March’s Featured Author: Danielle MillerMarch 15, 2016
Branding Expert Builds The Smartypants Brand
Best-selling author takes the branding movement beyond logos and taglines to guide women entrepreneurs to more meaningful branding in a digital age.
I’m Danielle M. Miller, and I am a brand strategist/coach for remarkable women entrepreneurs who want to show up and stand out with their mission and message. My mission is to educate and guide women entrepreneurs on what it really means to brand themselves in the digital age.
My book Smartypants Branding: The Ultimate Guide for Women Entrepreneurs to Getting Recognized, Being Remembered, and Making More Money in Their Business is a practical and easy to read book designed to shift how women view having a brand. It gives entrepreneurs the tools and strategies to craft a brand that is aligned from the inside out.
My goal in writing the book was twofold: one: to teach women entrepreneurs what it really means to have a brand (going beyond logos, taglines, and having a website); two: to change the paradigm of how we think about the framework of branding.
I sell coaching and consulting around branding and brand strategy. I don’t do typical branding; rather I see branding as a bridge to giving women entrepreneurs the tools to empower themselves and truly believe in their potential and possibility.
I had the idea of writing a book in my head for the last 2-3 years and kept stopping and starting. I could never seem to wrap my arms around the information and get it organized in a way that didn’t seem formulaic and cookie-cutter. But I had this deep desire to get the book out in the world and was tired of trying to go it alone.
Enter Angela Lauria and the Author Incubator. Not only is Angela’s process practical and thorough, the level of support and the holding of ‘space’ to get the book completed was absolutely invaluable. I look at things through a different lens than most people and having a developmental editor who could review my writing, offer constructive feedback, and help me tell my story in a cohesive way was incredibly empowering.
My challenges included being able to write about branding in a way that was holistic and organized, yet not like a formula or blueprint. I had trouble giving myself permission to own being a branding expert and embracing the value I have to add to the conversation. I wasn’t very good at creating outlines and organizing the information in a way that made sense. The structure of The Author Incubator’s program and the help of my developmental editor were invaluable. Their unconditional support and resources were a real comfort and played a huge role in getting my book done.
The other amazing benefit of my journey from book idea to published author was that I gave myself permission to take own my expertise, my deeply held beliefs and philosophy, and draw my own line in the sand. As a result, the confidence that comes from putting my work out in the world in the form of a book is literally life altering.
It all boiled down to giving myself permission to own my expertise and embrace my strengths. This was the most incredible way to get really clear on my voice and message. I’m not sure if I would have achieved the level of clarity that I have now without writing the book.
I have worked with 22 new clients since the release of the book. It’s been a huge boost for me to add “Amazon best selling author” to my credentials-something that I will have forever. I gained status as a leader in my field as my media appearances went from once every six months to about once per month. Arianna Huffington was very impressed with the book and recommended to her book editor that it be featured on their books page. I felt before the book that I was a ‘best-kept’ secret. Not any more!
I also get great feedback from readers. One of the biggest compliments is that they feel like they are sitting down in person with me having a cup of coffee while reading the book (which is exactly what I was going for). Other feedback is that I have broken down the branding framework in a way that is easy to understand and implement. One client said after reading the book and then working with me that I completely changed her life…that’s an incredible compliment and a responsibility that I take seriously. It is an incredible feeling to know that something you have poured your heart and soul into is out in the world and making a real difference in peoples’ lives.
To be able to call myself a bestselling author has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.