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6 Weird Ways to Get a Reporter’s Attention For Your Business

Guest post by Victoria Green

Getting media attention – especially the right kind of attention – is something of an art. Whether you’re a celebrity, a business owner, or a politician, it’s all about finding an angle. And not just that – you have to be able to get a reporter’s attention in the first place. This can be easier said than done.

Bear in mind that reporters and media journalists are solicited hundreds of times a day. Their email inboxes are virtually overflowing. So if you want their attention, you need to go about it in the right way. You need to stand out from the crowd – even if that means taking an unconventional approach.

With this in mind, here are 6 weird ways to get a reporter’s attention. (See also: 9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling).

Start with Google

Google is an amazing resource to unearth useful information about the reporter, what they cover, and how they like to be approached.

A good place to start your ‘Googleathon’ is social media. See how they interact with others online, and whether they regularly interact with others pitching them ideas. You can also look to their work bio to see if they specify preferences.

There are different schools of thought on the best way to approach a reporter with an idea for a story. They may prefer email, Twitter, or a good old-fashioned phone call. In the unlikely event that they aren’t present on social media, you can defer to phone or email.

HOT TIP: look out for any pet peeves they regularly complain about. Take note as well of the current issues that they’re tweeting or retweeting. See if there’s any common ground you can use to help build a connection. Maybe you have a product that might help? Or maybe you feel the same way about a social issue?

Ultimately, if you already have a feel for the reporter and what s/he likes and dislikes, you have a better chance of reaching out to them successfully.

Weird ways to get media attention. source: pexels

Take a lesson From Tinder

The more I think about it, the more I realize that attempting to reach out and get the attention of a reporter is much like modern dating. Thanks to online dating, we often have a chance to find out about someone before we decide to approach them. When we do decide to make a move, the opening line is critical.

Tinder lines can be hilariously terrible. They can also be downright dull. Mastering the art of a good opener is paramount if you’re serious about looking for love online. And if you’re serious about getting your story picked up by the media, then it’s equally crucial.

‘Hey, how are you?’ is a great way to get ignored by a journalist. It does nothing to spark their curiosity. It lacks creativity and fails to disclose your reason for getting in touch.

Powerful subject lines for an opening email are:

  • Concise
  • Engaging
  • Unambiguous
  • Personalized
  • Value-driven

Remember, your pitch must immediately rouse the reporter’s interest. An effective subject line really is half the challenge. Check out these top 10 email subject line formulas for inspiration. You  may be surprised to learn that in some cases, “profanity f*cking works”.

Journalists also love data — so put your best foot forwards and give them some awesome data for free. Running an ecommerce business? Why not send out some surveys to your customers via social media and email to find out more about their habits? From family life and holidays, to food habits and leisure — there are plenty of useful insights and stories lurking out there.

Play it cool

Yep – the online dating metaphor still stands. When you’re building a relationship with a reporter, timing is important. Journalists are busy people with full schedules, and your clinginess will not be appealing to them.

Be respectful of what the reporter already has on their plate. Realize that when you send them a pitch, they’re probably not going to be able to respond right away – unless you’re very lucky and caught them at exactly the right moment. Give them at least a few days to respond before following up.

If the story is especially time-sensitive, then you need to make this clear when you reach out to them first time around. Conveying urgency is another great way to get a reporter’s attention.

weird ways to get a reporter’s attention. source: pexels

Send them a video

Video is changing how we create and consume news. Journalists know it, and if you can help them source quality video content, then they’re going to be very happy with you indeed. Here in 2017, video content represents 74% of all internet traffic (Source).

So if you want to give your story a boost and make it more likely to hit the headlines, consider sending a video along with your pitch. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it – and the same goes for news stories. News publications love video because it encourages readers to stay on the page for longer.

Making a vaguely professional-looking video doesn’t have to be hard. There are lots of great apps out there for making videos, including iMovie, PowerDirector, and LumaFusion.

Be willing to let it go

With time stacked against them, most reporters will probably require a follow-up a few days after you’ve pitched them your story. In most instances, they’ll probably appreciate the reminder — always with added ‘new’ information that’s of value to them — not, “Did you get my email about…”.

However, if you’ve already chased them a couple of times and received nothing but stony silence in return, you might need to try a different approach, angle, or twist on the topic. You can also ask if your pitch might be a better fit with someone else at their organization.

The risk is that you may not necessarily get the answer you’re looking for. But by putting it out there in a gentle way, such as “seems like this wasn’t a perfect fit for you – unless I hear otherwise, I will run a different idea by you soon.

If you are looking to promote something time-sensitive like a product launch or a new ecommerce venture, you are going to have to plan ahead and be mindful of editorial deadlines you can tell them that you’re offering it to them first. And if they pass you can move on to the next top person on your media list. Whether you build a store from the ground up, or invest in a readymade one, make sure that your branding and content is on-point enough to appeal to busy journos. A good pitch from a badly formulated brand may go to waste — so make sure you cover all bases.

