specialize in helping newbs find their Brand and creating great work that catches the eye and helps identify the author. A recent new follower of mine @MonkPAWcreative does this. Check out the great work at monkeypawcreative.com.
Just from a quick search on BING I also found brandingauthors.com and this great article Branding for Writers:An Essential Step to Building your Author Platform from thecreativepenn.com. Much better info than I have posted here for new authors learning about branding.
Now you are probably thinking, Wow! Iniriba, that stuff looks great but I am a newblett author with no cash to be had! Now what?
Well, if you are lucky like me and happen to be married to a would-be graphic artist then you are set! For the price of a home-made pumpkin pie you can have your very own Banner to spread across the net!
If not, well, for starter find out what it is about you that makes you unique as a writer. Then find a picture or even take one that you feel is a good representation of you. You can find places online that you can download different letter fonts from. Start with that. Just fiddle with text colors and fonts until you find a combo that says YOU.
Here is a “Banner” I made myself just using the paint program that came with my laptop and a photo I took on my phone.
You should be able to upload your “banner” as a background image for any of your social media sites. They should also have a FAQ that tells you how to do that.
It may take a bit of research to find out what works for you but I can guarantee that in the long run you will be happy you did. Talk to student artists who are looking to create their portfolio. You may find someone willing to give you a major discount if you give them the credit for the work and allow them to use it.
If you are self-employed you can always barter services depending on what you do. I happen to be a doula (I help women have babies. Not a midwife. I am support for mom and dad…Like a coach). My standard fee for service is $750. The majority of graphic designers I know are male so I would not be able to barter unless their wife/GF happened to be pregnant. In which case we could negotiate an arrangement.
The point is to find a way to make your name stand out. Be consistent through all of your media platforms. I know…mine are not consistent right now…Still need to make that pie. I do however have a great catchy name that helps separate me from others. If you see it you know it is more than likely mine.
If you have any questions about Branding yourself There are dozens of great websites out there to tell you all about it. @MonkPAWcreative and other people who actually do branding do a much better job of explaining the details…that is what they do.
I just wanted to give some creative tips and ideas for those of you, like me, are unable to afford the services of a pro until later. You may even surprise the Pro when you hire them and they see you have already ‘started’!
Best of Luck! Leave a comment below if you know of any other great ways to help newb authors brand themselves for little or no money. Remember that your brand is the visual representation of who you are as a writer. You will eventually want to hire a pro so that you also come across as pro. Could you imagine if Stephen King used a picture like mine?! >.< Yeah, me too…
(I am a newb author myself and this is part of my journey, therefore part of my blog. I do not claim to have any professional knowledge other than my own personal experiences in Branding for Authors. I really am serious when I encourage you to Hire a Pro!)