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Thought Leader

What To Do When People Criticize You in Person or on the Internet

Last week I spoke at East Bay Women’s Network to a group of wonderful women attended who were curious about how to promote their businesses and themselves. It had been a long time since I’d given a “speech” as I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from speaking engagements or other public events.

My stomach was roiling that morning as I drove the hour to Alameda and before that I’d had weeks of worry, nightmares, and plenty of time to fret about the actual talk.

Afterward many women came up to thank me and tell me what they loved about my talk.

There was one man in the room. But he had no interest in complimenting me.

He wanted to criticize me so bad he could hardly wait his turn.

“I don’t know if you saw me sleeping in the back,” he started out.

“Nope. Didn’t notice,” I said, wondering why someone would bring that to my attention.

He then battered me with questions leading up to his punch line which was designed to tear me down, so he could tell me everything I’d done wrong. My stomach sank and my face fell. My first thoughts: I’m such a failure. I’m a stinky speaker. Why did I accept this gig? What was I thinking?

Then I breathed, relaxed my tummy, let it go and stayed open.

Eventually, he got to his point which was that I didn’t tell a signature story to let the group know who I was. “Oh gosh, I’ve got about 5 signature stories that I’ve told so many times I’m tired of them. I wanted to try something new.”

“Sure,” he said. “But WE haven’t heard any of them.”

He was right. I teach telling your signature story in every media appearance and when appropriate, your speaking engagements. The “why you do what you do” story.

I was out of practice. I had forgotten.

I thanked him and packed up my things. Point taken.

What to do you do when you receive uninvited criticism in person or on the Internet? 

I recommend asking yourself these 3 questions (and then doing this last thing – which is the hardest).

1. Consider the source.

Is this person a nutball? If so, dismiss their rant without another thought. Don’t let it sink into your skin for a second.

When a friend had a very revealing piece published in the New York Times the editor warned her to expect a backlash from Internet trolls. She and I discussed not even reading the hurtful replies so she could revel in the glory of achieving her dream. We batted around the idea that later when she had some distance and perspective, she might scan them for ideas to write another article based on the responses she elicited, thus using them for the positive. Distance creates perspective and allows you to see things more “objectively,” and less personally.

2. Is there something I can learn here?

Is there a kernel of truth in anything this person says? Is what they say worth examining so I can improve myself, my course, my talk etc.? If so, great. If not, move on.

3. Did what they said/wrote trigger an unresolved wound?

If you find yourself becoming hurt, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, or experiencing a strong feeling arising, take a few breaths to steady yourself and come back to center in the moment. Later, examine what touched the nerve. The event can show you where there is still work to be done to let go of past patterns that we all have or harbor. Consider tapping to resolve challenging issues.

The hardest part? Staying open. To hear the truth, or someone’s version of it, and not react. Or, if you react, don’t judge your response just let it go so you can listen and assess the situation.

The second hardest part is to ignore the hurtful words and not let them lodge in our hearts and close us down.

There is a time and place to just ignore the offending party. Not give them or their words any energy at all. If you’re up for an “advanced” practice, send them a blazing bolt of love from your heart to theirs. Shoot it straight in. We are all hurt somewhere and if you can soften even a little consider that an accomplishment.

BONUS: Use hurtful words to open an interesting discussion. I witnessed an Instagram influencer do this when she raised over 50k to help a single mom of two in her congregation get a car, apartment and get started on a new life in an unfamiliar city.

It was quite amazing to see all the support her IG community gave and to watch the pot of gold grow. Then came the naysayers who accused her of doing it for the money. None of which she kept, by the way. So she shared the hurt and gave her followers the opportunity to discuss the negative comment and to give her even more support for her good deed, which they did.

Some people make it their mission to make you feel small. Ignore them. Others are devoted to finding infinite ways share in order to inspire you to feel good. Embrace them.

To make a practice of celebrating others and bringing joy I recommend Sherry Richert Belul’s new book, Say It Now: 33 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU To the Most Important People in Your Life

If you’re in the Bay Area I invite you to join us for an in-person workshop with Sherry where she’ll lead us through how to make a Love List on May 11 in Alameda. I’d love to meet you!


Thank You For The Sh_tty Lesson

A quick note to say how much I appreciate each and every one of you.

Some of you have been connected since my days teaching at the Learning Annex where my first product was a cassette tape that I duplicated, a cover/case that I hand-glued onto a piece of paper then printed from my computer. The second product was a set of stapled together pages with a card stock cover about how to write a press release.

