How far should you take your brand?

I'm going overboard with turquoise

I’m going overboard with turquoise

When I decided to put a turquoise feather in my hair, I asked myself, “How far should I take my brand?”

I made a spontaneous decision at my local gym today after chatting with Mary Visconte (a  “My Gutsy Story” sponsor under Spectrum Specialities and Awards) told me she was getting her long brown hair colored purple and pink at the ends. She showed me some photos on her i-phone.

“Maybe I should get some turquoise in my hair to go with my brand, but I’m too old for that,” I said.

“Sonia, get a turquoise feather, that would look cool,” Mary replied.


“You can buy them at the beauty supply store next to Peets coffee.”

So after the gym, I drove straight to the store, picked up the turquoise feather, some turquoise nail polish, and of course a Peets coffee.

Back home, I jumped in the shower then dressed in my “book-signing uniform.”  A quick dab of turquoise on my nails, then asked my son to take some photos.

My poor kids are fed up with me asking them to take photos.

So my question is:

How far should you take your brand?


And to all my author friends, have you branded yourself? If so how? With a favorite color? Something you wear to accentuate your brand? A gimmick that goes with your book? Have you even thought of it when you do your book signings?


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Next Monday, January 7th, we start the 2013 My Gutsy Story® series with Mary Gottschalk.


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Comments (20)

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  1. Yes, of course, Sonia , wear the feather!
    Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Milestones in My Memoir Writer’s Journey: 2012 in ReviewMy Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Thanks Kathy. I might just do that at my book events. What does branding mean to you? How far will you take it?

      • Sonia, I believe branding is who you are and what you most want to convey. Your feather is symbolic of the free-spirited, gutsy woman you are and encourage others to be. How far would I be willing to take it? I think remaining open to where it goes and feeling like it fits will be my guide. That means trusting in my own voice and intuition. Here’s a quote along these lines that resonates by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that.”
        Great discussion, Sonia. You really got me going!
        Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Milestones in My Memoir Writer’s Journey: 2012 in ReviewMy Profile

        • Sonia Marsh says:


          You always amaze me with the way you come up with the “perfect” quote and comment.
          If I had to define you in one word, which is almost impossible, I would use the word, “Compassion.” I know you were a nurse before becoming a writer, and so I wonder if there is something from your past career you could “use” to show this to the world.
          I’m just rambling on with my thoughts, but that’s how my mind works.

          • Sonia, I am honored by your comments. Thank you! I believe my writing life is an extension of my nursing career because it is who I am and what makes me feel most alive. Interesting you should mention it as my post for 1/7 will be a story from my early nursing days. I think we all have experiences that shape us and they become our brand. The key is connecting to these experiences and being clear on how they have impacted us so we can share them in a focused way. What an interesting discussion you have prompted!
            Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Milestones in My Memoir Writer’s Journey: 2012 in ReviewMy Profile

  2. Pat says:

    Turquoise is definitely your color, Sonia, so go for it. When I think of you I think of golden light, endless blue seas, adventurous courage, Scandinavian eyes and infinite energy! A great brand if you ask me!
    Pat recently posted..New Year Resolutions – What I am NOT Going To Do in 2013My Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:


      Thanks, I’m blushing, or shall I say, “glowing golden light.”
      I just read your post about what you are not going to do in 2013, and agree with you, that staying healthy is the most important. I have to tell you, I got deathly ill on my 12-hour flight from Paris to LA. Fortunately no one was sitting next to me, but this is the first time in my life I had to bang on the toilet door to get some poor woman to hurry up, right before we landed.
      I didn’t realize you had to take antibiotics and had been free for one year. Stay healthy Pat. All the best.

    • What a perfect description of Sonia’s brand , Pat,in your characteristic “way-with-words” style!
      Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Milestones in My Memoir Writer’s Journey: 2012 in ReviewMy Profile

      • Sonia Marsh says:

        It’s always fun to hear how others perceive us. I think it’s human nature to be curious about “our brand” or shall we say, “what others perceive as our brand” or “how we project ourselves” to the outside world. Thanks Pat and Kathy for discussing this.

  3. Authors definitely need a brand these days to stand out. Sonia, turquoise is YOU! I changed up my entire web site to mirror the hand drawn artwork in my book Slices of Life: The Art and Craft of Memoir Writing and have actually seen a change in sales. My workshops and resources also has that same feel. Having a brand is part of our business. Thanks Kathy and Sonia for getting this conversation going.

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Cheryl, I like the “soothing” artwork on your website. Have you changed anything about yourself when you meet people? I’m talking about your personal brand.

  4. Amanda says:

    Sonia, You look fabulous in turquoise – it was one of my favorite colors growing up and still is. It evokes memories of the sea and as such is a perfect way to publicize your fantastic memoir.

    Wishing all the best in 2013 to you and your family!

    Amanda recently posted..Goddesses in the Dust: Calendars, Time, Memory and MnemosyneMy Profile

    • Sonia Marsh says:


      I know you love Greece and its beautiful islands.I have seen your blog photos and know how you are drawn to the history of this part of the world. All the best to you and I hope you are still writing. Happy 2013.

  5. Cheryl, It’s so interesting to hear that once you connected to your own brand through the artwork on your book cover, you were able to communicate it more clearly in everything you do- blog, workshops,etc and that you can feel the difference. And the best part is that we can feel it too! You have really taken off since the launch of your dynamic new website. Brava!

    Amanda, I love how you describe that “turquoise evokes memories of the sea” It shows how something as simple as a color can connect us to a mood or feeling that represents Sonia’s brand.

    Sonia, this is such a thought-provoking and important discussion for all of us. Thanks for the prompt!

    Kathleen Pooler recently posted..Hope Matters: A Memoir MomentMy Profile

  6. Barbara says:

    Turquoise is one of my favorite colors and I wear it a lot in summer. It’s perfect for you Sonia. You exude the California/ Tropical vibe that is turquoise.

    I’m still working out what my ‘brand’ is. I’ll keep you posted. 😉

    You should buy turquoise cowboy boots!
    Barbara recently posted..Can We Afford to Live 100 Years?My Profile

  7. Dear Gutsy:

    Turquoise is magnificent in your hair! Brings out your eyes! My book is all about not facing the facts, or supporting women to ignore what society tells us we should or should not do. Quoting you: ” I am too old to be wearing a ribbon in my hair.” Oh no, honey.

    I went into show business when I was past 40 years old, and was a grand success! My book is good for a LOL or two, so I hope you’ll visit my website. Cheers to turquoise! P.S. By the way, my thingy is feathers, also my nom de plume, pun intended.

    • Sonia Marsh says:

      Hi Constance,

      Very kind of you to boost my feather-look with a compliment.
      I love the “pun intended” comment.
      I shall pop over after my event today.

  8. carol says:

    Happy New year, and all the best for your already very successful book! I’m no expert but it seems to me that branding is all about attracting and entertaining, what a good idea!
    What did the Belizeans wear?

  9. Sonia Marsh says:

    Thanks Carol. Many Belizean men were barefoot, and clothes were shorts and tank tops; nothing special.

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