When most people think of branding, they tend to associate with the big, household names like Coke, Virgin, Heinz, etc. They didn’t become a household brand overnight, there was a consistent process they took to get there. Although this article doesn’t have the scope to give you the whole process here, and is directed more towards writers and authors branding themselves, this will get you a long way towards where you need to be to gain a good following for your work.
The most important thing to consider when thinking about branding yourself is that IT IS NOT AN OVERNIGHT PROCESS.
Even if you haven’t started writing your first novel (and essentially you should start this process at least a year before you think you’ll be publishing your book) here are three major steps you should take which won’t cost you any money:
- Start a blog
- Set up a twitter account
- Create a Facebook page
With just these three social media platforms, you have the basis for laying the groundwork for establishing a brand. The most important element of branding is consistency and uniformity. Whether you are branding yourself as an author, or your book, there has to be a central theme to your platforms. You should use the same graphics, titles, and keywords for each of the above. For example, I write across many genres and for both children and adults, so I have chosen to brand myself, therefore the titles for 1 – 3 above are:
- http://www.adonnellywriter.wordpress.com is my blog
- @adonnellywriter on twitter
- https://www.facebook.com/adonnellywriter is my Facebook page
You see how I use ‘adonnellywriter’ in all of the above, and I even have a matching email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The reason I chose this is because it states clearly my name and what I do in one. I also use the graphics from my latest book THE SHEPHERD, as that is what I’m focusing on right now and have a self-help workbook coming soon that accompanies it.
The reason I suggest these three elements and personally utilize wordpress is because I can very quickly and easily link all three together to cross-post my articles and news. I focus on posts that are specific to authors and writing, and I link to my books available on amazon.
Although this is free, you will have to commit time and effort to this process and work on each element consistently every day, or at the very least 2-3 times a week.
TWITTER: Using hashtag searches relevant to your core field (#books #aurhors #writing #readers, etc.) SLOWLY start following people on twitter. This can be a laborious process at first, but I recommend adding 10-20 new people a day at first, and engage with them. Retweet things that are on topic, relevant, and you find interesting. Interact with the people you follow: network and form friendships. THIS IS WELL WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT and if you shortcut this step you are shooting yourself in the foot. Tweet about things you think will appeal to your audience – you’ll know what you’re doing right and wrong by the retweets and favorites you get.
BLOGGING: Commit to posting at the very least ONE interesting post per week (more is obviously better, but one is okay to begin with) Connect with other bloggers, make comments on their posts. Write interesting things that engage your audience and let them into your world. What are you writing? Can you give them an exclusive sneak peek? Do you have some insider tips? Remember to keep the core elements of your branding, don’t go off on silly or irrelevant tangents, but also don’t be too repetitive and boring.
FACEBOOK: As with the other two above, start building your audience. Connect with other writers, authors and readers. Post things of interest to them. Do you have a promotion? Are you trying out different book cover designs? Join an author promotion group like the one above – engage with the other members, make friends, network. Don’t be overkeen to self-promote too much, you are laying the seeds of a growing brand.
As said at the beginning, branding is a process, it won’t happen overnight, but it is so much easier to take a long term view, start small and slowly, build a loyal following, keep them entertained and interested. The rewards will come in time, and by making it fun and connecting with new friends in your field, you’ll find it very fulfilling. To teach you how to brand yourself fully would take a book, but following these little tips will put you a long way along the branding path.
I hope you found this interesting and informative, please share it with your friends, and leave comments and feedback below.