Tuesday, April 16, 2019



What does it take to stand out from the crowd? How do you build a brand people notice, connect with, and trust? What does it really take to get (and keep) a constant flow of incoming and loyal customers and opportunities?

In Craved, Keli Hammond walks you through the ins and outs of building a brand that is not only noticed, but sought-after and profitable. She uncovers the key elements needed to craft cohesive and clever marketing campaigns and demystifies the components needed to gain influence and be memorable. 

In this book, Hammond combines decades of award-winning industry knowledge with helpful stories and advice that illustrates what not to do in brand building. She walks you through how to build a loyal tribe that advocates for you and endorses you. 

Because marketing rules change quickly, the things that worked five years ago are now outdated and old-fashioned. The guidance you get from Craved will help you elevate your profile, attract more people to you, monetize your influence, and set the stage for long-term profit for your personal brand or business. 

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this for a while, this is the resource you need to help make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Transform your life by strategically creating a brand people CRAVE.

Book Details:

Title: CRAVED: The Secret Sauce to Building A Highly-Successful, Standout Brand
Author: Keli Hammond
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business
Published: April 9, 2019

Print length: 305 pages





If you could talk to someone (living), who would it be and what would you ask them?
Actress (and producer) Viola Davis, hands-down. She is a triple-threat, being the first black actor to win an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. Her commitment to her own personal excellence is so inspiring. Plus I just love her on How to Get Away With Murder. If I could ask one her one thing, I would want to know how she balances her drive to excel with her personal life and well-being. How does she juggle the two?

If you could talk to someone (dead), who would it be and what would you ask them?
I'd have to say, Nelson Mandela. Having lived through apartheid and 18 years in prison, then going on to become the president of South Africa in his 70s, I mean WOW. That would be a conversation for the record books. I would ask him how it felt to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize.

If you could live in any time period which would it be?
I’d have to go with New York City In the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance. I'd love to be around greats like Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, and Zora Neal Hurston, just to feel their magnetic energy. I can only imagine the inspiration, not to mention the nightlife. I'd be first In line at the Savoy Ballroom on Lenox Avenue.

If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
I would probably be a United Nations Women's Cultural Ambassador or something like that. Someone that travels the world visiting, talking to, and learning about other cultures and teaching women of all ages and cultures how to achieve their personal goals and become leaders in their own right.

If you had to do community service (or already do volunteer work), what would you choose?
I love to work with young ladies, both teenagers and college grads from urban or underserved communities. A lot of times they get so caught up in their surroundings and daily struggles that they don’t believe their dreams are possible. I believe that these women need strong mentors to help them navigate the world and trust in their contributions to society.

If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
Gary Vee (Gary Vaynerchuk)! I just want to pick his brain and soak up all of his infectious energy. I love how blunt and outspoken he is; his ways (and thoughts) remind me so much of my own.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

I would have to say Paris, France. Love, love, love that city. As cliché as it may sound, Paris is top of the list. The multitude of things to see and do coupled with the diversity makes it such a pleasant city to be in. Every time I'm there I find that I'm so relaxed. Simple things like coffee and croissants are so enjoyable.


5 favorite possessions: 
•    cell phone
•    Nike apparel (all of it) LOL
•    smoothies
•    Bose wireless Bluetooth speaker
•    my marketing awards and accolades

5 things you need in order to write:
•    laptop or my iPad
•    inspiration
•    coffee
•    my notebook for jotting down the millions of ideas in my head
•    the TV on in the background (on mute)

5 things you love about where you live:
•    there are so many restaurants
•    that [weather-wise] we get all four seasons here
•    all of the different types of social events
•    you can easily drive to so many other awesome major cities
•    museums

5 things about you or 5 phrases/words to describe you:
•    world-traveler
•    energetic
•    enthusiastic
•    team-builder
•    supportive

5 favorite foods:
•    stir-fry anything
•    tacos
•    salads (of all kinds)
•    salmon
•    crab cakes

5 favorite places you’ve been:
There are lots, but here are a few…
•    Budapest
•    Thailand
•    Brazil
•    Iceland
•    Japan

5 favorite books:
•    The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
•    Presence by Amy Cuddy
•    The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
•    The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
•    Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

5 living people you’d like to invite to dinner: 
•    Comedian Trevor Noah
•    Rapper J. Cole
•    Author Mel Robbins
•    Singer Rihanna
•    Fashion Designer Christian Siriano (but I need him to bring dresses with him, haha)

