How To Create A Personal Brand As An Author
How To Create A Personal Brand As An Author
Writing a book—especially if it’s a reflection of the work you do in the world—isn’t a singular journey. Because while you are writing your proposal and your book, you’re also likely focused on building your visibility. Your brand and platform have direct impact on writing and selling your book.
If the idea of building or strengthening your personal brand makes your head spin (or you just realized that you don’t have one)..fear not. I’ve got you!
In this blog post, I share key takeaways from my conversation on my Bound + Determined podcast with guest Michelle Garside.
Michelle is the co-founder of Soul Camp Creative, a full-service marketing agency for conscious companies and brands that positively impact the planet.
You’ll learn how a strong personal brand can help establish your credibility, showcase your unique story, and build a loyal following of readers.
You’ll also learn why building a personal brand is more important than ever, given the digital landscape and crowded marketplace.
Let’s get brand-building!
Creating a Personal Brand that Shows All of You
If you’re like many authors I work with, you’re many things.
An aspiring or published author, business owner, parent, partner, mentor, advocate, and so much more.
So when it comes to putting it all in a marketable package, it’s no wonder it’s challenging to create a personal brand that represents it all.
Plus, you look around, and other authors are many things, too, making it even more challenging to decide what to include and leave out.
I remember working with Michelle on my new website.
Michelle was helping me transition from behind-the-scenes of building other people’s careers to launching my own book coaching business.
When Michelle told me that I was my brand and that I needed to be front and center, I had to really tackle my vulnerability and fear of being seen.
If you feel that way, too, here’s why it’s worth confronting.
By embracing all parts of yourself, you’re giving people the opportunity to connect with you on a deeper level and to feel like they know you.
People buy books, hire people and follow them on social media because of the feeling they get when engaging.
That’s why it’s so important to give your audience the opportunity to feel who you are, so they can latch on and become invested in your journey.
How do you do that?
You share your story.
Building Your Brand with Stories
The best way to connect with your reader is through your story. Not the narrative of a best-selling author you admire or an industry peer – the story that’s made you who you are.
Because you never know what part of your story will connect with others.
For example, Michelle and I worked with a shared client named Nicole Kolenda. Back in the early days of talking about her platform, she said to me:
“I love to run; it’s a big part of who I am. It teaches me my mindset around my work. Where do I talk about it?”
My answer: everywhere.
Nicole’s book idea isn’t about running, yet the practice made an impact on the information she shared in her work.
By sharing stories around her interests, she grew her platform by attracting people with that same sense of passion.
It’s also one of the ways she differentiates herself in a crowded market.
Differentiating Yourself in a Saturated Market
Whether you’re developing a book concept or creating a personal brand, both Michelle and I agree that you must be able to answer three questions with absolute clarity:
- What’s the problem?
- What’s the solution?
- Why you?
The last question is the hardest to answer because it gets to the heart of differentiating yourself in a sea of authors.
Nine times out of ten, it’s your personal experience, aka your story, that lends a different voice and sets you apart from the rest.
It’s what you went through, where you came from, and what you’ve learned that is all part of the woven path of where you’re headed.
The things you’ve struggled with, persevered through, or learned along the way are the fabric of your brand.
In our conversation, Michelle tells me about a client with a background in international peace resolution between Israel and Palestine.
Now, she does executive training and coaching in corporations.
You may think those two fields are entirely unrelated. But, her unique experience is how she stands out and offers her clients a perspective others can’t.
Why You Don’t Create a Personal Brand For Your Book
Michelle shares that one of the common mistakes authors make when it comes to creating their personal brand is to center it around their book.
That may sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.
If you invest your time, energy and money to build a brand, you want it to hold all your work – not just your first book.
Your personal brand needs the built-in flexibility to bend with your business and your second, third or fourth book!
That’s why when it comes to naming your brand and designing it, it has to be true to you first and make sense for every channel of your business.
According to Michelle, when done well, your brand vision will last ten years, even as you evolve and shift.
Wrapping Up: Create A Personal Brand As An Author
This blog post has just scratched the surface of how to create a personal brand as an author.
If you want to get the whole scoop, click here to listen to the entire episode.
As you consider your personal brand, remember that your brand has to represent you first.
As Michelle says, you are the differentiator in your industry, so it’s crucial to allow your readers to feel who you are – through your book and your branding.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a personal brand as an author, visit Soul Camp Creative.
If you’d like my help making major progress on your book proposal, click here.
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In this blog post, we’ll cover permission to pause in your writing, not just from the perspective of having a “maybe pile” but for everyone committed to projects—especially if you’re knee-deep in your book proposal or manuscript.
I’ll share key takeaways from my in-depth and far-reaching conversation with her in this blog post. You’ll have an inside look into what she looks for in book proposals, how she stewards authors through the process, and why acquiring a book is a mix of mystery and science.
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