I have been involved with using social media to build platforms for a few years now, which means I’ve had a unique opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t and what fails horribly. I choose to base my teachings off simple core truths that withstand the test of time. To me, social media has never been about gadgets, it is all about people. Better yet, it is about creating a community that comes together, united in purpose, and works as a team for the benefit of all.
Individual + Other Individuals=Community
Community + United Purpose= Team
I feel it is impossible to create anything worthwhile on social media if we do not, first, learn to be part of a team. We must learn to serve others first. This is why auto-tweets and a self-centered agenda will always fail. The people who will really see genuine results from social media are the ones who learn to be part of something bigger than their own wants and needs. Teams make the difference.
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success. ~Henry Ford
Last April I attended a conference with a panel of PR, marketing and social media experts. Everyone on the panel advised using auto-tweets and one even offered services to tweet for writers. Even some of the top social media books recommend very little tweeting and blogging only once a month (with the agenda of “getting something” from others, of course). I find this sad because this group was missing out on the real beauty of social media. Learning to work with others as a team. In an effort to only gain sales, they miss out on so much.
According to BEA statistics, in 2006 there were 1.2 million titles available. And 950,000 of those titles sold less than 99 copies. Historically, an author’s odds of selling enough books to even make a decent living have been depressing at best. But why?
Well, there are a lot of reasons and we have explored many of them on this blog. But, my two cents? Writers had no way to plug into a team. Traditionally published authors relied on traditional marketing tactics employed by the publisher (which doesn’t sell fiction) and hoped the right reviewer said the right thing and that the planets and stars aligned just right to make it to the next level. Self-published authors had even less chance of success. Speak at enough Lion’s Clubs and hope to hit the right place at the right time.
These days? The odds are improving, and now indies are appearing out of nowhere and landing on best-seller lists. I believe that is because social media allows us to network and to work as part of one cohesive force. The goal of the individual is supplanted by the goal of the group. Everyone does a little for everyone else and then everyone sees success.
For those of you who have played sports or been to team-building classes, remember the acronym for T.E.A.M.? I have used it in my blogs before, but for the newbies:
Together Everyone Achieves More
On social media that is certainly true. I have seen this prove true more times than I can count. For instance, back in 2008-09, I helped the DFW Writers’ Workshop put together a social media campaign to get the word out about the conference in the spring of 2009. What was so fascinating to see is that all 100+ members signed up for Facebook and Twitter. They all friended each other and when any one member posted an announcement about the conference the others followed suit. The exposure, as a result, was not linear, rather it was exponential. No one advertising guy had to go work until he was dead to spread the word about the conference. All it cost each member was 30 words a day…and the conference sold out two days after early registration…4 months before the conference.
Everyone worked together to promote the good of the whole.
When I get on Twitter or Facebook, I can see the writers who won’t get very much out of social media. They send form-letters on Facebook or post a Hi, I don’t know you and sorry for the spam, but could you Like my Fan Page?
Some free advice. If we have to open any note with an apology, then deep-down we know this is not the correct approach.
I see auto-tweets with every # in the known universe and very little interaction with others. Will authors employing these tactics sell books? Sure. But will social media be any fun? Or, will it feel like a horrid drudgery, like slogging through mud mixed with maple syrup while wearing snowshoes? Probably. Will this approach work over the long-term. Probably not. Will this approach do as much as working with a team? Not likely.
When we plug in with a team, we multiply efforts exponentially.
So some new writer hears about #MyWANA comes and hangs out and interacts. I like this person. She is really sweet and RTs for others and I see she is kind of new to Twitter and only has 30 followers. That’s a good start, but nothing that is going to rock the world. But she is authentic and does what she can to help her #MyWANA team.
The new girl tweets about her blog, which I check out and see it is well-written. So I RT and use different #s, maybe #pubtip or #amwriting. I just exposed that blog to 6300+ more people (my followers). Now someone from my network, say Piper Bayard, RTs me. Well now that blog just got an audience for a couple thousand more people. Oh, then James Rollins, who rocks the Tweet Deck and also can be spotted hanging out on #MyWANA sees his friends Kristen and Piper tweeted a blog, so he steps in to help and that blog now goes out to 14,000 people.
Even if we just look at this linearly, a blog that would have only been seen by a potential 100 people, now has been exposed to over 20,000…in THREE tweets. And all it cost this new writer was a few moments of being nice to others and doing what she could to help others.
