Branding and Re-branding Yourself by Steph Beth Nickel

Slightly altered versions of this post will also appear on InScribe Writers Online and This & That for Writers.

 

Ask These Questions

 

What can you see yourself writing about five years from now? Ten years from now?

 

What is the overarching theme of your writing? What fires you up? What can’t you stop talking—and writing—about?

 

How do you want to be known? Close to home and out in cyberspace?

 

If you can narrow your focus in these areas, you just may have found your theme, your tagline, your brand.

 

Narrow Your Focus

 

The name of my blog was originally “Steph’s Eclectic Interests.” That should give you an indication of how not focused I am. A dear friend and fellow writer said, “Each blog you post is focused on a single topic.” Talk about gracious!

 

A few years back, another dear friend said my tagline should be “Riding Shotgun.” And although I gave her a funny look, when she explained her reasoning, I was humbled and honoured. Because I “come alongside” others and assist them, she thought “Riding Shotgun” would be descriptive of that.

 

Not being a country music fan (don’t hate me), I never did go with her suggestion, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget it.

 

Like so many other people, I’m what I call “stupid busy.” It isn’t that I don’t like what I do—to the contrary. But it is long past time that I had a singular focus. And recently, I found it. <bouncing up and down, clapping>

 

A lot of factors came together to make it happen.

 

On June 25, I attended the Saturday sessions at the Write Canada conference. There, Belinda Burston stopped me to take my picture. Brenda J. Wood joined me in the shot. And I’m so glad she did! That picture is now plastered across the Web. It’s one of those shots that makes me grin—me with my newly dyed burgundy hair and Brenda with her flowered hat. (Who says writers are a stuffy, serious lot?)

 

That picture was a significant contributing factor to what followed. And late Thursday night, a tagline popped into my head. It was perfect: “To Nurture & Inspire.” I headed off to Dreamland flying high.

 

I spent the best parts of Friday, July 1, re-branding myself online. I had to find the right background (thank you, pixabay.com), the right font and the right graphic (thank you, picmonkey.com).

 

Follow These Quick Tips

 

So, to close, I’d like to recommend five quick tips for branding (or re-branding) yourself:

 

  1. Keep an eye out. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. Re-branding myself wasn’t on my To Do list, but one thing led to another and then another, and finally, “Poof!”

 

  1. Get creative. Explore sites like Pixabay and PicMonkey. Let your Inner Creative out to play. It’s amazing how much fun you can have. I admit that I’m more of a “pantser” when it comes to these kinds of endeavours. However, if you like to be more deliberate in your planning, you can find how-to YouTube videos on just about any subject.

 

  1. Know when it’s time to hire a pro. You may not have the time or the know-how to create your own brand. However, you will want to work hands-on with whomever you hire. You want to be able to say, “If I could have done it on my own, this is exactly what I would have come up with.”

 

  1. Your brand isn’t forever. At least it doesn’t have to be. If your focus narrows or changes, even if you just get tired of it, it’s alright to rework it. Don’t get me wrong; if you’re well-established, it may take some time for your readers to adjust, but I would venture a guess that most of them will.

 

And …

 

  1. Enjoy yourself. Even if your message is a serious one, I believe there’s something satisfying about choosing a profile picture and tagline as well as colours and graphics that are an extension of your message—and further, an extension of yourself.

 

Do you have a brand? Are you pleased with it or is it time for some revamping?

~*~

Steph Beth Nickel

4 comments

  1. Good questions and good advice. I called my first blog Whiskertips, so why was I surprised when my cats took it over? I started a second blog and gave it a name that meant something to me but sounded (and was) boring. So I changed the name to Telling the Truth, Mainly, which is what I do. But I post about so many different things that I’m probably unbrandable. (I write crime fiction/mystery, but I don’t often write about it. Go figure.)

  2. Great post! It took years and a lot of missteps for me to finally find a brand and tagline that suited me. My tagline is “Stories of Magic and Moonlight,” and it works well for me. But finding it was a process. Good luck on your journey, Steph!

  3. LOL, Steph! I totally get the lack of focus thing… explains why I come at things from “Many Worlds From Many Minds: the Ramblings of Universal Chaos” 😉

    Though, when I started the blog, I did have a focus (actually quite a narrow one too). I wanted to deal with my stories and how they tend to split off from trigger moments, much like the multi-verse theory of worlds, where each moment in time creates or destroys a new version of our universe that grows off and creates its own “not quite mirrors”. Some things make these alternates live and change to the point they become recognizably different from our own; in some, so many things would be the same that the few differences are all that more jarring…

    I never got to that point. Right now… I am that un-focused. But that’s OK right now.

    Glad you found your branding moment however. 🙂

  4. Great tips, Steph. Thanks! It’s so good to read that it’s not forever. I feel like I’m constantly rebranding! Lol. But after writing for some time I can see that I’ve always really written about writing & healing. So I’m not necessarily rebranding, just refocusing. I blog specifically about spiritual poetry and its healing impact. For now my blog’s tagline is “poetry. self-care. revolution.” But I think that might change again too! (Any suggestions would be appreciated 😊).

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