How to Develop Brand or Logo as a Writer – Part 1
When it comes to deciding on a brand or logo, as a writer or author, many struggled with this dilemma as I did for years. Your logo and tagline create a brand that communicates how you want yourself or your company to be perceived by others. A brand should describe what you write and why. Think of Karen Kingsbury. I picture warm and tear-jerking. Or Stephen King, scary and nerve-racking.
Just mentioning those two very different writers evokes a sharp contrast of feelings. Those authors own their brand. They don’t have a logo like Nike or McDonald’s but instead their very name carries a brand of emotions. So how do you as a writer develop a brand and logo?
(Stop by next week to read Part 2.)
What Makes a Brand
Logo designers follow a principle of design when creating a unique brand for clients. Those may include some of the following:
- Simplicity – Simple, clean, flexible and easily recognizable.
- Sleek – Avoid busy, distracting, confusing or hard to read designs.
- Recall – Brands should be easy to remember, distinctive.
- Timeless – Will it stand the test of years or decades?
- Appropriate – Does this brand resonate with the desired audience?
It takes time to hone your voice and find your target audience. Since I started blogging in 2007, my brand and audience have changed as much as most people change their underwear. One might could say I have writing personality disorder. (You may be interested in Finding Your Writing Niche.)
But I didn’t let that stop me and neither should you. Writing is like any other career path, it takes time to discover and develop specific skills. Branding yourself is an acquired skill that takes not only time and practice but feedback. You can’t get feedback if you’re not writing. It’s like the old joke – What came first? The chicken or the egg? (You may want to read 9 Things Jogging & Writing Have in Common)
Wanting to save you from some of the stress I’ve encountered, I’ve picked up a few tips that I want to give you. Hopefully they will save you years of trouble and torment over the dreaded logo/tagline/branding thing.
Over the course of the next few weeks, (or months should it take that long), I’m going to supply you with everything you need to start, build or rebuild your brand.
Think of a few people that have personal brands: Martha Stewart, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore. These are people we can identify with certain ideas and concepts. They didn’t start out famous with those identifications but because they consistently deliver what we want based on what they taught us to expect from them, they are household names now. You may not like or agree with them, but you can identify who they are. Everyone knows what you mean if you say “That movie was a Steven Spielberg movie.” It’s because he has a brand that you expect.
A logo helps deliver a brand’s visual element to communicate their message. This is seen with Walmart or Starbucks. As a writer, your visual identity could be book cover(s), headshots or your website design. That’s why creating a brand across all mediums is extremely important.
What to Consider with Branding
If you’re not an author but are hopeful to be one in the future, it’s never too early to work on branding. In fact the earlier you establish it the better. But remember not to stress – honing your voice, your audience, and your writing style takes time.
Here’s a few thing to consider:
- How do you want to be perceived?
- What do you want people to think when they hear your name?
- What sets you apart?
- Who are your readers?
- What are they expecting from you?
- What advice, knowledge, experiences are you wanting to convey?
- After you find success, will your brand still describe you?
- Who is your competition? Or who is writing in the same field or genre?
- What other writers, bloggers, authors do you admire and why?
- What are you interested in that others may be interested in?
Social media has made it super easy today to get feedback. Ask some of your close friends or readers of your work how they perceive you. I did this last year and was amazed at the feedback I received. Ask them what they would like to read or know about. Become an expert in those things and what you enjoy learning about as well. Being an expert doesn’t mean you know EVERYTHING about a subject. It means you know more than most people. ; )
A consistent, reliable source for an area, subject or theme is the birth of building a brand. Click To TweetStand out by becoming a consistent source for your readers. Understanding and managing their expectations is critical to your success.
Stop by next week to read Part 2.