The Top 50 Media Contact List — Yours Free

Get this free media list and other training delivered straight to your inbox every week… (It’s free!)

blog

My hate / love affair with Instagram

I go back and forth regarding social media. How much time should I spend on it? Is it worth it? Is it fun? Is it necessary? Which medium is best for me and my peeps? What do I enjoy/despise doing?

I’m so conflicted about it. One minute I think I’ll dive into Instagram Live Stories and then next I don’t want to have anything to do with any of it and just want to sit on my deck and bask in the sun, watch the birds at the feeder, sniff the lavender roses, and read the mysteries I can’t get enough of. (What I love most about them, is the characters say what they really think. No filters. No political correctness. So refreshing!)

But then I snap out of my reverie and remember that I’m creating some new work that I’ll be sharing soon – and how will people hear about it if I’m not in touch? How will I stay connected to….well, you.

I just listened to a podcast, one of my new favorites, called Hidden Brain on the positive impact of deep work.

Cal Newport, a computer scientist who was interviewed, eschewed social media altogether and had a strict schedule so he could accomplish everything he wants to. In the old (and not so old days) Newport noted that influential thinkers had a set of specific habits to get great work done “all seemed to have this drive to, on a regular basis, cut themselves off from their lives of business, and communication and distraction and isolate themselves to think deeply.”

hidden brain podcast

Hidden brain NPR podcast

Carl Jung took himself out to a stone house that didn’t have electricity or water he built by a lake in the countryside to immerse himself in his work. Mark Twain had a cabin he’d retire to on his property to be alone with his thoughts and his family had to blow a horn to call him in for dinner. J.K. Rowling holed up in a hotel near a castle in Edinborough to put her in the mindset to finish her Harry Potter books, specifically, The Deathly Hollow. Each one of these creatives took deep uninterrupted time without distraction so they could produce their important work.

Back to Instagram stories (which has been such a distraction for me!).

I’d like to try hopping on there to answer your questions. Do some casual Q&A on Instagram stories about pitching the media, publicity, confidence, storytelling, the magic of speaking up + more.

What do you think of that? Do you like the idea?

And if so, what time works for you?

Some possibilities.

5pm PT / 8pm ET some evening. Please specify best days.

Saturday at 1pm PT / 4pm ET.

Sunday at 10 or 11 am PT / 1 or 2pm ET.

Since it’s live you would actually be there in the moment with me. So, yes, I can save them to my camera roll and post them later to my website, but the point is to hang out with you in real time — the next closest thing to being in person.

So I’d love to hear back from you on this. Just put: “IG” in the subject line and let me know what time works best for you. Once I get a good sense of that I’ll jet you and email and share some times.

Also, please follow me on Instagram here so we can communicate there as you have to be on Instagram in order to attend the live stories. And I’d love to know if you’d like more photos of me or something else…

If you feel called to Instagram here is a great course from Melissa Camilleri who has also created a supportive community with integrity and spirit that helps you navigate all the changes that happen in social media.

Here are the Instagram people I can’t resist watching or following. (Warning, be prepared for a time sink). 

whiteshantyathome – I was first struck by a photo of her kids all playing musical instruments in the living room like some miniature orchestra. Then I started following her life. She’s like an old fashioned renaissance woman who talks honestly about the challenges of motherhood, creates beauty, talks about God and goodness while raising and homeschooling 5 kids in a converted barn she calls home. How does she do it all?

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom pioneer

chriselleLim – This former stylist rocks clothes and decor and am fascinated by her rise a blogger to an influencer and mommy to CEO of her own company and clothing line.

bloggers_boyfriend – Who is this guy? You never see his eyes or hear his voice. Love the mystery. He satisfies my wanderlust and the street colors are something to lust over. He knows how to style a grunge and glam shot worldwide at places I’ll never be able to go. Plus, I want to inhabit every outfit he wears even though it’s menswear.

lizmariegalvan – Secret desire…OK I admit it I want to live on her farm and have her sheep as my pets, and just collect beautiful things to sell in a shop. (My mom raised me on thrift stores and garage sales so – confession – we collected a garage full of vintage stuff for the farmhouse we never bought) Future dream? Maybe.

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer Interior design

champagneandchanel – Can’t stop watching this tiny gal with big Texan hair (teasing and extensions) who wears an x small. There is something compelling about her even though she only puts on clothes in front of a mirror and talks about them. I feel kinda weird watching this. I mean, why?

casa_colibri – Former pole dancer with dreadlocks, piercings and tats, who does yoga inversions at her Costa Rican home / retreat center. Need I say more?

