Quick, think of a fast food place! The odds are good that golden arches just ran through your head. McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable companies in the world, and that’s all because of branding. They’ve picked a set of symbols, those arches and a redheaded clown, and every single thing they do, sell or give away has one of those symbols attached to it. They’ve made a huge effort to connect quick food with their brand in America’s minds, and it’s working.
When it comes to getting a ghostwriting contract or having new clients seek you out, wouldn’t you like to be the first writer that pops into their head? Branding yourself as a writer and keeping your message exactly the same everywhere you place it can have that effect on potential clients. Excellent writing will always get you in the door, but if clients connect you mentally with their niche, you’ll have an edge over your competition.
Create a Recognizable Brand
If you’ve written long enough to begin to get a reputation, you’re probably working in one or two specific niches. You can become better known in these niches by starting to appear like an expert in your field. Think of a short statement of four or five words, or come up with a logo that screams your niche. Make it recognizable, and easily identified. Author Jackie Collins puts “She’ll keep you up all night” on everything she does, and it instantly says everything about her niche. Make yours work just as well.
Place Your Brand Everywhere
Begin to brand yourself everywhere you appear online. Some of the spots you’ll need to brand are:
- In your email signature line
- In your signature on any forum you post at
- On your blog title header
- On your Facebook author page
- On your website title page
- In your Twitter background
- On your business cards
- Anywhere you fill out author profiles
Your tag line or logo is half of your branding, but your author photo is the other half. Take the time to get an actual professional photo done, or at least simulate it when taking your own shots. Dress nicely and comb your hair. Look professional. Stand against a neutral background. Make the photo strong, memorable and uniquely you. Attach the photo to your tagline or logo everywhere you post or write.
How Much Is Too Much?
Plain full-face photos can be boring and easy to forget, which is the last thing you want in a personal brand. Think of one quirky touch to add to the picture to make it your own, but don’t go overboard with the weirdness. A classy hat or a signature scarf can give just the right amount of personality to your look. A golden crown or joke arrow through the head, not so much. Aim to look like a slightly better version of your everyday self, one that will inspire confidence in everyone who might actually hire you.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.