#WritingWednesday - Guest Post by Brandi Kennedy: "New Year, New Branding - Top 3 Branding Strategies I Used and Loved in 2017

December 06, 2017

This week's #WritingWednesday tip is about branding. 

What, I hear you ask? I'm an author. What do I need a branding for? Well, Brandi Kennedy, contemporary romance author and all-round kick-ass human being has kindly agreed to write a guest post about this very topic! 

I asked her because in 2017 she re-invented herself and re-modeled her writing to become not just a singular thing she did, but to make important issues and themes (that show up in her books!) the focus of her lifestyle blog.

Curious? I'm glad you are. Read on and discover the secrets...

"As the new year looms closer and closer, entrepreneurs all over the world are thinking about whether or not their wallets can withstand another year of holding out and hoping all their hard work will pay off. Just kidding – most entrepreneurs are chronically hopeful and are always seeking success in some fashion, so what most of us are doing these days is thinking hard about how to make 2018 better than 2017 ever dreamed of being.

For me, 2017 was about opening my brand to encompass all the things my writing covers – fiction romance writing is and will always be my first passion (because who doesn’t love a love story, amiright?), but I also love running my mental health and lifestyle blog, writing soul-drenched poetry, and even writing and recording my own podcast! But my branding as a writer was based on my fiction only – “Real Characters, Honest Love” – so as 2017 slowly progressed, I started spending more time thinking about the common thread that pulls all of my writing together. I knew I needed something more inclusive in my branding, and after almost four years of using the same slogan and logo despite all the changes in my life and in me as a person, my image definitely needed a refresher!

It wasn’t hard for me to find what I was looking for, either – fiction or non, my writing is and will probably always be based on mental health and personal development. You see, I have what some people find to be an interesting story – some see it as tragic, others look through the darkness and see my story as inspiring. What matters most though is what I see – and I see survival. I see the willingness to persevere.

So after four years of using the same branding imagery and seeing career growth that was much too slow to satisfy my hunger, in 2017, I changed things up. Here are a few of the major changes I made in 2017 – and how I hope you can use these strategies to make the coming year your best yet.

In 2017:
1. While I kept the colors and fonts of the branding I’ve always used, the most major change was to my tagline. I needed to leave “Real Characters and Honest Love” behind, but that was only because I was writing so much more in terms of content – “Love Stories AND Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman” more completely encompasses not only the content of my fiction novels but also the content of my non-fiction lifestyle blog and the women I imagine myself writing for. Because I write encouragement and empowerment for women of all sizes and backgrounds, regardless of where I found them, whether it be in a story, a poem, or a blog post – and I needed a tagline that expressed more clearly the different aspects of my work. Do you?
2. The second largest change I made was getting more active on social media using Buffer. The last few weeks aside (where I’ve been largely radio silent as I enjoyed the start of the Holiday season with my daughters), I’ve spent 2017 building a newsfeed that fit my work and my themes as well as it fit my personality. Sure, I’m still talking about my favorite drinks and what I’m thinking – but I’m also keeping it in under the context of marketing myself, my themes, and my brand, so that potential lovers of my work are always being reminded not only that I’m there, but that I’m writing for them. Are you using social media to the best of your branding ability?
3. The final, and perhaps most effective, change I made in 2017 was finding an assistant, without whom this year would have been a challenge I couldn’t overcome. My personal life underwent several changes in 2017, and as I adjusted to single mom life, two mental health diagnoses, and chronic health issues with both of my children, the burden of striving so hard for success as a writer got increasingly difficult to bear. My assistant has been incredibly valuable in the effort to keep up with the promotional side of things, and as she’s become more and more necessary for my writing success, she’s also become a friend I’m more and more thankful for each day. Are you still carrying your burdens alone, or have you begun delegating and outsourcing the tasks you don’t necessarily have to be doing?

Success is made of determination. Success is made of drive and will and grit and gut and so many other things. Success is made of hard work. Hard. Hard. Work. But it’s also created under the willingness to share the burden of climbing to the top, under the acceptance that we don’t have to build our empires alone, under the personal confidence required to let someone else come in to help. Because, like Rome, your empire won’t be built in one day.

And it won’t be built by just one person, either."

A huge thank you to Brandi for taking the time to write your post! I hope everyone has got something out of it, even if it's something small like techniques to get more active on social media (seriously, though, what did we do with our time before Facebook? #oneoflifesmysteries)

If you'd like to check out Brandi's work, you can at her website

Catch you all next week!

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