Feeling tons of “resistance” whenever you sit down to work on your press kit, pitch or press release?
Can’t seem to “crack the code” on how to get top bloggers, journalists, editors and producers to pay attention to your work?
Frustrated that your replies to HARO, PRLeads and other PR services and don’t get any response?
Feel like, deep down, you “know” what you ought to be doing to take your visibility to the next level… except for some reason, you’re not doing it?
Over the past 25 years of my career, I’ve spent over 130,000 hours (that’s a very conservative estimate) training authors, speakers, coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to help them get booked in the media and then use that exposure to double or triple their income.
Initially, when I ask, “Why are you having trouble getting press for your business?” One client said she had done literally hundreds of radio shows with little result, but had no idea what she was doing wrong. Many other clients have similar stories. Those are the ones that say that, “publicity doesn’t work.”
Just as typically my clients tend to point towards something “external” (like: “My press release really represent what we do” or: “My website looks dated.”)
Fair enough. I agree: having all of your materials looking sharp is very important. Your presence and what you say when you’re in the spotlight is too.
Presence is equally important as your message Photo Credit: Tim Caynes
But in my experience? If you’re consistently struggling to get your business, book, product, service, cause or mission in the media, or your appearances just don’t have much of an effect, the source of your “blockage” usually boils down to one thing:
In other words: What you BELIEVE about yourself and your ability to serve.
This may sound harsh, but it’s actually a very empowering thing to realize. Because once you’ve identified the harmful attitude that is holding you back, you can take steps to resolve it. Hopefully: once and for all.
Think your attitude is just fine, thank you very much? That may be true.
But it never hurts to do a little self-exploration.
Read on and see if any of the following 7 attitudes sound a bit like… you.
Harmful attitude #1:
“I’m too fat to be on TV. Maybe if I lose 20 pounds first…”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
It’s been reported that 97% of women have at least one “I hate my body” moment, per day.
Imagine if every woman who thought to herself, “Ugh, I don’t like how I look” allowed those thoughts to STOP her from seeking media opportunities. We would literally have almost ZERO women appearing in the media. What a dismal world that would be!
Harmful weight-related attitudes aren’t just for women, of course. Men can — and do — think these kinds of thoughts, too, but generally, they don’t let that hold them back.
If you feel that you need to drop some weight, for your overall health, go for it. But in the meantime, don’t let “size shame” halt your progress. Not everyone who appears in the media needs to be a rail-thin supermodel. There’s room for all kinds of ideas, personalities and sizes.
She has publicly battled with her weight for decades. Even at her absolute lowest weight, she wore a size 10! Yet she’s perfectly comfortable talking about health, happiness, wellbeing, and “living your best life” — in front of international audiences. People respect her opinions, completely. If she can do it, why not you?
Harmful attitude #2:
“I’m so boring! My life has been relatively comfortable and easy. I haven’t overcome an extreme adversity, don’t have a rags to riches story, or anything ‘gritty’to share.”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
Not everything in the media needs to be “gritty,” “caustic,” “violent” or “dramatic.” And we’ve certainly had our fill of rags to riches stories, haven’t we? You don’t need to have become homeless and lived under a bridge, eaten from garbage cans or swindled out of a fortune by your business partner to get media coverage.
In fact, I would argue that today’s audiences are so bombarded with “drama” that they are delighted for an escape from the madness. (There’s a reason why websites like TheDailyPuppy.com are so popular.)
You don’t need to be rude, crude or rough around the edges in order to get booked in the media. You just need to be yourself.
If the “real you” is a positive person who was blessed with wonderful parents and a joyful childhood, so be it. You still have ideas, tips, strategies and stories to share. You can still be entertaining. You can still be insightful. You can still help people to lead better lives. Suffering is not a pre-requisite for service.
She’s known for delivering audiences a daily dose of positivity — complete with goofy dancing. That’s who she is and what she does best.
If you are the “Ellen” of your industry, embrace it! Don’t try to change yourself for the spotlight. You will feel awkward, uncomfortable, and struggle to successfully make the “point” that you’re there to make — and audiences will be feeling uncomfortable, right along with you.
Just be you. “You” is what works.
Harmful attitude #3:
“All of this media preparation stuff — like setting up my website — is too hard! I’m terrible with technology.”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
To quote the folks at this design firm: “If Google can’t find it, it doesn’t exist.”
That’s the reality of our world today.
