Your brand is the most important thing you own. It’s how you present yourself to the world and the only person who has control of it is you. Are you reliable, efficient, honest, trustworthy, professional? These are all traits you have full control over and can be the make or break of your career. My brand for being in an author is as important as the books I write and it’s a slow burning process. It’s taken me years to get to where I am now and I still have a long way to go. One misstep and my entire brand can crumble around my ears.
For the past six years I have presented at Phoenix Comicon. The presentations I give are usually on Star Wars or zombies. I talk about video games, special effects, remakes etc. Nothing earth-shattering that will earn me a Nobel Peace Prize, but I take them very seriously none-the-less. That doesn’t mean I am dead-pan the entire time. Most of my presentations I am cracking jokes and making the audience laugh. When I say I take them seriously, I mean I prepare. I prepare a lot. I create a PowerPoint. I rehearse. I edit. I rehearse some more. I edit some more and eventually I have a draft I am happy with and I’ve done half a dozen run-throughs. My thought is that there are dozens if not hundreds of programming options at Phoenix Comicon, if someone chooses to spend an hour of their valuable time with me, the least I can do is prepare, show up and be present. It’s the absolute least I can do. I hear horror stories of people simply not showing up for panels or presentations and leaving the organizers and more importantly, the audience hanging. Things go wrong, I get it. But a quick email or phone call goes a long way.
I’ve worked very hard to build reputation for being dependable and turning up when I’m scheduled to be there. I’ve had book signings, interviews and presentations and everyone gets my fullest attention. I’ve had book signing where two people have showed. I’ve had signings where I’ve signed 500 books. Every person is important. Being rude, not showing up or walking away is unacceptable. Control your brand. Polish your brand. If and when you become successful, you’ll be glad you did.