Branding

Branding. I suck at it.

What I’ve read about branding tends to emphasize the difference between you, as a person, and you as a writer or brand. I totally fail at making that distinction. I shouldn’t be surprised, really. Once upon a time I had a pen name, and I sucked at keeping it separate from my real name too.

When you’re trying to figure out your brand you’re advised to pick a few keywords (most places I read said three) that describe you and make sure you use them in all your bios and such, and make sure all your public posts (blog, twitter, facebook, whatever) from your professional account have to do with those things in one way or another. It makes sense, right? I mean, you want people to know what to expect from you and to stay focused. In theory, if you want to have a place where you share things that are off-message you could have another, personal Twitter account/blog/whatever for that.

In theory.

In theory my brand is all about writing, gaming and a little bit of crafting. That means it’s perfectly all right for me to include that picture of my main character in World of Warcraft up there (Obscenity the priest. She’s awesome.) and to talk about my writing, raids and video game crushes (Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins) on Twitter. Unfortunately, it also means that it’s not alright for me to share funny things my husband or daughter do, or complain about the scale not shifting in the right direction or whatever. I’m not okay with that. As soon as I’m told I’m not supposed to do something, guess what I want to do? Also, I’m not just about writing and gaming and crafting. I’m also about being a mom, and a wife, and going to school and Niteblade and, and…

What’s more, I totally don’t have time to get another blog or twitter account for sharing ‘personal’ things on, and I’d drive myself crazy with some things trying to figure out which account to share them from.

So… that’s why I fail at branding. Thus far I’m muddling through the whole social media thing anyway, though, and hoping enough people will be interested in ‘me’ that it’s okay I don’t have a solid focused ‘brand’. *Crosses fingers*

What do you think about branding? Do you have one? Do you care about other people’s? I’m really interested in hearing what you think.

~*~

This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter B. I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow when I’ll be talking about Critique Partners.

ETA: Since I wrote this I decided to try Robert Brewer’s Platform Challenge, so who knows, maybe I’ll get better at this branding thing 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Branding

  1. I disagree. I feel that in the age of social it is important for people to see you as a person. Sure, I have picked a couple keywords for myself, but the important thing is to keep getting out there and reading and commenting on other people’s content. More important than branding is community building. Care about other people and they will care about you – and your brand.

    Now, branding Niteblade is a different story. Keep those tweets limited to things that relate to Niteblade, but again be sure to recognize other people’s content, read it and share the content that relates to Niteblade.

    I like Hootsuite for managing multiple accounts. Almost everything I like goes out on my EgoAnt account, and other things go out on my sub-accounts for business.

  2. I think branding mostly means sticking to a genre, so readers don’t expect a fantasy and get a romance. Beyond that, you also need to be a real person, so I think talking about real life is okay… So long as you don’t suddenly become a mommy blogger. 🙂

    • You might be right. I hope you are LOL The workshop I took didn’t say to be fake (not that I’d be good at that anyway LOL) but to pick a few keywords that described yourself (or your platform) and make sure every public post/tweet/whatever was somehow related to those things. If the only rule that really matters is ‘be real’ I’ve got that down 🙂

  3. I don’t think too much about branding. I did when I first started blogging, but then I just became me and that’s who I am on my blog. Not sure what the brand is tho LOL.

    Welcome to the Challenge!

    KarenG

    • I took a two hour workshop on it once upon a time, but the response I’ve received so far has got me thinking the ‘expert’ I heard was pretty much wrong 😉

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