In addition to having pertinent information or a story to tell that others want to hear about and read as an author, you must “brand” yourself in order to become a known entity. People must know who you are and what you do before they will buy what you produce.
Branding is crucial for you to successfully generate residual income streams. Think of authors like Dr. Stephen Covey, Stephen King, Dr. Phil McGraw, Jack Canfield, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss and countless others. When you hear those names, what genres, topics or titles come to mind? These authors have been effective in developing a product line associated with their name through their focus on specific topics or categories of books. They became household names by writing articles, appearing in the media and at events, speaking, and generating “buzz” around their titles or themselves. The result is that they ultimately generated significant streams of revenue from their written and spoken words. In some cases, their books were initially secondary to their careers, but later became the thing for which they were primarily known.
You are already on your way to branding yourself once you publish a nonfiction book. Just by taking that step, you become a perceived expert or celebrity to some people. That is because many people say, “One day I’m going to write a book,” but only a small percentage of the population ever does. Think about how someone reacts when you first meet them, they ask you what you do and you share your job title with them. Do they seem to really care? On the other hand, if you respond, “I am an author,” their whole demeanor often seems to perk up as they focus on you and say something like, “Oh really, what have you written?” Once you have their attention, you then have an opportunity to give your short thirty second “elevator speech” about your book(s). That introductory content is the personal presentation that networking experts suggest that you rehearse so you can quickly let people know what you do in life. Hopefully, if you do a good job and make it interesting and/or entertaining, you move to the next level in the conversation that ultimately leads to selling copies of your book.
The key to effectively developing name recognition or branding yourself as noted authors have done is to develop a marketing plan and stick with it. This plan should include multiple approaches to getting the word out about your books and yourself (e.g. networking, social media, writing articles, and doing presentations on your topic). Try doing at least one thing per day to market yourself and/or your products. More work is better and you must be consistent in your efforts to get the word out about what you do to others. Look at your calendar. What marketing strategies do you currently have listed each day? If the answer is none, then you are not likely a successful writer. You can be the best writer or most authoritative person in your topic area. However, if you simply sit in front of your computer and write all the time without letting others know what you are doing, no one will know who you are or the value of your work.
By getting people to recognize your products and associate them with your name and face, you can create a powerful revenue generation mechanism.