The buzz word at this year's national conference seemed to be branding. I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say, "You have to brand yourself and your writing."
This isn't a foreign topic to me not by any stretch of the imagination. I'm in business. I've taken marketing courses. In fact, when I designed my business cards, website, and slogan, branding myself as a writer was exactly what I was considering. Sensuality and Spark. That's me :-)
Even before we left for Atlanta I was considering redoing my website. After we got back I knew I needed to bite the bullet. I've been stealing a few minutes here and there for the last few weeks - in between crisis control. I've been searching high and low, looking for pictures, backgrounds, colors, and fonts that helped sustain the overall feel I wanted. And I've been pretty pleased with what I've got so far. But I was beginning to wonder whether the hours I've spent searching the black hole of cyberspace for that perfect graphic could have been better spent on some other endeavor - like actual work since I'm designing while on the day job.
But today Sweet Pea uttered several choice words that convinced me the effort was not in vain. While holding the bright, golden colored box of Honey Nut Cheerios - that she talked my mother into buying at Wal-Mart - my precious five-year old daughter sang me the entire Honey Nut Cheerios jingle. Word for word. Now, I understand that the catch phrase is printed right on the side of the box, however, my Angel can not read. She had to have been reciting it from memory.
I didn't even know she'd seen the Honey Nut Cheerios commercial. Apparently, she had. At least once.
I figure if General Mills (or whoever makes that cereal - I'm not getting up out of my chair to find out) can have my five-year old singing their catchy little song and buzzing like a sugar-crazed bee with little exposure, then I should definitely be expending energy on branding myself as a writer. Apparently this stuff works.
So, if any of our loyal readers happen to be song writers, I'm looking for a catchy jingle I can start singing whenever I walk into a room. Until then, I'll just have to content myself with searching through thousands and thousands of photo sites trying to scrounge up that perfect photo to match the eye-popping background and beautiful (yet readable) font.
As a reader, does author branding influence your purchasing decisions? Are you even conscious about it? And writers, is branding yourself something you've given much consideration to?
Instigator - who really needs to know she's not the only one who can lose an hour surfing the net looking for that perfect picture.