This is called working smarter, not harder. If we focus on serving our teammates, they will do the same. Together everyone achieves more.
We can spend hours sending form-letters and auto-tweeting and spamming with very little ROI, OR we can invest in serving a team, do our part to support the #MyWANA Love Revolution…and watch a miracle.
I will close today out with one of my favorite quotes:
None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together achieve something wonderful. ~Mother Theresa
I hope that, if you haven’t already, you will join us over at #MyWANA. #MyWANA is a group of writers committed to doing small things with great love to achieve the impossible.
If you want to know more about #MyWANA, check out this page or this vlog.
Gather together with your fellow writers at critique and come together. Commit to supporting and promoting each other. Subscribe to each other’s blogs, RT for each other, post for each other, tell the world about your fellow writer teammates, and I assure you that the results will be nothing short of magic. And if you don’t believe me, talk to the #MyWANA peeps or to a WANAlum (#WANA711, #WANA1011, #WANA112).
I LOVE hearing from you!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of March, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of March I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Thanks for being patient with me announcing winners. I will post them on Monday. Been caring for the Spawn who is MUCH better, by the way.
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.
What are some ideas you might like to add? What ways do you like serving others? What are your fears or concerns? Do you feel more confident when you join a group? Do you feel that being part of a team has helped anxiety or fear of your future? What are your thoughts? Ideas? Opinions?
I just saw Michael Hyatt talking about social media on his site the other day. He said something about cringing when people say that social media costs nothing b/c time is something important. On the other hand, you are right about how lightning fast followers can be reached when it’s used within the concept of a team. Any connections/relationships require that time investment, but we can connect so much faster if the proper framework is in place. Good thoughts Kristen.
I don’t know why, but I always thought #mywana was an exclusive thing and I didn’t want to crowd my way in. Now I feel like I can join in the fun. I think it’s a fantastic way for writers to support each other and your social media reasoning is more than sound, Kristen. I do online comics and that community supports their own and it WORKS. Now to dive into the #mywana community.
This is an excellent post. I love, love, love, the quote from Mother Theresa. I’m not a regular at #MyWana BUT I do pass by every so often and have found some really cool blogs. Kudos to all those great blogs RT’d on #MyWana. I’m one of those people who does checkout the stuff that you and Piper RT. And may I humbly add, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” 😀
Or, as Nathan Bransford says should be projected on the moon “social media is SOCIAL.” So amazing how many times you say this and yet half the people I follow back on Twitter ruin the relationship immediately by sending me DM’s saying “I can help you become a published author! read my blog” or “I write YA horror, read my book!” One quick look would show them 1) I’m already multi-published and 2) I don’t belong to a YA horror demographic. They just got unfollowed. DMs to strangers almost always have the opposite effect from what people expect. The sad thing is seeing people work so hard at alienating people.
It is actually shocking how many “experts” recommend this. *scratches head*
I buy in, completely, to what you wrote above. In the two short months since I started a Facebook page, opened a Twitter account and switched to WordPress, I have grown quickly, but more importantly, I have met this lovely, enriching and energizing mosaic of writers. And I mean mosaic, because though we’re all unique and different, once we pull together, we create what you called a team of individuals that is so much more vibrant than each tile, or individual, would appear alone. And yes, social media means that we interact socially in an enjoyable fashion. After all, humans are social creatures. Great blog Kristen. Thanks for what you do.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it :D.
Ditto – absolutely!
Hi! This is Tracy, Ty’s Mom! (I usually tweet, etc…as Ty, my 9 year old son who happens to have Down syndrome, but “I” had a comment to make on your post, not Ty lol).
I was literally talking to the Hubby about this just last night…the concept of paying it forward. Thank you so much for confirming my thoughts!!! I was telling the Hubby I really feel in my gut, the way to accomplish more in this world is to make others feel good about themselves, to make them feel validated for all of their hard work, that they are appreciated for all they throw out there. Look at Pinterest! The whole concept behind the fast growing site is to share someone else’s great idea! Love it!
In my personal world, I’m waiting for the moment the Down syndrome community rallies together under one cause. I tried to light a spark in February on my blog during App-ucation Month 2012…& it was so much fun! Now I read your thoughts & it absolutely confirms what I feel is the right thing to do & direction to go…pay it forward, TEAM.
Thank you so much for putting this out there!
