To help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and build your audience for your book, I put together a list of 55 things that can help you establish your brand over the long haul. You just may be surprised at how much you enjoy the journey of connecting with your readers and how building your brand is not as daunting as you might think.
1. Start developing your brand and platform as soon as you have an idea for a book.
2. Identify your values and interests to shape your brand. What's your reason for being?
3. Find an audience with like-minded interests. Reach out. It's okay if some of the popular social media platforms aren't right for your brand. Your time is precious; only spend it where you will find your audience.
4. Listen to your community. Successful branding is a two-way street.
5. Clearly know your goals and strategy for social media.
6. Your subject line of your emails to your list will determine the open rate and the effectiveness of your email.
7. Answer this question: How can you inspire your audience?
8. Use questions from your readers to inspire your next blog post.
9. Have a website. It's the only place in the digital world where you are in complete control. Your website is your home base for all other social media efforts.
10. Word of mouth marketing is engagement. Talk to your friends about your website.
11. Pay attention to what works. Social media allows you to make changes in real time according to what data and community engagement tells you. Constantly shift according to what appeals to your audience most.
12. Ask for what you want with a clear call to action. Example: If you want your readers to leave their comments on a blog post, simply tell them you'd love to hear from them.
13. People are mobile. Make sure your website is digital friendly.
14. Build and nurture relationships consistently over time.
15. Don't ask people you don't know for favors. Build a rapport and authentic relationships before you think about asking for something.
16. People who love us, keep reading us.
17. Post images. Posts with pictures create more engagement.
18. Before you post something: Ask yourself if what you are about to post is of value to someone else.
19. People buy from people they know, like and trust.
20. Have one website -- about you first and your book second. People like to follow people and not books. Good news: You don't have to have multiple websites for multiple books.
21. Being busy isn't the same as being profitable.
22. Build a reputation for honesty.
23. Does it entertain, inform or inspire? If not, don't share it.
24. Offer your value in different ways without asking for anything in return: a tip list, inspiration, insight, ebook, webinar or video. You will build trust as you position yourself as an expert in your niche.
25. Host a book giveaway. Have people sign up using a third-party social media app like Rafflecopter and collect names for your mailing list as you create buzz about your book.
26. Don't try and be everywhere at once. Be selective and find the best social media platforms for you.
27. Study the competition. It's smart to study what the competition is doing right and use it for inspiration or modify tips for your own marketing plan.
28. Reach out to your fans. It's okay if you have a small following and only family and friends are currently following you. Reach out to them and see if they will tweet your book title so it trends in the Twitter world. You can retweet those tweets.
29. Use Twitter to chat. Set a time to chat with your audience and tell them a specific #hashtag to use. You can answer questions sent to you via tweets.
30. Just because something can be done online, does not mean it should be done online.
31. It's better to take a few hours and write to one person at a time than to do a mass email. You will get better results.
32. Talking to people is a great privilege, don't waste it.
33. The age of generalists is over. Find a niche, develop your audience, hone your skills and be brilliant.
34. The key word in social media is You can't pay someone to be social for you.
35. Authors who listen to their readers, write better books and sell more copies.
36. 1,000 core fans is better than 10,000 who don't care about you.
37. First impressions count.
38. Don't let your blog posts get old. Keep your website current with at least two blogs a month.
39. Just because other people are doing it, doesn't mean you need to do it too. Ask yourself if it's right for your brand. Go where your people are.
40. Keep it simple. Know who you are at your core -- so you never dilute your brand with messages that aren't aligned with your core focus.
41. Make sure everything you create and share is an accurate reflection of you and your brand.
42. What do you stand for? Be consistent and stay true to your brand.
43. Think in terms of creating lifelong relationships with your customers or audience.
44. Emails sent on Mondays have higher ROI.
45. Don't send emails, newsletters or pitches that look or sound spammy.
46. Share relevant articles, videos, resources and books from other experts in your field. Be sure to credit the original sources of content you share.
47. Don't have a website if it is outdated.
48. Make sure all of your digital platforms are connected and cross-market.
49. Monitor your brand. Set your social media alerts (Google or Social Mention) are great ways to monitor your name and industry.
50. Set your social media alerts (Google or Social Mention) are great ways to monitor your name and industry.
51. Search conversations to study your niche and see what people are most interested in learning from you.
52. Join groups relevant to your industry.
53. If you want people to invest in you, invest in them.
54. To build a following, you have to have patience and stay the course.
55. Sometimes you have to hear crickets before you hear the roar of success.
© 2015 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook.