For the past many years (ten? more?) I've had the same logo and tagline on my printed materials. The tagline All my stories start with a seed of truth seemed catchy at the time, a way to describe my style.
The sprig of green signifies to me great possibility. A story could go anywhere!
I still believe that, but it's time for a change. That tagline works best for my original stories, which I often describe as "personal fiction." I'd like my tagline to reflect my work in general, possibly with features and benefits (yikes, marketing jargon!) included. It would be great if it also brought a smile to the reader. Of course, I want my PR material to invite connection first, and eventually bookings.
In my garden, I remind myself that it's okay to move, dig up, prune, toss or give away plants that don't suit the space, I can do the same with my tagline and logo. Maybe I'll end up using the sprig again, or maybe that will go in the compost pile.
My process so far has been to write about what I do, looking for keywords and ideas. I've used the mindmapping website bubbl.us to organize my thoughts. I have done trademark searches. I don't want the ugly surprise of finding I've used somebody else's trademark. In doing a search, I discovered that my favorite idea turned out to be somebody else's favorite: Storytelling—feeding hungry minds since the dawn of time. Not the whole thing, but feeding hungry minds.
Here are a couple of my ideas for storytelling in general, to be placed after my name:
Storytelling—growing curious listeners since the dawn of time
Storytelling—the oldest educational method and entertainment system in the world (I've used a variation of this for years)
And a few ideas that would go after my name:
Funny, smart, engaging stories since 1988
Making connections one story at a time
Growing curious listeners one story at a time
Cultivating curiosity and laughter one story at a time
I seem to like the garden metaphor. Wonder why? Garden tour time! Here's a picture in front of my house (weeping cherry, Russian sage, rudbeckia, marigolds, lilac, Egyptian onions, iris, clematis, roses, cockscomb, rhubarb—and that's not counting what's on the other side of the walk):
And a view of the back garden (dogwood on the left, hostas, moonflowers in the foreground, enormous snarl of tomato plants and a volunteer melon in the background):
And while we're at it, here are some of the houseplants in residence on the porch (an older picture, so the nightblooming cereus isn't in flower today): [Houseplants on the front porch, by the swing]
That's the garden tour for the day. Back to the point. Distilling what I do into one phrase or sentence, and then making sure that one line hasn't been used for something else or won't be misconstrued is daunting. Am I trying to do too much? Should I have a different slogan for educational work than I have for entertainment? Should I have one for work with young kids and another for work with older kids and adults? I so want a one-size-fits all solution, since I'm able to tell stories in so many different situations (stories with puppets for young children, epic tales for older kids and adults, work in Juvenile Detention Centers, stories for ESL listeners, weddings, anniversaries, festival shows, library performances, keynote speeches and more).
Any suggestions? Is there some giant idea I'm completely missing? Send me a comment below. Thanks!