The official blog of Historical Fantasy Author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Come and join me on the hunt for everything mythological, as well as historical. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
Guest Post ~ Brand Yourself Royalty by Nancy Blanton @nancy_blanton
It is with the greatest of
pleasure that author, Nancy Blanton,
has come onto the blog to talk about her latest book…
Brand Yourself Royalty
Author branding: A royal undertaking
As an author of historical
fiction who also has a strong background in corporate branding, I’ve often
considered the brands created by historical figures. For centuries, kings and
queens had to create personal brands for the same reasons corporations use branding
today—to be memorable and likable by their audiences, and to distinguish themselves
from predecessors, competitors or pretenders to their thrones.
Take Henry VIII, for example. In
his time, most of the people of England would never meet him, and yet would be
called upon to pay taxes and fees, and support an army going to war. He needed
to project an image of physical strength, divine empowerment, wise leadership
and benevolence. His personal brand, the persona the masses were allowed to
know, projected exactly that. Now that history has revealed his true nature and
weaknesses, his persona was not exactly authentic, but it was highly effective.
That’s what is called personal
branding. Even though he was the figurehead of a powerful government much like
a corporation, the success or failure of it depended on the image and actions
of one individual.
The basic structure of personal branding
is much the same as corporate branding. A strong identity is created to
represent the business or individual and to suggest the value in products or
activities of that entity. If the entity makes the commitment to that value and
consistently delivers it, trust will develop among customers. Over time, the
symbol of the brand, or logo, can by itself trigger a feeling of trust. And
trust, in turn, generates more business and opens more doors of opportunity.
There are significant differences between corporate and personal
branding, especially for an author, artist or business consultant.
While you may be generating and
selling multiple products similar to a corporation, it is always yourself you
are selling first and foremost. Many readers may try one of your books or
paintings, and if they like it they will look for anything in your name to
continue enjoying your voice, your style and your command of the medium. As
with corporate brands, it’s the consistency of quality that will keep customers
But these customers expect more.
They’re attracted to your own values, style and personality. You are much more likely than a
corporation to have direct contact with customers. You must be memorable to the people you meet, and reflect that
memory clearly in all the places that may touch the customer when you aren’t
there. Personal branding helps you communicate who you are more broadly and
When I began to build my author
platform to promote my novels, I realized the corporate branding process I had
learned over the years could work just as successfully for me. I listed what I
considered to be the basic steps, worked through each of them for myself, and then
developed a one-page guideline of brand elements that I could refer to often to
stay on track.
Soon I realized, if the process
could work for me it could work for others, too. And, the process aligned well
with research I’d been doing on royal figures. It all came together in Brand Yourself Royally in 8 Simple Steps:
Harness the Secrets of Kings and Queens for a Personal Brand that Rules,
taking a look at some of the monarchs who created effective brands, and what we
can learn from them.
"I have an MBA and
consult with authors, small business owners, etc. Your book was a delight to
I wish business schools would use it as a text for marketing and brand development."
~ Ken Johnson, founder and
CEO, Johnson Institute
The book won a silver medal from
the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, and has become the basis of
hands-on workshops attended by authors, artists, business owners and sales
Of course, communication is
always changing, and King Henry’s brand would never have survived the instant
access allowed by social media. Today’s brands must be authentic. You must do
what you promise and demonstrate your own values—it’s what’s called “living the
But first, what is your brand?
Many who talk about personal branding
say it is a concise and compelling statement about what you do and how your
products are better than any others. And that is one way of doing it. But the
strongest and most enduring brands in the world go deeper than that. Instead of
telling customers what you do (they already know that), tell them why you do it.
What drives you? What gets you up in the morning? What is that belief deep in
your core that stokes your passion and makes you work so hard?
This is something people can
relate to on an emotional level, and emotions are what drive our
The eight-step personal branding process
is designed to help you find that core driver, articulate it, build on it, and make
sure it is authentic. From that will flow your mission, your positioning, your tagline,
colors and content, and your communications plan.
It’s a simple process, though not
easy. It takes time to think it all through. However, once it is accomplished
it gives you a decided advantage over your competitors and creates efficiencies
for your business.
And best of all, once your brand
is defined, it is yours, as unique and valuable as any precious gem, and you are its supreme ruler.
In addition to her branding
handbook, Nancy Blanton is the author of two historical novels, a children’s
book, and a non-fiction book about the history of oysters in the Pacific
Northwest. Sign up for her newsletter her on her website, or follow her
on Facebook and Twitter.