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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Pitfalls Of Creating An Author Brand



In working with many authors on their branding, I see a few patterns emerging.  Do you find yourself falling into any of these categories?

1.      You lack a foundation message.
Some authors struggle to define their brand because they can’t seem to pin down a simple, singular way to identify who they are or what they represent.  They may have multiple interests or a diverse career background and they can’t seem to zone in on one thing that truly defines their essence.

2.      Your message doesn’t differentiate from others.
Once you find your center or base message to work from, you may discover it’s not so unique or better than similar, competing brands.  Or worse, you recognize you are not the best or first or so different from others and you can’t seem to find a way to separate yourself from them.

3.      You lack a consistent voice or message.
If you determine you are representative of a certain viewpoint, stick to it.  Don’t go off-message or get distracted by other interests.  Be consistent in what you say and do and act as if you are a character in a book and stay true to that persona.  Don’t mix in your personal life or political views if they are not relevant to your overall brand or messaging for your current book.

4.      You need to know what a brand is.
Quite simply, it’s everything you say or do, it’s how you look or sound, it’s what you write and whom you associate with; it’s your email signature, and website design; it’s your cover image, title, back cover copy, and author photo it’s your social media feed and interviews with the media; it’s who you know and work with; it’s what you show and express to others in public and private; it’s your past, present and future.

5.      You lack a 15-second elevator speech.
Can you describe who you are, what you do, and what you stand for in 15 seconds? If not, keep trying to come up with your central statement that emphatically and cleverly describes not only the functional aspects of what you do, but state it in a way that gives off a positive vibe and a good lasting impression. Word choice is key here.  Select the terms, phrases, or words that you want to be associated with your name.

6.      You fail to study successful brands.
Know what others in your field do to sound and appear like they are interesting, important and special.  Copy what they do but put your personal twist on it.  Otherwise do the exact opposite and hope to capture an underserved segment of people.  Model the nuances and styles of those others seem to gravitate towards.  Find what you can do that’s similar enough to gain respect, but different enough to separate yourself to stand out from the pack.

Branding is not a one-time event, but there are select moments where you must establish your brand and then to periodically review and even reinvent it.  Your brand is not static – it will need maintenance and upkeep.  You will either grow into your brand or you will make sure your brand catches up to who you really are.  

Own your brand and enjoy it – until you think you can find a better one!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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