Monday, February 4, 2013

Personal Branding. Why it's important and how to do it.

There are two types of branding in the author's world. Personal branding and book/series branding. Today we're talking about personal branding. You need to tell people who you are as an author, but not necessarily in words.

Consistency is the key to branding. I have two author pictures that I use and they were taken in the same place and in pretty much the same pose. These are the ONLY pictures I use for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other places I need an author picture, like "About Me" sections on websites.

The next thing you need to do is make sure you use the same name for all your accounts. There needs to be no doubt in the minds of your fans that you are the person they are looking for on the social media sites. This means that using your middle initial in one place and not using it in another is a no-no. Be consistent.

Color schemes and font useage needs to be the same or similar on your websties, blogs, and social media accounts whenever possible.

I even used the same colors and fonts from my website on my business cards.

Make all your about me sections the same or very similar. If you mention your dog in one place, mention him in the next. You want people to recognize you. The more they "see" you around, the more likely they will be to call you their "friend" on facebook. Some people need to feel comfortable with you and be able to get to know you before they will pick up your book.

This brings me to my next advice, which I'm sure some of you will hate. If the books you are writing do not deal with religion, politics, or other controversial subjects, do not mention them in your tweets, posts, or otherwise. Why? Because you do not want someone biased against you to pick up your book out of spite and read it with the attitude that they do not agree with you on anything. They will pick your book to pieces in their reviews and there is nothing you can do about it.

If you do write about politics and the like, I think it's perfectly okay to talk about those subjects when you tweet/post. Just be aware that not everyone is going to agree with you and you may still fall victim to attacks from readers who dislike you because of your views.

Personally, I choose to keep the controversy on the pages of my books between my characters and not in my social media. That is just my professional choice--you are welcome to make your own. My policy is "no comment" when it comes to the major subjects that could turn a whole group of people against you.

That's all for today folks. Come back tomorrow for how to brand your book or series!