#3: Marketing Yourself – I figured out my brand; what now?

The point of all this “brand” stuff is helping your readership grow. And a “brand” simplifies readers’ choices: they find something they like and they go back for more. Simple.

Now, your brand has to become recognizable.

If you have been following my blog, you know I have already talked about what I’ll call “The Big 5” of free marketing: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And I already mentioned that your profile pages should all match. Let’s look at this a bit more closely.

1. Build all branches of your brand marketing equally.

Visual: All the visual elements should match. Your website colors and basic design should be echoed in your blog and YouTube channel. You can’t do much about the way your profile looks on Facebook, what with all the glitches they have, so don’t worry about that.

Have a decent professional portrait taken, if you haven’t already done so. Use one or two photos from that sitting on everything. I recommend choosing one pose that “opens” to the left, and one that “opens” to the right; that way, whether it’s on the left or right of any display, you can face the photo so it draws people in.

Print business cards that are uniquely you as well. Same photo, same colors, same basic design.

Just like the golden arches, you want readers to see your stuff and know that it’s you.

Verbal: One mistake I see so many new authors make is that their author slogans – I’ll use this term because I think it’s relatable – are too generic. We need to choose something memorable that piques curiosity. Which would catch your attention:

“A man, a woman, a prophecy. Can their world be saved?”


“Dodgy heroes always save the world; if they’re paid well enough.”

Get the idea? The first one is so bland, it could be anything. But the second one tells us that the “hero” is a questionable mercenary. And it could be a series!

Include your slogan/tagline/logline/whatever on ALL of your sites and business cards. You want your readers to recognize it, understand it, grab it and run with it. I have the most random people come up to me and say with a smile: “Norway is the new Scotland!” I love it.

2. Be someone whom you would like to be friends with.

Actions do speak pretty loudly. And readers notice. When you are at any event, large or miniscule, you are “on” from the moment you arrive on the property until you disappear over the horizon. Be professional. Be gracious. Be kind.

Appearance: Shower. Wash your hair. Wear makeup. Dress appropriately in well-fitting updated clothing. DO NOT use perfume (or use very sparingly) as it can trigger allergies, asthma and migraines.

If you can add anything to your appearance that ties in with your “brand” without being obnoxious – do it. Dress in styles that echo your modern-day heroine. Wear a sash of your family’s tartan. Wear a signature piece of jewelry that is mentioned in your book. Just don’t dress in a costume.

Smile: Make eye contact. Be approachable. Greet people. Ask questions about the person you are talking to – and listen to the answers.

Practice your presentation: Have your basic “talk” written well in advance. You can tell the same stories over and over each time you appear anywhere. Most authors I’ve heard do.

Make sure your speaking “voice” matches your book’s “voice” so readers connect liking you with liking your writing. It also makes you more familiar; they’ll feel like they know you.

Talk about your characters like they are real people. They should already feel real to you – make them sound real to your readers.

Because the bottom line of “branding” is making a warm and fuzzy connection between you, your characters, and your readers!

3 Responses to “#3: Marketing Yourself – I figured out my brand; what now?”

  1. 1 Paisley Kirkpatrick 03/22/2010 at 10:33 PM

    Great ideas, Kris. I hadn’t thought about some of them, but if and when my writing world opens up, I will definitely re-read your suggestions. Thanks!

  2. 2 Julie Robinson 03/23/2010 at 8:13 AM

    Hi Kris,

    Your article has really good advice—and not just for branding when it comes to the appearance part. Can I tell you that I have seen (and smelled) someone come to a writer’s meeting with hair uncombed, teeth unbrushed, and with clothes that looked like they’d been slept in (with no bath the night before).

    If I ever finish a book and come up with a slogan, I may have to pass it by you first. Also interesting about the photo opening both ways.

  3. 3 kristualla 03/23/2010 at 8:10 PM

    Thanks Julie! I know many authors are introverts, but it’s amazing what you see out there. This day & age, we have to be our OWN best PR team!

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