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!)…
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.”
Is it ever OK to “steal” someone else’s ideas – in business? Surprisingly: Yes.
Not long ago, a friend of mine found herself in the kind of situation that would make anyone’s stomach twist into knots.
My friend (an entrepreneur with a modestly popular website and blog) discovered that a woman in another country had stolen an e-course that she had created. Not just the title, or the general concept, or a few sentences here and there. The entire thing. Every lesson. Every piece. Word for word. The thief was passing the course off as her own, accepting payments for enrollment, and was claiming that all of the money was going to “charity.”
My friend was horrified. Eventually, she was able to shut down this shady operation, but it was a stressful and time-consuming process. Ultimately, she had to go directly to the customer service department of the e-commerce website that the thief was using and implore them to suspend the thief’s account, because she wasn’t responding to any of my friend’s emails.
This may seem like a “shocking” or “unusual” situation, but I’m sorry to say: it’s not.
Theft is rampant in the business world — especially in these techie times, where lifting someone else’s work (and passing it off as your own) can be as simple as clicking “copy” and “paste.”
This is the part of the blog post where you might expect me to stomp my foot down and say “Stealing is always wrong! Don’t do it, people!”
It might surprise you to know that…
I don’t necessarily believe that stealing is always “wrong.”
In fact — whether you’re studying photography, practicing Aikido at a dojo, or growing your business — “stealing” people’s ideas and “copying” other people’s masterful work is actually one of the best ways to learn, refine your skills, and ultimately, develop your own unique style.
Point being: there are many different types of “stealing.” Some types of stealing are illegal and immoral. Some are perfectly appropriate.
There is a big difference between “plagiarism” and “artful imitation,” but many business owners struggle to tell the difference.
Allow me to de-mystify things with a few Do’s and Don’ts.
When it comes to “stealing” and your business…here’s how to steal ideas the right way
1. DO steal ideas from other industries — not just your own.
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you know that most jets are dull, cramped, beige and gray clunkers. Not much “style” or attention to “ambience,” unless you’re fortunate enough to be flying First Class.
But the minds behind Virgin Airlines decided to break away from industry conventions. Inspired by chic hotels and groovy nightclubs, they decided to add soft pink “mood lighting” and mellow electronic music to their planes. When you board a Virgin jet, it feels like stepping into a sultry, celebrity-studded nightclub!
Even the Virgin website feels like a “departure” (pardon the pun!) from ordinary airline booking sites. As Luanne Calvert, Virgin’s head of Marketing, explains in this piece: “When creating the new site, we wanted to break out of the mold of typical airline booking sites, so we looked to popular e-commerce sites like Apple.com or Amazon.com, not other airline sites, for inspiration.”
Both of these Virgin anecdotes are perfect examples of how you can “steal” an idea from a business that’s outside of your industry and then “weave” that idea into your own branding, product development, or daily operations. This type of stealing is totally fine. It’s not “theft.” It’s re-mixing!
You try it: What’s something that inspires and excites you, outside of your industry? Do you love rock concerts? Spa trips? Ogling beautiful product packaging at your local boutique? How could you take an element of something you love and then “blend” it into your own business?
2. DO steal ideas from your mentors and teachers — and credit them as the source.
In the yoga world, it’s common to name and honor your teachers: explaining the “lineage” of your training, where you studied, who you studied under, who their teachers were, and so on.
Musicians, too, will often name their role models and publicly thank them in interviews, in CD liner notes, even onstage while delivering an acceptance speech for a glitzy award.
But in the business world, for whatever reason, people often seem hesitant to name their teachers and influencers outright, or explain where their ideas came from. That’s something we ought to change — and it’s quite simple to do.
If you’re writing a blog post that was directly inspired by someone you know, say so. (“This piece was inspired by a conversation with my mentor, so-and-so.” Then link to their website.)
If you’re creating a program that includes concepts, materials, even worksheets that you’ve sourced from other teachers, get permission first, then cite the source. (“This worksheet was adapted from a worksheet that was originally created by so-and-so, who graciously gave me permission to use some of her concepts here.”)
Another great move: build a “gratitude” page somewhere on your website (like this one) where you publicly acknowledge some of the teachers, mentors, coaches, and influencers who have shaped your approach to doing business.
Securing permission to use someone else’s material — and then crediting them — is always a smart move. It’s one that ensures you’ll never look like a lazy “thief” —but rather, a thoughtful student and a total class act!
