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3 Ways To Look Hot and Profesh In Your Next Media or Website Photo Shoot (Plus a checklist)

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

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.

Draw them in.

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

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!”

Last but not least?

Reduce pre-photo shoot stress with this handy checklist:

For Women:

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

how to look hot in a photo shoot

For guys:

[   ] 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.

Enjoy the FREE training: Speak in Sound Bites: 5 Surefire Strategies to Get More Clients, Customers, and Sales, and Become a Media Darling


Too introverted to Appear on TV? Why the Media Craves People Like YOU

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

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.

Have an inkling of doubt?

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

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

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.

You’re invited you to take the FREE training (with some terrific tips for introverts): 5 Ways to Double Your Business With Media Appearances in 90 Days.

 


Love Beads and Bergamot

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.

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Brand you

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.

080815_video

branding management

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.

To purification,

Susan

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.

For You

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).

Want to work together. Here are the many wonderful ways. (Choose your delight).

Haven’t found your JoySpot, the place where joy and profit meet? (Book a session now.)

Think you can’t afford me? You can! Get group coaching every month in the Q&A in the Membership Club (+ fab lessons).

Want eye and heart candy? Quote-Poems to inspire you. (Perfect for social media engagement + happy-making).

Need a media list? 50 Top Media Contacts. (Right on the home page).

Yearning to learn? Masterclass trainings here. (Fun and fast).

Seeking the latest blueprints, PR and tech tools? Look no further. (What I use).

Aaaaaand, more free reports

Aching for a reading binge? Hop on over to the blog. (See the ENTIRE list of posts + get more PDF downloads).

That’s it for the lalapalooza!


Snap. Post. Kaching: 4 Ways to Get Engagement and Sales on Instagram

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.

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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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.00.35 AMI 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.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.00.10 AM

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.

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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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.58.30 AM
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


3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

 

Social Media Tips

Social Media Tips
Photo by: deapeajay

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?

Maybe.

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.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

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?

Depends…

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.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

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: hello@thepassionpunch.com to discuss strategy and pricing.

Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:


How to tap into your inner “bad girl” and get exactly what you want — from clients, colleagues and the media. (No leather required.)

Remember that classic scene at the end of the musical Grease, where Sandy struts back onscreen, clad in tight leather pants, with her hair teased up to the sky?

Goodbye, soft-spoken, mousy blondie. There’s a new Sandy in town, and she’s ready to have her moment in the spotlight. She’s here to get what she wants. And men literally topple at her feet.

ResizedPublished in Ingenue magazine, November 1963, Vol. 5 No. 11

Wouldn’t it be fun to tap into YOUR inner bad girl, too?

It’s not as hard as you might think. And you don’t have to change your whole personality — or even your outfit.

It’s simply a matter of bending the rules and asking for things … a bit differently.

Here are three “bad girl” experiments to try, over the next couple of days.

Do them all, just for kicks. You’ll be stunned at how easy it is to get what you want while serving the greater good … and having WAY more fun.

Resize4Published in Calling All Girls magazine, November 1947, Vol. 7 No. 67

Bad Girl Move #1. Make outrageously specific requests.

The next time you’re ordering food at a restaurant, be extravagantly precise.

A woman I know is legendary for making unabashed requests, like this — “I’ll have a turkey club sandwich with Swiss cheese, not cheddar, one half of a pickle, a salad with dressing that’s drizzled, not tossed, and a glass of lemonade in a chilled glass. No ice. And I’d prefer a white straw, not striped. Thank you SO much.” — and amazingly, servers bend over backwards to delight her. Just about every time.

You might think that this sounds annoying. But it’s all about your tone and intent. If you think of the waiter as your personal slave, this won’t work in your favor. If you approach the conversation as an exchange between two creative people who are looking to please each other and make the world a happier place, you’ve got the right idea.

Try this same move at work — with colleagues or clients — and even with your sweetheart, at home.

Use a warm, friendly tone and flash a huge smile.

You’ll be shocked at how often people comply!

 

Bad Girl Move #2. Buck the system and play a game.