If you are unwilling to set up a website, participate in social media, and create materials that are quickly searchable (and findable) online — like a backlog of recent press releases stored on your site — you are going to have a tough time getting the kind of media coverage you want.
As a professional Tarot card reader who has been reading cards — full time — for over 25 years, Theresa has a steady stream of “regulars” and could certainly opt to “rest on her laurels.” But that’s not her style.
She is constantly learning new tools, upgrading her website, and experimenting with new ways to connect with audiences around the world (including starting her own podcast). She firmly believes that all business owners need to be tech-savvy, and she even mentors “tech-phobic” entrepreneurs to help them grasp the basics.
Theresa is regularly a go-to expert on Tarot, astrology and spirituality blogs, podcasts and magazines. The secret to her success? Well, as she put it — while talking to a friend of mine — “I ain’t no stale hippie.”
Harmful attitude #4:
“I’m not the world’s most credible expert on this topic. Other people are much more experienced and authoritative than me.”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
There will always be people who are more highly credentialed than you are. That’s a fact.
“Comparing and despairing” when you size yourself up to your competitors is very counter-productive.
Gabby is one of the world’s most sought-after media commentators in the realm of personal growth and spirituality.
Does she have a PhD in psychology? Nope. (She actually studied “theater” at college). Is she a Nobel Peace Prize winner like The Dalai Lama? Nope. Has she published formal, academic research papers? Nope. Has any of that ever stopped her from pursuing opportunities to write, appear, and get interviewed in the media? NOPE.
She has personal stories to share and insights that she knows will help people.
And share she does. With videos, audios, Ted talks, lectures, meditations, courses, books, products, a spirit junkie app, and stuff she loves. And if that’s not enough you can enroll in the “Get More Gabby” subscription service. Phew!
Harmful attitude #5:
“I just don’t have time for all this stuff! Between running my business, taking care of my clients, and dealing with my family…I don’t have a minute to write press releases, build relationships with journalists, maintain my website, and…ugh!”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
Life is unquestionably busy. As a business owner, there will always be “something” pulling at your attention.
But if you want to grow to the next level, serve wider audiences, and sell more of your books, products, courses and services (without spending money on advertising), then getting featured in the media needs to be part of your plan.
As Stephen R. Covey, author of the bestselling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
If getting media coverage is a priority for you (and it should be!) then it must be treated as just that: a priority.
This may mean shutting down lower-priority projects for the time being or learning how to delegate more effectively. (If you’re struggling to stay focused on the action steps that really count, this training program can help you stay on track.)
Your media role model:
He is arguably THE busiest man on planet earth — with an unthinkable level of stress resting upon his shoulders.
Does he have a team supporting him? Of course. The point, here, is that Obama recognizes the importance of making media coverage a top priority. It’s not something to ignore or neglect. It’s vital to his success as a thought leader.
Harmful attitude #6:
“I’ve never been good at public speaking. It’s just not my thing. I’m going to freeze, blush, giggle, burp, sweat, snort, forget my ‘lines’and mess this up…somehow. I just know it.”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
No one wants to watch a “perfect robot” on the air or listen to a “slick and polished” presentation. If you go “off script” during a media appearance, it can often work in your favor. Little flubs can be endearing and humanizing.
This is something I talk about a lot in one of my media training programs, Your Signature Sound Bites. If you’ve got your sound bites down pat — meaning: you’ve chosen a couple of key messages that you really, really want your media audience to remember and “take home” — then it’s pretty tough to mess anything up. Just stick to your sound bites and allow yourself to relax. If you’re too slick? We want to topple you off that perfect pedestal. Be yourself. Quirks, nerves, sweats, burbs and all.
While appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote her latest film — which she produced and starred in — Anne lost her composure and began laughing hysterically. Why? Because the plot of the movie (which deals with a coma victim) is so dreadfully, horrendously sad, it was actually… kind of funny.
Rather than sitting back in horror, fans LOVED it. Multiple media platforms (Vanity Fair, E! Online, US Magazine) shared the now-legendary giggle-clip, using words like “charming” and “adorable” and “utterly endearing” to describe it!
As one journalist put it: “This feels real candid. I don’t know if Anne Hathaway has ever been so likable. This is how you sell a movie, even when it’s a coma movie.”
Harmful attitude #7:
“I don’t deserve to be featured in the media. I’m ordinary. I’m not special.”
Why you need to change your ‘tude:
Let me ask you this:
Has an “ordinary” person ever given you a piece of advice that made your entire week better?
