What is an author brand?
Some say it’s the genre you write. But it’s really not, at least not entirely. Your brand is what makes you stand out to readers. In short, your name is your brand. Since you probably haven’t been a bestselling author for twenty years, you will need to build your brand. Your brand is not only your name, but everything associated with who you are as an author. There are many elements to branding and marketing, but today I’m going to talk about aspects of creating an online presence. In today’s digital world it’s important to have a way for your readers to reach you, from your website and across all of your social media platforms.
1. You are the brand
Many authors confuse their current book with their brand. It’s not, imagine if every time you wrote a new book, you had to change everything on your website, social media, and everything. This is not the case. You are the brand. Essentially you want readers to associate evident feelings, concepts, or ideas with your name, with you.
2. Create a logo
Your name is your brand, so how your name is written on your website and social media banners becomes your logo. Once you have that, you can pull the image you choose through everything you do, from your social media headers, to your business cards and even banners for book signings and speaking events.
3. Lead your reader tribe
If you are an author, your followers and tribe are your readers—or, at least, that’s partially true. The question is will you become the tribe’s leader and equip them to communicate with you and with one another. Authors who understand this and jump in with both feet are the ones who succeed. Which leads us to the most important step, social media.
4. Use social media
Open a Facebook account. This is an easy way to bring your brand to life and help people get to know you. Your readers want to get to know you. Facebook is an easy, simple way to do this. On Facebook you can interact, build a fan page and announce new events about your books. If you already have a Facebook account then connect it to Twitter using the Twitter app. This way, your tweets will automatically update your Facebook account.
Did you know there are 800 million people on Facebook?
Start Twittering. Do this before you do anything else online. It will teach you more about where the Internet is going than anything. On Twitter you can gather a following of people in your niche, interact with thought leaders, participate in discussions and drive traffic to your website.
On Goodreads you can participate in a book-loving community and build a community of your own.
On Google+ you can post longer articles, create all kinds of circles to share and collaborate, and use the quick video conferencing for fan interaction events or virtual meetings.
On LinkedIn you can participate in discussions, ask questions, run your own groups, and build a large network of business professionals in your specialty.
The more you give to your readers, the more they will give back. Reply to tweets, Facebook comments, and blog comments. Leave comments on other people’s sites. Promote things that you think your readers will find valuable. Initially this may seem like it will take up your writing time, start by setting half an hour a day. Then, you will achieve your word count, build a tribe and have interacted with your readers.
Be authentic and enjoy building a tribe of dedicated readers.