After self-publishing my interior decorating book Downsize with Style in 2014 I rediscovered my passion for writing, which had always been part of my professional life in Germany until we moved to Australia and I had stopped working as public relations consultant. In 2015, I started approaching interior design magazines and offered them house features. Over time, my design writing portfolio grew. I also started copywriting for other design businesses. The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it and became soon aware that my interior design business website became too messy. On top, I had finished my memoir manuscript, and I wanted to find a home for my upcoming book, which is not related to my interior design business.
At the end of 2015, I started thinking about a new author platform that should combine all my creative ventures – books, writing, workshops – apart from the interior design side of things. Once I focussed my energy to this project, things started to fall into place. Not long after, I came across a book from the UK-based author Fiona Humberstone about styling your business brand; and at the beginning of this year, the Australian Writers’ Centre launched the new online course Build Your Author Platform. Studying the book and going through the online course I started working on my author and personal brand identity, which was to become the foundation of my new website.
However, I found it challenging to work out how to divide the content between my existing website Bettina Deda colour design and the new author platform. I produced several mind maps and charts to become clear about the structure of the new site. A consultation with Scott Zarcinas, an Adelaide-based publisher and writing coach, helped me to work out my ‘Why’ and we formulated my new elevator pitch summarising my creative (writing) services. It became the basis for my new author platform.
In parallel, I had manifested on paper – using worksheets from Humberstone’s book – what my personal and business values are, what I want to achieve with the new website and how people should feel when they visit the site. I also created an avatar of my ideal client. Then, I defined my main colour season in colour psychology and created a general Pinterest board for the Summer personality. I also decided to do a mood board for my new author platform. I researched and collected inspirational images, favourite colours, fonts that I like and textures that characterise the look and feel that I want to convey with my author platform. As a qualified colour consultant, I can only recommend using the power of colour. Working out your colour personality is the best thing you can do before starting to work on your author platform. Once you know your colour season all the other brand elements – fonts, pattern, textures – will fall into place. If you would like to learn more about colour psychology jump over to my posts about the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter personality.
I then decided to hire a graphic designer to create my brand identity design including a revised logo. In my local networking group, I found Jacqueline Cunningham of Inspired2Design, who specialises in brand identity design, and – trusting my gut feeling – hired her. My mood board became the foundation for us to start working. After our first meeting, where we discussed the next steps, I created another Pinterest board, Brand Identity Design, which is more specific tailored to my personal brand and invited the graphic designer to pin her suggestions to it. I also decided to play around with some hand-drawn elements and water colour splashes to use with my new logo. I am very happy that I decided to do this step before hiring a web designer. It is not only a fun creative process, for the first time, I feel that my website will one hundred per cent represent who I am as a person and what my values are.
In parallel, I started working with a web designer to translate my ideas and goals into a new author platform. Based on my mood board and our Pinterest board, she started to build a framework for the home page.
It is a very exciting project, and I can’t wait to publish my new website – hopefully by the end of April and before I start pitching my memoir manuscript to publishers. I am currently writing the copy for the website and will keep you updated about the progress. Stay tuned and watch this space.
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Looks absolutely stunning. What is the name of the book you read about styling your brand?
Thanks, Robyn, it was a fun process with many Aha moments. I realised that many colours, textures, images, and fonts that I was drawn to in the past relate to my colour personality. I used them intuitively without a structured approach. Now that I know why I like what I like I can use it in a much more organised and targeted approach. The watercolour illustration and line work I produced myself to add a unique touch to my new brand identity. The book is called ‘How to Style Your Brand’, and I ordered it from Book Depository.