Go bananas

Of course, if all else fails, and you really will stop at nothing to get that reporter’s attention, you can try one the following:

  • Hire a banana costume and do a little dance outside their office window
  • Pay a movie theater to play a pre-recorded video of your pitch after the ads at a movie you know they’re going to see (because they posted about it on social media)
  • Accidentally bump into them on the bus while holding a basket of kittens
  • Heroically save them from falling into a pond

Disclaimer: These methods are not tried and tested. I hold no responsibility for them going wrong.

via GIPHY

We need the attention of reporters for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you’re trying to make a story or piece of content go viral. Perhaps you just bought an online business and you want brand coverage. Possibly you’ve found yourself in the public’s bad books, and you need a bit of good publicity. Whatever the reason, it helps to know how to go about it. Hopefully these suggestions have been useful.

Got any other great ideas? Let us know!

Victoria GreeneVictoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves being part of the brand growth hacking process and producing real, measurable results. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.


8 Things Donald Trump Can Teach Us About Courting Publicity

Guest Post By Victoria Greene

It’s fair to say that America is a fairly divided place right now, with wildly differing ideas about what’s right and wrong. Whatever your views, our blundering, boastful President does seem to have mastered one thing, and that’s showmanship. As he appoints more than a few questionable characters to office, many of us remain distracted by the latest inflammatory statements he’s made on Twitter, or by what’s going on with Celebrity Apprentice. As intelligent entrepreneurs and business owners, here are 8 lessons we can learn from his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to courting publicity.

PR is rooted in positive relationships

Most CEOs respect PR, or at least understand its function. Whatever their feelings towards it, they accept that in positions of high power or visibility, it is necessary. For better or worse, Trump is not most CEOs.

Donald has yet to realize that at the root of PR is a carefully tended network of positive relationships, built on clear and transparent communication. He mistakenly considers himself an ‘expert’ PR person, despite his total lack of tact, sensitivity, or awareness. Let’s not forget, he appointed a hedge fund manager to run his communications office.

For the life of him, Trump cannot seem to hold on to a PR chief, and the reason is quite simple – no self-respecting, professional PR person wants to work for a boss who thinks he can do better, and who will publicly shame you for trying to do your job.

How to apply: Dale Carnegie says in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”. In other words, an aggressive approach will get you nowhere. He also says that “Winning friends begins with friendliness” – another simple yet oft forgotten pearl of wisdom. Take a look at this list of the 100 Most Trusted People in America. They are well-liked, charismatic, and many of them are actors. Interestingly, none of them are TV bullies.

Sometimes you need to take an unconventional approach

Some believe that Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential race due to his poor TV presence, compared to JFK, who understood the power of the medium. Trump is, of course, no stranger to television, having perhaps more experience with it than any other presidential candidate in history. Throughout his election campaign, he consistently eschewed conventional politics in favor of sensationalism and sound bites, in contrast to Hillary’s more measured approach.

What’s more, while Clinton worked to secure votes across all demographics, Trump lasered in on a specific target audience – white, working class men who had been feeling less represented under the previous Democrat government. In marketing we are often advised to ‘find our niche’, and it seems that the same could be true of politics.

How to apply: There are lots of ways to get unconventional with PR, though it’s no guarantee that just because your campaign is unconventional, it will be a success. From publicity stunts and viral videos, to riding trends and putting out crowdsourcing content, the internet has made it much easier to be imaginative. Check out these Timeless Creative PR Ideas.

If you fake it, you’ll probably get found out

Earlier in Trump’s career, several New York reporters spoke with a John Miller or a John Barron – two supposed PR men who sounded suspiciously like Trump himself. Miller and Barron were particularly insightful, sharing detailed explanations for Trump’s actions and love life, all the while presenting him in the most favorable light possible. You can read the full transcript of one of John Miller’s interviews here.

Of course, these strangely forthcoming sources were none other than Trump himself, and if you read or listen to the interviews, it is startlingly, ridiculously apparent. At one point, he even forgets to speak in the third person. The lesson here? It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t pose as your own publicist and expect to get away with it. Oh – and the tan isn’t real either.

How to apply: It’s fairly straightforward really – just be honest and authentic about who you are and what you do. If you don’t fake it in the first place, you don’t get found out. Lance Armstrong was a celebrated road racing cyclist who many people admired, until the doping scandal came out. Likewise, Tonya Harding was a famous figure skater, whose career was left in tatters after she hired a thug to break her rival’s leg. The public hates a cheater, so keep your record squeaky clean.

You must be willing to listen to advice

PR professionals are much like counselors. Their job is to advise the client on the most effective approach to communications, if they want to achieve certain goals. They are a valuable asset to the team, and a smart client will realize the importance of listening to their advice, even if they end up taking a slightly different course of action. A sensible business owner will involve their PR person in all big-picture discussions.

The thing about Trump is, he really doesn’t want anyone’s advice. He wants to do his own thing and he thinks he’s got PR sussed. When Spicer worked at the White House, he griped about his limited access to the President, yet was still blamed when things went wrong.

How to apply: Benjamin Franklin said that “wise men don’t need advice – fools won’t take it”. If you’re attempting to navigate the choppy waters of publicity, it’s better to do it with a legitimate expert at your side. Part of a PR practitioner’s role is to train their clients to effectively face the media, as well as making their client’s reputation as strong as possible. Ultimately, they help to keep you focused and moving towards your goals – with the force of the media on side.

