I am not a brand, I am a writer
When I first decided that I wanted to learn more about becoming a published author, I joined a few writer's groups on social media platforms like Facebook. A comment in one of the groups read: Why must I have a brand, I just want to write and sell books? As a marketing professional, I know that I can't be a successful author without a positive brand and brand equity. Why? Because if I want people to buy my books and become loyal readers, I need people to know me, like me, and like my stories. In other words, I need to have a positive brand.
As a newb to the world of fictional writing and publishing, I don't yet have a brand because no one knows me. So its the perfect time for me to metaphorically jump into the driver's seat and steer the way I want my brand to grow. To do this I've launched social handles and this blog to connect with my audience and begin to let people know who I am as a writer. I want them to know me before I launch my first book.
So, what is a brand? Well...a brand is a perception and/or emotional connection people have that helps them identify with a particular company, product, or individual. And there are many things that make up a brand. For me as a writer its my name, my picture, my logo, if I had one, its the stories that I write, the posts I make on social platforms, and its the interactions I have with people about my writing...all of these things create and support my brand. Even this blog is part of my brand strategy, and whether you like it or not, can impact your perception of me, i.e. impact my brand.
This is how brands work. They are not one defined thing, like a logo, but many things that together can impact my identity as a writer. Positive interactions build brand equity, negative ones can strip it away. The more brand equity you have, the better. To build brand equity, you first need to define what you want your brand to be. Brands need a plan, consistency, and time to build. And then stick to that plan like your sales depend on it...because they will.
So, a tip from #AWritersJourney, if you are wanting to build your brand, the first question you must ask yourself is, what image do you want to reflect to your audience? and let that be your starting point. Then make a plan on how you will build that image.
For more on social media engagement, check out this great article by Mike Eckstein at #TeamBuffer on Social Media Engagement: Why it Matters and How to Do it Well.