Stephanie Keyes talks about Branding…

It’s all about relationships. That’s what I shared with the group at the Love a Happy Ending Summer Audience in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK on June 16th.

After nearly a year of interacting with my loveahappyending.com family, daily, talking with them more than I do my own family, I had a strong urge to meet our team of writers and associate readers, half of whom reside in the UK. So in the middle of June, I made my way to a Summer Audience and discussed Creating Your Brand.

 

What’s In a Brand?

When most of us started writing, I would be willing to wager that none of thought much past getting the words down. After all, that’s the most critical part of writing, creating that all-powerful manuscript. However, when you make that decision to convert from writer to author, and even before then, identifying and marketing you, the author, as a brand is crucial.

 

If you don’t think of author’s as brands, let’s look at a few examples:

  • Nora Roberts: Whenever you pick up a Nora Roberts book, you know that you’re going to get a solid romance. The characters will be interesting and it will be a great weekend read.
  • George Martin: Pick up one of Martin’s books and you can expect a health dose of fantasy, accompanied by, what else? A beheading.

 

It’s important, when you’re establishing a brand, a name for yourself that you let readers know what to expect from you and your writing. People aren’t one sided – there are multiple sides to every person. So it’s key that you sit down and ask yourself What do I represent? What do I stand for?

 

Why Does a Brand Matter?

In Tetbury, I tasked the audience with a little homework. I asked them to go home and think about what characteristics best represented them as an author. What traits do they want to be associated with them.

 

Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • Author #1: Our first author is a bit of a wild child and wants people to associate her as a bad (I mean Michael Jackson bad here), biker author who writes Paranormal, tweets expletives, and pulls crazy stunts.
  • Author #2: This author is a conservative religious author who never uses inappropiate language and blogs about his weekend antiquing retreats.
  • Author #3: This author is somewhere in between. Not too wild, but not to staid. He writes historical fiction and likes to travel Europe.

 

Each of these authors is out there, interacting with their potential audiences on Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, etc. and their audience is getting a feel for what to expect from them. Their audience is getting a feel for what they write and who they are. Imagine what a shocker it would be if Author #1 started blogging about antiquing or Author #2 started tweeing expletives.

When you hear names like Reebok and McDonald’s, you know what they stand for. You know what to expect and what you’ll receive, most likely when you go to those locations. If you visit either the store or the restraunt and don’t get what you anticipated, you would most likely be annoyed.

As an author, you need to let your audience know what to expect from you. When an audience knows who you are and what you stand for, you’ve formed a relationship with your audience. Only then have you established your brand.

 

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be hosting a four part series on my website, StephanieKeyes.com. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be reviewing my presentation in detail and give you advice on how to get started with your brand.

 

About the Author

A seasoned, facilitator, Stephanie Keyes is no stranger to presenting. She’s worked in Training and Development for an international telecommunications corporation for the past twelve years; spending the first eight years of her career as a Software Trainer and Technical Writer and the last four working in Human Resources and Employee Development.

Stephanie holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and a Master’s in Education. She also created and delivered several courses on winning and retaining customer businessas well as presentation skills. In addition, Stephanie has worked extensively as a coach and mentor. In her spare time, Keyes also operates a freelance graphic and instructional design business, Sycamore Road Design.

 

Inkspell Publishing will release her first novel, The Star Child, on September 21, 2012. She is now currently at work on the second book in The Star Child Trilogy, The Fallen Stars.

 

Contact Stephanie

Website: www.stephaniekeyes.com

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Keyes/150860604966160

Twitter: www.twitter.com/StephanieKeyes

Please leave a comment

  1. Chris Longmuir Says:

    Your talk at tetbury was great, Stephanie, one of the highlights. Not sure what my brand is though, because I write dark crime and historical sagas. I’ve also got a historical crime one on the boil! I guess I’m just one crazy mixed up kid!

  2. Stephanie Keyes Says:

    Hi Chris! So glad you enjoyed it! You are your own unique brand. The writer that can terrify readers.and make them cry in the same book. As sort through the action of “branding Chris” please feel free to reach out if you need assistance!

  3. Nicky Wells Says:

    Hey Steph, your talk at Tetbury was faulous and inspiring! I look forward to the series on your blog… Thanks for sharing your insights, this is fab! X

  4. Stephanie Keyes Says:

    Hi Nicky! Thanks very much for your kind words. I am so pleased that you’re enjoying posts. 🙂

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