Authors are becoming entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are becoming authors and both need to sort out their branding, content management and social media. We cover all that and more in today's interview.
In the intro I mention Amazon buying Goodreads, B&N launching NookPress and how it's still not for non-US publishers and some updates on my writing and speaking projects as well as my BookBub promo stats.
Trevor Young is an author, speaker, consultant and start-up entrepreneur. His new book is MicroDomination: How to leverage social media and content marketing to build a mini business empire around your personal brand.
- We mention the awesome sub-title containing multiple keywords which can help with book sales, especially for non-fiction.
- Trevor started as a journalist and later moved into PR and publicity. He ran his own agency and worked with large global clients as well as individuals. Trevor started blogging in 2007 and immersed himself into the new world and this has morphed into a business where he is an author, professional speaker and consultant. We talk about both of our lives have changed since Trevor was first on the show a few years ago.
What is a micro-maven?
- Malcolm Gladwell popularized the word ‘maven' and it's really someone who becomes a trusted expert in a field. Trevor uses the term to encompass creative entrepreneurs leveraging the internet to build a platform. Once they build a reputation, they build a sustainable business with multiple streams of income so they can follow the lifestyle they choose. Develop platform, build your brand, build your business, live your dream.
On personal branding.
- You have a brand whether you like it or not. It's how people perceive you. It's what people say about you when you're not in the room. It's their experience of you. You have a chance to control that by actively choosing the way you portray yourself online. Be consistent e.g. use the same professional photo, color scheme. Be authentic as you need to live your brand. If you want to be considered helpful, then you can't rant like a crazy person on Twitter. People will judge you by what you portray, so make sure you do it well.
Content marketing vs social media marketing
- Content marketing is about earning attention with quality, original information – it could be an article, podcast or video. It's to demonstrate your expertise, help customers and be a thought leader. It's designed to help/inspire/entertain your specific target market and get their attention so they can find you. This is one of the main ways that people are demonstrating expertise online now.
- Social media encompasses the tools for sharing your content, but also sharing other people's content, communicating, commenting, getting to know people, participating on the social web.
- The two aspects work in tandem – ‘content is the fire, social media is gasoline‘ [Jay Baer]
- It's important to own your own content and ensure you don't build on someone else's platform, otherwise they could change the rules. Use the tools to share discussions about your original work.
- It all takes time and effort to create great content. Over time, this is what separates the pros from the amateurs. I mention how many of the feeds I follow have gone dead in the last few years as people have dropped away. The initial phase is the hardest and it takes a while to get going. Trevor mentions Chris Brogan in particular who started slow but now has a huge global profile and multiple businesses under his brand. Many of these mavens have book deals based on their platforms.
- The backlash against blogging for authors vs. we talk about the personal relationships and social karma that come from connections, and the business we get from our platforms. I would not be anywhere without the my blogging and social platform. If you want to have a business online, you need it. We also mention podcasting your fiction – see the interview with Scott Sigler for more on this. The blog is just a conduit for people to get to you and your brand. That's what they are buying.
- We talk about the culture of generosity and reciprocity that we find among the bloggers we know that makes this a very rewarding business to be in. Everything comes back to connection. Although the return on investment is hard to track directly, both Trevor and I have gained business, speaking opportunities and more from our platform online. We both met a lot of key people on twitter as well. But yes, it's fun but it's also hard work.
How Trevor is marketing his book
- The book launch was actually a panel event with fabulous speakers, well known in the field, so people came for an event and also found out about the book. Great tip – always think about what your customers want! Book launches are often just focused on the author and aren't so much for readers but this is a great example of a useful event masquerading as a book launch.
- Trevor also talks about what he's doing on social media as well as blogging, giving the book to influential people and contacts he has made over time, plus he's about to start a media campaign. He does has a publicist for a few weeks from Wiley.
You can find the book and info at www.MicroDominationBook.com
Please do leave any thoughts or questions about branding, content marketing or social media in the comments below.