Know Thyself – Steps to Creating a Brand

I have been trying to create a “Michell Plested” brand for some time now. To date, that has included being active on social media, having a website and a podcast. It has also included the several books I now have available.

But yesterday when I asked the question on Twitter what else I should do, @KevinWohler asked me who I was.

He wasn’t asking the question as in, “Who are you? I have never met nor heard of you.” Instead, he was asking, “Who do you think you are and how do you want people to perceive you?”

This is when I admit that I am lousy at self-evaluation and even worse at seeing myself through any lens other than my own ocular units.

I had to admit I had no idea how I wanted to be seen.

Kind of impossible to create a cohesive brand when you don’t even know what it is you want to be when you grow up, isn’t it?

So, with some back and forth we established that I am a YA writer.

I like to write adventure stories with humour.

Does that make me a YA Adventure writer (with aspirations of being funny)? I guess it does. And for the moment, that is a good place to start.

I could have tried homing in further to say something like YA Science Fiction writer or YA Steampunk writer or YA Superhero writer. I could claim any and all of those things.

But that muddles the message because I am all of those things and more. For example, I have also written a zombie book (one day to be a trilogy). I think, since adventure is implicit in all of my writing, I will lay claim to being a YA Adventure writer. The kind of adventure simply depends on the story.

Of course, that is only the very first step. There are many more to go. Imagineering (to steal a term) may be the easiest one. Next, I have to start looking at what should be included in the brand and what should be taken out.

Trimming the extraneous is never fun.

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