Building a brand. A rambling post of my experience, tips, and suggestions
There is a lot to learn about promoting a self-published book and growing a social media following, crafting a campaign to target your key demographics. Etc.
There are some basics in marketing and building a brand. Heck, one of them is this blog. I spend time on it, but at the end of the day, I know it has more impact on key terms redirecting back to my website than actual readers, but I also don't believe in halfway doing something written when trying to promote a book.
In my day job, I work in marketing. I have been working in the field in one way or another for more than 15 years. But even for someone who does marketing for a living, branding for a book, my book, is entirely different and untested.
As I said, some basics are true to social media, no matter the brand or entity.
Consistency is key. I try to post every day. I try to have my post in general feel like they are a part of the same branding package.
If you look back at my initial posts on the page, the color scheme was dark. Sort of cliche and expected of the genre. I decided pretty early on I wanted to change that and be bold. Do a little something unexpected and promote my vampire book with a pink and white color scheme. It is a risk. A risk I do hope pays off. I want to set myself apart in the genre in more ways than one. My writing and story are the starts. The visuals follow.
I also invested in licensing some stock actor's photos to keep the look of the consistent characters used in promotion. It does limit me a little in what I can use, but COVID-19 caused me to be a bit more creative.
My original goal was to film a trailer with actors and do a photoshoot during the filming and use that during the promotional period.
The actors will still be remotely recording some dialogue for some upcoming stuff. Yet, due to safety concerns, the plan for filming and photoshoots were ultimately scrapped, at least for the foreseeable future.
I can assure you few things were more disappointing than not having the opportunity to see my characters brought to life to promote the book. But I am making it work.
As with most marketing, paid promotions are beneficial. I have a budget ready to put forth a little closer to the release. So far, I have spent money on my website, licensing photos, and that's about it for marketing.
I do my own graphic design. I designed my logo, and I do all my photo and video editing. It is a benefit to be able to do some of these things yourself.
If you are trying to promote your book, I suggest learning to use Canva or Adobe Spark. They can be really helpful for creating a recognizable brand and keeping it consistent. They are also really user friendly. It enables you to take control of some of your marketing design without learning photoshop, InDesign, or illustrator.
As I said above, blog writing is great–to drive web traffic. Don't get discouraged if you feel like many people aren't reading your content because they probably aren't. Blog writing is most beneficial for web traffic. But for your fans who do read them, it is an excellent opportunity to engage them.
Lastly, for this mess of a post, I would suggest setting goals. I have goals for the period between now and the release of Roller Derby Vampire Girl. I have goals leading into 2021 as well as goals throughout the entirety of the year. Will I hit every one of them? Probably not, and it's ok. It took me ten years to finally get up the gumption to follow through with my goal of publishing the book; I'm not worried about missing a timeline by a little.
I can say the best thing for marketing is to learn as you go, don't be afraid to fail, and don't be scared to try again.
The things that work today might not work tomorrow. But if you keep trying, you'll find something that does work, heck, we might find it together.