If you haven’t thought about your brand yet, this is a perfect time. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or already a little established, creating a brand for yourself and your writing is key to success.

In this episode, I take a look at what branding is on a larger, company scale and how those same concepts can be applied to you, as an individual authorpreneur.

While I cover the basics here, there’s a lot that can and should go into growing your brand. Give the episode a listen and if you have more questions, just drop me a line and let me know!

If you have a question you’d like to ask, there’s a button the right side of the website to make it easy!  Or, just click here.

 

The podcast is brought to you by Steam Powered Dreams Publishing but paid for out of my own pocket. If you’d like to show your support, there are many different ways to do it:

As always, below is a direct copy of the show notes. They were written before the episode was recorded and are unedited but are here for reference and SEO.

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Meet The Host

Jeremy is the Founder and Lead Publisher of Steam Powered Dreams. He has worked for many years to create a place for writers in all parts of their career to find useful information and avoid being taken advantage of.

Topic: How To Create A Brand As An Author

  • When you think of the suspense genre, what author comes to mind?
  • What about magic wands, spells, and incantations?
  • No matter if you thought of Steven King and J.K. Rowling or other authors, the reason those words brought that author to your mind is that that’s what they’re known for, it’s their brand.
  • For many years, an author could just write and never worry about who they were or what their fans thought, but that time has passed.
  • This is why it’s so important to build a brand alongside your writing.
  • As we get into today’s episode, it’s going to be split into two parts.
  • The first is going to focus on the rebranding of Steam Powered Dreams and what that means to both the company, you listening, and entrepreneurship in general.
  • The second half is going to be more focused on an author brand, what it is, and how to get started on yours now, even if you don’t have a book out there yet.
  • Because this episode is going to focus so much on Steam Powered Dreams I’m not having a formal update, since in a way the whole episode is kinda just that.
  • Part 1
    • In the last episode, I mentioned that Steam Powered Dreams as a company has started to shift gears a bit.
    • We’ve decided that being billed as a Publishing House doesn’t do justice to what we’re trying to create.
    • We’re not just here to take a writers manuscript and transform it into a published piece of work, we’re here to tell amazing stories and grow the fantasy and science fiction community.
    • We have no plans to stop at just books, though that will still be our main focus. In the future, we have hopes of expanding into other mediums, such as movies, video games, and any other platform where a high-quality story can be told.
    • Hence why we have decided to transition into a Story Studio
    • Of course, just calling ourselves a story studio doesn’t make it true. In order to do this, we need to change the way people see Steam Powered Dreams, our brand.
    • Now, we’re still in our infancy, so doing this isn’t a huge feat as it would be for a larger company such as Apple or McDonalds who have both gone through a rebranding of their own.
    • For us, the rebranding is about the content we put out there, the way we interact on social media, and in general our public persona.
    • Rebranding takes time and it often leads to a drop in engagement and/or profit at first.
    • However, a successful rebranding will bounce back quickly and those same metrics will increase.
    • So, what is Steam Powered Dreams doing to rebrand?
    • First off, we’ll be changing the way we interact on Twitter and Instagram, one that is more friendly and casual. We’ll be sharing more stories, talking with other authors, and more.
    • On our website, we’ll be featuring new stories as often as possible. Some of these stories will be done by in-house writers, while others are from the community.
    • Our newsletter will work hard to provide more content for readers (which means writers as well, since every writer should also be an avid reader!), including book giveaways, free stories, and even free books.
    • Another thing that I will be doing personally is continuing to build a creative community on the Mixer platform. I’ll be live streaming creative writing that can be influenced by the audience, reading short stories, playing story-based video games, playing narrative tabletop games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, and this podcast will be recorded live on there as well.
    • If you’re interested in participating on Mixer, you can find my channel at steampowereddreams.com/mixer
  • Part 2
    • Creating a brand as a new writer is different, but the principals are the same.
    • You’re looking to create a public persona that, when people think about something, they associate it with you.
    • You won’t be known as THE fantasy writer right away, and may never reach the ranks of Tolkien or Rowling, but that’s not the point.
    • Your goal is that your fans know your brand and that, when they share your name, books, or other information, that brand goes along with it.
    • Before we get into practical ways to start and grow a brand, it’s important to point out that your brand needs to be genuine.
    • If it isn’t, you run the risk of getting caught up in your fake persona and being called out.
    • An example of this can be seen all throughout Instagram with fake or photoshopped pictures. Even some of the most loved celebrities, such as Beyonce, have been called out for using photoshopped images.
