We hear the term author branding a lot, and truthfully it always feels a bit nebulous. Creating an author brand feels hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s start first with the elements that make up a great brand: YOU!
Your author brand is your promise to your readers. It’s how you show up in the world and your platform supports this message and promise.
Your author brand also encompasses your website, author newsletter, social media, and speaking, just to name a few. But creating that author brand and platform can be challenging, mostly because it’s hard to know where to start. But as I mentioned previously, the best place to start is with you.
Things we love make up our brand and also contribute to our brand, and a solid brand is a combination of what you write and who you are. It’s also good to share small personal details with your reader market – in other words help them get to know you.
Ask yourself things like:
- Why are you writing?
- What three things could you not live without?
- You had to give a TedTalk tomorrow, what would you talk about?
But figuring out what your brand looks and feels like may not be that easy, so let’s dig into this further:
Who are my readers and what do they want?
Understanding who you want to sell books to is key. But I mean really understanding what they want – not just “they read these books” but specifically other things they are interested in. Why does this matter? It matters because as you find a “theme” to your reader preferences, you can use these to potentially weave them into your brand and messaging. Get started with our reader profile. We have a free download and the link in the resources section of this post!
Who is my competition and what makes them great?
Success leaves clues. Understanding who your competition is and what they’re doing right can be really inspiring. Are you following other successful authors in your genre? If not, you should be.
What is my vibe?
This is the fun part, but it’s super important. Colors, fonts, tone, and your public persona all work together to create the look and feel of your brand. This includes your website, all social, your Amazon presence, your book covers, even the kind of swag and bonus materials you create – the better it all compliments each other, the stronger and more professional your author branding will be.
What can I do consistently?
Be honest with yourself here. Author branding literally encompasses everything you put out there, and what you neglect to do. So, consistency is key when it comes to reaching and connect with current fans and potential readers. Create a marketing plan that you can execute consistently, and stick to it, so your brand stays top of mind.
What are my short- and long-term goals?
As authors we are always evolving but having clear short- and long-term goals helps you better establish a brand that can support those goals. This will also help you create a clear plan that you can roll out incrementally, too.
Author Branding and Beyond
Thinking about your author brand doesn’t have to feel intimidating or overwhelming, sometimes it’s just as simple as paying attention to details. I often tell authors this: don’t be a grey box on Amazon. What I mean by this is adding an author photo can really help boost your conversion rate on the platform. Details matter and a smart author brand is all about details. The details of how you show up in the world, and the details are what matter and speak to your reader.
Let me know in the comments if you found this post helpful! I can’t wait to hear from you.