Write to Sell and to Brand Yourself FAST

Want to build your brand? Consider this: Amazon gives you the opportunity to write to sell, and to build your brand at the same time.

Write to Sell and To Brand Yourself

Currently I’m working with a couple of clients who are writing short ebooks to build their brand. One is a personal trainer, and the other is a financial consultant.

Both have professions which involve a lot of education.  The trainer needs to teach his clients to improve their health with better nutrition and exercise, and the consultant needs to give his clients ways to improve their finances.

Their writing helps their work, and it will over time give them standing and credibility in their chosen fields.

What about you?

Could writing help you to build your brand?

Blogging is one way to build your brand, and for years, I’ve encouraged many of my clients to blog. However, a blog is a commitment. If you’re pressed for time, blogging may not be for you. Twitter or Instagram makes more sense: you can inform and teach your current clients, and find new ones, in seconds.

A short ebook helps you to share your knowledge fast. It helps your current clients, attracts new clients, and helps you to make a side income  too.

You’re wondering, how short is SHORT?  Writers think in terms of word count, so I suggest 5,000 words. In page terms, this is around 20 pages. Of course, with ebooks, pages are irrelevant.

I’m helping the trainer to create a small library of ebooks. He’s not only aiming to help his clients, he wants to spread his message further. The consultant’s creating a single ebook, plus a print edition. He’s selling on Amazon, and he’ll be selling both digital and print versions from his website.

In branding, nothing beats writing a book to give you presence. These days, writing a book is easier than ever.

Yes, you can go the traditional publishing route, as some of my clients do. However, that presents challenges of its own. Many publishing houses have conglomerated or have disappeared over the past decade. Those that remain, want their authors to have a platform before they consider their proposal. If  you want to write a book to help you to build your brand, you have real challenges.

Publishing ebooks makes much more sense; particularly short ebooks. You can write your ebook yourself, or get help writing it, or you can hire someone to ghostwrite it for you. Either way, the entire project takes weeks, rather than months — or years, in the case of traditional publishing.

If you’re interested in writing to sell for any reason, check out Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories; the program includes coaching.

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Personal Branding: Write a Book, Or Write a Blog?

This question’s come up several times in my clients’ coaching sessions: write book, or write a blog?

If your primary aim is branding yourself, a blog’s better. Your blog will grow with you. Once you’ve written a book, it’s frozen in time, so if your aim is thought leadership, you’re better off blogging.

But are there too many blogs? This post, If You’re Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging – Dorie Clark – Harvard Business Review, says:

“Of course, it’s no secret that the number of blogs has shot up in recent years; at the end of 2011, there were 181 million, compared to only 36 million in 2006. It’s harder to get noticed as the noise level increases. But there’s reason to believe that serious (high-quality, idea-focused) competition in the blogging world is likely to wane in the future, further increasing your impact.”

You’re writing for a specific audience, so the total number of blogs doesn’t matter. You just have to find a way of getting your blog in front of your audience.

Look at it this way: when you write a blog, you’re writing your book as you publish. It’s simple to create a book once you’ve written your blog posts. And it’s fun, too.

Blogging gives you options. :-)

 

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The Brand Called You: Develop a Personal Branding Statement and Tagline

You're a Star
You’re a Star

Got a brand? Whether you know it or not, you do. Unfortunately, it may not be the brand you want. Your personal and professional contacts think of you as “the guy who…”

Think about how others see you for a moment.

Is this image flattering, or not so much?

There’s a reason professionals employ image consultants. :-)

Tom Peters wrote The Brand Called You way back in 1997. Peters wrote:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

It’s that simple – and that hard. And that inescapable.

Knowing How to Present Yourself Is Hard

You’re in charge of your own image. You teach others how to look at you. Most of us get an image by default.

Professionals craft their image. Politicians know how important it is to stay “on message”, and movie stars employ PR people to carefully build their image.

You can craft your own image too, so that you present yourself memorably to your audiences. Remember: you teach others how to look at you. To do that, you need to see yourself clearly first.

When I develop a brand statement, my first step is to get to know the client. I want to know his history, we can choose his defining moments, and use them to frame his story.

From that, we develop his personal branding statement, and tagline.

I like to create several versions of a branding statement, short and long, so that the client can use them in his marketing materials, and of course with his resume and other materials if he’s job hunting.

Think of the tagline as a slogan. It encapsulates who you think you are. You need to be comfortable with your tagline.

For example, my tagline for my copywriting brand is “putting it into words.” For my work with writers, it’s “when writing isn’t just a career, it’s a life.”

My taglines are ME, your tagline (or taglines, if you have several audiences), needs to be YOU.

Take your time when you’re crafting your own branding statement and tagline. There’s no rush.

You’ll know when it’s right: it will feel good – it will be you.

Tip: when you’re crafting your personal branding statement, avoid the kind of “say nothing, mean nothing” jargon-filled gobbledegook you find in company mission statements. Be REAL. This is your brand, no one else’s. You’re an original. Allow your branding statement to reflect that. When it comes from who you really are, developing an image is much easier.

Once you’ve created your personal branding statement, you’ll have taken the first steps in building and managing your image, so that you can build the career and life you want.

What to do now

  • Write your life in 200 words. Hit the high points. This is your mini-autobiography;
  • Tell the stories of your defining moments (choose two or three);
  • Craft a tagline;
  • Create a personal branding statement.

, and on Twitter: @angee