Many authors simply identify with their genre. You’ll hear them say “I”m a romance novelist”, or “I’m a children’s book author”. But, is that really enough?
Branding goes well beyond title. And it is IMPORTANT! This is where people get to know you – not just what you do, but what you stand for, what your purpose is, and what drives you. It’s very difficult for people to like you or trust you if they do not know you.
Social media makes it super easy for anyone to be found or recognized. And, if you’re already a published author or if you done even a little research about becoming an author, you know there are countless authors out there. So, what sets you apart? What makes you, well, YOU?
Here are 5 ways to help develop your own personal brand – after all, you are more than “author”…
- Define Yourself. Even if “children’s book author” technically defines you, you need to go deeper than that. What do you tend to focus on in your books? Bullying? Making friends? Listening? You want to position yourself as an expert in your niche. We’ve previously discussed keeping your social media content relevant. You want your brand to be relevant as well. You want your audience to trust what they are getting from you. You’ll want to take some time to truly dig deep on this step. Find words to describe yourself.
- Be Present. You want people to be able to find you. This day and age, they will find you through search engines such as Google. Therefore, you need to be online. This is where creating a blog online comes into play. You have your book(s), but you still need to blog. You can do this by creating a website, or by simply going to a blog site such as WordPress.com and setting up an account. This will make you searchable online. You will want to link any social media pages to your blog as well, such as your Facebook page. Making it as easy as possible for people to find you, connect with you and share your content will help to grow your brand.
- Get Out There! That’s right, even authors can benefit from networking – even if you’re an author of fiction. Get into the community. Talk with people. Let them know what you do. You will be amazed at the opportunities that can open up this way! Offer to help in any way you can. Once people learn who you are, and what you are about, you will find people that you can help. You may be seeing a trend here: By helping others, they will get to know, like and trust you. Which will lead to them talking about you and buying from you. Branding WIN!
- Be Clear and Consistent. Once you have determined your brand, remain clear about who you are. You don’t want to waver here. This doesn’t mean you can’t grow and change, however, it does mean that if you have written a book on how to sell houses, and your brand is all about preparing homes to sell faster, then you don’t position yourself as an expert on investing just because someone asks if you know anything about real estate investing. Remain true to your brand! If people become confused about who you are and what you do, then you will soon lose their trust. This will result in diminishing opportunities as well as sales.
- Listen. Pay attention to what others are saying about you. If it seems people are getting it wrong when they talk about you, then you will know you need to make adjustments to how you are branding yourself. When you start hearing everyone getting it right – well, that will be the best feeling EVER!
The important thing is to stay humble and be willing to adjust. There’s a very good chance you won’t get this right on the first try. That’s ok! That’s why #5 is in the list above. Allow for change and adjustments. Talk with those you trust about what you do and what you hope to achieve – let them help you develop your brand.
If you need more help with discovering and developing your brand, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk!