15 Habits of Great Writers: Day 14 – Brand

For Day 14 of the Great Writers Series, Jeff encourages us to develop brands. Branding has a lot to do with the impression your work leaves on people.

“A brand is the simplest, most memorable part of yourself you can give.”

Jeff challenges participants to establish the three elements that make up a brand: (1) name; (2) image; and (3) voice.

Name

In terms of branding, I believe my name element was sort of stumbled upon. I call myself Steph. I almost never say “Stephanie” when introducing myself. I even sign “Steph” when I sign my name (of course, that may just be laziness or sloppiness). My first personal email after I got married was stephhwilliams @ whatever service I used at the time. And I’ve used it ever since. I use the same name on Twitter too.

After blogging for a couple of years at Blogger.com, I closed down my personal blog when I started our farm website. However, I soon missed having a place to share stuff that wasn’t farm related. When I decided to start a new blog, this one, I couldn’t decide on a name. It took forever. I finally started thinking that I was using not being able to pick a name as a way of procrastinating actually starting to blog again. So I decided to get started just with my name and come back to an actual title later. That was a year-and-a-half ago. I guess, by now, it’s time to accept that “stephhwilliams” is part of my brand.

Image

This can be either a photo or a logo. The idea is to be consistent across platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, and, if using an image, to use one in which you are recognizable.  While I like the idea of a logo, I think a photo is more personal. However, like a lot of women, I hate photos of myself. I also don’t have that many to choose from, as I’m usually the one taking the photo rather than being in it. So, I’m still working on this. The photo I’m using now is almost 5 years old but hopefully I haven’t changed much. It’ll have to do for now, and I’ll use it consistently now.

Voice

This element is a little trickier. I asked MorganMorganMorgan for three adjectives to describe my writing. She said: honest, intelligent/well thought-out, and personal. I’ve talked before out ‘telling it like it is’ in my writing; so the “honest” pleases me. “Personal” makes sense since I’m always writing about myself, but I hope she also means “personable.” Let’s go with that. And I’m pleased she doesn’t think my writing is stupid. :p

I was surprised, though, that she didn’t include funny or sarcastic. But maybe it’s just because those don’t always come through in my writing.  See, I think I’m hilarious and snarky (though only at times), too. But now I’m thinking I’m like an old man who slaps his leg and laughs at his own jokes while everyone else looks on with pity or embarrassment.

Oh well, at least I get a good laugh out of me.

 

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