Personal branding for a writer

The HikerYou’d think I would have this figured out already. I’ve been blogging and writing stories for years, but for some reason I cannot explain, I had not dedicated myself to understanding what a writer’s personal brand is and how it can affect my work.

Then, for reasons I’ll have to explain later, I started recording videos and posting them on YouTube, telling people what to do about their own writing as though I know stuff. In creating the account I obsessed over the tiniest, inconsequential things and worked myself into a tizzy!

Then I found Gina Din Kariuki of Gina Din Group and learnt some things.

Personal branding is not just about choosing colours and fonts and images, that is the fun audio part. Personal branding is the character of your business and the promise you are giving (and keeping) your customers.

The idea of personal branding is not something GenX invented. Companies who have been in business for years will brag about how long they’ve been operational (example), or how many satisfied customers they’ve served (example), or the class of businesses they’ve dealt with (example). All these are properties of branding. They can be trusted, they’ve got experience and people with tons of money like giving them money.

But what does this all mean for someone who writes stories? Am I branding myself? Am I branding my stories? If I sell myself as a speculative fiction writer, what happens when I want to write in a different genre? Or is that even a thing I need to worry about?

Instead of busying my head with that sort of confusion, I decided to sit down and list the things that are important to me, the way I want to be seen as a serious writer of enjoyable fiction.

This is a list of things I want my readers to always expect from me:

  1. Reliable – As long as it’s not fiction, my readers can rely on my posts as the truth.
  2. Entertaining – That my words will be great fun and so engaging, gripping my readers’ minds so they’re always hooked.
  3. Prolific – That there will always be something for my readers to enjoy. There is nothing in this World like finding the amazing work of a writer and then finding that they’ve only had one book published. GAH!
  4. High quality – In reading my work, that people will find they’ve been given the very best that I have, and that as I learn and grow, they will have increasingly better work to consume.
  5. My truth – that my writing will be honestly me and won’t strive to be a replica of any other writer that I admire, or whose life I want to emulate.

Let’s get this show on the road people. There are businesses to build, customers to convince, and stories to be written.

What are some of the characteristics of your personal brand?

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