In some ways I’ve come a long a way and in others not so much.

Walking in Central Park New York
Church Music and Rain in New York

Right now, I don’t have a lot to say. I’m in one of those periods where words aren’t flowing. Not in my writing group, not in my business.

Last week, as we sat together in sink-in couches, the autumn leaves falling,  pumpkins everywhere, rain pounding the roof, sipping hot tea, we talked a little about the process and in my frustration I said, “I don’t feel like my writing is worth anything. It’s not adding up. It doesn’t have a purpose – a blog post, a book, an article. I’m not working toward a project.”

pumpkin

Fall pumpkin

Tina said it’s kind of like yoga. You go. You do poses. You don’t progress. Then one day you can do a pose that used to be hard—maybe for a few seconds. There is an opening. Andrea mentioned that it’s like meditation. You don’t think it’s having an effect, then eventually something shifts. Maybe a bit of anxiety lifts. Laurie said, It’s about using the muscle. Keeping in the flow. Continuing to allow the messy. To invite it, actually.

And I get all that. But in the midst of it it still feels like a big waste of time, even though I know it isn’t.

It’s one of those sh_tty lessons.

I’m thankful for so those lessons, not in a spring-up happy kind of way. I’m thankful for so many things, and this group of women is one of them. Of course my sweetie. Who appreciates and loves me daily. After writing group, when I’d written about him, Tina said, “So there really are good men in the world?”

Yes.

This writing muscle is really about practicing being free.

Free from the need to produce. Free from the desire to acquire. Free from forcing meaning into tasks. Free from needing to create something good. Free from being perfect. Free from embarrassment or shame. Free from not making enough money or being thin enough, or desirable or sexy enough.

To your freedom. Whatever that means to you.

And being thankful for the sh-tty lessons along the way.

Thanking you.

Want to give something that doesn’t cost a penny? I do this daily. All you have to do is click to help animals and/or people. Go here.

My best (male) friend and me who I got to hang out with last weekend in San Francisco. Who I don’t get to see enough since he lives in Los Angeles. We’ve been friends for 40 year now. Grateful for the way he makes me feel — excited to live, full of joy and that my life has a place in this world that means something.

I made this for you.  Some good sh_tty lessons.


Failure, Faith and Perseverance

I’m in a tizzy right now. I have an unknown, itchy red rash under my arm. My stomach is upset and bloated. And my office has a giant pile of clothes on a chair I’ve been meaning to take to the consignment store, but haven’t. When I want to shift something, I clean out. But sometimes, the shift doesn’t come soon enough. And stuff piles up.

While I continue to consult with some amazing and talented clients, at the same time I’m also moving into a new direction with my True Shield: Verbal Self-Defense For Girls. So I have a foot in both worlds — which can sometimes be crazy making. Like worried nights pacing and writing at 3:00 am, searching for that roll of sweet tarts I have in the laundry room cupboard for such emergencies.

For one thing, I didn’t really realize that I was a start-up. But that’s what I am. I have a business with no track record for a new idea.

Verbal self-defense for girls

I have all the measurements in place, but have yet to have anyone complete the program. Everyone in the schools and organizations who have purchased it is starting in August or September and while it will take me just 3 months or so to get initial statistics and evidence-based results it will take me about 9 months to get a full picture of all the survey results.

That’s almost a year! Panic. Seems like forever and a day.

Starting something new can be a maddening and discouraging process. I want to chat a bit about the three things about the process, which is often hard to love. Failure, faith, and perseverance. We are often told to embrace the journey. While that is a noble thought, the muck during the journey can weigh you down something fierce.

I just heard an interview with Jessi Klein on Terry Gross’ show Fresh Air talking about getting an Emmy while having a three month-old baby and having to pump breast milk during the ceremony which nicely sums up why embracing the journey is necessary to happiness. “…Having a baby is really hard on a marriage. So things with my husband were just – I’ll just say they were very hard ’cause we were just so tired, and it’s so crazy. And I just suddenly felt very much like, oh, I won this Emmy, and tomorrow I’m getting on a plane and I’m going right back into my own little struggles.

And nothing is really different. Like, this was great but now it is over. And I just have to be back in my sort of currently overweight, milk-laden body and waking up at 2 in the morning and 4 in the morning. And it’s hard. And the Emmy is amazing, but all of this will continue. I think it just brought into very stark relief in the moment what would have been the truth no matter what I was doing. But it was very immediate, which is that this doesn’t really mean anything for your actual happiness or your life.”

the journey is the reward even if it doesn’t feel like it

We think when we get to the big award, reward, end game, whether it’s finishing a book, landing a big deal, selling a bunch of stuff, finding love, that suddenly the world will become rosier and all that ails us will fall away. Yet, happiness often comes on the heels of failure — though rarely soon enough, it seems.

