By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Something horrible happened. There was a stipulation in the grant application for Chase/LivingSocial that said you can’t offer a incentive of any kind for voting. I overlooked this in the rules and offered you the special report: Get on the Today Show Tomorrow. A woman wrote me a mean letter accusing me of deliberate dishonesty and turned me in. (More about that later in a blog post).
But, I explained to the Chase/LivingSocial board that it was an honest mistake and I’d be willing to start over with no votes (I was up to 120). Their board said that there was nothing in the rules stating that I couldn’t submit another application and start from scratch. So I did.
But the bad news is…
None of the votes counted. 🙁
The good news is…
I get a second chance.
I know that this is a lot. And I’m asking you to do this for no reward. But if you could vote for me and my big dream I’ll send stars in your direction.
And I want to thank all of you who voted for me. It means the world to me.
Here’s the short version of my big dream:
I have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.
To do that I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.
Enter the following information: Business name: Harrow Communications
Click on Search
Click on Vote
REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the missionsmallbusiness.com site that says, “Share vote.”
Here is what you can put: Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did! http://bit.ly/Nc5jsvI’d be enormously grateful!
And thank you. (Know that I appreciate you already even if you do nothing!).
May YOUR big dream come true. I support you in inviting it to happen.
Pattern Break. by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist
Maybe you’ve noticed.
I haven’t sent out an ezine for quite some time. (Please forgive!)
I’ve been rethinking just about everything. Creating a new website. Developing a new blog. Working on a new webinar. Hosting webinar trainings for the kinds of things I think you’ll need most to create a sustain your business in the face of so many technological and economic changes.
I had an idea for a novel and pitched it to my literary agent over Pad Thai noodles and crispy squid when he was in San Francisco for a conference. He said he loved it and had a publisher waiting for it. Could I write it up in a month? Small snafu – I have no idea how to write fiction.
But I did one thing to start anyway.
A friend and I went to Cavallo Point Spa in Sausalito for a day of luxury and writing. We got jacuzzied and steamed up and all relaxed and then sat by the fire and wrote. Me in a journal, she on her iPad. Then we read to each other. She said, “F_ck you!” when I finished. And then explained that this was the highest compliment cause she was jealous. It gave me heart.
Next, I bought a book on how to structure a novel called, Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris, who has written 8 bestsellers as a ghostwriter so I figured she must know what she’s doing. Plus she’s English so she says things in a fetching way, which makes me think a bit differently about language out of my usual mindset.
But with all the tumult in my business I haven’t had much time to focus on that book. I need some puttering around time to let ideas in. That’s one of the phases that Roz recommends. But there will be a time soon where I’ll need to hunker down and get three chapters written to send to my agent.
I hope you’ll hang with me in this phase and tell me what you think of my new ideas —and perhaps use this as a starting point for your own plans…
So here is the overview my grand multi-media plan across all platforms.
My personal and professional business goals (they are intertwined).
Platforms to share information.
Editorial calendar for the types and frequency of postings across the mediums.
Goal for each type of communication.
Systems to measure tangible and intangible results.
Offline or traditional ways of connecting.
The underlying goals are:
Increase interaction from my existing audience (you.)
Increase subscribers and engagement across all social media.
Stay more closely connected with my tribe (you).
Promote my own and affiliate products and services that serve your highest good.
Share the shine™. Bringing your talent out into the spotlight.
I’ll do that through a delicious mix of:
How to or step by step articles/trainings. (I love these, don’t you? Instant learning).
Opinion and visions pieces. (I get to spout off on what pleases or pisses me).
Promotions, launches and products from myself and others. (Trainings that inspire action – let’s get it done, OK?)
Analysis of great stuff that works. (Creative geniuses, wild thinkers, crazy coots and magnificent mavericks and things I’d never think of).
Beauty that moves me. (Things I can’t resist that give pure delight).
So here’s what you’ll be getting…
1. Pure content ezine updates.
These will be pure content without any free offers. (Watch in the next week or so for: The Best of Pinterest Articles. I’ve been reading them like mad. Did I mention I got sucked down the Pinterest hole for an entire weekend – deadlines pending. I just LOVE this visual diary of people lives and loves.)
2. “The Weekly Bite™.”
A snippet of something (a cloaked way of saying “sound bite”) I’ve come across randomly that moves me in some way. I can be something memorable someone said, an image, part of an overheard conversation. This will be in the form of a video, blog post or audio podcast.
