Let’s Talk About Your Online Platform – Avatar Edition

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A lot of authors, agents, editors, etc. have gone into some serious detail about the importance of an online platform. For those of you not in the know, that’s basically what sorts of social network sites, blogs, etc. you have on the internet.

Think of the platform as a place for your little writing career to jump off of. The more people know who you are, the springier your platform is.

The thing is, with facebook, twitter, formspring, foursquare, and every other trendy worded network out there, it can be more than just a little overwhelming. (Then shouldn’t I have just said overwhelming?) So, we’re going to start simple.

With your Avatar.

What’s an Avatar? It’s the cute little picture in all your online profiles, and (don’t freak out or anything) it needs to be fabulous.

You probably knew that already, but here’s something you might not know yet:

You should use the same Avatar on every network, blog comment, website, whatever.

Invisible person in my fake audience says: What? You mean I can’t express my individuality with my avatar by uploading a thousand different cute pictures of baby animals and changing them out whenever I want?

That’s what I’m saying, invisible person. Your avatar has to be the exact same on twitter as it is on facebook as it is on goodreads as it is on myspace. How the heck are you going to build your brand and make yourself recognizable if you look different everywhere you go?

Your avatar is like your logo. Heck, for some of you– it is your logo.

So, your assignment today is to come up with a really great avatar, go through all your social network sites and blogs and make it the same.

Here are a few that stuck out when I went through the last few tweets in my stream:

Stick a link to your new avatar below in the comments. I’ll pick a few and talk about why they were great choices!

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  1. Yes, you are Totally the Bomb! Excellent point. I need to do this (I have two pics out there, I think). At least I have my name constant throughout. I’m with you and Tawna – if you can’t get your name consistent, at least make your avatar the same.

    When I get a cover, my avatars will definitely be the same everywhere. You all will be sick of it. LOL

    Here’s a question: If you have a FB profile and a FB fan page, should they be the same? Or should your friends who are also fans be able to tell the difference between when you’re posting as a person and when you’re posting as a professional? I go with the latter. Interested in your 2+ cents.
    .-= Kristie Cook´s last blog ..Book Fairs and Lessons Learned =-.

  2. I was using an avatar without even knowing it! It’s just a picture of me and I just ended up using it everywhere. Maybe it’s not bright enough, though? Do I need to dye my hair? http://tiny.cc/quncv
    .-= A.L. Sonnichsen´s last blog ..Life =-.

  3. This is a quasi-issue for me because of the whole “secret identity” nature of my blogging. I’m creating my “platform” as Meadow, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I’m ready to “come out” as myself.
    .-= MeadowC´s last blog ..Reading Rainbow: The House of Night Series =-.

  4. Excellent point! Why make things more confusing than they need to be? Consistency is always good.

    I agree with H — the picture needs to be at least very bright (like Jamie’s pink hair) to be easily identified.

  5. Totally agree, however I don’t think the bottom right corner avatar in your group is very good. Primarily because you have to think about how SMALL the avatars are. Having a photo that has a large focus point, such as a pic, a letter, etc. will be much more recognizable. You totally have to think of it as a logo, something that’s going to catch people’s attention. Most good logos are simple and focused, easy to recognize.

    Sorry… it’s the marketer in me coming out!

  6. Good post. As much as it pains me, I agree.
    .-= Al Stegall´s last blog ..Corralling the Voices =-.

  7. Woo! Yay! I’m glad I do something right. LOL. I already do that and you can see mine on my twitter @lchardesty or my blog http://www.lchardesty.blogspot.com

    (Didja catch what else I did there? I’m lchardesty wherever I go). πŸ™‚

  8. Great advice! I think my avatars are the same everywhere, but I’ll have to go check now. Otherwise I’ll hear mini-Jamie in my head.

  9. Amen to this a million times over! Admittedly I am easily confused, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the pic/name of someone commenting on my blog and tried to figure out if “janesmith” with the red hair is the same as “sexyvixen” posting on Twitter with a totally different pic. Makes me batty, and totally wastes the chance for a potential connection.

    .-= Tawna Fenske´s last blog ..Feather boas, heaving bosoms, and my first RWA meeting =-.

    1. @Tawna Fenske, YES! THIS!!!

      That’s the thing–how can I know who the hell people are if they don’t use the SAME stuff, I understand you can’t always score the same screen name or whatever, but you can TOTALLY upload the same picture!

  10. Jamie, you rock for this post. I feel so awesome-y up there next to the cool kids.

    I also noticed we surround @kid_lit like a pack of super hot, viciously witty jackals.

    It’s like Hollywood Squares, only I’m Bruce Vilanch!

    .-= @jmartinlibrary´s last blog ..Dr. Strangewrite: How I learned to Stop Worrying about the Publishing Process =-.

  11. Hope I did this right. I started w/ Bugs, switched to me and am back to Bugs because he really does a better job of reflecting my usual state of being. Tee hee.

    1. @misty provencher, you know, that’s totally okay because it gives something for people to remember you by. As long as you’re cool with being the big girl. πŸ™‚

    1. @Jeannie, It doesn’t have to be YOU, it just has to be the same picture everywhere. πŸ™‚

    2. @Jeannie, but also… dude your avatar is FAB! You should totally use that one because you’re super cute!

      1. @Jamie, if only cuteness won book contracts. Le sigh. But yes it’s the one I use all over. For now…SG1FTW!
        .-= Jeannie´s last blog ..Style Tray =-.

      2. @Jeannie, you’d be surprised… cuteness goes a long way!

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