Are you a firmly established brand in your industry? I added the word “firmly” because the life of an author is full of ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll be required to hold on tight to your manuscript while you’re in the process of positioning yourself for expert status. It is your mission as an author to become as recognizable as the brand names Kleenex or Coca Cola. In other words you want your name to have marketing value like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling.
“People like to do business with people they like, trust and believe,” per Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas. Your mission is to paint the picture that lends this kind of credibility to your professional and personal image. Before social media, you were required to be the consummate celebrity at book signings or while performing keynotes, or when networking. In this digital age, you are also expected to push beyond your immediate persona and build a congruent image on a vast array of social media platforms.
So how do you become the person that “everybody knows?” Here are three recommendations that have worked for me in the past:
- LIKE – Determine what your expertise is, be clear on what qualifies you as an expert, and wear your badge of competence proudly. People will appreciate you for it and like you because of your confidence and willingness to share it. Some people believe that faking it until you make it is the way to success. They fill their back cover with copy that says that they can do everything including walking on water. But any success generated from that kind of embellishment is only temporal. It’s like filling a balloon with helium and then letting the air out. It never got to go anywhere, but it sure looked pretty for a second or two.
- TRUST – Always be genuine and truthful in your written presentation. Sometimes people can’t tell the difference between cubic zirconia and a real diamond. But eventually you will run into someone who is a real expert and they will definitely challenge you on your authenticity in the form of a scathing book review. If you want people to trust you, then you have to be the REAL McCoy.
- BELIEVE – Be indispensable. Find a problem in your industry and become an expert on the solution. Prove your worth by being believable. People love to have their problems solved. As an author, they get to do more than hear a lecture that is quickly forgotten. They get to take you home with them and peruse your expertise at their leisure. And when they want more, they’ll buy your next book.
If you want to be recognized as an expert in the literary industry remember: Be likable, be trustworthy and be believable. If you master these three things, you’re well on your way to becoming an established expert.
Change something today to make your tomorrow better.
Literary Strategist, LLC