Case Study: Using a Book as Your Business Card

 Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing

** Update: scroll to the end of this article to watch a video of the full Using a Book as Your Business Card webinar broadcast **

With their focus in digital marketing, WSI specializes in grabbing customers’ attention in today’s digital age. After 20 years in business, the Toronto-based company boasts the largest network of digital marketing consultants around the world and provides digital marketing solutions to businesses of all sizes and across all industries, with offices in more than 80 countries.

When it came time for WSI to look at new ways of connecting with potential customers, it was decided that a book was the best avenue through which to demonstrate their expertise. The result was Digital Minds, published in 2013 with FriesenPress. Cheryl Baldwin, Director of Marketing Communications at WSI and manager of the book project, took a break from putting together the 2nd edition of Digital Minds to discuss the process of how WSI’s first-ever book came to be and how its success helped grow their brand.

We needed to do something that would demonstrate our expertise in the industry. We felt the book was a great vehicle for this – anyone can put up a blog post or tweet, but writing an actual book is much more substantial.

Laying the Foundation

“The digital marketing industry is very competitive so we needed to do something that would demonstrate our expertise in the industry,” explained Cheryl. “We felt the book was a great vehicle for this – anyone can put up a blog post or tweet, but writing an actual book is much more substantial.”

Another of WSI’s aims was to be able to provide their network of Consultants with “a marketing tool they could use with their clients as a leave-behind in meetings or at other events, like tradeshows, speaking engagements, [and] workshops.” The additional brand exposure from being listed internationally on Amazon was another benefit for WSI, and supported their global expansion.

Their focus? “To publish a book that would help businesses understand the latest strategies in digital marketing and how to apply these strategies to benefit their business,” said Cheryl. WSI determined the content and enlisted the expert Consultants in their network to write the respective chapters.

“A book would not only help build our brand awareness through the publication and distribution process, but it would also give our Consultants a distinct brand differentiator from other local marketing agencies they may compete with for business – since many of them don’t have a book they can say they wrote – translating into instant expert credibility that they can brag about.”

 Cheryl Baldwin, WSI

Cheryl Baldwin, WSI

The Self-Publishing Solution

With the pieces coming together, Cheryl had to find a way to bring Digital Minds to life and soon stumbled upon self-publishing as a solution: "After reading some blog posts on publishing and speaking to some standard book publishers - who were going to cost us a lot of money to work with - I came across the self-publishing option and found FriesenPress’ website."

For WSI’s business needs, the book had to come together cost-effectively and quickly, but also professionally.

“We would have had no idea how to go about doing our own editorial review of the manuscript, cover design, book layout, ISBN registration, publication or distribution. FriesenPress gave us a dedicated Author Account Manager who I worked with through the process. I came to FriesenPress with an aggressive release date (as we wanted the release in time for our annual Convention) and, through their expedited services, we were able to put a timeline together that allowed us to meet that need.”

We would have had no idea how to go about doing our own editorial review of the manuscript, cover design, book layout, ISBN registration, publication or distribution.

Digital Minds was published by FriesenPress in July, 2013 and went on to be purchased or downloaded over 67,000 times.

How? Watch a recording of our Using a Book as Your Business Card webinar to learn about what made Digital Minds' launch so successful, hosted by FriesenPress President Tammara Kennelly and Cheryl Baldwin from WSI:

Written by Brian Cliffen, FriesenPress Marketing Coordinator
Edited by Kate Juniper, FriesenPress Editorial and Illustrations Coordinator