The celebrity phenomenon

Whether your feelings towards Trump are mild or extreme, it can’t be denied that he is something of a sensation. For better or worse (and likely worse), we’ve never had a figure quite like him on America’s political stage. We now live firmly in a culture of celebrity, and Trump – a longstanding TV star and populist bigmouth – is known by everyone. It shouldn’t really come into the equation when you’re running for President – yet it does.

Why? Because with their deity-like status, we listen to what celebrities have to say. So in 21st century America, should we be surprised that a celebrity has managed to become President? It’s wall-to-wall (pun intended) publicity, be it good or bad. Whether you love or despise Trump, he remains a popular topic of conversation – and that’s just what he wants.

How to apply: So how can you find ways to keep people interested in you? To enjoy the kind of engagement that Trump gets online and in the media, it’s all about being engaging and having a stance or opinion that people relate to. Today’s consumers are discerning about which brands deserve their time and attention. Don’t be afraid to start discussions, and fan the flames to keep them going. Experiment to find out what resonates with your audience, and mix up your timing, language, and use of imagery.

He tells it like (he thinks) it is

Trump doesn’t speak the political tongue. Everybody knows that – just look at his Twitter feed. Instead, he seems to say whatever comes into his head, without much of a filter to speak of. Agree with him or not, you always get the jist of what he’s saying. Some politicians do themselves a disservice when they speak in political jargon, alienating the less articulate voters.

Honestly counts for something in PR, even – or especially – if that honesty is controversial. Trump’s followers love him for his willingness to tackle any subject, in particular those that more seasoned politicians dance around.

Why is this so appealing? Because we value people who give us perspective on things that matter in our culture. In other words, we love someone with a strong opinion. And Trump – well, he is big orange hot air balloon of opinions.

How to apply: We want your perspective on what matters to you and why it’s important to your audience. Your strong opinion about a topic you care about sets you apart from your competitors who may have a different take – and sets you up as a thought leader. News shows are made up of people proffering different opinions on a topic then backing those opinions with facts, research, or other evidence.

Pick an enemy (or several)

Branding experts will often tell you to identify an enemy and position against them. That enemy doesn’t have to be a person, it could be a system, a state of the world, an injustice, or an opinion. The world’s top brands all have distinct enemies – and Trump is a brand too.

At this point, Trump has made many enemies, and he has a habit of calling them out and going after them. Choosing an enemy gives your campaign a focus – it’s the classic scenario of ‘us vs. them’ that galvanizes large groups of people into action. It’s a great tactic for businesses. Is it a good one for politics? It’s certainly been successful at getting Trump into office, but as to the effects on society and the world, it all starts to feel like a dark and dangerous road.

How to apply: So every brand or personality needs an enemy, but that doesn’t have to be a competitor. It could just as easily be an idea. A nutritionist might position processed food corporations as ‘the enemy’. A pro web designer might frame DIY website builders as ‘the enemy’. For an artisan coffee shop, it might be instant coffee. Whether it’s a belief, an assumption, or a rival business, every beloved brand has something to push against and rally behind.

If you don’t have the instinct for it, leave it to the professionals

Anthony Scaramucci has said that Trump has ‘excellent public relations instincts’. So is that true? He certainly represents something different, and something different – especially in politics – is pretty irresistible. But I would argue that overall, Trump’s PR instincts are fumbling at best, and volatile at worst. And they appear to be getting worse. His weeklong assault on his own attorney general in July was apparently ‘all his idea’. Good one.

Trump is used to the selective media exposure granted by his TV lifestyle, but as President, you are on show 24/7. PR decisions are more critical than ever. The best bosses understand their own strengths and weaknesses, but Trump’s inflated view of himself means he won’t listen to others. From a PR perspective, it will be interesting to see where his ego leads him over the course of his time in office.

Trump famously exaggerates, but if you’re looking to implement his tactics into your own business PR campaign, maybe think twice. Exaggeration and dishonesty are no way to do business – and you will be found out eventually. If you’re trying to get more media attention for your business, here are some good guidelines. What we can take away from his success is the importance of picking an enemy, leveraging social channels, being true to yourself, and being memorable. But we can also learn to become better listeners, better bosses, and better people.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves following politics and drawing lessons that can be beneficial in other areas. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.


5 Make-up Tips to Make You More Trustworthy

I found out something surprising that you know….and don’t know.

You’ve heard the well-known expression – first impressions count.

On TV, speaking, doing a book signing, attending a networking event or meeting — you may be turning people off without even knowing it!

Here’s the shocker: I just discovered that it doesn’t take 3 seconds for us to decide whether we trust you or not.

A new study says that it takes just 1/10 of a second.

Yikes!

and…

While make-up isn’t a cure-all, surprisingly, it can help in that crucial nano-second.

In this quick video I show you how to be more trustworthy with these 5 simple make-up tips.

Use these make-up tips to appear more trustworthy for TV appearances, media appearances, job interviews, meetings, and networking events, too.

Gearing up for the publicity spotlight for the new year?

Go here, here  and here for the dos and don’ts.

Want a kooky way to improve your sound bites? Watch my new fav show Longmire. The characters are a study in the succinct. I’m enthralled with Wyoming and have a fantasy of learning how to lasso a calf while atop a steed.

