Wednesday 18 January 2017

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.

Henry VIII

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 coming back.

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 efficiently.

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 read!
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 people.

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 brand.”

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 decision-making.

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. 

Links for purchase

About the author
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx