Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published (Episode #2)

To be a serious self-published (or any published) author, you need to also be a:

Brand Designer

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published

What does a Brand Designer do?

A Brand Designer develops your brand identity. Working closely with the Marketing, Design and Product department (you), to understand and align your values and vision. 

Your responsibilities as a Brand Designer:
  • Design your brand and deliver a visual identity;
  • Work closely with a copy-writer (most probably you, too) to ensure messaging and tone of voice are implemented in the best possible way.

Skill Requirements:

Graphic Design, 
Business Strategy, 
Eye for detail, 
Good understanding of aesthetics, 
Visually pleasant artworks,
Pixel-perfect image creation,
Good analytical skills,
Excellent communicator.


On Instagram alone, over 40 billion photos and videos have been shared on the Instagram platform since its launch in 2010. 

The most important question to ask is: 

How do YOU stand out from the crowd?

Let's see what Brand Identity is.

Firstly, your brand identity is defined by how your audience perceives you. It's said you should think of your brand as a person. Instead of seeing your audience as a nameless, faceless crowd, focus on the one, ideal person you’re targeting, or want to befriend, with your brand.

Is this one, ideal person a young adult who loves to get lost in stories? Stay at home mom who wants to escape in a happy ever after romance? A college student who likes their books a little steamy but not too explicit? Does this person only read when they commute? Are they into all things scary?

In order for that person to connect with you, you need to positively influence how they see you. That person will continue to be friends with you if you share the same values, enrich their lives in some way, and are consistent.

Visual Branding

Nothing conveys a message faster than an image. When that one, ideal person visits your website/blog/social media pages, your colour choices, the size of your text, and the mood of your brand design tells them exactly how to feel about your brand. If the visual you’re conveying does not match your values, it will disappoint, confuse, and alienate them.

A visual brand identity is more than just an image. It’s everything your audience can see when they look at you.

At the beginning of 2018, I created a new brand logo for my brand: Read with Lynette Ferreira. 

An example below of my one, ideal person:

I asked the following questions:

Who is my audience?

Defining your audience is the first step to building a successful visual brand identity. If you don’t know exactly who you’re speaking to, you won’t know what to say. (Consider: Age, Gender, Location, Marital Status, Occupation, etc.)

How do I offer value?

Why would your audience buy your book?
What is the void that you fill?
Is it entertainment or advice?

How do I convey my brand personality in an image?

Imagery choices, photo filters, and colour schemes.
Emotion, emotion, emotion - Happy, joy, sadness, etc. 

Did you know successful brands on Instagram always use the same filter!

How often should I tell my story?

Tell it over and over again by adding your brand image to every image you create.

Must it be complicated?

Your visual identity does not need to be complicated. When you have too many things going on, you run the risk of confusing your audience. At the risk of seeming underwhelming or unexciting, remove everything from your visual identity that does not contribute to YOUR brand persona.

Be consistent

Consistency lies in applying the same filter, the same size, the same font type across your visual platforms. It creates cohesion so that if a customer follows you on Facebook instead of Instagram, they still get the same story.

Is my brand easy to understand?

Your visual story shouldn’t be so esoteric that a reader has to wonder what your brand message is. If a reader stumbles upon your site, will they know what you have to offer?

Do I speak the right language?

When you’re on social media, you should be fluent in the conversation by posting content for your audience on each platform - i.e. 

  • Pinterest for advice, DIY, and helpful tips and tricks.
  • Facebook and Google+ are all about community.
  • On Twitter, short bursts of commentary, shameless self-promotion, and catchy imagery is the language. 
  • Instagram is suited to slices of life.

Make every detail perfect, and limit the number of details to perfect.
Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter