From a 30-year branding guy: Ramona Grigg I have to disagree; you are always branding yourself. Nisha Mody, as Katrina Loos says in her article: “My brand is my personality: open-minded, thoughtful, uplifting, and kind.”
Brands actually exist between an entity and it’s market. In this case, you are the entity. Therefore, any inauthenticity will immediately be picked up by your readers, because humans have an innate sense for inauthenticity and it sets off our alarm bells.
Your brand is you…and the interactions you have with your market. You don’t have complete control any more than you have complete control in your marriage (or relationships or whatever).
The things you do have control over is how you use your brand elements. NEVER change some things; these are your core brand elements. Changing those alters the very shorthand that a brand is for and your market won’t recognize that your stuff is yours.
People think of “branding” as putting up a false front. That might be the case with Twinkies, but it won’t work for you. Ultimately, your brand is going to represent you and all of your interactions with your market. If you’re a great writer but never respond to readers or respond rudely, that becomes your brand, too.
Here’s the deal with brands; everything counts. Every interaction with your market will either improve or degrade your brand. And…that is entirely up to you.