    • You don’t want to be in a position where you can’t be yourself in the public, and that’s something that so many people back themselves into when they first create their brand.
    • Once you understand this, you’ll want to then think long and hard about what your brand should represent, even down to some minor details you may not think matter.
    • Ask yourself, what is it that I want to represent? What cause or audience? Do I want to be known most for my fiction or non-fiction? Do I want to be known for looking at things in a different way than most, or maybe shedding light on subjects others avoid?
    • If you’re more focused on fiction, do you want to be known as a single-genre author or multi-genre? They each have their pros and cons, but the choice is yours. Well, the choice is mostly yours, but more on that in a bit.
    • You also need to think about your personality, since that will come out both online and in person. Do you cuss a lot or have a bad taste in jokes? Do you drink, smoke, or do drugs?
    • You shouldn’t hide these personality traits from the public. Some people, such as Entrepreneur Andy Frisella, embrace them and make them a core part of their brand.
    • In short, be genuine and be real. You don’t have to be totally transparent about all aspects of your life to your audience, but you shouldn’t hide anything, either.
    • So, now that you understand what a personal brand is and what to start thinking about, it’s time to get out there and actually start growing it.
    • Social Media is the fastest way to grow your brand, so make sure you’re on as many as you can handle. I suggest starting with 1 and adding more over time as you feel comfortable.
    • Personally, I am not active on more than 2 platforms at a time, but I do know some authors an entrepreneurs who are active on 4 or more.
    • Every post you make, every image you upload should reflect your brand. Think about what you’re saying, who you’re trying to reach, and why you’re posting it. The why can be as simple as “it’s entertaining”.
    • Make sure you’re interacting with your followers. When you’re just starting out, you should reply to every single person who comments on your posts, shares them, or anything else.
    • As you grow, you can pick and choose, but if someone took the time to write something meaningful, the least you should do is acknowledge it.
    • Your branding should run over into your writing, website, newsletter, and anything else you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at home watching TV with a loved one, hanging out at the mall with some friends, or at an international convention, your brand is always present and you need to be mindful of it.
    • If you follow all of this advice, you’ll be well on your way to starting your personal brand, but what happens next is what branding is truly all about.
    • Once you’ve established this base brand for yourself, you’ll notice that it doesn’t stay consistent.
    • Little things will change here and there, sometimes daily other times yearly, but things will change. Your brand is not only who you are, but the outside influences as well.
    • Your audience influences your brand, and the bigger your audience, the more this is true.
    • This is why it’s so important to be genuine from the start.
    • Let’s take two examples from actors Samuel L. Jackson and Daniel Radcliffe.
    • Samuel L. Jackson’s brand is being a badass, cussing, loud MFer who gets things done through the strength of his voice.
    • Most likely this isn’t a brand he created for himself, but that was created for him due to outside influences. And now it’s hard for him to change that brand.
    • Could you imagine Jackson playing a part in a romcom or historical drama? Probably not.
    • Daniel Radcliffe, on the other hand, was able to break out of the branding that was pushed upon him by playing Harry Potter and start to forge something that is very much his own brand.
    • During his time with Harry Potter, that became who he was. Many even said that it would be hard for him to find acting jobs after the series is over due to this typecasting. This was a fear he shared, so what did he do? He broke away from this by showing both his acting skills and a bit too much skin in the Broadway show Equus.
    • More recently, he plays the part of a gun-wielding character in the upcoming movie Guns Akimbo.
    • The important part is, thanks to him taking control of his brand, he doesn’t seem out of place in this movie.
    • However, no matter how hard he tries, he will always be most associated with Harry Potter, and I would say that’s not really a bad thing.
  • To sum up what we’ve talked about today, creating and reworking your branding is important no matter what stage of a career you’re in.
  • Branding or rebranding is it’s all based on educated trial and error. If something doesn’t work, make sure you understand why it didn’t work and change your plan based on that.
  • Listen to your audience, even if that’s only one person, and consider what they’re saying.
  • But, the most important thing to remember is to always be genuine.
  • These things take time, but more than that they take perseverance.
  • If you have questions, there are two ways to reach me.  The first is through the website at steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset and then click on Ask A Question.
  • The second is to join our facebook group at facebook.com/SPDwritershelpingwriters
  • Where to find me:
    • The website is at steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset
    • you can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/jeremylcollier
    • on Twitter at SoulScribbler,
    • and finally on Instagram at authorpreneurmindset
  • Until next week, I am your host Jeremy and don’t forget to keep moving forward.

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