Looking for more publicity training videos (And some surprising tips about your tone)? Head on over here.


The Top 7 Tips to Getting on TV

By Guest Blogger Gina Rubinstein

Every time you turn on the radio or TV, you see a so-called expert being interviewed. The Today Show, CNN, Talk Radio, local morning shows and all the rest rely on these experts to give background and insight on the hot topics of the day.  For these experts, the result of being on TV or radio is that their BOOK SALES SOAR, they become an IN-DEMAND SPEAKERS, and one media booking leads to more.

This can be you.

As a TV producer, I can tell you from experience that we are always on the hunt for guests and experts who shine.  Actually, we are desperate to find smart and funny people.

In my career, I’ve cast thousands of people for talk shows and other types of reality TV, and said “No” to many thousands more.  I’ve coached many authors and speakers who were looking to promote themselves and their products on TV so they could do the best job possible.  As the one you must get past, the one who says “Yes” or “No,” I can tell you what you need to get booked AND THE MISTAKES THAT CAN TORPEDO OPPORTUNITIES.

Here are the top 7 tips to getting booked on TV:

1. Be authentic: So many people try to be what they think is “right” and come across stilted and rehearsed instead.  I coached my client Judy Carter on how to be authentic and within 30 seconds of being on TV with Marie Osmond, Marie sat on her lap because she liked her so much.

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2. Connect your expertise to a current hot topic.  In order to get the attention of mass media, you need to build a bridge from your expertise to what’s hot in the news. A client of mine who wrote a book on parenting got onto a show about legalizing marijuana because she had advice for parents who want to say “yes” to pot for themselves and “no” to pot for their kids.

3.  Have a compelling elevator pitch – In three or four sentences I need to know who you are, why I should listen to you, what problem you’re going to solve, how if affects me and what fresh ideas you have as solutions. A client of mine found herself in an elevator with a radio producer, gave her pitch, and by the time the elevator got to her floor she was booked on the producer’s show.

glasses-and-pen-on-a-newspaper

4. Talk in sound bites: In our ADD, double latte culture, no one has the time or interest to listen to someone who rambles on or goes off on tangents. In order to be media presence you need to express yourself concisely, in a few short, punchy sentences.

5. Make your points using compelling stories: Your stories give your message the one thing that facts can’t — heart. You need to emotionally connect with audiences and these stories are the way.

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6. Work in your best credentials in a clever way: Nothing is more boring that an arrogant name-dropper. But, it’s important for the audience to know your credentials. I teach my clients to reveal their credentials in anecdotes that enhance who they are in a natural, unforced way.

 7. Have a hot sizzle reel:  90% of the sizzle reels I see have bad audio, are too long, and don’t showcase the expert’s personality immediately. A sizzle reel should be short (3 minutes max, and shorter is better), and should present you as an attractive person who’s an expert in their field and can reach people’s hearts as well as minds. I’ve produced several sizzle reels for clients and all have gotten TV and radio appearances as a result.

Gina Rubinstein is a Los Angeles-based media coach who helps her clients grow their business through the media. For more info go to here. For a free evaluation, please fill out this short questionnaire.


The 10 Best Social Media Tips & Tools Posts From 2014

This is a curated list of the very best posts from top social media peeps. It’s all of THEIR best posts. So you get a giant dose of great tips, tools, strategies, and ideas to start the New Year. Enjoy!

 

  1. Buffer’s top 10 most-read posts of 2014
    Curious about copy that converts? Want to know the best length of everything online verified by research? You got it.

free image

  1. Top 10 Social Media Posts of 2014
    Get solid strategies from an active social media strategist who walks his talk. Good stuff.
  1. Digital Marketer’s 10 Most Popular Articles of 2014
    Small business alert — you can use the same system that Starbucks and McDonald’s do for their mega campaigns and more….

Deiss

  1. Top 8 social media posts of 2013 (doesn’t look like they’ve done 2014).
    Who knows what tickles the psyche when it comes to going viral. Check out the most popular posts of last year. Prepare to be astonished. Be sure to check out the crazy Norwegian video.
  1. Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014
    Trends, Tools, popularity, people, and marketing strategies. Lots to learn and use.
  1. 10 Types of Images to Boost Your Social Media Engagement
    You know that images boost engagement. But, I bet you don’t have all of these in your bailiwick ….
  1. 10 Best Social Media Tool Posts in 2014
    Get hyper productive with these Apps and software. Includes video marketing, Pinterest tools, and plug ins. (Plus, how to get 1000 shares on your blog) from a very reliable source I follow.
  1. Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts: This Year in Social Media
    You’ll want to follow Social Media Examiner you’ll find consistently useful info. Want to generate leads? Create content? Understand Facebook’s metrics? It’s all there.

Social media examiner

  1. 20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros
    These are tips and tools that got results. We want that, yes?
    .
  2.  50 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog PostsYou want your great posts to reach your tribe, to expand your reach. Here’s how. Jeff Bullas’ blog is a regular must read. Always relevant. One of my favs.

Bullas bullhorn

BONUS: 19 free social media analytics tools

No budget? No problem. All these tools are yours for the taking. I bet you haven’t heard of some of these terrific online helpers.

