The Top 50 Media Contact List — Yours Free

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

Instagram

My hate / love affair with Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

hidden brain podcast

Hidden brain NPR podcast

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

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

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

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

And if so, what time works for you?

Some possibilities.

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

Saturday at 1pm PT / 4pm ET.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom pioneer

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

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

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

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer Interior design

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

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

Instagram influencer

Yoga Instagram influencer

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

Instagram influencer

Instagram influencer mom


These 5 Questions Will Cure That Horrible Bloggers’ Block

By Guest Blogger Sarah Von Bargen

Friends, a warning.

This post will not give you copy and paste ideas for blog posts. This is not where I suggest starting a meme-worthy post series like “what’s in your purse?”

(Not because I don’t want to know what’s in your purse because I totally do. What’s your stance on those round chapstick ball things?)

Women with huge handbags B&W

Sarah Von Bargen Blogging

These are more start-of-the-brainstorming-session, open-to-your-interpretation suggestions. They’re a great place to start when you’re sitting down to plan out next month’s content.

With that said, here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re filling in that editorial calendar.

Am I working on any projects or offerings that I want to build buzz for? Can I give my readers a sneak peek of any upcoming stuff?

If you’re working on a brunch cookbook, write a post about the magic of brunch, link to your favorite brunchy recipes, tell people you’re working on the book, and tell them they can join your list so they’ll be the first to know when it comes out.

If you’re writing an ebook about getting over a break up, share a story about one of your breakups, what you learned from it, tell readers what you’re working on, and invite them to join your list. You get the idea!

Am I trying to grow my Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest followers this month?
Think about what you can write that pairs nicely with each of those platforms. If you’re trying to grow your Instagram following, do a roundup of Instagrammers you think people should follow (Kaelah does a nice job of this). @mention them so they know you’re talking about them and remind your readers that they can follow you.

If you’re trying to grow your Pinterest following, create content that relates to some of your best, most popular boards. Tell readers if they like this, then they’ll really love your Pinterest board on the same topic. 

Is there anything happening this time of year that’s particularly important to my readers and clients?
Do your readers care that it’s tax season? That it’s New York Fashion Week? The shoulder travel season in Europe? Chinese New Year?

woman torn jeans fashion

blogging tips

Think about the events that matter to your people and write content that helps them prepare and enjoy those events. During college graduation season I wrote about how to be a grown-ass woman and during the holiday shopping season I wrote about how to prepare your shop for a deluge of sales and customers.

Have there been any Big Deal developments in my industry or community that I should talk about?
What does it mean for your clients and readers when Facebook changes their policies? When gay marriage becomes legal? When there’s a polar vortex? When Apple releases a new phone? When New York makes Airbnb illegal?

I’m sure you stay up to date on the news and big developments in your industry and I’m sure you’ve got capital O Opinions. Share those with your readers! And if the developments are challenging or troubling, share any ideas about how to deal with them.

Have there been any big changes (good or bad, big or small) in my life that lead to epiphanies that would help my readers + clients?

Of course, if you blog exclusively about food it might be a bit weird to blog about your cat-ownership realizations. But most epiphanies aren’t industry-specific! I mean, I wrote about the business lessons I learned from creating a cat calendar.

Readers love to learn more about you and your life; they’ll probably enjoy hearing more about you while learning something useful.

Sarah Von Bargen

Sarah Von Bargen has been writing for 16 years, blogging for 8, and solving people’s problems online since dial up internet. Grab her free book ‘7 TRICKS FOR A POLISHED + IMPRESSIVE + PRODUCTIVE ONLINE LIFE’ here or follow along on Twitter


I Built an Igloo + Other Thoughts About Wonder

We played in the vast cornfields, running like colts, picking the lacy white flowers called Queen Anne’s Lace, which are really weeds.  Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “A weed is but an unloved flower,” and we loved these frilly things. What I remember most from those days was the space. The wide open hills, the meadows, the big yards, dirt roads that went on and on, long stretches of green with big, old trees. 

Our neighbors, the Horsch’s had a barn with a tire swing inside of it. Next door the Shearers had horses. I love the smell of horses. Their pungent fur, their manure, and the way they get grass stains on their lips. How we fed them hands flat so they didn’t accidentally bite off a finger.

In those days I remember putting The Sound of Music on the phonograph, one of those large monstrosities built into a cabinet, lifting the needle to play the record over and over again until my mother cried, “Stop! You’re driving me crazy!” And made us boot up and go play in the snow. It was like being suited up like an astronaut, not an inch of flesh showing. Everything covered except our eyes. Our eyelashes would freeze like tiny stars.

deer in snow with person

When we looked through the world through those snowflakes eyelashes it was a magical place. Our faces upturned to the sky, watching the white come down from the heavens. It was as if outer space was somehow knowable, these time travelers come to tell us that the world is vast and both knowable and unknowable.

