So, you have decided to become an author. It is one of the most rewarding and prolific job titles out there. The problem is that you do not know how to turn your love for words into a successful and lucrative asset.
It can be quite challenging to market your own name, and to some, the idea of turning your author name into a brand is somewhat strange. However, brand creation for writers has been an effective way to get your intended audience to buy what you are selling.
Just like any industry or career, being a successful author requires marketing tools, author branding, and the concept of becoming a thought leader. As intimidating or daunting as this might sound, it can be executed quite easily if you utilize some of the features that make branding successful.
What Is an Author Brand?
Before you get started, you should form a clear understanding of what an author brand entails. In many ways, author brands are the story the author tells about themselves, and it has to involve the audience. It is not necessarily an exposé on your life and what you do or have done in the past.
Rather, it is the brand identity, amongst other things, that you wish to share with your audience in order to engage with them.
Author Brands Explained
Your audience does not want to know what your bathroom schedule is, but they do want to know why they should invest their time or money in your content. Your author brand is a way for readers to link their experience regarding your content to the source of its existence.
It is almost like putting a face to a name, or a name to a face, or however the saying goes. You want to establish a bond between you and your readers that goes beyond your content.
Whether your content is produced by you or a ghostwriter should not be an issue as long as you are closely involved with the content and the process of the project. Sharing your ideas and concepts with the writer will help you to keep your brand ethical.
As long as you can assure the audience that your author brand is unique, trustworthy, and reliable, you are good to go. Just remember that your brand is not like your dating profile, and overselling could come across as sloppy marketing.
How to Create Author Brands
Establishing an author brand is almost inevitable. Whenever you actively create something or participate in something and put it out in the world, it will create an impression of you that your audience will absorb. You might as well use your first impression as a tool to market your author brand and your content.
Interviews, press engagement, social media, book launches, and many other things will reveal your brand and create an idea or construct surrounding not only your work but also your image. As soon as you engage with an audience, they form an idea or impression of you, and it is always best to ensure it is a worthy one.
For example, many famous authors are successful not necessarily just because of the content they publish but also because of the brand they created and the image they present to the world. For instance, there are a lot of people out there who have not read the Harry Potter series, but they do know who J.K. Rowling is.
Brand creation for writers not only helps the author with marketing but also helps with:
- Author and niche development
- Building a reputation that will lead to opportunities outside of writing
- Forming an author identity
- Creating an overall aesthetic
- The perspective you intend to form regarding the work you put out
What Do You Want to Be Known For?
Brand creation for writers is important in the sense that it enhances your self-awareness and clarifies the goals you have for the brand through a continuous series of introspection. When you look at your brand from the inside, it will give you some insight on how to position yourself in the industry.
Naturally, by choosing this path, you will start to think about the future you would like to create for and around your brand. You have to decide on the most important thing first: what do you want to be known for?
Creating a brand identity will help you pinpoint certain aspects and key areas that will enable you to focus on the things that will ultimately lead to a stellar author brand.
Decide on Your Schedule for Releasing Content
Creating a brand around your author identity is an important step when you aim to create a successful one. Deciding on a timeline or schedule of some sorts will help you decide when and how you will deliver content to your audience.
Once you have established what kind of content you would like to put out in the world, you should determine how often this content should or will be released. This will create anticipation amongst your audience or readers, and it will also build a routine you can stick to.
People like consistency, and working with a plan will ensure that your author brand stays on track. One of the best modern ways to market your author brand is to create a website that is easily accessible for your audience. You can add release dates and other scheduled content for them to look forward to.
You do not have to flood the website with unnecessary information, but it can help your audience keep track of your schedule and the image you are trying to sell them. There is a lot of valuable insight into the author’s brand on an author’s website as well as marketing tactics to get the word out there. It should almost act as a portal into the brand.