Failure.

You’ve heard the expression “Fail fast.” It’s about trying a bunch of new things and letting go of the ones that don’t work. So first I had to find people to call schools and organizations. I used Upwork and went through about four people before I found the two that consistently got results- i.e. they called the decision makers to set five-minute appointments for me to discuss the program. I failed fast with the callers by starting them all at once on different excel spread sheets for my target markets.

Failure number two. Schools are a hard sell. Most principals, counselors or PE teachers loved the program. Then it had to go to committee. Then through the budgeting process. Guess what? 99% of the schools couldn’t afford my program due to budget cuts or lack of funding. Many said that would have to get independent funding in order to implement the program. So, we moved on to organizations. Organizations totally got the concept and wanted the program. Problem? Funding. They were used to getting most of their programs free as they were mostly funded by other organizations or grants.

Faith.

So, I started researching how to get grants. Getting a grant is a laborious, time-consuming and confusing process. In short you have to make sure your mission is in absolute synch with the grantor, then you typically have to earmark those who will get the funding. Which meant that I had to start getting commitments in writing about which organizations were really keen on using my program so I could list them in the grant.

Another problem with getting grants to fund the people who wanted the program is there are no guarantees that I’ll even get the grant!

So all that work could be for nothing.

I hired an expert for that to make sure that I was on the right track. But, after talking to many of the grantors, they told me that had hesitations about giving money to an unproven program — even though they loved the idea and said would go to bat for me.

Start-up woes

My faith began to flag. Am I really going in the right direction? How many obstacles do I need to go through before I give up? So I turned to my friends. They told me to keep going. They said it was a much needed idea. They said to find a way in. They said hold fast. Today, a man in charge of programing for the Boys & Girls Clubs said he had faith in me and my program and that all girls need it. “Stay in touch. This is a great program.”

Perseverance.

One of the things that I recommend to my clients and course participants when they aren’t getting any traction with the media is to tweak. If you send in a pitch or press release and no one is biting, try a twist. Approach your topic from another angle. Switch up the perspective. Go in the back door— a non-obvious angle that isn’t a direct pitch for your business, book, product, service or cause. Think small and get specific.

What seemed to spark real interest in the contacts I was speaking with is this idea of teens and college girls teaching each other. This is my big dream for my program to become self-sustaining in this way. So my business mentor said, “Let’s approach your course from this angle.” So I did.

I got immediate interest from a Boys & Girls Club that serves an at-risk community and already has volunteers that are groomed in community service through their Keystone program. Perfect.

The head of programming for a department of education said that she thinks she could wrangle 20 girls to train that could then be dispatched back to their schools. Fantastic.

Today, I talked to a man who works in five schools where Opioid addiction is rampant. When I told him about my vision he said, “I can’t believe you just said that. We have those girls at the ready and we’ve been wanting to do something like this the up their self-esteem.” Yes.

Keep your focus on the vision.

By focusing on my original vision, the big dream and bigger mission and slightly shifting the approach, I’m now getting a more enthusiastic response — because it directly taps into the organization’s bigger mission as well.

Am I still discouraged, downtrodden, despairing and weepy? Yes. I cried my eyes out last week, and sobbed on my sweetie’s shoulder, and starting thinking about tossing in the towel. Seriously. On other days, after making calls for hours and not reaching anyone who can make a decision or having people tell me that they get a similar program for free, I feel exhausted and hopeless and have the urge to gorge on cookies.

Then I think about all the time, energy, money and inspiration I put into this. And keep going.

I talked to Susan Kennedy yesterday (SARK) about my plight as she’s an expert in keeping a person’s creative spirits high. The advice she gave me was, “When I’m tempted to deflate in this absence, instead I’m going to fill myself with presence. I’m going to remind myself of my vision and certainty.”

Which all requires discipline and managing what I tell myself. After I bemoaned my plight I told Susan that I did believe that I could already feel that my program was instituted far and wide, helping girls all over the world — and that it had already happened and that I just needed to catch up with it. We talked about the fact that we have no idea how this program has touched people and where it will reach — now and in the future.

