This is a guest post from Nancy Peske.
Why should people stop their busy lives, pay attention to what you have to say, and spend money on your books and services? Because, of course, you are brilliant, original, and a unique expression of divine light in human form. Okay, but besides that? Because your brand tells them, “Your long search is over! What you’ve been seeking is right here!”
Branding yourself with a book is an excellent way to communicate to potential clients, followers, and fans who you are and what your message and work is all about. A book based on your brand says, “I’m an expert with enough solid, well-thought-through ideas to fill a book.” A book has weight and makes an impression on people, serving as your credibility card.
Branding Yourself and Strengthening Your Offer
As you think about the book you’d like to write to solidify your brand, ask yourself these questions:
What will my book be about? Try to come up with a one- to two-sentence answer or “elevator pitch.” When talking about our book Cinematherapy, my coauthor and cousin Bev West and I memorized this pitch: “For many women, movies are more than just entertainment: they’re self-medication that can cure anything from a bad hair day to the dumped-and-out-for-blood blues. Cinematherapy is self-care practiced by women who take time out to feel their feelings with a movie that matches their mood.”
Who is my intended audience? Think about what other books your audience has read and even purchased. Why would the buyers of those books want to buy your book, too? For example, does your book go deeper into a particular topic those books only touch on? Does your audience have a sense of humor that other books lack?
How will my book help establish my credibility as an expert? Think about what makes you an expert. Did you go from humble means to great success? Do you have a unique action plan for achieving specific goals, a plan that comes out of what worked for you and your clients?
Begin branding yourself with a book by writing out your personal story of how you became interested in the work you do. In publicity for our book and brand, my coauthor and I say we learned the art of cinematherapy from our mothers and mutual grandmother. Our story gives our spin on talking about movies a personal touch and encourages interviewers, listeners, and readers to think about their personal experiences with movies, too.
After you’ve written out your story of how you came up with the concept for the book, you will need to become clear on three things: your story’s universality, emotionally compelling qualities, and uniqueness.
Universality. Your story has to resonate for others, making them say, “I’m where she was when she committed to changing her life for the better,” or “This is someone who clearly knows what I’m going through.” Meet your reader where she is, helping her to connect to your experience. Think about a question she would say “Yes!” to, for example, “Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you try, you can’t kick the sugar habit?” “Have you ever just wanted to take a couple hours for yourself and watch a movie that reminds you that you are upset and deserve a good cry?”
Emotionally compelling qualities. Perhaps there is a startling, dramatic detail to your story, such as that you nearly died because you thought you could live on junk food. Think about what would make someone go, “Wow, that’s devastating/hilarious/amazing!” when hearing your story. Strong emotions strengthen brands.
Uniqueness. Maybe your business model is different from others’ because your approach is different: You coach people with check-ins every week, or you send them daily reminders through mobile devices to keep them on track. Maybe your gentle, warm, kind approach sets you apart from “boot camp” coaches. Ask your clients, fans, followers, and friends what they find different about your approach if you aren’t quite sure what makes you and your work different.
Branding Yourself to Improve Credibility
Branding is key to making a fast connection to someone who will enjoy your book and your work. You won’t regret the time you invested in branding yourself with a book that serves as your credibility card, conveying your expertise.
Nancy Peske is a developmental editor, ghostwriter, and book publishing consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the book business, as well as the author of several bestselling books. Learn more at www.NancyPeske.com.