Creating a personal brand for a new author
Your brand is the way people perceive you. It’s your personality. Every word you write and every font and color you use in your marketing materials becomes part of your brand. When Sharon Virts approached us, she already had an amazing brand in place for her home, historic Selma Plantation in Leesburg, VA. She needed a different brand for herself, though, as an author of historical fiction. Sharon knows that her sweeping sagas drum up all sorts of emotions in her readers. It was our job to understand and maximize that emotional resonance and put it into words and images that represent Sharon, herself.
Drawing on more than 25 years of experience in elevating the brands of high-profile executives and industry analysts, we knew that we had the proven strategies and tactics to create a recognizable personal brand for Sharon. She plans on having a long and fruitful writing career, so we knew that we had to make sure that the personality, voice, fonts, colors, and style we developed represented her – and not just her first book series. We began with an introspective process, identifying where Sharon sees herself today and where she sees herself in five, 10, and 20 years from now, both as a novelist and historian.
A custom logo font is an incredibly powerful brand asset; it helps you to articulate your personality, values, and messaging. The process for generating a custom logo font mirrors the branding process exactly. It begins with research and moves through conceptualization, bringing in key brand attributes along the way. After sketching out our ideas, we then digitized our best, presenting them to Sharon in a grayscale-mockup form so that she could get a sense of what they would look like in real-life applications. From there, we applied feedback to edits to achieve her final custom logo font.
We knew that a personal website would help cultivate Sharon’s reputation and immediately position her as an up-and-coming, award-winning historical fiction novelist. The website would be used to promote her books, upcoming projects, and public speaking engagements. For Sharon, we selected a simple WordPress© site with a blog, gallery, and content repository. We established a sitemap and wireframe to organize our plan, and then designed some graphical prototypes so that Sharon could picture what the live website would entail. After that, we worked on copywriting content, optimizing keywords, and putting all the necessary components into place.
After months of hard work and tough decisions, Sharon now has a personal brand that illustrates who she is – a successful entrepreneur and visionary with a passion for storytelling. Her website serves as the culmination of our efforts, complete with custom colors and logo, and features sections that promote her current projects, novels, and even Sharon’s Book & Wine Club. Building a personal brand has never been more important than it is today. When a reader sees Sharon Virts’ name, we know they will feel the passion she has for her work – and it will capture their imagination.
Hannah Blankenship on the Sharon Virts branding campaign