Last week, we covered four questions you have to be able to answer to establish your brand as a writer. So you’ve answered the four questions, now we’ll take your four questions and create five elements of an established brand.
An established brand, what is it? An established brand is when a business, or personality, has clearly articulated the entirety of their purpose clearly to their consumers. That’s the closest to a textbook definition we’ll get. But there are five elements for you to define as you establish your brand.
1. Clear Mission Statement– The mission statement is the holistic purpose for a company’s existence. It describes the entirety of the services provided by a business. For example, you can see the mission statements of all Fortune 500 companies here. As a random selection, let’s look at Estee Lauder, a company that not everyone uses, but definitely aware of what it represents. “The guiding vision of the Estee Lauder Companies is ‘Bringing the best to everyone we touch.’ By ‘The Best,’ we mean the best products, the best people and the best ideas. These three pillars have been the hallmarks of our Company since it was founded by Mrs. Estee Lauder in 1946. They remain the foundation upon which we continue to build our success today.”
It wasn’t too complicated, was it? Granted, the first sentence is a Michael Scott, “That’s what she said” joke waiting to happen, but it really does summarize the company quite easily. It doesn’t even really go into what their products are; it simply says the intention for their products.
So what is your writer’s mission statement? Is it as clearly defined as a Fortune 500? It just goes to show that the mission shouldn’t be complicated; it’s a simple statement that carries everything that you do.
2. Positioning-Positioning in marketing is deciding where and how your product will find its home. Will it be self-publishing? Specialty press? It’s how to you are going to find your audience, make sure your price is reasonable, and the location of your advertising is accurate with a clear understanding of your target market.
Now for writer’s, that means how will you advertise your product? There are blogs, social media, book trailers. Of course you also have to consider steps in terms of where you are in your career. Will your first positioning statement be aimed at gaining representation, or finding an audience of loyal readers to convince your self-published work is worth a gander? Remember where you are, because one thing about marketing plans, they change all the damned time.
3. Demand-This is the hard part. Because like it or not, you, as an undiscovered writer, are in a saturated market. Especially if you consider the multitude of people who try to pitch their book having not written a single word. They’re the ignorant ones that haven’t done the research about what it truly takes to make it as a writer. They don’t know how to properly pursue an agent and hinder serious writers in their pursuits. That’s a harsh truth. Everyone thinks they have a great idea and with self-publishing on the rise with the ease of eBook formatting, the market is getting more and more saturated. So how will you create demand for your product? Will it be exclusivity by winning elite writing contests? Will you try to utilize a viral marketing approach that creates a catchy tagline for people to seek out via mobile search or social media? Create demand for your book, and again, remember where you are in your career. If you’re just starting out, don’t jump the gun; advertise your short stories and works that have hit the market. Building demand is a grueling, and tedious process that should be founded in research.
4. Community-An established brand needs a community to support it. The definition of community is an extremely loose term, as it can be anything. Is the community a group of fellow writers that are helping to promote a short story anthology? Is the community a very specific subgenre that is under represented that you are aiming to write for specifically to gain loyalists? This will largely be determined by where you are in your writing career, your genre, what you write, and most importantly which communities will actually create viable support for your writing.
5. Experience-This doesn’t refer to years of writing experience. Fire can start early, and with a small spark. Experience refers to what the experience of your brand will be. What key facets will be essential to anyone visiting your website, or opening the pages of your manuscript? Consistency in experience is good for an established brand. Think of what would happen if Subway suddenly stopped selling sandwiches and focused on a different food group altogether? That’s not to say the experience should be the same time and time again. But that’s what new products are for, to add variety for loyalists that have read your first book seven times. But for those who haven’t been introduced to you yet, keep familiar and core products available at all times.
Define what experience your readers will have as they read your pages below.
See last week’s sub-topics here:
As always, chime in the comments section with your brand identity below, share the work you’ve done. Have questions or comments? Tweet me @thomasafowler with the hashtag #WritersConquest. We’ll see you Thursday for the next establishment of “The Rapid Pen.”