Another business area writers tend to avoid—or not even know exists—involves branding. I sort of knew branding existed, but I ignored it. Now, I’m having to go back and try and fix the problems it’s caused in my business, which involves not only me as an author but me as a writer, journalist, editor, writing and publishing coach, teleseminar and workshop presenter, speaker, etc. I have an information products business—or I’m growing one—and without a brand to put all the pieces together (including five blogs, an online column and two websites), no one will ever find me. At the least, I won’t get the media coverage, the traffic, the clients, the readers, or the sales I’d like to have.
Today, one of my regular guest bloggers, Michelle Tennant Nicholson, chief creative officer of Wasabi Publicity and co-founder of www.PitchRate.com, offers a tip on how to begin branding yourself, your book and your business so you can become unique and get found by the media and the readers (buyers) and clients you want.
What Makes You and Your Book Unique?
By Michelle Tennant Nicholson
If you want the media — and potential readers and clients — knocking on your door, you have to ask yourself; “What makes me and my book unique?”
So what is it? How do you or your book differ from the competition? What can you offer your readers and customers — and the media — that your competition can’t?
Take my client and Yum Yum Dishes founder Tracy Adler for example:
“When I was pregnant with my second child I would often sit down for a quick bite and eat a WHOLE bag of chips in one sitting. I was definitely setting a bad example for Elliot (my first child) on portion control. But “Hey,” I was pregnant.
Then I had an idea…
I came up with Yum Yum Dishes — a 4-piece ceramic dish set that would train children on the right portion sizes. It wouldn’t be hard to get Elliot on the program — he had no choice — but I knew there were other parents out there that wanted an easy way to train their children on what was and wasn’t a healthy-sized portion. I had one problem: How would I let the world know about Yum Yum Dishes?”
Well, Tracy’s problem wasn’t that hard to solve. She became clear early on about what made her unique and whom she wanted to help. You know she could have joined the masses of ‘weight loss experts’, but she would have gotten lost in a sea of dietary supplements, workout regimes and ‘mind over fatter’ gimmicks. So amidst millions of ‘weight loss experts’ out there, Tracy became a ‘portion control expert.’
Sure, her product can help people lose weight. But Tracy isn’t obese — and she never has been. She’s one of the fittest people I know. And she’s committed to helping people (especially children) prevent obesity by controlling their meal portions. Her target market is composed of mothers — especially those who are concerned with teaching their children healthy eating habits and healthy portion control.
So how do you know if you’re unique?
Google your name, Google your brand, Google what you think is unique about you. See what competition is out there for the way you’re currently positioning yourself. Think there’s more competition out there among “weight loss experts” than there is for “portion control experts?” You bet. About 7.6 million more!
Once you’ve gotten an idea of who your “competition” is, dig in a bit deeper. Are you currently attracting your ideal reader or client? Or are you attracting readers that aren’t on your “wish list?” What messages resonate with your ideal reader? What problems do they have? What solutions do you offer? Figuring all this out will help you stand out and position yourself to swoop in for the media coverage and readership you desire.
About the Author
Twenty-year PR veteran Michelle Tennant Nicholson is Chief Creative Officer of Wasabi Publicity and co-founder of www.PitchRate.com, a free media tool that connects journalists, publicists, and experts. Called a five-star publicist by Good Morning America’s Mable Chan, Michelle specializes in international PR, working regularly with the likes of Oprah, Larry King, BBC, The Today Show and other major media. Contact her at PR blog http://www.StorytellerToTheMedia.com where she teaches tips from the trade.