By Gregory A. Kompes
Want to make your living as a writer? You must treat your career like a business. This requires that you build your business just as any entrepreneur does by planning, working hard, promoting, and taking advantage of technology. You need to become a Writerpreneur.
What do you think when you hear the word branding? Does Coca-Cola or FedEx come to mind? Their logos and colors just popped into your head, right? This is branding. Solid brands build loyal customers.
Writers benefit from brand recognition just like products. What about Boston Legal or Desperate Housewives? Did your favorite show characters come to mind? Think of Stephen King, Nora Roberts and J.K. Rowling. Even if you've never read their books, you know these names and their genres. For writers, branding is the process of creating a perception that you are the best person for the job. It's about building your image.
Everything the public sees about you, your books and articles, the interviews you give, and even your daily correspondence strengthens your position as an expert and creates your brand recognition.
An easy way to begin your branding program today: take advantage of e-mail signatures. E-mail signatures are those few lines of text at the bottom of every e-mail you send. They're easy to create and can automatically be included in your e-mails. Think of them as a virtual business card.
You can access the signature creation option in your e-mail program by clicking on the "Options" or "Preferences" link and following the simple directions provided. In most cases, you'll type your signature into a box and click "include with every e-mail."
Diana Burrell, co-author of The Renegade Writer and Query Letters that Rock, goes a step further using multiple signatures. She recommends that you "customize your signature depending on who an e-mail is going to." Diana has different signatures for personal, press, client, and interview e-mails.
A few e-mail signature rules: Keep it to six lines or less; Provide your contact information, especially your e-mail and web addresses; Don't use cute messages, they don't brand you as a professional; Do include your current marketing message (promote your new book or project); Change your signature on a regular basis -- at least once a month.
Gregory A. Kompes, The Writerpreneur, is an Internet self-promotion expert. Gregory is the author of the bestselling 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer's eBook Series that includes Endorsement Quest, Should You Write an eBook, and Your Online Media Kit. He is co-founder of the Patchwork Path anthology series, Presenters & Programs, the Writer's Pen & Grill, and Laudably Tarnished: A Poetry Workshop. Gregory is editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, and the award winning Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects and shares the experiences of published authors.