ONE CAVEAT: No matter how great your social media presence is your strategy won’t work unless your website does. You’re directing people back to your blog or your website so people who are intrigued by your social media updates can have more than a taste of your great content. Don’t disappointment them by having a website doesn’t look and feel like you, your tweets, pics, and posts. Here are 3 free highest converting home page website templates from Marisa Murgatroyd. You can choose the layout that best suits your personality and goals—so your website and social media messages are aligned.


STOP. Do not pitch the media until you do… this. [Free checklist]

 

At some point, pretty much every business owner dreams of getting featured in the media.

How do I get on TV?

How do I get on TV?
Photo by Jason Kristofer

From a quick one-line mention in a local blog…

to a glamorous booking on The Today Show…

media attention feels amazing!

But in my experience, many people jump the gun and try to get booked in the media before they’re truly ready.

They spend countless hours writing pitches and press releases (or guest posts for online magazines and blogs)… when they don’t even have the basic business essentials (like a website, a mailing list, or enticing product descriptions) in place.

That’s kind of like inviting 500 people to the grand opening of your cake shop… except, oops. You don’t actually have anything to feed them. It’s a huge waste of time and energy for you — and a big disappointment for the people that you want to serve. (“Wait, I thought there was going to be cake!”)

If you’re taking action to get yourself booked in the media… terrific.

But I’d recommend pressing PAUSE until you’ve completed the following checklist — which will help you to determine if you’re actually ready for media exposure or not.

Before you pitch yourself to the media, whether it’s a local blog, a national radio show, an international trade journal, or anything in between…

Make sure that…

1. You have a website.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but even in this day and age, many business owners… don’t! You don’t have to be a computer genius to put together a simple site using About.Me or Squarespace. Both are designed for tech-phobic people. If you can handle Facebook, you can handle these tools, too.

2. Your website clearly states who you are, what you do, and what people should do next… if they want to learn more about you.

You wouldn’t invite people to your home and then slam the door in their face. You’d usher them inside, show them where to hang their coats, and then guide them into the living room and give them snacks. Your website needs to make people feel welcome and show them where to go, first, whether that’s your About page, your Blog, your Shop, or your mailing list. Speaking of which, make sure that…

3. You have a mailing list.

If you made an amazing new friend at a dinner party, you’d ask for their phone number, or email address, right? You wouldn’t want them to slip away… you’d want to stay in touch!

You want to stay in touch with new clients and customers, too. Use a simple platform like MailChimp to put a mailing list sign-up form on your website. Feeling overwhelmed by the technical stuff? Hire a geek on Fiverr or Elance to do it for you. It’s well worth the (minimal) cost.

4. You have a FREE offering, a treat, a surprise, or something for people to enjoy.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a psychologist, a dog trainer, a painter or a politician. Give your new website visitors SOMETHING to read, watch, listen to, think about, or peruse. Give them a reason to stay, explore, and get to know you and your work a bit better. If you don’t have anything for people to dig into to, they won’t stick around for long.

Again, to use the cake shop metaphor, that’s like throwing a grand opening party… and then forgetting to serve up the treats.

Creating an opt-in offer

Creating an opt-in offer
Photo by A. Pagliaricci

5. You have a PAID offering, product, service or book for people to enjoy. (And it’s easy to find.)

The whole point of getting featured in the media is to inspire your audience, make an impact… and, of course, make some money!

If your current products and services are completely confusing, tricky to purchase, poorly described, or buried deep in the belly of your website where they’re nearly impossible to find, that’s a problem.

6. You have a bio — or About page — that shows your credentials — but also reflects your natural voice and personality.

Many business owners agonize over writing a bio, but it doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. To take some of the pressure off, remember that your bio doesn’t have to say EVERYTHING about you. It just has to share enough information to make your reader feel intrigued and excited about your work. Think: “Coming Attractions.” Not: “Feature Presentation.”

How to write a bio

How to write a bio
Photo by Sinéad McKeown

So… how’d you do?

If you passed this pre-media checklist with flying colors, congratulations! Pitching the media will be a smart use of your time, because you’ve already laid the groundwork in advance.

You’re ready to welcome new, curious customers into your website, or blog, or wherever you do business. You’re ready to entertain them, inspire them, and of course… sell your work!

If you didn’t do so hot on this checklist, don’t despair.

Help is on the way. 🙂

Starting in January 2015, I’m swinging open the doors to The Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ Membership Club.

Inside this club, you’ll learn how to get booked in the media, but also — and more importantly — how to prepare for your time in the media so that your hard work pays off.

Everything listed in the checklist, above? We’re covering that. And so much more.

The club is just $25 a month.

Because learning how to bring your products, your services and your message to a bigger audience shouldn’t come with a 5-digit price tag.

You can register now and stay as long as you like.

The club is ongoing, and there is absolutely no penalty if you choose to end your membership.

And be sure to check out the charter membership as that will go away before we start.

Learn more and sign up here.

See you in the clubhouse.


5 Best Ways to Get Your Product in Magazines – Plus Resources To Help You Get There

Hard copy magazines are still one of the best places to get publicity for your product. According to The New York Times, “42 percent of people under 30 and 50 percent of people above 30 read magazines.”

