Building a BRAND with SWAG

I found an intriguing article written exactly one year ago today. To mark the anniversary of Elise L. Connors’ article, I need to examine my writing style by engaging in an introspective search of my own branding. As an aspiring author, I am constantly writing with passion. Writing is an obsession, an ambition, an aspiration, and is the essence of my being and my survival.

As such, I have been writing without worrying about branding or doing it with swag. I am borrowing these words, brand and swag, from Connors in the context that she used them in her article. I confess that I never paid attention to brand and swag in terms of writing.

It is now time to excogitate. Assuming that I do have that BRAND and that I built it with SWAG, what would the package look like exactly? I presume that after I have built my brand, I would like to maintain it for the duration of my “new-found” career. Branding oneself is a long-term goal and process and relies on audience perception. I do not know if I have an audience yet, considering that my Kickstarter project did not start; pun intended shamelessly.

I will now attempt to examine the acronym Connors created in order to gauge my progress in the branding-with-swag endeavor. She states that “Success as an author depends not only on writing a quality book (which is VERY important) but also how you are able to connect with your audience.”

As Connor’s defines it, brand is more than my name. It is my identity. It is how the general or reading public views me. BRAND stands for:

B oldness (You have to be able to say things others are afraid to.)

R elevance (Are you talking about the things your audience wants to hear about?)

A nd

N otable (Are you saying things that are “newsworthy”?)

D edication (Are you dedicated to yourself and your audience?)”

What is SWAG? This isn’t the swag that normally comes to mind. This is SWAG:

S ophisticated (Are you offering high-quality content? Big tip: proofreading is important.)

W orthy (Are you doing anything to deserve the notoriety you’re seeking?)

A nd

G rateful (Are you appreciative for your audience?)”

Taking the first word and dissecting it, I would say that I definitely am bold. I do not flinch from situations, and I say it like it is, which tends to contradict with the expectations of people. I try to make my postings relevant, always looking at the grand picture, always seeing how my postings will benefit people, and trying to find out what readers want. It is difficult to please every preference, but my aim is to try.

I will help Elise L. Connors a little by changing the word, “And, to Accessible. In acknowledgement of that substitution, I make my postings accessible by linking my blogs and other literary efforts to social media and other viable avenues.  

If you visit my Yahoo! Voices postings, you will discover articles about people who are making strides in their different fields. In that sense, these are notable people and notable topics, newsworthy people and newsworthy topics.

The final component of BRAND is dedication. I am a loyal, committed, and dye-in-the-wool kind of person. I thrived in education for decades, have stayed in the same volunteer capacities for decades, and I am unswerving in my devotion to my writing and my love of it, which has lasted almost four decades. It is that love of writing that gripped me at an early age, caused me to obtain two degrees in it, and I am poised to obtain a third one.

For the next acronym, SWAG, I want to believe that by virtue of having a Master of Arts degree in journalism and by being an editor, a freelancer, a book reviewer, and a copy writer–among other attributes, that my content is sophisticated in quality.

Anything we put out in cyberspace or publish brings with it the positive and the negative. The question is, “Are you doing anything to deserve the notoriety you’re seeking?” Notoriety carries both a negative connotation and a negative denotation. I want to see my glass as half full and take the good that exposure brings to me. I hope that I am worthy of fame and should deserve it when it arrives by dint of my hardwork.

Again, I am going to substitute the word, “And,” with another adjective that begins with “A.” That word is “Adventurous.” Am I allowing myself the courage to explore my creativity and take it as far as audacity will allow? Although several colleagues have recognized creativity in my intellectual products, I hope to grow in my ability to drizzle morsels of words with different tasty confetti that will entice all to partake in and savor the cornucopia of literary offerings that I craft.

The last word on the list is grateful(ness). I want to believe that I am appreciative of my audience. As I check my readership, I find it increasing daily, weekly, and cumulatively. I am eternally grateful to all who have stopped by and all who will visit. Please leave a mark of your presence by putting down comments so that I can express my gratitude formally.

I want to thank Elise L. Connors for providing the foundation for today’s posting, and I hope to Pay It Forward by returning the same type of favor to several people. As my friend and critic, Cynthia Adams, said, “Frances Ohanenye is a writer with a finger on the pulse of creativity.” I could not have said it better myself. Thank you, Cynthia, for always being my sounding board.

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3 thoughts on “Building a BRAND with SWAG

  1. Thanks for mentioning that blog post that it feels like I wrote a million years ago. You have refreshed it all and revised it – making the definitions better and owning your own definitions of BRAND and SWAG. Congratulations on finding/redefining your voice/writing.

  2. […] expend on branding himself/herself? On packaging a book? The book should come first and should brand the author (as I had written previously) and his/her reputation and image. Should a writer pour every […]

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