You can travel to places beyond yourself and return home for the cocoa with the mini marshmallows that we would try to eat before they melted. There were jacks in summer on the sidewalk in front of our house. Every day I couldn’t wait to play.

Remember wonder

Remember wonder

Do you remember that kind of excitement where you welcomed every day anew? Sprang out of bed, not caring what clothes you wore. Fun was the thing. And wonder. That’s what we were seeking then without even knowing it.

That we could build an igloo — a real one — digging out the snow before it froze up against the embankment made of thick wooden slats. Then the three or four of us would go into our little building and it was warm in there. Really warm. While outside the wind blew and the sun blazed, both warm and cold existing like estranged siblings.

In the spring the field where we built the igloo was transformed into a blanket of Monarch butterflies, thousands of them, visiting flower after flower. They do not distinguish flower from weed.

deep blue moonThere was a time when phones didn’t buzz on the table. When we didn’t need to take pictures of our food to enjoy it. Or capture a good moment then try to re-live it. Or more likely never even looking at it again. There was a time when we could just look at the night sky and call out, “Hey you, star. I see you. How are you doing?” There was a time when we let ourselves revel in the simple brightness of being.

 


The life-Changing Magic of Speaking Up. (This is my story. What’s yours?)

As a high school student in Palo Alto, California, I was irrepressibly curious and constantly looking for strange and exciting new experiences to try out. And if those “strange and exciting” adventures meant that I could make a little extra money on the side? Even better!

That’s how I wound up sitting in a laboratory with a guy in a white lab coat who explained that he was conducting an important scientific experiment. I was going to be compensated for my time and, so it seemed, helping to further a scientific discovery. This was great!

“There’s a man sitting in another room, on the other side of this wall,” Mr. White Coat explained to me. “This man is taking a test and if he answers a question incorrectly, you must give him an electric shock.”

Mr. White Coat shocks me the 15 volts to show me how it feels. Ow! I jerk in my seat. Tolerable, but definitely painful.

“Remember,” Mr. White Coat reminds me. “If the test subject gets the wrong answer, you shock him.”

The test begins. The man taking the test gets a string of wrong answers. I shock him. Wrong answer. I shock him again.

With each progressive shock, the man on the other side of the wall — the man I am shocking — begins to yelp, then cry out, then scream. It sounds like the pain is becoming unbearable. I glance up at Mr. White Coat and he urges me to keep going. After the third shock, the man on the other side of the wall SCREAMS out, “Stop! Please! STOP! Let me out!” and starts pounding frantically on the wall. I yank back my hands and stand up.

“This experiment is over. I won’t shock him any more. He’s screaming. It obviously hurts.”

Sternly, he urges me to sit down and continue. “You agreed to this experiment so you have to finish it.”

“No, forget it, I won’t do it,” I tell him. I gather my things and prepare to leave. Mr. White Coat puts his hand on my shoulder to stop me and says,

“Wait.”

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

“The man on the other side of the wall is also participating in the experiment. He wasn’t really being shocked. You weren’t hurting him. He was just pretending. He wasn’t the test subject. YOU are.”

You can imagine, my teenage jaw fell right down to the floor. I was stunned and also relieved.

He went on to explain that he and his colleagues were conducting an experiment to see how people obey orders and respond to “authority figures.”

The results were pretty troubling.

Many of the people controlling the “shock” button kept shocking, and shocking, and shocking, and shocking…up to 450 volts (“Danger: severe shock”) despite horrible screams and pleas coming from beyond the wall.

According to The Atlantic Magazine, in one variation of the experiment, 65% of the people shocked the other person to “death.” (Not really, of course, because the actor was just pretending. But they didn’t know that.)

When asked, “Why did you do that? Why did you keep administering the shock?” most people would respond with some variation of, “The guy in the white coat told me to do it!”

Pretty staggering, right? As this experiment, first conducted by Stanley Milgram — which went on to become a famous, historic experiment, and is now a Hollywood movie called Experimenter — demonstrates, most people do not question authority. If someone who appears to wearing some kind of “uniform” doles out an instruction, most people simply obey.

I was one of the few people who wouldn’t obey. Why? Because I won’t be bullied into hurting somebody, even if I’m told that I “must.” (“Must” is not a word that I like and I do not like being told what to do.) But I do know that it comes from my family, who has always taught me to stand up for what I believe no matter what. And to be kind and to help others who are in distress.

