Standing Out in an a World of Invisible—Does Advertising and Marketing Still Work?

Author Piper Bayard and I are “WINNING!” Foxy with Moxie at DFW Con 2012

Last week we talked about some changes with Facebook. Can they now hold our fan pages hostage? Now that the giant is a publicly traded company, we just should expect that they are going to look for ways to generate profits for shareholders. This doesn’t make Facebook evil. It isn’t personal. It’s just business.

I am very careful to not be too indignant, because what did I expect for free?

Last week, I mentioned how fan page holders could expect to show up in the feeds of only about 10-15% of their fans. But, Facebook is now offering a promotion service to make sure your posts show up in all our fans’ feeds. And, the price per post, from what I have seen, ain’t cheap. Some fan page owners were looking at $300 or even $500 per post.

Remember, Facebook is only sharing posts with fans who repeatedly return to your page, post on your page, comment on your page, or otherwise engage on your fan page.

I am hesitant to charge Facebook with doing anything nefarious. I watch how many fan page holders use their pages, and a 10-15% ROI is actually not bad. I know we would all love to believe that when people “Like” our page, that they are hanging off every word, every announcement, and every post. But, the sad truth is they likely aren’t.

A World of Invisible

We have created a world where mass marketing is powerless and most products are invisible. Technology has fragmented the marketplace, which means that modern consumers are inundated with choices.. We no longer live in a world with three major television networks who control the lion’s share of content.

We have hundreds of channels and Internet and blogs and You Tube and dozens of additional social sites to tickle our collective fancies. These days consumers can focus on what they want and then ignore the rest.

Exposure Doesn’t Mean What It Used To

I’m always seeing these marketing companies offering ways for authors to have some “exposure,” but in a world where most ads are invisible, what real use is this? I’m not saying exposure is worthless, but it certainly doesn’t have the impact it did in the Golden Age of Advertising.

The TV-industrial complex is hemorrhaging, and most marketers don’t have a clue what to do about it. Every day companies spend millions to recreate the glory days of the TV-industrial complex, and every day they fail.

         ~Seth Godin, Purple Cow–Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Exposure used to be all we needed to catapult over the competition. We just needed the right ad in the right magazine. The right commercial at the right time on the right network.

Of course this was before the day of DVRs, The Power of the Four Arrows, and Sirius radio.

A Quick Survey

How many of you have ever clicked on an ad on Facebook or some other social site? Now, of those ads you clicked on, how many of those translated into a sale? When you look at your purchasing habits as a whole, what percentage has been influenced by interruption marketing? How many books have you bought from authors who tweet:

Title of MY Book. Rated best book of the year by ME and fans you’ve never heard of. Buy NOW! Only 99 cents #fiction #freebooks #Iamseriouslyannoying #Ilovespam #sales #memememememememememe #lookatme #allaboutme #buymystuff

Yeah, me neither.

Facebook is Feeding the Delusion

Facebook is charging to make sure our posts come up in the feeds of all of our followers. Okay. All this means is that Facebook, for a fee, will guarantee that all our fans will see what we post…not just the vested ones. But, in a world where most advertising is invisible, does this do us any good?

I think it might do some good for the large companies/brands like Coca Cola or Colgate. I mean, we need to give them a break. Newspapers are going under and most of us throw away our mailers before we ever take a look. We use the Power of the Four Arrows to zoom by their television ads.

Let’s face it, they are running out of places where they can tell us about their products. Yet, here is the deal, most of those products or companies who would find the new FB service helpful?

They are already brands. They aren’t going anywhere. They are using advertising merely to maintain their market supremacy, and they have multimillion dollar budgets to fuel this.

Millions of Americans are going to buy Tide and Kleenex whether we see an ad or not. Proctor and Gamble is not going anywhere. These guys entrenched themselves back in the Golden Age of Advertising, and start-ups would be INSANE to try and go against them on their own terms. When was the last time you saw a T.V. ad for a detergent that was totally new and NOT part of an established mega-brand like P&G?

You haven’t.

The big guys have the ground and they have the budget to use Facebook in ways the new and upcoming competition cannot. Facebook is a way of maintaining what they have in the market.