3. Share the Shine™.
Your stories. Your successes. Your spotlight. I’ll be asking you to share some small or great victory that you’ve had in the comments box on my blog after you read a post. I’ll choose people to share the shine by profiling your entire story, photo, website URL so others can be inspired and learn from your successes. Have one already? Share it here: http://www.prsecrets.com/contact.php
4. 10 Line Tuesday poems with Maya Stein.
I just love Maya’s poems. They say so much with so little words. A great lesson in communication in our overly wordy world.
5. Special offers to work with me personally or in a program.
What do you think about doing a 27 minute laser consult with me for just $99 (regularly $500/hour)? I did this on once before and it sold out in a few hours. I loved meeting so many of you who said that you’d been following me for years and wanted go connect further or go deeper. I recently did this again on LinkedIn and had a fantastic time talking to people who had everything from an innovative TV show to green business. As I said this will be occasional and I’ll let you who are on my list know about it the moment I decide.
If you like this idea of the 27 minute laser consult would you comment below. No obligation, just curious.
So that’s it for the moment. Whew. Now to implementation. I’ve been working weekends, nights, holidays with only the occasional excursion into the garden to sniff and snip. Heading there now as the roses are calling.
What’s on your plan for your future? Share one thing that you’re going to implement.
Women today are making professional strides at an unprecedented level. Women are starting businesses at 1.5 times the national average, a 20 percent increase over the last decade. Women are also pursuing higher education in record numbers; women now hold more bachelors and graduate degrees than men.
There is still a disparity in earnings and leadership titles across genders, but there are more outspoken advocates of professional women than ever before. Notable leaders like Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Rachel Sklar, and Sarah Blakely help fuel this conversation in the media and champion for the advancement of women everywhere.
Yup. You heard it right. If you sign up for Brendon’s course I’ll give you the Your Signature Sound Bites Course for Zip, Gatz, Nada, Nothing – INCLUDING 10 weeks of group media coaching with Alison Luterman and 3 months of Q&A calls with me for…NOTHING. FREE.
How great is that?
Let’s do it!
Just forward me your email receipt from Brendon showing that you bought through me (his devoted affiliate) and we’ll get you registered in the sound bites course ASAP.
To your outrageous joy and good fortune.
One more thing: Do you want to OWN the new economy?
Brendon has some thoughts on success in this new economy, where ideas rule and everyone is looking for help and new strategies right now, the most
successful people will be content creators, trainers, and information marketers.
People who use their life’s story and strategies for success to help other people improve their lives or businesses will have more income, influence and impact.
Simply, “experts” now own the economy. They do this through books, speeches, seminars, coaching, and online marketing.
If you want to join the ranks of the new rich, then you have to position, promote and get paid as an expert. The best training we’ve seen for that is right here:
Entrepreneurs need to have an elevator speech for everything —Photo Credit: Bark
If you think sound bites are just for the salesy, sleazy, or slick, you’re not seeing the big picture.
In today’s hurry-scurry world, where people’s attention spans are the size of a tweet, sound bites, your key messages, can make or break a deal, a sale, or even a casual encounter. In order to be on the cutting edge, or even just competitive, entrepreneurs need to be at the sound bite ready for every opportunity.
Once they are prepared they can make a connection anywhere with anyone at any time that could result in a life-changing shift. Whether you have a business, book, product, service or cause, sound bites are the key to making a quick connection.
I was reminded of the importance of sound bites on a recent call with an author who became a client. She blithered on and on in her emails writing me several detailed pages before we even set up an appointment to see if we were a match. Bad strategy. I took her on because she really has something to say to the world — she just takes way too long to say it. That’s why she hired me.Authors need sound bites for their book proposal, book title, query letter, and log line —Photo Credit: Mancha Extraña
On our initial call I had to repeatedly wrangle her in order to discover what her book was about. It wasn’t easy or fun. This is something that I should have been able to discover in 20 seconds. She’s about to embark on a book tour so we have much work to do before her book publishes. Your audience wants to have a good time with you.
It’s your job to deliver only the information that they need to know at that instant. And deliver it in a concise, memorable, entertaining, and elegant way.
This video is a moving example of why words matter.
Being able to get to the essentials of who you are, why you do what you do, and what your business is about, is critical. To whittle your words into sound bites, your key message take-aways — takes practice. Lots of it. But once you master this kind of messaging you can use it across all mediums from your social networks, to a media interview, to a chat in line to get the latest iPhone.Communication skills for social media—Photo Credit: Rrrrred
The problem isn’t that entrepreneurs don’t have plenty to say — it’s that they have too much — and they have no idea how to organize their thoughts or content into tightly crafted meaningful messages that leave their audiences begging for more.
It’s like taking Tolstoy’s War and Peace and turning it into Haiku. It’s a huge task; one that is best done with a sound bite buddy or media coach.