It is quite hard to interact when you’re not even sure if people are on Twitter, automating their tweets or busy going through their blogs tweeting from there. Maybe we should have a social hour or two so everyone knows some folks will be available to chat at that time. The WANA hour 🙂 I don’t know, but I do love Facebook Groups.
This is great advice Kristen. I’m going to check out #MyWANA now via the link you provided above. Thanks!
You know what, Kristen? I read your “are you there blog, it’s me” and I already feel/see a change in how I blog, how I feel when I blog, and as well, I have had more people stop by and say howdy. Because I took your advice and went from posting things that mostly centered around what I was doing or seeing or being (though I never did/do those “me me me buy my books me me me” kinds of things!), I am excited about my blog again! Something I haven’t been in a long long time.
I switched to wordpress and began anew, and what’s happened, now that I’m reaching out and building, I hope, a little community where we read and share and all that doodle-dah-day, is that I not only feel a part of that community, but I am much happier with my blog posts — before, i’d post something quickly and hope for the best, feeling bored and uninspired.
Now, well, I’m having fun – I’m just being “me” but I’m reaching out to others.
I’m not describing this so well (writers are weird – we can write a 90,000 word novel, but can’t string together a couple hunnert words *laugh*) . . . But, I really do give your blog here and your book credit for pulling me out of my stupor and allowing me to see a “bigger picture” when it came to my blog. Am I pulling in thousands of visitors ?. . .naw, but I’m seeing more activity – more discussion – more Fun.
Just give it time and plug in to the #MyWANA community (which I think I have already seen you there). Blogs take time to get a regular following and that is easier to do if writing our blog doesn’t make us want to hurl ourselves in traffic, LOL. The more you blog the better and faster you will get. I love blogging. It gives me a chance to share. Writers are experts at making the mundane magical and we can do that in our blogs, too.
Have had the hurls, all right, over my past blogging experience 😀 haw!
I’ve plugged in! Welcome to insanity – in a good way. 🙂
😀 insanity rawks! 😀
I recently read Kristen’s book as well and just loved it. I was totally in the dark about how to grow a readership and have a lot of fun with it. I also switched over to WordPress from Blogger and actually spent ALL day today working on it. I am exhausted. I am not good at technology and just got the basics down, but there is so much more I would like to add to the blog. It will take a lot of reading and teaching myself but I am determined to figure it out instead of putting it off like I usually do. I have been recommending her book to everyone I meet!
Yup, I needed a kick to my pants and that’s what she did!
I know you can upgrade on wordpress, but I haven’t experimented with that yet . . .
I have to admit Marla I do the same. I recommend it to everyone!
Awww, thanks Maria. I really appreciate that.
Kristen, re your picture for this blog entry, DURN IT! My cats are ALREADY trying that and you’re GIVING THEM IDEAS! 🙂
I work in the construction industry — never saw the “team” acronym, but there’s a construction company whose motto (on their hardhats) is “There is no ‘I’ in WE.” Same principle — the crew works together as a team to get the job done!
I’ve been forwarding posts to my writer friends and urging them to sign on. They’re old curmudgeonly guys like me so we’ll see!
Did you see I did a vlog just for you on Wednesday? *bats eyelashes*
Great post. As you point out, it’s important for all of us writers to support one another. It’s like JFK said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats.” Your book is a must-read for any author. It’s the best book I’ve read about social media for writers. Keep up the great blog posts.
Kristen, first of all, I am so glad to hear that your adorable spawn is recovering! Whew! 🙂
Secondly, you know that I am all about supporting others. It’s not really all about us and that goes for life in general. That’s what attracted me to your blog and community of writers. If we serve others first, we usually receive back something in return. Hmm. That sounds a little like the golden rule. 🙂
Thanks Kristen for the steadfast blog love. WANA 1011 alum here. Thought this might be a place to publicize a find: I struggle with technology and managing my blog, so an editor friend suggested checking out Lynda.com. It costs $25 a month, but offers a huge library of tutorials that are easy to understand, search and use. I have no stake in promoting this company, just pure relief at finding a site that seems to work the same way my brain does. Hope this helps others out there picking their way through the social media universe.
Hugs, Kristen! Great post today. Sorry about the spawn, and the gray hairs he undoubtedly gave you…and so glad he’s getting better!
I will say I’m still having an issue with Time. How in the world do I do it all, and get my “real” writing done, too? Facebook is easy – Twitter, while I love it, takes more time (surprisingly!) and is so scattered, even with my lists. And I try to comment on blogs that I love, but again – there’s only so much time in the day.
