Are You Easy to Find?

41862214_sAs a self-published author, it is of critical importance that potential readers, book sellers and reviewers know how to find you.

Do you make it easy?

One of my biggest frustrations is landing on a web page and I can’t find an email or a phone number. The contact us page has a form to fill out and there isn’t a phone number to call. It is like the company can’t be bothered with connecting with prospects.

The other challenge that is frustrating is when a person I want to follow uses strange or inconsistent social media names. On LinkedIn they are known by their company name, on Facebook they use a nickname and on Twitter, their handle is some obscure combination of letters. It is almost like they don’t want to be found.

I can understand this philosophy if it were 1989 and the writer was Salman Rushdie, but I’m assuming you do want to be found. So why not make it easy.

 

  1. Select the name by which you want to be known. This could be your actual name, your main character’s name, a nom de plume, or a business name, but pick one.
  2. Use that name for every online account. Check Knowem to see if your name is available on the major web and social platforms. As you can see from the image, when I type in the name I want to be known by, Knowem lets me see at a glance what social network is available with that name.

knowem

  1. Snap up your name. Even if you don’t think you’ll want a YouTube channel or Tumblr account with your name, grab it now so that someone else doesn’t get it and build a brand around your name. I’m not suggesting you open 400 accounts in your name, but select the most popular sites and create a basic, free account.
  2. Customize the bio of each account with your name and a link back to your website.
  3. Start spreading the word.

In an article I found on Make Or Break Moments, the author gives an example of how this worked for one musical group:

I recently learned a lesson from a group of young boys who had developed a band.  They were being interviewed on a radio station and when the disc jockey asked where fans could find them on the Internet they said:

“Just remember BOY BAND.  We are on Twitter @boyband, MySpace and Facebook @boyband and our website is www.boyband.com.”

(BoyBand is just a place holder, that wasn’t the name of the band – I can’t remember the name of the band.)

The point being – they were consistent with their name in every online venue. 

One spot you might not know about is LinkedIn. You can actually customize the URL address for your LI profile to help make it easier to find you.

Go to your profile and then edit profile. Below your picture, in tiny print, you will find a URL address that is unique to your account. To the right of that address is a little settings wheel – click on that wheel and you will find this box at the top of the side bar:

LI profile

 

 

Click on the little pencil next to your current public profile URL and customize to your brand name. Hit save.

Bottom Line: If you want to sell books and build your brand, you have to be easy to find and the best way to be easy is to be consistent. Using the same name across all platforms makes it easy.

One added tip – the same consistency applies to your profile picture. If you use the same picture for all accounts, people will begin to recognize you and before they even read your name, they will know they have landed on the right page.