Has an “ordinary” person ever shared a resource with you that saved you tons of time or brought you hours of delight?
Has an “ordinary” friend, colleague or family member ever said something that motivated you to change an unhealthy habit and improve your life?
“Ordinary” people have the power to serve, educate, inform and inspire, just as much as rich, famous “celebrities” or “authorities” do.
If you have something of value to share — whether it’s a product, service, book, mission, cause, or day-changing tip, tool or idea — then you deserve to be in the media.
The brilliant Marianne Williamson had it right when said, “We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
She recorded a video of herself singing her baby to sleep and spontaneously posted it online. When she woke up the next morning, her video had gone viral. After a radio station shared it on Facebook, it got 4 million views. TV stations started calling. She was featured on Good Morning America and the host said that this could be the big break she’s been waiting for to become a singer. This mom became — literally! — an overnight sensation.
Her voice is very pretty, yes, but the real reason that her video touched the hearts of millions of people is that… she is ordinary and heartfelt. There was no artifice in her singing. Just a mom, home, in a dimly lit room, rocking her baby to sleep, singing as if no one was watching.
Moral of the story?
Your “ordinary-ness” can be THE quality that makes you appealing to the media and to audiences, worldwide.
“Ordinary” is not the same as “boring.” You can be totally un-flashy and still wow audiences with your ideas, stories and talents.
Musician Sam Smith who won four Grammy awards last night, said, “I just want to say that before I made this record I was doing everything to try to get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and the people started to listen.”
Allow yourself to be exactly who you are. We want to see your blemished self. Not a prettified version of someone you think you should be.
How do I get on TV Photo Credit: goMainstream
That’s the approach that will resonate most strongly with audiences — and get the media calling you back.
Getting booked in the media is one thing.
Translating media attention into sales…is another.
Simply getting “interviewed,” “featured,” “quoted” or “mentioned” in the media does NOT guarantee that people are going to actually buy your program, products and services or hire you for speeches or consulting.
To accomplish that, you’ve got to have specific systems and processes in place that turn curious callers or new website visitors into paying customers.
Professional models get a lot of criticism and for lazing around and looking gorgeous for a photo shoot.
“Oh, gosh, lying around in expensive furs all day long while people drizzle champagne into your mouth and snap your photo! Gimme a break! How is THAT a job?”
But… you know what? YOU try it.
Holding a difficult pose for long, muscle-aching minutes… keeping your eyes wide open when the sun is beaming down… remembering not to scowl or blink… hitting all the right angles to flatter your figure… looking “sexy” and “inviting” without going overboard and looking like a street-walker…during a photo shoot for a magazine or online portal.
It’s NOT easy.
And if YOU have ever attempted to do a professional photo shoot for your website, your blog, your book jacket cover, or for a media appearance, you know EXACTLY how difficult it can be!
While getting ultra-comfortable in front of the camera DOES take practice, you can ensure that you’ll wind up with dramatically better photos during your website photo shoot or press kit photo shoot, just by keeping a few pointers in mind:
1. Gaze like you mean it.
Karen Kingston, a Feng Shui and style expert, has the following advice for a photo shoot:
Visualize someone in your audience. One client. One customer. One reader or fan. Imagine that you’re looking directly into their eyes. Imagine gazing at them. Decide how you want them to feel when they meet you. Gaze at the camera… like that.
THIS WORKS! I used this gazing technique when I got a set of headshots several years ago for my photo shoot.
I had multiple people say to me, “I honestly didn’t even think I needed to work with a media trainer. But there was just something about your eyes, your face… after seeing your photo, I knew I could trust you. I needed to meet you.”
how to look professional in a photo shoot
Practice your gaze before your photo shoot, so that it’s easier to shift into that mode when it’s time to get in front of the camera.
During the photo shoot, look directly into the lens of the camera, as if you’re gazing into the eyes of your dream customer. Be inviting. Be encouraging. Show the love.
2. Decide how your photos will be used — in advance.
Do you need a vertical, full-body shot for the homepage of your website?
A set of headshots or full or half-body shots for your media kit?
Lifestyle photos and vignettes of you in your workspace, with your products?
Photos for your speaker’s (meeting planners) packet?
Photos that will appeal to TV producers? (Think: you, onstage, with a sharp blazer and a tailored appearance).
Or photos that will appeal to yoga studio owners? (Think: you, seated in a lotus position, with crystals and an organic cotton tunic top).
