Here’s the simple truth: personal brands command higher consulting and speaking fees, get referred more, hassle less over price and is respected by their peers. As a consultant, real estate professional, dentist, attorney or sales representative, having a powerful persona brand sets you apart. Yeah, the same is true for writers.
Well, like the before mentioned experts, you too must work on your branding. Here a few questions to get you started.
1. What specific problem am I solving for my readers?
The best brands solve problems. Robert Kiyosaki solves financial literacy problems through his Rich Dad books. Seth Godin solves marketing problems.
Think of the problems you will solve for others through your books. Start with yourself. What frustrates you? What changes would make your life better?
2. What promise am I making to my readers?
BMW promises you that their cars will drive like no other. In fact, they don’t make cars, they make ultimate driving machines.
Dr. Oz promises you authentic health information. He is very serious about warning you about false medical claims that are attached to his name.
Disney promises family fun. Yep, even ole grumpy dad will have a great time at their theme parks.
Oprah promises you a better life.
Nordstrom promises impeccable customer service. Their associates say thank you and mean it.
Author Michael Port promises more clients with his referral system.
As an author, you must also make a promise to your audience. Specifically, you must tell them how they will feel or act after reading your work.
3. Is my brand personality evident in all of my author marketing?
Author and television personality Suze Orman is loud and in your face. She is known for offering tough financial love. Well, that’s her personality and it is evident on television, radio and in her writing. Your brand personality must be evident as well.
First, determine your brand personality. Are you comedic or serious? Are you cool or conservative? If you don’t know, ask others.
Whatever your personality, let it out. Ensure that your brand personality is evident in your tweets, FaceBook posts, and Instagram pics and messages.
Why? Readers crave authenticity. And they want to connect with this authentic you.
4. Is there a design esthetic that best represents my brand? Is this design esthetic evident in all of my work?
By design, I mean the fonts on your book covers, the colors you choose and the shape and feel of your books.
Let’s review the books of sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer. Although it may be difficult to discern here, most of his books are small and have a canvas feel. His books are easy to read and are written in large letters with cartoons throughout. By the way, when he does public speaking, his comedic and witty personality is on full display.
One more thing about Jeffrey Gitomer’s books: the subtitles. There are 12.5 principles and 6.5 assets. Did you catch that?
Yeah, the use of decimal points catches your attention. It’s different.
Okay, let’s focus on color for a moment. No other book uses color as a branding tool like Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad series. The moment you see purple and yellow, you think of him and his books. Yep, branding at its best.
Jillian Michaels uses a different book branding technique. All of her photos are taken with her to the right or leaning right. Again, this positioning is no accident.
Okay, what do you immediately notice about Jorge Cruise’s book covers?
Do you see it? Yeah, he has his hands in his pockets on every shot. But, there’s a twist: his thumbs are always hanging out. Once more, these small details matter when branding.