When I brought my various blogs together under one umbrella, “Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests,” I added the tagline “Everything but . . .” as in “everything but the kitchen sink.” I thought it was clever—sometimes a writer’s first mistake (grin).
However, over the years I have learned that our website should be ourname.com. I have a website on which I have begun to post more regularly. (I’d be happy to have you pop by stephbethnickel.com—and my blog, which may one day be moved to my website.)
I have tweaked both sites. (Any constructive criticism is most welcome. They’re works-in-progress.) The header on my blog is “Steph Beth Nickel’s Blog” and the tagline under it reads “Eclectic Interests Explored.” As of yet, my website has no tagline; I’m still working on that.
The Best Taglines
The best taglines sum up our essence and/or clearly promote our “brand.” It is how we want to be known. It is not simply a marketing gimmick. We’ve all had enough of those. That doesn’t mean we can’t use it to increase our sales, but in my opinion, that shouldn’t be the #1 reason we choose the tagline we do.
Mary DeMuth, one of three gracious professionals who took the time to join us at the Write Canada conference via Google Hangouts, has branded herself based on what is most important to her. Her tagline summarizes it well, “Live Uncaged.”
While sharing with us from her home thousands of miles away, a wonder of the cyber age, she led us in a fairly interesting exercise. She encouraged us to write down three of our favorite movies—quickly, without overthinking it. She said we should examine our choices and decide what they had in common. By doing so, she said we would discover our tagline.
Contemplating a Tagline
To one extent or another, I’ve been chewing on this ever since. (It didn’t come as easily to me as it did to the others. It all began when I couldn’t remember the name of my all-time favorite movie, which is Freedom Writers by the way. Sigh!)
While up until recently I would have been happy enough saying, “I’m all about relationships,” I was subsequently challenged at my writers’ group to dig even deeper. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
From favorite movies to favorite books to projects that fire me up, I have begun to see a common thread emerging. Nurturing those who have been cast aside by society and those who don’t recognize their own worth . . . sort of “the unlikely hero” but with a more long-lasting emphasis, one that redirects the entire course of the person’ life. I’ve yet to determine how that will translate into my brand, my tagline.
Self-awareness is a good thing. Self-absorption isn’t. Don’t get too wrapped up in the process. Like “Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests” and “Everything but . . .” your choices aren’t set in stone. Think about the message you want to get in front of people and give it a test drive. You may even want to include a graphic like Mary DeMuth has done. But if it doesn’t work for you—or if at some point, you want to change your emphasis—feel free to do so.
What about you? If you were to choose a name for your website and/or your tagline today, what would it be?
Contributed by Stephanie Nickel, CES Editor, Coach, Critique Specialist