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Why an Author Needs a Brand

January 20, 2015

Don't forget to join us tomorrow, January 22nd at 1pm (CST), for a free webinar on “How to Launch Your Big Idea” hosted by our Manager of Brand Strategy Scott James. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489 


We will cover:

  • Understanding what's behind good branding
  • How to define success to maximize your time and energy
  • 12 Questions to ask before launching your big idea

To learn more about why authors need a brand, click the link below to get a quick preview of the webinar with Scott James: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ApZinsQ_8

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Finding Your Brand Essence

January 18, 2015

Join us this Thursday for a free webinar on “How to Launch Your Big Idea” on January 22nd at 1pm (CST) hosted by our Manager of Brand Strategy Scott James. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

Stay tuned throughout this month as we share tips and resources on building a compelling brand!

 

 

 

Over the past two weeks I’ve written about How to Plan Your Expert Brand and Getting Real About Launching Your Big Idea. Both of these pieces of the process focus on looking inward and establishing your foundation.

The third piece of the process I want to focus on today is about looking out at the market landscape. This means thinking hard about your target audience, your competitors, and what makes you unique.

 

Audience.

Think about audience in terms of 1) Who has a need for what you bring to the table, and 2) Who you want to reach. If you picture these two groups as a Venn diagram, where they overlap is where you’ll find your primary and secondary target audiences. These are the potential customers, clients, and readers who are hungry for the information and services that you are an expert in, and have the time, energy, and resources to take advantage of what you offer. One big mistake we see too many people make is thinking, “My audience is everyone.” Even if everyone can benefit from your message, it helps to start with a few key groups and build out your message, branding, and platform from there.

 

Competitive Landscape.

You likely have a good sense for the competitive landscape you are stepping into as an expert, but it helps to step back and look at that landscape from the perspective of the customer. Do you know what search keywords people are using when they go looking for your expertise? Are you familiar with what other websites, blog posts, or videos come up when people search in your field? At the same time, are you aware of what other books people turn to for advice, or what speakers already have a strong presence at industry conferences with similar topics to yours? Putting in the time to research these answers will provide a strong overview of what is already out there and visible to your target audience.

 

Differentiation.

After researching audience and competitive landscape, the next step is to look at what makes your big idea and expert brand unique. This differentiation will help inform better messaging around your brand overall. Early on, begin practicing your elevator pitch with your personal network to get feedback. Ask them what they think makes you different—it’s often eye-opening to hear how other professionals you respect view you and understand what they value about what you offer. The answers are often different than expected! At the same time, try out new ways of presenting yourself at networking meetings and conferences to people you don’t know at all, paying close attention to what words, phrases, and angles people you’ve never met before respond to. 

 

Don’t forget to register for our free webinar where we’ll take a deep dive into creating a brand strategy and setting yourself up for success: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

We will cover:

  • Understanding what's behind good branding
  • How to define success to maximize your time and energy
  • 12 Questions to ask before launching your big idea

 

Tweet your big idea to @GreenleafBookGr for a chance to win a free consultation with one of our brand strategy experts! Use the hashtag #bigideas2015

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4137

Getting Real About Launching Your Big Idea

January 13, 2015

Join us for a free webinar on “How to Launch Your Big Idea” on January 22nd at 1pm (CST) hosted by our Manager of Brand Strategy Scott James. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

 

Stay tuned throughout this month as we share tips and resources on how to build a compelling brand!



 It’s important to dream big, and when you hit on the big idea that you want to run with, it’s even more important to think through how you want to launch. 

 

Last week I talked about the importance of thinking through the Vision, Promise, and Pillars when planning your brand positioning. Equally important? Getting real with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, what opportunities to pursue, and which resources you have versus which you need to acquire. 

 

To start the process, here are three key questions to ask yourself:

 

1. What are my Core Strengths?

Getting real starts with recognizing what your core strengths are. For many experts, this will include skills like speaking, consulting, strategic planning, writing, or analysis—but likely not all of them. Launching your big idea is not the ideal time to learn new skills. Instead, it’s the time to focus on doing what you do best, and surround yourself with people and resources to fill in the gaps. 

 

If you have not done this kind of self-analysis, start by looking at what roles you enjoy most, what your main revenue channels are, and what people around you routinely ask for your help with. Also consider what kind of work gets you excited—launching a big idea is a long-term commitment and it’s important to love what you do!  

 

Getting real with yourself and your team about where your strengths are and where you need help BEFORE ramping up for launch will save a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run, and go a long way toward setting you up for success.

 

2. Which Opportunities should I pursue?

If you’re at the stage where you are considering launching a big idea, it’s likely that you have a network, colleagues, and clients, and potentially you have developed a strong following. Whatever the size of your network, there will be an array of viable opportunities to help get your big idea out there and grow your brand. For example, you may get offers to speak to different groups, write for blogs, or partner with other experts. It’s important to evaluate which opportunities will help you reach your target audience, and which will sap your energy and steal your time. It’s equally important to admit that you can’t do everything yourself. 

