Creating your Brand as an Author
by Gaby Maurino
Table of Contents
Being a successful author is not just about writing the next amazing set of characters and plot twists. It also involves investing in a new brand, and that brand is You. Yes, you the author, Brand You!
It is vitally important to understand the impact of creating and maintaining a personal brand. A brand identity is your way to communicate with the world outside your books, stand out from the competition and encourage people to engage with Brand You, so that they will read and enjoy your works of art.
The Importance of Brand
When readers purchase one of your books, you want them to buy into Brand You. You want them to search for your other books, to research and contact you, to find out when your next book is going to be available. Brand You will be your secret sauce and is the collection of all elements that create the right image for your readers. It will help you become recognisable to your readership and will create a symbiotic connection between you and your readers.
Building Brand YOU, easy as A, B, C
There are many different ways to build your own personal brand but this blog targets three key methods:
Blogs and Building a website
Conferences & Meetups
A - Analyse Brand You
Now is the time to think about your brand, who you are and what you want the world to know about you, the author. Think about your mission and your unique value offering to the world of the written word. Analyse what is unique about your work and what your brand voice sounds like. What 3 words best describe Brand You?
Consider what happens when a reader searches for you online. What do they uncover? Compare and contrast that with what you want them to discover.
Search for your name online and analyse the results. Do you like what you find or is there room for improvement? Note what you would like to change.
Search online for other authors that work within your domain and analyse their online brand. Is there anything you can learn from your peers which you would like to replicate? Write down the points that you would like to emulate.
B – Blogs, Websites, Social Media and Brand You
B – Blog, blog, blog
You’re an author and you love to write! Create posts related to your work and remember the worst thing you ever put down in print is exponentially better than the best thing that never got published.
These are some popular blogging platforms:
B – Be active on Social Media
Choose one or two outlets where you feel most comfortable networking and let people know about you, not only about your writing but also your life. Readers love to catch a glimpse of your world. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are waiting right now for your first posts as an author.
B – Build a website for Brand You
One other great way to build Brand You is to have your own website. When readers search for your name or your books, they should be able to find you near the top of the search results. Once on your webpage, they should be able to read all about Brand You, subscribe to your blog, find your latest books and contact you. You could even create affiliate links to Amazon to receive a small percentage of your book sales. Alternatively, you can sell your books on your new website and cut off the middle man.
Your website is where you are going to lay the foundations for Brand You. You can pour in the cement of your vision and start building the fundamentals of your Brand values, mission and identity.
You can build your website using any of the platforms such as WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, or have it designed for you to your requirements at surprisingly affordable rates. Check this company out techgstore.com (full disclosure, I’m the business owner) or check an author website example here.
C – Conferences, Meet ups and Brand You
Many authors are introverts but meeting people face-to-face pays off and makes it worth getting out of your comfort zone. The pen is mightier than the sword and words are mightier than silence. Go to book Meetups, meet other authors and talk to readers. Go one step further, if you dare, and create a talk on your latest book, most recent research or any theme that interests you. Find a group and offer to host your topic.
Organise a Meetup
If there are no Author Meetups in your area, then Brand You can create one. You can organise one for fellow authors and readers to meet-up and discuss books, or one that focuses on author education, or for networking with other authors in your domain or adjoining markets.
Once you’ve spoken a few times in public and found your rhythm and style, it’s time to introduce Brand You to a larger audience. Select the topics that garnered the most interest and feedback from your Author Meetups and approach your favourite Conference organisers to volunteer to run a workshop, sit on a panel discussion or run a one-off presentation.
If you don’t feel ready yet to speak at a Conference, then make sure you attend at least one this year. The networking that goes on at Conferences is invaluable and if you work the room well, it will easily repay any ticket or travel investment.
- Brand You won’t happen overnight so be prepared to work on it, just like you work on your amazing books
- Embrace kaizen, a culture of continuous improvement. This will be one area where an investment of effort will return a high value in terms of your personal brand
- Aim for readers to think of YOU when they think of books within your genre or subgenre. Attract your readers by creating a compelling brand
- Inspect and adapt your Brand on a regular basis and identify improvements that can be made. Ensure that you implement the changes necessary, to keep Brand You fresh and innovative
- Brand You is about building collaboration with other authors, publishers and your readers, in fact, the entirety of your current and future readership
- Reach out via your analysis, your blog, your website, social media, meetups and conferences and watch as your brand grows and develops
Long before the world of Blogs and Vlogs and the Internet, George Bernard Shaw said:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”
Author, go create a brand for yourself, go create Brand You!