Do you still manage to find the time to comment on other people’s blogs, or are you really choosy now about where you put your words, since you already cram 40 hours worth of work in a 24 hour period? And what’s your secret?
Kids, husband, day job, the house, writing, PLUS social media. Oh, and sleep. I feel like I’ll never catch up. Any hints?
Kristen, I wish more people would listen to you and follow your ideas. Because your ideas work! Social media should definitely be about connecting with others, building relationships and tending to them, develop them into something real. I have a zero tolerance for auto-tweets and “check out my book, or my blog, or “like me” on Facebook etc.” God knows how many times I got hit by “buy my book” or “like me here or there” a minute after I “friended” or “followed” someone.
I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again and again – you are a real deal, Kristen; you teach us how this social media should be done. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Hi Kristen, I read your book (Are You There, Blog?) and it helped me launch my blog, but seriously, I need a hands-on social media class for the technically impaired. People who get it can’t comprehend how confusing it is. (RT? #!?#!?) You say twitter or tweet, and I want to look up into the treetops. No one in my family twitters, so I can’t watch and learn there. I can hardly keep up with both blog and my writing–do I really need Twitter too?
After 13 weeks of blogging, I posted my 14th entry entirely on my own for the first time last week–both words and photo–and was sweating before I was done. But I posted on my own again last night. I was nominated for one of those 7×7 blog awards, but haven’t acted on it yet because I don’t know how to create a hyperlink. I know I sound shockingly ignorant, but I am a good writer and an intelligent person–with this impediment. Still I am moving forward–in baby steps. This weekend I will ask my teenager to teach me to hyperlink–thank goodness she is patient and generous–and that will be another step forward.
My book We Are Not Alone has a walk through and pictures. Also stay tuned. I will be back teaching classes soon. I am just working out a more effective way to teach that doesn’t make me want to pull out my hair, LOL.
Thanks, Kirsten. I’m looking forward to it–not your pulling out your hair, but taking a class in it. I really appreciate your blog.
I am on my way to Amazon right now to purchase, We Are Not Alone, because you my dear, are not alone either.. I don’t know what the heck I am doing. LOL
A great and timely reminder, Kristen. It’s not about what we can get, it’s about what we can give. Go WANA!
Best advice ever. I read Kristen’s books and what inspired me most are two words: servants heart. I’m working really hard to make my blog about connecting and helping others. Rarely do I blog about myself. And even if it’s about me, I creatively find a way to tie in some way that support others. Kristen really inspired me. My blog is about 10 days old and I have more than 100 people visiting it a day. And, that doesn’t count my three college age kids, who think I like my blog better than them. I blogged this morning: Crap on the Menu. Not in Writing. It’s about funny misspellings of words in India with my own photos. I linked a few resource blogs on the post that helped with being a better writer and so far I have 100 hits today. It’s just fun! Yahoo! http://writingstraight.com/2012/03/02/crap-on-the-menu-not-in-our-writing/
Dear Kristen, You are not only a great writer but also a great teacher. This blog made something I had never even heard of before seem easy (OK, I had seen the little # signs but had no idea what they were about). I will certainly be re-tweeting your blog using # labels from now on! And also e-mailling the link to friends who don’t follow my tweets but who do write. This is fantastic stuff, and like all the other commentators, I am so grateful! (I still don’t entirely get the myWANA, and the download thing hasn’t appeared on my computer, but I’m setting off on the techno-journey). Just tweeted about a friend’s new book using #tags, and hereby passing on the virtual coffee he’s promised! Jane Bailey Bain
“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together achieve something wonderful. ~Mother Theresa”
I hope that, if you haven’t already, you will join us over at #MyWANA. #MyWANA is a group of writers committed to doing small things with great love to achieve the impossible.
Kristen, these two quotes made my day. Not only does it apply to being social on social media, but it applies to the whole writing process. I have this grand vision for my novel, but I have a tiny brain, so if I can plug away, write a 1,000 words here or there, as long as they are written with great love and comittment, I know I will “achieve the impossible” and write a great book.
I’m so glad to hear that your lovely boy is on the mend. Sending you all my love and aloha.
Is it odd (or slightly cruel of me) that some of these statistics make me smile? If (or actually WHEN) my manuscript sells, I will sell more than 99 copies. You know why? Because (a) there’s content, and (b) my fab peeps will sell more than 99 through. They’re (and you’re) part of my team. I’m part of their (and your) team. And it’s always good to have someone to pat you on the back when you win and pick you up all those times when you don’t.
