Categorized | Business Authors

Book: Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing — A No Bullsh*t Guide for PhDs, Lab Rats, Suits, and Entrepreneurs

Sandra Holtzman

A short bio about the Business Book Author:

Sandra Holtzman began her career as a Madison Avenue copywriter, became a marketing manager, and founded Holtzman Communications in 1997. She has over 20 years of expertise in every area of life sciences advertising as well as information technology, emerging and converging technologies, B-2-B and consumer advertising, including her role on Acura’s launch team. Holtzman is the Chair of the NY Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society and a Founder and Director of Cleantech Corridor. She is also a Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of a technology startup. Sandra is a highly sought after lecturer on marketing and creating effective websites. Samples of her award-winning work can be found on her company’s website Holtzman Communications’ methodology takes the best of traditional style marketing strategies and turns them into efficient and effective interactive solutions, such as Rapid Development, her proprietary research methodology. Rapid Development is a quick-to-marketing method to find out what customers really want. It fast-tracks discovery and strategy steps by 80% less cost and 75$ less time than usual methods. The result is better ROI.

A book synopsis:

Lies uses the tough love approach to steer readers clear of the pitfalls that have been the undoing of many when confronted with the harsh realities of today’s marketplace. The book provides 10 fast-track, step-by-step chapters, with plenty of graphic before-and-after examples, for planning and implementing a successful marketing program that readers can get started on TODAY. The writing is clear and concise, breaking down concepts into bite-sized, easy to grasp nuggets for today’s busy audience. Moreover, each chapter is stand-along and immediately actionable.

Why did you write this book?

Working as a marketing communications expert, I have seen one entrepreneur after another find some reason why they do not need to market their company, product, or service “yet.” After discussions with two colleagues (one, Joel Ivers wound up contributing to the book and the other, Jean Kondek, wound up writing the book with me), we realized that these entrepreneurs always had the same set of excuses or rationale not to promote their new venture. Out of frustration, one night after dinner, Joel and I made a list of all the excuses we had heard. We laughed about it but soon realized that we had created a useful list that might help entrepreneurs see how they are missing out on something that could make them a success. When writing the book, we focused on keeping it concise and turned the excuses into Lies to emphasize our point. We then stated the lie, the accompanying truth, and a case history to illustrate (both graphically and verbally) that point. We wanted to enable busy entrepreneurs to pick up the book and read a chapter and get the point quickly so we kept the chapters non-linear.

Do you do speaking events? what are some common ones that you do on a regular basis? What do you talk about?

Yes. I speak generally about the need, purpose, and types of marketing to scientists and entrepreneurs. Everyone starting a business understands that they need a business plan in order to raise money. While they give lip service to marketing, they don’t understand, that in the current economic environment, more than ever, investors want to see a return on investment. They want to see the entrepreneur’s plan to achieve ROI. That requires marketing. In addition, I speak about using interactivity as a preferred marketing method.

I speak at university incubators and commercialization centers, entrepreneur programs, NGOs, and organizations dedicated to promoting entrepreneurs and start ups including:

–Levin Institute of SUNY which features the Kaufman Institute’s FastTrack Program
–Shanghai Bio-Forum Conference
–World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) / part of the UN
–Cornell University Center for Technology Enterprise & Commercialization
–The Marketing Executives Networking Group
–Genetic Engineering News – Annual Sales Meeting Motivational Speaker
–University of Rochester School of Translational Medicine
–Science Center (at the University of Pennsylvania)
–Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship (at Drexel University)
–New Jersey Institute of Technology Enterprise Development Center
–New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum
–New Jersey Entrepreneurial University

Do you do your own marketing or PR? What is a good marketing / PR strategy for a budding author?

I do my own marketing and PR (that’s my business). The best strategy for a budding author is to do your own marketing and PR and not rely on your publisher or magazine to do it for you. When I started writing the book, an agent told me my next book should be Lies the Publishing Industry Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing. That should say it all.

The best strategy includes: Being quoted by others as an expert; networking in person at events of high value to your promotional efforts, speaking engagements. I read blogs and know many authors who write them but personally see little value in them.

Do you tweet, facebook fan page, myspace friend or use any other social media to get the word out?

Yes, but judiciously. Social networking is so overused that it is starting to decline in the formats we currently know.

What is the best advice you never got?

Be persistent.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Was / am persistent.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

Starting my own business and realizing I was responsible for everything all the time. I had to make judgment calls constantly and life and death decisions for my business, such as deciding not to go the easy way and freelance for large agencies but to source my clients directly.

In 50 words or less, write a paragraph stating why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it.

Lies offers a comprehensive overview about marketing basics (or a refresher) so entrepreneurs and startups learn how marketing affects their business and how to use it to succeed. It’s written concisely and with humor. Examples use companies entrepreneurs can relate to. Lies will make you knowledgeable about working with vendors to achieve ROI.

Sandra Holtzman & Jean Kondek
Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing – A No Bullsh*t Guide for PhDs, Lab Rats, Suits, and Entrepreneurs

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