Episode 58 : Phil Pallen
I have seen Phil speak at both New Media Europe 2015 and New Media Europe 2016 and he’s always been an amazing speaker. He’s a globe-trotting brand expert who has worked with a host of celebrities and small business people. I ask him to talk about author branding in this interview.
Why does branding matter to authors?
It matters to anyone with a business, but it matters to authors as they are usually an expert in a subject. Being an expert means you need a brand and it’s more important than ever. While anyone can be an author, you need a brand to stand out from the crowd. The good news is that not many people are doing it well, so if you do manage to perfect author branding then that will give you an advantage.
How would you describe what branding is?
Phil’s definition is establishing consistency between the in-person version of you and the online version. Not creating something that is a fabrication but that communicates who you are as the best version of you online.
Where should you start when you are looking at creating your author brand?
Try and position your brand, by finding something you love and others need. You need to spend some time doing research in your market. Often you need rebranding rather than creation of a new brand.
How important is showing your personality for an author’s brand?
Personality is a competitive advantage. With content it is one of the two factors that people use to perceive a brand. If you look at public personalities, they use content and personality to create their brand. You need both to be an effective brand. You need to be self-aware in terms of putting your personality into everything you do.
How do you do create an author brand?
You need to come up with a brand sentence, which is a sentence that describes who you are and what you do. Often this comes up in conversation rather than as a planned exercise. This should go on the homepage of your website. Who are you and why should people care? You need to make an effort to be remembered.
What should someone look for in terms of a photographer when getting promotional photos done?
Phil is very picky when it comes to photographers. You don’t want boring head shots. You need to get photographs in your environment rather than in a clinical business environment. Use every visual opportunity to grab attention and keep them beautiful.
How should an author choose a photographer, what should they look for?
Don’t go for a photographer who does headshots. You want landscape photography. Look for “lifestyle”,wedding photographers, editorial or portrait photographers in Google.
What other professionals should people look for in terms of author branding?
Phil works with a partner who works in terms of copy-writing and suggests hiring individuals you need rather than hiring an agency, but where possible hire people with experiences in different areas so you don’t have to manage too many people at once.
What are the benefits of hiring a branding consultant to work on your brand?
The advantage of using a consultant is that you can use their knowledge rather than having to learn it yourself. It will get you to your goal faster but will obviously cost more.