On a conference call with a client that’s going nowhere … fast? They’re droning on and on, looping around the same problem you’ve been hearing about for months … ugh. Boredom abounds.

Stop them and say: “It feels like we’re circling around the same scenario, and we need a fresh solution. Let’s hit pause right there. I have a game I’d like to play. Got a computer or radio handy? You’re going to need some energizing music…and a notebook and pen…”

Shift the mood with a surprising game or challenge. Shock and surprise them — while maintaining a playful, supportive tone. For example, a colleague of mine is a writing teacher who is often asked, “What’s the best way to get writing projects done, faster?” Instead of answering the question directly, she’ll often invite the audience to play a game she calls Tarot-etry –a game where people write mini-poems in sixty seconds flat, inspired by Tarot cards. It’s unexpected and lively, and allows her to make her point – that beautiful writing can happen quickly, when you adopt a playful attitude and stop over-thinking!

Playing “games” can work across lots of different industries, not just “creative” ones like writing. Try saying something like this: “To answer that question, I’d like to tell you a story, and play a little game…” or “Let’s role-play. I’ll be you, and you’ll be the other person in this story. I’ll demonstrate how we can have a better conversation about money / kids / sex / insert topic here.”

Which brings us to …

Resized2 Published in Ingenue magazine, May 1969 – Vol. 11, No. 5

Bad Girl Move # 3. Refuse to answer the question. (Or answer it on your own terms)

Doing a media interview? When the host asks a question that you don’t want to answer, smile mysteriously and say, “That answer is too hot to share in public, right now. But what I will say is this…” and then talk about whatever YOU want to address.

Bestselling author Danielle LaPorte writes passionately about sex, desire, love, money and what it takes to make great art. But she rarely mentions the nitty-gritty details of her own marriage or life as a mother. With regards to her son, she will simply say: “He’s the best thing I’ve ever made.” End of story.

When you change the conversationand shift the focus, you hold the power.

Bad girls do what feels right, not what’s expected.

And in business? That’s a very good thing.

So channel your inner Sandy, and bust out a few power-moves — all in the name of delivering your skills, expertise and message to the people who need it, most.

In other words?

Be bad. But do good.

Resize3Published in Family Circle magazine, September 1962, Vol. 61 No. 3


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Consulting, free publicity, media coaching, media training, communication skills, speaking skills marsmet522 via photopin cc

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.

The spotlight shines on Lily Gold (how great a name is that?) who, immediately after our consult made ALL the suggested changes to her website that I advised. Way to go Lily! Talk about fast action. Lily was so pleased with our session she sent me a gift of essential oils. I’ve been dabbing the one called Serenity behind my ears and wrists and have taken to sniffing myself. I love gifts. So thank you for such good pampering. If you want to find out more about the healing qualities of essential oils hop on over to Lily’s website

Here is what Lily says about the sound bite course:

“I love your programs! They’re so full of juicy nuggets that I come back again and again. I always learn something new or a little bit different.  Everything I do in my business is better because of what I’ve learned from you. My writing is much more succinct and I actually find that as I edit my own copy I am putting into play your principles of soundbites all the time. I even hear people differently now also, which is kind of funny. Sometimes when people get lost in their story, I want to tell them to “make it a sound bite already!”

Lily Gold, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Sound bite course success story Lily Gold

I love your calming and grounding spirit. Not only is your voice incredibly warm and kind, but I feel from you an energy that you genuinely believe that success can be ours, and that we’re fully capable of greatness. 

You are like my media mother! 

Thank you so much for being a fantastic mentor and for a fantastic session together that gave me probably the best feedback and instruction I’ve had yet. 🙂

~ Lily Gold, Certified Holistic Health Coach, www.lily-gold.com

What about you? Have you taken action or reached a goal?


2 Questions to Ask Yourself That Stop Nervousness: During a Media Interview or Closing Clients

By Susan Harrow

One of the most common questions I get from clients and workshop participants is: “I always get shaky and nervous before any kind of business conversation — whether I’m trying to get a client to hire me, in a job interview, or trying to talk about my work in the media … pretty much anywhere! Any tips on how to calm down + appear more confident?”