So this non-conformist attitude came from the example of my upbringing. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been wired that way — and it definitely carries through to my work today.

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

When a client said to me, “My publisher wants to put out a press release that doesn’t accurately represent my work and the content of my book and I don’t feel right about it, but don’t feel like I can say anything. After all, they know best.” I told my client, “Don’t go against your own moral compass. Let’s come up with a new strategy and present it to them.” That’s what we did and it was readily accepted.

Or when another client said to me, “A sales expert told me I had to use his coaching model to get clients, but those aren’t the people I really want to work with,” I told my client, “Then stop that. We can find another way that reaches the people you resonate with.” I helped her get her first $10,000 client for a new program we devised. She was elated and said, “You turned my world upside down. What you have really opened my eyes to is another level of living. One to which I have aspired, but my only model was ‘become a guru.’  (shudder) Not only are you helping me, you are modeling a way of thinking that uplifts my spirit.”

When I see someone doing something that’s painful, unethical, ineffective, or that just “doesn’t feel right” for whatever reason, I urge them to speak up. I urge them to stop. I urge them to trust their instincts, rather than blindly trusting “The Man in the White Coat.”

Your “speaking up” story can be anything you want. Stopping a person from beating their dog. Telling a teacher that you DO in fact have singing skills. A time when you spoke up in a meeting and suggested something totally opposite to the common group think.

Speak up for what is right

Speak up for what is right

By speaking up and choosing to behave differently than your peers, you could transform your industry, change your customer’s lives, or (who knows?) even save someone’s life.

When you feel the urge to speak up or defy the “orders” you’ve been given, do it.

With very, very few exceptions, you will not regret it.

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life or someone else’s life? I want to hear your story.

Here’s how to share:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).

  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.

  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow

  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!

  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!

  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and then tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give memy publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.

 

In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.

 

I cannot wait to see your story. Whether it’s a story about a gigantic act of courage — or a small, everyday act of bravery — it all counts and it’s all amazing.

This blog post was inspired by a lovely & very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s delightful. You should read it. 

Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.


The Life Changing Magic of Speaking Up – A Story Contest

Share your story & get a prize! For…

The Life Changing Magic of Speaking Up™

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life — or someone else’s life — for the better?

Maybe you saw a classmate bullying someone on the schoolyard and you spoke up and said, “Back off!”

Maybe you witnessed harm being done to a child or animal and intervened.

Maybe a colleague made a bigoted or sexist comment and you objected or said, “You need to apologize. That’s not OK.”

Maybe you had a “funny gut feeling” to call, visit or email a friend, parent, sibling, or client at a particular moment and your message changed the course of their day — or life.

Maybe you asked for a pay raise, a promotion, a new project, or an opportunity that you wanted—and you got it.

Maybe you bravely got onstage—or published a blog post—to share a true story from your own life and it led to a beautiful opportunity, inspired your audience to take action, or shifted your whole year in an unexpected way.

When you speak up—honestly, courageously, straight from the heart—your words can unlock incredible opportunities, open people’s eyes, help to correct wrongdoings, biases, and misconceptions, and make the world a better place.

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

Speaking up is magical.

I love hearing stories about people who have chosen to speak up—what they did, what they said, and what happened next—and I want to hear your story. 

To reward you for sharing your story, I’m turning this into a CONTEST with a delicious prize for EVERYONE who participates! (Hooray!)

Here’s how it works:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).
  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text on your feed. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.
  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow
  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!
  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!
  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

design

Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

I can’t wait to see your story!

This contest was inspired by a lovely and very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. You can buy the book here. 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give me, my publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.

 

In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.

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.

080815-1

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.

0tWX_r-lx-UcQw4oVlACuV9EbCpp17dnEGnTQECRcGI

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.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.58.09 AM

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


How An Untortured Artist Gets Unstuck

Guest Post by Kent Youngstrom

here are days (like today) when i don’t want to paint.  have no desire to paint. would rather sit, sleep, surf, waste away.  anything accept paint.

guess what i have to do…paint.

140514_kentyoungstrom-14

so i’ll  start slow.  warm up.  stretch.  paint something other than what’s due. my mind and body will take over and do it.

if i’m still not feeling it…

i’ll try just black and white.

switch hands.

turn the canvas sideways or upside down.  start over.

red bull.  change the music.  no music.  go outside.  go for a walk.  a run.  take a shower.  use a color you never use.  give myself a time limit.

140804_KentYoungstrom-5-X3

yoga.  paint and talk to a friend on speaker.

copy someone’s work… then add your own touch.  pretend the painting is a gift.  scream at the work.

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.

header2

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.