Festive greetings everyone, I hope you’re all ready to create some character bio’s today. This is something you should all be great at, after all, good writing is often based around great characters. Today is your lucky day too because the character we get to create is YOU, the most important person of this whole Author Platform process (you are after all the author, right?).Welcome back to part-4 of the How To Build An Author House Series. As strategic marketer I love the process of building a brand and the foundations that can help a business or person stand up tall for generations. Author marketing is my most recent challenge and so far I’m loving every second of it.
Last time out we looked at the first part of the Branding process, the second instalment getting completed today. If you have yet to read the previous part please do so now, as what I’m about to write will make a great deal more sense.
Author Marketing: Your Picture Says A Thousand Words
So without further chit chat, let’s look at the final two aspects:
As you may be noticing by now, I’m rather big on consistency, but it’s with good reason. If there was one word to describe branding I’d say it was consistency, the consistency in everything you do being so very important. Colours are no different, and like your picture, will say a surprisingly great deal about your personality. It’s another opportunity to showcase your brand so make sure you take it with both hands.
I use four colours, which are:
My reasoning here is quite simple, black and white being chosen because of their neutral manner. These two colours are the norm and will come across just about every third party site you use in your author marketing activities. Why use blue font on a brown background on my site, if everything I post on Twitter and Facebook appears as black on white? Instead of fighting the entire Internet, I incorporate it into my design and brand, therefore allowing my author platform to remain consistent and clean.
The grey is again rather neutral but offers something a little bit different. It can still be used on most backgrounds, but helps give my site a little bit extra. The last thing I want is everything to look the same, so adding touches of grey allow me to break things up.
The final colouring piece is purple, my little bit of flair and creativity in this whole process. It allows me to highlight certain things, and purple’s a colour that sticks in people’s head. It also happens to be my favourite colour (so helps bring across my personality) and I think it helps define my brand a little. Is it important for you to have a colour like this to stand out? Not necessarily, but anything that gives you an edge will help you further down the road.
The colours you choose are totally up to you, but hopefully this will have you thinking about it, and not see it as something totally irrelevant. You again need to be consistent but also need to consider the bigger picture. Your brand will feature across many platforms, including your book, so how can you incorporate colour to:
– Help give your author platform some personality
– Stand out from the crowd
– Not overbear or offend
– Build a brand over many platforms
The final jigsaw piece in your Brand puzzle is Font, a seemingly pointless thing to think about, right? Well, kind of, but at the same time NO! Like colour it’s another way to help you stand out and define who you are. Take a look at Inky Girl, a blogger and writer who in my opinion comes across very quirky and playful. This comes through via her colours, and drawings, and fonts that are curvy and erratic. Whereas head over to Jane Friedman’s site, a professor and active public speaker, what do you see? More business like, no?
My personal font of choice is Barhaus 93 for titles, and just a typical Times or Arial for main body things. This isn’t because I like Times or Arial, but because most sites use these or something like them. Again, why fight a war you’ll lose?
Barhaus 93 helps my words stand out, and is quite similar to a lot of bold fonts used on the web. Take this site for instance, my creative’s use Barhaus 93, but the blog title doesn’t. They are quite similar though, right? (update 13/01/2012… After getting the CSS upgrade I changed the Head Title to a graphic, therefore exposing my brand further and getting the identity across)
Pick a few fonts and stick with them, changing them all the time will lead to inconsistency, which as you hopefully now know, is very very bad. And be sensible, people need to read what you write, so even though you may love a nice curly font, it may give others a headache.
So there you go, between the Vision and Mission Statements, Logo, Pictures, Names, Colours, and Fonts, you have your brand. You should now be able to look at it and proudly have it speak for you. If you’re not happy then change things, because this is the time to do just that.
Considering you’re most likely a writer, and therefore big on character creation, I’ve put my new found Brand into a more physical form. So let me introduce you to my very own Brand Identity
This little character bio paints my brand in a more colourful picture. You can see each element discussed and by creating something like this and keeping it close to hand, you can always go back, look at it, and ask ‘is what I’m about to do staying true to my brand?’
You can do this kind of character bio anyway you like, I’ve used spider diagrams before, and flow charts etc. The point is to really understand Why you are doing this, How you intend to go about it, What it is you do best, and How you can bring this all together with colour, words, and visuals to create a killer author platform.
Take a look at my various sites below and see if you can spot my brand coming through. You should be able to see the individual traits and the parts they play across my author marketing platforms. Your mind will do things subconsciously and it’s one of the main reasons branding is so important. It’s about planting perception in people’s mind, allowing for easy recollection, and taking them down a journey you want them to go down.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
How’s your author platform looking so far?
Define your Brand in three words…