In fact, want a real dose of reality?

Interbrand values the top 100 brands in the world every year. When we look at the 2011 report of the top 100 global brands, most of them are brands that were relevant 30 years ago back when heavy TV ads and magazine campaigns worked. Of the top 100, maybe 25% were built by harnessing word of mouth and generating a grassroots campaign. (I learned about Interbrand via Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. Great book that I HIGHLY recommend).

Writers would be wise to pay attention.

Artists are Entrepreneurs

Here is the deal. Artists are entrepreneurs. Writers, especially self-published and indie published authors are small businesses. We can’t use the same tactics as Phillip Morris and have success. Frankly, we never could.

When we rely on paid advertising, we are hoping for an easy way out that takes away accountability for failure. It is easier to throw a couple thousand dollars at buying Facebook advertising than it is to get in the trenches and create relationships.

Is Facebook Really Up to No Good?

I don’t believe Facebook is hiding anyone’s feeds, but since I don’t work there, I can’t be sure. I know that some authors have been complaining that their posts seemed to be disappearing into the ether and that fans were having a hard time finding them. This very well could be the case.

Facebook could be manipulating the data and hoping we pay money to get back in front of our fans. Thing is, Facebook is free and they can do what they want, so it is difficult to complain. Even if they aren’t doing this now, we should anticipate and plan for a day that they will juke the stats to make a buck.

***Note: I might recommend that you sign up for WANATribe, the new social site for creative professionals. No ads, bots, spammers or friend limits. Also, you can customize your page to be as unique as you. We aren’t trying to be Facebook. We’re very niche. We want a fun place for creative people to hang out, network, make friends and build a community of like-minded professionals. We are not alone!

Tactics that Work in the Modern Age

My goal has always been to help creative professionals, primarily writers, understand that they cannot use the same tools as Proctor & Gamble. Mass advertising and relying on fan page ads works for Target, but not for us. There are many ways that we can build a thriving, vested community to support our goals and careers, but here are five of my favorites.

1. Be Remarkable with Your Product

This is one of the reasons I blog about craft. Good books generate buzz that can’t be bought. These days everyone can be published, so we need to be better than the competition.

At WANA International, we bring the top teachers in the industry to help you take your writing from good to outstanding. Invest in yourself, your business and your future. NY Times Best-Selling Author Shirley Jump is teaching The Basics of Scene & Sequel  and Plotting with Paper Bags this month for WANA. The author of the Digital Age has to write better, cleaner and faster. We offer classes to help you up your game.

2. Reach for Everyone and We Reach No One

Mass marketing doesn’t work, but these days it doesn’t have to. We don’t need to reach all the people, just the right people. A dedicated group of hardcore fans are worth more than all the advertising dollars in the world. In fact Kevin Kelly asserted that all an artist needed to make a good living was 1,000 True Fans.

WANA methods and a blog are the best ways to locate and nurture that critical 1000. In fact, this is one of the reasons I push authors learning how to blog. We have the power to create that base of 1,000 True Fans before our book is even ready for purchase.

3. Use a blog to build/fuel a grassroots movement for you as an author brand.

WANA methods have been responsible for launching authors from total obscurity to success. A fan page is powerful, but paired with a great blog? You won’t need to pay Facebook to put your posts in your fans’ feeds because your fans will be vested. They will come to you. And, if Facebook goes crazy and implodes? Your blog is yours and your fan base will remain in tact. Your 1,000 True Fans will follow wherever you go.

4. Be genuinely interested in service.

Serve first. Talk to people. Interact. Stop marketing and STOP SELLING. I love the #MyWANA group on Twitter. I love it when I see true WANAs talking and helping one another. I know those people will have all the help they need when it comes time to promote their books. The same goes for Facebook. Comment on other people’s pages. Be interested in other people.

I take regular breaks throughout the day and I scan down the home feed on Facebook and look for ways that I can interact, serve, compliment or encourage. Genuine kindness is so rare, and people are so hungry for it, that they remember it and look for ways to repay in kind.

