For the past few months I’ve been involved in a really exciting new initiative that I’m finally allowed to talk about. WANA (We Are Not Alone) is heralding a new era for the digital age artist.
I stumbled upon Kristen Lamb’s Love Revolution last fall when my cowriter Marcy Kennedy mentioned she was taking a blogging class with Kristen. I signed up. And that course rocked my world! I was doing a lot of things right, and Kristen
shoved me in the deep end nudged me to be more efficient, to think long-term, and think strategically.
I joined Twitter *body shiver* and actually got the hang of it. Facebook is still my home, but I’m no longer a twitter twit I went from zero to over 1,000 followers in 6 months. How? The #MYWANA community on twitter welcomed me in and in good Canadian fashion started a snowball down a hill that just got bigger by following Kristen’s Love Revolution principles.
What are the Love Revolution principles? Help others without guaranteed reciprocation, build relationships (like, actually talk to one another), stop automating things and show up, and be yourself. Build up good will in others, so that hopefully you’ll have enough genuine connections that others will be willing to help you out in the same spirit, because it’s easier to convince a friend to buy your book than a stranger.
I have met a ton of really fabulous bloggers and tweeters. I really couldn’t imagine a better community.
I get this mysterious email from Kristen on Facebook back in February. Can she call me? (Yeah, like all the way from Texas which required a new phone plan so she could talk to her Canadian peeps call me.) I was thrilled if Kristen responded to one of my tweets, having her email me seemed a tad surreal. Kristen and I chatted the next morning (she has the most adorable Texas accent) and caught me up in the excitement of this new venture she was launching. Did I want to be part of it? She’d heard that I was great on Facebook, would I be willing to teach a class to help artists learn to rock Facebook?
I was stunned, then hopeful, and then excited by the end of the conversation. This is exactly what we artists needed – a community that understands us, wants to see us grow, and is willing help each other be successful. It’s not an inbred community just for writers, but for any artist – painters, photographers, dancers — it was a Love Revolution to be sure.
Her idea would take the community that I loved, and make it even better!
“These days, creative professionals all need more training than ever before. Writers are not the only creatives who must learn to use social media in order to stand apart from the competition and to help lay the foundation for a career,” says Lamb.
Friday is the official launch of WANA International. We have a website and since it’s now Facebook official, we’re good to go 😛 Read the story behind the WANA Int’l concept here.
WANA Int’l has professional artists teaching classes on craft, social media, business, technology, and lifestyle – because social media experts and tech gurus don’t get that artists need to build in time to, you know, actually train and create art. Those experts don’t understand that YOU are the brand, and that fans and readers need to connect with YOU before they buy whatever you’ve created. You can’t automate that connection – you have to show up. This is why WANA works. WANA gets artists.
“I can only learn so many social platforms, but with my WANA team? We’ve got all the bases covered. Learn the WANA Way for any platform you choose, and, if the platform makes a major change? *cough* *Timeline* WANA will have you covered,” says Lamb.
*sigh* Timeline rocks. Seriously, it’s not that hard. Stop whining! *clears throat* Sorry.
There’s also a social network Just For Artists – the WANA Tribe. Kristen’s had this network built to suit the needs of artists. Definitely check this out!
Following the WANA Way has effectively tripled my platform, and I still have time to write. How awesome is that! There is a huge Twitter party on Friday where there will be free stuff and lots of fun new artists to meet – so make sure you bring a cocktail to the #Wanaparty. As a teaser, here’s the WANA Int’l mascot – Francis. Isn’t he cute? Watch his video – if you’re an artist you’ll get it and it’ll probably make you cry.
Interested in what I’m teaching? Find all my courses here, but poke around and see what else is going on. Need to learn Triberr – Jenny Hansen can hook you up. Bought Scrivener and have no idea how to make it work – Rachel Funk Heller’s got you covered. Kristen Lamb is also running a FREE course: Human Authors In A Digital World – don’t miss out on that! There are some really fabulous teachers, and new courses will continually be added. Of course I’m running a 7 week course on how to rock Facebook starting in September. I have a few surprises left, so stay tuned.
So, to celebrate – Marcy and I are having a contest. Everyone loves getting FREE stuff, right? OK – so, here’s the deets. Get your name entered into a draw for a free critique on the first 1,500 words of your book/short story/novella – whatever, from both me and my co-writer Marcy Kennedy. That’s 2 professional critiques for FREE.
So, here’s the specifics: To enter, all you have to do is share this post online and let me know in the comments. To get your name in the hat a second time, go by my co-writer Marcy Kennedy’s blog and do the same. A name will be drawn at Midnight EST Friday, and the winner announced in next Wednesday’s post.
Ready, Set, Go!