No matter your publishing path, marketing yourself as a writer is becoming more important than ever.
Now, more than ever, your online presence speaks for you before you even really enter the conversation.
In the prime age of the internet and social lives mostly existing digitally, people decide if they want to follow and keep up with you, and support your work through what they can already see of you online. We interact with each other without ever truly interacting with each other online in the form of follows, likes, retweets, and repost.
As a writer or otherwise creative being, it's becoming more and more important to brand yourself. To have something on the internet people can go look at and say "this is them...". I mean, we do it all the time.
When you're searching for a new hairstylist, a tattoo artist, a cover designer, a book editor, a writer you think you want to be friends with. Whoever doing whatever. You're not calling anyone up on the telephone anymore or even going directly to someone's website.
The first thing you're probably doing is looking for them on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, or Tiktok to see what they do, how they do it, and how well.
As a writer specifically, branding yourself can feel..iky. Outright gross.
You're a writer, you're going to write and people will read your work and decide if they like you or not. Simple as that.
Except gone are the days when a writer can count on publishers and word of mouth to be enough to bring in the audience and supportive community that helps you do what you love to do.
Well, I'm not sure if that's even how it really worked before the age of the internet and social media, but I do know that it's not a method that's going to work in your favor on a large scale now.
People want to know who you are and what you stand for before they publicly support you, even in the form of a follow on social media.
When it comes to branding yourself as a writer, there's no single right way to do it. There's no one right way to do anything, but hopefully, you've already figured that out.
Branding yourself as a writer kind of means having to think of yourself as a business and not just the writing end of it. Yes, you still get to write the words and package them up for your audience however you want, but you're also in charge of cultivating that audience.
Which is much easier once you start building a platform for yourself.
Branding yourself, or treating yourself as a business doesn't have to be an icky and covered-in-a-thin-layer-of-gross undertaking. It's a chance to cultivate a community that is really for you and whatever it is you stand for.
I also want to go on the record as saying that branding yourself and treating yourself as a business doesn't mean you have to start offering services, or adding more to your plate than you can take on.
Building your author platform is all about uncovering how to share what you do in a way that works for you. I have a few resources down below that can help get you started on building your platform, or if you've already established one, there are some resources that can help you discover how to level up what's already working.
How to build a successful author platform is a great place to start when it comes to taking some time to uncover the foundation for your platform. This guide helps identify your target audience, and start building your platform based on what works for you.
This Business Plan Template is a great place to start when it comes to building your platform and yourself up as a brand, as a writer. I realize it may seem weird at first to think you should take time to work out a business plan as a writer, but depending on your publishing path and what you hope to do with your writing career, there are a lot of benefits to having a fully throughout and printed out a business plan for yourself as a writer.
This business plan template helped me confidently launch this blog and website in September of 2020.
Not saying it's the golden ticket, but it can be helpful to consider.
The Shine Online with Natasha Samuels Podcast and her Instagram is an amazing well of information and resources that center around learning how to show up on social media, use Instagram's features to y our advantage, and truly actional tips she implements herself every single day.
If you already have a platform established and want to kick it up a notch (whatever notch it is) I highly recommend checking her out and the services she offers on her website aimed at helping you show up and level up. She doesn't even know it but watching her stories every day has literally helped me elevate my own use of the platform since discovering her.
Evergreen Platform Bundle is easily one of my favorite tools that I love to refer to again and again. It includes 365 Content Prompt Ideas, hashtags that are amazing for reaching the writing community, and more. I literally refer to the content prompts and hashtag file once per quarter to plan out my content so if you want to see what it's working for, just check out my Instagram.
The Author Platform Planner is something you've seen me feature before. I love this planner because it really helped me hone in on my content buckets and learn how to plan and batch create content in a stress-free way. It features a place to set your goals, a monthly spread, and weekly spreads where you can lay out content for multiple platforms in a weekly overview.
In my opinion, it's perfect for getting started in content batching.
Write Words Get Paid Quarterly Goal Planner shows up in my stories every day and it's because it's the only daily planner that has a layout that works for me without me feeling like I need to alter it to make sense. I team this bad boy up with my Notion layout and It's been smooth sailing since. *knocks on wood*
A Few Places to Expand Your Platform-Building Knowledge
Youtube is full of authors handing out free quality advice to writers but there is also The Evergreen Writing Oasis that took place entirely online is still available as a full playlist. As someone who attended every single panel, I can promise it's packed with information that's 100% useful. The entire playlist is comprised of Authourtubers sharing their experiences and tips on all things writing and building yourself up in your writing career from all aspects.
Skillshare really does have everything and there's a reason a lot of people are constantly recommending it. A great place to start
Medium is filled with writers that give advice on everything writing-related and if you've been on the site you know I mean everything, but that also means there are tons of articles featuring tips on getting started.
If you find any of these resources helpful, please let me know done below. Also if you have any resources you think would fit right in, go ahead and link something down below for your fellow writers.
*Full Disclosure -- some, not all, of the links in this post are affiliate links which means if you use them, I may get a small kickback from your purchase at no additional charge to you.