Today I read something about BRANDING that caught my attention. When I think of branding, I usually picture cattle. So I’ve avoided it. But a “brand” has other meanings as well: a company brand, for example, is something that identifies the work you do in a concise, easily identifiable way.
The article that intrigued me is written by Carolyn Cohn of CompuKol Communications LLC. This is what she says: “Your personal brand statement … should connect you with whoever reads it. It must be unique to you and only you. It should also be consistent with what you actually do.”
How often do people ask you what you do and why you do it? Do you think you could summarize it in one short phrase? At first to me it seemed impossible, but I thought perhaps I’d try creating a personal brand statement, as a fun writing practice. You could try this too – it’s actually more fun that it seems.
The first thing to do, according to Cohn, is to list business and career attributes. I decided to do this in stream-of-consciousness, associative way:
My business is writing. Basically, I have three career attributes within that business of writing:
- Writing novels. What kind of novels? Romance – suspense – mystery – popular fiction – page-turners.
- I write a regular newsletter called WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers. It’s my way of helping other writers with writing tips, writing practices, exercises to help them find joy and peace in writing; writing as therapy.
- I teach English and creative writing to middle and high school students. I also mentor and consult with adults.
When you’re done with listing your business and career attributes, try answering these questions:
“What value do you provide?”
- The pleasure people experience in reading a good book
- Writing practices that bring joy to other people who want to write
- Community: giving teens confidence in their writing
“What is unique about what you do?”
- My novels are original and enjoyable
- My WriteSpas offer unique practices that are intended to bring peace and pleasure to other peoples’ writing experience
- Every class is unique – especially since I teach in a Waldorf school that allows me a lot of flexibility and creativity.
“Which target audience do you provide value for?”
- Readers who enjoy my stories
- Writers who aspire to joy and peace in writing
- Teenagers and adults who want to be mentored
And now you’re ready for the branding process. Cohn reminds us to be clear, concise, meaningful, sincere. Oh, and catchy and memorable as well.
What do you come up with?
I looked at everything I’d written and the personal brand statement flowed with hardly a waver:
Winslow Eliot – Writing for Pleasure
I studied this for a while, seeking something that it didn’t cover in what I do. Perhaps the seriousness of it all? But as any writer or reader knows, pleasure is serious! The more I looked at my personal brand statement, the more I liked it.