In my neck of the woods, cattle get branded, but I’ve been DOING Twitter, and reading about branding. Apparently, if I want to my blog to take off and really go places I need to be branded. My blog is doing relatively well, nothing viral, but then until a few days ago I was not branded. Judging from the lack of number of visitors and likes on my Facebook page, branding must be an essential step I’m missing.
So, here we go again, I need your opinion. I put a brand on my WP site. Do you like it? No, Manny is not the Brand. Manny’s my top salesperson! So I featured him in my header.
So is a brand something like our gravitars? Is it the header? In my mind a good brand is Leanne Cole’s black and white box with her name in it. I also like Ralph’s gravitar partly because he did a whole post on it, and asked people why they followed him. The hat came out as the biggest plus.
I like EasyBreezy books, too – even though the picture is not the author, and she doesn’t use her name. I just want to look like that! I like my gravitar because a good picture of myself is hard to find, AND in this one the chairs behind me sort of add dimension to my hair, making it almost look like I have more hair. I like that! But I don’t think that is what I need for my brand – as shown by my lack of FB LIKES.
I tried designing a brand myself, but my handwriting is horrible, even using my new table in Adobe Illustrator. My drawing is worse, and I don’t even know what I would draw to describe my brand? In this blog are the loves of my life, Y’ALL, my readers, first of all, book reviews, travel stories, lectures on how education should always include history/social studies, my family (which is pretty much history!), assorted friends, retirement advice, poetry, pets, Manny, the adventures of the History Ladies, history of Tulare County, and what I’m learning about photography, blogging, graphic designing, and quilting for starters.
Even though I am basing my overall image on my former job as an Instructional Consultant in History/Social Science, and my love of it, I have moved on in who I am and what I produce. Maybe moved backwards to what I liked before I chose a career. I’m not trying to market history, but I am working to inform and entertain you (the rest of the world) as photographer and writer. The product line I am marketing is somewhat sketchy in my mind, but I am driven to produce SOMETHING, therein is the Productions part of the brand. I have tried to market some of my pictures, but I’m not totally there yet. I’ve written at least one children’s book, but it’s not ready for production after at least 18 years. But surely there’s something I can produce that someone will want! :) Yes??????
Since I am already marketing photography through Fine Arts America, I considered bringing in a little photography into my brand. Maybe I need to bring in a little of my “Streaming Thoughts,” which is what I actually do on this blog. Granted all these trial “brands” are rough, and very poor quality. But if I am trying to market myself, and I feel that I must after reading these blogging gurus, to justify the amount of time and energy that I spend blogging, I’ve got to SELL SOMETHING! am I going to sell my random thoughts? Who does that and gets by with it other than Paul Harvey? But then he had a GREAT brand – The Rest of the Story. Remember him?
Interestingly the story that I hyperlinked there talks about the fact that he was like the forerunner of a current day blogger. YES! Maybe there is hope for a market for what I do… chat.
I also thought about Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion. I can totally identify with this picture. I’m your Tulare County Home Companion. Why, it even looks like me in my office! I’m a little smaller, and my legs are slightly tanner, and I don’t wear shoes to blog! :)
Of course, you’ve heard of these guys, Click and Clack. If not, you are missing one of my favorite radio shows, and I hate cars. I’d never fix a car if you paid me millions of dollars, and yet, I love their show. I want to be just like them. Funny and informative.
When I was in my 20s friends and strangers even would say I looked and acted like Lily Tomlin. That was an insult to me then because all I could picture was her brand, and it was not what I was trying to portray at the time. Now I realize the people were not far off the mark. There are similarities that even I can see.
Finally there’s the lady to whom my writing has been most likened to, Erma Bombeck. I love her brand line in this picture, “The family that plays together… gets on each other’s nerves. How true is that?
I tried to press publish real quickly this morning before Sally and I took our walk, but I couldn’t be rude and let her wait long enough to get it done. So we talked about branding on our walk. We laughed about the thought of everything streaming out from Tulare County (TC), but for me, it does.
Tulare County is the bread basket for the country, the center of agriculture (not that I’m a farmer, but that is the primary industry here, and you all enjoy the benefits of it.) Sally suggested that I had to have a map, and I found the perfect map of Tulare County in 1850 when Tulare County was huge!
This is my final brand for today. I need your opinions now to move to the next step.