If you’re looking to get your product into magazines you’ve got plenty of opportunity — off the Internet. When the right magazine features your product, it can increase business – sometimes exponentially – and bring attention to a previously unnoticed, or even unpopular product.

One of the quickest ways to catapult your product is to get it into the hands of celebrities. When a celeb dons a dress or accessory, or imbibes, indulges, eats or uses something for themselves or for their kids, it can mean outrageous sales.

Having your product used or seen on the famous creates instant approval. Plus you get the extra zing of sex appeal. Nothing has an effect like a splash of Hollywood to bring a bit of glamour to any product.

But you don’t need a celebrity to make a smash. There are many publicity paths for your product.

Here are the 5 best ways to get your product in magazines.

1. How to Get Your Product into the Hands of a Celebrity.

Dreaming of Angelina sporting your new product? J-Law showing off a piece you created? Discover how you can make it a reality.

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2. How to Get Your Products onto the Beauty Pages.

Packaging, small talk and a few other key things can get you into magazines like Allure & People…intrigued? Read more.

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3. How To Get into National Magazines.

Want your business splashed on the pages of a glossy mag? These marketing experts tell you how to make it happen.

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4. How to Get Your (Handmade) Products in Top Magazines.

Photos matter. You’ll get some guidance on that, plus some a couple of pointers on getting your gifts sold in the UK. (Hint – you need to niche).

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5. Five Easy Tips to Get Your Products Featured in Holiday Gift Guides.

Did you know that mag editors start choosing items for their holiday gift guide in June-August? Find out how to be featured.

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Resources.

Attend the FREE (Virtual) Product Publicity Summit

Whether you have fashion, apparel, accessories, eco-products, baby & kids products, home decor, stationery or any other type of products that can be featured in the media, you’ll find lots of great advice at this FREE Summit, March 3-14, 2014. You’ll discover tips and strategies for connecting with top magazine editors, learn what NOT to say when reaching out to editors and find out how to get your products on national TV and more.


Get into the Holiday Gift Guides

The Gift List includes holiday-related features being planned by the wire services, TV and radio shows, and newspapers. Tips include everything from how to submit photos to specific kinds of items the editors are looking for. You get leads and pitching tips for thousands of media that feature special gift sections for consumer products (No services or destination travel/vacations). It includes national as well as dozens of regional and smaller outlets looking for unique home products. Plan on a 6-month lead time for placements so you don’t miss any deadlines ad the giftlist is coveted and competitive. This is essential if you have a product. Take a free test drive.

Get a Free List of 2014 Magazine Editorial Calendars

Editorial Calendars can be found in advertising sales kits. The calendar topics are included so advertisers can tie their ads into topics covered in the publication. You can sometimes find an Editorial Calendar in the advertising section at the publication’s website. If you can’t find it there, contact the publication’s marketing/sales department and ask them to send it to you.

Here is a list of Top Magazine 2014 Editorial Calendars. Included are: O, the Oprah Magazine, InStyle, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, People Style Watch, Fitness, Ladies Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Traditional Home, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living, and more.

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Join Blogger Linkup to Get Blog Coverage

Blogs can be an excellent way to get the word out on your product and can be every bit as powerful as a magazine placement – if the fit is right and the blog influential. This free service targets bloggers. Sign up at no cost at to become a guest blogger or source.

Pitch Your Products to Trade Magazines

  • Earnshaw’s – for baby and kids products
  • Stationery Trends – for paper goods and stationery
  • Museums and More –for products that would sell well at a museum store, such as home and garden, gifts, decorations
  • Gift Shop Magazine – for apparel, accessories, baby and kids items, gifts, jewelry
  • New Age Retailer – for jewelry, apparel and products that appeal to the spiritual and new age customer.

(Courtesy of Andreea Ayers)

Contact Any Celebrity

You can search this private database of celebrities. Inside you’ll find 67,100+ Celebrities, 13,100+ Representatives & 7,100+ Companies. So if you’re looking for a celebrity to tacitly endorse your products by using or wearing them, celebrity spokesperson, a charity partner, a blurb for your book, this is the place to go.

Attend Upcoming Consumer Product Events

Held in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas and New York. Consumer product event connects consumer packaged goods with the press who are looking to report about them. Submit your product for consideration.


The 3 Most Popular Posts + The Most Popular Webinar of the Year

 

blog-121213Last week, when I was on a walk, some boys were selling bracelets and rings made out of colored rubber bands. I stopped at their lemonade/jewelry stand by the side of the road and looked through their goodies. I wanted to get a ring or everyone in my writing group. As I chose a number of rings the little boy who made them started doing the math and adding up everything in his head and shouting out the numbers each time I picked up a ring – even before I chose it. He was so anxious to get the sale – but he didn’t care about me.

They were a dollar each. I said, “Wait, I’m not done yet.” But he kept shouting out the numbers. Totally focused on how much he would make.

Then his big brother stepped in and said, “It would be nice if you charged $2.50 for three of them.”

He said, “No. They are a dollar each. Three rings for three dollars.”

His big brother said again, “Yes and it would be nice if you gave her three of them to her for $2.50.”

Pause. No response from the little brother.

Big brother: “It would be nice.”

