Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Branding Yourself - A Whole New Level

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm back to the grind and feeling good about it. It's been a heck of a last month or so, getting moved, attending UtopYA Con, and going on vacation, but routine is something I thrive on. Blogging is part of my routine. It helps to wake my creativity, gets me writing something, and is my little contribution to the writing world. As you can see from the number of posts under recent months, I've been slacking. It wasn't because I didn't have a desire to blog or was out of topics, but because I had to let something give (hey, you were warned). So, today, I'm gonna talk about something unexpected that happened at the con, but threw me a bone in the process. Ready? Grab your coffee and let's get going!

Day one, I'm meandering around the hotel lobby with the fabulous Tia Silverthorne Bach. We pretended to be regular people, and didn't tell anyone there we were authors until later.

I never thought about it at the time, but I was wearing my hat (see blurry as hell photo). This hat almost didn't make it. I had to run back into the house and grab it from its spot on the floor of my room. I'd put it there so I wouldn't forget it.

Why was I taking my hat?

Well, cowboy hats and Nashville, Tennessee, go together like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly, if you will. I was born in Tennessee and will always have a deep affection for my birthplace. Besides that, my husband is the one who bought me that hat, and I wanted to have a little something he gave me along for the ride. I digress. Let me get back to the main idea.

When I finally introduced myself as Jo Michaels, everyone commented on my hat. Once I got my name tag, my hat became more of a branding thing because I put that tag on the brim of my hat (you can see the edge of it).

Was this branding intentional?


But it worked. Every time I saw someone, they knew who I was at a glance. If you've perused the UtopYA photos, you'll see my hat on my head in almost every one.

Saturday, I showed up without my hat on.

People told me they didn't know who I was, and to stop trying to trick them. Even though I had on my Jo Michaels t-shirt, people didn't recognize me without my unintentional brand of a cowboy hat.

There were a lot of people there with something unique going on. Misty Provencher had the prettiest face paint I've ever seen, making her look rather like a fantastical fairy. Bella Roccaforte had fire-engine red hair. N. L. Greene had a pretty pink streak in her blonde locks, and Sarah Ashley Jones had her signature purple, blue, and white bob. Yeah, you knew who they were at a glance.

This is what I'm talking about. You need a strong brand so people will recognize you at one of these events. Remember, they're meeting a ton of people. What makes you special/unique?

Find something and go for it.

Be your brand. Embrace your difference.

Will I be wearing my hat next year?

You bet.

Have you ever unintentionally branded yourself with something? What was it, and how did it work out?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. Don't forget the author with the long, blonde ponytail. I had total strangers asking to touch my hair all that weekend. Apparently, that's my brand. Lol.

    1. I could never forget you, BJ :) That's kinda creepy in a cool way. LOL! Thanks for popping by :)

  2. Hats pave the way to victory!

    On a serious note, this does sound like quite a good idea. No idea what my unique identifier would be. Evil death gaze, perhaps...

    1. You're both crazy :P Evil death gaze? I like my old hat :) Thanks for the comments, you two! Rock on :)

  3. Great post.

    Sometimes I think we learn more from serendipity than books and class rooms. Of course, we have to have our eyes open to recognize it. I LOVE how you grabbed the hat mostly (that's how I read it, anyway) because your husband gave it to you and you wanted it while away.

    To tell you the truth, I think my brand is my mother. We go to writer's conventions together and people seem to remember us - not just from the weekend but from last year's convention or even a different convention. (Wait - does this mean we have to pay each other branding fees?)

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I like to think so. :) There was an author at the con who's mother is the editor for the author's books. Those two were always together :) Thanks for the comment. Serendipity it is! LOL

  4. I reckon my brand would be my mop of grey/white hair. Distinctive!

    1. Nopers. There were a ton of folks at the con with grey/white hair :) You'd have blended in beautifully.

  5. I did notice a lot of comments on your hat in the photos too lol! What a cool branding idea!

    1. And totally by accident, too :) Glad I took it with me. LOL


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