The Branded Author by Storiad A Practical Guide to Becoming a Branded Author Through Smarter Networking, Marketing, and Publicity Part II Using Your Author Branding Assets
www.storiad.com ÂŠ 2014 Storiad, Inc.
In Part I of “The Branded Author by Storiad”, we outlined a comprehensive Author Branding strategy by building three interconnected assets: 1. Your Networking asset; 2. Your Marketing asset; and 3. Your Publicity asset. Packaged together on a single integrated and interactive platform, these assets generate a larger, memorably unique, more powerful asset, namely, your Author Brand. In Part II, we offer further elaborations on your Author Branding strategy to get the most out of your Networking, Marketing, and Publicity assets by: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Determining your target audience; Developing your marketing message; Reaching your general reading audience; and Reaching your industry influencers.
By the end of this discussion, you will be in a prime position to start earning the coverage and sales your book deserves.
I. Target Audience Determination: Market Research & Data Collection The Networking Component of Your Author Branding Strategy A large network is a good thing, indeed. A large and engaged network is even better. An engaged network is one in which members are actively interested in who you are and what you have to say. You have four tasks: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Determine your target audiences; Find where your audiences congregate; Connect with your audiences; and Understand your audiences’ reading preferences.
In other words Who is the natural audience for your book? Find where they are. Go there. Listen to what most interests them. Talk to them about you and your book. This level of connection and communication is the essence of your networking strategy. Getting Started 1. Your target audiences may consist of the following groups ! Bloggers ! Reviewers
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Interviewers PodCasters eMags Publishers Literary agencies Book/Author publicity groups Book marketing sites Writing groups Reading groups School writing programs Professional writing programs Bookstores “Unaffiliated” individuals Others, as determined by your niche needs
! How: As discussed in Part I, segment your target audiences into two groups: The general reading public and industry influencers. Each group, in turn, is approached with relevant marketing and publicity messages 1. 2. Find your audiences a. Find your target audiences through keyword searches i. Develop a list of relevant keywords for each of the above target market groups. ii. Using the keywords, conduct searches to find the aforementioned groups according to the “general” vs. “industry influencer” criteria. iii. Organize and track your research and results2 (for tracking results, think: Website/blog URLs, forums, networks, social media, and direct contact information). ! How: If you’re a crime fiction or young adult writer, for example, focus your initial efforts on finding where these self-selecting groups congregate online. 3. Connect with your audiences a. Join relevant forums, networks and groups. Get active in multi-directional conversations. b. Form and lead your own discussion groups. c. Provide continual value by sharing content.
See Part 1 (P.4) for a review of the differences between ‘marketing’ and ‘publicity’. A note on organization: As illustrated in Part I (Appendix A), use a spreadsheet to track your research, outreach efforts, and the results. 2
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! How: Networking is about the exchange of mutually beneficial information. Join relevant networks, then share third party content, while developing original content. 4. Understand your audiences’ reading and/or professional preferences a. Your networking interactions reveal your audiences’ reading and/or professional preferences. b. Track your learning as they apply to each target group. This helps you know how best to deliver your marketing messages. ! How: The more information you have on the reading and/or professional demands of your target audiences, the more relevant your marketing materials and marketing messages become.
II. Developing the Message: Marketing Material Development The Marketing Component of Your Author Branding Strategy (Set-up) Your marketing materials form the compelling and memorable narrative of you are and your written work. Your marketing assets are grouped into five categories: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
The informative; The written; The interactive; The visual & the audio; and Foreign market presence.
In other words You’ve found your target audiences. You’ve connected with them. You know the stuff they’re interested in reading. Show them you have what they want to read. Getting Started 1. The Informative: What’s your story? ! This is your lead-in, your “calling card”: Tell your audiences who you are as a writer, why you write, how you write. ! Emotional connections are based on mutual understanding. Understanding comes through communication. In this case, your speaking in a language your readers easily relate to. ! How: Use online platforms focused exclusively on the writing and publishing markets. 2. The Written: Aggregating your work in a single place.
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! ! ! ! ! ! !
Sample chapters of your current book Sample chapters of earlier books Short stories (published & unpublished) Essays and articles Poems Plays and screenplays Any other writing you want to share
! How: Collect your writing in an online “Project Portfolio” for ready access and easy sharing. This should be part of your online platform referenced above. 3. The Interactive: Making yourself accessible. ! Initiate conversations. Put your “real-time” self out there. ! Get active, stay active. Earn a reputation as a reliable source of entertainment, information, and/or education. ! How: Create or join discussion groups. Ask questions. Provide answers. 4. The Visual + The Audio. Your written work in visual and audio form. ! ! ! ! !