Keeping Your Audience Engaged
Keeping your audience engaged can be tricky and that is also why you should determine the features of your brand that will set you apart from others. Your audience will increase if they feel like they can relate to your brand, learn from your brand, or even just find a sense of entertainment from your content.
Sticking to an author brand that speaks to the audience on a semi-personal basis is always more consistent than those who are vaguely biographical and practices low audience engagement. Keep it insightful and leave out unnecessary information.
How to Keep Your Audience Engaged
- Even though you are the voice of your brand, your audience’s input and opinions can go a long way.
- Be real, all the time. Authenticity is a rare but admirable trait, especially when you are trying to establish and promote your own brand.
- Keep it simple. No one likes a nervous Nelly, and over-complicating things will drive you and your audience crazy.
- Be consistent. Your audience will commit if you do.
- Supplying your audience with links to your social media profiles and a general email address can also secure a better bond. Just make sure you do not give out too much contact information. There are some weirdos out there.
- Keep your content organic. Adding a whole mess of bells and whistles only creates clutter when it comes to brand creation for writers.
Implementing Your Values
Implementing your values into your brand as a writer is helpful because it can turn your brand into something more relatable.
Take some time to think about your own values and establish a few core ideas that will help you prioritize them. This will also add to your idea of the brand’s purpose and where you want it to go in the long run.
It will also make it easier for you to determine where and how you should spend your resources and simplify the process of establishing a target audience. Once you have figured out where your core values lie, it will become easier to evaluate and manage your risks and assets as well as your financial plans.
Determining your values will also lead to you possibly making money from the skills, knowledge, and traits you already possess. Utilizing your values in a way to connect with your audience, build your author brand, and establish the direction your brand is going to move in.
This way, your social media, websites, and other forms of engagement can become an assembly point for your audience and those who share your values. This also makes your brand more relatable, which is never a bad thing because it builds a bond between you and your readers.
Become a Thought Leader
Another essential part of running a successful brand is becoming a thought leader who knows how to use their knowledge and expertise to their own advantage. It is impossible to include everything and anything in your brand, and it is safe to say that no one knows everything in life.
This will usually be more in line with what you love, what you are passionate about, what your content is created from, and what sets you apart from your competitors.
For example, if you are a nonfiction writer who is passionate about spirituality, then you will most likely find a link between your spiritual expertise and the values it projects onto your audience.
How to Become a Thought Leader
- Make sure your content remains well researched and contains outside knowledge, but keep it true to your brand and your values.
- Remain transparent with your content in a way that entertains and enlightens your audience without being boastful about your author brand.
- Focus on sharing your knowledge and expertise with them and do not neglect the idea of having open conversations or forms of communication where you can also learn something new.
- Make use of social media to engage with other thought leaders so you become a familiar figure instead of lurking in the shadows.
- Being a thought leader does not mean you have to know better all the time. Remain humble and curious.
- It also helps to have a good team behind you who can give you some fresh perspectives that you might not be able to think of. A good team, great marketing, and a thriving author brand are some of the most important counterparts behind a successful author and thought leader.
- Gather your thoughts before responding or engaging. Composure is key on this side of the fence.
An Author Brands Takeaway
As overwhelming as all of this might sound, it is not impossible. Creating a successful author brand and becoming a thought leader in your field of expertise is easier if you commit to your own values and a straight-forward marketing plan.
You do not necessarily need the fanciest brand strategy; you just have to pin down your own brand identity and what your goals and objectives are. Listen and engage with your audience and others in your field.
When it comes to promoting your author brand, keep it simple and trustworthy. You should be able to look at your author brand from the outside and consider why your audience should commit to you as an author.
The only way, in this context, to turn your name into an asset is to work hard on your author brand and become a thought leader in your niche. Your most important attribute in this sense is your knowledge and ideas and how you are able to use it to your advantage.
Lastly, please remember, thought leadership requires actual thinking. Brand creation does not lead to an instant following, and you should always remain authentic.