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Build your author brand

Why is it important to build a personal brand as an author?
Brand building blocks
Social Media
Academic promotion websites
Conferences and networking

Why is it important to build a personal brand as an author? 

Building an author brand is not just about self-promotion; rather, it serves as a foundation for establishing credibility, recognition, and trust among peers and the wider scholarly community. By cultivating a distinct and recognizable profile, you can effectively communicate your research, expertise, and the unique contributions you have made within your field. A well-defined author brand can help attract readers to your work, increasing the visibility and impact of your research. It can also lead to invitations for speaking engagements, potential collaborations with fellow researchers, and help you develop your network.  

So how do you go about it? Here are a few tips to get you started: 

Define your brand
Your author brand can evolve over time, but it helps to begin with a clear definition of what makes your work unique, so readers know what to expect.  You can use the prompts below to support you as you develop your personal profile. 

What’s your mission?
Think big. What is the big purpose of your research? What impact do you want to have in your field? 

Who are you?
What is it that you have to offer, and how are you different from others in your field? Who will be reading your work? How will you address their needs and help them solve their current problems? 

What’s the proof?
Why should you be trusted? What makes you credible?  What experiences make you an authority on the topic? 

Brand building blocks 

Once you have defined your brand, you can start to build it – but you’ll need the right tools and materials. Below are a set of building blocks that will provide you with a good foundation as you grow your brand. 

  1. The bio
    Think about all the places where you have to provide a bio – your website, your social media accounts, ‘about the author’ descriptions, institution profiles, speaker/presenter profiles, etc. Taking into account the work you did in defining your author brand, write two bios – a long version (300-500 words) and a short version (think Twitter size!). 
    You now have a consistent, clear and go-to bio to hand out when the occasion arises. 
  2. Your website
    Consider creating a website or online portfolio, so people can see what you are offering. Think about the look and feel of your website and the language and messages on it, based on the work you have done to establish your author brand. Look at color schemes, tone of voice, photos and graphics. What impression do you want to create? What story do you want to tell? Your website should be reflective of your brand and the messages you want to share.
  3. Your social media presence
    Take a look at all the social media channels you have and be clear which ones you will be using for professional purposes.  It’s a good idea to focus on the platforms where your target audience is most active. Take a look  at our handy guidance on this topic, think about the impression you want to create, and consider which social media channels are worth your time and energy.
  4. Headshots and visuals
    As you establish yourself in your field, it is likely that you will need headshots or other images to sit alongside your professional bios, book pages on publisher sites and retailer sites, social media, and so on. Needless to say, it’s good to be intentional about the photos you use here. What do you want to convey? Again, whether you're seeking out a photographer to take headshots or selecting images to illustrate your work, think about the impression you want to make.
  5. Consistency across your content
    As you develop your career, consider how your content communicates with your audience. Maintain consistency in your brand across all touchpoints. This might mean taking stock of what you're currently doing with a view to understanding how you are engaging with your audience. For example, do you write a blog? Do you have a monthly newsletter? Do you run workshops? Do you give talks at events? And whatever you do, are you maintaining a consistent author brand? Make updates where appropriate to ensure a unified message across all touchpoints. 

If you have taken all the steps above – congratulations, you now have your own author brand! Here are some of the ways you can put your new author brand to good use: 

Social Media 

  1. As we’ve already touched on, choose the right social media platform/s for you – you don’t need to be on every platform, so carefully choose the one(s) where your peers and target audience are. Once you’ve made the choice, it’s important to commit to posting and engaging as often as is practical. 
  2. Make sure you use your new headshot and bio on all the social media platforms you use professionally. Whether it’s Twitter or LinkedIn, it’s important to keep it consistent (and up to date!). 
  3. Promote your work to your followers, yes – but it’s also vital to engage with others to ensure you are not only pushing your content onto them. Check out our social media guide for more tips. 

Academic promotion websites 

The following websites exist to raise the profile of academics and their published work. All give excellent guidance on how you can promote your work, and all of them are free. 

  1. Registering a profile on ORCID makes it much easier for people to find you and everything you publish, even if there are other authors who have the same name. 
  2. Register for a Web of Science profile (this was Publons and is now part of Clarivate). Being on this international citation network makes your work more discoverable. 
  3. Kudos exists to help academics promote their work and reach a broader audience. 
  4. AuthorAID is a pioneering global network that supports over 25,000 researchers in low- and middle-income countries to build their confidence, knowledge and skills in publishing and communicating their research. It includes online mentoring, training courses, resources and toolkits in research communication skills, and a discussion group

Conferences and networking 

Attending and presenting at conferences can be daunting, but it is a great way to build your brand and amplify the reach of your research. Here are some tips for making the most of these networking opportunities: 

  1. Check the delegate list ahead of time: Before you set off to attend or present at a conference, identify the names of those who you would like to connect with regarding your (and their) research and reach out to them. Always make sure to add some information about yourself and your work if you’re requesting a follow, so they know you’re not a bot! Connecting with others before the event helps make the experience less stressful. You could even propose to meet for a coffee on the day. 
  2. Monitor conference hashtags: Another great way to find other delegates is to check the hashtags being used across social media to promote the conference. Interact with others using them and make sure to post about sessions you may be running or attending. 
  3. Continue engaging on social media after the event: Keep the conversation going by connecting with people you met on social media, posting about your experiences, and interacting with the hashtag. You could also email those you connected with and follow-up on any discussions privately.  
  4. Connect with presenters: When attending a conference, make sure to select the sessions that are most useful to you – check who the presenters are and identify those you would like to meet. Try to speak to them afterwards to discuss any aspects of their research that connect with you. 
  5. Maintain a virtual presence: Although it can be harder to network in virtual conferences, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Check what tools are available in the conference platform for chatting and discussions and make full use of them.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your thoughts with others. Look out for virtual social events at conferences too – they can be a great way to meet other researchers! 


Whether you are an Open Access scholar, a managing editor of a journal, or are passionate about research integrity, connecting with societies and associations is a great way to grow your network and become equipped with new scholarly tools: 

Try these societies and associations: