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?
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