Learning How to Brand Myself

Now that I’m self-publishing I know I need to market my books, if I really want to sell them. How can I say this? I HATE MARKETING BECAUSE IT’S TOO TIME CONSUMING. I’D RATHER BE WRITING OR EDITING!

There, I said it. That’s my truth. Yet, in my quest to get this ball rolling – – that is, sell some books, I started asking questions: What’s the best way to market and promote my books? What’s the most cost effective way to market and promote? Can I hire someone at a reasonable price to both market and promote my books or do I etch out the time to do it myself?

Well, one day I was at the Good Hair Shop and my loctician Kiyomi Rollins introduced me to the young lady who had the appointment ahead of mine. Low and behold, the young lady, Tamay Shannon, owned a social media marketing company. That sounded like a service I needed to know more about. Though she spent the next few minutes explaining what she did, the only thing I remember is her advice to me to “brand” myself. Her exact words were, “As an author, YOU are your brand. So if people like YOU they will read anything you write.” Okay, I know what branding is, but how was I going to do it? Well, really, FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogging — need I say more? I still wasn’t motivated to spend a lot of time on social media (perhaps I did not make it clear earlier, I’d really rather be writing or editing). Yet, I do understand how social media is a necessary and invaluable tool for marketing and promoting.

Shortly after meeting Ms. Shannon I participated in the ATL Entrepreneurs Conference & Networking Expo, hosted by Above The Line Magazine and ATL Smart Women Events. Branding was still on the forefront of my mind. So it was a pleasant surprise when I realized one of the panel presenters was going to discuss, you guessed it, Branding & Marketing. I don’t think any of this was a coincidence. I was sure that any lingering questions I had would be answered.

The speaker was Prosper Miller of Fabulous Life International. Following are the (partial) notes that I took that day.

4 Core Branding Concepts (according to Prosper Miller)
You are your brand! Learn how to market your business in a competitive market.

1. Business = Identity
– Create a website and a logo
– Know who you’re marketing

2. Image
– First impressions have a lingering impact
– You must represent at all times (for an author, have books, business cards, and bookmarks at all times)
– When you’re not in character (prepared) you miss opportunities

3. Media (Exposure)
– Utilize magazines, interviews (online and otherwise), TV, radio
– Focus on public speaking (for an author this would also include book signings)

4. Event Planning
– Create your own signature event (for an author, book release parties)
– Invite people into your space (to get to know you)

Remember to continue to move forward in the development of your brand, and don’t be afraid to evolve. If old stuff isn’t working anymore, change it until it does work, until you hit your stride, because brand development is the heart and soul of your product.

I have to admit, after that brief “pep talk,” not only did I completely understand the “branding” concept but I was excited about it. I have found some viable avenues for marketing and promoting. Now I just need to get off of my butt and do something about it.

Until next time.

Simply TRB

aka T. R. Baker, Author
Every Time I Close My Eyes
Daddy’s Big Girl

*Note: If you’d like to know more about Tamay Shannon and W2S Marketing, checkout:

Email: (tamay@w2smarketing.com)
Website: www.w2smarketing.com
Twitter: where2start
Facebook: W2SMarketing
LinkedIn: tamayshanon

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My name is Taya R. Baker, but I write under the pen name T. R. Baker. By day I work for a state court judge; by night I write, copy edit for new authors, and provide scoping services to court reporters. I’m the oldest of my parents’ four children, and the only girl.