All / some / none of the above?
Think carefully about where your photos are going to be used — your website, your blog, your social media profiles, other people’s websites, books, magazines — and plan out your photos accordingly BEFORE the photo shoot.
Communicate with your photographer so that they understand exactly where and how the finished photos are going to be used.
This will ensure that both of you are walking into the photo shoot with a clear plan — not just snapping willy-nilly and then “seeing what you get.”
3. Get glam — but keep it real.
You want to look gorgeous (or handsome) in your photos, of course.
You want to present the best possible image of yourself.
But don’t use your photo shoot as an opportunity to get dolled up in a way that’s completely unrealistic.
If you’re a down to earth, granola-baking mama who wears yoga pants six days out of seven — and you want to promote your organic skincare line — don’t get trussed up in a skimpy black mini dress with six-inch stiletto heels.
You might look smoking hot… but you won’t look like “you.”
photo shoot for media
Be a gorgeous version of you, not a gorgeous version of somebody else.
If a client or customer meets you in “real life,” you want them to say… “WOW. You look EXACTLY like your photo, online… except, you’re even more stunning in real life!”
Reduce pre-photo shoot stress with this handy checklist:
Make sure to get / pack / have…
[ ] A good bra. (Don’t skip it! It will dramatically alter your silhouette.)
[ ] At least three outfits that make you feel like the most beautiful version of you. Avoid busy patterns and small prints for media, unless that’s your signature “look.”
[ ] A small bag of different jewelry pieces and accessories to play with. Unless you’re a zero-accessory kinda gal. Stay true to you.
[ ] A bag full of your products / books / any other items that convey what your work is all about.
[ ] Professional hair. Hint: to save some money at the salon — and still get totally pampered — head to a blow-out bar where the stylists don’t do cuts and coloring. Just styling.
[ ] Professional makeup. Tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot, and I want to look like me — not somebody else.” Make sure they use matte, zero-shine products that are especially designed for photography. This is not the time for glimmery, shimmery products. They can make your skin look unpleasantly shiny on camera!
[ ] A make-up bag for touch ups, mid-shoot.
[ ] Water and snacks. Most photo shoots last two to four hours or more. Pack healthy snacks so you don’t start to droop!
[ ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before it starts for a BIG burst of encouragement.
how to look hot in a photo shoot
[ ] At least three outfits that make you feel totally handsome.
[ ] A small bag of different accessories to play with. Think: ties in different colors, watches, eye glasses.
[ ] Rice paper tissues. These little squares of paper can be used to blot your face if you have a tendency to get sweaty and shiny.
[ ] A professional shave and hair styling. Go to the barbershop and indulge yourself. Why not?
[ ] Professional makeup. Wait. Breathe. Don’t freak out. You can tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot and I want to keep the make up EXTREMELY minimal and masculine.” But don’t automatically exclude mascara or beard dye (test this before the shoot for any allergic reaction)….
Your stylist can apply a tiny bit of concealer under your eyes to diminish dark circles. That might be all you need! Or, possibly a BB cream — which is basically a moisturizer with SPF and a tiny hint of coloration. It won’t look like “make up.” It will just even out your skin tone.
Every professional male model, TV personality and film actor wears a bit of makeup. It’s doesn’t have to be “feminine,” if that’s not your thing.
Just think of it as adding a healthy “tint” to your skin so that you don’t look pale, washed out or blotchy in your photos.
And if you’re really dubious about make up… just do it. Have your photographer snap a few photos. Then wash it off. Take a few more. See which ones you wind up liking better! It can’t hurt to give it a try.
[ ] Water and snacks. Definitely. Photo shoot often drag on for longer than you’d expect! Some of my favs are NuGO Slim bars, RX bars, Elyte (electrolytes) and coconut water so you can keep your energy even throughout the day.
[ ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before your photo shoot. Have them remind you, “You’re drop-dead handsome, smart and awesome. Have fun!”
Here’s to looking fantastic… attracting the best possible clients… and doing great work in the world.
If you’re in America, all you have to do is turn-on the TV or turn-up the radio to discover that loud and extroverted personalities usually take the cake—stars like the women of Real Housewives, the brazen comedians on Fashion Police and even CNN talk show host, Piers Morgan are personalities writ large—no matter what kind of audience they may be targeting.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts Photo Credit: zilverbat
In a world where outgoing and outlandish often seems to win people over, it’s important for the more serious and contemplative crowd to understand that they are needed, they are wanted, I’ll even go as far as to say they’re yearned for by the media.
