Do you want to know how to best market your book and yourself as an introvert?
Listen as a "champion for introverts," Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D., shares how to use quiet influence to expand your leadership capacity.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Avoid Disappointing Book Marketing Results" you will discover...
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is hailed as a champion for introverts. Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD, is one of the top, global leadership speakers on introverts. She's an author and certified speaking professional. Her bestselling books, The Introverted Leader, Quiet Influence, and The Genius Of Opposites, help introverts throughout the world expand their leadership capacity. And they've also been translated into 18 languages. Her latest book is Creating Introvert-friendly Workplaces: How to Unleash Everyone's Talent and Performance. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune. Jennifer takes enormous joy and pride from being a mom and a grandmother, as well as serving as a mentor to many professional women. She's one of my favorite National Speaker Association colleagues. Jennifer, it's a real pleasure to welcome you to the show. And thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Susan, I love your work and it's been a pleasure to be a colleague of yours for so many years now, actually. Thank you for having me.
Susan Friedmann: Oh, it's my pleasure. We love having experts on this show. It's all about different people's expertise, their experience in life and what they can share. Now, you're hailed as a champion for introverts, how did you get that title?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: That's a common question and I'm glad you asked it. Susan, I got interested in this topic many years ago when I was introduced to an assessment called the Myers-Briggs. And there were two propelling forces that really got me going on this and where it became almost my life's work at this point. And one was my husband and understanding that back then I was married to an introvert. I still am. He's still the same husband. And he's still an introvert. I didn't even know that term. And it was the kind of experience if you've ever taken an assessment like that, when things start to make sense. And so, it really did help our relationship in a lot of ways in sort of having another lens to look through to understand each other because I used to get so frustrated. I didn't realize at the time that I was an extrovert, which I learned over the time of taking the assessment.
So that was one definite reason I became passionate about this. And I took that passion and when I was working in organizations, I was a career coach, a leadership development person and HR, many roles helping people. That's always been my goal, Susan. And like you, member of this National Speakers Association, a lot of us speakers are there to help folks as well. And that was my driving force. And what I kept discovering as my career was unfolding was that I would come across so many people that I knew or had been identified as introverts, which turned out to be half the organizations actually, between 40 and 60%. And they were so frustrated and overlooked and ignored in many cases. And I would observe it all the time. And it really had tremendous impacts that I was seeing on those individuals. And as I really dug further into the research, looking at the impacts on teams and on the workplace, and that's sort of where the journey has taken me, writing books about those topics.
Susan Friedmann: Fantastic. Let's sort of start from the beginning and look at what are some of the major differences between an extrovert and an introvert. So, that everybody understands. Because I'm sure, as you rightly said, after taking an assessment, you see things differently. Like you, I'm also married to an introvert. And it was only when I started studying some of these different characteristics that I got to understand my husband a lot better and why he does what he does.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: And when I discovered it, there was a term I used in one of the books, it was called "except the alien," kind of in jest. But once you realize that you can't change that other person, although at times we all still try to change people at work and at home, but if once you realize that though, you're in for a lot less stress. Yeah. So, would you like me to address some of the differences between Is and Es?
Susan Friedmann: The major differences. Absolutely.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Sure, sure. We've learned this also through studying the concept of introversion and extroversion, it really is, like many things, Susan, a spectrum. Think of it as a bell curve, most people are clustered sort of towards the middle. And really, what it's about is energy. And introverts get their energy from being in solitude and taking quiet time. They like people. It's not like they're antisocial. But they can only take so much of being out in the world before they need to decompress, get inside their heads, where they get re-energized again, where the creative inspiration occurs, where they're just recouping themselves. A lot of people talk about the term stimulation. If you've ever seen an introvert get overstimulated, they've sort of get this look on their faces. Just too much. It's just too much.
Now let's take a look at the other side, which are extroverts who get energized by being out in the world and stimulation. And so, their batteries get charged up and they kind of need more of that. And there's even a biochemical research that says that dopamine is more pronounced, that they have a lot more of it, that they are stimulated more in their minds and in their hearts when they are with people. And they need that. It's like a fix that they need. So, if we think about the pandemic now, it's been challenging really for both sides, but extroverts particularly have to get those people-fixes in some way or another.
