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5 Tips for Creating a More Cohesive Online Author Brand

Note: the posting schedule may be a little wonky this week due to yesterday’s Memorial Day Holiday in the US.

By:Express MonorailSpending a magical Memorial Day Weekend with a million of my (now) closest friends at Disney World in Orlando forced me to get (very) up close and personal with branding. There’s no better way to gain a larger understanding of branding’s power than to pass by 275 strollers parked like sardines outside of rides with 2+ hour wait times.

These people aren’t going to Disney because a friend let them in on a little-known secret or because they love standing in lines with screaming newborns; they came because THEY HAD TO. They came because Disney’s branding is impeccable. When their visitors think Disney, they think family, magic, fun. And, to many, that means they MUST GO — EVEN IF IT’S ONLY ONE TIME.

Branding is a difficult subject to discuss because it can seem quite loosy-goosey and esoteric. It doesn’t have to be (more on that later), but there is one area in which branding becomes practical: online.

Your online author brand includes:

  • Your website
  • Your social media profiles
  • Interviews, guest posts

The real key to branding is tying all of these outlets together with consistency. And here’s a few quick tips to do just that:

5 Quick Author Branding Tips

  1. Sync your photo and bio: You know that profile photo and short bio you have on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, your website? Use the same one for every service. This quickly identifies you to your readers as, well, you.
  2. Use your colors and logo: This comes mostly into play with Twitter and your website (since those are the two outlets where it is possible to customize your look and feel). If your website is blue, green and red; try to make your Twitter page blue, green and red. If you have a logo, try working that in to your Twitter background — once again, this gives readers a visual clue that  you’re the person they’re looking for.
  3. Keep it separated: Set up a different Twitter account for your author persona. This way you can build an following of readers and target your messages to their interests. Bonus tip: if you find keeping up with multiple Twitter logins a hassle, consider using HootSuite. It lets you manage them all in one place — we love it!
  4. Watch screen names: If possible, create the same (or similiar) screen names across all services. If your website is kateeauthor.com, then create an @kateeauthor Twitter account and call your Facebook author page Katee Lastname, Author. It keeps things consistent and helps your readers find you on each of these services.
  5. Include all social media links on your website: If your readers want to follow you, make it easy! Whether it’s in a sidebar or footer, including these links is the best way to ensure your readers can find you.

I know; branding can be a hard concept to wrap your head around, particularly for authors who really aren’t into marketing. While the tips above give you a jump-start on the online portion of author branding, to get the most out of them you really need to have some basic branding already built.

To this end, we offer complete author branding services and are also in the process of developing an Author Branding Toolkit (which will give you all of the information and steps you need to create a lasting author brand). If you’d like more information on our services or the upcoming Toolkit, give us a shout!

What have you done to build your author brand online? Do you have any more tips to add? Let us know in the comments!

  • Too Funny, I just wrote a similar blog post this morning about authors building their platform! Then I go on twitter to post and find your article! Good points all around! I think it is important to also market in the “real world” which seems to be getting forgotten and lost in the digital age. But for those interested in tips on that, you can check out my post!

  • You’ve done a great job of practicing what you preach. I really enjoy your blog posts, and, as a web designer in my day job, I adore the color scheme you’ve used on this site. Bold, memorable and attractive!

  • I wasn’t on Twitter before I began building my author platform and created an account specifically for that purpose. I was on Facebook prior to this, and recently have created a separate author-branding-type profile. My blog originally didn’t have my name on it, so I added it- although on wordpress, you can’t change your URL, so that part is the same. I got the advice about adding my name to the blog (seems like such a no-brainer now) from Kristen Lamb’s book We Are Not Alone. You are so right- Disney’s brand is untouchable! Great post.

  • Linda Burke

    I think it is more important that the last name be spelled out. If a reader is looking for a last name, it can be found. If all they know is the first name, none of the search engines will work.

  • This is some great advice! I know I can definitely take something out of this!

  • Thank you. I’ve just attempted to make my blogger and twitter the same color. Everything else, I’m already doing. :-)

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