Author Readings I (book signing events) Author Readings II (Serializing your book on video) Book Trailers Book Reviews (video) Podcasts
! How: After you’ve developed your visual and audio marketing materials, establish a smart YouTube channel by developing YouTube Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to earn higher rankings on Google searches3. 5. Expand your opportunities outside your home market ! Make your work available to foreign publishers actively seeking international licensing opportunities. ! How: Use dedicated book licensing databases to expose your work to foreign publishers actively seeking international licensing rights. As discussed in Part I, your Networking, Marketing & Publicity assets are packaged on an integrated and interactive Platform for easy access and easy sharing.
A well-researched and well-executed YouTube SEO strategy gives you a competitive advantage in Google search results for your chosen keywords. over other authors with similar keywords. This applies to every video uploaded to your YouTube channel. See Part I (Appendix C) for links.
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III. Reaching General Audiences: Delivering the Message The Marketing Component of Your Author Branding Strategy (Execution) Your general reading audience consists of individual readers. They can be found anywhere online. These people want to be entertained, informed, and educated. However, they do not want to be bombarded with pleas to buy and reads books. Your goal is to market to your general reading audience through a combination of two means: 1. 2.
Personalized introductory messages; and Your Marketing and Publicity Platforms.
In other words People are immune to being spammed with pleas to buy and read books. As a Branded Author, however, you’re continually engaging audiences through your networking activities. They’re familiar with who you are as a writer, why you write, how you write, and what you have written. Now it’s time to ask them to consider buying your book. Getting Started 1. 2.
Develop a series of succinct marketing messages that speak directly to the different types of people comprising your general audience base. Your marketing & publicity platforms tell your story ! How: Develop short, compelling introductions. Attach links to your marketing and publicity platforms. Send your marketing package.
IV. Reaching Industry Influencers: Your Publicity Campaign The Publicity Component of Your Author Branding Strategy Through your market research, you’ve identified relevant industry influencers. Your marketing materials have been developed and packaged. Your task is to connect with those industry influencers in a compelling and memorable fashion. You have two goals: 1. Define your value proposition to industry influencers; and 2. Communicate your value proposition professionally, succinctly, and memorably. In other words You’ve found your relevant industry influencers. You have their contact information. You know what interests them. Most importantly, you recognize they’re busy people, inundated with requests from other talented author’s like you. You want to stand-out in a crowded field by offering them tangible value.
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1. Define your value proposition to industry influencers a. Mutual Benefit (or the art of the quid pro quo4): What you’d like to get; and what you have to offer in return. Here is the value you’re offering: i. Informative & relevant marketing material " Like all good marketing, it fulfill needs. ii. A large network of engaged followers " The power of your Author Brand is reflected in the size and relevance of your network. iii. Valuable back links " Quality back links are imperative to a sound SEO strategy. iv. An entertaining, informative and/or educational book " After all, these people are in the business of reading, reviewing, recommending, and/or buying books. Give them what they want. ! How: Show, don’t tell. Package your marketing materials on a single platform so industry influencers can quickly assess your networking and marketing assets, i.e. the value you offer. 2. Communicate your value proposition a. Send direct and personalized messages to those relevant industry influencers identified through your research. It is, after all, a proposed business transaction. b. Keep track of your outreach. Follow-up. Ask for feedback. Send thanks! ! How: Send a personalized email succinctly conveying your value proposition. Include links to your marketing and publicity platforms. Treat it as you would any other business transaction.
The Latin phrase “quid pro quo” is defined as “something given or received for something else; an exchange.”
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V. Conclusions: Your Author Brand’s “Self-reinforcing Loop” Your Author Branding campaign is a process that takes you through four general steps: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Segment your overall audience base; Find where they congregate online; Develop relevant marketing materials; and Deliver your targeted messages.
The more positive reactions you receive to your marketing and publicity initiatives, the stronger your Author Brand becomes, the easier it is to elicit additional positive reactions. And so on. This is the classic self-reinforcing loop in action. You are now well on your way to becoming a Branded Author!
Happy Author Branding, The Storiad Team
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Storiad develops next-generation author and book discovery solutions centered on proprietary software, databases, and processes. We offer authors, publishers, and other print media professionals the stuff they need to make their business of bookselling smarter, faster, and more cost-effective. If you’re serious about selling books, you’ll love what we have to offer. Visit www.storiad.com to learn more.
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www.storiad.com © 2014 Storiad, Inc.