Writer’s Platform
should do. For example, even if you’re bold and rough, a designer you’re working with may
convince you that a softer style is very in right now.
Defining your brand saves you from these kinds of pitfalls. Instead of merely asking yourself,
Do I like this idea?” you should also ask, “Is it consistent with my brand?”
Many would enjoy owning a Picasso,
but few have rooms in which a Picasso
would look at home. Platforms fall
apart when you try to fit in elements
that are cool by themselves but don’t
support the real you.
The smart place to begin is to ask
yourself what kind of person you are.
If you don’t feel comfortable answering
this question, you can ask close friends, colleagues, or other writers you’ve worked with in the
past. How would they describe you to a stranger?
This isn’t about strengths and weaknesses. More than anything, branding is about quirks—
what’s unusual, unique, and personally defining about you. Make sure when you ask around
that people know you’re not looking for compliments; you’re looking for the things that
differentiate you from others.
Exercise: Write down your three most defining traits. Then consider how these
traits would look in shapes and colors, how they would sound out loud, and how
they’d show up in your writing business.
For example, if one of your defining traits is “funny”, then what would funny look
like on a website? How would it come across in your writing? Are you funny in
personal emails? Would you be funny during a radio interview?
You’ll want to think about the difference between your writing voice in products
like books and your writing voice in more casual circumstances like social media,
emails, and blogging.
More than anything,
branding is about
quirks—what’s unusual,
unique, and personally
defining about you.”
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