I recently embarked on an identity quest for my author brand for the purpose of purging what wasn’t working, and amplifying what was working for me in my author life. The ‘Hustle Culture’ eventually wore me down, and the Covid-19 pandemic gave me a new perspective on what was important and what wasn’t in my personal life. Though globally devastating, the pandemic forced us to look in the mirror and ask those hard questions. Am I happy doing what I’m doing? What’s my purpose? How did I get here? And many other self-reflecting questions. Yes, masks took away our ‘physical’ identity, made us all the same. However, masks did serve to keep us safe enough to allow the possibility of self-transformation during the pandemic if we chose to do so. Slowing down and reevaluating our lives was probably the best thing to come out of this global crisis.
An article about author branding and marketing made me stop and reassess how I approached my branding. I took a few notes that would help me and other authors out there who are ready to make some changes in the way we do business. The article’s author suggests that we identify five-six interests or topics we’re passionate or excited about, and make them our keywords or phrases. You know what I mean—your go-to subjects. What lights you up. So I went back to my social media bios and began tweaking them based on what floats my boat. The following are the words/phrases I came up with: writing, reading, recipes, anything arcane, ancient mysteries, and guilty pleasures (a.k.a. single malt scotch). That’s the kind of posts I share, like or comment on in my social media feed now. If you think like the reader you are, you’ll easily figure out your branding keywords. What do you search for when you’re looking for a book? Fantasy books? Time travel? Recipes? Spirituality? Supernatural? You do you. Everyone else is taken. By hitting on common bonds of interest you create bonds with others. This is how you build relationships and your authentic brand.
Other small actions I took to buff up my brand was to purge my Facebook friends and groups. I decided
to let go of people who haven’t posted in over a year, passed on, or have nothing in common with me. So I deleted away the dead wood, and opened up space for new growth. I also chose to take a break from posting my weekly #authorlife images on my social media accounts. I started doing those posts in September 2019 and continued on until June 1st, 2022. The reason for letting this way of connection go? I was beginning to find this task had run its course, and frankly was a time-suck. So now, I’ll only share book events and the odd personal post using the #authorlife identity.
To help Authors identify and create their brand, here are 3 questions they should ask themselves, and my personal response to each question:
What am I good at?
Me? Uplifting and helping others. Being generous with my tweets and shares. I give back more than I take.
What do I love doing?
I love writing for the young adult genre—especially anything arcane like psychic teens who use their powers to help save their small tourist town. Or ancient mysteries where my time-traveling teens are sent on their incredible missions to save earth’s past. Plus, I love researching all these subjects. Wink.
What solution can I bring to the world?
I want to reach readers (a.k.a. target audience) who will benefit and be inspired by my books in such a way as to find their own voice, not be afraid to use it, and shine their light in the best way they can. In essence, I’m passing on the baton to the next generations.
Now that we’re in a post-pandemic world, there really is no reason to hustle anymore. It’s a virtual world, and technology is changing by the day to make our lives easier. Many people have chosen to work from home and avoid the commute. Spending time with families has moved to the top of the list for many of us. New skills were developed, while old ones fell away. It’s good to do a reassessment and reevaluation of your author brand from time to time. After all, nothing is fixed, and change is a constant. Just remember to be consistent and be authentic.
Did you get tired of the Hustle Culture? Are you in the midst of branding or rebranding yourself? What are your keywords or phrases? I’d love for you to share your comments. Cheers, and thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!