Updated: Mar 6
What does every business need in order to be successful?
Since self-publishing, in a nutshell, gets authors paid, it must be treated as a business.
That also means that you need to give time for your author's brand to become established.
By writing your books, you’re only setting foundations for the future, and by publishing them on the online platforms, you’re starting to build walls for your office. And in building this type of office, nothing can beat the knowledge.
Some time ago I wrote about how to promote your book, and I see that people loved it. But now it's time to talk about the thing that's standing shoulder to shoulder to your marketing strategies - branding.
We must understand where branding falls under the whole mess that marketing appears to be. One Google search and you'll get the definition of marketing - the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Advertising is done to build brand image and increase sales, whereas Promotion is used to push short-term sales. Advertising is one of the elements of promotion while the promotion is the variable of the marketing mix. Advertising has a long term effect but at the same time promotion has short term effects.
We’ve already covered that self-publishing should be treated as a business. So branding yourself should be done while observing the 4 Ps and 4 Cs of marketing.
They are actually the same, only taken from two approaches:
Company’s side and Customer’s side.
• Costumer value
• Convenience for the customer
• Cost to the customer
Combining 4Cs (or 4Ps) and observing them as a whole can help you further understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand and also what is the best way for you to do it.
Why the symbiosis of these 4 aspects is important:
You can brand yourself, but if you lack the product eventually your business will fail since you won’t be able to form a price and earn, and you’ll spend your money for promotions and brand-building in vain.
You can have a product, a price, and do decent promotion, but if you don’t have a platform – be it a store or a website – your users won’t have a “place to come to” to get your product.
You can have a great product, a place to sell it, do a wonderful promotion but the price can deter your buyers and again, you’ll be left empty-handed.
And eventually – you can have a product, a place, and a fitting price, but if you lack promotion, nobody will see it.
That is why every aspect is intertwined in marketing, and branding just takes it up a notch, helping you establish yourself and gain trust from your users.
Example – how do you brand yourself if you are a chef and you wish to publish a cookbook.
You start with creating your food blog, write about the recipes to show your knowledge to your readers. You cook both known recipes and your signature dishes. You share your recipes on your Facebook page and create a YouTube where you record yourself cooking the same recipes and you promote those three. After some time when you feel like you’ve established a decent audience, you can observe how they react to you. (As people love food, in this case, they react well.) Then you move on to hinting about your cookbook, and again observe the reactions. You publish after you are certain that people believe in your brand and that you can deliver them a great product that can teach them new recipes.
But what is a brand exactly?
It is trust, it is a feeling of safety, a fulfilled promise, and security.
A brand is like a person, a best friend. How does your best friend make you feel?
Why should you brand yourself?
By branding yourself as unique and consistent on the platforms that you use, you gain control over your audience’s perception of yourself. Once you become successful in branding yourself, you will notice that people perceive you as an authority in your field, and it means loyalty and truthfulness. You become a person of influence.
It’s also easier for people to remember you and locate you online if you’ve put in the effort in branding yourself.
ALSO READ: 5 Writing Problems and How to Solve Them
So what do people actually mean when they mention branding? Let’s make a list:
• your personality
• every word you write,
• the fonts and colors you use,
• the way you make people feel
• your books
• your website
• your slogan
• your logo
• your activity on different platforms
Branding your personality means that you’re working on showing how you behave, what your opinions are but sometimes it means exposing a side of yourself to social media that maybe you wouldn’t like others to see.
Your voice should fit your online persona. This means that your blog posts, comments and expressed thoughts all need to feel the way your online persona feels. But there’s more to it.
Your online presence should evoke the feeling of trust in people. Your blog posts should show you as an expert in your niche/genre. Your YouTube videos should make people want to return and see what else you’ve got, and not just click a subscribe button and ignore your notifications. The comments you leave and the way you discuss with people should showcase your online persona and be consistent. All of this is a network that you need to build, but once you do, you’ll reap the benefits.
Your book covers should fit your niche/genre and your overall online presence should be consistent.
ALSO READ: Law of Attraction in Service of Writers
How to brand your social media accounts to fit your author’s nature?
Depending on the social media, you should post headers/profile photos/logos on visible spaces. If you’ve used it, you know what to do.
Leave comments in your niche/genre and support fellow writers. Use your tagline, if you have it. Use parts of your book blurbs or quotes from your books that you think might hook a reader.
Posting songs that you love can be a great way of communicating with your audience.
ALSO READ: Letting People Read What You Wrote
Have in mind though:
Select a platform that suits you best. For some authors, that's Instagram, for others Twitter. Utilize it the best you can and then move on to a new one.
Think about having a pen name. It's the same as creating a fictional character, only for yourself. And know this - branding yourself is best to be done by yourself. You are your own brand advocate!
Have you thought about branding yourself as an author? Let me know in the comments!
Check out Inspiration Wise merch on Teespring. New items are added every week.