Lisa Thee of Launch Consulting On How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

An Interview With Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert
May 7 · 8 min read

I have found that it helps people to understand the value I can bring when I come into a conversation. As a brand builder, I am most excited to be publicly aligned with my co-authors who are some of the brightest minds in AI today. As far as my business, it helps me to guide clients, C Suites, and Boards on how to think about Risk Mitigation as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate.

a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Thee.

Lisa Thee leads Launch Consulting’s Data for Good practice, helping the world’s most innovative healthcare and technology companies to improve digital safety, anti-toxicity, and apply AI/machine learning for innovation. She is the Co-Author of Demystifying Artificial Intelligence for the Enterprise and Navigating Forward podcast host. Lisa also currently serves as an advisory board member for Engineered Medical Solutions, Humaxa, Spectrum Labs, Orchestrated Intelligence, and Marketplace Risk; and a Board member for 3 Strands Global Foundation.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

started my career forecasting the cellular market in the early 2000’s; at the time we were looking to Asia to see the emerging trends of color displays and integrated cameras. At no point did it cross my mind that the systems we had in place to screen for child sexual abuse imagery via the mail systems would be usurped and it would be much easier for criminal activity to accelerate.

I had the opportunity to visit 36 countries before the age of 30. As an IT Manager, I was often mistaken for a flight attendant when staying in the business hotels internationally, and my male exec counterparts were open about paying for company in front of me. On a trip to Malaysia, I saw a 7 year old girl dressed up like a character from the movie Pretty Woman — available for sale in a bar midweek at midnight. There are some things you can’t unsee. When I got to a senior enough place in my career to take action, that was my first priority.

During a business meeting in DC I had a chance to speak with the former deputy director of the US Marshals. And he said….

“Handing your child a smartphone is like dropping them off in the most dangerous city in the world and walking away”. John Clark CEO NCMEC

That one meeting literally changed the course of my career and my life. As a parent myself, it shook me to the core. Of course my kids would never make this mistake! But when faced with the data, I learned it’s not about what my kid would do. It is about the toxic environment I am letting them enter without any guidance.

In partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited children I learned that the growth of reports of child pornography, I’m not talking about sexy schoolgirl photos, I’m talking about crime scene photos of pre-pubescent victims to law enforcement growing from 500k in 2013 to over 16M by 2019. It is critical that as women and underrepresented groups gain a seat at the table where decisions are made, we advocate for those who do not have a voice. That is my “why”.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

I learned a ton along the way as a SaaS company founder / CEO and want to share that learning for others who are inspired to create technology forward social impact companies or to take the leap into entrepreneurship; so I am hosting the Navigating Forward podcast.

< https://www.buzzsprout.com/1612912>

I am also doing a TEDx Talk on “AI for disrupting Human Trafficking in the Digital Age” which is scheduled for August 2021. As a consultant I get to work with leading research hospitals, and the largest technology software companies to help them accelerate AI innovation, increase platform trust and safety, and design for the human experience.

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

I am a co-author on Demystifying Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Enterprise. The theme of the book is to meet business and technology leaders where to they are, in order to unlock the value that AI can bring to meet human needs and create value. There are chapters and case studies focused on Demystifying AI, Digital Transformation, and AI for business domains (Supply Chain, HR, Corporate Social Responsibility, Retail, and Finance). We provide a one stop shop for real world leaders to share insights on they are enabling their teams to create the best user experience and accelerate growth leveraging AI. Several of the authors previously published in this area; and are uniquely qualified to help balance the hype and the fear that this new technology brings with it; and to provide a playbook on how to make AI real.

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • Persistence — I am from the Midwest and was raised with the mindset that your word is the most valuable asset you have. When I commit to something, I will see it through in a way that brings along everyone. My mantra is bad news is ok, but surprises are not. Where you have transparency, trust, and the ability to adjust to new information you can drive the change you want to see in the world.
  • Passion — As a female social impact start up founder, I had to learn that my passion is what makes me memorable. My skills, credentials, and network is what gets me in the room; but what closes the deal is peoples belief that I am the right person at the right time to execute the vision I lay out. That is all based on emotion which is triggered by passion, then validated with data.
  • Connection — I am the classic definition of a connector from Malcom Gladwell “The Tipping Point”. I love people, learning more about what inspires each and every individual I encounter, and how I can remove roadblocks to bring their unique vision to the world. It is an honor when someone truly allows you to see them.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book?

I have found that it helps people to understand the value I can bring when I come into a conversation. As a brand builder, I am most excited to be publicly aligned with my co-authors who are some of the brightest minds in AI today. As far as my business, it helps me to guide clients, C Suites, and Boards on how to think about Risk Mitigation as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming an author and promoting a book? Can you explain to other leaders why they should invest resources and energy into this? Can you share a few examples of how writing a book in particular and thought leadership in general can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

It is accelerating my goals of increasing my influence while keeping my responsibility at a manageable level. It allows me to scale my impact without having to be physically present in one-on-one conversations. My goals for the future include Board of Directors work, Keynote Speaking, and Consulting on technology innovation. All of those pillars are supported by the investment I made in 2020 to contribute to this book.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share a story about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

The need for marketing and the efforts are tremendous, and it is a process that never stops. Encourage your readers to leave amazon reviews, so that the recommendation algorithm highlights it. Amazon is a channel you can leverage to get your book recommended to readers that can benefit from it.

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging a book publicist or marketing expert?

Our publisher Taylor and Francis allowed us to do corporate branded versions of our book with company logos and intros from the sponsoring company executive. Being able to presell books to corporations in support of fireside chats with the authors is a great way to make your clients, employees, and leaders feel invested in it. It is a great chance for the authors to connect as thought leaders with people who can benefit from their knowledge.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Marketing and promotion are a continuous process that never ends.
  2. If you have co-authors, activate them in getting the word out on the book through their social channels.
  3. Go with a well-established publisher who can bring their influence and network to help you get the word out.
  4. Book signings at conferences are often a great way to get the word out.
  5. Focus on sharing with your audience and learning from their feedback.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

My goal in life is to do something impactful enough to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for Super Soul Sunday. I have dedicated my career to protecting vulnerable women in children globally from human trafficking and child sexual abuse material online via technology. I would love to raise the global awareness of what these crimes are and how everyone can demand more from government, companies, and society to stop the demand. The crime of human trafficking is a $150B industry; the front lines need the best tools available to help them recover victims faster. Technology can be a great tool to accelerate the tedious things that machines do well; so that investigators can focus on do what humans do best which is to investigate cases.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.lisathee.com; Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisathee/

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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