Instagram influencer

Yoga Instagram influencer

gwennieth – Has 2 kids that can’t walk or talk. The oldest just turned 17. She says, “Scared that I wouldn’t know what to do, how to love her, how to communicate, how to move on with ‘normal life.’…I saw a little girl who knew nothing but love.” People never cease to amaze me. How they can manage hardship, what they can do, hold, love.

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom


4 Ways to Use Instagram Stories To Scale Your Business

By Guest Blogger Alex Slichnyi

The hype about particular social media platforms seems to come and go. A few years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing someone using Snapchat. Today, it is all about Instagram.

Instagram Stories is gaining popularity by the day as this feature allows users to take a behind the scenes sneak peek at new products, services, and events.

Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories became an instant hit, adored by 300 million daily users.

On average, users under 25 spend around 32 minutes a day on Instagram, while those in older age groups spend more than 24 minutes per day.

Considering these stats, it’s clear that this feature offers an amazing opportunity for businesses to reach a broader range of audience and promote their brand, taking the engagement on a whole new level.

In fact, according to Instagram, 1 in 3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses.

With over 50% of businesses on Instagram already using Instagram Stories, this feature is definitely something to consider for your social media campaigns.

  1. Plan Less And Publish More

If you post content on your feed every day, there is a chance that you will be marked as spam or you could annoy your audience so that they unfollow you.

Stories are different, you can post as many as you like and users have the option whether they want to watch it or not. Really, the more you post, the better.

Plus, because the content will only be around for 24 hours, it doesn’t have to be too perfect or planned. In fact, a non-planned post can help the brand look more human and relatable.

2. Go Live

Live marketing and Instagram Stories go hand in hand. Consumers are becoming increasingly attracted to live streaming, with more people watching live content every year. Instagram Stories gives you the option to stream live, so as a business you could use this to stream events, have a live Q&A session, or capture a spontaneous moment in the office.

3. Drive Engagement

If you have over 10,000 followers on your Instagram account, then some cool new features will become available to you. You can use the swipe up function to lead people to links, which is a great way to help drive traffic to specific web pages.

Other cool features include inserting a poll or a question into the Story, which offers new opportunities for engagement.

4. Boost Organic Reach

Ranking on Instagram can be a confusing process, but you may notice that accounts that have active Stories tend to show up in the search results related to the searched hashtag or location. Plus, as you are able to place hashtags and locations on your Story, it offers more opportunities to appear in related searches.

If you are interested in using Instagram Stories on your own account, you can take a look at the infographic below to find some examples of how other brands use them successfully.

Instagram stories

Alex Slichnyi, community manager at 99firms.com, is an avid learner of all things IT. He is a savvy SEO specialist who loves traveling because it allows him to experience hands-on the many facets of life. This hands-on approach can be seen in his work, which is meticulously crafted with daring vision by an open, yet methodical mind that likes to probe, test and improve. Communicating and learning are Alex’s core values that drive him forward.


3 Radio Pitch Letter Templates Guaranteed to Grab a Producer’s Attention (And get you booked!)

The following are 3 radio pitch letter templates courtesy Steve Harrison and Alex Carroll. (Thank you guys!)

Steve shared these brilliant radio pitch letter email templates and Alex created the amazing examples. You can just copy these and fill-in-the blanks with your topic or subject matter.

Also, if it isn’t obvious, all of these fabulous formulas double as as story headlines for pitching TV, magazines, newspapers and online to feature you or whatever you’re promoting.

And, if you’re planning on attending the National Publicity Summit (the event where you get to meet the media in person and pitch all the big TV and radio show producers face-to-face), these will be a big help to get prepared.

(Please forward this email to anyone you think it would help).

1. Radio Pitch Letter Template #1:  Is/Are __________ getting too ___________?

Here’s how you might apply it:

Show Pitch:  “Are China & India getting too many of our jobs?”

Show Pitch:  “Are parents ruining their kids by letting them get away with too much?”

Alex notes: “This formula can be used any time you identify something that’s gotten out of control … or could be getting out of control. It  opens up a debate because regardless of what position you take, others will oppose you … which is exactly what you want. Remember, radio shows love anything controversial.”

2. Radio Pitch Letter Template #2:  The ___ toughest questions your _________will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting
into trouble.

Here’s how you might apply it:

Show Pitch:  “The 5 toughest questions your kids will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble.”

Show Pitch:  “The 3 toughest questions your attorney will ever ask you … and how to answer them without getting into trouble.”