Those are just some of the general themes around the differences. Now, if we talk about strengths that both have, and then that's really... In all of my work, I come from a place of really looking at how introverts can build on their quiet strengths because for too long they have had to adapt, and they still do, very much so, to a type A, extroverted world.
My specialty is the workplace. It's absolutely true that most companies, most businesses, most professions do reward the extroverted temperament. Now, what is the extroverted temperament? It tends to be more or some of the strengths, let's say... We'll start with extroverts. Extroverts can really get, there's the term schmooze, right, they can get people talking. They like to have conversation, meet with, probably, more people than just less. They like a lot of breadth versus depth in what they're doing, with their work, as well as their relationships. They like to have a lot going on in that way. And then they kind of get deflated if they don't have that. They're very much out there and they're connecting and they're bringing people into the conversation. They're really excellent at facilitation. When you see meetings happen or when they're programs, oftentimes the extrovert will be the one that steps up and gets things going. There's a lot of strengths from that standpoint.
Introverts, [inaudible 00:07:29] said that they're in their heads, they go for a lot of depth versus breadth. So, if you think about projects, they go deeper. Let's say you work with clients who are writing books, right, so the introvert, one way they might write the book is kind of dig into it, go deep and then write. Whereas, the extrovert might get an idea from here from there, have sticky notes all over the wall and then kind of make it diverge into a chapter that makes sense. And I'm thinking to myself when I've co-written with introverts. That's the difference in the style. It's just one example.
We really have focused so much on the extroverts. We look at what are the strengths that introverts bring in addition to really, what I talked about, taking the quiet time? And in influencing, in leading, they really use those strengths of listening. Engaged listening is one of the hallmarks, that people will talk about their leaders as being people that were incredible listeners and they were introverted. Another key differentiator from extroverts is they do a lot more of preparation. That really makes their contributions very long-lasting. They have really given things thought. And so, there's focus.
Extroverts tend to... Just to flip to them a minute. They contribute as well, but they do it in a way that's more like I described in the writing. It's more brainstorming. It's more thinking aloud. Whereas, the introverts again, think in their heads. So, those are some of the strengths. Introverts are very calm. And they will show... If you think about introverts, like one that just popped in my head that I've been reading about lately is Fred Rogers, the wonderful host of a children's television program. And if you look at videos of him or of others who are introverted influencers, you'll just hear this calmness that just kind of gets everybody kind of calmed down, just like he did millions of children around the world.
I hope that gives you sort of a picture of some of the differences. And certainly my four books have gone into a lot more detail, but giving you a couple of the hits.
Susan Friedmann: Absolutely. And I'm thinking, she's been in my office with all those stickies around the place. So I was like, ah. It's so funny because as you were saying all these different things, I'm thinking, yes, I relate to that.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Yes.
Susan Friedmann: I think that in some ways that I'm an extrovert, but in others I feel, oh, I'm an introvert. And as I get older, I feel I'm becoming much more of an introvert than ever I was. Is that possible?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Yes, it is possible. In fact, Carl Jung, who was the originator of this in the early 1900s, of this theory, definitely wrote about that. And he said that in the second half of life, like 50, above, we start to move in more into those other traits and we develop those. And if you think about it, you are through life learning how to function in the world. You realize that, maybe I don't need to, as I get older, be socializing every weekend, Friday and Saturday night. As you get older, for instance, I rather stay home and read a good book and just curl up and just relax.
And where I got in touch with my introversion was when I was doing a lot of traveling up until lately. It was a few years ago and I was on the road alone for a lot of the time. And I started to get to know myself better, if I could put it that way. And actually realize that when I got off the road, that I really relish that time alone, that I really enjoyed just being with myself. I didn't need to have people around. That was a big lesson that I've experienced as well as other extroverts. But I think that's important to realize.