Excellent question.

When we humans feel ‘shaky’ and ‘nervous,’ our instinct is to over-prepare.

We think we need to do more research, memorize more notes and pack more information into our spiel.

But that’s actually very stressful — and rarely helpful.

The BEST thing to do when you’re feeling nervous is exactly the opposite — simplify, simplify, simplify.

Do + say less.

Rather than cramming like you’re getting ready for a high school calculus test, you want to re-discover the essence of what this conversation is about, in the first place.

You might begin by asking yourself two simple questions:

What does my audience / client / customer need most, right now?

And:

How can I help?

To give you a few examples …

What does my audience / client / customer / interviewer need most, right now?

  • Tips on how to lose weight, by the start of summer.
  • Meditation techniques to calm her nerves, on her wedding day.
  • A delicious new recipe for dinner, tonight.
  • A major shake-up in the way they think about parenting.
  • A personal or professional story that shows I have the skills they are seeking.

And:

How can I help?

  • By delivering those tips.
  • By doing a guided meditation, on the spot.
  • By demonstrating the recipe + offering a few surprising twists.
  • By telling a true story + challenging parents to do something differently.
  • By giving an example of how I would succeed in their workplace environment or culture.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hckyso/

Photo credit: Mitchell Joyce

If you can answer those two questions for yourself, there’s really nothing more you need to do — other than follow-up with an offer to keep connecting with you!

And when you can focus on those two questions, you’ll feel a LOT less nervous, because you’ll know — if nothing else! — that you’re ready to be of service.

Of course, the BEST way to prevent shaky-voiced nervousness is to simplify your message + prepare your sound bites before you actually need them.

The more comfortable you get with your sound bites, the less you’ll sweat in the spotlight — and the more you will shine!

Ready to hone your sound bite skills and prepare ones that will yield results? This post will show you how.


I’m a Slouch and Not Liking it: My New Year’s Resolutions Are Bunco

My nose is a fountain. Now would be a good time to own stock in Kleenex. I’ve been swathed up in our bed under my thick faux fur comforter with my cherry pit heating pad at my neck snuffling away while reading young adult novels and mysteries. Right now I’m in the middle of Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I’m watching Downton Abbey in great gulps trying to finish season 3 before season 4 begins on Sunday. I’m eating chocolate pie and GF pasta with butter, olive oil and garlic. Comfort food. I’ve porked up more than a few pounds.

Not how I planned to ring in the New Year.

I had a HUGE agenda. A plan. A long list of stuff I’d get done in December. Like finishing my new website. Like creating another webinar. Like updating new courses. Like training in Aikido. Like finishing the first draft of my Young Adult Novel.

Not happening.

Sometimes the best of plans get derailed.

And while I’d like to say I’m OK with it. The truth is, I’m really not.

I woke up this morning, surrounded by used Kleenexes in a bit of a panic. When am I going to get all that I want to accomplish DONE?

And that’s not all.

011014-1I had gone to Hawaii on a writer’s retreat at my friend and writing teacher Laurie Wagner’s house on the beach on Kona. Alex Franzen was our glorious guide who lead us through all the elements of our website and business we’d need to create a bright future. But I was also there to write my novel. (See Pix on my Facebook page – more to come).

Not.

Instead, I spent my time soaking up the sun, gazing at the clouds and (almost) swimming with dolphins. I found a hammock and just lay there for hours doing nothing. Really nothing. Not even thinking about stuff. Just enjoying the breeze and the sun warming my face.

011014-4I was not writing.

I was not doing.

I was getting up with the sun and suiting up with the amazing, expressive, creative, Sherry Reichert Belul, and the sharp-minded Ellen Fondiler, my roommates, and walking down to the ocean first thing in the morning for a swim.

I was lolling about in the hot tub tipping drinks with names like cuculele, and pomelomellow. Originals created by the extraordinary poet Maya Stein and her sassy partner Amy Tingle. (BTW I don’t drink. I’m a total lightweight.) And those drinks had me going for seconds.

