Want to make your living as a writer? You must treat your writing career like a business. This requires that you build your business just as any entrepreneur does by planning, working hard, promoting, and taking advantage of technology.
What do you think when you hear the word branding? Does Coca-Cola or FedEx come to mind? Their logos and colors just popped into your head, right? This is branding. Solid brands build loyal customers.
Writers benefit from brand recognition just like products. What about Murder She Wrote or Law and Order? Did your favorite show characters come to mind? Think of Stephen King, Nora Roberts and J.K. Rowling. Even if you’ve never read their books, you know these names and their genres. For writers, branding is the process of creating a perception that you are the best person for the job. It’s about building your image.
Everything the public sees about you, your books and articles, the interviews you give, and even your daily correspondence strengthens your position as an expert and creates your brand recognition.
An easy way to begin your branding program today: take advantage of email signatures. Email signatures are those few lines of text at the bottom of every email you send. They’re easy to create and can automatically be included in your emails. Think of them as a virtual business card.
You can access the signature creation option in your email program by clicking on the “Options” or “Preferences” link and following the simple directions provided. In most cases, you’ll type your signature into a box and click “include with every email.”
Diana Burrell, co-author of The Renegade Writer and Query Letters that Rock, goes a step further using multiple signatures. She recommends that you “customize your signature depending on who an email is going to.” Diana has different signatures for personal, press, client, and interview emails.
A few email signature rules: Keep it to six lines or less; Provide your contact information, especially your email and web addresses; Don’t put cute messages, they don’t brand you as a professional; Do include your current marketing message (promote your new book or project); Change your signature on a regular basis–at least once a month.