by Michelle Rene Goodhew
Your author platform will be based on your brand and your brand stems from who you are, how you present yourself and how you are perceived.
Your platform begins with you and you ultimately define your brand. Your brand must start with you and stay true to you. Your brand is you, heart and soul.
Some people find this part of branding the most difficult. Figuring out how to see yourself as a brand can seem hard to grasp at first but is actually really easy.
You are a fascinating person with all kinds of interesting aspects of yourself that are unique and can be added into your author brand.
What you look like, what you wear, how you pose for pictures, these all can be inviting portions of your brand. Are you fun, are you approachable, and are your interests interesting. What you read makes up part of what inspires you to write, so that is also a portion of who you are and should be included in your brand. This doesn’t mean you should list the books and articles you’ve read, it means the themes and content of those things is a major interest to you and a major influence to your writing.
What are you always searching for on the internet, what are your questions or concerns about being an author, what do you have a passion for, what are you wanting most out of your career as an author and what do you believe you have to offer.
Your personality shines through your writing. Who you are in your writing will be how you connect emotionally to the public. Be authentic, allow yourself to grow as a writer and project your personality through your writing. Your voice will capture your public and bring them back for more of who you are when you write.
How you portray yourself through your graphics and especially through your head-shot speaks volumes to your growing network. How do you want to be seen, be sure that whatever fashion you choose to be perceived is done through a professional manner. How you look reflects on what you have to offer. It is worth the extra bills to have a professional head-shot done that reflects how you would like to be perceived and possibly gives a clue to your unique voice. When it comes to graphics a picture tells a thousand words and a professional graphics artist usually speaks that language best, hire one.
What You Read:
What you soak up as a reader is absorbed and morphs into a part of what makes you, you. It influences the way you write and what you write about and those concepts and themes become a major portion of your brand.
Your beliefs and ideals will come through in your writing, people will recognize these core values and many may be drawn by them, or even put off by them. Beliefs can inspire or repulse. Choose what you wish to share wisely as it will have an impact on your audience.
Your Personal Passion:
Your passion for what you write will speak volumes. Your dreams, desire, and faith in what you share will be heard loud and clear. Speak from your heart with authenticity and your words will move people. In general, people are attracted to what has the ability to move them emotionally in a positive manner.
Your content is your catch; this is how you bait your readers into following your blog and investing in your writing. The content you choose to write about should be relative to who you are and what you are selling.
How you communicate with others throughout your network is a trait that will attract and keep dedicated followers who will cross promote you. What you say and how you say it creates a personal relationship between you and the people in your network. This is the public’s opportunity to see how you interact with people and they are given the chance to become emotionally invested in you and your brand. What you have to say matters and will reflect on what you have to sell.
Make a list of all of these aspects and you have the portion of your brand that is you. It will be an impressive list when it comes to dreaming up new content for your blog. You are your best resource for ideas and you will find that who you are will be your most successful marketing aspect.
Another way to map out the brand of You is to make a tree, where you are the trunk and all of these aspects are branches reaching ever outward and defining who you are. Branding yourself is a journey of self-discovery, an enlightening adventure. This journey should not be something to dread, the discovery of who you are fills a deep need for belonging in this world and is one of the most gratifying projects in this book. Who you are will always continue to grow and evolve beyond who you are now. You have everything to look forward to in that this project of You, this portion of your brand, is one great adventure unfolding.
Where to start?
I am a list person, if this project is daunting to you then let’s take it step by step. Get out your notebook and let’s make a list of all of these things that define the You brand first.
- what is your gender and your age
- how do others see you
- how do you want others to see you
- what do you read
- what do you write
- what attracts you to other people
- what attracts people to you
- what is your best feature
- what do you find most interesting
- what inspires you
- what do you care about and put effort into
- who would you like to be in three years
- what are your dreams
- what is the book you have always wanted to write
- what is the book you are scared to write
These questions will reveal what makes you unique; I’m sure you can come up with many of your own questions too. What’s important is that you have this very basic list to begin with. The answers to these questions should give you a sense of direction when it comes to creating content for your blog, writing your books, and marketing yourself. This is the You brand.
Now make a new list of themes you see developing from your list, there are a few ideas for your first blog posts. You are a writer, an individual with a precious and continually growing gift that can now be shared with the world in confidence.