Happy week-END, Kristen. May it be more relaxing than last one!
Words of wisdom. You need to give first before you can ask for favours. And if you’ve done things right, you might not even need to ask. Friends love to help friends out. If only there was enough time to read and comment and properly appreciate all the awesome WANA blogs and books.
It’s discouraging that not even friends choose to look at your blog–what can be done? THANK you for the instructive and eye opening realities of social media. Any suggestions?
Awesome post as always.
I’m having some trouble retweeting. When I try to it won’t let me add #’s. What am I doing wrong? I am trying to be a good team member.
Hello Kristen, I have read both your books and your blog posts and still couldn’t work out the hashtag thing. I have been happily tweeting and retweeting but that was the limit of my interaction. I actually love that I can share good blogs and pages via Twitter.
So today I learnt that I can click on a #tag or on @anyone and voila… up pops the tweets or thier account… To all you #MyWana experts this is not that amazing but I feel as if I just discovered the earth is round! Thanks Kristen… again
I appreciate knowing. Thank you.
Awesome post with real wisdom, the kind that I think we all know intuitively, but still we needed to hear it because sometimes we get off track and start believing that other crap out there. I can vouch for the power retweeting–with heart. The dividends are big such that you can relax a bit once it takes off, and you’ll see people after a week or two or three still mentioning you. –@OUR_LORD (the name helps).
Beautiful quotes and a great post Kristen (I’m a sucker for quotes)! I’m so shocked that those PR “experts” were offering to tweet on other people’s behalf! WTH? I have been asked to do this for author clients before and I always refuse. Twitter is the perfect place to brand yourself and make connections. You wouldn’t hire someone to go to a party or on a date for you. When Ashton Kutcher hired people to write his tweets it got him in trouble, and it’s just darn dangerous. Delegating is an important skill, but social media? No 🙂
Kristen, the more you coach us (for ‘us’ read ‘me’), the more I can feel the spine strengthening. I have to agree with everything you say about soc.med. Having been absent from Twitter for the last 3 months as the final touches were put to the 4th novel released on Monday (#9200 Kindle ranking for its first day, thanks to bloggers who blogged it, I’m sure) I finally logged back in.
The thing I found was that I received a welcome from a lot of followers who were so forgiving of my absence and immediately starting tweeting the book’s birth. To me, that was immensely heartening and maybe proved the depth of that particular branch of the soc.med.
I’ve also barely given Facebook any concentrated attention but have finally changed my approach to my own personal profile. The strength of THAT was proven in a moment when we had a family sadness and ‘friends’ came from everywhere to wish us well. I’ve also finally created a professional Facebook page which has been immense fun and really creative. Hopefully that will create an engagement with likeminded individuals which would be super. Am also treading around Google +, trying to work it out! The only thing I really paid attention to, and even that got a little lost in the pre-pub writing was the blog which I love like a child. And people repaid that and then some with stats rocketing close to book publication.
Found #Mywana today and am just looking at the moment. Will dive in if the coach says its deep enough! Thank you for the post and for the words from your commentators above. Terrific reads.
As an aging, reclusive introvert, I appreciate all the words and video you have devoted to us this week; am thinking I will return to Twitter as I liked TweetDeck but tweeting seemed as exhausting as meeting people, yet at that time, I didn’t blog. Blogging has changed my perception considerably.
I took your WANA711–excellent, specific content so it’s understandable that the course is exhausting for you–I read WANA, your first book, as well. Both gave me a solid foundation for blogging as well understanding the role of social media, whether one is a writer or not.
I do not have time constraints or familial responsibilities so I have time to read a lot of blogs and invariably, I am able to spot WANA bloggers as they are generous and sincere. It really is heartwarming.
As always, great blog, Kristen.
Thanks for this one, Kristen. I’ve got both your books and have been quietly lurking along on your posts through the winter, absorbing, learning, and practicing as I go. Next week marks my blog’s 1 year birthday. I’ve got a strong local writing community, and feel good about the support we exchange on Facebook, but I’ve been terribly weak on Twitter. It’s a weakness entirely based in technological intimidation and ignorance, but I dread being perceived as someone who’s only out there to promote herself. This post encourages me to build my Twitter team spirit, starting with #MyWANA. Good to meet you all – thanks for the teaching and support! 🙂
The dog/cat team graphic made me LOL. Thanks for your inspiring words, Kristen. I love to re-tweet posts I’ve enjoyed and try to share that joy as often as possible. Sometimes it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to fit in the writing (1st priority) with the blog and twitter reading. I’m constantly in catch-up mode.