Finally, the younger brother gave in.

But grudgingly.

So it wasn’t fully given. Which makes a difference in how the giving feels. I would have appreciated my rings even more if the younger brother had given wholeheartedly.

As a little something that “would be nice” I have pulled together some of my most popular posts and free stuff so you can fill yourself with some goodies after Thanksgiving and through the holidays when you’re enjoying family and friends after a feast or get-together.

First, the most popular webinar / live training of the year….


The 5 Keys to PodcastingTHE #1 MOST POPULAR WEBINAR

Become a Celebrity in Your Niche [Podcasting]

Save your seat now (choice of times!): http://bit.ly/PodcastKG

THE 3 MOST POPULAR POSTS

9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling
/2013/04/7-steps-to-be-a-thought-leader-and-become-a-media-darling/

5 Things I learned From Jack Canfield’s Mastermind Group: To Help Make Your Book a Bestseller
/2013/01/5-things-i-learned-from-jack-canfields-mastermind-group-to-help-make-your-book-a-bestseller/

Fabulicious: 5 Strategies to Prepare You for a TV Interview – My Personal Secrets
/2013/09/fabulicious-5-strategies-to-prepare-you-for-a-tv-interview-my-personal-secrets/

What is one TV appearance secret you can share? Love to hear!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

May the gifts you share be extraordinary.
May the love you give be wholehearted.
May the way you live be inspiring.


Fabulicious: 5 Strategies to Prepare You for a TV Interview – My Personal Secrets

 

green-smoothie

I need to lose 20 pounds. I wish I had less wrinkles. My butt is too big. Look at my wobbly double chin.  She’s a liar. I don’t believe a word she’s said. What a schlump. Is that any way to sit in a chair?
These are actual phrases that clients said to me in the past 23 years I’ve been a media trainer and consultant. When I media train my clients for TV shows most of them first fret about their appearance. Sound bites take a back seat to clothes, expressions, body language and butt size. Shame, fear, insecurity, all rear right up. The question, “What will people think of me?” takes center stage.

And rightly so. In three seconds your audience has already decided whether they like, trust, respect, believe, and will buy from you. So how much of what people think of you has to do with your clothes, facial language, body language, and demeanor as well as the look and feel of you? A lot.

But here’s the silver lining. People follow your lead. If you feel like a slouch you’re directing people to think you are one. If you radiate beauty and good health even while toting extra pounds, we may notice your heft, but we forgive it for your verve. And while I know that a TV appearance isn’t going to help you get over your childhood issues any faster, there are still strategies that can help you be fabulicious, increase your business, and stop thinking so much about your butt.

But, because the question I get most is about looks, I’m going to address how to prepare now, in advance, BEFORE you get booked on TV so you’ll feel your Fabulicious best when your day in the sun arrives. No scrambling for clothes that don’t accentuate your best features. No last minute panic about how you look. You can’t lose 20 pounds overnight but you can focus your full attention on what you can give your audience that only you can. In the brief time you have – two to four minutes – on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, or Fox, you can deliver your sound bites with generosity and wit.

1. Clear your mind.

Drink Bulletproof coffee. I start every morning with this special coffee combined with unsalted Kerrygold grassfed butter, MCT oil and collagen. This combo was created by Dave Aspry who bio-hacked his body to lose 250 pounds and gain optimal health. This is potent coffee that is organic and doesn’t contain any toxins normally found in commercial coffees. You combine the coffee with Upgraded Brain Octane oil (which is fat-burning))that is 12x stronger than coconut oil, for maximum cognitive function.

In English that means peak brain performance – a clear mind. Aspry says that you can, “Learn to be perfectly focused in any situation — in one week.” He says, “In this protocol, you eat no protein and no carbs at all in the morning, instead enjoying a Bulletproof Coffee. That provides the most energy and the least hunger for about eight hours. Adding in the collagen “delivers low inflammation, high quality, and heat stable protein to my coffee without affecting the taste.”

According to Tim Ferriss, author of, The 4 Hour Body, eating protein within 30 minutes of waking up is essential for losing weight. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, this coffee will sustain and nourish you while giving you clarity of thought. Exactly what you need in a media pressure cooker situation.

Yes, there is decaf as well, however I didn’t find the same effects with it. And since I’m sensitive to caffeine I combine half decaf with half caf beans – just so I could drink more of the delicious stuff. Otherwise I could just have one tiny cupful. (And I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all before this. Green tea was my go to morning drink, which I still enjoy after I have my Bulletproof coffee).

You’ll be the judge of how much you can drink without getting a buzz on. I suggest you sip a small cup and wait fifteen minutes so you can judge the effects. Also, add as much butter as you like. I admit I was first horrified at the thought of dumping a half stick of butter into my coffee. I thought it would taste disgusting. But it’s like putting cream on steroids, rich and smooth. I prefer a bit more butter than my partner so I add in an extra pat into my cup after he’s made it. You’ll discover what works best for you. While you’re on the Bulletproof website check out the Podcasts and articles about everything from upgrading your IQ, losing weight and sleeping less.

