I want to discuss a basic concept that seems to confuse most authors: branding. Branding sounds like one of those scary, nebulous marketing terms that threaten to suck out your soul or turn you into The Borg. It’s not.
Branding really comes down to managing expectations.
**Note: This discussion does not touch on writing because it’s a book marketing discussion. If your book sucks, is unprofessional, is filled with typos, grammatical errors, horrible cover art, or you are a terrible writer, none of this applies to you because a bad book will not sell.**
The foundation of any author platform (think of a puzzle) are your keywords. The keywords are the base of the puzzle, where you place the pieces. The puzzle pieces represent all that you do that fit together to make the whole puzzle:
When I consult with clients, I draw on my many years in sales and marketing soul-sucking Pharma. There’s A LOT wrong with that industry (which is why I left), but one thing they have right is creating a clear message for their product. They know to choose words that incite and inspire a doctor to write. The motivation is different (write my drug), but the message is the same (buy my stuff).
Make no mistake: we are products as much as our books are.
I break down keywords by major and minor, but you can call them whatever you want. There are a few things to consider when deciding on keywords:
Most authors identify as authors — and we should. It’s a hard-won title. But, most readers already know you’re an author — they want to know why they should purchase your book with their hard-earned money. They want to know WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
Right then and there in the class, I updated my Twitter bio to this:
Again, ask yourself this question: what will your book DO for people? (make them uncomfortable)
You can brand your bios anywhere: your author bio, social media bio, in your media kit, on your Amazon page…you get the idea.
Now that you’ve decided on keywords, this will determine what you tweet/share (for the most part — remember, it’s just a guideline) and even write blog posts about, and this just makes sense. If you write in your bio that you’re a poet, share poetry. If you write in your bio that you groom horses, share horse stories. And so on. The most important advice here is to be consistent across all channels.
Remember, you don’t need to create all the content you share on social media (or even your blog) — you can invite others to guest and you can curate content from other sources (always give attribution).
It’s easy to imagine all this, but if you don’t write it down — if you don’t have a plan — like anything else, you won’t stick to it. I don’t care if it’s a formal document, a note in your iPhone, or a scrap of paper you tack on the wall. WRITE DOWN YOUR KEYWORDS. This serves as a wonderful reminder as to what you need to focus on in your blog posts, your writing, your tweets, and so on.
In fact, a wonderful way to keep you on task across all your various areas of content is to use the free resources CoSchedule offers. We had Ben from CoSchedule as a guest twice already on #BookMarketingChat, and in his recent guest appearance, he discussed the many ways they offer awesome free advice and tools to keep us all organized with our keywords and marketing.
And here’s a major tip: their free headline analyzer (my headline here scores an 80 — which is great! Anything over a score of 70 will get more clicks and rank higher in Google Search) is one of the best inventions known to humankind.
All this mixes together into creating your puzzle — a way to organize all these separate puzzle pieces — believe it or not, because you have created and managed the expectations of your readers, you will start to build a following. They like your consistency, that you’re easy to find (your visibility), and they are comfortable with what you present.
Listen, interact, be generous, build relationships, be consistent, do the work.
All that works to make you shine (I know, I can’t believe I said that either. Get over it.), so instead of being part of The Collective, you stand out on your own.
Join me weekly for free #BookMarketingChat (every Wednesday, 6pm pst/9pm est) to learn how to market your books!
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All content © 2018 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)
All content © 2018 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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