It seems more and more we hear about branding these days. You know you must stand out, above the crowd in order to capture the attention of your desired audience. We here at Writers Rise know this and have been posting on the topic for a while. We have also noticed that amongst the newer authors we speak with, there are a lot of myths, and ‘half-truths’ among the gems of information. In order to remedy the situation, we have assembled eight of these myths here for your reading pleasure. Check them out, and
Myth 1: I already have a great brand so I don’t need to do any work.
Truth: Your brand needs constant polishing to keep it shiny. Look at Apple. Their brand is “cool”, so they keep on doing things that are cool. The image you want to send to your readers is what you want to keep up all the time. If you’re the down-to-earth millionaire’s coach, then keep on doing things that will remind people that that is who you are. People are fickle-minded. All of a sudden, they might change their minds just because they can. If a new book enters your niche and catches their attention, you can lose your readers just because they want to try out something new. So keep updating your brand. You don’t have to make abrupt changes every time. Look at Coke and other soda brands. They keep on making little changes to their look and advertising campaign to make sure that people can still see that they are around and they’re keeping true to their brand.
Myth 2: I already know my brand. I don’t have to boast about it.
Truth 2: Brands exist in the mind of consumers. The definition of branding says that it is about your relationship with your readers. It’s not about what you think of yourself. Your brand is about what others think of you. You might think you’re a helpful, friendly author of parenting books, but if you don’t do anything to broadcast that image, people might think otherwise. If you want to establish a strong brand, you need to develop your confidence and go out there and act the way you want to be seen. Get the word out everywhere so you can consistently attract new people.
Myth 3: I’ll focus on writing a great book instead, then the money will come flowing in.
Truth: There are one too many wonderful books out there that are not getting any downloads on Amazon because of one thing. The authors have failed to create and maintain a strong brand for themselves. At the same time, there are a number of bestselling books on the market that aren’t very good. I’m sure you always have one title come to mind when we think about it. The truth is that when you create an image of yourself in your readers’ heads, even if your book isn’t that remarkable to begin with, you have far better chances of making good sales.
Myth 4: Branding is second place to everything else.
Truth: There are three steps in writing a bestseller. One, write first. Two, edit later. And three, market your book all the time, even when your book is not yet written and after your book has already been put out there and making sales. Branding goes right up there with marketing. Branding is the fuel that oils your sales machine. Without the constant interaction with potential customers that is branding, you won’t get any sales. It’s as simple as that.
Myth 5: Branding is not important these days as it was years ago.
Truth: Years ago, people went to stores and were sold. A salesman would approach them and sell them something and they would say yes. In those days, branding was extremely important, but it still remains very important today, even when we are no longer the kind of consumers who like to be sold. In fact, branding may be even more important now that the role of the salesman has greatly diminished as people take it upon themselves to research the products they want to buy. So when people are looking for information, having a great brand gets you noticed. The better your branding, the easier it will be for people to follow you.
Myth 6: Branding is deceptive.
Truth: Let’s go back to the definition of branding again: Branding is about the experience people have with your book. When they feel happy, sad, scared, furious or deceived, that is what your brand is. You cannot deceive your customers because branding is not about what you say. You can say over and over again that you make your readers feel like they’re on top of the world, but if that is not what they feel, then that is not your brand. Your responsibility to your readers is simply to make sure that the message you want to put across resonates with their experience of your book.
Myth 7: You don’t need branding if you have a unique selling point.
Truth: A brand and a USP are not the same. Take a look at Apple’s USP. They constantly put out revolutionary products that no one else makes. But once the products are out there, copycats swoop in and offer products with similar features. Apple’s USP is no longer so unique, even if they were the first ones to do it. They can no longer say they are the only ones who can offer this-and-that because everyone else already does the same. But being the king of branding, Apple is still the coolest, sleekest smartphone manufacturer out there. That is their brand. Even if their USP has been watered down, they’re still at the top of the food chain because of their branding.
Myth 8: Branding is similar to sales and marketing:
Truth: Sales is different from marketing and marketing is different from branding. Sales is a one-sided conversation. You do all the talking while the customer listens and you hope you’d be able to convince them to buy. Marketing is about what you do to promote your brand. Branding is about creating an experience for your readers. Without branding, you can’t put your marketing and sales into high gear because you have a half-baked story to tell. It’s not as big, strong as impactful as the story you have when you have a great brand.
We hope this helps clears the muddy waters that the topic of branding can sometimes be. Stay tuned, because we will post another article addressing more myths you may encounter whilst wading through the branding waters.
Image by Dmitry Lobanov – from Bigstock