May 20, 2020-An excellent way to develop characters is to use the SPICE method that I’ll explain below. Even though not all of these elements will make it into your character’s story, you need to know everything about them as a writer.
- S-Social status. What is your character’s social status? What is their importance in relation to other people in society? Where do they fit in?
- P-Political/Religious beliefs. What does your character believe in? Where do they stand from a political viewpoint? What matters to them, and why?
- I-Interaction with their environment. How does your character interact with the world around them? How do they function in their space? What does their home look like? Are they organized or disorganized?
- C-Cultural aspects. What kind of clothes do they wear? What do they like to eat? What is their ethnic background? What type of music do they listen to? What is their highest level of education?
- E-Economic status. What is their career? Do they have a job? How much money do they make? What do they spend their money on? What does their lifestyle look like? Are they materialistic? Are they philanthropic? Are they a spendthrift? Are they a saver?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a good handle on who your character is. Again, don’t include every single thing about them in your story, just the important parts; let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks you leave. Happy writing! X LLB
July 24, 2019-Hold on a second, what exactly is a personal brand and why does it matter? When we talk about brands or branding we automatically think of names like Nike, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, and Coke. Personal branding is a bit different in that you develop a professional identity that sets you apart from others in your field. Remember your roommate in college who was known for her massive shoe collection? Or what about the guy on the third floor in accounting that wears a different, goofy tie every day? Like it or not, that’s one type (and often unplanned) of personal branding. Personal branding helps you and here’s how:
- Numerous benefits to your career. Standing out from the crowd is essential in today’s job hunting market and branding can often be the deciding factor when it comes down to choosing between two hires. It could be the unique presentation of your resume cover letter that nets you the job, or maybe your knowledge of obscure, historical facts, whatever it is, being known for something is almost always a good thing!
- Builds confidence. When you’ve built a solid personal brand, it shows that you are confident in yourself. And when clients or prospective employers see this, they have confidence in your abilities.
- Gains trust. People work with brands they trust and brands that haven’t let them down over the years. With a strong personal brand and doing what you say you’re going to do/delivering what you say you’re going to deliver, you gain people’s trust. Trust can’t be bought and once it’s broken, you’re in trouble and your personal brand could be too far gone to repair.
Personal branding has so many other benefits! How are you building your brand? X LLB
April 29, 2019– Many years ago there was an ad in a very famous newspaper of a stern-looking executive in a suit with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. The copy read:
I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your company, I don’t know your company’s product, I don’t know what your company stands for, I don’t know your company’s customers, and I don’t know your company’s reputation…now what is it you wanted to sell me?
Whoa, talk about powerful and true. We’ve all been in situations where we are approached by someone trying to sell us something and sometimes it feels icky. It feels that way because we don’t know the person, the company, or the product. This happens to me on Instagram, constantly; someone will either slide into my DM’s or they will comment on my post about how I should buy their product, or sell their product or follow them or their friends. It’s obnoxious and leads me to more often than not blocking them and the person they’ve recommended. Harsh? Maybe, but I don’t have time for BS. The bottom line? People ONLY buy things from people they feel comfortable with, from people they trust, and from people that their friends recommend.
If you’re an indie author who is trying to sell your book please keep in mind that it’s a long road and you’ve got lots of work and years ahead of you. This isn’t to discourage you, but to remind you that you’ve got to spend time building relationships before anyone will be interested in buying your work. Relationships are the key to everything and they must be authentic.
And if you own a business, you need to make sure that people know who you are, that they know about your company, your products, what your company stands for, who your customers are and what your reputation is! Only then, can you begin to even THINK about selling.