The Author’s Branding Manifesto

by Diane Holmes

Last we spoke on Author Branding, the conversation included Zombies and we hashed over whether “brand” is actually a curse word in disguise.

Brand ourselves?  (All together now….)  Like products?!  You mean come up with a way to sum up our uniqueness?

Brand Heaven and Hell Picture by David Armano

And yet if I ask you if all writers are alike and can all write the same thing,  there’s not a writer reading this column who won’t argue that we’re each original, have individual voices, and are not in any way interchangeable.  (I think there’s a marketing word for pointing out unique qualities…. )

Wait.  I’m pausing to see if anyone saying, “Oh noes, I’m not original at all.  I strive to be a generic author, and I’m hoping that if another writer comes along, they’ll cast me aside because (all together now), it’s not like I bring anything unique to the table.”

Crickets.  (And they’re snickering.)

A Class On Branding Just for U

Today, I want to share Dan Amano’s  video on the topic of people and brands.  He founded Brand U.0 (“you point zero”), and I have a marketing crush on him.

This talk, given at the Chicago New Media Summit in 2008, is the best 20 minutes you’ll ever spend on building a personal brand.

First minute and a half showing the difference between a logo and a brand. J And just gets better and better!

Go watch RIGHT NOW. Then come back here.

Bottom Line Takeaway:

  • Brand is not the product.
  • Having a brand does not make you a product, because brand is about your gut.
  • There’s a brand heaven and a brand hell based on how  other people experience your brand. Your brand and influence exists whether you care or not.
  • Online, personal brands happen in an organic way, celebrating niches.
  • You know you’re a web-lebrity if you have an action figure in your own image.
  • David has 5 aspects of building a personal brand.  My favorite is “Be Remarkable.” That is the essence of every writer I know. we have remarkable things to say.  We arrived remarkable, and we have a remarkable dream that doubles as a career.  Pretty darn… remarkable.
  • People who don’t create a personal brand still have them. They just don’t control them.

The Author’s Branding Manifesto

So, here’s what I want you to take away from this column on Author Branding.

  1. Writers create meaning.
  2. Branding creates meaning.
  3. This is your chance to bring meaning to your personal brand (how others see you), instead of letting someone else do it.
  4. It’s a creative act.
  5. It’s not our enemy or a curse.  It’s our finest work brought to life.
  6. And it’s the most creative thing we’ll ever do for our careers.

Note: In the video, David mentions presentations on Slide Share.  You can find them here.

This is the second in a series on Author Branding.  Previous articles include:

#1 Author Branding vs. an Army of Writers


Diane Holmes Crop 1Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone:

  • Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and
  • Marketing-Zone: Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book. She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University – “Learn to pitch your book from the AGENTS and EDITORS who make their living at it.  Learn.  Pitch.  Sell.”