Everyone has been talking about branding for quite a while and I just nodded and ‘mmhmmed’ without really thinking about it. What I had before was a half ass brand. I wasn’t fully committed to it or what it was all about. I watched other big authors brand themselves, my friends were doing it and then I got off my lazy ass and watched Rachel Hollis’ class about branding. She said something that made all of the gears click together in my brain and start turning like a well-oiled machine.
“The cattle rancher is going to look at the brand on the side of the cow to know who the cow belongs to. That’s branding. When you can look at something and immediately know- That’s my cow.” – Rachel Hollis
I had an author logo and I loved it. While it had elements that I felt helped define me and my amazing designer did exactly what I asked her to… something didn’t sit right. I wanted a sleeved Rosie the riveter and I thought yup, that’s me. I have a huge Rosie tattoo on my inner bicep, I’m heavily tattooed, I was a mechanic for ten years and I love what that icon stands for. But somewhere deep down it didn’t feel quite authentic and maybe because that is only a small part of who I am.
While I watched Rachel’s video the first thing she said was:
It was as if I was trying too hard to be cool and relevant with the overdone Rosie. Let’s face it, every rockabilly chick out there has a thing for Rosie the Riveter. So how do I stand apart from everyone else? How did this logo and this brand say anything about being a chronic reader who also enjoys writing?
I am part retro-obsessed/part nerd/part tattooed rebel/part snarky and sarcastic nut and part bookworm. How could I throw that all into a giant bowl and make that work for me in all areas? I had no idea. Talk about sounding like the world’s worst tattoo client — strolling in off the street saying I want all these elements in a two-inch space. They’d laugh in your face and throw your ass out the door. None of this even came down to me reaching deep and finding out who I am. Do you want to know the truth? My best friend was playing with something for her own logo and for our blog when she showed me what she’d made to represent me.
I fell in love immediately. Maybe it takes someone who knows you a little better than you know yourself to help you navigate your way back to who you are. The avatar she created for herself is to die for and it encompasses everything she is. Somehow she managed to capture that for me as well.
Over at My Daily Romance, we’ve been working on ideas for the brand of our blog for a while and Jenni Moen has come up with something fabulous. Jenni and Josie Bordeaux are the visually creative ones while I’m more design impaired. They carry my dead weight when it comes to that stuff. We decided cross promotion between that blog and our individual pages would be a great way to go.
Saturday, I made the leap and now I finally feel like I found something authentic. (It’s all her doing.) I wear glasses most days because I’m too lazy to fool with my contacts and they’re my security blanket. My nose is always stuck in a book, and I don’t smile often. A symbol of a heart encompasses all I’ve been through with my health and I use one every time I sign something. The font looks exactly like my signature. My new logo couldn’t be more perfect.
I belong to a few author groups and in one of them, branding as a topic comes up often. One author posted about not knowing where she fit in or how to market because she wrote in different genres. Another prominent author took a look at her website and replied she had no specific brand.
After thinking about it for a while, I thought Oh shit. I have the same exact issue. I have books in different genres but then I realized they all fit under the umbrella of my brand ‘Sass, snark and a dash of romance’. Each of them has all of those elements.
So I finally feel like I’m moving forward because I figured out who I am as a blogger (I use that term loosely) and writer… What I want my voice to be and how I’m going to do this writing gig. All of my books are being reformatted and it’s exciting to feel like I’m actually putting “my stamp” on them.