This one will be updated, I want to keep at it, but I can't promise how or what or when.
I do however have a question for any readers I do have out there.
How do you Brand Yourself?
I think its an interesting question to consider. As a writer and small business person, I know that half of what I sell, is myself. I am my business. Separation hasn't really happened, so the business and I are pretty much one in the same.
Yes, I could create a new FB just for the business, perhaps even use a Pen Name [which I've concidered for the more adult stories I'd like to epublish], or work to create something for YOU and something for THE BUSINESS.
But I wonder, when the goal of branding is to be Great, to Know Itself, Invent or Reinvent an Entire Category, Taps into Emotions, Tells a Never Ending Story and is Relevant... Is that something you can so easily tear out of yourself and give its own life? Is it really possible, when the truth of the matter is, you are your brand? For that matter, is it something we should all strive for?
Ok, I'll admit it... There aren't answers to those questions. At least, general ones. Each person will need to choose how to go about branding themselves. The only question that should be a no brainier, is Are you branding yourself?
Everytime I make a post to FaceBook, G+ and Twitter, I am making a post that people in both my personal and professional world see. When I walk out the door for a day of shopping, meetings or just to grab a quick bite, I am representing my brand.
I don't want you to think I'm implying that you have to dress to the nines [where does that come from.. Always wondered], lay on the hair and make up styling and wear your formal dress... But, what if you bump into someone while your out there, and your dressed in your pajama's? This is the first impression you get to make. Yes, writers have a sort of... Myth about them, stay up late, are slobs, drink tons of coffee, that kind of thing. But is that a myth about new writers climbing up in the world or established writers? Which are you? Do you think they always look and act that way? And a Jewelry Designer... What are they? Egotisitcal? Dressed in the best labels? Often gay? Or are they old, often seen grumpy and wearing their jewelers eye and smock. Once again, perhaps, but at some point they weren't.
And don't think I'm telling you that, you've lost all ability to have a down day or get sick or just, hang out with your friends. I'm not. You can't cease to live. But, you do have to remember when you are the brand, every 'Hello' could be a contact. Every waitress or waiter is a potential client. You are always ON.
You have to decide how best to handle everything. Create a secondary Facebook account, something you use only for business. Set up a circle or group, and when you need to share something more personal, post only to them. Use a pen name, create an account under that name and keep yourself private.
However you choose to do it, the important thing is that you remember it early on. I'm not sure how I managed it, and I'm far from famous by any standard... I'm far from KNOWN to most of the world. But when I started preparing myself to sell Jewelry last year, I walked out knowing I was going to make sure it was branded. When I make posts and comments to FB, in the back of my head I keep reminding myself that its now filled with Old Friends, New Friends, Business Partners, Connections and Clients. When I like something or wish to say something I'm not sure I should, I actually have a place to do all that and keep it out of the 'public' eye. I work hard to put people on lists, so that if I wanted to, I could actually only speak to some of them.
Take a moment and stop to think about how you've branded yourself, then think of how you might want to be seen by the public at large. For the most part, it shouldn't be a huge change. You are you. And you is who your trying to sell.