I just finished writing my third book and included a section on branding. Putting it together was eye-opening because it forced me to think about my personal brand. After all, in telling other creative professionals how to innovate and advance their brands, I thought about whether I was following my own advice.

One thing I touched on were the components that make up a brand, mostly because it’s so hard to define a brand. It’s more than a logo or a website. It’s about emotion. It’s about loyalty.

That’s why it matters not only what you produce along with your brand, such as blog posts and collateral to represent yourself—it matters what you say as well. Literally. It goes beyond what you exude in your marketing efforts to the everyday.

Well, I want my clients to count on me for being straightforward in my business approach and in my writing. I think I’ve accomplished that one. Not only is my marketing collateral pretty succinct (I outline my business processes on my website so clients can get a feel for how I work), but I’m a pretty straightforward person to begin with. That carries over well for my brand because whether I’m doing a radio interview promoting my book, podcasting or simply talking to a prospect, it’s in my nature to be upfront.

That’s what you have to design your brand around—your innate characteristics. That way, whether a prospect sees your prepared collateral or catches you off-guard (say on the phone or at an event), you are your brand. No matter how you deliver it!


Kristen is a copywriter and author who enjoys what she does for a living. Kristen is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Kristen writes regularly for MediaBistro, SheKnows and FreelanceSwitch. She is a panelist on the biweekly, award-winning podcast FreelanceRadio. Kristen is the author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life and her new book, It Takes More than Talent: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined is due out in January 2013. She has been featured on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and CareerBuilder; and also in the Boston Herald, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and in the Asbury Park Press.