Kristen Lamb

A few months ago I heard Kristen Lamb was speaking at the Ozark Writers League in August.  I immediately inked the meeting onto my calendar.  Early Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed for the two-hour drive to Hollister, MO.

It was worth the trip.

I can’t remember now how I heard about her books, We Are Not Alone, and Are You There Blog, It’s Me, Writer, but according to my Goodreads list I read them both earlier this year.  They were, in fact, among my first ebook downloads.  The thing that struck me most, besides the simple instruction in why and how to set up a social media platform, was her approach to marketing.

An explanatory digression:  Picture me as a college freshman, all shiny with dreams of making the world a wonderful place.  My goal: to communicate, to share vision and joy and hope with all those wonderful people out there.  (Actually, that part of me hasn’t changed much.)  So, of course, I declared my major as Communications.  New picture: me sitting aghast in my first Communications class–Intro to Mass Communications, aka Intro to Mass Manipulation.  And the next picture: me exiting the classroom, turning right, and proceeding to the English Department to change my major.  That last picture was a video.  Nothing against marketing types.  It just wasn’t my scene.  I had completely misunderstood the appellation of Communications.

I mean no offense here.  I have many business-y friends who are wonderful people.  What is refreshing about Kristen Lamb is that she marries a personal philosophy of service and positivity to marketing.   It is so strange and invigorating to read a marketer saying that our first priority should be to build relationships, to build people.  Then “sales,” if that is your aim, will follow.  It is revolutionary.

That is why I wanted to meet her.  I also had other questions.  Was she really 1. as upbeat and perky as she appears to be on her website and in her books, and 2. as dedicated to people over $$ as she claims to be.  The answer to both, from my experience, is yes.  Don’t get me wrong.  She believes in marketing and all that nastiness we artist types just don’t want to deal with.  She just believes in helping people more.  And she proves that by her support of and interactions with individuals.

Here’s a for-instance.  Some of you may have heard of the “Roni Loren incident.”  I wrote something about it myself here.  So did Kristen, but she went further.  With a desire to support bloggers in the quest for quality, non-copyright-infringing art, she started Wana Commons.  As far as I know she’s not making a penny off it.  She’s not a photographer, so she also doesn’t get any direct marketing exposure.  She does help others get that exposure, and she gets peripheral benefits.  However, I really believe that if money went out of fashion and we all worked gratis for the sake of bettering society and the lives of others, Kristen would be working just as hard as she does today.

This really isn’t intended to be a Kristen Lamb lovefest.  We’re just sympatico on the whole concept of valuing and building individuals.  So, yeah, read her books.  There.  She got some free advertising.  I don’t mind.  They may be helpful to you, especially if you are uncomfortable with marketing and/or social media.  But even more than that, think about her philosophy and her attitude.  I can’t tell you to adopt it, but if more of us practiced it, our little corner of the world might be a more fulfilling place.

So am I a sucker?  Is Kristen really that awesome?  Or did she just get an A+ in Mass Manipulation?  I don’t know (okay, I really think I do), but she has me seriously considering joining Twitter.

***

What makes you shake when you think of marketing and social media?  Do you think it’s hype or history in the making?  And a completely unrelated question–did you ever sit in a classroom and think “I am sooo in the wrong place”?

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Comments
  1. Author Kristen Lamb says:

    Your post gave me tears. Thank you. Yeah, I kinda stink at that whole “monetizing my actions” stuff. I do love helping people and I do a lot of work for free, but I do genuinely LOVE writers so it never feels like work. I believe we reap what we sow and if we sow generosity, kindness and love, we will reap harvest. I get the privilege of serving and watching writers grow and have success and that is priceless. THANKS so much and I feel you about the mass manipulation stuff. It always felt creepy to me which is why I wrote WANA. Maybe some people feel comfortable being “gorilla marketers” but it doesn’t fit me.

    • keliwright says:

      Kristen! I’m thrilled that you visited my blog! Thanks for commenting and thanks (again) for giving me some hope that the business side of writing can be done in a way that I can actually enjoy.

  2. Keli, you are so right. I shudder when I think of marketing as “Look at me! Look at me!” but Kristen shows us how to make it “Look at you! Look at us!” A refreshing change of viewpoint and a big stress-reducer. And it’s not just for writers – it’s for anyone who wants to share their gifts with others. Buy “We Are Not Alone,” and read it, and share the good news!

    • keliwright says:

      Sounds like KL has a fan in you, too! It does go beyond writing. That focus on “you” and “us” makes life better in so many ways. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. prudencemacleod says:

    Hey Keli, I have yet to meet Kristen in person, but I have no doubt that your assessment of her is right on the button. The lady truly rocks, and inspires.
    Great post, keep ’em coming.

  4. Author Kristen Lamb says:

    Prudence is a wonderful lady and I can wait to get to meet her in person, too. Make sure you connect with her on Facebook. She is a choice peep to have for sure!

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