You try it: Who are some of your top influencers and teachers? Do you thank them in writing, acknowledge them on your website, mention them during interviews, or otherwise make their presence (in your life) known? If not, how could you start doing that?
3. DO steal ideas from multiple sources — not just one.
The American playwright and entrepreneur Wilson Mizner once wrote, “If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.”
Let’s say, for the sake of example, that you are closely focused on one specific business owner — say, an elite life coach who’s doing phenomenal work, making tons of money, helping thousands of customers. You follow everything she does. You enroll in all her programs. She puts out a new product and you quickly follow suit, creating something similar. You imitate her business model, her voice, tone, style, everything she does. You just LOVE her!
Your intentions may be pure, but sooner or later, this kind of “hero-stealing” is going to get you into trouble. Why? Because you’re stealing from just one source.
Rather than developing your own unique business style, you’re copycatting just one person who seems to be doing it “right.” It’s time to broaden your field of inspiration!
You try it: Start filling your inspiration-tank from lots of diverse sources, not just one!
Go to an art gallery. Watch a silly movie. Listen to music that you don’t normally listen to. Read glossy magazines. Take a vacation. Have conversations with strangers. Read blogs and books written by people who work inside your industry, if you wish, but read LOTS of them — written by lots of different people, not just one author.
As you develop your own products, services, and online content, think: mixed-media collage, not Xerox photocopy.
And now, a few Don’ts.
These are pretty straightforward and will be obvious to most people, yet they’re worth repeating!
4. DON’T steal exact wording.
Grabbing someone else’s brilliantly written product description, blog post, e-course materials, and so on, and pretending that you’re the wordsmith who wrote it? NOT cool.
5. DON’T steal visuals that you find online (including “stock photos”) without permission.
Nope, crediting the artist with a link back to their website is not “enough.”
Seek permission to use images, illustrations, infographics and photos on your website, blog, and in your marketing materials. A quick email to the artist usually does the trick.
One exception: if the artist has explicitly stated that the image is “OK to use” — through a Creative Commons attribution license, for example, or by posting a note on their website that says “go for it!” — then feel free to use the image.
But if there’s no expressed permission, it’s not a wise move. (Getty Images has been cracking down lately, tracking bloggers and business owners who have used photos without permission and dinging them with hefty fines! It pays to be cautious.)
6. DON’T steal if your gut says, “This just doesn’t feel right.”
If you’re feeling hesitant or uncertain about whether something you intend to do is “OK” or not, listen to that gut instinct. Then take action to prevent heartache (or a lawsuit) later down the line.
Do your due diligence. Check the US trademark website to make sure that a business or product name you want to use isn’t already in use by a similar service provider. Reach out to your mentors and ask for their blessing to re-print their work or re-purpose their concepts and formulas. If you hire a graphic designer and you feel “funny” about a particular logo or infographic that they deliver to you (“Hmm… haven’t I seen this somewhere before?”) do some investigating. Remember: if the people you hire choose to steal inappropriately, it reflects poorly on your brand, too!
Last but not least:
When you’re creating content (of any kind) for your business…
7. DON’T forget to include true stories from your own life.
Nobody in the entire world has the exact same life experiences that YOU have.
Nobody in the entire world can tell the story about that one time you chatted with an elderly Vietnam vet while waiting in line at the DMV and learned a valuable lesson about grit and determination. (For example).
If you weave a “true story” into your next blog post, newsletter, webinar, a talk that you deliver onstage, e-course materials, and so on, then your materials will INSTANTLY become more “unique” and “identifiable” as belonging to YOU. (Remember how I started off this blog post with a true story from my own life about someone I know? Yup. Just like that.)
Even if you go on to discuss a “universal truth” or a “timeless reminder” or “no-brainer tips” that thousands of people have talked about before, adding a true story will elevate your material from “stale and forgettable” to “intimate and original.”
To sum it up:
Stealing isn’t always “wrong.”
It’s a matter of how you do it, why you do it, and how you credit (or don’t credit) your sources and influencers.
The “right” way to steal other people’s brilliant business ideas
There’s “plagiarism” (ripping off one person, or one source, verbatim, word for word)… and then there’s “artful imitation” (getting inspired by multiple sources and then copying and re-mixing diverse ideas together… combined with true stories from your own life!).
Hopefully, now, you’re seeing and feeling the difference.
