TO BRAND OR NOT TO BRAND
Posted by Sharon K Owen
I’ve been following the conversation lately on the topic of branding in building a social network platform.
I attended a class on social networking (taught by Kristen Lamb) at Weatherford College last summer. At that time I didn’t even have a blog, much less a website, twitter account and facebook fan page. But I was determined to enter the internet social media stream
The most important information I took away from that class was the importance of branding your name and writing about interesting topics in addition to blogs about writing. The strategy was designed to bring in followers who are not your typical book buyers but who, once they follow an interesting blog, will probably also buy that writers’ books.
That made perfect sense to me and I began following Kristin’s blog.
I have, therefore, used her strategy in building my platform. Every social network site is listed under my name (Sharon K Owen) which is also the author name on my published books. So far, it’s working pretty well. I am gradually developing a following on twitter, facebook, linked-in, my blog and my website.
I read Rachelle Gardner’s blog post: Novelists Stop Trying to Brand Yourself, which seemed to discourage branding. I decided, however, that the title seemed somewhat misleading. She definitely encouraged writers to connect with the target audience that would buy the writers’ books. But that strategy does not seem that different from branding to me. In fact, I totally agree with the advice she gave novelists on those issues.
My novel is a romantic suspense (some would call it a chicklit) and I definitely try to appeal to the readers of that genre in my blogs. The thing is: readers in that target audience do more than read novels. They may garden and cook and do needlework projects. They undoubtedly have families and pets, jobs and friends. They may probably like music, movies, TV shows, sports and travel adventures.
Therefore, if I write about the things I like (all of the above) I will probably capture the interest of people who read books in the genre in which I write. Hopefully, I will also interest the people who are not yet avid book buyers in that genre. With luck, people from each of those audiences will look at my book and may purchase it. They may also talk aout my books and hopefully recommend them.
So, for me, Rachelle and Kristin are not that far apart in the strategies they are encouraging us to use in building our platforms.
What do you think?
About Sharon K OwenI am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).
Posted on October 27, 2011, in Blogs, Facebook, Social Networking, Twitter, Writers and tagged blogs, branding, brands, facebook, fiction, kristin lamb, novelists, novelists' platform, rachelle gardner, sharon k owen, social network platform, social networks, twitter, websites, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.