 

Getting real while planning the launch of your big idea will help give your plan edges, and there is strength in focus. I like to say that there is a lot that you CAN do, but the real work is to deduce what you SHOULD do. As both Warren Buffet and Marissa Mayer suggest, the idea or project to which you commit all of your time, energy and resources must be your best idea or project.

 

3. What Resources do I have?

Last but certainly not least: in order to refine your brand in an honest and reasonable way, you must evaluate what resources you have to work with. This includes your team, your funding, and your time. 

 

Even for an expert, it may be necessary to seek out a mentor, if launching your big idea means stepping far outside of what you already know. If you own or manage a business, well in advance of trying to launch your big idea is the time to examine your team to make sure you have people on staff or under contract who complement your strengths. 

 

Finally, where are you currently putting your time and energy? How much of that time and energy will need to be redirected to set yourself up for success with the launch of your big idea? 

 

Learning how to get real with yourself is essential to building your brand in both a compelling and viable way. Join us next week for a video about branding and the webinar.

 

Don’t forget to register for our free webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into creating a brand strategy and setting yourself up for success: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

 

Tweet your big idea to @GreenleafBookGr for a chance to win a free consultation with one of our brand strategy experts! Use the hashtag #bigideas2015

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How to Plan Your Expert Brand

January 4, 2015

Join us for a free webinar on “How to Launch Your Big Idea” on January 22nd at 1pm (CST) hosted by our Manager of Brand Strategy Scott James. Reserve your spot here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

 

 

 

With over 600,000 new businesses launched each year and thousands of experts and trainers speaking to conferences and companies every quarter, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. What can help you become a shining star instead of getting lost in the fray? The answer is great branding. 

 

When you’re ready to put in the work to start building a platform and brand around that “big idea,” there are some key questions that will help you build the foundation from day one. Doing the work to ask the right questions, do your research, and think through your approach will help you be more effective, save time, and be on-message from the beginning. 

 

1. Vision: One cornerstone question for this process is to ask yourself, “Where do I want to be in 3 years?” This is a big question, but understanding what you are building toward is critical. Think specifically about what type of work you want to be doing, what clients you want to be partnering with, and what direction you want to grow toward. Don’t be afraid to outline your ideal scenario - this is not the time to edit in your head or discourage yourself before you start. This is the time to get clear on what you want in the context of building your expert brand.

 

2. Purpose: What is driving you towards this vision? Once you have thought about the end goal, it’s important to dig into the reasons behind why you want to get there and understand both your motivation and what is most important. Is it financial success, spreading your message, or building your network? While all of these and more are likely important for anyone with a big idea, deciding which is the top priority to focus on first will help organize how you spend your time, resources, and energy. Figuring out the most important why will give you a clear measure of success.

 

3. Pillars: As you think through the vision and purpose behind your brand, typically some key themes emerge. We think of these themes as pillars that hold up your brand as it grows. They can also act as valuable filters to help prioritize early efforts and keep messaging on target. Another valuable thought-exercise is to think through the difference between the pillars you see holding up your current branding efforts versus your vision for the future of your brand. What are you already doing to move towards this vision and what resources are available to you? This will help you determine a viable direction for your brand and what might need to change in order to get you there. 

 

Defining your vision, purpose and pillars are just the beginning to building your compelling brand. Join us next week as we discuss how to get real with yourself and explore the next steps to launching your big idea!

 

Don’t forget to register for our free webinar where we’ll take a deeper dive into creating a brand strategy and setting yourself up for success: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3579263655284351489

 

Stay tuned throughout this month as we share tips and resources on building a compelling brand!

 

Have any brand-building tips? Tweet them to @GreenleafBookGr with the hashtag #bigideas2015

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.greenleafbookgroup.com/node/4134

Steps for Book Discoverability

December 28, 2014

Engage Readers

 

Since we have already taken a look at book discoverability in regards to SEO and Social Media, today we look at the third step of book discoverability, engaging readers.

 

There are many ways you can continue to engage readers, as well as increase your readership over time, by regularly providing new content as well as presenting your content in a variety of ways across different platforms. Try out some of these suggestions, and you will start noticing what type of engagement receives a bigger or more positive reaction from your readers via feedback and sharing within their own network. 

 

-Build out your author blog or online community, and post regularly so your readers know what to expect. Try out a variety of topics, and pose a question or request feedback posts.

-Communicate with readers on a regular basis by responding to their feedback and questions.

-Build your email list so you can aggregate updates and make it easy for your readers to find.

-Offer free previews of content via your blog and social media platforms.

-Tweet quotes from your book or from other pieces of your content, or quotes that might appeal to your reader base.

-Utilize video and video transcriptions. Don’t overthink video, or try to be too formal, as search algorithms now prefer text that is more semantically conversational in nature.

-Upload your presentations to slideshare.net

-Practice using and making your own infographics.

-Look into guest blogging so you can increase your digital footprint by posting excerpts of your content as well as create a network of back links to your site.

-Host a podcast!

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