What’s Your Value Prop As An Author?

We’re basically all salespeople, in some form or other.  There’s always a pitch to be made – whether it is selling a product, an idea, a service or a project.  If you want to be successful, you need a compelling value prop to entice potential customers and expand your reach.

As authors, we have to be innovators.  We need to figure out how to differentiate ourselves from the competition and capitalize on these distinctions in order to be effective.

Three key questions need to be answered in order to establish and solidify our positioning to potential readers.

1.  What do we write?

Do you write about topics that are unique?  Trendy?  Exciting?  Dismal?  Newsworthy?  Are there established audiences for these subjects who are interested in consuming different views/perspectives/ideas?  Is the subject matter widely appealing?  Or does the subject have only a small niche group of interested readers?  What sets your work apart from all others? 

2.   How do we write?

Do you use special techniques to craft a manuscript?  Does the writing entail a lot of research to satisfy a thirst for knowledge about a particular topic?  What is your general style?  Conversational?  Informative?  Snarky?  Humorous?  How do readers typically respond to your style?  Is your style appealing to the masses?

3.    Why do we write? 

Herein lies the key.  Why do you take precious time out of your days to write?  Why is your subject matter special enough that it should demand attention?  Why does your story need to be told? What is the perceived benefit of your work in the eyes of potential readers?  What’s in it for them?

Answer all of these questions and you’ll set the foundation for your author brand. I know, it sounds easy in theory.  In reality, it requires a tremendous amount of time and research.  I’ve barely scratched the surface on all of this myself and there is always new information to uncover. 

What I’ve outlined above is a tried-and-true methodology, and it makes sense if you think about it.  Figure out what makes your work special and unique and find an audience who supports that belief.  Form relationships with these people, get to know them, let them get to know you – as a person as well as an author.  Spend the time to figure out what makes your offering so attractive and nurture your reader relationships to ensure that you are always delivering value.  After all, the most important thing about writing is satisfying the needs and wants of your audience.  Take care of them and they will (hopefully) return the favor.

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