It’s one thing to figure out what you think your brand is. You put your intention into your work whether you realize it or not. You hope that your readers understand what you’re trying to get across. But did you succeed?
How Can You Tell If Your Brand Is Reaching Your Intended Reader?
If you’ve read any of my articles, you know that I talk a lot about metrics, and there are many viable reasons for that. Only with metrics can you assess your successes and failures and how to correct your path if you’re veering into failure.
You can track this by watching your sales. That’s always something you should be tracking in any case. But when you’re tracking it, be sure to watch the other things that are affecting those sales.
Are you seeing a rise in sales because of a giveaway? What about a newsletter swap? Did you get a bunch of sales and then have a few returns? That could be a sign that your brand doesn’t jive with the author you swapped with, or that there’s something misleading on your sales page.
Another thing you can watch is your ad spend. This can be a bit difficult if you can’t get a good ad spend in the first place. It’s a little like trying to start a fire when it’s too cold outside for fire to even work. However, once you do gain a good price point and see that you’re slipping, watch for who you’ve branded to. Are you really reaching the people you’ve branded to? Is there something wrong with the visuals you’re using? What about your sales narrative?
Your open and click rates in your newsletter are also a good way to see how effective your brand is, and if you’re veering from it. If you remember that your brand is your promise to you reader, you could see how if your reader finds you deviating from the promise that they’d be less inclined to read your newsletters. Their inboxes are over-filled as it is. So, you have to maintain your promise to them so they don’t lose faith or trust in what you’re providing.
How Do Your Readers Perceive You?
Those three things will tell you if your brand is working the way you think or want it to. In most cases, this is information you already know. There are things you can do and we’ll discuss a few of those things later.
But right now, we’re trying to define what your brand is.
You still need to know what your brand is and what your readers think it is. You know what you have to say for your books and brand. But what about what they say? How can you tell what they’re saying outside of sales, ad spend, and newsletter opens?
Read the reviews.
When you’re reading the reviews and BETA notes, you’re looking for things that relate to your brand. Are people talking about the elements you thought were a part of your brand? If those elements don’t appear in your reviews, then something is off. Either those elements aren’t as strong as you believe, or your readers aren’t connecting in the same way you thought.
Look at what they are saying, though. Aside from the trolls, even negative reviews can be very helpful when you’re looking for data.
What are the common things they mention?
Create that list and compare it to yours.
What do they have in common?
Where do they deviate?
What do you think you might need to do in order to bring your brand back to where you want it to be?