5. Be different.

If everyone else is doing something, then it has already become invisible. One thing I teach in my classes is how to use our artist imagination to be remarkable even in our social media. My Blogging for Author Brand class will be starting tomorrow, so I hope to see you in class. You can sign up here.

If you want to know a little more before making a decision on what class is right for you, I am giving a free webinar tonight at 7:00 p.m. CST. Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World. Sign up asap because slots are limited. I look forward to seeing you guys tonight.

Facebook has almost a billion members. They are valuable, but Facebook advertising (like all advertising) is virtually invisible to the modern consumer. When we understand that hard truth and focus, instead, on people, we have more impact and are far more resilient to change.

What are your thoughts? Is Facebook too big? What are your favorite parts of social media? What are your pet peeves?

I love hearing from you!

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  1. #1 by Jen Greyson | Author (@JenGreyson) on June 13, 2012 - 11:35 am

    Great post, Kristen. I keep thinking about it in terms of numbers…and no matter what FB does, numbers never lie. I also keep trying to focus on finding my 1,000 fans, because when it comes to Godin’s long tail, 1,000 fans is all you need. To gain a fan, keep a fan, I have to make it about THEM–every time.

    It helps me to think about what posts I react to on FB and WHY…sometimes I think it’s dumb luck…something appealed to me in that moment in time.

  2. #2 by stevenm67 on June 13, 2012 - 11:44 am

    Hi Kristen! Great post (as always). It’s an interesting time for this whole Facebook thing to be coming up, as I work on my business site (www.stevenmlong.com) and a reader-based platform/blog that I’m putting together with a few friends (www.foesofreality.com). The audiences may occasionally overlap but are quite different, and I’m thinking that for the business site especially, Facebook isn’t necessary. That part of my life/business is about attracting people, but then forming and maintaining individual, personal connections, rather than attracting a larger base. I hope to do some interesting blogging there, that (and twitter, which I’m obsessed with) will probably have to be enough, at least for now. Thanks again for the post, I’m enjoying WANA!

  3. #3 by Chihuahua0 on June 13, 2012 - 11:47 am

    Hmm….WANATribe looks interesting. -considers joining-

  4. #4 by Chihuahua0 on June 13, 2012 - 11:51 am

    –or not. Darn you, age limits. Just because I’m not 17 doesn’t mean I’m not a writer.

    Oh, well. I guess I should be working on my actual writing anyways–or I should be eating lunch. Either way, I should be creating more content if I want to get a bigger draw out of social media.

    One minor pet peeve is the fact that it’s so darn hard to find your friends on Google+. Twitter and Facebook are more liberal with the suggestions, while G+ only shows four at a time.

    • #5 by shawn on June 13, 2012 - 1:56 pm

      I will look into the age limits, because I agree writers and artists come in more than one flavor. there may be good reason, but let me check it out.

      • #6 by Melissa Lewicki on June 13, 2012 - 5:06 pm

        When I was 12 I sent off a reply postcard to a company that I think was called The Great Writers school. I so wanted to enroll. They sent me back a really, really nice letter saying that I should keep writing and when I was 18 they looked forward to hearing from me again. How easy it is to be encouraging–even to a 12 year old.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 13, 2012 - 5:20 pm

      We would love to have you join. I just chose 17 because it side-stepped a lot of the legal ramifications of having under-age participants. I will have to explore what is necessary to do to have younger users. I know there is a growing movement of young writers and we would love to have you as part of our community. Let me look into this for you :D.

  5. #8 by bigsmileu1 on June 13, 2012 - 11:56 am

    Excellent and thought provoking article. I agree that with Facebook going public it will mean more charges and less freebies. After all, it is in it for the money, what more can be expected. I also agree with you that traditional marketing is not going to benefit the little guy in this day and age. It is definitely going to take some creative manuvering to get your name out there. Thanks for sharing.:)

  6. #9 by Graylin Fox on June 13, 2012 - 12:04 pm

    “Title of MY Book. Rated best book of the year by ME and fans you’ve never heard of. Buy NOW! Only 99 cents #fiction #freebooks #Iamseriouslyannoying #Ilovespam #sales #memememememememememe #lookatme #allaboutme #buymystuff

    Yeah, me neither.”

