Monday, 16 July 2012

Three little words

Middle-aged, sensible, a bit turquoise?
Last weekend fellow writer Barbara Henderson and I attended an event in Hawick (rhymes with ‘oik’) here in the Scottish Borders. Nicola Morgan and Sara Sheridan braved the floods to speak about marketing, social media and e‑publishing. It was marvellous to have writers of their calibre visit, and I brought home pages of notes. Nicola also kindly published on her blog some of the resources she had referred to.

One of Sara’s suggestions was that we should all go away and think of three words to describe ourselves. Not ourselves as people though, but (and this is where it gets tricky) as our writing ‘brand’. So, middle-aged, sensible and turquoise-wearing won’t do for mine, although those are the three words which immediately sprang to mind.

Surely you can’t communicate much with just three words? Read the examples below, some of which you’ll recognise, and think again.
TLC for backs (Zerostress chairs)

Spellbinding crime fantasy (my mate Dave Sivers)

Never knowingly undersold (John Lewis Partnership)

Vorsprung durch Technik (Audi, proving the words don’t even have to be in one’s own language to be memorable)
I’m not going to tell you what my three words are. I can’t, because I still haven’t decided on them. When I do, rest assured I’ll share them with you.

In the meantime, how would you describe yourself or your ‘brand’ in three words?


  1. Ooh, tempting. And what a good idea. It's hard enough thinking up a pithy profile for Twitter in 160 characters, or something snappy and memorable in a letter to an agent, let alone 3 words. I think, like you, I'd deliberate on that for a bit and come back to you when I think of something at all publishable! :)

  2. Now that is difficult! I couldn't come up with something for myself on the spot like this. Let us know what you come up with yours! :)

  3. Given that women often find it difficult to say good, strong, positive (see what I just did there?!) things about themselves, it may help to define your brand in terms of what you think your ideal reader would want you to be. Then BE that person when you're writing.