Alex notes: “This is one of the best and most universally applicable pitch formulas around. You could fill in that blank with virtually anyone. Banker, accountant, spouse, wedding planner, in-laws, doctor etc., etc.

get national publicity

Apply now: http://prsecrets.com/publicity-summit.html To meet the media in person at the National Publicity Summit

 

3. Radio Pitch Letter Template #3: These ____ common ____________ actually do more harm than good!

Here’s how you might apply it:

Show Pitch:  “These 3 common apologies actually do more harm than good!”

Show Pitch:  “These 5 common forms of excercise actually do more harm than good!”

Alex Notes: “Why is this formula so compelling? Because it goes against the conventional wisdom. It says that something that everyone thinks  is a good thing … is actually not a good thing at all. This really catches the media’s attention. They absolutely love these kinds of pitches. They are guaranteed to grab a producer’s attention virtually every time …

BTW when you attend the summit you’ll have a chance to get a 1 sheet media makeover with Alex in person (free). Be sure not to miss it as this is his genius. I was stunned with what he did with mine…
Keen to put these templates into practice ASAP?
Apply for a spot in the publicity summit.

 


Marvelous trainings, downloads and other fabulous free stuff

One of my goals this year is to give more things away. This is a carefully curated treasure trove of free goodies that will help you and your business move into the public eye gracefully with more ease and fun.

Click on the image and you’ll be whisked to the right place to download a PDF or register for a training.

NOTE: Some trainings aren’t offered at this time. But register anyway and you’ll be notified the next time they run.

 



PR Tips to Make Your Movement Go Viral

By Guest Blogger Alison Luterman (Plus a poem!) – with my video commentary on how to make a movement go viral — from Erica Mandy’s Show, The News Worthy

I was walking up the street minding my own business when a superhero jumped out in front of me. He landed in a wide-legged stance, arms outstretched, head thrown back in true Olympic superhero style. He was about three feet high and was wearing sneakers that lit up with flashing lights when he moved.

“I’m magic!” he announced.
“You are magic–I can see that!” I said.

It had been two weeks since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and I was still in a funky mood. Events, both national and personal, had been clouding my ability to see the magic in life. But here it was, on a bright Tuesday afternoon when the dogwood was blooming.

“I’m also the fastest runner,” the super-hero went on. “Wanna see?”
“Yes, please!”

He tore up the sidewalk, his sneakers flashing.

“Wow, you are super fast!!” His Dad was leaning up against the family SUV, chuckling.
“He’s actually the fastest runner in the world,” he clarified. “It’s not everyday you get to see something like that. I can understand if you’re overwhelmed.”

I put my hand on my heart and staggered back. “It’s going to take me awhile to recover.”

In truth I hope never to recover from the magic of children. It may be our only hope as a species.

Like so many other people, I’m still blown away by the power of the young students speaking up now for gun control, especially Emma Gonzalez, the shaven-headed, bisexual, Latinx student (president of her school’s Gay-Straight Student Alliance), who rose up out of the smoke and spilled blood of the Parkland massacre, and has been speaking truth to power like a lioness.

If you haven’t seen the video of her making an impassioned plea for gun control while wiping away tears–weeping freely, but making her points with fierce accuracy, including the amount of money the Great Pretender accepted from the NRA for his campaign–go watch it.  (Spoiler alert: 30 million dollars.)

Watch the way she feels deeply, but also has facts and figures at her command, and uses them. That’s not easy. When I’m crying my voice shakes, or it knots up in my throat, my chin quivers uncontrollably, and I feel foolish and naked. I’d prefer to hide under the bed than let people see me like that.

But it’s the job in front of us right now–all of us. Find our deepest feelings and speak from that vulnerable, exposed place.

It turns out many of the young activists effectively challenging Senators and Congress are drama club kids. I was a drama club kid. It was the ultimate safe space for queer kids, outcasts, weirdos. The energy and passion, the intense bonding love that gets generated backstage can be used for so many good things. You can put on a play, you can read your poetry at an open mic, you can start a movement and take your message to Congress.

Art teaches us to be brave. And we need a lot of courage these days. And a lot of love. Hold your friends and companions, fellow-artists, fellow-activists, children and the young at heart extra tightly. And don’t stop speaking truth to power even if it makes you cry.

Watching the Giraffes

The baby giraffe stands
in the shadow of the tall
mother-body,
both of their astonishing
necks marked
with a perfect mosaic pattern
like kitchen linoleum.

How close the gods come to
us sometimes,
how quietly.

Then the tallest one
who has been gazing off into
the distance,
his small head atop that
neck
like a long lonesome train
whistle
high above everything,
lets loose a Niagara of
yellow pee
and another giraffe ducks
a swanlike neck down,
down,
to catch a deep, hot
mouthful of urine,then undulates back up,
swanlike, elegant,
gulping and swallowing.So that too is part of it.

