Saturday, September 14, 2013

Building Your Brand

I have been posting here about the writing process and the steps I am taking in becoming an author.  I have thus far been neglecting one of the most important topics in becoming a successful author (OH NOES!). That is the promotion side of things, or as I have heard others call it "Building Your Brand".  I think this is just as important as making a quality product, and you should treat it that way.  You should spend just as much time building your brand as you spend working on making your product the best it can be.  Below are the steps I am trying to take towards this goal.

1 - Social Media 

Sign up for all of them.  Yes I mean ALL of them.  You need a presence on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, Linkedin, etc.. Every major website you can sign up for that could get you visibility with potential readers is a good one to sign up for. Getting closer to your readership is always a good thing.  Just don't get so close that they start getting restraining orders!  I will be going over my approach to each of these in future blog posts.  Right now I have links to my Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook fan page, and Google plus profile on the upper left hand side of my blog.  I will be adding more to that list as I go. 

2 - Engage 

So you've signed up for all of these social media websites.  Now what?  You can't just let your profile sit there hoping someone will find you.  Explore.  Most of these will have a messageboard or a search function that will help you find like-minded people to expand your circle.  I don't have as much time as I would like to work on this, but I try to do a little every day. I haven't linked to my other social media profiles because I haven't reached the level of engagement that I am comfortable with sharing.  This is something that needs to be worked on every day.

3 - Provide Quality Content 

As an author, you are your brand.  Everything you post to the public reflects on your brand.  I see people constantly spamming "Buy my Book!!!", "Like my Facebook!!!", "I Overdosed on PEZ!!!".  How many people are never going to visit their website because of it?  How many people are going to tune out whatever they post to facebook or twitter?  When they finally do post something that their readers would find interesting, the readers miss it in the mass of spam they have been pumping out.  If you are always posting something of value then they will stop and look.  They will go back to look at older posts, and recommend you to friends.  Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and cheapest advertising tools available, and this is how you get it.

4 - Help Promote Others 

If you help others with promotion then they will be more likely to help you!  This can be a double edged sword though.  It's important that you check out their content.  When you forward someone else's content to your readers, you are giving that content your stamp of approval.  It will reflect back on you and your brand.  If you retweet it without checking it out, you may find out later that the site supports extreme ideas that are very offensive. Do you really support a company that is trying to genetically engineer a real life Godzilla?  Even if you do, you may lose readers who have lost loved ones to the carnage that the beast has unleashed in the past!

5 - Be Prolific 

Go forth and reproduce!  In writing anyway.  This is something that I have struggled with.  I have decided that I am going to try to post on this blog every day.  Even if it is just to say "Hi" to your readers, it gives them a reason to come back every day.  If you don't have anything to talk about then make that nothing as entertaining as possible.  If you aren't in the right mindset to do that then look online for something new and interesting that you can write a short comment on.  Ooo..  they are making a new Godzilla movie!  See how easy that can be?

6 - Newsletter! 

I know I know..  Where is my newsletter?  This is something I need to put together pronto!  I have heard other authors swear up and down that a newsletter is the best way to maintain a fanbase, and it is especially good at pushing sales for a new release.  
Well that is all that I can think of at the moment.  I am sure that I am missing something or several somethings that are important.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Post them in the comments!

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