I remember when my friend Diana and I were on the island of Molokai, the former leper colony, and we were hiking in a deep ravine. We came to a place where we couldn’t go any further without leaping over a vast expanse with rushing water beneath. I was terrified.
Diana, a former ballerina, is fearless. She leapt like a proverbial gazelle over the gulf and there I was shaking and sweating on the other side. “Come on!” she called impatiently.
But all I could think about is what would happen if I didn’t make it in the one big leap. Lacerated calves. Crushed ribs. A shattered skull.
I couldn’t quite get my head around the IDEA of getting to the other side. I had to shake off my old notions of can’t, impossible, no. And put on the cape of possibility.
Then I leapt.
In that moment I had a whole new notion of myself.
Yes, sexuality is fluid and wild and unpredictable. She fell in love with a man. She fell in love with a woman. She leapt into love both times, full heartedly. I admire her commitment to creativity, curiosity, and love in whatever shape it comes in, no matter how unexpected.
There are all kinds of bravery.
My friend Andrea Scher marks her brave acts in her blog. And she’s giving a course in how you, too can be brave in blogging about your declarations, your descriptions, your destiny.
There’s also bravery in allowing ourselves to earn what we’re worth. My friend Tommi Wolfe (with her lilting South African accent) has some advice about that.
Then there’s bravery in how we think, what we say and what we do.
I may not do it every day, but I’m looking for ways that I can inch my way toward a braver life. I was invited to submit a proposal for the Aiki Extension conference, about Aikido in action in our everyday lives off the mat — and then was paralyzed when they accepted it. The other presenters are third, fourth, fifth, sixth dans (degree of black belt) and I’m the only one who is just a first degree black belt (Shodan).
Aikido high fall
My topic: How to use verbal Aikido in business and media interviews. I’ve never created such a workshop before and since I’m terrified I’m over preparing. Which is how I cope. I challenge myself to think of everything that can go wrong and then I map out what I would do in such a circumstance.
Does this bolster my bravery? No. But the actual doing of it it will. It’s only the doing of it, the getting it into your bones that inches you toward a braver life.
So I’ll continue in my little inchworm ways in challenging myself to do brave things so eventually I’ll become a more courageous person.
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
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!)
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.
Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!
Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):
Go to Instagram or Facebook.
On Instagram follow me and tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.
Whether you’re attempting to break into the world of professional speaking or you’re already a seasoned professional, it’s important that you have an edge in order keep bookings coming — and be seen as the speaker of choice in a league of your own — above of your competitors.
There are two main factors that help meeting planners, speakers bureaus and organizations make that choice a simple one — having a book and being
in the news.
Having a book adds major cred to your skillset and being in the news can help you get booked.
Become a motivational speaker. Speaking secrets.
Why? People want to see people they hear about and feel like they know. By appearing on TV, radio or in print, you’re already “vetted” by the media. If you’re not already famous, a mention on a national show or publication serves as a badge of honor. And being able to put that logo on your website and speaker’s materials sets you apart.
Then, of course, you have to deliver. Creating the bones of a good speech is not only necessary, they’re crucial, but that’s not all it takes. The audience wants to see that you’re enthusiastic, authentic and humorous. Your value as a speaker is increasingly enhanced if you have a great product or service to sell and the lovability to get booked back.
Here are seven articles to send you on your way:
1. Capture and keep your audience’s attention
Communication skills: body language
In this piece speaking pro Chris Widener covers everything from a simple technique to get 20-35% of your audience to buy, how to know what to charge, and creative ways to get hired (even if associations, corporations or companies say they don’t have a budget).
2. Develop into a top professional speaker This article is perfect for those of you looking to break into the professional speaking field, covering the 10 steps to becoming an amazing motivational speaker. Joel Brown, a successful CEO, breaks down the tools you need to succeed and make the most from your speaking arrangements.
3. Build your brand by starting small
Become a paid professional speaker
This round up is useful for entrepreneurs of any level looking to book speaking engagements. The Young Entrepreneur Council goes over points even the most developed of us forget, like, the ultimate DIY, make it happen meet ups and how to start local, but go global.
5. Learn the perfect formula to make people want more of you
How to give a TED talk. Talk like TED
In this piece Tim Ferris, public speaker and famed author of the New York Times Bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, goes over the perfect formula to be the best professional speaker in town. These masterminded strategies includes tips such as, how to prepare seamless 10-minute segments, what not to do before heading on stage and what jokes are better left for the break room.
7. Prep Your TED Talk Guy Kawasaki’s 10 top tips take on: Carmine Gallos’s advice from the book, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Tops Minds. If you’re itching to be a thought leader or have something creative or provocative to share with the world work on your TED talk. In the speaker’s realm this is one of the fastest ways to becoming known, followed, loved – and booked.