How they take
what they are thirsty for
without apology,
as I am drinking in the gentle
weight
of the child’s small trusting
body
leaning against my arm
on the bench at the zoo,
both of us watching the
animals
without saying anything.

Alison Luterman’s three books of poetry are The Largest Possible Life; See How We Almost Fly; and Desire Zoo. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Sun, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, The Atlanta Review, Tattoo Highway, and elsewhere.. She has also written an e-book of personal essays, Feral City, and more than half a dozen plays, including Oasis, Saying Kaddish With My Sister, Glitter and Spew, Touched, and two musicals, The Chain and Nasty Women. She performs with the Oakland-based improvisation troupe Wing It! and has given writing workshops all over the country, including at Omega and Esalen Institutes.

She teaches memoir at The Writing Salon in Berkeley, and is available for private coaching in writing or creativity, both in-person or on-line. She also loves to teach easy accessible theater games and writing prompts to groups. For more information, please visit her website at www.alisonluterman.net.


Love Your Drivel

I had a big slump in my writing group.

For a year. I’d put pen to paper in a beautiful journal and out would pour — drivel.

Sometimes I’d write to get all the minutae out of my head. Other times I’d write a list. But the end “result” was nothing of consequence.

I mentioned the writing process we go through in Wild Writing to Sherry Richert Belul and Alison Luterman the other night as we crunched skinny french fries and sipped bubbly water at the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco with before her poetry reading at Martuni’s.

Alison said that as she was writing she was always looking to have a finished product – be it a play, a poem or a story. So to write without a “goal” wasn’t easy.

I’m was the Alison camp. Until I wasn’t. I’m not sure what happened exactly, other than I let go a little and just allowed the drivel to flow. And there was plenty of it.

And then something shifted. In my business writing too. I’m writing up a storm and creating new videos and products and stuff at such a speed I wish that there were more hours in the day!

Like this video about how to be kinder to yourself after a media appearance (or any new venture for that matter).

I’m not yet in the place where I can love my drivel.

Then today I read this in Sunil Bali’s ezine which put me on the path (another shift!)…

“The ceramics teacher announced on the first day of class, that he was dividing the class into two groups.

One half of the class would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, and the other half would be graded solely on the quality of their work.

On the final day of class the teacher would bring his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the quantity group: fifty pounds in weight of pots rated a Grade “A”, forty pounds a Grade “B”, and so on.

Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get a Grade “A”.

Come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a not very good pot.

Whether its business, art or sport, it’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work.

Focus on the repetitions that lead to your desired outcome. Focus on the iterations that come before the success. Focus on the hundreds of ceramic pots that come before the masterpiece.

In other words: Try. Fail. Learn, Repeat.

Don’t be afraid of making a load of rubbish. Be afraid of making nothing at all.”

So let’s make loads of rubbish together and not worry about judging it or using it or improving ourselves.

Your 12-Month Publicity Plan: Right Resolutions for You

Resources I mentioned:

Get Your 12-Month Publicity Plan + 40+ Magazine Editorial Calendars + The 100 Word Email that Can Get The Media to Call You.

Magazine Editorial calendars 2018

40+ Magazine Editorial calendars

Social scientist BJ Fogg has a system to develop desired habits, called Tiny Habits.

Enjoy delicious anti-aging dark chocolate and youthify without pain, surgery or injections.

Anti-aging Dark Chocolate

Esthechoc Anti-aging Dark Chocolate

Time your productivity and reward yourself with the Focus Booster app

Temptation Bundling: The thing I couldn’t remember when you link something onerous that you don’t want to do with something pleasurable that you love.

What I repeat every day: Open my path before me, and grant me the opportunity to be of maximum good in the world. ~Caroline W. Casey

I forgot the mention my favorite Instagram feed. This one always makes me laugh and feel good. So if you’re feeling low, and like everything is just too darn much, head over here for a jolt of joy. Then once uplifted you can move forward.

self-esteem

Still thinking about your New Years’ Resolutions? Some more things to ponder from past years here and here.



Your Passive Profit Pyramid to Prepare for PR

By Guest Blogger Christina Jandali (with a few PR comments from me).

SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:

Publicity is a vehicle to help you generate passive income as it drives organic traffic to your website through radio, TV, print, podcast and blog interviews / articles.

It’s important to have your systems in place which includes your opt-ins, funnels, webinars, sales pages, scripts, and social media strategy.

Christina Jandali explains how to generate passive income and passive profits so you can then scale your passive profit pyramid to put much of your business on autopilot.