To get into the habit of speaking in sound bites before a networking event, meeting, media appearance, job interview or spontaneous interaction in the proverbial elevator, I suggest that you create at least six sound bites using the following formulas.
Story of origin: My client, Kristen Scheurlein, Founder of Affirmagy, left a multi-million-dollar business as a graphic designer to become what she calls The Blanket Lady.
“I didn’t want to become an entrepreneur, but it’s in my blood. My grandfather was a shoemaker. In the Depression, he saw that many people couldn’t afford shoes. He traded chickens for shoes to make sure that none of the children in the village went shoeless. I didn’t realize that I was following in his footsteps when I began my business, which will become a complete non-profit in five years, but I am. We give away blankets to churches, charities, homeless. In essence, I’m trading chickens for shoes.”
2. Statistics connected to your book or business: Self-employed people, whose numbers continue to grow, have almost doubled since 1980 to over 17 million. One of the biggest challenges of the self-employed is the lack of structure and accountability to follow through on important tasks. Many complain that they feel like they are “all alone” in their business lives.
The book, Extreme Success by Rich Fettke gives self-employed people ways to develop the support they need and proven strategies to stay focused and effective on their most important goals.Combine statistics with your opinion on TV talk shows to become a thought leader—Photo Credit: AJC1
3. Fact: More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with thyroid disease, and another 13 million people are estimated to have undiagnosed thyroid problems in the U.S. alone.
4. Vignette: An anchorman and reporter at CBS spoke at 300 words per minute while the typical person speaks 125-140. The practice of Transformational Speaking taught him to take time, pause. For the first time in his life his evaluations as a professional speaker said things like “Thank you for giving me time to think.” He said, “I don’t beat up my audiences with facts any more.’
5. Anecdote: Chuck Barris, creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and more, said that people were always eating while watching TV. His mission for the shows became the motto: stop a fork. “I always told my staff, if we could stop a fork… midway from the bowl to the mouth then we had done something right, we had just created a moment that was O.K.. That was the slogan that we carried around the company. Stop a fork.”
6. Analogy: “Bangs are the new Botox.” Becky de la Rosa, Hairdresser
7. Aphorism: “Language is the dress of thought; every time you talk your mind is on parade.” Dr Samuel Johnson
8. Acronym: M.A.D.D. Mothers against drunk driving
Through training and practice you move these key phrases you’ve created into the conversations you have at networking events, with potential clients, buyers of your products or services, the media, and anyone who you want to give an experience of who you are and what your business is about. It’s important to be prepared for any personal and professional opportunity that comes your way. Which can happen anywhere at any time.
Case in point. While one of the participants in mysound bites course was waiting in line to buy an iPad 2 she sold over 250 books from the trunk of her car and closed a speaking engagement worth thousands of dollars. How? By speaking in sound bites in casual conversation.
You too can master speaking in sound bites to engage your ideal audience to buy your book, build your business, engage your services, get involved with your cause, and, most importantly, create a lasting connection.Attract your ideal audience with the right words—Photo Credit: Milena Mihaylova
Want to know what to do when the media calls? Hop on over to this webinar to learn the secrets of media stars. (Everyday people just like you who have learned how to do it right and got astounding results).
So many people wrote in that they were disappointed that they missed the deadline to join my new course called “Your Signature Sound Bites™: How to Convey The Right Messages To Get What You Want” that I’m opening enrollment for another 72 hours. Go here to see what you get. We already have a fantastic group of fascinating people who have signed up and are eager to learn. If you are too go here: http://prsecrets.com/soundbites_course.html
When you watch the video on the webpage at above link you’ll find out about the all important 3 Ps…These three things are ESSENTIAL to you being a skilled and sought after media guest.
We’re living in an age where there is a 24/7 news cycle. We’re bombarded with online video, everyone is snapping pics with their camera and the next American Idol is waiting to be discovered. Privacy is a thing of the past. Transparency is king – whether you like it or not.
The good news is that speaking the truth has more power than ever. The bad news is that it’s easy to say something you wish you hadn’t – and have it catalogued forever so anyone can access it at any time.
The silver lining is that every media interview is a chance to build your brand. The ugly truth is that it’s also an opportunity to ruin your reputation over night.
Packaging your message while maintaining control over your every media interaction is a necessary and vital art. Here are three tips to keep control of your reputation.
Don’t Be a Slob. I remember one of my first clients was a high tech expert. We debated whether he needed to be in a suit or could he wear what he was most comfortable in – a sweater. At the time the sweater won out. Today, I’m not so sure we would make that same decision. People sum you up in less than three seconds. Do experts wear sweaters? Maybe. But a suit speaks seriousness. It’s grown up. It’s what men have worn to work since the industrial revolution. It may be a stereotype, but it’s engrained in our national consciousness.
