The basics for building a strong authorial brand.
Building an authorial brand is a critical component of marketing for any writer. A dynamic, compelling personal brand will draw in readers and increase sales.
Building a brand isn’t easy, though, especially for those writers who may not be familiar with marketing themselves. As a rule, writers are great at being creative, but the terms sales and marketing make them shudder. If that describes you, don’t worry. Brand building isn’t as difficult as you think.
What Is an Authorial Brand?
An authorial brand is defining who you are to your readers. What do you want readers to associate with your name? That you’re a down-to-earth or funny writer? How do you want them to feel when they think of you, and by default, your work? Answering these questions will help you begin building your authorial brand.
Necessary Components for Building an Authorial Brand
When it comes to building a reputation online or off, consistency is essential. Your readers want to know what they can expect from you, both as an author and as a person. The best way to ensure that this happens is to be authentic and personal in your interactions with everyone you meet or talk to on social media. Being authentic may seem like exposing yourself to strangers, but it’s the only way to ensure that you’re being personable and consistent. After all, when readers feel an individual connection they’re far more likely to follow your work.
You should also remember that every interaction you have with a reader or potential reader counts. It’s easy to remember customer service and due diligence when you’re at a writers’ conference or responding to comments on a blog, but face-to-face interactions with your son’s teacher or a fan you meet at a conference count, too. If you’re interacting with the public in any way, you are interacting with your potential readership.
Using Social Media to Build Brand
In today’s marketing culture, social media is an important tool when it comes to building your brand. When using sites like Facebook and Twitter, keep brand-building components in mind. Here are some helpful tips to help you build a brand via social sites:
- Keep readers informed on the progress of upcoming work. This can help build hype around your next project and ensure fans don’t lose interest.
- Host giveaways to give some readers a sneak peek of your work. This will allow readers to review your work even if you aren’t well known yet.
- Ask for honest feedback. This will show readers that you’re a real person with real insecurities and it will make readers feel valued when you take their opinions into consideration.
- Set up alarms on your phone for @replies. Responding to readers quickly and personally on Twitter helps build relationships.
It takes hard work to build a brand online. Finding the energy for being authentic and compelling on social media while being attentive and personable in-person is difficult — especially for introverted writers — but if you are patient, there are serious rewards to reap.
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