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 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 🙂