I do need to study up on your #MyWANA posts. *runs off to read that one*
Have a great weekend and tell Spawn ‘no more trips to the ER’!
Loved your vlog, Kristen! Caught it on FB. Thanks for reposting this message about team. You reminded me that while I try to always catch up on social media, it’s important to take the time and make that connection and interact too. I don’t always give myself the time to do that and I’m only losing impact by forgetting that.
I’m late to the par-tay because I was writing all day. But I am curious about what you think about Triberr. It’s another one of those auto-tweeting thing-a-ma-jiggys. To me, it seems like a really cold way to tweet. I was invited by several #MyWANA folks to be members of their tribes. But then I paused and thought, “But isn’t this just another SPAM-bot thing?” Do you know anything Triberr? It doesn’t matter at this point. I lost all my bones. But I would like your take on it.
I love when you talk about all of us working together as a TEAM. And can I please say how glad I am to see @claymorganPA is back. That boy is going to sell some serious books. 😉
And just in case you were wondering, your super power is creating acronyms.
You have convinced me that I have to explore Twitter. I just signed up, looked at #myWANA, and blew a socket. I could spend the rest of my life reading everyone’s blogs and posts and never get any writing done at all. You are all too interesting! I’m going to have to start with a toe and get in the water very slowly or this confirmed introvert will get hypothermia or hypoxia, or third degree burns. I am not sure which.
Great blog, Thanks Kristen.
Well, the interesting part about the 16 groupings is that there are so many variations of even those. For instance, we might be an Introvert, but are we a STRONG or a WEAK introvert? Or somewhere in the middle. The combinations are endless.
wonderful post. I found you through Debra Borroughs who I follow on twitter. I love the idea of interacting together instead of just putting a bunch of hash tags. I also love when folks put excerpts of their work up so I can get a sense of what I am going to see. Anyway, just wanted to say hi 🙂
I feel ya…and now with Obamas meeting of the Code Jock round table and minds…Big Brother hears ya too…Oh, that’s another post…anyway…the cat has the real intellect here.
Thanks for the advice, Kristen!! I try and follow this. My thinking though is: not to retweet every single day the same book for an author but to switch out and then come back and retweet the first book a day or two later and then repeat so I’m not stocking the pond with the same title daily and boring/aggravating others to tears. I find I make more friends this way and it encourages retweets of my own stuff.
Hi Kristen! Good points, and it’s made me want to re-engage with Twitter a bit – my efforts have fallen off recently, I guess I just had too many other things on my plate! I’ve made a list of ‘Real People’ and anytime I have proper interaction with someone, I put them in there – that way I can scan that list (on Tweet Deck of course) and see the tweets of folk I’ve already chatted to. It’s my way of filtering out all the spam about snoring cures and seo…
Oh, I’ve finally got time to look at your second book now too, so fingers crossed I’ll be firing on all four Social Media cylinders by the middle of next week :0)
Kristen! How do you find the time to write so many good, well written, interesting blogs? I love this one – the one on being part of a team. Great advice, great leadership. I soon will be joining you in other social media networks, but until then, I will continue to “sit at the feet of the master” and soak up all I can learn about proper and effective use of social media.
Been teaching for a loooong time. It is actually harder for me to write short, brief posts. I just dictate the voices in my head, LOL. So wonderful to see you here, Marvin *hugs*.
I overcame massive techno-social-media-phobia and joined Twitter as a result of reading your blog and your book “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer.” I went into the Twitterverse specifically in search of the MyWANA community. It was like preparing to move to a distant, unfamiliar country but knowing someone had already rented and furnished an apartment for me there.
Awwww, that is the best description EVER!!! I love it and am totally using it.
I love Twitter, but I feel horrible that the most I have been contributing are those stupid auto-tweets. It just seems like it takes so much time to sit down and go through the tweets I’ve missed that by the time I get to something on which I would like to comment, the window of time in which to join the conversation is way past. I guess it just takes sitting down and setting a time for interacting with others rather than fitting it in when you can.
Actually it doesn’t take a lot of time and if we tweet authentically, people “listen” more. They tune out automation. There is this mistaken notion that we have to be on Twitter for HOURS a day to be effective and it isn’t the case.