So please, my introverted media darlings, take heart and don’t give a second-thought to changing who you are—the right interviewers and news opportunities are out there and aching for the likes of you.
The following 5 people are examples of how the soft, shy, gentle and reserved have found just as bright a spotlight in their field—and in the media:
JK Rowling. She’s a self-proclaimed introvert and one of the most beloved authors to date as writer of the addictive Harry Potter novels. But the media wasn’t always kind to Rowling. In the beginning of her fame The Telegraph reports that Rowling deliberately ‘tidied herself up a bit’ as a result of the insults [from the media]. She was accused of being “unkempt.”
Introverts and extroverts alike are subject to the sometimes cruel and critical eye of the media who holds them to celebrity standards of glamour.
Introverts who share their feelings of fear often endear us. Rowling began her Harvard commencement address titled, ‘The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination’ with “The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.”
We don’t think bestselling authors are fearful or get sick at the thought of public speaking. Nonetheless Rowling is listed as a speaker with Celebrity Speaker’s Bureau, and continues to makes media appearances and go on book tours, even though she might prefer to cozy up in a café and scribble another bestseller.
How You Can Appear on TV Photo Credit: DG Jones
Emma Watson. To stay on this book theme for a moment, the adored Harry Potter alum tries to stay out of the media spotlight but only succeeds in the public wanting to know more about the secluded insider. She chose getting her degree at Brown instead of an over-booked media appearance schedule. Watson frequently notes how she prefers quiet nights at home over red carpet events and was also named the highest grossing paid actress of the decade at just 19. From the looks of it, staying true to herself paid off (literally).
Guy Kawasaki. The “Godfather of Silicon Valley” and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Guy Kawasaki is an excellent example of a mellow-minded business man who frequents the media spotlight despite his more reclusive nature. I once chatted with him in a bookstore aisle where he was snuggled in a chair happily reading. He was charming, easy-going and didn’t have a braggy bone in him. With 1.45 million Twitter followers and counting, he’s anything but a nobody—the media and people across the world, love him.
Steve Martin. One of America’s most cherished comedians and movie stars to date admits to introversion with absolutely no qualms. And why should he have any? With an abundant tour schedule, embracing Twitter and the regular interaction with his 43.6 thousand Twitter followers, his new music stylings and several of the world’s most esteemed awards under his belt, he’s a man with more media credits than most of us could ever dream of.
Lady Gaga. Yes, one of the world’s most fascinating and bold musicians is indeed a quiet-minded soul who prefers to keep her private life out of the media glare. That doesn’t change the fact that she has taken home five Grammy’s, makes regular talk show appearances and was hailed in Time as the second most influential person of the decade, ranking above President Barack Obama.
Still not certain that the media wants the reserved?
The truth is, you may not be until you get booked yourself. Make your own proof.
Introverts unite! Join me and learn how to get the media’s attention and tap into your ideal audience with my new Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ Membership Club. Take a peek here and pull up a chair in our inner circle.
Publicity for Introverts Photo Credit: Brett Jordan
Extroverted, introverted, modest or assertive…
There’s a need for you—your audience and the media is out there, searching for you—but you have to take the first-step and put yourself out there.
Go out into the world as you are, unadorned, letting the truth of you be what it is—and people will love you for it.
My sweetie and I were sitting in a booth at Chevy’s in Richmond, right after visiting Annie’s Annuals to get some of her incredible plants (cappuccino sunflowers, dahlias, violas, hollyhocks). As we sloppily ate the fire-roasted salsa (my fav) I noticed the guy across from me with his amazing array of super colorful bracelets and necklace — kinda like you’d wear when you were a kid. I wanted to take a photo of him, and Will encouraged me as I felt a bit shy about asking. But I did it. We asked if he made the jewelry and he said some. Others had been given to him. And explained that he went to parties where they exchanged the jewelry with each other.
As he left he came to our table and asked me if I wanted a bracelet. He put it on my wrist and said, “But first, I’ll teach you what we do when we give it.” He held up his hand in a peace sign and I did the same and we held our fingers together. Next was love, our hand in a C. Then was respect, palm to palm. Last was… unity and we laced our fingers together. Peace. Love. Respect. Unity. I did a short video re-enactment so I could remember it.
I’m wearing the bracelet now as I write this about to continue to work on my new website and realized that one of my hopes is that… my website conveys these things.