2.     Slim down.

Do T-Tapp and Lose 2 Dress or Pant Sizes in 30 Days.
You’re a month away from a smaller, more toned you. I went from a size 8 to a size 6 in a month (I’m now a size 4), Lisa Earle McLeod lost 2 dress sizes and got back the flat tummy she hasn’t had for 10 years. Teresa Tapp first created this program for models to get back into shape after pregnancy. No one cared about their weight. What mattered was size – so they could fit into the proper clothes that they were modeling. Tapp says it’s all about the inches and loving what you see in the mirror —not what the scale says.

If you’ve got a media appearance coming up and you want to get in tip top (T-Tapp) shape ASAP. Order either Total Workout, Basic Plus, T-Tapp MORE or Total System. (Read the descriptions to find the right program for you.) My sweetie is doing it in the living room right now. Yes, it works for men too. Also check out WhiteBrite, a teeth whitening spray that doesn’t make your teeth sensitive and hurt (like all those other whitening kits), so as a TV guest your smile can be as bright as your information.

3.     Tone up.

Want to know the Hollywood stars secret to looking great, staying fit and getting a flat stomach fast without exercise? The Flexbelt. Essentially you strap the Flexbelt around you waist and it contracts your muscles like you’re doing sit-ups — while you’re walking around getting stuff done.

I put it on first thing in the morning before I brush my teeth, feed the cats, start my day. I use the butt and thigh belt too and also the flexbelt for the arms. The great thing about the Flexbelt is once it’s on you can just go about your business so you’re getting a workout while you’re answering your email, talking to clients, working in the yard. Do it daily for a few weeks and then 2-3 times per week or as needed. Once you get in the habit it’s simple to stay in shape.

4.     Release your fears.

The Sedona Method is one of the fastest, simplest and most effective methods to instantly release uncomfortable or unwanted feelings on the spot. It’s also a tool to let go of current or long-standing pain. Whether it’s fear of speaking, becoming a more public person, losing weight, or letting go of stress, or past issues or trauma, this will help you achieve your goals effortlessly and with great joy.  It also works to get to the root of physical and emotional pain.

I learned these techniques long ago and still use them when a client confronts me, or when the media springs a surprise question. I particularly like the technique of going back and forth between opposite extremes to neutralize forceful feelings – just one of the things you’ll learn and keep using as long as it serves you. This course is essential if you’re getting ready to go on a media tour!

5.     Energize!

Whip up a green smoothie.

This is my own special green drink smoothie recipe that helps make your skin gloriously golden and nourishes you at a cellular level. You’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin, vibrancy, and energy almost immediately.

I use all organic ingredients and buy from the local farmer’s market when I can and mix this up in the Vitamix that chops every part of the fruits and vegetables so you get the most nutrition. We grow chard, cilantro and parsley so I dash out into the garden to snip a few leaves before the birds and other animals get them (which is often).

I pick dandelions from the neighbor’s lawns and look for the tender, young ones without a stiff stem. You can buy dandelions at Whole Foods if you don’t want to ferret. As a child when we’d visit my nana and grampa they’d send us kids out into the yard to pick dandelions to put in the salad to give it some bite. According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Who knew a weed could be so nutritious?

Ingredients for green smoothie

½ cup water (or more as needed depending on how thick you like it)
½ cup virgin olive oil (I do 15 glugs vs. measuring).
1 pear
1 frozen banana
1 large sweet apple (I like Pink Ladies, Yellow Golden Delicious or Fuji)
1 large carrot
1 large avocado

Mix together.

Tamp down these ingredients into the above mixture before you restart the Vitamix.

1 generous handful of spinach
2-3 large leaves of chard with the stalks (to taste as this can make it bitter)
2 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of cilantro
5 leaves of dandelion
1 stalk celery

Optional: Add frozen blueberries for added anti-aging benefits. Adjust the sweetness to taste by adding more fruit. You can add grapes, which are nutritious, but high in sugar, for additional sweetness if you like.

We’ve concentrated on honing and toning your face and body in order to move you to a place where you’re not worrying about how you look so you can focus on what matters most – your message.  Victor Hugo said, “Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.”

Audiences look for consistency in your message and in your life. One of my clients is a well-known motivational speaker who naturally also talked about health and wellness as well as the process of transforming the mind. But one thing was out of synch. He was fat. In a kind and considerate way his wife pointed out the discrepancy. So he created an exercise and diet regime for himself. It wasn’t easy as he loved apple pie and ice cream and didn’t care much for lifting weights. But he did it. So now the overall message he’s conveying is consistent with his teaching.

Take what works for you from these strategies so you can feel good inside and out. The French have an expression, “Bien dans sa peau,” to feel good in your own skin or to be at ease. When you’re relaxed and calm we’re right there with you.


French, Sass, and Snoot: Your body and tone do the talking

 

By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

 

What do a French woman, LA hipster and prissy librarian have in common?

You can tell who they are as much by their tone as by the way they dress, talk and act.

Remember that we judge you in the first three seconds – three seconds – so tone is as important as your visual appearance, body and facial language. Take care that you are the message you want to give.

A colleague said that he wasn’t sure that all three women were really me. Yup, that’s me.

Please weigh in. Which babe is your fav?

For more media coaching and publicity tips, and some outrageous, shocking and provocative stuff that may tick you off or tickle you I invite you to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/SusanHarrow