Part of a successful digital author platform is a consistent brand image and active participation in several relevant social media networks such as Facebook or Goodreads.
Your personal brand should be consistent across every platform. This means you use the same name, colors, images, and biography for each account. For example, you don’t want to use your name on Facebook and the title of your book as your Instagram account.
If you plan to write more than one book, it is especially a good idea to go with your personal brand and get your name out there instead of just your book’s title. This personal brand will carry you through different book titles, speaking engagements, book tours, and other projects that will happen during your entire writing career.
For your author website, choose a domain name that has your name in it., and not one that is your book title. Then make sure you use your name consistently for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts. Don’t be Michael J. Taylor, Jr. on one and Mike Taylor on the other; pick one and stick with it. Each social media page should also incorporate the same colors, photo, and biography so that readers going from one platform to another will feel they are making connection with the right person, the right brand.
Finding a URL for your website using your name may not be easy. New domain names are created by the thousand every day, thus the chance of getting your first choice is rare. You may have to be creative and add a word or two to your name to make it work. If your name is Tom Jones, obviously, TomJones dot com is already taken. You can add a word to the name and make it work, such as TomJonesWriter dot com.
Before you purchase the domain for your website, cross-check the other major social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, to see if that username or account URL has already been used in these places. Providing a consistent brand name across every platform’s URL will build name recognition more easily.
You can use a site like http://www.knowem.com to check the availability of your username or URL choices across 25 of the most popular social media networks. In some instances, you may have to adapt your name slightly by putting last name first or adding a word or two if your name is available in most sites but not all and you really want to use that one.
To get started creating your consistent branding message, spend some time brainstorming what message you want to convey to your reader. What words can you use in your tag line or short bio? What colors come to mind to connect with that message and what emotion do you want to convey to your reader to complete that message?
Gather all the information you will need for each site, such as URL, biography, images, and tagline. Write your biography in two different lengths: long and short. Start with the long one and then shorten it as this will help you keep the same tone and message.
Get a professional photo taken and use this for each social media account, including your profile on Gravatar.com. You can use Photoshop, or a free online editing program like Pixlr, to create different image sizes.
By having a consistent brand image on the Internet you have the opportunity to give people the idea that you as an author are present in many places online. On the other hand, if you use a smorgasbord of different names, pictures, logos, and colors, your brand will not be as recognizable. By being consistent, your digital brand will slowly earn recognition and awareness among your audience.