You’ve heard the expression: “Dress makes the man.” While a well-tailored suit isn’t going to make up for an empty brain it goes a long way in gaining instant credibility. Have you ever noticed how well expensive designer clothes fit? Rather than having a closet full of clothes they don’t wear Europeans select a few exclusive clothes that they mix and match in creative ways. When I lived in Paris I was struck by how well-dressed even the students were. The French even have an expression for it: Bien Foutu, which means well-put together. That’s what you want. Clothes that suit the occasion, your body, personality, and profession.
Don’t Chatter Aimlessly. “Bush and I were published on the same day. And my book was called, I remember Nothing and his could be too,” said screenwriter, playwright and author Nora Ephron recently on the Bill Maher show. Ephron said that she had been warned ahead of time by the producers that she had better get a joke in fast otherwise she would be overshadowed by the quick repartee of Maher with the other guests. Even though she is an experienced media guest, she said she was terrified and planned her joke out word for word. Plan, prepare and practice your sound bites word for word so when you’re under pressure you can perform. Consider yourself warned.
Don’t Sell Shamelessly. I remember visiting comedian George Carlin’s website while he was still alive and getting a good laugh when I clicked on his store. He said something like…
“Please buy my crap.” I wasn’t offended. That’s Carlin’s style. And I liked that he wasn’t hiding that he had something to sell. You might need to be more subtle. The art of selling is two-fold. You have to feel comfortable doing it in your own way. And you have to integrate it into your patter so it doesn’t stand up and shout “I’m selling you stuff!” in the middle of a conversation. You want the selling to be seamless, worked into a point that your audience is hanging on your every word to hear. That’s the art of creating sound bites that don’t sound like they are selling, but work through intrigue and tease so you naturally and organically want more.
Speak in Sound Bites To Get What You Want
Almost 1,000 people signed up for this teleseminar & webinar!
I want to thank you for what you shared. I commend you for “showing” your own lessons via stories – great examples – and just for the work you do. I felt prompted to let you know that I appreciate what I gained from what I heard…especially…remember to be authentically me and to show through stories. ~ C.C.
Or do you find yourself searching for strands of something intelligent to say. Or do you ramble or say things you wish to God you hadn’t. If only there was an erase button for the words that flew out of your mouth.
If you don’t have your sound bites planned — and give the reporter or producer what they’re looking for, chances are you’ve lost your chance. Lost your chance to give your audience a taste of how wonderful you, your business, book, product, service or cause really are. And there is no lack of competition to fill in the gap that you left.
Just recently a client who just taped the Food Networks’ extreme challenge TV show, (airing in March), thanked me profusely for helping her shape her pre- and post interviews and how to respond to difficult situations during the competition. She told me afterward she had no idea how hard it would be and how much they would pressure her into saying something derogatory, evil or bad.
She said that I helped her feel confident that she would only say things that she wanted her audience to know. Just as important to her was to not say anything she didn’t want her two boys to hear. That was one of her own moral benchmarks. Do you know yours?
Beyond that she hadn’t realized that she needed to seamlessly weave in stories about teaching courses, which is her most profitable area of business, into her sound bite patter, for every single media interview she does. Reaching your audience isn’t just about being lively and entertaining, it’s about knowing how to deliciously entice them into wanting more of you and what you have.
Now most of us aren’t ever going to be on an extreme reality TV show, but sometimes it can feel that way. No matter what the circumstance you want to be ready to say ONLY what you want your audience to know in order to enlighten, entertain, and engage them so that they like, respect, believe in, and buy from you, or buy into your ideas.
This is how a business grows when you know how to manage the media, instead of letting the media manage you.
In this new age of social media 2.0 the media is more often searching for experts when they have the need rather than pouring over hundreds of useless press releases that don’t have information that is relevant for their audience. So even if you haven’t sent out a press release you could get that important call from the media – if you’ve positioned yourself correctly on the Internet.
On the flip side did you know that now with YouTube and Time Machine that what you say could haunt you forever?
Once a video of you is posted or something you said shows up on the Internet there’s no way to take it back. With the advent of technology what you say will stay around in eternity and anyone can access it at any time.
This is why it makes it so important that you pay attention to what you say and how you say it — before you blast it out.
That’s right, your reputation, your credibility, your brand, your livelihood could disappear with one bad article or one TV appearance gone south. But it doesn’t need to be so.
Don’t make these five mistakes.