    I absolutely hurt something laughing at this.

    I took your advice from the WANA book and although I didn’t post regularly, I did post a few times about fantasy creatures and characters. They are the highest hit counts on my blog. I’m currently writing a dragon/demon story and those are the two pages with the most traffic. So I’ll be posting more and more about history of those two as myths, legends, and reality as I write the book to build interest.

    It really works.

    Thanks for everything,
    Graylin Fox

    • #10 by stevenm67 on June 13, 2012 - 12:39 pm

      I’m reading Are You There, Blog right now, and I’m at the part where she talks about people spamming twitter like this, and there’s one guy I follow who does it: he only tweets frequent links to his book, praising it. I’d unfollow him except I’m kind of fascinated.

  7. #11 by Gerri Brousseau on June 13, 2012 - 12:10 pm

    Hi Kristen,
    Thank you for this timely post. I have my first published novel being released in September and I fear any online marketing will just be caught up in the white noise of cyber space. I am going to look into WANA and also do some reseach. I have never clicked on any FB ad, so those would not be of interest to me. My budget for marketing is small, and I want to get the best bang for my buck. This post came at just the right time, thanks again. Gerri

  8. #12 by kford2007 on June 13, 2012 - 12:11 pm

    Word of mouth is always the best advertising to me. I’m much more likely to buy a book I saw reviewed by a blogger I trust than on any Facebook or Twitter page. I also think local advertising through writer’s groups and the like are super ways to advertise and build a fan base. I have a Facebook and Twitter account, but don’t see them as powerful as word of mouth and face to face meetings with locals in my own area.

    I signed up for WANA and am looking forward to connecting with other authors.

  9. #13 by annerallen on June 13, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    “If everyone else is doing something, then it has already become invisible.” So true! What worked last year is the least likely thing to work this year because everybody is doing it and it’s lost its sparkle. Each path to mega-success is remarkable in that it is unique. Nobody can get to the same place by copy-catting.

    Very interesting info on Facebook. I’ve never liked it and I feel less comfortable there every day. I’m wary of paying for anything when there are free options available.

    To all the WANAtribers who have tried to friend me, I’m not ignoring you! my McAfee won’t let me back in. I’m going to try to get in on a friend’s computer over the weekend.

  10. #14 by T. W. Dittmer on June 13, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    I love the taste of logic with my coffee. It tastes like reality.

  11. #15 by Lanette Kauten on June 13, 2012 - 1:09 pm

    My biggest petpeave about Facebook is that I spend time commenting on other people’s statuses and interracting in discussions and clicking like on things that I think are clever, insightful, or funny, yet I get so little feedback in return when I make status updates. On WANA, people seem a lot more interested in connecting with other people.

  12. #16 by Stacy Green on June 13, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Great post, Kristen. I don’t like what Facebook is doing, but I’ve been spending more time there than Twitter because it seems Twitter is becoming more and more link filled. I’m going to have to really engage myself and initiate the conversation, and that’s fine. I do think the WANA Tribe is a great idea and I need to peruse more than just my group (which is growing nicely, btw). Question, though: with writing the best book you can being the obvious #1, what are two other things those of us with growing blogs MUST do to promote our books? Promote others? Do the blog tour thing? I guess I’m more asking this: if you were debuting your book and could only do two things to market it, what would they be?

    Sorry for the rambling train of thought. Heading on vacation Friday and desperately need it;)

  13. #17 by Shari Lopatin on June 13, 2012 - 1:28 pm

    Kristen, what a great, thought-provoking post. I couldn’t agree with you more! Another great book that supports your statement that “mass marketing is dead,” is the infamous WHAT WOULD GOOGLE DO, by Jeff Jarvis. I’m sure you’ve read it, if you read Seth Godin. Facebook is becoming huge, and while I do have a fan page for my blog (first novel in-progress), I find it difficult to compete with little or no budget. I think a better strategy is to make your blog posts “shareable,” and get people to share your work with THEIR Facebook friends. In my opinion, that’s where the real exposure comes from–regarding Facebook, at least. :-)

  14. #18 by Kellie Kamryn (@KellieKamryn) on June 13, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    Personally I was wondering about this very thing. Is it really worth the money to advertise? I have found authors through facebook ads and I have bought their books. But I’ve sold more books by talking to people rather than always selling. I share links on twitter, but I’m constantly seeking out people who are posting things to talk about, not just sell.

