February 19, 2013

Newsletters are Great, But a Book is Better


Management consultant Lisa Huetteman used to loathe writing her newsletter.

“Writing (the newsletter) was a chore,” said Huetteman from her office in Tampa.

But then she had an epiphany, or at least an idea. “I thought I can write about my company’s core values,” she says.

The result was her book, The Value of Core Values: Five Keys to Success through Values-Centered Leadership.

Not only has her self-published book sold, it has increased her visibility and gained her new clients.

“The book came out in October 2012. Within three or four weeks I got a call from the Houston Airport System,” says Huetteman.

The director of the airport system had been looking for a book on the subject and he found Huetteman’s book on Amazon. In short order, he read the preview on Amazon, ordered the book, and subsequently contacted Huetteman. Soon she had another client.

That’s a striking example of how you can use a book as a marketing tool. Huetteman was aware of the possibilities, but says that wasn’t her ultimate goal.

“I didn’t write it as a marketing tool,” says Huetteman. “But I knew it could be.”

In other words, as we’ve heard time and again, content is king. While you can – and should – use your book as a marketing tool to further your professional goals, writing a book simply on that premise is never a good idea. If you don’t offer readers benefits – if your book is little more than a commercial for you – then it will receive short shrift. Justifiably, I think.

But if you write about a subject you are knowledgeable and passionate about, it can spur further business.

Huetteman agrees, and is proof as well.

“You gain credibility if the book has it,” she says. “But the book has to have it. It has to stand alone.”

Realizing that helped her create what she believes is a much better book.

“I took out the self-promoting (material). Then the book had value. It was not a glorified (company) brochure.”

To stimulate book sales, Huetteman has gone on radio and done in-store signings. She’s also hired a professional public relations consultant.

And she continues to write, despite her previous disaffection for the activity.

“I do some writing for a quarterly magazine, and guest columns in other organizational newsletters,” she says.

Adding “author” to her resume, alongside executive coach, speaker, and management consultant, has given her additional perceived expertise. And it’s given her greater fulfillment and pride as well.

“The greatest satisfaction I get is people say, ‘I read your book. It’s so enlightening.’”

Now that Huetteman has one book under her belt, she’s got the bug. She’s already contemplating her follow-up.

“I’m kind of thinking about my second book,” she admits.

“One of my first ideas was ‘Own your own values.’ There’s a book in that in and of itself. So that’s in the back of my mind.”

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