We’ve discussed marketing plans and we gave special attention to what some consider time-sinks (i.e., social media). However, I’ve chose to view social media differently. I view it as a way to consistently brand myself to an existing and new audience each and every day.
Before the release of my book, I didn’t fully understand the importance of branding. It’s a relatively new word for individuals and small businesses, although its been around for many years for bigger companies. With social media taking off as it has, personal branding has become a hot button topic because YOU are at the forefront of your own message.
What exactly is branding?
The objectives of a good brand is to deliver your message clearly, connect with your target audience emotionally, motivate the buyer to buy, and to concrete loyalty.
Now why is branding important for authors?
As it relates to authors, and especially new authors, we sometimes feel that our books will just sell. But let’s think about this realistically. How many times have you purchased a product that hadn’t been consistently marketed to you?
I’ll give you another example.
Here in Chicago, it’s not odd to be walking down the street and be stopped by an independent artist selling his CD for $5. Even at such a low price most people will politely decline. Why? They’ve never heard of the artist. They don’t know what the quality of the product is. They don’t know if he’s any good as an artist. He’s not signed to a major recording label and the list goes on and on.
Now put that same artist on a social media site, let’s say Facebook. He’s consistently posting new music. You find that its good quality and the production is good. You’ve viewed his pictures, read his personal blogs about his passion for music and he shares that he realized he wanted to be a musician at the age of five when his father first placed a guitar in his hands. He posts the picture to prove it. Later, he posts that he’s offering his debut CD for $5. Now you’ve gotten to know him a little better. You have an idea of the quality of his music and you understand what drives him. You may or may not buy, but the chances are better that you will because you’ve connected with him.
What I’ve just described is branding.
How have you viewed your time on social media? As a time sink? a branding opportunity? Please share in the comment section below.