  15. #19 by Christina on June 13, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    We (the water ionizer company that I write copy for) are noticing only a 4-7% reach to our 3,300 fans on FB since the change, so 10-15% doesn’t sound so bad in comparison. I am wondering what percentages others are experiencing?

  16. #20 by Samuel Solomon on June 13, 2012 - 3:13 pm

    I wish I could afford those WANA classes. No doubt they are a fantastic value, but these days, I put the “starving” in “starving artist”

    I think the incidental point made here is that traditional publishing’s power to do something for us that we can’t do without them is diminished almost entirely. Their marketing dollars no longer matter, and that doesn’t really sell books anyway.

    I got my first novel onto the physical bookshelves of Borders and Barnes and Noble all by myself.

    Funny, too- now publishers want you to have your own platform/blog, and I almost wonder if its because they simply know- they got nothin’. I’d love to get picked up by the Big Six but if they are just going to leave the marketing to me, then I think I will skip them entirely, as they bring nothing else to the table for me… especially with the wisdom of the WANA folks and the support around here… we are not lacking in tools or techniques. I will live or die on my own ingenuity, I think.

    That’s how I like it.

    thanks Kristen, its good to know we are not alone.

  17. #21 by MarthaJRamirezRamirez on June 13, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Awesome post, K! Thank you for this.

  18. #22 by Lynn Kelley on June 13, 2012 - 4:49 pm

    I love WANA Tribe and some of my friends who haven’t been into social media have joined me on the site. Yay! And they LIKE it. A lot! People are sharing and helping each other. It’s wonderful. I don’t see what the fun of social media would be for me if I didn’t get to know the people I’m communicating with. I’m fascinated that I’m able to connect with people all over the world!

  19. #23 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on June 13, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    I literally can’t think of a single person I follow who isn’t a #MyWana tribe member. There is a quality issue and a common ethos.

    But serious, Kristen. Tonight? One week before my kid’s bar mitzvah? You. Are. Killing. Me. Or maybe that’s the bar mitzvah. I’ll be back in the swing at the end of June. Hope you have a full-house tonight!

  20. #24 by August McLaughlin on June 13, 2012 - 5:33 pm

    Facebook only became a happenin’ place for me once I had a blog and connected with the MyWANA peeps.

    The other day, Facebook wouldn’t allow me to post my blog link—apparently the post had a word that’s on a flag list or something. I thought for sure activity would be down on my blog, which bummed me out since I was (still am) holding a pimp your own work/support another’s fest. Guess what? The post thrived and the passion with which people were eager to support others’ work blew me away.

    LOVE your tips and philosophies here. Thanks for being a much-needed light in the writing/marketing/social media world!

  21. #25 by Emily Cannell on June 13, 2012 - 6:37 pm

    Kristen- I would love to participate in the Webinar- it is a great idea and would be so beneficial. Will it be available for viewing at alternative times for those of us who can`t hit those times? (I live in Japan, Renee`s too busy partying to attend, etc.) I would expect to pay the normal fee to see it even though it wouldn`t be live.

    • #26 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 13, 2012 - 8:06 pm

      It was free. I will hold them regularly so just stay tuned :D.

  22. #27 by Jess Witkins on June 13, 2012 - 10:39 pm

    After doing Fast Draft all day today, this post makes my head explode! Yarrg! Going back to my warm and fuzzy (and FREE) WANAs.

  23. #28 by Matthew Wright on June 14, 2012 - 12:43 am

    I’ve never gone for Facebook – largely because their attitude to privacy was, shall we say, cavalier. Probably won’t at all now. I run a blog, a twitter account, and have a name-placeholder account for G+ which I don’t use – and that’s it so far.