Your ideas may spring from other people’s teachings, and your insights might be “timeless” and “classic” rather than “revolutionary,” but as long as you’re stealing the “right” way, re-mixing rather than Xeroxing…
You’ll always be one-of-a-kind.
NOTE: This piece was inspired by a number of people and sources, including Austin Kleon (his book Steal Like An Artist is an excellent read for all business owners), the work of Julie Cottineau, former VP of Brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and CEO of BrandTwist, and dozens of friends and clients (including several folks enrolled in my monthly publicity and business training club) who have reached out to me with plagiarism “horror stories” over the years. Thank you: everyone!
Share your story & get a prize! For…
The Life Changing Magic of Speaking Up™
Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life — or someone else’s life — for the better?
Maybe you saw a classmate bullying someone on the schoolyard and you spoke up and said, “Back off!”
Maybe you witnessed harm being done to a child or animal and intervened.
Maybe a colleague made a bigoted or sexist comment and you objected or said, “You need to apologize. That’s not OK.”
Maybe you had a “funny gut feeling” to call, visit or email a friend, parent, sibling, or client at a particular moment and your message changed the course of their day — or life.
Maybe you asked for a pay raise, a promotion, a new project, or an opportunity that you wanted—and you got it.
Maybe you bravely got onstage—or published a blog post—to share a true story from your own life and it led to a beautiful opportunity, inspired your audience to take action, or shifted your whole year in an unexpected way.
When you speak up—honestly, courageously, straight from the heart—your words can unlock incredible opportunities, open people’s eyes, help to correct wrongdoings, biases, and misconceptions, and make the world a better place.
Speaking up is magical.
I love hearing stories about people who have chosen to speak up—what they did, what they said, and what happened next—and I want to hear your story.
To reward you for sharing your story, I’m turning this into a CONTEST with a delicious prize for EVERYONE who participates! (Hooray!)
Here’s how it works:
- Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).
- Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text on your feed. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.
- Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow
- Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!
- Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!
- Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.
Prizes for everyone
Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!
Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):
Go to Instagram or Facebook.
- On Instagram follow me and tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
- Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
- Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
- Tag me: @susanharrow.
- Go here to download your prize!
- I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)
(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)
Grand prize for one person
I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)
This will be so fun and inspiring!
Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.
I can’t wait to see your story!
In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give me, my publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.
In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.
By Nancy Marmolejo
I was chatting with my colleague Nancy Marmolejo about how she was getting so much traction of Facebook. If you offer high-ticket programs or services this is something you’ll want to consider as it’s a “new” and innovative Facebook Marketing strategy. I’m just going to copy the post here with a few of my edits… read it… then if you want to reach out directly to Nancy to talk to her about this, simply go here.
The public is on to you. They’re sensing something isn’t entirely real when you post in social media. It’s all gotten SO contrived. Your carefully crafted photos, status updates, and strategically planned posts — come across like you phoned them in. It’s not the real you. And people see that. I see that. We all see that…we’re not buying it…literally.
Simply put, these overly “airbrushed” posts is not the kind of engagement that results in revenue.
Look, let me share this with you. Do you know what it’s like to post something that speaks from the heart and then have someone — a total stranger who isn’t even on your list — hire you for $20K? I do. It’s awesome. Sure beats doing a launch, paying JV partners or forking out thousands of dollars for Facebook ads.
Have people ever private messaged you asking how they can work with you?
And I’m not talking low level work, but high-level, high priced work that’s gratifying and profitable and amazing.
People who are ready to take action and don’t want to jump through your funnel to get to you. They want you NOW.
What if posting about your dog on Facebook could fill your programs? That resulted in getting a bunch of newclients just for talking about something you love? Or what if sharing about your favorite juice bar could get a person to invest in your highest level offer?
No selling. No posing. No B.S. Just you being you. All while you’re still “on brand” and authentic.
Welcome to the world of real engagement… that converts.
For close to a decade, social media has been “my thing” to get clients.
People have been asking me for YEARS how I have successfully mastered social media engagement and Facebook marketing. “How do you get all these comments on your posts? How did you get so-and-so in on that conversation? How come you get clients — high-end ones — from social media and I don’t?”
For example, one woman, who regularly signs up 5 figure clients into her high-end program, put out a video to invite people to it. But it got zero traction. No engagement. No one watching it. Once I worked with her to change the wording in the Facebook post her engagement went wild! She has over 1000 views and counting and has converted a number of her ideal clients into her program.
