Do you have a brand? Do I have a brand? Is it painful to get one?
The following definition hails from an online article aptly named The definition of branding: “Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.”
Oh, I like the simplicity of that. How do I do it? Given I wrote a medical thriller, I should brand myself as a healthcare professional, yes?
1) Who knows what my future holds? Confining my work to a specific genre might prove suffocating.
2) I don’t want to be Carrie, the medical provider who writes; I want to be Carrie, the writer who writes, and as such, I’ve been intentionally vague about my professional background.
3) I started with a public health blog. Oh, indeed I did. Two people came.
4) Writing humorous posts pleases me. Greatly. And when one enjoys the process, one is more inclined to park buttocks on chair and tap, tap, tap. Plus, humor allows an endless possibility of topics, from writing to reading to commentaries on the absurdities of life. Besides, plenty of blogs by writers on writing already exist, all more knowledgeable and skilled than I.
Still, snuggling into a precise niche might prove wiser, particularly to “establish reputation and credibility.” But for now, I prefer the generalist mindset. Best to avoid the scar of a brand I don’t wish to maintain.
Before I go, allow me to share Nathan Bransford’s take on the subject, an author whose website contains a wealth of information for writers. Admittedly skeptical of author branding, in his post entitled On the Internet There Is No Such Thing as a Brand. There Is Only You, he writes: “The only, and I mean only way to approach a world of social media is with honesty, transparency, and authenticity.”
Ooh, I like that, too. Although my blog makes light and exaggerates my quirks, what you see is what you get, which I hope is a balance between a writer’s need for professionalism and a human’s need to have fun.
After all, the world is sour enough.
What about you? Do you have a brand? Do you think it’s better to be a “generalist” or a “specialist”? Did you ever have a day of zero site visits? I did. On my other blog. It was fun.
All images from Microsoft Clip Art