    I have never thought that advertising, per se, ever sold books – for me, the more important issue has been building a public repute and making personal contacts. There’s stuff I do in New Zealand through the print media that has built a platform for me as author and commentator. This usually runs below the international radar. However, the media I’ve found that really shifts books, at least in my genre, is radio. I used to have a job doing voice presentations, so I had a pre-set toolkit to get the right ‘sound’ for interviews, and over the years I’ve done a lot of national network radio interviews and broadcasts here specifically as promotion. It works, at least on the scale New Zealand offers. Not sure about elsewhere.

    Will definitely join WANATribe – thank you for creating such a wonderful place for writers!

  24. #29 by Turndog Millionaire (@turndog_million) on June 14, 2012 - 12:57 am

    Really interesting posts, very intriguing indeed

    I hold nothing against Facebook, as you say, it’s a business and they have to try and make money. You’re totally right, too, Writers need to be creative with their methods. Simply pushing a message out will do little good. You need to pull people in with a great message.

    the only type of advertising I’ve come across recently that I feel could work for writers, is re-targeted advertising. I feel this, if used properly and SPARSELY, has some legs.

    You need to target the right people, though, begin a relationship and try and create quality fans

    Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)

  25. #30 by Yvette Carol on June 14, 2012 - 3:53 am

    Kristen to me Facebook is fun. It’s a place where a lot of great people I know hang out. So it’s a one-stop shop for me to stay in contact with them and see what they’re interested in and what they’re doing to. I think as writers, if we have other tools in our toolbelt then FB can do whatever the heck it pleases, it won’t bother us! :-)
    Yvette Carol

  26. #31 by Karen Lenfestey on June 14, 2012 - 8:45 am

    I would like to share that Shirley Jump’s writing classes are very helpful. I’ve attended many of her workshops in person and have taken one on-line. She’s very inspirational and she knows what works.

  27. #32 by KM Huber on June 14, 2012 - 11:19 am

    So glad to see you are offering your blog course again, Kristen. Truly, I cannot imagine a better course. You never hold back in your classes, and you truly want each participant to succeed. My blog exceeded my expectations, and I truly look forward to writing each my weekly blog post. When I am ready, I will publish a blog twice a week.

    I took my time to study and learn what you taught, which may be a luxury I have and others do not but your core principles are a complete foundation. Daily, I connect with writers and artists from around the planet, whether we are sharing a love of literature, discussing an art medium, or gluten-free eating. Every day, we find another connection.

    Yet, again, Kristen, I thank you for opening up my world.

    Karen

  28. #33 by Tamara LeBlanc on June 14, 2012 - 11:41 am

    Jeese, I feel really stupid right now, but it actually never occurred to me how much advertising I’m missing out on by fast forwarding through commercials on my DVR. Don’t get me wrong, I tape my favorite shows for a reason, so I can fast forward through all the darn commercials, but this fact alone shows me how right you are in asking the question, Does advertising and marketing still work?
    Fantastic post, Kristen.
    I know I’m a day late, but when I miss a post I alsways got back and read it. Don’t want to miss that wisdom!
    Have a great Thursday,
    Tamara

  29. #34 by Cynthianna on June 14, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the insights! I’ve been bemoaning the fact that in the last two years I’ve simply “disappeared” in the crowd of online authors it seems. It’s not that my books aren’t still available for sale from my publishers–I’ve been blessed with stable and ethical publishers–but it seems no one (that is, paying readers) can find them in all the dross that has flooded the market. Where did I go wrong? I guess in the fact that my books weren’t published earlier than 2000 and I didn’t make a big splash in the market like Proctor & Gamble. ;) Now that some of the self-loathing and confusion is lifted, I’m still very confused as to how to proceed, but thanks for the WANATribe link. It will be nice to meet other creative people. Perhaps someone can get me on the right road so I’m no longer invisible.

  30. #35 by Catherine Johnson on June 14, 2012 - 5:41 pm

    I love Facebook Groups but WANATribe is way better already. I’m getting more comfortable on general FB but feel like there’s no time for Twitter. Yikes, it’s going to be tough to keep up with it all over the summer. it seems like a ball that just keeps on turning :)

  31. #36 by sueannbowlingauthor on June 15, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    I have a facebook page, but mostly I post links to interesting science articles and sort of let the books sell themselves from the links to my current blogs and the links to sale sites on my blogs, which are weakly science oriented and very rarely directly about my books.

