Hi guys! Let me reintroduce myself.
I’m a single black female mother of one – full-time worker for the government (so you know Ion make much money – SELF published author (meaning I formed my own budget to publish my own work – no deal was made) – and I’ve sold a few thousand novels - ebooks in the past 3 years.
And I started out with $0.
That’s right .
Now, I know you’re looking at my blog post saying – “Tuh what’s a few thousand books sold when there are authors who are selling TONS of books – under large publishing houses – much better than you.”
That’s’ true. I will not argue that.
And I even thought the same thing to myself until I did my math.
I got 100% of my own profit, and I was able to do with it as I pleased. I was able to form other ways to market my name – author name – as a brand. Now for a single mother of one – working for small money of the government – cushioned by some great blessings of benefits – I BELIEVE I DO DAMN WELL WITH ESTABLISHING MY BRAND NAME.
Still learning. Because that’s true leaders to – become open to learn – for a lifetime.
I mean some self published “authors” don’t survive their FIRST book. Me? Well I’m on my third with a fourth being dabbled with on the nights I ’ want to add to my third. Weird I know.
Now before I give you some tips let me just tell you what I managed to do while strengthening my brand name without BARELY spending a dime.
1. I self published 2 books and sold a few thousand copies of them total.
2. I nailed a news article in my city’s largest news media/source the N&O only 4 MONTHS after my first book release.
3. I got head librarian permission to do signings – events for me in my hometown by simply telling them my story.
4. I started a small non-profit project for kids called “Own Your Dream” which held a series events for children who come from areas of poverty as myself – which was included IN the news article written on myself (and team partner for Own Your Dream). We were able to get some of the kids music videos shot as well as school supplies for the year.
5. I started a state popular online radio show – called Chocolate Girl
which didn’t work out after a while but during its 30 some episodes – housed HUGE celebrity guests for interviews. I mean – who even knew real celebs would BITE on blog radio?
6. I’ve gotten a couple of radio station interviews and was able to attend an EXCLUSIVE self publishing workshop with a GURU of publishing and C.E.O. of one the largest publishing houses.
7. Ive gotten TONS of hosting gigs – including a traveling hosting gig with a powerful play group called “RFEP Entertainment” – currently in their 5th season of “Bang No More” a play against gang violence.
8. I’ve gotten TONS of writing gigs – hired by local artists in my area and outside of my state to get things written up for them – press releases and bios.
9. I’ve been asked - and accepted to write for a POWER MEDIA magazine called “The Session Magazine” — home based out of Raleigh, N.C. – simply for sharing my crazy blog posts via social sites like twitter.
10. I’ve been able to house an account for my 9 year olds – which gets royalty money of e-copies downloaded on my books dumped into it quarterly without even thinking about it.
ALL BECAUSE OF ONE THING – A LOUD BRAND
NO MONEY! NO MONEY SPENT! JUST SOCIAL NETWORK LOUD ME AND STRATEGY.
So here is the list you must copy and paste and remember.
7 ways to strengthen your brand without spending over $20
1. Every artist needs a WEB home – So, go to wordpress.com. NAIL your domain name – preferably if you’re a writer – your FULL NAME – first and last. (adjusting this one myself). Find the domain and its availability and drop the (wordpress.com) from the end for only $18 per year. Use this blog space to talk to your target audience. I don’t give a damn what you tell them - just keep your dialogue with them consistent. To be relevant you must be around.
2. Make a Facebook – FAN PAGE only – FREE : Now when I started Facebook was actually not a nuisance and a place you could successfully social network – but NOW you’ll probably only need a fan page. If you have a personal page – don’t use that. Use your fan page – and keep it active. Meaning – make sure you visit it at least 3 times per week. Stay connected with your Facebook crowd.
3. Make a Twitter page – and schedule your tweets pertaining to your brand on hootesuite.com. – FREE - It’s not necessary that at the beginning you STAY on social networks all day – just tweeting. Hootesuite.com will make it easy for your to schedule your brand tweets – and it will do the tweeting for you while you actually work. Say original things! Build your artist brand by being you!
4. Go out into your city and cities where your target audience occupies and MEET people. If you’re spending more than 20$ to get into the BEST networking events then you’re probably not in the correct events. IN FACT – I did my research and noticed that the best – business networking events – I attended were well under $20 and at reasonable times. & I’m not talking HUGE events like Women’s Empowerment (if you can afford to go to these go for inspiration) but small networking events may be effective as well. Sometimes even more effective because the smaller the crowd – the more detailed a conversation could get with an important business connect. Anyways - put your best face forward – pass out some business cards and form relationships with people who inspire and may be able to help you. Wont cost you much at all!
5. Schedule some meetings with some people in your area who have VOICE – to get you media or radio representation. Find a way to reach them – more than likely a social network – and invite them to lunch. Just let them know you want to share with them whatever it is you’re doing and network a little bit. This is a CHARM way of getting the necessary attention you need from DJs- radio hosts – etc. Most people love charm and they can’t run from it! lol
6. Generate an email – update – newsletter of some sort to connect with your peers, network, and other common artists. This will give you a consistent form of connection - communication with those who will more than likely mention your name – because you’ll be fresh in their minds. Don’t be worrisome with email blasts – but consistent. Sometimes just a simple – update on where you are with your project could help strengthen your brand.
7. Stay away from everything – that doesn’t inspire. In other words, if you can’t gain inspiration from THEM or THAT PLACE - don’t go around them and don’t frequent that venue. Surround yourself with what you want to be eventually and your mind will adapt into that way of thinking. This is a FREE service, but you must have determination to change. Drop all zeros and pick up new heroes. The end.
Follow ALL or SOME of these strategies and consider your brand – strengthening IN PROGRESS – stay consistent with these tips and then check your brand 6 months from now. It will have grown. And if it doesn’t then you email me and tell me what I listed wrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People helped me, and I’m all about spreading the things I learned about to others. No, I don’t consider myself ALL KNOWING, but I KNOW SOMETHING.
You are welcome. Hope this helps!!