It’s an ART. But like any art form, it can be taught. What’s cool is it will become YOUR art. Your voice. Your magic.
I can teach you how. But I want to do it right, so here’s how it’ll get YOU the best results.
I’m inviting 10 people to do this with me. I will teach exactly what I do, why I do it, how I do it, and how to customize it to YOU so you find your irresistible social media voice. (Hint: you don’t have to be anyone but yourself to do this. But you can’t see yourself the way I see you… that’s why mentoring for this is so important!)
Tell me why this would be valuable to you. I’m offering a small number of free consults to anyone interested in doing this work with me. Tell me about your challenges and what you’d love to see happen here.
Nancy Marmolejo has been in business since 2003,and has won numerous awards in business innovation and achievement, been featured in 5 books (and counting!), has over 100 media credits to her name, and maintains a great reputation in her industry as a thought leader. Her own Talent and Genius draw from a fascinating upbringing in a family business, a first career as an inner city school teacher, and an insatiable curiosity that drives her. She’s a genius at finding yours.
Guest post by Melissa Camilleri
As long as you haven’t been living under a rock the past couple years, you’ll know that Instagram should be a key component to your online marketing strategy, especially as a service-based business, where the competition often believes Instagram will not work for them. Newsflash: it can and it will. With over 300 million+ active users, it’s pretty certain your people are on Instagram. So, it behooves you to show up there, too.
Likely, you already have a presence on Instagram. If you’re anything like I was when I first started using the platform, your growth has been slow going and your reach not quite multiplying in the way you see it happening for other businesses. It’s frustrating to be in this space. In fact, I know that feeling well.
It took me one full year to grow my following on Instagram to 1000. But I was determined and focused. I observed and took action. I put in place some key strategies that took my Instagram (@shopcompliment) from 1000 to 17,000 the following year. These days, I’m adding an average of 1500 new followers per month and get 70% of my website traffic and conversions from Instagram. I’m selling multiple five-figures month after month, and my Instagram strategy is a large part of that.
I have no special photography or tech training under my belt. Just sheer will + an iPhone + a pretty good sense about people. There are some key things you can do to make sure your efforts on Instagram are giving you a solid ROI for your time– no matter your business model.
Here are my Instagram marketing tips – four things you can start doing today to give you the foundation to start actually making money on Instagram:
1. Show up consistently.
It is essential that if you have an Instagram account, you are posting at least once a day to maintain a part of the conversation. Posting consistently will keep you top of mind in your customer’s heads. Did you know that studies show that a potential customer has to interact with a brand a minimum of 7 times before ever taking action? The more you post, the quicker this will happen. I do suggest posting no more than 3 times per day, with your posts at least 3-4 hours between posts. Anything more frequent will just clog your followers’ feeds and get annoying.
2. Get social.
Interact with the people who comment on your photos. @Mention them back. Ask them questions. Share your gratitude. And don’t be afraid to leave comments on other people’s pictures, too. Be generous with your likes. Follow back people who are consistently interacting with you. It’s called a social network for a reason! Let people get to know you, and seek ways to get to know your followers.
3. Post with your ideal customer in mind.
What does she like about your brand? What is on her mind at the time of the day you’re posting? What does she talk about with her friends? Where is she when she buys from you? What are her dreams? What are her problems and how does your product solve them? When you write the captions of your photos, keep her in mind. Write directly to her. You’ll find that your engagement will grow authentically with people who are excited about what you’re putting out into the world.
4. Understand that your numbers are less important than engagement.
Don’t get me wrong, the number of followers you have is definitely important. Followers act like little votes of confidence and give your brand credibility. And because people do what they see other people do, the more followers you have, the more followers you will get.
But, what good is a bunch of followers who don’t ever book your services? (I’ll give you a hint: NO GOOD AT ALL.) Numbers aren’t everything. Authentic engagement is what matters most. You build engagement by building relationships. By putting some key strategies into place (like the ones listed above), you can make sure that you are building trust and turning the followers you do have into raving fans and eventual customers.
Melissa Camilleri is the Founder + Creative Director of Compliment– a gift brand she launched in 2011 while she was a full-time high school English and AVID teacher. She credits Instagram for helping her grow her business from a production line on her dining room table to the socially-responsible corporation it is now. At the urging of her business-owner friends who wanted to replicate her marketing success. Tens of thousands have attended her virtual courses, participated in her workshops, and studied under her guidance. She believes we rise by lifting others. She lives and loves in Northern California.