And introverts, on the other hand, become a more adept at social skills and social interaction and stimulation, but yet they still need to go back to their center. And I think that's the key. I suggest that people don't try to obsess about, well, am I or am I not? There's a term ambivert that's used, like ambidextrous. And some people relate to that. But I find that the more we learn about the profile, most of us, as I say, are towards the middle, but we can usually identify more with one than another. And again, it's not a big deal if you don't either.
Susan Friedmann: And it's funny because I often get this, that introvert sort of are very apologetic about the fact that they are an introvert. Have you found that?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Yes, I have found that. And one of my thoughts about that is that, and I wrote about this in my last book on Creating Introvert-friendly Workplaces, is that there's still tremendous bias against introverts in the workplace and in the world. They'll say, no, I'm definitely an extrovert. And then they take an assessment or they learn more about it. And they say, no, I've been trying to be somebody I'm not. And that's what's been very exhausting. I hear this every day from clients, from readers. There's still this tremendous stigma, because as I mentioned earlier, we live in a type A, extroverted world. And so, it's just normal that people are going to feel that way. But definitely something we want to change. And that's my mission now is to have everybody embrace these incredible qualities. There are some tremendous, tremendous strengths in being introverted.
Susan Friedmann: Let's turn the focus on to the authors. And what I find so often is that authors don't like to promote themselves. And I'm thinking that may well be a characteristic of an introvert. Talk to us about that. And what advice would you give to an author who really sort of feels very self-conscious about going out there, promoting themselves. And they think it's sort of yucky and not the right thing to do.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Well, I did a program for my fellow authors on this a few months ago. And if I can, I can just share with you a couple of the steps that I recommended that have been my ways of getting my message out there. I'll put a qualifier out there that I actually like to market. That's been something that I find is a challenge. I've had several businesses and I've always looked at the PR and the marketing as something that I could try to figure this out, try to find the right angle. So, for me, this is something I enjoy. But I think the basic message is, Susan, that people need to find the ways that work for them and it's not every strategy, it's not every tool, it's not every tip.
So, let me just share with you, if you can indulge me. I'll give you the six ones that I said, and then maybe if you have any questions on it, we can do that.
Susan Friedmann: Absolutely.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: I call them six leavers and one is the website. Now, the website needs to be easy to find and have a landing page on the book. I mean, these are very practical kinds of things. These aren't things that you need to do to get out there and talk to people. You do need to go have a presence online, right? It's a findability factor, I think it's called. And with your website and your book, it's very helpful and you probably advise your people to do this, is give away chapters, give away excerpts.
Speaking of giving away, several years ago, I reached out to... I think it's my second book and I was trying to look at some ideas for how to get it out there. And I talked to a person who said to me... who is a successful author, Lisa McCloud, and Lisa is a sales expert. And she said, "You know what, Jennifer? I give my book to anybody who shows even a glimmer of interest." And so, the next time I had a book come out, I ordered more discounted copies from the publisher at the outset when you can get a better discount. And that's exactly what I did. I mean, anybody that said, "Oh, I'm interested in the book." I got it in their hands because that's what I wanted to do. And so, the website's one way to kind of get that free stuff out there, but also to give books away.
The second thing I recommend to people is to build your communities. And if we think about introverts and how introverts have deeper relationships, we all can do that. And share in any kind of way that makes sense for you, whether it's on social media or if you have a list to start building your list, is to make people a part of your book journey as you're writing the book. And I did kind of a funny video with my husband on the last book where he was being a real introvert. And he wasn't very interested when my books came and I was all excited. So, it showed the difference. It was kind of just a humorous thing. And it got tons of people looking at it. That was something where you could do as an introvert. You don't necessarily have to be out there talking, but you can make a video. That was something.
And then of course, press, which I know you've had some great people on there about writing articles and getting them into so many of the online outlets now. I did that a lot on this book because it came out in June, on June 16th, right, in the midst of the pandemic that we're still in. And getting articles out there gets more of an audience. And you can take articles from your book and just adapt content from your book. So, that's kind of the third thing, the website, build your communities, have your press going.
