Developing Your Author Brand – One

Customer branding has changedTwo ladies sharing ear buds to listen to content on a cell phone. Today, customers voice their opinions to create better experiences and interactive dialogue. In the past, brand controlled or tried to control the message.

Customers advocate and support your products and services. This is one of the best forms of marketing – word of mouth.

Customer branding creates positive recognition.

This is no different for authors. We both appreciate and need our fans to tell others when our books, or new articles become available. (Shameless marketing on my part). Grass root supporters are among the most invested in our content. Though your best visitors may not always comment, they return time and time again.

Segment your customers

Dividing your supporters is not always easy.  For years, while I developed my identity, blog and writing, I viewed my supporters as a whole. That was a mistake. As I said above,  some our your biggest supporters may not be visible. They visit to learn and they pay attention to what you’re offering. If we chase comments, shares, and likes, we run the risk of neglecting our brand supporters.

When we identify those who could become brand advocates, we strengthen brand. We strengthen the values and promises we make to our customers.

Identify brand advocates

  1. Brand advocates spend the most money on your brand. They have also spent lots of time and made a connection with your voice and message.
  2. They pay the most attention to what you’re offering.

service crew, dressed in green assisting customersBecause your supporters have given you repeated business (purchased books, site visits etc). They are spreading the word (sharing, tweeting, other social media). And they spend time (reading your content, library check-outs, events etc). They should receive the most attention.

I’m not saying neglect one-stop visitors – your site should be accessible and easy to navigate. Answer their questions. Exceptional service is always top of mind.

I’m saying, pay particular attention to your brand advocates.

  • They care about your story – do they know it?
  • Do they know the ways your brand connects to and participates in community?
  • Do your supporters have social platforms and does your brand reward them by visiting?

As your brand develops or you start to offer products, your rewards will evolve. Start small. And of course, continue to reward your advocates with great content!

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