  32. #37 by Serena Dracis, Author on June 15, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    I’m too poor right to afford the FB advertising game, but now that I’ve read your post, it’s not even in the room, let alone on the table. I am loving the WANA tribe, and while I have a FB fan page, it’s unpublished right now, (not enough fans) but I have over 200 friends on my ‘personal’ page. That’s really where I do most of my interacting anyway. When it came to Twitter, I originally thought ‘Seriously? Who wants to see pictures of my animals and hear about my lunch?’ but since reading your book, Kristen and taking your class in branding it has become a vital way to communicate with readers. I’m slow to adapt to technology, but implementing your techniques, plus those of the smart WANA’s I’ve connected with, has slowly but surely grown my blog audience. Thank you, Kristen and WANA!

  33. #38 by Julie Glover on June 16, 2012 - 9:32 am

    Great post! Only complaint: I read this on June 16 after being away for a week and couldn’t participate in your webinar. Oh well!

  34. #39 by Alastair Rosie on June 17, 2012 - 12:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Alastair's Blog and commented:
    Yeah it’s all getting interesting. I discovered what happens when you click to the side of the posts on your page. There’s the option to follow all or most posts.

  35. #40 by sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. on June 17, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    Kristen – When are you teaching an actual blogging class? This post is so relevant to what I see going on around me. I’ve taken your branding class and often feel guilty if I put a Mywana hash tag on one of my own posts because I’m not blogging about writing but about a different subject matter. Any suggestions?

    • #41 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 17, 2012 - 8:40 pm

      Just keep using the #MyWANA and you shouldn’t blog about writing. There are better topics. My next blogging class will start at the beginning of August. See you there :D.

  36. #43 by Piper Bayard on June 17, 2012 - 7:47 pm

    Thank you for your dedication to helping us navigate these social media waters. Thanks, too for the shout out. :)

  37. #44 by Bryce on June 18, 2012 - 8:32 am

    Interesting (and somewhat demoralizing) article. Thanks to Evo Terra for linking to it.

    Somebody needs to write the definitive takedown of the “you only need 1000 hardcore fans” meme. While it may be literally true, it doesn’t provide any real guidance on marketing. Why? Because the only way you’re going to get those 1000 hardcore fans is to get your work in front of a million people. Perhaps 3% of those will buy, and of those, perhaps 3% of those people will become wildly enthusiastic.

    No matter how well-targeted your marketing, you’re going to need those casual fans, and in the end you’re probably going to get a lot more sales from casual fans than from hardcore ones.

    Maybe it provides one nugget of guidance: If you’ve found someone who is crazy for your work, get their email address and stay in touch with them. But that seems pretty obvious in any case.

    • #45 by Author Kristen Lamb on June 18, 2012 - 9:14 am

      Not so. Sorry. Quality trumps quantity and people really don’t like handing out their e-mails like they used to. Also, even if they do, our little e-mail is competing with offers from (my own e-mail) Gap, Anthropologie, Sephora, Lowes, Central Market, Kroger, etc. I have gotten to where I only look at e-mail from people I know. I ignore ads, newsletters, etc.

      WANA methods help develop those 1000 fans far more effectively than widespread blitzing. I highly recommend you read Seth Godin’s books. Interruption marketing is dead and highly irritating and the rest of it is invisible. Focus on people and you will stand apart from all the spam and then the 1000 friends start falling into place because people talk about what they like….and they LIKE not being taken from and pitched to non-stop.

      WANA teaches to do more with less. I have a 71 Klout score and only 7,000 twitter followers and 2,500 FB followers. According to the experts, I shouldn’t have any influence because of my “dreadfully low” numbers. Food for thought ;).

  38. #46 by Henrietta Foy on March 5, 2013 - 9:56 am

    Some interesting point here.

    Just a observation: being different is important but, what’s more important, is standing for something in the eyes of your customer.

    If you know what you stand for, the single thing that you stand for then your brand will stand out.

    Thanks,

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