“8 WAYS TO TARNISH YOUR AUTHOR BRAND”
Last year I presented a short session on BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM during the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S 1st Annual, WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO. I’d like to spend a moment now, talking a bit more about your brand…your author platform, and how important it is to take care of it.
You’ve worked hard to build your brand (name recognition) and now what? Well, protecting it should be top priority! You may find this funny or even unbelievable, but many don’t even know what “branding” is, let alone what it means to their own author platform. Your brand is your image, your professional identity…it is what people think about, when they hear your name.
Let me give you an example of a brand: I am my brand…NONNIE JULES. Everything that I have created as an author, falls under the NONNIE JULES brand. What do you think of when you hear the name NONNIE JULES? I’m quite sure, as with many others, your mind immediately goes to Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), RAVE WRITERS INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA), or even THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE. Anything that can be related to having been created by me as an author, is all part of my brand.
Some never even think about how important their brand is to their author platform until they realize they don’t have one, or they do something stupid to mess it up. And, if you mess it up, you’re going to have a much more difficult task cleaning it up, than it was building it up from scratch (so, try to keep it clean).
Because I think branding is crucial in our field, I’d like to share with you the 8 quickest ways that you can tarnish your author brand (in hopes that you wouldn’t dare make any of these mistakes):
- Aligning yourself with any and everyone you meet, without care as to whether or not they have a positive reputation in the social media community or in your real world. We sit behind keyboards each day, engaging in our virtual worlds, but, do we really know those we are engaging with? Those we are quick to call friend? Those we have formed alliances with? Well, it would be well worth your time to watch closely the antics and behaviors of these people before you become too vested in association with them. If Joe Blow has a horrible reputation for being rude, obnoxious, dishonest, and just an all around pain-in-the-ass, yet you defend him at every turn, that is a poor reflection on you, my friend, whether you want to accept that or not. People who might have respected you greatly before, are starting to look at you in a different light because of your association with JB. Remember, birds of a feather, stick together…and, you are definitely the company you keep;
- Displaying a lack of professionalism on social media. Don’t get into any Twitter Wars or Facebook Fights; it’s not a good look at all. These people don’t really know you (unless you’re putting all of your business on the internet for them to know and that is a HUGE no-no in my book, by the way). Words are just words. You’re an adult, so learn to ignore them when you should;
- Not keeping your word. Credibility is everything in our literary world so if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say that you’re about something, be it. Simple!;
- Burning bridges. You never know, the fingers that you step on today to get ahead, just might be attached to the hands that have to aid you tomorrow. Always leave every relationship, especially professional ones, in a clean manner. Always leave the door open for you to walk back thru it with your head held high, should you ever have to;
- Sharing inappropriate material with your followers. Sharing photos of your bikini-clad body, straddling your boyfriend on a beach in Florida, while in a serious lip-lock, is not what your followers want to see. Keep your material clean…please. I’m sure your parents will appreciate that, too;
- Sharing material geared towards someone else’s brand. You’ve worked hard to build your social media following and they are following you for the content-specific material you provide which appeals to them. If you are an author who writes inspirational material, then it’s a pretty safe bet that your audience isn’t interested in your postings about Star Wars or anything under the paranormal/sci-fi genre. Give ’em what they came there for, as the saying goes;
- Over-promise, then under-deliver. If you guarantee that your phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, your clients had better not ever have to listen to a recorded voice message or an unanswered phone’s ringing. Of course, there will be instances when this is totally out of your control, but your customers will understand if your great reputation precedes you; just let that be an exception and not your rule, even when you are promising your readers your next release. Don’t promise, if you can’t deliver. Instead, try under-promising, then over-delivering! We all like that, don’t we?;
- Failing to communicate. This is truly the #1 reason on how to tarnish your brand but I’m listing it last because I want you to focus on it a lot longer. With today’s technology, which gives us opportunities to communicate with our communities instantly, there is no reason why your clients/members, etc, should be left in “no-response” land. Know you’re going to be late to a meeting? Then send a text message letting the others know. Received a question that you don’t have the answer to? Send a quick response to let them know that you’re working on it and will get back to them with an answer, asap. Overslept and missed an appointment? Apologize profusely until they feel that you’re truly sorry.
Now that you are aware of how not to tarnish your author brand, why don’t you get started on doing just the opposite, as those are the things that will surely guarantee the success of building on it. Remember, it’s quicker to build it, than it is to try and rebuild it, at least in this arena.
Here’s to building and safeguarding your successful
So, are you safeguarding yours? Share with us some of your ideas on how you’re working to do it.
Thanks for dropping by, my friends! I hope to see you again soon!
(This piece along with many other great ones can be found at WATCH NONNIE WRITE!)
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