Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

Building a Personal Brand from Scratch

7 min read

You can learn how to start building your personal brand as an author on social media with no prior experience or followers.

People underestimate the power of building a brand as an author.

Mainly because they don't view themselves as anything other than an author and not in terms of a larger entity. However, being an author and continuing to create works under your name is doing exactly this. Building a brand for yourself.

So the question is, where do we begin?

How about we base this on the premise that you are a brand-new author who is starting from scratch? No followers, not much online presence.

Where would you begin?

Step 1

The first step is to determine what kind of social media platform you want to embark on. Which platform will you feel the most comfortable sharing content on?

X (Twitter): A platform where users share posts that can hold up to 280 characters, and attach photos, short videos, and memes. On this platform, your feed is filled with fast-paced, short-pieced content. You can also direct message other people on the platform, as well as comment and share their posts.

Instagram: A platform that is primarily based on photo and video sharing is hugely popular with its audience. If you are handy with a camera and have an eye for capturing images that speak to an audience, this may be a great way to go.

TikTok: A platform meant for short-form video content, the best viewing time on videos being 15 seconds or less. The platform ranges from informative to comedic content, drawing in a wide audience.

Facebook: A social network meant to connect with others, and share photos, videos, and more. A platform that has been around for a while now.

Threads: A platform formed by the parent company of Facebook and Instagram that works similarly to Twitter, allowing a constant fast-paced feed for users to connect and start conversations.

Once you decide on a platform to begin, create an account and see what it has to offer.

(My suggestion is to begin with one platform, build it up, and then after you have gained a small following branch out to another platform.)

Step 2

Once you have signed up for a social media platform, now is the time to see what other platform users do here.

Be sure to see other users' bio pages, what content they are sharing, and what gains traction on the platform. Doing so will help you to form your bio and posts. So take notes.

Because when you are making your bio page, you need to think about what you want people to see.

Here is an example of my Twitter (X) bio:

Looking at my bio description, I tell people I am an author, and what other topics I talk about and then I added a link showing them where they can find me. I made a link showing everywhere else I am using Linktree. In addition to this, I chose a photo that looks a little more professional and helps me stand out against other accounts. And lastly, I created a banner image that I will use across my brand once I spread out to other platforms.

(To create a banner image like this, I created it using Canva.com)

Step 3

Planning out your content ahead of time once you have conducted some research into what kind of content you want to create will prove to be very helpful.

You can create a working document to plan ahead a few days of content that will allow you to copy and paste it from the document and into the platform.

A great way to continuously appear in people's news feeds is to post between 3 to 4 times throughout the day. The more platform users can see your name and content popping up, the higher the chance you have of them following you, commenting, or sharing your content. And each time someone comments on your content and you comment a reply in return, it brings your post back into the news feed allowing more people to see it.

After you have planned out your content, you can even use the built-in schedulers that many platforms have so that the posts can go out automatically.

(Refrain from posting too many self-marketing posts or you can drive your audience away.)

Start to post your content and see how it does. Be sure to remember that at first, you feel as if no one is hearing you, but it's because growing a presence takes time.

Step 4

After a week or so of posting on the platform, it's time to sit down and crunch the data.

By this, I mean look through the statistics on each post that you put out there and see how it did.

For example, here is what the statistics are from the Twitter Statistics report:

So looking at this post, you can see that it received over 7k views. Received 161 comments, 17 reposts, 90 likes, and 3 bookmarks.

By looking at this information, I can see that this post did well. People resonated with the content here and had something to say about it. And people commented and started conversations on other people's comments under this tweet.

This would be content that I would track as successful and figure out how I could branch off of this and use it for later.

Another thing you want to be sure you are tracking is what times of day your posts do the best. For example, my audience seems to be more active from 6 am to 12 pm, evidenced by the fact that they engage with my posts the most during this time window. So I base my span of tweets on posts over this period.

It may feel time-consuming, but doing this every couple of weeks or once a month can prove useful when trying to build brand awareness for yourself. And it helps you keep building content to post.

Step 5

Remember that you are choosing to join a social platform to build your brand awareness, which typically means you need to be social.

After you have planned content and begun posting, it's time to start engaging with other people's posts.

Showing that you are interested in what other people have to say is a great way to build relationships and start conversations with others. And the chances are that the more you take an interest in other people's posts, the higher the chance that people begin to see what's happening with you and take an interest in what you have to say.

I try to make it a goal to comment or share other people's posts at least 10 times a day.

Step 6

Continuing to repeat steps 3 through 5 is what is going to help you build a solid awareness of your brand.

Building an audience and an awareness for your brand is going to take time and effort. Instead of a sprint, you need to think of it as a marathon that you are working on achieving. It sometimes takes people years to get past one thousand followers on any platform. With that being said, don't allow this to deter you from trying your hand at it.