Brand Smart- Your Guide to Author Branding (tape 19-042) RWA2014
This was a tightly organized workshop chalked full of information. Kristen began by making the distinction between marketing and branding. Marketing is what you do and branding is how you do it.
“Branding is about telling consumers ‘who you are’ and what they are going to experience when they pick up one of your books.” (workshop handout)
These are my three take-away points:
One – Know Who You Are
- in the world of advertising the first step is to make a Creative Brief
- this involves answering 6 basic questions:
- 1 – What are you selling?
- 2 – What is the tone?
- 3 – Who are your competitors?
- 4 – What is your competitive edge?
- 5 – Who is the Target Audience?
- 6 – What mediums will be included in your marketing plan
- what theme runs through your writing
- develop a tagline
Two – Know Who Your Target Audience Is
- create a reader profile (just like a character profile)
- What are their interests? What do they read? Where do they read it?…
- consider primary and secondary audiences (for example, YA often reaches both the teenagers and their mothers)
Three – Develop a Marketing Plan
- consider how you can translate your themes and tagline visually
- think colors, images and font choices that support who you are and what you’re writing
- figure out where you will go (i.e., the mediums) to meet up with your target audience
- make a list (she uses Excel) of all the places you will go to reach your audience
- consider print (RWR ad Publisher’s Weekly, etc.), online ads, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon Instagram, Pinterest etc.) blog appearances, PR (local news papers/organizations), newsletters, radio interviews
- Google to see what markets are out there and which ones other writers are using
Note: There is a detailed handout for this workshop.
So What Does It Look Like?
Kristen Wallace is a 15 year veteran of the advertising industry. Here is the first paragraph on her website:
“Hi, I’m Kristin Wallace, voracious reader turned author. As my tagline says, I write stories filled with “love, laughter and a leap of faith”. Books filled with sassy heroines, sexy heroes, lots of humor and a hopeful message of forgiveness, healing and enduring love on earth and beyond.”
Wow! Talk about knocking your brand off the shelf and into the hands of readers!
Smart Sexy Suspense – is my new tagline, which I refined while I listened to Kristen Wallace. What do you think?
I know who my readers are, and I’m going to figure out where I can meet them.
I’ve got some work to do to create a good marketing plan, and having a slight aversion to Excel spreadsheets (the damn data never stays put for me), it will probably take some time. Maybe if I make PJ pancakes he’ll teach me (for the hundredth time) how to set up a spreadsheet. Oh well. I’ll get there, one way or another.
Even if it takes me a lot of pancakes <g>.
Doing a good job of branding and marketing is essential for writers.
What do you think? Does “Diamonds are Forever” ring in your ears? Love to hear from you.
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