Over the course of my author branding series here at BookWorks, I’ve explained and explored the importance of creating a powerful author brand that accurately and beneficially represents you and your writing. Now, you'll want to maintain that sterling reputation, by monitoring your online presence and interactions for author brand protection.
Let's assume you acted on my advice and have developed a cohesive author brand to represent your writing efforts.
That’s always a positive thing, right? Well, not exactly.
The bigger you get, the more people will pay attention to you.
This can be both good and bad. On the one hand, you want to attract attention. The more brand awareness you generate, the easier it will be to promote and sell your work. On the other hand, the internet isn’t always the nicest of places. People troll, hate, and gossip for no good reason at all.
Today, I’m going to share with you some methods of monitoring your author brand, as well as some tips on how to engage with both negative and positive chatter.
Why You Should Monitor Your Author Brand
Reputation is everything.
I know, I know.
This isn’t Mean Girls and we aren’t in high school anymore.
However, that does not detract from the fact that your author brand can be impacted by the way that people talk about it.
After all, it has been proven that people are strongly influenced by word of mouth feedback, both positive and negative. This may seem irrational, but that doesn’t stop it from being true.
There’s no denying the fact that the author community can be a vicious place. There are plenty of positive and supportive authors who help and boost those around them. However, there are also plenty who subscribe to the dark side of the force, and prefer gossiping and slandering their fellow authors.
The bottom line is that if you don’t stay on top of your author brand protection, no one else will do it for you. And monitoring is truly the first stage of protection.
So how exactly can you keep an eye on your author brand?
Methods For Monitoring Your Author Brand
There are, broadly speaking, two options when it comes to monitoring your author brand. You can go with a free service, or a paid service, depending on the budget you have available and whether you see it as worthwhile to invest in a paid plan or not.
As a general guideline, I’d suggest that the free option is your best bet for starting out, and the premium option is worth it further down the line when you are getting mentioned more often.
Let’s take a quick look at each.
Free Author Brand Monitoring - Google Alerts
Is it any surprise that Google offers a great, free option when it comes to monitoring your author brand?
Google’s free tools are typically awesome. Heck, I’m writing this on Google Docs! So what exactly does Google offer in terms of offer brand monitoring?
As you see from the above image, setting up Google Alerts is quick and easy. I’ve broken it down into three simple steps for you:
—Log into/ Create a Google Account
—Go to Google.com/alerts
—Add the various keywords you want to be alerted about
So what are some ideas for the keywords you should choose?
- Your name. After all, as an author, you’re likely to be referred to by name!
- Your books. Often, people will mention your work, as well as your name.
- Your competitors. Track the other authors and books in your genre to stay up to date with your industry.
Having Google take care of this on an automated basis saves the sad but understandable temptation to Google your own name!
Premium Author Brand Monitoring - Mention
If you feel that Google Alerts doesn’t offer everything you need to monitor your author brand, you should check out Mention.
Mention is a premium service but offers some advantages over Google Alerts.
In my experience, I’ve found that Mention is quicker to let you know what people are saying about you than Google Alerts. I’ve also found that it is better at finding each and every mention, including social media.
For most authors, Google Alerts is probably enough, but if you’re at an advanced stage of your career, Mention is well worth your attention.
How To Engage With Different Types Of People
How to respond to people online could be an article in and of itself! However, I’ll provide a few quick pointers based on the different types of talk you are likely to encounter.
- Positive comments. If people say something positive about you, why not engage? This is a great chance to turn admirers into fans. Plus, if someone receives positive feedback for praising you, they are more likely to do it in the future!
- Sometimes, the attention you receives will represent a real opportunity for you. This might take the form of book bloggers, or fellow authors. Be sure to seize upon such opportunities when you spot them!
- Negative comments. As tempting as it may, don’t argue with people online. It looks petty is unlikely to change their mind. Instead, feel free to correct any untruths about you, but take the high road and be the better person.
Ultimately, only you can decide when it’s worth engaging with people online. However, if you do, be smart about it and ensure it reflects upon you in a good way.
Author Brand Protection - Final Thoughts
Thanks for checking out my thoughts on monitoring your online reputation for author brand protection.
In a nutshell, I’d urge you to be vigilant, but also to rise above the fray and keep it classy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Do you monitor your author brand? Any amusing stories to share?
Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
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