And then use social media. I found, in Quiet Influence, when I looked at how people made a difference who were introverted, they said if they did use social media, and some didn't, they used it very thoughtfully. For instance, one of my friends, Jesse Stoner, has a leadership blog that's immensely popular. And one of the key strategies she uses to grow interest in her work is sharing content from a wide scope of leadership experts. So, she gives voice to others. She mentions them in her blog posts. And I think now, her blog gets more than a million views a year. You can think about, how can I share the wealth and support other people? And it's going to come back to you.
And then, of course, speaking is a way. And now with virtual speaking, there are opportunities for introverts who aren't that comfortable, such as doing maybe like a fireside chat, you can have the questions ahead of time, or you could do an on demand program, right, where you're prepared and you can redo it, then practice. And have it available.
And then, the last tip I would say it was to consider partnering with outside firms like yours and others and have them do some of the work that you're not comfortable doing. There's a lot out there. I would even suggest to people, as folks told me when I got into the more of the keynote speaking businesses and was, "Don't try to do it all." Where you told that too? Just, it was overwhelming, right?
Susan Friedmann: Oh, yes. It's overwhelming. And every expert I have on here, just like social media, it's like, "Don't try and do it all. Find something that you feel comfortable with and just do that." So, yes. I mean, that's-
Jennifer Kahnweiler: But their point is to do it, right?
Susan Friedmann: Great advice. Absolutely.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: So, I would make the case that there are a lot of introvert-friendly ways now, especially with our virtual platforms, to market your book. I don't know. What are you seeing now, Susan, with a pandemic? Are you seeing people, you be creative with how they're doing it?
Susan Friedmann: I think they're being very creative and much more so. And they're thinking up online programs, which seem to be the big hit at the moment. And obviously, social media is probably gone crazy with everything. I don't do a whole lot of it. So, I sort of, a little scared of it, but I'm sort of putting my toe in the water. But articles, I think you're absolutely dead on with that one. And yeah, I think there are opportunities out there that you don't have to feel icky about what they call self-promotion, because it's more about your message and the value that you bring with that message that I think is most important.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: And one of the areas I have seen introverts be concerned about doing is... And it kind of relates to what you said earlier about bragging on yourself. Like in the South, in Atlanta, where I live, there's an expression, "Don't brag on yourself." But you have to do some amount of bragging. And I totally get that. It can sound very conceited and you're arrogant and all of this. But how about if you work on building your relationships and you, as I mentioned Jesse's example, you are giving and you are supporting other people. And you will find it comes back to you. So when it's time for your book to launch and you send your email out to your launch team, is what I call it, you are going to be getting great responses back.
You're going to say, "Here's how you can help. These are the ways you can write a review. Would you mind just putting this on your social media or mentioning it in your newsletter." And you ask for the help and it'll come back to you much more so than you even expect. And it's all because we're helping each other. And I truly believe that.
I want to tell one, quick anecdote about that if that's okay.
Susan Friedmann: Go for it.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: It's your podcast. I want to make sure. Some people might know the name, Susan Cain. Susan wrote a very famous book called Quiet, which came out about the same time that my book came out. And I had been introduced to her and we had some correspondence. So we stayed connected. And my book, The Introverted Leader, was the first book that came out. It's now in its second edition, that came out last year. But it was the first book in the workspace about this topic. And now there's hundreds of books on introvert. So it was good to be there early.
