Being a Brand Isn’t a Bad Thing
It doesn’t matter if you’re a sex blogger with five readers and three followers on Twitter or you’ve got thousands of followers and make a steady income writing about sex. No matter where you are in this smutlancer journey, you’re a brand.
Before you crinkle your nose and imagine slimy sales gimmicks, cheesy commercials, and “selling” yourself – in a non-sexy, non-consensual way, hold on.
How you brand yourself is another topic completely. But the fact is, especially when you want people to follow, like, read, and/or pay you, you need to understand what it means to be a brand. And it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
What Does Brand Really Mean?
What do you think of when you imagine a brand? Golden arches? A green mermaid? Do you imagine a big commercial company with a marketing budget, bad commercials, and questionable policies?
That’s one kind of brand. The most popular ones we all know of. But it’s not the only option.
“Brand” is simply how you’re perceived by other people – what do you do for them, how do you make them feel, who you are. Everyone is a brand, even if we don’t think of that on a personal, intuitive level. You present yourself to the world in a (hopefully) consistent manner and you become known for something (or several somethings).
Think about it – you most likely knew exactly what I mean when referred to the golden arches and the green mermaid. But logos aren’t brands. Now, imagine great coffee or delicious french fries. You might think of different brands, but you thought of someone. Because in your mind, you’ve associated a brand with those specific things.
It works the same for people. Who do you know that’s honest? The best cook? Someone who lends a hand? While those aren’t the sum parts of who they are, it’s what they’re known for. On a really basic level, that’s their brand.
Why “Brand” isn’t a Bad Word
Branding doesn’t have to be something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. As someone trying to make a money creating content about sex, your brand is something you need to give some thought to.
No, you won’t have big glitzy ads on television or have your picture on the side of a bus. You don’t have to.
Small brands can be powerful. Especially when they’re authentic.
The hard part about branding is matching up how you want to be perceived and how you really are perceived. To a certain extent, you have no control over this. Once you put yourself out into the world, you’re open to people’s interpretations of your thoughts, words, and actions.
But if you are consciously aware of what you want your brand to be – what you want to be known for and as – you can guide that perception. At the very least, you’ll find the audience that’s receptive to your brand.
What is Your Brand?
Branding is too big of a topic to cover in one blog post so we’ll come back to this topic again and again, but let’s start with a question…
What is your brand? Or, if this is new to you, what do you want it to be?
You can get as specific as you want or come up with a general idea. Be careful that you don’t get too general or you’ll become generic.
Saying, “I want to be known as a sex blogger” is meaningless. What kind of sex blogger? Will you stand for something? What do you blog about?
And the longer you write and create content, the more you’ll learn about your personal brand – what it is and what you want it to be. Start somewhere.
If it helps, this is what I think of as my brand:
- Writes and blogs about kink, BDSM, D/s relationships, and anything that can be considered “kinky fuckery”
- Freelance writer for sex toy and sex positive companies
- Shares what I’ve learned through my personal experiences and my own insight.
- Educates people new to kink and BDSM
- Creates personal, meaningful content
- Helpful to others in the sex and kink communities
- Sex positive and open to others’ kinks and experiences
- Turns readers on with the written word
- Open and honest about mental health, sex, kink, relationships…all the stuff people aren’t “supposed” to talk about
It sounds a lot like what I do more than who I am. For me, that works because what I do is a part of who I am.
What You Say Your Brand Is vs. What Other People Think
The thing I have no control over is how my brand translates to the people who find and follow me. Some people may think that I’m exactly what I’ve listed here and then add other things they think are true about me. They might frame it in completely different terms but as long as at least some of what they see fits my own description, my branding works.
Others may think the exact opposite or perceive what I do in more negative terms. I can’t control that or worry about it. All I can do is work hard to do what I say I’ll do and be what I say I am. The people who don’t get it or don’t like or relate to me aren’t wrong, they just aren’t right for my brand. And that’s okay!
The moment you try to make money as a smutlancer, it’s time to think about your brand. Be true to yourself and present yourself in a way that’s authentic and real. That’s the best brand you can be. When you do, your audience (hopefully with money in hand) will find you. Ideally, you don’t have to tell anyone what your brand is…you can keep doing what you do, and people will figure it out.