Say hello to Melissa on Instagram @shopcompliment.
Want more ways to leverage Instagram for your service or product-based business?
Register now for FREE webinar with Melissa Camilleri
By Guest Blogger Kris Gilbertson
#1: Be Discovered!
The iTunes marketplace has over 500,000,000 active buyers. All who are actively searching for experts that can help them solve their problems, entertain them, and educate them on areas to help them improve themselves + their lives.
The average demographic, stated by Tom Webster VP of Marketing @ Edison research, that theAverage Podcast Listener is:
Affluent, Hard to Reach, highly desirable Adverting Target.
This allows YOU an extremely unique opportunity to reach a marketplace that is a prime target for your produces, services, and solutions.
By partnering with iTunes it’s like a huge Joint Venture waiting to happen for your business.
#2: Be Heard!
A podcast is already a very intimate marketing channel.
What do I mean by that? Well, people are tuning into your podcast:
When they want, Where they Want, and on What player they want.
This means your listeners are tuning in JUST FOR YOU. You have their undivided attention and they are open to receiving your message + content making it one of the Strongest Marketing channels to truly allow prospects to understand who you are and can build incredible trust for you and your brand.
#3: Let iTunes Showcase You
This is a fantastic reason to podcast — iTunes will showcase you in front of their 1 Billion Podcast Subscribers for the first 8 Weeks of launching your podcast in the New & Noteworthy Section. And will continue to in it’s What’s Hot section after your debut.
What other platform allows you to showcase your talent that long for FREE, when you first launch + ongoing online?
This is how my students + clients are able to generate Massive amounts of traffic (40-500% increase to their website) and double their email opt-ins.
#4: Instant Expert Status
By partnering with iTunes there is already a form of massive credibility and expert status that comes with starting you your own show + program.
We are trained by mass media that anyone on TV, Radio, Print is an expert. The same exact Expert Halo occurs when you start a podcast and are representing in iTunes.
#5: Epic Connection Marketing
Podcasting can quickly become one of the best marketing channels for your business. It can allow you to reach more people and more importantly create what I like to call – Epic Connection Marketing.
In the world of technology chaos we all live in, a podcast allows you to truly stand out from the pack and do what matters the most in the eyes of your prospects — Connect with them.
Just hearing your voice, inflection, and most importantly your passion — allows your podcast to bring your content + words to life. Much more than black and white on their computer screen.
#6: Free Traffic, Leads, Sales – oh my!
With a podcast, people will listen and stay tuned in longer than other marketing channels with your content. With just plain text, people are more likely to just scan your content, with a video if it doesn’t capture them in the first 6 seconds or they can’t watch it while doing other things they move on, and with a podcast you get a tiny bit longer of a window to grab their attention.
You have about 90 seconds, upon them first listening to the podcast to grab their attention. Plus, you have the benefit of them taking you with them on the go – tripling your exposure time with them!
And since you’re talking to them, it allows you a “Freebie” card to keep them engaged. It’s harder to just shut someone off that is talking directly to you and helping you solve your problems — try it, tune into some podcasts and see how it can be incredibly hard to Turn them off when you get hooked!
What happens next? Your listeners are building massive trust with you and when you refer them to your website to sign up for your mailing list, buy your amazon book, like your FaceBook Page, etc. they are much more likely to follow your CTA (call-to-action.)
#7: Make Your SEO a Snap
Podcasting allows you to rank on Page 1 of the search engines for your keywords. When people subscribe and download your podcast episodes this gives you juice for the keywords you want to rank online.
Also, when you have audio content on your blog, people will stay on your blog longer and play your audio. This give Google recognition people are finding your content the answer they were looking for, and you will be handsomely rewarded by moving up the ranks.
#8: Easily Create On-Go-Content
Audio is one of the easiest was to create content. If you’re like me, writing can be like pulling teeth to get it done! However, if you hope on a mic, you may find your best thoughts, content, and training come to alive. You might be incredibly surprised what you create too!
Now, if you’re not sure what to talk about yet, not problem. You can start an expert interview based show like I do and tons of other experts do.
#9: Back-Door Strategy to Joint Ventures
Then, from your Expert Interview based show you can also create phenomenal relationships + partnerships. I have had multiple joint venture relationships happen for my business because of having a podcast.