People said to me, "Oh my gosh, aren't you going to be concerned because Susan is a big name in this?" And it was incredible what happened. She and I began a friendship, a colleagueship and we shared ideas. And then, I was sharing about her book, which I really didn't have to because her TED Talk had probably the most views of any TED Talk, practically. But slowly after time went on, I was sharing her content and she would be very kind and share a chapter of mine when it came out. We promoted on social media. In the last book, Creating Introvert-friendly Workplaces, I mentioned this just because this is the importance of connecting with people who could be considered competitors, but I like the term collaborative competition. You're becoming better because of that other person. If you think about two tennis players who play with each other, just so they get better. And Susan elevates my game. And what Susan did for this topic is she broke open the flood gates. And she allowed many of us to really then seize that because people didn't even talk about introversion before. And-
Susan Friedmann: Yes. And I mean, her name is big in that space. And it's so lovely to hear and I love that word colleagueship. That sounds better than sort of like JV, joint venture partners. I like that and that collaborative competition, because yeah... And that she opened doors for you that allowed people to embrace your work and hers as well. So-
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Exactly. And what we realize about when we have colleagues like that... And by the way, I want to give credit to the collaborative competition term, which is Kathryn Mayer, who wrote a book about that. I want to give her the proper attribution. But what we've realized is that we all compliment each other. Another dear friend of mine now is Sophia Dembling, who wrote a book called Introverts In Love and she wrote The Introverts Way, two fabulous books. And she has written for Psychology Today. A lot of your authors wonder how do I get press, right. I reached out to her when I was in Dallas, just visiting, a few years ago. We had a drink and we got to be friends. And we really have become good friends. And she's covered my work. We will brainstorm ideas and she'll just put it on Psychology Today. She does a column, right? And recently she was having some challenges. And so, I recommended her for a writing and editing assignment. And now she's got a lot of work with this company. It's all about give and take.
And I think that's so beautiful when authors can support other. And that's why I'm really pushing this, is kind of partnerships are the way and building your community. And then you will find, if you're truly invested and it's not just a transactional kind of thing, well, I pat your back, your pat... You know what I mean? It's more like a rich reciprocity that is happening between you. Then you will see your book start to really take off because you're going to people who have themselves influential communities. And that's really critical. I just don't think in this day and age with... How many books come out, every business books, like every week, Susan?
Susan Friedmann: Millions.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: It's like hundreds. I think it was like-
Susan Friedmann: Thousands.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: The numbers are staggering, right?
Susan Friedmann: They are. They're getting larger and larger.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Larger and you know that. So how do you get seen? How do you get visibility? And so-
Susan Friedmann: Well, that's it.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Right. You got to find that way. And my way has been really to connect. And I think it's a very introvert-friendly technique, particularly when you can start a lot of those conversations on email and through LinkedIn and get to know that person, follow them. It's cool. And I just want to say that approach has landed me some really fantastic endorsements, people I didn't even know like Arianna Huffington, Adam Grant, Daniel Pink. I have followed them. I've reached out to them. And they didn't know me at all, except Daniel pink, I did meet him once very briefly. And so, it was really cool to see that endorsements can happen too, because you are connecting with people and you're sharing their work. And that's really the key.
Susan Friedmann: That's beautiful. And it's lovely to hear that those names are also willing to share because you think sometimes, oh, I can't approach that person, they'd never answer me. But actually, they're human beings like everybody else. And when people say to me, "Oh, you answer your own phone?" I was like, "Of course, I do." Who else should answer it?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: My father used to say they put their pants on like everyone else, one leg at a time.
Susan Friedmann: Exactly. Exactly. If our listeners wanted to find out more about you, your books, your services, how can they do that?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Well, thank you, Susan. I'm very proud of our new website and it's got kind of a lot of rich information on there that people can check out. So, it's jenniferkahnweiler.com. And I'm sure you'll put the spelling in there. It's all one word. J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R, Kahnweiler, K-A-H-N-W-E-I-L-E-R.com. And we have four different quizzes on there that only take five minutes each. You can just pick one to take that each aligns with the books that I've written, The Introverted Leader and the latest one, Creating An Introvert-friendly Workplace. And they all align with that. And you can see where you stand, where your team stands. And it's just a good way to really get started on the journey of really being more introvert-inclusive.
Susan Friedmann: I love that. If you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be, Jennifer?
Jennifer Kahnweiler: In these times, I think I would go back to my quote that I love. And I don't remember who said it, but I will have to look that up. It's worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. Worry never robs tomorrow of it's sorry. So, I'm worrying less, especially in these times, one minute at a time.
Susan Friedmann: Exactly. And that's all we can do is take one minute at a time. That's all we've got. Yes.
Jennifer Kahnweiler: Exactly. Exactly.
Susan Friedmann: Jennifer, you've been amazing. You've shared some wonderful wisdom. I've gotten some incredible ideas and you and I need to talk about something. We'll do that offline. But thank you. Thank you for sharing that wisdom. And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book marketing success.