"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Is There a Disconnect in Your Brand Messaging?


Today's savvy scribe recognizes the importance of building a writer's platform through strategic branding. It's a great way to stand out and stay relevant in a sea of many.
And it's more crucial now than ever before.

Here’s a vital statistic to consider: according to Statista.com, the number of bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020.
With this type of competition, bloggers will need to make sure that their brand messaging is clever, credible, creative and consistent.

In other words...It's not just what you say, but how you say it that matters.
Which brings us to the essence of today's post.

Before we address how to become more effective and successful in your brand messaging, let's explore what it is.

According to ErvinandSmith.com: "Your brand messaging strategy is a combination of several branding elements. It defines how you plan to position and differentiate your brand within the competitive landscape by communicating a unique value proposition through a unique brand personality. In short, your brand message strategy says what’s special about your brand and it’s personality."

Translated? Brand Messaging takes into account your blog design, your slogan, your social media profiles, your business cards, your products, your writing style, your mission statement and your overall public image.
It's how you communicate with clients, readers and potential investors.

Now let's look at how inconsistencies and irregularities in brand messaging can sabotage your efforts, compromise your image (and adversely impact your bottom line).

Overpromising and under-delivering

It's a simple mistake that I witness far too often in my online reading. And one that is easily rectified.Your blog's "About Page" states that you update your site 3X a week. But, really it's more like once a month or whenever the mood hits you. Which is totally your option. But be honest about it.  If not, it  "communicates" that you're either not reliable, not fully committed, or you have problems with counting. Don't set up unrealistic expectations. Granted, sometimes things happen that are out of our control that may prevent us from posting: illness, death, holidays, etc.
Still, try to be reliable as much as possible in building your brand. Reliability breeds trust.
Trust breeds good business.

Mixed messages

On your website you boast that you make a good buck in your practice. And that you can help other writers to do the same, if they sign up for your blog updates. Yet, you claim in your writers' submission guidelines that you "can't afford to pay for guest posts at this time."
Huh? If your business is flourishing and you advocate for writers being paid for their talent and time, why not be part of the solution, rather than the problem?
Those that talk the talk, need to walk the walk.

Being more promotional than helpful in your interactions

Not recognizing the concept of W.I.I.F.M. (What's in it for me?) 
There's a lot of "noise" on the Net. And your goal is to be heard above the chatter. True?
One way to achieve this is to offer readers resources, needed answers to their pain points and entertainment value for their time. Don't just sell like hell.

A "bland" brand

Failing to inject humor where applicable; being fearful of addressing controversial topics; not being original in your writer's voice or blogging approach.
For example, when I first started out, I tried to please EVERYBODY. I sought to avoid anything that might alienate others, including: religion, relationships, opposing views, etc.
Then I realized that one of the best things about being a scribe is presenting one's own individual perspective and life's experiences. Some will dig me. Some won't.
But, in the lyrics of Sammy Davis Jr.: "I've gotta' be me."
You should be you, too.  :-) Just make sure that your humor is tasteful and that you respect differences when engaging with others in public forums.
Remember...Vanilla is great as a flavor of ice cream. A "vanilla" brand? Not so much.

For bodacious branding that resonates and connects with today's busy readers, follow these four timely tips. "Say what you mean and mean what you say."
Thanks for reading, folks.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?

Image: Pixabay.com




  1. Excellent and helpful points, Jennifer. The last one resonates most with me - I was much the same when I began. Found the right footing after a while, and still must on occasion, so it's something to keep in mind always. Appreciate your wise words here. Sharing this post in an upcoming Miscellaneous Monday.

    1. Karen,
      Sometimes its a delicate balance, but we need not let it prevent us from speaking our own personal truths, or what's the point? Right?
      Thanks so much. Always love to hear from you.

  2. I am setting up my own blog. Having written a novel I know I need to get my name out. There was a time where I would have jumped in before I knew what I was doing. Now it's different. I think raising two daughters, being responsible and so on has helped but in this past year I have understood that this writing gig is real and most of all it matters to me. Therefore it is my responsibility and that of other writers who are in the same position as I to do their homework, plan it out and understand what they are getting themselves in to. The odds are against us and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Another fantastic article. You are a teacher, my friend and I cannot thank you enough.

    1. Bryan,
      It is I who should thank you. For being so receptive to my "lessons" and for the things you have taught me as well.
      You are right: writing is real and with it comes great responsibility.
      I'm betting that your blog will be a site worth reading.
      I certainly enjoy reading your comments.

  3. Creating and following through is key, and you've certainly pointed that out very clearly. Thanks for the great post.

  4. You're very welcome. I appreciate your feedback, Clee.