I’ve made some comments about how scaling for passive profits synchs with your publicity campaign.

scaling for passive profits

How to create passive income

Last week I went to a conference and I wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways with you.

The one question that got asked a lot was….

How can I add more $$$ to my bottom line, without sacrificing time?

SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:

Many people want to promote something — like a book or themselves. But what the most savvy entrepreneurs know is that that model isn’t scalable — because it’s your one-on-one time.

When I work with clients I encourage them to look for the intellectual property that they already have that we can convert into a course, a program, or a downloadable audio, video, printable that they can sell to dozens, hundreds or thousands.

Then, when people who have heard, read or seen you in the media come to your website they can purchase something other than your expertise and time.

Maybe you’ve wondered this yourself….

I know I’m still learning ways to be able to do this and I want to be fully transparent with you here, that although I teach this, I too can continue to learn and perfect these.

This is where more people focus. How to get more clients. But it can be short-sighted. Sure if you’re just starting out, this is your priority! But the further along you are in your business, the value is in the lifetime customer value or the length of your relationship.

It’s way easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before and it costs you nothing, versus generated new leads and converting them. Of course you want to have some focus here, but be mindful of the other two points.

The best ways to sell to more people are:

#1: get more leads

#2: increase your conversions (on sales calls, webinars, sales page, sales emails, etc)

2. You can increase the average purchase price

My simple solution to this is to raise prices. It’s a quick and easy fix, especially for the big chunk of online entrepreneurs who undervalue their programs and services.

Another suggestion for this at the event was to add upsells. This is where you make an offer on the thank you page after someone purchases from you. This is an area that I know I can work on for my launches.

Although I have used upsells in my funnels, during a launch I’ve never offered an upsell and I am leaving money on the table. I could expect to see 20% of buyers take me up on such an offer.

Another way of increasing the average purchase price is to offer a VIP option, which you’ve probably noticed I use and highly recommend. There is always a segment of your audience that wants to go deeper with you and are willing to invest at a higher price point for this.

successful funnel

Create a sales funnel

3. You can increase the lifetime customer value

When I worked with financial advisors, this was a goldmine of potential revenue. One of the first things I would do is help transition the way they do business. Instead of charging commission per buy or sell trade, we would transition their business to a reoccurring fee.

In the online space, you see this model being used with Membership sites.

Here are some other ways to increase the lifetime customer value:

  • This one came from James Wedmore. After people buy his BBD program during his launch, he sends them a thank you email along with a 20% coupon that they can use within 48 hours on his entire product suite.
  • Using an ascension model. Although this is more advanced and isn’t recommend when you are just starting out or at least until you have perfected one offer. An ascension model is basically a ladder of offers that lead into each other. Here’s my own example:
grow your passive income

Strategy for creating passive profits

They are one of the best tools for building community and getting paying clients. Hands down.

But beyond that, it’s one of the best ways for your peeps to have an inside scoop and pulse on you, your business and the message you have to share with the world.

SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:

One way to build your credibility is to create your own Facebook group.

4. Host a Facebook Group.

I always teach my students, if you are a Facebook group host you want to make sure that you’re getting people from your Facebook group onto your email list as well, which is an asset you own and you can continue to market to, no matter what.

If you’re building your business off of other people’s Facebook groups, are you bringing those connections back to your community where you are in the driver seat?

Mark Zuckerberg has announced his commitment and vision in growing Meaningful Facebook Groups.

So the way I see it, they are here to stay.

And those who have a purpose or a mission behind their community, who are using their group as a tool to connect and have a greater impact, will stand strong when the current goes out.

SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:

There are some marvelous opportunities to share your knowledge within other people’s already established Facebook Groups if you don’t want to start your own so you can build your business organically and authentically using online marketing vs. traditional publicity. Here’s how.

(With a note of warning. You have no control if that host decides to shut down that group so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Many hosts are doing that given that the changes in Facebook and perceive market saturation. Find a number of groups that cater to your ideal market).

And my takeaway to increase the lifetime customer value of my client base is to perfect and shrink down my ascension model. I will be retiring some of my own programs and narrowing my own focus to deliver the best value possible, for my clients.

Christina Jandali is a Biz growth strategist who teaches coaches to create solid cash creating strategies for their online business.

Passive Profits summit

Scaling for Passive Profits Mastermind

SUSAN’S INSIGHTS RE: PR + Passive Profits:

Join us for the passive profits masterclass so you can create your offers BEFORE you begin your publicity campaign so you can monetize your appearances. You will have the choice of getting insights from any or all 40+ experts. Go here now to register.