I’m in the process of reworking my author brand right now, and so I had a photoshoot yesterday with my good friend who is an amazing photographer. And as I’ve been thinking about how to communicate my message through visuals, I decided to break down the process for you.
Because when it comes to creating an author brand, you have to represent it in both words and pictures.
So here’s a breakdown of what I do to create my author brand through visuals:
1. Choose Your Words
You’ll want to choose 3-5 words that represent who you are and what you stand for.
Here are the words I chose for my brand:
Those words absolutely represent me, what I believe in and what I stand for.
What words represent you?
2. Think About Your Author Message
Your author message is the core thread that ties everything together–yourself, your books, your products/services, your content. Your author message is essentially what you believe the world most needs to know/hear.
All authors need a message, fiction and nonfiction included.
An example: my author message is “you can create anything you set your mind to.” This is a deeper-layer message from the one I had prior, which is “take control of your writing destiny.” Both represent me, my brand and what I stand for.
What do you stand for? What do you believe? What message do you feel the world most needs to hear?
3. Brainstorm Visuals
Now that you know the words and your message, you’re going to use to represent your author brand, you can brainstorm ideas for how to show them visually.
So when I think about how to show my words visually, here are some examples of what I come up with:
- Outfits that make me feel and look like a badass, such as ripped jeans and a shirt with studs (badass)
- Sparkles, on my shoes and shirt (’cause sparkles look like “magic” to me)
- Writing on my laptop in the middle of nature (freedom)
And then, of course, the location where you shoot your photos also plays into creating the visual brand.
How can you visually represent your brand? Brainstorm some ideas in your journal.
4. Choose Your Props
Props are a big part of communicating through visuals. If you see a picture of a guy holding a guitar, there’s a pretty good chance he’s a musician, right? The guitar communicates the message of “musician.”
Here are the props I’ve picked out for my photoshoot:
- My dog, Weiland (’cause he’s my brand mascot)
- Stack of my books
Those props will easily communicate “writer” and “author.”
What props can you use to communicate who you are?
5. Hire A Good Photographer
Be sure to hire a good photographer who actually knows what they’re doing. A good photographer will be able to come up with a whole bunch of ideas for how to communicate your words through the pictures.
You can find a good photographer by:
- Asking around
- Asking someone you know whose work is awesome
- Checking out portfolios
- Looking for photographer-for-hire ads on Craig’s List or other service-based websites
- Googling “photographer” plus “your city”
A good photographer will be the icing on the cake.
Share With Us
What words represent your author brand? Share in the comments.