In writing, the primary requirement of an opening is that the first few lines plunge the reader into the story instantly. The reader is hooked with the writing. But is it enough to keep them coming back again and again as you build your brand, your writing career?
I found myself contemplating how I am going to market myself as an author again after my encounter with this young woman. She swears it is more than selling a book. It is about selling ourselves to the reader. I tried to decide in my head how to approach the first few minutes with a stranger.
What should matter most in the first initial conversation I have with the new individual? Is it the few first lines spoke or the way I present myself before speaking. I’ve been told a strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for a successful introductory encounter.
What about once I get into the conversation? How important are the first words uttered? Should I focus on hooking them like I do in my writing with the first few lines? Like having a practiced opening dialogue in the back of my head or should I simply fly from the seat of my pants.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”– Albert Einstein Great advice Mr. Einstein but how do I know the rules of the game when I’ve never marketed myself.
I’m very visual. I’m guilty of noticing the individual’s appearance like for instance is the person relaxed or tense. Did they make eye contact when approaching? Did the person extend his hand for a handshake? What kind of grip? Did it linger or not?
So I try very hard to match the social cues so we remain on equal footing. I always note something the person is wearing and specifically comment about it. I’m not really comfortable with small talks like the weather or the day itself so I tend to focus on the purpose of our meeting whether it be networking or social connections and go directly to the purpose of our getting together. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. – Zig Ziglar Thus far in life that has worked very well.
“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” – Harry F. Banks
But then my never ending mind went back and forth on… is the real hook in the introduction and the presentation or the conversation that follows. For me, both are important but I can never decide what has more value in the long run. I feel it is important to make the encounter memorable and connectable for the future with the minimalist of effort and time. Time is priceless to me and I would rather spend my time in pursuit of my passions than being a social butterfly but I do need my book to sell. I agree with Picasso that “Action is the foundational key to all success.”– Pablo Picasso
So as I was crocheting Round 33 and 34 on my Mandala I was trying to decide again how do I market myself better. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you approach marketing yourself.
2 thoughts on “Successful Brand Creating”
Lyn, these are interesting questions – especially for a writer. Today, the buzz is all about branding, both inside and outside a writer’s world. I wanted to share a conversation I had last week at a writer’s retreat with a MARKETER who is also a novelist. He made this statement: branding is a dirty word. I was like: What??? because all you hear about these days is building your brand, right? So I asked him, okay, explain what you mean. And he said this: you can’t build a brand. A brand arises from what you DO, not from a message you are trying to tell people. Do you make washing machines? Then your brand comes out of what your product does for people or means to people (reliable, low-cost, locally available, specialized wash cycles, etc.) (my example)
So he says, when clients come to him (like a cruise line that is one of his clients) wanting him to change their brand, he explains that the brand doesn’t come from him – it comes from their business. What do they do, offer, provide, to their customer? etc.
Now, about writers, he said further: writers should not be chasing after creating a brand. He said: writers are *people*, and people are not just one thing. Your work should reflect who you are as an artist, and maybe that is multiple things, not just one thing. So “branding” yourself is too limiting (he said).
What do you think about this? If found it both freeing and challenging at the same time. I guess his message might be, do your art, and let it speak for itself. But I think if we want to make our art/writing connect with an audience (I do!), that might suggest building community and building awareness. But maybe not a brand. What are your thoughts?
I see branding as forming a sense of community with others that share the same passions as me but many publicists disagree. The difficulty for me lies in the fact that I am an introvert so my comfort zone is challenged in social situations. I need a set plan for me to function comfortably outside of my safe place.
I know my publisher stressed the importance of building a brand over and over. I found his advice disconcerting because all of the things he did recommend take away from the person I really am.
I am so much more than a poet, I wear multiple caps every day in my life. These passions are what make me Lyn. I like who I am very much.
I agree with the gentlemen it does have to come from what we offer to others. For me, my artistic nature is reflected in many different levels and hopefully, those levels will connect with others as my community grows.