For a long time, my website hasn’t felt like me, and that pained me deeply. I’d outgrown the design and feel. So it has felt out of alignment. I had to wait 9 months to get Paul Jarvis the web designer I wanted (it was SO worth it!). We started in February. Completed the design in March. And a team of us have been working madly transferring and editing the content as we populate it.
It’s been both a purifying and maddening process. Maddening for so many little details and decisions. Purifying, for letting go of what no longer represents who I am or what I do. Since I like to see things happen fast so this has been a huge exercise in patience and endurance. There have been many moments of little temper tantrums and crying in the kitchen.
To help calm myself I read The Art of Stillness: Adventures in going nowhere by Pico Iyer. I’ve put Ed Sheeran (who I’m kinda in love with) on the CD player and lit a Sydney Hale Co bergamot and black tea candle. I’ve gone to Aikido even when exhausted and crabby. I’ve immersed myself in the garden too. I figure pleasuring the senses will help neutralize frustration and fatigue.
To give you a little tour of my new website I’ve highlighted a number of new gifts and guides that I made for you can enjoy.
I’m particularly proud of this. As it’s been 15 years in the making.
P.S. Want to be my podcast guest?
I’ll be starting a Podcast soon and I’m looking to interview you if you got featured in the media. Jet me a quick email and tell me a bit about your experience (and be sure to include your website). If I think your story is a good match I’ll ping you right back to set up a time to talk. If you’re chosen you’ll get in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands and, of course, we will so our best promote you and your expertise gracefully integrated into the Podcast interview using the same principles we teach in the Your Signature Sound Bites course.
P.P.S. If you find any glitches or irritations in the new website please let us know!
P.P.P.S. I’m moving away from Facebook onto Instagram to share my “behind the scenes” life. So follow me (and maybe “like” some pics that appeal) over there where you’ll find a photo that won me a Sydney Hale Co. candle! So thrilled.
P.P.P.P.S. Live in the San Francisco Bay Area? Come to a coaching salon in the garden! I’d love to meet you in person.
Looking to go far fast? Ultra Super Saver Bundle (All my creations – minus the ones I’m no longer proud of) for a hefty 75%+ off.
Curious about the Sound bite and Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul E-course combo? Try it for $1. (30 day guarantee).
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.
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.
my best strategy however – is to paint more than one at a time. work on as many pieces at once as i can. one is too confining – too much pressure. i always paint two when commissioned to paint one.
i can paint over the one i don’t like – or let the customer choose (they may buy both!)
just paint it.
I’m kenT and i’m an artist. but not the tortured kind. i’m on a mission to make the walls of your home, office or secret lair as memorable as you are. i’m also a teacher. i offer work shops + caffeine laden posts to jump start your own creative process. to see new + large work. to read more words. to follow everyday progress.
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.
Best times for social media posts Photo by: Fey Illyas
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.
Social Media Marketing
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: email@example.com to discuss strategy and pricing.
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…
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.
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.”
This is a monthly shout out to anyone who has taken action and reached a goal or made a shift. I will be searching through your comments every month to choose a new person to feature in the “Subscriber Spotlight Shout Out.” So post some success you’ve had that you’ve gleaned from a webinar, course, product, ezine, blog post, consult, or Joy Spot™ session with me.
At long last your book arrived from America this Friday and I couldn’t put it down. It read like a thriller and it read like poetry. Your multifaceted fascinating personality colored every page and I felt like I was sitting right next to you. It was packed with delicious nuggets, much wisdom and expertise. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you reassured me and you helped me feel more confident.
And mostly, it was a wonderful gift from G-d sent to me at the perfect time.
Today, I gave my first presentation at a writer’s seminar. Now I know why I had to wait so long, so that it can be fresh in my mind as I tentatively dipped my toes in the big wide ocean of new possibilities. Remembering your words, I felt like you were my friend, cheering me on and supporting me. Thank you for all that you are doing in this world! ~ Libby Kizsner
For many people, I’m better known as the columnist “Dear Libby” for Mishpacha magazine. Others know me by my bestselling books, Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary People and Dear Libby: Real Kids Raising Real Issues and Libby’s Sound Advice. Besides writing professionally, I’m the Chief Story Strategist for Your Magnetic Story, which allows you to use storytelling to reach new business and personal goals.
Bravo Libby — for dipping your toes in that big wide ocean of possibilities.
What is the one small step you’ve taken to move forward?