If you want success as an indie author, you're going to have to build a strong author brand identity. Here's how you can do it.
We're delighted to welcome Anna Jonak from The Elevatory as a guest author to the blog to share her 5 key elements to building a strong brand identity for your author business.
A strong brand identity is at the core of every successful business, This is especially important for a personal author brand. It’s the way that a business looks, feels and communicates so it can attract its target market. We believe that it’s a crucial step in ensuring your author business is aligned with your books, your message and your strategy.
1. Dare to be different
What makes you memorable?
Our lives are built upon trying to fit in – in our friendship circle at school, at the office, with other parents – so it’s only natural to want to bring this to our business as well.
But that’s not helpful! You want your brand to be different, to stand out and even more so in a crowded market such as publishing. Think about your unique selling point and lean into it. Own it. Wear it. Being noticed is a good thing.
2. You are your brand
People connect with people. There is a strong correlation amongst our clients between success and owning who they are and their story. It’s the ones who put their faces on social media, tell their story and own their values that connect with their audience more quickly and see the results through increased sales.
People don’t remember the bullet points about the benefits and take home messages. They remember the stories and faces. Even from my own experience I’ve seen that the more I share with my audience in a raw and honest way that takes them on a journey, the more it positively impacts my business.
Authors have an advantage here in that you already connect with your audience through your writing. Don't be afraid to bring that personal level to your marketing too.
3. Consistency, consistency, consistency
What do you think happens when someone sees your books on social media, then clicks through to your website only to be faced with something that looks and sounds very different?
This disconnection has a huge negative impact on your overall brand. The way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to have brand guidelines for your business and you stick to them like glue!
Every single piece of content that you share needs to follow your brand guidelines, whether it’s a social media post, blog, podcast, email or website. If a potential reader is clicking through to all these places, they need to feel like it’s the same person taking them on a journey.
A large part of your author brand identity lies in the psychology of the colours that you choose. Certain colours hold meaning and emotions and attract different people. For The Elevatory we use white, gold and black for a premium feel and pink for a feminine touch.
So, staying true and consistent to your brand identity across all your touchpoints will help build awareness and trust and give you a competitive advantage over other independent authors.
4. Don't DIY
When it comes to branding, we highly recommend you engage a professional. Even right from the very beginning, when you’re in start-up mode, the best thing you can do for you and your business is invest in a graphic designer or brand strategist.
First impressions really do count, so it’s important to get it right from the start. A professional brand means that you’re attracting your ideal audience, drawing them in with the right elements with the highest quality brand assets.
A strong author brand identity created by a professional will also help you cut through the marketplace, through appealing visuals that speak directly to your target audience. It is an investment that will serve you for a long time, so don’t be scared to make the decision to engage a professional.
5. Define your brand voice
Along with the visual elements of your brand, you need to consider your written tone of voice. You’ll need to decide how that will sound so that you can speak to your audience in a tone and manner that resonates with them.
This should be a fairly easy decision once you’ve written your book and researched your target market. Consider what publications they read and the media channels they consume so that you can hone in on the type of language to use and speak to them in a way that helps them connect with you.
You may choose a professional voice, that goes hand in hand with a corporate environment, or a fun, playful, witty voice like the one Mailchimp uses. If Mailchimp used a professional voice with their illustrations and bright yellow branding, we’d be a little confused!
So, make sure you choose a voice that resonates with your audience, matches your tone in your writing, makes sense with your brand identity and is authentically you.
Bringing your 5 keys together
By addressing these 5 keys to a strong brand identity, you will end up with an author business that you not only love but sets you up for success right from the very start. Taking a deep dive into your branding is one of the core areas that The Elevatory covers in our Mastermind coaching program. If you’d like to set your author business up for growth and success, please get in contact with Anna here.
Anna co-founded The Elevatory® in 2015. At The Elevatory we work with female entrepreneurs who want to take their life and business tothe next level. Our tribe are hungry for answers, ready to learn and willing to take action to make things happen for themselves. They appreciate the importance of doing things right and being diligent, but equally they are ready to play BIG, take risks, and break boundaries in their business.
If you’re at 5 figures and want to break through to six figures, or you’re ready to move six figures into the multiples - then The Elevatory is for you.
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