These are women I want to know for a lifetime.

But….

011014-2I had a number of moments of feeling guilty as I recalled the words of one of my clients who, when I told him about the writing retreat, said, “You can finish your novel. Make it your goal to complete first draft.” He expanded my perspective. I thought, “Why not?” So I tucked that goal into my mind before I left. I knew that he would ask me about it. And he did.

“Is your novel done?”

“Not quite.”

What’s true is it had been a VERY long time since I’d really done nothing. I remember when Mark Moody, from the Strozzi Institute, gave me the assignment to “do nothing” for an hour every week in our garden.

Huh?

“You mean daydream so I can get inspiration for new projects?”

“No.”

011014-3I couldn’t even conceive of “nothing” that wasn’t somehow going to make me more productive. But now I know. All those hours where I couldn’t tear myself away from the beach even though the sun had set. All the hours of floating in the water soaking in the sky. All the hours swinging in the hammock. I have that all inside now. And I’m still savoring them. And I want more of it this next year. I’m putting it into the schedule just like I plan out my work.

I’m also going to follow in the footsteps of poet Mary Oliver. Kinda. She said that she writes 3 hours a day and then the rest of the day is free to socialize or do whatever.

My plan is to work 4 hours a day on my biz and 4 hours writing so I can get my novel done. I won’t divvy it up that way as I like to chunk my time so I’m in the flow of whatever I’m doing. So I have clients days and writing days. That’s the way I’m most productive and happy.

I actually found a way to get more time.

It’s going to sound a bit wacky. Maybe even indulgent. (I haven’t told my parents). I’m kind of afraid to tell you, lest you judge me or think I’m snobbish. But it’s something that’s really important to me – to eat healthy delicious food. To be nourished and well-fed.

One thing that was on my wish list last year was to hire a personal chef.

Done.

Elyse Bolton responded to my ad on Thumbtack which said that I wanted a chef who infused the food with love and care as well as one who would cook delicious gourmet organic, gluten free, grass fed food. The crazy thing is having a personal chef is saving us time and money. My sweetie and I plan out the month of protein and veggies. Now there is no tiffing over who is going to shop, cook, or clean up. I estimate that I’m saving 7-10 hours a week!

What is one thing you will accomplish this year (lollygagging included)? I’d love to hear.

I’m sharing stuff on Facebook that you won’t find in my ezine or on my blog. Come on by, like me, and chime in here: www.facebook.com/SusanHarrow


5 Steps to Build Your Reputation With Publicity – When You’ve Just Begun Your Business

What do you do when you have just started your business and need customers and sales? What if you don’t have customer reviews, testimonials, biz experience or even a bio that shows you’re amazing but you want credibility… and publicity?

Imagine this: You have dozens or hundreds of people discovering you…
Even if you’ve just begun your business.

People who want to buy your products and hire you on the spot.

Here’s how.

Step #1. Shine Online.

guide

Click for a larger view

3 Steps to build a five-star online reputation infographic.

 

You want a website that’s crisp, clear and professional.

Where do potential clients, journalists and producers go to check you out to see if they want to do business with you?

Your website.

Your website should show what you do and who you do it for. Also, it needs an obvious call to action. What do you want your potential clients to DO when they visit? Make sure that they have a clear path to engage with you, your products and services. Give visitors a way to opt-in to a special report or a gift of some sort so you can stay connected.

It used to take 7 impressions before someone would buy from you. They had to connect with you in 7 ways to feel comfortable and trust you. In today’s world it now takes 10 touches to get the same results. So you have to be able to contact your future clients so they have a chance to get to know you.

When people complain that publicity doesn’t work what they really mean is that their website doesn’t convert clicks to cash. Publicity will drive people to your website – but then it’s up to your website to keep them interested enough to want to continue to connect with you and eventually buy.

Your website should also should have the look and feel of you. So a person’s instant impression gives them a sense of who you are, what you sell, and what you stand for.

Step #2. Showcase Your Skills.

