For this week’s blog article, I turned to personal branding expert, Kelly Lundberg, to talk about why it’s never too early to start building your personal author brand and how to do it.
You have a fabulous idea, a gripping plot, engaging characters - surely, that’s all you need to have a best-selling book?
Unfortunately, in this competitive industry and because we live in the digital age, your story is just one part of the package. A publisher also wants to see how receptive you are to marketing your book, who your audience is and how you can nurture and engage them over a series of publications. Having a personal brand is the foundation to achieving this and it’s never too early to start developing it.
A personal author brand helps you stand out from the crowd, showcasing what makes you and your writing unique. It allows you to position yourself to take advantage of the best opportunities in a way that attracts your ideal readers, collaborative partners, and media opportunities, all of which lead to more awareness and therefore more sales.
For some writers this can be daunting especially when all you want to do is write! But, remember no one else has had your experiences; you’re still telling a story, but this time it’s about you.
Having worked with hundreds of small business owners, coaches, and authors, taking the first step is often the hardest. That’s why I created a simple 7 Step Brand YOU formula. Take notes below and if you want to find out more book in for a complimentary Brand YOU Blueprint call with here.
Follow these 7 steps to start growing your personal author brand:
Decide how you want to be known. What words, ideas, concepts, and feelings do you want people to associate with you? How do you want people to feel?
Register your own author name as a URL and get your own website. The first thing people do when coming across a new author is google so make sure you have a great shop window. Your website acts as another platform to sell your book and also a place journalists can go to if they need someone to comment on something topic-related to your book. Use an official email address and signature to show consistency .
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
Choose one or two platforms that you enjoy communicating on and where your target readers are engaging. For example, if you’re writing a business book, Linked In might be your primary choice. If you’re writing YA fantasy, you might look at TikTok. I would advise sticking to one or two platforms only otherwise it can get overwhelming. Your social media following is something publishers will ask you when it comes to securing that book deal and they want to see you are happy to promote it to your audience as well.
Look for opportunities to share your story. With the first book I published (about entrepreneurship), I took it to schools to inspire teenagers. While I only sold ten to twenty books at each school, it was an opportunity to practise my public speaking. Other ideas could include hosting live reading sessions or starting a book club like Karen has.
Creating buzz before your book is ready is always a positive start (and a great motivator to finish writing it!). You can do this by writing blogs for other publications, or even on LinkedIn and start building your digital footprint.
How do you want to be remembered when people meet you? They say never judge a book by its cover but we all know first impressions matter so make sure yours reflects your message and individuality.
7. STAND OUT
Identify what makes you different from other authors? Have you won awards or had a unique experience that you could share? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to share - this is your time to shine.
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