Building Your Brand
by Elaine Marie Carnegie-Padgett
This original article was published by Grant Hudson in May of 2020 in the Inner Circle Writers Magazine. I updated relevant info, but the rest is as relevant today as it was then. Enjoy!
Building Your Brand
When I first began writing for myself (2018-2019), someone asked about my Author Platform and all I could say is... What is that?
I put it on the back burner, but in my spare time, I began to research and consider what needed to be done. An Author Platform... I found out was about “Branding”. In turn “Branding” was about the Author... not so much the work product.
In this era of socialization, people want to know you. What you care about and what makes you write those beloved stories. If you want to be a successful Author today you must blend the Business Platform (Marketing and Exposure) which consists of Branding, Website and Social Media with a personal touch...
As I always do, I consulted Google and the Writing Communities... downloaded a list of questions designed to help me decide what I wanted my brand to look and feel like. It read like a visit to a psychotherapist. I only used three points that I believed relevant to my personal “Branding.”
What readers are you trying to reach?
How do you want those readers to perceive you as a person?
What makes you different?
I didn’t like having to put myself out there, but you realize through this process that your photos, blurbs, and the emotional and visual texture of your marketing tools along with your interaction with your followers, blog posts, etc., are all part of your “Brand” to your reading audience.
That is what will lift you above the competition. It’s why someone will choose to purchase your book among the hundreds of others in your genre. Because they know you from your website, social media, FaceBook or Twitter interaction. Possibly you recommended them for something on LinkedIn or they saw you on Instagram. Maybe a friend told them about you... They’ve seen that picture. They’ve heard your name... they feel a connection.
Branding is simply that connection! A feeling that people relate with you as an author and a person. “It’s the whole ball of wax.” For myself, I have certain photos I use widely, (soon to be updated) (in 2020) the picture in the hat with pigtails which was taken as a fun prop for a fundraiser. It was a little different and had a Texas feel, as well as a kind of “fun-loving” persona that I wanted to convey. The other is the photo in the Bluebonnets. (2021) That is also a “me” kind of portrayal.
Texas already has a wide persona, and I am certainly a stereotypical Texas Lady… so I decided to ride that wave in my Branding. I want people to have a “feel good” emotional reaction when they see my photos and equate it with that peculiar Texas impression.
I now have about 38,000 plus followers across my social media platforms that recognize those photos. It’s not huge but coupled with a growing Website and Blog, it is at least a running start! (Wow! When I first wrote this I had 13,000 Followers and I was still finding my way... as I still am.)
The best thing by far is the bonus of those people who have become my friends. The Writing Communities have a genuine camaraderie. It surprised me and helped me over the hump of “fear” as I began to venture into that world and sustained me through the hard times.
Your Brand is ultimately all about you. Tell a story, make people laugh or identify in some manner with who you are and your work.
It really is all about the connection!
(I am featuring the work of my Authors for the Journeys Anthology. A work that celebrates two successful years of the Writers Journey Blog. I would also like to announce that submissions for the Journeys Anthology II will begin September 1, 2022. Any featured Author of the Writers Journey Blog is eligible to submit. More details on September 1, 2022)
BIO: Elaine Marie Carnegie-Padgett is a Texas girl, born and bred! A paralegal and private investigator turned journalist and author. She wrote for a local Newspapers and during that time produced a Regional Visitors Guide. Her historical articles have been published in Luxury and Lifestyle Magazines, Visitors Guides and online history venues. Her non-fiction, historical, and fiction works appear in online and print venues and have been used in the Texas School System to teach middle-grade children about the dangers of the internet. In the Texas Legislature to check the intrusive powers of POA’s in the State of Texas, and on Discovery ID on Human Trafficking and its consequences on a human life. She has worked with local law enforcement, the FBI, and Texas Rangers, and those experiences are reflected in many of her stories. In the last two years she has published eighteen short stories in various anthologies, and poetry available on Amazon and her website, https://www.authorelainemarie.com. She is currently querying the Path of Totality and writing a new book about a paranormal sensitive behavioral analyst. Elaine makes her home in the lush East Texas Piney Woods amid her grown children and grandchildren.