I was just saying to my husband this morning that things felt like they moved slowly for a while, and now they are snowballing — in great part, thanks to social media. Besides getting support and encouragement from others, I have a whole new set of fab friends whom I really enjoy interacting with and am happy to support as well. I’m also quite eager to finally meet some of those marvelous writers at the next DFWCon.
Some of my writer friends still don’t get this concept. No matter how I try to explain it, they are too focused on themselves and think I’m an idiot for spending so much time promoting others. Their loss, but dang I wish I could get them to see the light and drink the WANA Kool-Aid.
If they could just grasp how gratifying it is to see your friends succeed and to know that in some small way you helped. Yes, we’re all writers and in a sense competing against one another, but with readers don’t just read one book their whole life. They need variety and every writer has the opportunity to give that to them.
I tend to get a little passionate about WANA because it works. My WANA sisters and bro (and cousins!) aren’t just other writers, they are family and I’d do anything for them and they likewise for me. It’s a great feeling knowing you aren’t alone out there in the social media maelstrom.
Tameri, you are an amazing wana sister, and I love you to death, girl! You always promote and help others – just the way Kristen taught us. Big hugs. 🙂
Ever since reading your book ‘We are not alone’ last year I’ve thought about the whole issue of self marketing in a new light. I warmed to the idea right away, of help me to help you sort of thinking. That’s coming from the right place rather than from ego. My writing is my way of being of service in the world I believe. Therefore, along with that, it makes sense to have an approach of lets all help each other spread the word about our books – in exact opposition to the old paradigm of let me squash you in order to get myself higher – the energy behind that is all kinds of wrong. I love these WANA ideas. Keep preachin girl!
Yeah, I think a lot of writers feel icky with the “marketing” because it really is very self-serving so something inside just never sits right. Serving others connects us in a way that is far more authentic and LASTING!
Hi Kristen, you’re a wee spooky person because I’ve been talking about Team WANA too today.
For you newbies who are feeling swamped, overwhelmed and deluged by all this, worry not. I took the WANA1011 class last year and got sick right at the beginning of it. These wonderful peeps never fogot about me and now I’m back on track with their help. No way could I have done it without them. They’re there to pick us up when we fall and they do the happy dance on top of tables when we rock – and that’s what it’s all about.
Jump in and say hello on twitter – literally hundreds of people will shout back. In the words of Mr Spock – Go Forth And Prosper!
I just bought your book ‘Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer’ today. And I read it today. All of it. To the end. GREAT insights – I’m going to recommend it to anybody I know who is going to start a blog.
Really… kindness and serving is something that I’d love to have as my way of life, and the book simply shows, with clarity, how to be kind and serve people the best way through a blog. I mean… it’s not more complicated than that. Everything else leads into that. Instead of the platform lifting ME, the writer, up… I work to lift everyone else up, to give and give, and with care and consistency along with some fairly simple practical principles, it works in everyone’s best interest. GREAT principles. Just what every blogger should read.
Thanks Joseph and I really appreciate the positive feedback. Service above self is what, I feel, makes the “marketing part” of this job more fun and fulfilling.
Kristen – Since I started following your blog in January, i am astounded by your commitment to help fellow writers/bloggers. You help us by passing along info regarding how to market our blogs/books; you help us. By giving specific ideas to blog and write better; you help us by reminding us that we can ultimately help ourselves by first thinking of the reader and second, by being a community of writers; and most of all you help us by modeling all of these (and more) by being yourself and doing all the things you want us to do – and you do it brilliantly trought humor! You are a true teacher! I don’t say all these just to flatter you (although I think sincere flattery is good for the soul), rather I say these because I have looked to you to help me develop my own blog. You are helping me (and many other beginner bloggers/writers and bloggers who want to improve) by showing me to blog well and to use different mediums (vlogs and pics) to invite readers. Thank you so much! One thing in which I do need additional assistance is joining My WANA. I tried to join by downloading the Tweetboard (I can’t remember the exact name) and everything); but then what do I do from there? I tried to follow your directions, but am having trouble. Can you help me because I so want to be a part of this community? Thanks again for being such a helpful mentor to me (& many others as well)!
When you download TweetDeck delete all the columns other than ALL and Mentions. Then tweet something like, “Help #MyWANA peeps. I am lost!” Then, when you see your tweet, click the hashtag and it should automatically generate a column and just go from there. Or, one of us will come rescue you from mall security, LOL. And thanks for the “flattery.” You guys keep me encouraged to keep doing what I am doing and I really appreciate it. This is a relationship and if all I do is give, yet never hear feedback, compliments, etc. then I probably wouldn’t be as energized to dig in and help. So THANK YOU!
