Monday, February 24, 2014

The Social Part of Social Media: Part 3 – Building your Brand

It seems like there is so much more to being an Author than simply writing a book or two.  Have you heard about building your brand as an Author?  One of the first steps to building your brand is deciding what your brand is.  I chose Laurie W-J-N as a simple way to identify all of my various media.  It is simple but it works well for me.  The next step to building a brand is sharing it with the world, for most of us that means sharing it through social media.  Making a Facebook page, having a blog or website, having a Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Youtube or any number of new social media options for connecting with potential readers of your work all require time to master and even more time to maintain at a consistent level for optimum efficiency – so when do you even have time to write anymore…
 Well, if that’s how you feel you are not alone.  As I have discovered, social media can be overwhelming, but it can also be encouraging & affirming.  As I work on building my ‘brand’ as an Author – what I am really doing is letting the world know that I have something cool to say and I am encouraging folks to follow my work.  For me personally, the number one reason for branding is to make a commitment with myself and my potential fans that I am in this for real.  Having my Author page on Facebook and all the other media options is a statement about who I am and where I want to be going.  It’s also a very public statement. 

The other important part of branding is to build genuine relationships with fellow writers and potential customers.  The more I work on building authentic relationships and recognition of my name/my brand, the better my potential readership will be – and let’s face it, the goal of any author is to have people actually read your work. 
Here are just a few pointers that I have learned about this whole idea of branding. 
1.       Have a consistent brand.  Use the same profile picture, the same tag line & the same description for all of your social media.  Consistency is key in developing that recognition.  If you look at my Facebook, my Twitter, my Pinterest, my Instagram, my Goodreads, they all are consistent. 
2.       Put your web/Blog address prominently on every platform.  Finding multiple ways to drive folks to your site is the best way to increase traffic and hopefully increase your readership over the long term. 
3.       Make sure to engage with your followers, and do this consistently; reply to every comment – even if it’s only a quick thank you, like the posts of other authors, it only takes a second to tap and like photos on Instagram so as you sit waiting for a doctor appointment or for your coffee to finish brewing,  grab your smart phone and start tapping. 
4.       Even though you are excited about your new book release, be careful not to try and ‘sell’ you or your products with every interaction.  Building genuine relationships goes much farther in the long run – than simply pushing your book.  You should announce and be excited about your publications, but make sure you have developed relationships first. Balance your 'sales' contacts with genuine interactions.   
5.       Don’t list something everywhere – all the time.  Sometimes you can focus on using only one social media outlet and use other sites to promote it.  It’s okay to use a teaser, i.e. see my Instagram this week for a special give away. 
I am so lucky to have an amazing daughter who is extremely savvy at social media marketing – she has helped me learn the ropes (although I have sooo much more learning to do).  I have taken her expertise and started building my brand as an Author.  I have made some great contacts so far & I am really excited about what the future holds – but right now I have to get back to actually working on my writing, because the most important part of your brand is having quality work to share J
If you missed it -
In Part 1 of this series we explored making your Facebook author page and how to begin connecting with other Authors and writers in the writing community (
In Part 2 of the series we explored the idea of paying to promote your page or increase your followers ( )

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