Hi, Al Bargen here. We have covered a lot of the basics to building your author brand in previous posts such as “The Truth About Branding Yourself as an Author” and even some of the branding pitfalls to avoid in “The Biggest Lies Ever Told About Author Branding.” After lengthy discussions with some authors, and soon to be authors at a recent author convention, there became a clear need to assemble a single post packed full of the author branding basics.
We know you are not an inanimate object like an iphone, or a can of Coke. Just mentioning these products conjures up immediately ideas of effective branding in action. You are a person of course, and that is the point in its entirety. You, or your book is your brand. Your blog posts about your book, your social media updates, in fact everything you do, say, and promise online is your brand. That is why it is so important to build it with conscious planning and thought.
Create your author brand by observing the following pieces to the branding puzzle. Where do you need more effort or intentional action?
- Brand Name. We mention that your name is your brand. But how about your book title? Can you think of a brand name that can pertain to your current book, and include your next book as well?
- Brand Color Scheme. What colors would do a good job of representing a brand you’d be proud to call yours? For my martial arts projects, colors like black, red and gold always go well together. How about for your brand? Which colors would communicate the feel and promise of your brand?
- Brand Logo. Think of the Nike swoosh. This is perhaps one of the most simple, and elegant logos that comes to mind. Now you may not have the budget to advertise to the point where a simple ‘swoosh’ reminds people of your company, but you have to try. What can you come up with that is simple, yet supports your mission, vision, purpose and personality?
- Brand Personality. If you blog, what is the tone of your posts? Are you light, and whimsical? Are you serious and stern? The defining aspects of your personality in day to day business life want to come alive through your brands personality.
- Brand Mission Statement and Vision Statement. Borrowing from the above example, look to your writing for clues here if you have yet to define a mission statement, and/or value statement. The choices you make with your branding strategy must ring consistent with the choices you would make, and stand by in your writing, speaking, and everyday business dealings.
- Brand Audience. You must be able to describe your ideal customer or reader right down to sex, age, and how they feel after they get home from their job. You even know their vocation, right? You understand them better than any other demographic out there. It is because of this that you understand how your branding will, or does impact their buying decisions.
- Brand USP. What do you provide the market, and how do you go about doing so in your own particular way? You have skills, observations, and interactions that no one else has. There is no one else on the planet who is capable of telling your story the way you do. This is part of your mission and vision statement and allows you to conduct business through your writing whether by book, or by blog that is unique.
- Brand blueprint. Franchises are consistent from one location to the next because they have a clear set of standard operating procedures. You can eat a big-mac at any Mickey D’s and eat a burger that looks and tastes similar. So it is with your branding. It does not matter which social media site you set up a profile on, or how many websites you have, you need a consistency across the board in all you do with your brand online. This holds true right down to the finer details including your Email signature.
- Brand pledge How will your brand positively impact your community? What charity have you aligned with in order to help connect people to your brand?
Remember, in this day and age of instant communications, information travels the globe in an instant. Your brand is a fragile thing at first. Protect it and remain true to your mission, vision, purpose and personality. It may take a while to build your author brand, but it can fail to come together if you do not have a well thought out strategy in place. Take the time to consider the above. Put your strategy in place and take steps everyday to put your best message out to the web.
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