The key to discovering your brand is your voice. It’s that simple. Why? Your brand represents you, and your voice carries your brand. It is when you speak that people hear you. And it is how and what you speak that will determine if they will listen. A well developed voice, is a well developed brand.
No voice, no brand.
How then do you build your voice to become strong, vibrant and pleasant?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Write What You Believe In. A person’s voice is strongest when it speaks what the heart believes. It is difficult and nearly impossible to create the best out of something when you don’t believe in it. The same is true about writing. What you believe is truth to you. Do you believe in the power of stories? Make up your own then, and tell it. Do you believe in the positive effect of other people’s stories? Then begin writing memoirs and biographies. Have you found a solution you believe will change the world in a big or small way? Don’t hesitate. Tell it. Just keep in mind to tell what you believe. Don’t go after certain genres or topics simply because they are popular. Even if your work becomes successful, you end up building a brand that is not truly you but you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. Many writers have had to create pseudonyms in the later part of their careers to be true to themselves because of that.
The story you believe in resonates with you far deeper than any, and so is most likely to carry your true voice and brand.
- Write What You Love. A person’s voice is most passionate when it speaks what the heart loves. Your writing will be an endless flow and outpouring from your heart that will come naturally to you. Writing is hard enough. Why make it harder by writing what you don’t love? When frustration sets in, and it always does, love for your work is a major part of what sees you through. Besides, a story that you love to tell will come more easily to you than one that you don’t. Ask yourself, ‘What kind of stories do I love—romance, thriller, mystery or a good mix of all of them?’
- Write What You Know. Nothing is more true and natural to you than what you know. You are the total sum of all your experiences—good and bad—and you can tap from the rich content within to create beautiful writing. How else do you create a believable fictional character? How else do you offer a solution to a problem in a book if you haven’t faced it yourself? The answer to the two questions is summed up in one word. Empathy. If you feel you don’t know enough, study and research some more so that you do. Travel or visit new places if you have to. Taste new foods. Try new things. Investigate whatever it is that is necessary. Document your feelings and reactions on paper, video, recorder or take a photograph, so that it is not lost. Because you cannot write what you don’t know. Your voice is most confident and bright when you know exactly what you’re talking about. And a confident voice makes a sturdy brand.
- Now, Create Your Brand. The most phenomenal and successful works are usually those unique to the writers. It’s not stuff you can find anywhere else but with them. These writers become reference points in describing genres. They have successfully become brands. These authors/brands have become successful because they tell stories that resonate with a lot of people.
So you’re a fiction lover. You hate to stick to traditional genres because you find them boring. You love a good mix that will leave any reader appetite satisfied but wanting more. And you believe you have a story (or stories) inside you. But the question is, how do you achieve creating your brand?
Now that you’ve discovered what you believe in, what you love and finally what you know, weave them all together and let your heart do the talking while your hand does the writing. Let it flow naturally out of you. Trust your writer instinct. This way, you’ll create your brand your way. There are people waiting to read your fiction just the way you write it. There are others waiting to apply your solution just the way you advice it. So you like to mix genres. Go right ahead. So aside from talking business, you’d like to talk about cooking and health also. Then create a brand that lets you. Brainstorm ideas like The Balanced Individual or Personal Development In Different Facets, The Complete Family or Beautiful Home, or anything else you could come up with, that lets you talk about these things. Whatever you decide, create your brand. After all, Oprah and Dr. Phil talk practically about everything, but all under one name, one brand. They make everything they talk about lead back to one theme. You could do the same.
So there you have it—a few suggestions on discovering your brand, your way.