Kristen – Since I started following your blog in January, I am astounded by your commitment to help fellow writers/bloggers. You help us by passing along info regarding how to market our blogs/books; you help us. By giving specific ideas to blog and write better; you help us by reminding us that we can ultimately help ourselves by first thinking of the reader and second, by being a community of writers; and most of all you help us by modeling all of these (and more) by being yourself and doing all the things you want us to do – and you do it brilliantly trough humor! You are a true teacher! I don’t say all these just to flatter you (although I think sincere flattery is good for the soul); rather I say these because I have looked to you to help me develop my own blog. You are helping me (and many other beginner bloggers/writers and bloggers who want to improve) by showing me to blog well and to use different mediums (vlogs and pics) to invite readers. Thank you so much! One thing in which I do need additional assistance is joining My WANA. I tried to join by downloading the Tweetdeck and everything; but then what do I do from there? I thought I followed your directions, but am having trouble. Can you help me because I so want to be a part of this community? Thanks again for being such a helpful mentor to me (& many others as well)!
I agree. If you are part of a team it is great. I am a member of the WG2E team, who also run the RG2E site. WG2E support each other by following one another and commenting on the blog, and RG2E help each other find readers to discover our ebooks. It is all great fun and I am so pleased that I found them.
At the risk of sounding redundant based on all the other wonderful replies here, I am still going to say:
Folks this stuff really works!
I have been a writer for a long time but just recently got on twitter. At first, much like the #2 reply above from Brock, I felt like I was intruding on someone else’s private domain. I expected a tirade of negativity every time I left a tweet.
But thanks to Kristen I have thrown that fear aside and can now say I tweet with confidence. It is true that if you first strive to serve others you will in turn find you are actually improving your own life (whether in writing or other areas).
Want proof it works?
Due to my (positively focused) presence on Twitter, just this week alone I have been a Guest Post blogger on a fellow writers blog AND had one of my own blog posts re-posted on a pretty prominent online writing news mag. For me this is like hitting a good size jackpot on casino slots! And I did NOT achieve this by spamming or engaging in overly excessive self-promotion.
So listen up! Kristen’s got it right!
So wonderful to hear your victories! Yes, it sometimes seems counterintuitive to help others first, but it DOES work and it makes us better people to boot!
Plus it’s a lot of fun!!!
Kristen, your WANA group sounds lovely, but if I understand correctly, it is only a Twitter group? I don’t have a twitter account at this time but follow your blog faithfully. Thank you for all you do for the writing community!
Kristen, I just wanted to let you know that I have given this post, your blog, and your books a shout-out on my blog today at http://donasdays.blogspot.com/2012/03/are-you-being-served.html
I am always inspired by your posts and LOVE your writing style! Thank you for all you do for the writing community!
Thanks Donna. You guys inspire me every day with your enthusiasm, so keep it coming!
You have hit the nail on the head once again, Kristen. I realised that part of the reason I had never truly *enjoyed* using Facebook or Twitter was because it was all so self-centered. After reading your approach through WANA, it is more obvious than ever to me that the use of technology in our modern age has not changed in the slightest our basic human method of connecting with others, and that is through genuine interaction and reciprocity.
And your quote by Mother Thersa was just the cherry on top of this blog post!
Thanks, Ed. and I am so thrilled for your recent shout out on FP. Wasn’t it way funner to have your peeps there to cheer for you? 😀
Thanks! Yes, I have to say that not only was it immensely enjoyable to receive so much support from strangers, but having people from my own network there to share the love was the icing on the cake (to go with that cherry sitting on top of your blog post!).
You are so very right: enthusiastically support other blogs and reposting does wonders for building quality (not just token) support for your own blog!
Thanks for sharing your experience and invitation to be part of a community of writers who want to help one another. With most writers sitting alone at their computers, social media is one way to reach out, connect, and invite others to do the same. I’ve bought your books and found them very helpful.
You have made me a twitter and FB nut! lol.
How true. Not only have I found MyWANA, but I also have found some great writer friends. We’ve formed a small support group for each other. And all of this is by getting on Twitter and being myself. I have found some of the greatest people. Oh, and Twitter chat parties are so much fun!