As an author or illustrator, your personal brand is your identity in the publishing world. Think of it as your literary business card. It's what sets you apart from others and helps publishers (and readers) recognise you and your work. Building a strong brand is crucial for those who want to stand out and succeed in a competitive industry.
But what exactly is a personal brand?
Your brand encompasses everything from your writing or illustration style, your, design aesthetic, book covers and website design to your and voice. It's the emotional connection that your audience has with you and your work. A strong personal brand can help you to establish a loyal fan base and community.
One of the most important reasons to focus on branding is to create a consistent and recognisable image. When others see your marketing material or read your writing, they should immediately associate it with you and your author/illustrator brand. This builds trust and familiarity, which can lead to increased sales, fan engagement and potential opportunities for collaboration with industry experts.
In addition, having a strong brand can help you attract new readers (or potential publishers) and help you to stand out in a crowded market. With so much competition for attention, avid readers often rely on branding and marketing to help them decide what to read next.
By having a clear and consistent brand, you increase your chances of catching their attention.
Another key benefit of a strong brand is the ability to build your creative platform. A strong brand can attract more followers on social media, grow your email list, and increase your website traffic. This not only helps you promote yourself as a creative and in turn your books, but also gives you more opportunities to connect with readers and build a community around your work.
So, how do you build a strong brand as a creative? Here are my 6 tips for establishing a strong personal brand:
1: Define Your Unique Voice: Your ‘voice’ is the tone and style in which you communicate. It's what makes your writing different and memorable. Take time to identify your unique voice and make sure it is consistent across all your writing and marketing materials.
2: Create a Consistent Brand Image: Your brand image should be consistent across all marketing activity, including book covers (if developing a series), website design, social media profiles, and email signatures. Use consistent colors, fonts, and graphics to make your brand recognisable and memorable.
3: Know Your Target Audience: Understand your target audience and write for them. This will help you create content that resonates with your readers and builds a loyal fan base. It's important to stay true to your unique voice while also catering to you remain personable, entertaining and relevant.
4: Engage with Your Tribe: Interact with your community through social media, email newsletters, school visits, literary and book events. Building relationships with others helps to create a sense of community around your brand, which can lead to increased book sales and fan engagement.
5: Stay Authentic: Your brand should be authentic to you and your style. Don't try to be something you're not or copy someone else's brand. Stay true to yourself and your work, and your brand will naturally develop and grow over time.
6: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: It doesn’t matter what others are doing and please don’t be fooled by vanity metrics. Your success is not measurable by how many followers you have on social media, but rather on how well you engage with your tribe and how well you established a loyal community who loves what you do.
Remember, building a strong personal brand takes time and effort. Stay consistent, engage with your readers, and have fun with it! Good luck!
For a FREE copy of ‘Defining Your Personal Brand’ email: firstname.lastname@example.org