Spokesperson media training to stay on message
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds
Many people I media train waffle. They meander off into a tangent or blurt out a thought that just came into their head in the heat of the moment, instead of carefully planning their messages and delivering them.
A while back I saw the movie Fair Game about the Valerie Plame story. When Plame spoke to one of her contacts overseas from whom she wanted information she was firm as a mountain, soft as breeze, fluid as water. She was never harsh, but she got her way. She knew her facts so when she spoke to one of her own team members or someone whose cooperation she wanted she quietly, but firmly repeated her request.
You can do the same when someone asks you a question. You calmly assert your pre-rehearsed answer no matter how many different ways a reporter or host ask you a question to elicit a different response. Know what you want to say and stick to it. Stay firm as a mountain, soft as a breeze, fluid as water.
Media coaching for branding
Photo Credit: DeeAshley
You don’t quote industry leaders or competitors
It might sound counter-intuitive to quote your competition or other high-stature people in your field, but it shows that you are on top of what’s happening in your industry.
In an Inc.com article titled 10 Tips for Giving an Important Speech by Alyssa Danigelis, anthropologist, filmmaker, and National Geographic explorer Elizabeth Lindsey said, “The more we talk about the things that matter to us, and less about our achievements, people breathe a collective sigh of relief.”
When we focus on what’s important to us in a sincere way it translates to our audience. They get it. Quote people you admire whose philosophy resonates with your own to help get your ideas across in a novel way.
They often say things that give a different point of view given we are all entangled in our own perspective. It’s a way of broadening our own views and the views of our audience.
Media coaching for radio interviews
Photo Credit: Rishibando
You don’t tell how you’ve helped people.
The most potent way to persuade people to buy or buy into you or your ideas isn’t for you to talk about your achievements but to tell a story about a person you’ve helped. I recently media coached a client who said he wasn’t a good storyteller. As a doctor he preferred to medical facts so he would be more authoritative. But the human warm fuzzy factor was a bit lacking. It’s important to use facts and stories to build trust. Facts alone aren’t enough. When using facts make sure to put them in their human context so you combine feeling with fact. It’s also necessary to tell stories that reveal our effectiveness human to human.
Facts show you have knowledge. Personal and professional stories illustrate your understanding – how you do what you do and how well your methods work. I suggested that he tell dramatic or funny stories about people who came into his office with an acute problem whom he helped recover quickly using both his doctorly intuition and the product he was promoting.
In our next media coaching session he did this beautifully in preparation for his NPR interview. Giving your audience a story about how you helped another person is the closest thing to giving them an actual experience of you.
Your vulnerability is your greatest strength
Photo Credit: Pulpolux !!!
You don’t transform your wounds into wisdom
Your hardships are the mistakes that others don’t need to make. Your wounds make you loveable. We all have an Achilles Heel. Don’t hide it, highlight it. Comedian Craig Ferguson said, “I think that sometimes fear is God’s way of saying, paying attention to this could be fun. I’ve learned from people who are braver than I that fear is necessary, failure is necessary. When I talk to people and they tell me how well they are or how well they are doing I think they’re crazy and they’re failing. And when I talk to people and who are telling me how they feel—I’m not saying that misery is more authentic than joy, I don’t mean that. But I do think that sometimes self-promotion can be tiresome as I sit here talkin’ about my book. Which is available reasonably priced from all good outlets.”
What I love about Ferguson is that he doesn’t wallow in any sentiment. He moves into the wound and the moves out of it with humor. And aren’t you interested in his book just from reading this one quote? I was.
Thought leaders give opinions and perspective
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov
You don’t have your opinion ready.
Thought leaders have opinions. They back their opinions with evidence or piggyback them with humor to soften a tough point of view. Have your opinion ready.
To become a respected thought leader spend some time every week thinking about the issues in your industry. Consider some of the trends that are happening. Formulate your thoughts. Concretize them in writing on your blog, Facebook, or in an article.
When a reporter who had interviewed me before called and asked me my opinion of the new Conan O’Brien Show I told her I hadn’t seen it, but I still had an opinion about it. We laughed. Then I transitioned from what I didn’t know into what I did know – which was Jon Stewart. I watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart regularly and think he’s hilarious, smart and self-deprecating.
The important thing is to transition to what you know and make the connection so you are serving the reporter and her audience. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion.
Every body needs to speak in sound bites. They aren’t just for politicians, talking heads, or movie stars. Even if you’re not preparing for a media interview, the information on this FREE webinar can help you be a better parent, leader, succinct speaker, dazzling party guest, run an effective meeting, close a deal or get venture capital. Jump in on it now.