Building your brand is something that’s not often on an author’s to-do list, but it is an essential element when it comes to building an engaged audience and selling more books.
Building an author brand online requires a strategic approach and a commitment to consistency and hard work. This post will provide you with the necessary information and tools to help you create a unique and effective author brand online that will help you stand out from the pack and grow your career as a writer.
What is an Author Brand?
An author brand is an image or identity that you create for yourself as a writer.
It helps to establish you as an expert in your field and also provides readers with an idea of what to expect from your work. An author’s brand should be memorable, unique, and consistent.
It is important to note that author branding is not about creating a ‘perfect’ image; it is about creating an image that accurately reflects your genre, values, and personality.
Why is Building an Author Brand Online Important?
Building an author brand online is important for several reasons, and it also makes your online marketing easier.
The issue is that authors jump into online marketing without really knowing “who” they are.
Consequently, their online brand is a bit all over the place.
If you’re nodding your head and you feel like this is you, then it’s time to look at your author brand and decide if it needs work, a polish, or a total redo.
A solid author brand is not only helpful for online marketing, but it helps to establish an identity for yourself as an author and create a consistent image for your work. Second, it helps to make it easier for potential readers to find and connect with you and your work. Finally, it can help to drive more sales of your books by creating an online presence that can be shared and promoted.
How to Build Your Author Brand Online
Creating a strong and effective author brand online requires effort and strategy.
Here are some tips and tools to help you get started:
1. Develop a Unique Brand Identity
When it comes to author branding, it is important to create a unique identity that reflects your values and personality. Consider the kind of message you want to convey with your brand and focus on developing a distinct style and voice that you can use across all channels.
Ask yourself: who are you and what is your promise to the reader?
All of this factors into your USP (unique selling proposition) and, consequently, your author brand.
2. Create an Author Website
You may already have a website, but is it really giving off the best first impression possible? And if you don’t even have one, you definitely need one.
Creating an author website is essential for building a strong online presence. Your website should include your bio, a portfolio of your work, and a blog where you can share content and updates.
Additionally, it should include links to all your social media accounts and a contact page. But moreover, your website should be a reflection of who you are, as well as your genre.
3. Grow Your Social Media Following
Yes, I get it, this is easier said than done. But knowing what the promise is to your reader will greatly help to demystify the content you need to create for social media.
When creating your social media content, focus on creating unique and engaging posts that tie into your author brand and reflect your passion for the work, who you are as an individual, and that you understand what your readers and followers find interesting, funny, useful, etc.
4. Harness the Power of Email Marketing
I mention this a lot, but email marketing is a powerful way to connect directly with your reader.
If you haven’t already done so, create a newsletter that speaks directly to your readers.
Your newsletter can be used to provide updates on your work and share exclusive content. Additionally, you can use email marketing to showcase book launches, host contests, and basically drive more reader engagement!
5. Engage with Your Readers
Engaging with your readers is a great way to build a strong connection and create a sense of loyalty. Respond to comments, messages, and emails in a timely manner and engage in conversations with your readers on your website or social media accounts.
6. Invest in Professional Design
A good author brand does require an investment, but it doesn’t have to cost you your entire marketing budget.
Yes, there are a lot of DIY services out there, I get it – and while I love tools like Canva, I’m not inclined to recommend it unless you’re clear on the “look” of your brand and that often comes with a professional design consult.
Consider investing in things that will help to move the needle. Book cover design is a great example of this. I’d never recommend designing your own cover, but once you have a really good and solid brand color palate other things like creating images and designing a site will be easier, because your brand parameters are already set.
An author brand is not just a visually appealing element of your work, but it’ll help you grow your fan base and build a solid following – consequently, it’ll also help you sell more books.
There are no shortcuts to success, but a solid author brand will definitely help get you there faster.
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