It’s been a whirlwind of a week. In this series on personal branding lessons, I covered twenty tips. (Links at the bottom of this post). On the last day of this series, I’d like to talk about my own thoughts on branding so you can help yourself decide what you want to do. (I’d like to mention that this post is dedicated to one of my Twitter followers @strangeshe.)
Developing a personal brand isn’t something that really came to my mind until fairly recently. The reason for this is because my focus has been on getting contracts and building my portfolio. My publications have included: corporate blogging, articles, short stories, games, novellas, business plans, technical documentation, etc. Although I enjoy different writing styles, I am in love with writing fiction.
As a very goal-oriented person, I’ve always known what I wanted to be when I grew up — I just didn’t know how I was going to get there. When you’re a professional writer, it’s very easy to over-commit to assignments. Getting paid to write is a wonderful feeling, sure… but building a strong portfolio has been equally important to me and that has been my focus for a number of years.
In today’s market, it’s even more challenging to make a living as a novelist or a fiction writer than when I first started to write. (First-time novelists typically make $5K on their debut book.) Fortunately, I have a “day job”TM that I love and a great team of people to work with, some of whom are writers like myself. Now that I have the experiences and portfolio that I’ve personally needed to move forward, I felt that I could take the lessons that I’ve learned and apply them to my “brand” as an author. No, I’m not as well known as Steven King. No, I’m not a top-of-mind name like Ann Rice or Neil Gaiman or any popular author that you might know — but one day I could be. So could you.
Developing a personal brand for me simply means I’m helping establish guidelines and a professional reputation for myself as a writer.
Whatever you decide your path is as a writer (freelancer, copywriter, etc.), I feel that branding is a long-term strategy that involves both personal and business-related decisions.