Hi my name is Al Bargen. Have you ever poured your heart and soul into your book? You know it will help others, but people still don’t seem to notice? If you have you’re not alone. I often hear things like “I wrote an amazing book but why aren’t people buying it?”
The problem might not be your writing, it might be because you’re on the lower rungs of the author branding ladder. Branding Ladder? The branding ladder shows you where you stand, and where you need to be, in stages of branding.
Raymond Aaron, taught me this concept through his book Branding Small Business for Dummies, where he actually had me as a case study of someone who has established a great brand (Cheeseburger Abs).
Raymond does an excellent job explaining this in his training conferences and on his website. Today I want to give you an overview of the concept and the five rungs in this ladder:
- Brand Absence. This is where we all start and an overwhelming majority of first time authors find themselves—without a brand at all – forever. “Noone” even knows about them so why should anyone care?
- Brand Awareness. It’s definitely better to be here than on the first rung on the ladder. At least here, people have heard of you, or your book. But others just knowing that you exist is not good enough. You want to move to the next rung.
- Brand Preference. This is where people, prefer to buy your brand. Is this a good place to be? Yes, of course, it is! But don’t get too satisfied yet. You’re only in the middle of the ladder, after all.
- Brand Insistence. This is where people insist upon having your brand. Here’s an example. You prefer Coke over Pepsi and you go to a restaurant which, you learn afterwards, only serves Pepsi. You insist on having Coke so much that you decide not to order soda since the restaurant doesn’t have the brand you insist on drinking. This rung is an excellent place for business. How could things get any better? Go up the ladder to the highest rung.
- Brand Advocacy. If you’re like me and you’re still using a PC, you’ve surely heard from countless people telling you to “Buy a Mac.” A lot of people will only buy Apple products. That’s brand insistence. But Apple fans go far beyond insisting on Apple products. They will also advocate for other people’s use of Apple! This is the ultimate level of branding and this is where all of us would love to find our business in one day.
For you to get somewhere, you have to plot a course. And for you to be able to do that, you need to have a starting point. Where are you on the author branding ladder? More importantly, how can you raise your brand to the next level? Stay tuned for more posts that will answer this question.
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