In this day and age it isn’t enough to write a great book and wait for the praises to pour forth from reviewers and audiences alike. In fact, there may have never been such a day and age. Either way, present day authors have to do a lot more than just put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, if they want to sell books.
Today no artist is just an artist; at least not those who want people to buy what they are selling. Every well know artist is a brand. Look at musicians, directors, actors, and even writers. If you want people to consume your art, you have to brand it and yourself. After all, you want to stand out in the crowd. Not to mention the fact that people need context for who you are and how you can help them. Remember, the one thing people want to know about you and your book is how it, and you, will benefit them. Creating a brand can be a challenge at first, but once you have it, you will have it for life. Some things to keep in mind about successful brands:
- They are short, simple, and answer the consumer’s question, “What’s in it for me?”
- They communicate the results that are going to be produced
- They reflect passion
So, how do you create a brand? There are probably several strategies on how to do so, but [amazon text=Rob Eagar’s&asin=159963421X] is simple. 1) Start by creating value statements. These will help you to identify what it is that your target audience is looking for. 2) Sit down and analyze these statements. Look for patterns and links between them to find a central theme. 3) Create a short statement communicating this theme. 4) Test your brand. Test it on friends and family. Test it in conversations when asked what you do. Test, test, test.
Once tested, your next step is to determine if your brand is effective: Is it east to say? Do people understand what it means? Can people remember it? Does it answer the consumer’s question? If so, congratulations you have your brand! If not, don't worry. Just keep tweaking it until you find the right fit for you and your message. Like I said, this process can be a challenge. It won't happen overnight, but it will come together with patience and persistence.
Once you have your brand use it everywhere. Get it out there as frequently and consistently as you can; a brand is useless if no one has heard it. This may be hard if you are an introvert, or if you don't like talking about yourself, or your work, because it makes you feel like a pitchman. But, this is what it takes to build an audience today. Just buckle down, focus, and remember why you became a writer in the first place.
What’s your brand? Test it out on us by leaving a comment below.
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