5 people you’d like to be stuck in a bookstore with:
•    Dave Chapelle
•    Charlie Sheen
•    Ellen Degeneres
•    Jada Pinkett-Smith
•    Sean "Diddy" Combs

5 people you consider as heroes:
•    Colin Kaepernick
•    Michelle Obama (sorry Barack, haha. But this one's for the ladies)
•    Shonda Rhimes
•    Ryan Coogler
•    Lena Waithe


What’s your all-time favorite place?
Italy, easily. Either Florence or Rome. Italy is such a breathtaking country. It's peaceful, tranquil, historical, very walkable, and oh yeah, the food is amazing.

What’s your favorite song?
"We All Try" by Frank Ocean.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Jamaica…because it's a whole lot of reggae, rum punch, and relaxation. Oh, and can’t forget about the jerk chicken and coco bread.

What’s your favorite thing to do?
I love to be outside. I find fresh air exhilarating. Just to be outside on a beautiful spring or fall day reinvigorates me, and I love both city sights and outdoor hiking equally.

What’s your favorite dessert?
Love, love, love me some tiramisu (only the cake though, not the pudding).

What’s your favorite beverage?
Any smoothie that includes açaí. I became familiar with açaí when I traveled to Brazil in 2010, and ever since then, I've been obsessed.

What’s your favorite quote?
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” by Henry Ford.

What’s your favorite movie snack?
I always go for the raisinets, which is funny to me because I don't like raisins (like at all). LOL. But if I'm at the movies, I never pass up a box of raisinets. It's the strangest thing.

What’s your favorite social media site? Would you rather tweet or post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest . . .?
Instagram, hands-down. I love the connection that you're able to build with people through that specific social networking site. I've met some really fun and awesome folks through IG.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
Lip balm. I'm literally obsessed with keeping my lips moisturized. It's bad. HaHa.

What movie genre do you prefer: drama, comedy, action, adventure, thriller, or horror?
I love all things action/suspense, those keep you on the edge of your seat kind of movies. Think Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Kill Bill.

What do you collect?
Shot glasses and magnets from my travels around the world. They are a great way to remember the places I've been and the people I've met along the way.

What book are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on my second book, which is a mixture of a memoir/self-help/how-to book aimed at helping give people the courage to pursue their passion (despite setbacks) in order to live a more fulfilled life. In that book, I share personal stories and situations to show people how you can rebound from anything and transform yourself into whomever you seek to become.

All-time favorites with pictures:

What’s your all-time favorite picture of yourself?
Me in the red suit. It's colorful and vibrant (which is the way I feel about my personality.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
•    Food: Thai is my go-to, Drunken noodles or yellow curry. In the DC-area, Pasara Thai is my favorite.
•    Music: Sabrina Claudio, every single song
•    Movie: I'm always behind on movies, so I'll just share one of my go-tos. I love 80's and 90's movies. Beverly Hills Cop.
•    Book: Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant
•    Audiobook: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
•    TV: I'm still obsessed with The Walking Dead.
•    Netflix/Amazon Prime: Orange Is the New Black
•    Miscellaneous: I do interior design on the side (love it). I grew up watching HGTV as a child and that helped me envision how to turn empty spaces and blank canvases into warm, inviting rooms.


Keli Hammond is a nationally-recognized, award-winning expert on marketing. The author of Craved: The Secret Sauce to Building a Highly-Successful, Standout Brand, Keli knows what it takes to make people stop, listen, engage, and invest in brands (both personal and business).

With a focus on brand acceleration and positioning, Keli's expertise helps people pinpoint hurdles to success and pivot their marketing to achieve maximum results and brand loyalty.

Keli distilled more than 15 years of marketing know-how into her debut book, aptly named  Craved, which offers practical tips and resources that provide clarity on how to turn a passion into profit by becoming a dynamic marketer.

Keli owns B Classic, a Washington, DC-based marketing and communications agency that helps entrepreneurs, corporations, non-profits, and government agencies better educate, entice, inspire, and engage their target consumers.

A highly sought-after speaker, trainer and writer, Keli regularly speaks to groups of business owners, students, and women about personal branding, marketing, and social media. She has been featured in The Washington Informer and The Start-Up Growth.

Keli holds a BA in Advertising from Temple University and certification in Change Leadership (Change Management) from Cornell University.

Connect with Keli:
Instagram  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn   

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble