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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What is your personal brand?

Someone once asked me, "are you into books or fashion?" My response was, "why is there an "or" in your question?"
       I understood what he was getting at and I didn't think those facets of life should be 'either, or' when it concerned me. "Personal branding" is tricky and sticking with one thing to help authenticate you and differentiate you from others helps people identify what you stand for.
       I have done self promotion and marketing for a long time. I remember when I started writing and how difficult it was to believe I could be marketable. My vision was to write books that would be so enjoyable to read that readers would be able to associate good books with my name. Soon, I realized that I wasn't a niche author and had to tweak my goal to include the voice and personality of my books. It shouldn't matter what the genre is. 
       No matter my commitment to being the writer I am, I value other things in life that are equally part of my brand. I talked to someone who argued that my personal brand won't be strong if I didn't stick to an ultimate vision. I strongly disagreed with him.
       For someone like me, who has more than one passion, I understand how it could get confusing to define my brand. People like to sum up a person to fit one word that they'd associate when they hear the person's name. I've heard so many times, "if you're a writer, focus on writing;" "if you're into fashion, focus on that;" "if you're an artist, focus on that." My answer is "no." I can't. These things make me the person I am and they aren't so boisterous to claim as things that define me. They are qualities that can be normal to one person. I'm guilty of raising my eyebrows at athletes who are also rappers, but I won't deny the fact that people can enjoy and express more than one passion in different fields. It doesn't make them less reputable. It makes them unique.
       I'm reminded of the time I edited my current Instagram bio to "Writer, Artist, Tall girl." At that time, I thought of what made me, me and the contents on my page showed that I hadn't lost my authenticity. I realized that if I was being true myself, I couldn't just stop at my love for writing. I love to draw and also love to take pictures like a fashionista.
       I have other defining qualities but those that stand out are what differentiates me from the pack or what I'd like to call my personal brand. Am I believable if I call myself a writer? Yes. Am I believable if I call myself an artist? Yes. Am I believable if I call myself a lover of fashion? Yes. Then I think I've made my case.
       What is your personal brand?

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