Why Every Writer Needs a Brand
Give your ears some momentum! Listen now: (00:15:31)
“In a Zendesk survey, 87% of consumers said consistent branding across all online and traditional platforms was important.” – Oberlo
People expect your tone and voice across your website and all channels to be CONSISTENT. In this episode of the Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena talk about how branding can take you and your books to the next level.
– [Writing Moments](https://www.writingmoments.com) – Write with us and give your writing momentum!
Episode 30 Transcription:
[00:00:14].910] - Chris Thank you. The Writing Momentum Podcast. I'm Christopher Maselli, and I'm here with my wife, Gena. How are you doing today, Gena? [00:00:20].430] - Gena I'm doing really well. [00:00:23].090] - Chris There's a pause there. Are you sure? [00:00:25].040] - Gena No, I was trying to come up with another interesting way of saying it, but there you go. [00:00:29].050] - Chris That's the thing when you do these podcasts, right, you're always thinking, is there a new way for me to say hello? So that there is. [00:00:35].870] - Gena Well, we are talking today, Chris, about a topic that has been on my mind for a while to really start talking about. It is what? [00:00:44].760] - Chris It's branding. So branding for writers and authors, what does that mean? So there was a recent survey by a place called Zendesk, and they found that 87%, that's like almost all of consumers, said the consistent branding across all online and traditional platforms was important. In other words, wherever people find you and whenever people see you, they kind of want to see and find the same thing, right? They want it to be consistent. They want to know that, okay, the way I know you is the way I know you, right? [00:01:19].750] - Gena Yes. I think of branding when we think on a big scale. We think of McDonald's. You see those golden arches and you know what it is. You walk in the door and there's a very distinct feel and tone and the way the furniture is and the way the ordering process is. The way the food arrives. It's all very distinct. Same when you walk into a Walt Disney. Whether you walk into a store. Walt Disney World. Walt. Disneyland. Any kind of amusement park that is associated with Walt Disney. Really. As soon as you drive on the property. There is branding going on and you recognize that you are in a Disney location. So those are large scale. I can also talk about Starbucks, which I think also has a really strong brand. You can also talk about Apple, that is a very strong brand. If you walk into a Best Buy and walk into their computer department and then you walk into an Apple store, completely different experience when you walk in the door. They both sell quality computers, but it is a completely different experience when you walk into that Apple store. You know you're walking into an Apple store because there's no other computer store that is exactly like it. [00:02:43].220] - Gena They have developed a very strong brand. [00:02:45].780] - Chris I like looking at big brands like that because they can give us a window into our old own branding because we as authors have brands too. And while those companies, these mega million dollar companies have entire departments and maybe even buildings of people working on their branding, for all of us, it's mostly just me, myself, and I that are working on this stuff. So when it comes down to it, though, it's not all that difficult to understand the basic concept of what branding is. If you just look at it and say, branding is how others see you, okay, but it's also how you want them to see you. It's how they see you, as well as the perception of you. There's a lot of things that you can do that affect how you come across as an author, as a writer, as someone who's in the genre that you are when you're writing. And those are things like the colors you use on your website. We use blue, a lot of blue on writing momentum, because blue conveys trust, and yet we use some red because that conveys kind of the speed of momentum, right? [00:03:57].410] - Chris It comes across in your presentation whether you're professional or whether you're whimsical. It comes across in the images you use, whether they're, again, very kind of formal, or whether they're just fun. It comes across in the copy you use on your website and in your emails and in the different things that you write. What kind of tone do you have? Do you use humor? Do you use a lot of drama right? There is all those are the kind of things that come into your branding, and you really want to take some time to think through those, don't you? [00:04:28].140] - Gena Gena yes. And I will tell you, this can be really it can be a challenge. We have found it to be a challenge for us. We went through this process a couple of years ago of really questioning our own brand and really trying to identify who were we, what was our business, who was our audience, who were we really talking to, who did we want to talk to. Chris and I have been in writing for over 25 years. We're coming up on 30 that we have been in writing and in publishing. And so there's a lot of different types of people that we talk to, a lot of different clients that we work with. But we really had to sit down and really question, who do we want to be that main person? Who's that person that we want to talk to now? And we still want to be talking to them in five years and in ten years, what is the core of our business? And we went through a process of really identifying who we were, what we were about, who we were talking to, and developing that branding. And I'll tell you, it went so far beyond. [00:05:39].290] - Gena We are still developing our brand. Even though we've gone through that process, we're still looking at places and going, we could be sharper with that. We could be clearer with that. And so, yeah, it is a continual process. [00:05:56].390] - Chris I know some authors who have taken and they've taken a picture of someone they know that is typical of who their brand is. And they'll put it up on the side of their monitor beside where they work so that they know that everything they write. Whether it be the actual fiction book they're writing. Or whether it be an email they're writing to their audience or working on their website or even making a social media post. They have that person in mind and say. Okay. I'm writing to that person. And by doing that, it really helps keep you focused. And it's not that others won't find you, right? I mean, we typically talk to writers, but because I've written material for children, we still have people who follow us because they like the material I've written for children. Gena's writing inspirational devotionals. So some people will come and follow Gena because of the inspirational devotionals, but our audience is you guys, right, who are listening to the Writing Momentum podcast. [00:06:53].210] - Gena It's the emerging writer, the emerging writers who are coming