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Author Branding in 4 Steps from Live Write Breathe

Author Branding in 4 Steps

In my business as a social media and branding consultant, I soon learned that author branding is one of those fuzzy topics writers shy away from. That’s a shame, because effective author branding can help you reach your specific readers. And that, in turn, helps you sell more books.

If the concept of author branding has eluded you, I can sympathize. Some people seem to have a clear idea of their brand from the start. I was not one of them. It took me a long time to identify my own brand. In this article, I hope to shortcut the process for you, so here are some business techniques that helped me.

Step 1: Write a Mission Statement

Creating a mission statement is a wise first step in developing an author brand. A mission statement is just that: a sentence or two stating the mission you expect to fulfill through your business of writing.

Developing a mission statement helps distill your ideas into a manageable form. It can be quite an exercise, since it requires that you understand your audience.

Although this can be tough, perseverance brings clarity. Once you know your mission statement, considerations like which products to offer, how to put together your website, and where to find readers become easier.

It's harder to stray from a purpose you’ve identified.

Display your mission statement on your website to summarize for visitors who you are and what you have to offer them. Marketing expert Tony Marino recommends that you put your mission statement in first position in your footer.

Write a longer version of your mission statement to include in the about page at your website.

Step 2: Create a Customer-Value Statement

Once you’ve created your mission statement, draft from it to create  a customer-value statement, telling members of your target audience what they can expect to receive from you. Display your customer-value statement high on your website’s home page.

Step 3: Craft Your Author Tagline

An author tagline is simply a pithier version of your mission statement.  Make yours as short as possible while still conveying who you are and what you have to offer.

Step 4: Extract Your Author Brand

It may take a while, but fine-tuning these things will help inspire your brand. The words you use may give you a clue. For instance, my mission statement includes the words ‘fictional,’ and ‘creative.’ These words point to my purpose as a storyteller. You would think that would have been easy for me to discover, but because I’m a multi-faceted artist, it took a while. Don’t be dismayed if brand discovery does for you, also. This is one process you can’t rush.

If you would like more help with author branding, it may interest you to know that I offer a free branding challenge course as a subscriber benefit. If you’re not already a subscriber, click the image, below, to get started.

Examples

I’ll use myself as an example to illustrate how to develop a mission statement and turn it into a value statement for your customer and an author tagline. I’m a bit atypical because my purpose is twofold, and I have two audiences: readers and writers. You may only need to draft one mission statement, author tagline, and customer-value statement. If you have more than one audience as I do, make sure you can approach them under the umbrella of a single author brand.

One note: you may be tempted to copy this all from me, but that would be a mistake. My brand will not fit you the way it does me. You really need to develop your own, unique author branding that fits you like a glove. You will eventually cast anything else off as too cumbersome. We are all so different, and that’s wonderful.

Janalyn Voigt, Author

  • Mission statement: Whether in fiction or nonfiction, my mission is the same. I want to inspire others to live meaningful, aware lives.
  • Customer-value statement for readers: Tired of the ho-hum hum-drum workaday world? Let storyteller Janalyn Voigt guide you into new adventures in breathtaking creative worlds.
  • My author tagline: helping you live your story

Janalyn Voigt, Writer’s Mentor

  • Mission statement: Whether in fiction or nonfiction, my mission is the same. I want to inspire others to live meaningful, aware lives.
  • Customer-value statement for writers:  I’m here to help you define your writing life, learn to write with skill and artistry, and manage that most precious of commodities: time.
  • My writer’s mentor tagline: helping you create your writing world

You may notice that both my taglines directly address my audience. That’s on purpose. I could have included the keyword, ‘authors’ by casting my tagline in the plural: helping authors create their writing worlds. While that’s not ‘wrong,’ it would have distanced me from my audience. I never want to be a lecturer behind a podium but a fellow literary wayfarer traveling beside you.

In my tagline (and blog posts for that matter), I always address the individual, something that makes my communications more intimate. Establishing a one-on-one connection with each member of my audience is more important than search engine rankings.

Now it’s your turn. Develop your own mission statement,  customer-value statement, and author tagline. If you want to share yours or need help, post in comments and I’ll respond. 
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Author Branding in 4 Steps via @JanalynVoigt | Live Write Breathe

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

2 thoughts on “Author Branding in 4 Steps”

  1. Love the article, Janalyn. I found it very helpful. I’m a debut author and how do I know if my tagline is good? I write inspirational romance and came up with “stories about life…love…hope”

    Thanks for the input!

    1. Hi, Stephanie. Thanks for the question. The best way to gather feedback on your author tagline is to form a branding team of people who know you well and support your writing. Ask them to give you three words or so that most describe you and what you offer readers. Give them a reasonable deadline in which to reply so they won’t put off responding. When you go through their responses, look especially for any words that repeat. Use the words that chime with you to draft a couple of different versions of your author taglines. Discuss these with your team and decide on a final version.

      Your tagline fits you well if everything at your author website seems an extension of it.

      I will feature a fuller answer in my next Your Writing Questions Answered post, so keep an eye out for that.

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