Branding Strategy For Authors: Part 1
(This is the first in a series on writing, which is something I have been doing professionally for more than 50 years. Hope you enjoy it and find the insights useful)
A while ago, I had a prospect, an author, who shall remain nameless, contact me. This prospect was wondering what I thought of his current books and branding and if I would take a look at it all to see if there were any areas where it could be improved.
So that’s what I did and I discovered something interesting. The prospect did indeed, have a number of info-books, a logo and a web site, some promotional gear and a video. He even had a pretty good grasp on Social Media. And he definitely had the salesmanship and personality to sell his product, or I wouldn’t have been talking to him in the first place.
But what he didn’t have was a real brand.
The main reasons this prospect didn’t have a brand were as follows:
1. While his books were interesting and informative, his communication didn’t appear to adhere to any sort of consistent branding strategy.
2. He also didn’t appear to have much of a marketing plan beyond a series of tactics.
3. His messaging suffered the absence of a clear promise.
4. His presentation was lacking in the emotional elements needed to be able to really get his message across in an intriguing and sincere way and make his 'brand' appealing.
He did, however, have a vision, but on every occasion that I discussed his branding with him, that vision kept morphing because he kept getting new tactical ideas and those ideas would alter the way he would be able to move forward.
And because I never really saw any of these ideas actually manifest themselves, I was afraid that he had gotten caught up in the “Too many things to do and not getting anything done” syndrome. In other words, he definitely appeared to be putting the cart before the horse and both were stuck in the mud.
The Obvious Solution
The simplest solution for this prospect would be to develop, (or have developed), a well thought-out branding strategy. This would aid, of course, in correcting and clarifying his positioning and in demonstrating true brand character. It would give him a frame of reference for all the tactical ideas he had, allowing him to discard those that were off point.
And, because he would be working with someone professional, who would insist on prioritizing the execution of these ideas, he could actually start getting them done.
All anyone can do in situations like this is advise the client to create a proper branding strategy then help them re-synch all the elements of their program so that they express that strategy and start to create a true branding.
The bottom line reason for doing this is simple: You could be the greatest writer in the world, but if the character of your brand does not consistently exude confidence and command of your craft, very few people will be interested in what you have to say.
This Situation Is Not An Uncommon One
Don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for this author because I really think he writes great and beneficial books. What he doesn’t have at the moment is a strategy or a roadmap that will allow him to brand those ideas and his expertise in a way that will appeal to the people he is writing those books for.
In the 25 years that I have been on my own, quite a few of the prospects I have encountered were people just like the one I am talking about.
They have a great idea, but because they have never really had a proper branding strategy developed, they are either relying strictly on their salesmanship or a series of hit and miss machine gun tactics.
As a consequence they never really achieve the levels of success they feel their idea, product or service deserves. And because their main strength, as they see it, is salesmanship, they are reluctant to trust the marketing process to really be of any tangible benefit.
Well-Focused Strategy & Communication Is A Solid Investment
The thing that all brands have in common is that the brand itself is really a promise made to the end user that the product or service the brand represents will live up to everything that is said about it. In other words, it’s something people can believe in and trust.
The development of a branding strategy and the program that supports if it is done professionally, will result in increased sales and awareness. It’s not something that happens overnight. But then the best investments always take a certain amount of time to mature.
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