up. Those are the people that we get really excited to talk to, meet with, just to help to see where you're going in your career. We get really excited about that and we realize that's what energizes us. So that's who we want to be talking to. [00:07:14].080] - Chris So man, when we figured that out, like, that took us a while, but when we figured that out, we went to all our social media accounts and changed all the images and all the backgrounds to make them all look the same. We went to our website and I remember going through paragraph by paragraph over everything we written, which was so formal, and I broke it down and made it added humor and just kind of made it a lot more down to earth. Because the thing is, we realized we had ghost written for others for so long that we've learned how to take ourselves out of ourselves when we wrote. But when we were writing for ourselves, we didn't know who they were writing for then. And so we had to kind of look at the way we just interacted with friends and family and the people that we like hanging around. And we thought, okay, that's who we are. So that's what we started to bring into all of those things. And everything that we offer is for someone who's wanting to who is that emerging rider. That's why anytime we create a new free PDF, it's written just for that group. [00:08:19].920] - Gena Exactly. And like Chris said, it changed our tone. It changed we went added more humor. And now we even went to our social media sites and we looked at different social media sites and they were just a jumble of just different things that's like. Oh. Well. I liked that. And I liked that. And I created that. And somebody else created that. And we just had like a jumble of different fonts of different colors. Of different styles. And we really just have been slowly getting rid of a lot of that and creating more content that is more in line with our style. [00:08:56].760] - Chris I even think it affected which social media sites we wanted to focus on the most because we realized a good bulk of our audience was actually on Pinterest and YouTube, because those are both really kind of search engines over social media sites, and people on those are searching for training on writing. And so we realized, okay, this is really kind of the people that are for us now, they may be totally different for you, but that's the kind of thing you want to consider because it helps you know where to focus your efforts and make sure you're going in the right direction, right? [00:09:29].180] - Gena Well, the reason why branding has been so important, it's kind of just been like a thorn in my head. Like I keep coming back to it. And I really wanted to talk about this is because so often I hear emerging writers talk about they talk about writing. How do I write a book? How do I write this? How do I write a newsletter? How do I do this? They also ask about publishing. Should I be traditionally published or should I be independently published? Should I go with a vanity press? What should I do? And say, they want to know that. And then they want to know, how do I sell my book? I want to sell my book. How do I sell my book? And they jump over this really important element of branding, because branding starts before a book ever gets published. Branding starts. If you are writing a book, then please, if you haven't yet started thinking about this, thinking about how you want to position yourself, please take the time to ask yourself that question and to go through some of these exercises of just asking, who am I speaking to? Who do I want to communicate with? [00:10:45].880] - Gena Who do I want to speak to? And start narrowing down how to do that. And do that by looking at you're developing a logo. Logos are not terribly expensive to produce. If you can't do one yourself, you can find them on Fiverr or I'm sure there's other sites. [00:11:05].030] - Chris 99 Designs. [00:11:05].600] - Gena Different ones. Find yourself a logo for your website, for your social media. Decide on what colors you want to use. Think about what colors do you like, what style do you like? I've seen people who they really love kind of the magnolia style right now. That's what's really popular, right? Chip and Joanna Gaines, and they've got the farmhouse feel. And so a lot of their stuff has the farmhouse feel. Other people, they want it to be super modern, or they want it to be quirky, or they want it to be more drawn, like illustrations, those kind of things. So figure out what is your style, what are your colors, and then start thinking about how you want to talk to people. Are you really serious? Are you more academic? Are you someone who's just really empathetic and you love bringing a lot of story and a lot of heart into your work? So think about all of that and really narrow it down so that you're not all over the place, but you're really targeted and so that the people who are listening to you, the people who are following you on social media, the people who are coming to your website, they know what they are going to get when they get there. [00:12:27].000] - Gena They're not surprised and confused because if they're surprised and they're like, oh, well, their book is super serious, but their website is really goofy. I don't know who this person is. By streaming it and making it streamlined, it's going to give your reader and the person you're talking to just a better idea of who you are. [00:12:50].790] - Chris Yeah. So your assignment this week is to think about this and maybe get a piece of paper and start to write down who's my audience? Where do they spend their time on the Internet? Where do they spend their time off the Internet? What kind of things are they reading? What are they interested in? And then start to interact with our audience. See if you're right about all those things. See where they are so that you can start to build that relationship. Because remember, more than anything, if you get one thing out of this podcast is this marketing is about relationships. Branding is about building those relationships. And so if you want to start marketing in the right direction, you want to focus on who you're connecting with and start making that really take off. [00:13:33].480] - Gena Definitely. Thank you so much for tuning in, for listening. Be sure to rate, review, subscribe, ring the bell if you're on there, share it with others. I got to hit all those words. I always forget. But yeah, do that and comment to us or email us, reach out to us if you've got questions about this, we'd love to answer those if we can. If you've got some ideas and you've had kind of a eureka moment, if you've been listening like, oh my gosh, I didn't realize this. This is what I'm going to do, and you've got some clear direction, let us know that. We want to celebrate that with you. [00:14:09].450] - Chris Absolutely. We appreciate you listening. And until next time, we hope that all your writing has momentum. Bye bye.
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