Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Q&A with Keli Hammond

Keli Hammond is the author of the new book Craved: Marketing, Demystified--The Secret Sauce to Building a Highly Successful, Standout Brand. She owns the marketing and communications agency B Classic, and she's based in Washington, D.C. 

Q: Why did you decide to write this book, and who do you see as your audience? 

A: I wrote the book for a couple of reasons. It started as a one-off for a friend who was struggling with her product and was close to giving up. I said, No, your brand is amazing. It was more about the marketing she was doing. 

The more I started [working on it], I thought, This is a lot more than a handout or a booklet. I could help more people struggling with the same thing. I feel passionate about women entrepreneurs and minorities who are trying to share their passion with the world. [It’s about] how to stake your claim.   

Q: In the book, you write, “Marketing is not selling.” How do you differentiate between the two? 

A: Marketing is really helping. It wasn’t always like that; it was more sales, a hard push: Buy this! You need this! Now, with so many ways to garner opportunities, it’s shifted to: Here’s why this information is relevant to you.  

Q: The book’s subtitle is “Marketing, Demystified.” Do many people have an incorrect perception of what marketing is? 

A: Yes. A lot of people think they know what it is and how to do it. There are a lot of misconceptions. First is that marketing is negative. It’s a good thing. It’s you stating your value.  

Q: You spend time in the book discussing the use of social media in marketing. What are some of the most important things you’d like people to know? 

A: Social media is imperative nowadays. It’s not something you can forego if you’re a blogger, an entrepreneur, a small businessperson. It can be overwhelming. 

My recommendation is to pick two or three platforms you can manage on a regular basis. You want to put out valuable, non-boring content. You go [to social media] to interact, enjoy, and escape. It’s important to have content that’s fun, playful, and interesting.  

Q: Overall, what do you hope readers take away from the book? 

A: My biggest hope is that marketing is clarified. I really want to empower people. I believe in self-empowerment. I hope the book becomes a resource for people looking for ways to bring opportunity to themselves. 

Whatever you’re looking for--to share a talent or a skill, to look for a new job--it’s all marketing and branding. I hope to give people enough knowledge to take ownership of their own story and make their lives whatever they want.  

Q: What are you working on now? 

A: I’m getting ready for the book tour. I have author talks and speaking engagements. And I run a business full-time!  

Q: Are you going to write another book?

A: I’ve started a second book. It’s more of a mixture of memoir/self-help/how-to. It’s a lot more personal—it gives insights into who I am as a person.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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