Dog with bubble.cartereseContent marketing with images.
Photo Credit: carterse

The best place to showcase your skills is in your bio or about page. This is the place to tout your talents. And while you may not have much experience yet you can bridge your past experience to your present profession. For example, one of the participants in my sound bite course wrote a book on the history of adoption that covered many little known facts about how kids that are adopted don’t have the same rights as ordinary US citizens. She’s not an “adoption expert” but her job as a private investigator used the same sleuthing skills to get to the truth that she used to uncover hidden facts about the adoption industry. That superhero skill went into her bio and made the link from her current profession to her new role as author and champion of underprivileged adoptees.

Step #3. Sound Bite What You Do.

Good News.StewfFree publicity tips and training.
Photo Credit: Stwef

You want to be able to tell people how you can help them in one simple sentence.

Example: “I teach women how to achieve their ideal weight in 2-4 months with no dieting.”

(From Ann Convery’s course, “You’re So Brilliant, Why Don’t They Buy?”)

Notice that this description has concrete, quantifiable results and a timeframe to get those results. It’s not about you, but about what you do for your clients or customers. Plus, this one simple sentence is intriguing and sets up the conversation so people beg for more.

It leads your potential clients to ask two questions:

  1.  How?
  2. Can you do this for me?

Which is exactly what you want them to ask to close business on the spot or during a media appearance.

Step #4. Collect Client Raves.

One-person biz.marsmetPublicity for start-ups
Photo Credit: marsmet546

You can offer your services for free or a reduced fee in exchange for a review.

According to CompUSA and an iPerceptions study, “63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.”

One of the best ways to get a rave or review is to ask your client what was most helpful or what stood out – right after a successful consult, while you’re still on the phone or in-person with them. Then you write down exactly what they say and read it back to them for approval. This instantly produces natural sounding testimonials and stops procrastination pronto.

Procrastination happens because it can be hard for your clients to think, write and polish a testimonial for you. Stop Procrastination: Interviewing your customers or clients right after they’ve had a positive experience with you is effective and fast.

Bada Bing, you’re (almost) done.

According to 2012 research study adding a photo for unfamiliar celebrity names (that’s all of us J) increased the likelihood that the subjects would judge the claim to be true. So be sure to get photos of your clients and customers to increase your cred.

Step #5. Get Local Publicity.

Media Logos

Pitch your local press. Find an angle about how you’re helping or standing out in your community. Write up some tips about a topic that you know about but that most people don’t. Write a highly opinionated letter to the editor a publication whose audience you want to reach.

One of the quickest ways to get local publicity?

Photos.

Share a photo with a caption that amuses, shocks, or delights – with a short blurb.

Journalists love photos.

The other great thing about photos is that you are in complete control of your image and how you’re portrayed. Images are the sound bites of our generation and can go viral faster than any other medium.

Think visually.

BONUS!

Here’s another way visuals can help you get instant cred…

Logo-ize.

Once you get a media placement put the TV, radio or print logo on your home page or media page. You’ve seen this dozens of times on famous and up and coming people’s websites:

As seen in…

The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
Parade
People
Real Simple

As seen on:

Oprah
Good Morning America
CNN
The Today Show

There’s nothing like the visual stamp of approval from a media interview or appearance to make a positive impression. Your visitors will automatically assume that you’re famous (or on your way to fame) if you have recognizable logos emblazoned on your website.

As Jayne Mansfield said, “Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any.”

So these are the 5 steps to Build Your Reputation With Publicity – When You’ve Just Begun Your Business. They are quick and easy and you can start with one thing today.

I would love to hear from you. Have you gotten local publicity? How did you do it?

I’m also curious: which of these 5 strategies resonated the most? Did one stand out as a gleaming jewel?

Did you like this article? If you did, like it, comment, and share it with your friends.

And remember the words of Harold Thurman Whitman:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Ready to dive into some more publicity strategies (think heart-felt stories & truth telling without schmaltz) that can start you on your way to the top? Enjoy this FREE training.

Want to see this blog post (with a slightly different twist) as a FREE 10 minute webinar? Hop on over here.

Now that you know a few things about getting publicity, make sure you’re a fabulous public speaker with these 7 inspiring tips.