I don’t think they ever would have happened either, had I not had a way to give first. So a podcast can truly be a back door strategy to incredible JV’s.
When you interview and give first, you are able to really connect with someone and then more often then not, they’ll always ask you how they can assist you in your business.
This is a great way to build the relationship and give even more! Suggest a way you can help them in their business (maybe from the services you offer) and then simply ask if they are open to joint ventures at this time? You might just get lucky!
#10: It’s just plain FUN!
It’s hard to describe just how fun podcasting can be until you get in there and just give it a try. I absolutely LOVE what I get to do on a daily base of interviewing top experts and learning from the people I am privileged to get to interview.
But take it from my clients who tell me it’s one of the first times they’ve had fun in their marketing in a while. And can be for you too.
I also, love to be able to share my own expertise in my favorite format – audio. It’s often easier to get your ideas out with your spoken word – and have fun with it! Use your personality, your humor, your inflection, tonality . . . your personality is what can make your famous!
Give it your all in the medium and you’ll be surprised what can happen for you or WHO just might find you.
Get out there and bring your content to life with the power of your voice!
And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend that you think would benefit.
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Sometimes I’m totally obsessed with pinning, tweeting, and blogging. Then I catch myself….Whhhhaaaaat am I doing? This isn’t work.
Or is it?
Dunno. I go back and forth.
Is sharing this pic good for my brand because I think it’s funny—or cute?
Some things to think about BEFORE you post something on social media.
1. Does this link really represent a great article that will help my further my business or brand?
I admit I ALWAYS click through and read any article before I share because some people are fabulous at writing headlines/titles, but don’t deliver on content. Are you curating your content closely to make sure that you don’t send something that is potentially offensive or worthless? Don’t be in a super hurry to promote things just because others think it’s great. I’m not always of the same opinion.
2. Should I schedule my posts during optimal times?
Sometimes. I have discovered that, though our Sprout Social app may tell us the best times to tweet and post to Facebook, it doesn’t always predict who is online in the wee hours. I’ve had tons of favorites and retweets when I’m skimming for content ideas on those nights I can’t sleep.
Surprised? Yes, so was I. So don’t always believe the stats as when your tribe is or isn’t tweeting or Facebooking. Learn from your own experience. Those tools are great, but they aren’t God. They are algorithms, not people. The only way to find out what’s piquing your tribe is to choose things that please you or have already piqued others. (Though, neither is a guarantee). Lady luck plays a huge part in viralocity. As does timing and the tenor of the times.
3. Should I hire a social media manager?
You want a social media manager who understands you and your brand and can sift through content quickly and make recommendations for posts, articles, pics and respond to people in your network in your voice. Sometimes this takes a bit of training – once you have the right person in that role.
Most of the time I leave all the social media stuff up to my social media manager Kayli Schattner to help me choose and post things I think you would like and share. That said, I send her things i want her to schedule AND I still want to approve most of the content before it gets posted. My VA Kelly has chastised me about this, saying it’s a waste of my precious time. But I’m super particular about my reputation. So that’s your own personal call.
For example, if someone makes a request that Kayli doesn’t know how to answer or feels uncomfortable answering, she’ll jet me and email so I can write up a response. We’ve created a bank of responses for the most frequently asked questions that she can tailor them to any request. That way I ensure that my followers are being handled in the way that matches my conversational style and integrity. And it saves a ton of time for all of us.
And, you’re in for a treat because…
Kayli has a few openings for a new client.
Kayli is the most positive and optimistic person I know. She is always willing to help—and will tell you honestly when she doesn’t know something —or what doesn’t suit her strengths. I depend on her to handle all my social media and the administration of my blog. She’s a gem. Best to be fast. I scooped her up within an hour of interviewing her as she shined far above all the other candidates.
Here’s what she’s looking for:
Are you a creative entrepreneur or blogger looking to refine your web presence and generate leads through the power of social media? Find yourself craving more time to focus on what makes your soul happy rather than community building and small-talk? Social Media Strategist and Web Presence Consultant, Kayli Schattner, is taking on a couple of extra clients and would love to discuss how she can help you and your business. If you’d like a creative, upbeat and dedicated Social Media Manager for your business, be sure to jet her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss strategy and pricing.
Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:
By Susan Harrow, media coach
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
9. Declare your vision.
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
If you’d like to schedule a free 15 minute time to talk about you becoming a thought leader go here.