How to Create your Brand and Grow Your Platform as a writer

Are you horrified to learn that a huge part of being a successful author is growing your social media? That it’s your role to advertise, promote and sell books? And that it’s down to you, to create a trust worthy brand that connects with your target audience?

Relax, you’re not alone. Everyone starting out has faced the same crippling fears. Regardless of your journey and goals, the building blocks are the same. The hardest part of building a platform is conquering your doubts and jumping aboard the media wagon.

As a new writer, I imagined success would miraculously happen. An agent would, above the thousands of other competing writers, immediately spot my talent. Together we would sign with a publisher who would advertise, promote and sell my book to the world. Feel free to laugh, or perhaps agree, but unfortunately the industry does not work that way any longer. Chances are, that even if you are lucky enough to be chosen by a publisher, the funds to launch your book will be slim. As an unknown author, weather you plan to self-publish or not, much of the work will fall to you.

I feel your pain. Creating a brand is terrifying. But once the hard works done you’ll be clearer on your journey to success. Here are my three steps to get you started:

pexels-notebook-make-it-happen

Step 1, your brand.

Who are you trying to reach? Who is your target audience.

This is where you pick your pen name, take a fantastic profile picture and maybe create a logo. The fun stuff! The harmless stuff! But remember, it’s also important to identify your target audience, because knowing who your targeting will help you tailor your online presence and develop a strong foundation upon which you will begin.

But it’s more than that. You won’t get far just adding friends and family to  Facebook. Do some research, what is the ideal demographic audiences for your genre. What are there likes, hates and aspirations? Use that knowledge to target your market and to connect with the needs of your audience. There’s no point in sharing media about unicorns and rainbows if your trying to connect with readers who love Dark Fantasy or love Gothic Thrillers. You want followers that will engage with you, that might potentially have an interest in what your writing. It’s not all about the amount of followers you have.

Step 2, choose your email address wisely.

This is the root connection for every media you’ll use. Keep it tidy and professional. Separate it from your personal emails for convenience and simplicity by using a name that reflects your brand/ you. Link each and every one of the social medias to the branded email, and, we’re on our way.

Step 3, choose your media.

Take your pick: Facebook, twitter, flicker, WordPress, Instagram, Blogger, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest…. Each one is different with its own set of perks and downfalls. I suggest trying one at a time to avoid unnecessary anxiety. Then use the ones that work for you.

Whichever you choose, remember to apply your brand. Your image and name will be a starting point, from there your authentic voice, likes and interests will help your peers connection with you. The best way to start a following, is by connecting with likeminded individuals. Don’t be mislead, there’s no need to be fake, being authentic is the fastest and most rewarding way to connect. Get things moving with a comment, like or share. Watch, interact and learn. Some social media are fast moving, mistakes are forgotten and forgiven. Everyone was new at some point, and years on, I still make plenty of bloopers.

Writing Group-Team work-Laptop

So dive in, here’s my top tips:

  • Use great images. You only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Make sure each image has great resolution, is brand friendly, and check for royalties, not all images are for free.
  • Don’t spam. People will unfollow you. Instead, connect with the readers and let them come to you.
  • Stay away from tough topics such as politics, abusive posts, your personnel drama. Ask yourself: Is it going to hurt your brand? Is it the opinion of your brand? Will it gain you followers or lose you followers? This is a business after all, so keep it professional.
  • Connect with people in your industry.
  • The more you post, like and share, the more faith your brand will garner.
  • Talk about topics relevant to your brand. Create content that will drive your audience to engage with you by asking questions, sharing interesting links, quotes and adding updates relating to your genre and WIP.

When you’ve mastered those try another media. Remember your time is valuable, you don’t have to slog away at all of them, only the ones that yield the best results and work for you.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

So there you have it, be bold, be brave and go explore the virtual world of socialising. Do you have any tips on brand or platform building? Or maybe you have some great experience you’d like to share with the community? Don’t be shy, you know I love hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2019.

34 thoughts on “How to Create your Brand and Grow Your Platform as a writer

  1. Creating a brand is very tough. Especially for people like me, that don’t stick for too long on the same subject.
    The way I found to keep going is being aware of what subjects can re-spark old flames from time to time – there’s the safe place I can back to and try to engage with more people.
    On the other hand, if something is not satisfying you enough, it is good not to be too stubborn and change course! That can be liberating sometimes, but don’t do that on the first or second obstacle.
    Do persist for some time before concluding that was not a good path to follow.

    Brands and marketing in general are still monsters to me, however fighting them is becoming more and more fun each day!

    It is alwas enlightening to share experiences in this field.
    I’m looking forward for other people’s comments here 😀

    Thanks again, Lorraine!
    Great stuff, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Taylor Brand

    Yes. I had that fantasy about the agent. I even imagined that I would be represented by my favorite novelists’ agent, and was devastated when I got a form rejection. But now I have begun to understand and accept: writing is just hard work. Other people (non-writers, who do their day job and then rest) are doing the easy stuff, but writing (and social media) is work sometimes. Thanks for the refresher course on that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Social media is hard for me! I think I’ve learned so much from people like you, Ari, and K.A. Allen over the past year, though. I’m pretty terrible at graphics, for example, but I took the time to try and do something good – and I think it’s paid off! Everyone probably has aspects they’re better and worse at, so this is a good summary!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so grateful for your appreciation, it’s a pleasure sharing my knowledge. I personally struggle with being consistent on social media, but it’s all a learning curve. My favourite connections are, and always will be, my fellow bloggers. Thanks for commenting. 🙏

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You’re not the only one that had that initial agent dream, Rainy. I think we all felt like that until reality set in 😅. Love this post! The tips are perfect and spot on. Thank you for sharing them.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Petra

    Social media is really tough, especially for me. I don’t know a lot of people, and the people I know are not my target audience. So Facebook doesn’t really work for me. I hope to grow my audience in WP. I feel like this is my only chance, at least at the beginning. Thank you for your advice. This really helps me a lot. I’m looking forward to your new post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant advice, Lorraine! I’ve definitely found WordPress to be a great starting point for building a personal brand & reaching out to other writers. Excellent clear tips as always! Thank you for sharing them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve got to give it to get it. I’ve been to seminars and workshops where people brag about their self-published children’s book, but, when probed, don’t have any online presence. They’re mortified to realise that they have to show up to social media every day or at least every week, and interact with others. Reach out, follow, comment and like. They want people to do it for them but they can’t be bothered to put the work in and do it back.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: How to Create your Brand and Grow Your Platform as a writer – Written By Lorraine Ambers – Writer's Treasure Chest

  9. Important information here. However, I would like more information on HOW to find your demographic. It’s all very well saying know who your target audience is, what do they like and dislike, but how do I do that?
    Your points at the end are concise and to the point, though.
    Just 1 thing that I feel I must point out. Media is plural. (Singular, medium.) there’s no such thing as ‘medias’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments, you make excellent points. I think I’ll write a post about finding your target audience, it’s a vital step that’s often glossed over.
      My weakness is mixing up plural and singular words (just ask my critique partner). I appreciate you letting me know, it’s the only way I’ll learn.
      Have a wonderful day. ☺️

      Like

  10. Pingback: Writers: Identify your Target Audience – Lorraine Ambers

  11. Pingback: Ten Steps… Stop Daydreaming and Start Growing your Business – Lorraine Ambers

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