I don't want to be a brand.

I attended a training program on author marketing recently, and while I appreciated most of the advice, and the speaker was excellent, I’m struggling with one piece of it, which I’ll paraphrase here:

“You should write down your brand statement, and then EVERYTHING you communicate online (or around your customers) should be in line with that statement. In short, if it doesn’t advance your brand, don’t share or say it.”

And my heart rose up in revolt and shouted: F@CK THAT SH*T!

In this time of influencers, privacy-invading advertisements, and propaganda, it seems the latest requirement is that we become ads ourselves. To participate in the economy, we’re encouraged to shape ourselves into a strategically pleasing form, always with a sale in mind.

My audience likes cats. More cats!

My brand is about fun. No struggle here! Smile wider!

I want my customers to feel an emotional connection to me. I’ll call them “my darlings” and write sweet little posts to them on Insta, like we’re all besties. Then they’ll buy my next book!

More people like my posts when I do X. So it’s gonna be all X this month!

Ugh. I swear that I’m not telling anyone else what to do. But this branding-mindset creeps me out! Why? When everything becomes a performance, nothing is truly real. Not even our lives. Is it so unacceptable that we simply be ourselves? Not that we share every dim thought that flits through our brains, but that we communicate with integrity and authenticity?

(Okay, I’ll take a deep breath. 1…. 2…. 3…..) 😊

It’s not that branding never makes sense. Clorox can be a brand. Burger King can be a brand too. Those are products, not people. But should human beings be brands?

shudders

To quote Randy Jackson: “That’s a no from me, Dawg.”

Cheri's Blog @cheri
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