Does this mean I won’t have days when I feel it’s all hopeless. No. Like Jessi Klein I’ll still be mired in my own daily struggles, but thank God I don’t have to pump breast milk. When I imagine her life I think I may have gotten off easy. Though it doesn’t feel that way. I just have to get through this next patch, I tell myself. I will remember the discipline of keeping to my vision and certainty. And I invoke the question I’ve told you to ask yourself: “What is my next step?” That is my question. I keep following the answers, wherever they lead.


7 Harmful Attitudes That Are Blocking You From Getting Featured in the Media

Not getting featured in the media?

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

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:

Your attitude.

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:

Im 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 dont 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.

Your media role model:

Oprah, of course.

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 havent overcome an extreme adversity, dont 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.

As my friend Alex puts it, you don’t necessarily have to “overcome adversity in order to know stuff.”

Your media role model:

Ellen DeGeneres.

Ellen has built a huge media platform anchored on “traditional values” like kindness and compassion. She consciously steers away from gritty or violent topics.

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 cant find it, it doesnt 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.

Your media role model:

Betty White.

At age 93, this actress, activist and product spokeswoman has a vibrant Twitter presence and shows no signs of slowing down with her career, despite her age.

Her manager jokes, “Betty and I have an understanding. I have told her that I have already booked her when she turns 100 and there is no out clause. Betty never backs out of a date.”

Another role model for you:

Theresa Reed.

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:

Im not the worlds 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.

Yes, of course, there are people who might have more degrees, certifications or years of experience than you. But that doesn’t detract from your ability to serve your audience in your way, right now.

The real question is this: Do you have something to share right now, today that could help a fellow human solve a problem, get inspired, or lead a better life?

If so, then you’ve got the most important “credential” of all: something of VALUE to share.

Your media role model:

Gabby Bernstein.

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 dont have time for all this stuff! Between running my business, taking care of my clients, and dealing with my family I dont 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:

President Obama.

He is arguably THE busiest man on planet earth — with an unthinkable level of stress resting upon his shoulders.

Yet he still creates the time to write guest articles for The Huffington Post, contribute exclusive interviews to People magazine, occasionally, even tweet personal notes to his followers, and appear on TV talk shows to discuss his latest thoughts on basketball or a new bill in Congress.

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:

Ive never been good at public speaking. Its just not my thing. Im 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.

Your media role model:

Anne Hathaway.

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 dont deserve to be featured in the media. Im ordinary. Im 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.

Your media role model:

This “ordinary” mom from Sumter, South Carolina.

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

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.

Final words:

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.

Those systems and processes are exactly what I teach inside my $25 / month training program: The Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul Membership Club.

If you want to learn how to get booked in the media and use publicity to double or triple your income ― while keeping your integrity intact ― this monthly membership club was created for you.

The program is ongoing and you can begin your training any month, any time, and get access to all the goodies immediately. Join us here.


How to say NO … even when there’s a ton of pressure to say YES

Have you ever said YES to someone, and then immediately regretted it?

Like giving that YES stripped away a part of your soul that you can never recover again?

I may sound a tad dramatic, but some YES’s do have serious consequences.

Like when you’re fifteen years old, in love for the very first time, and your boyfriend is pressuring you to have sex …before you feel ready. And you say “okay”even though every cell in your body is urging you to wait.

Red Lipped GirlPhoto Credit: Ashley Harrigan

Strategies to keep your daughter safe

Or like when you’re thirty-five years old, and your soon-to-be husband says, “Having kids really isn’t a priority for me.”And you say, “Oh, yes. I totally agree. Our lives our full enough as it is without kids in the picture.”Even though your heart is crying out, “That’s not true. I want to be a mom.”

Saying YES when you want to say NO is like swallowing a little sip of poison. Or in some cases, a big sip.

Siren

Photo Credit: marsmet524

Self-defense skills for girls

And that’s goes for your professional and public life, too. Not just your personal world.

As a media coach, I’ve heard dozens of horror stories from clients and workshop participants who got booked in the media, signed a promotional contract or landed a book deal, and then got asked to do things that made their heart sink and skin crawl. (Like pose half-naked on a book cover, for example.)

Whether you’re a business owner, public speaker or author, it is vital that you learn how to say NO, even when there is an incredible amount of pressure to say YES.

It’s very simple to do.

You just say (without shrinking or puffing up or taking a “tone.”):

No, Im not comfortable doing that.

And if they push back, take a calming breath and feel your feet on the ground, solid and still. Then, in a neutral tone keeping your eyes, face and body soft and relaxed, say:

Actually, this isnt open for negotiation. And heres another possibility that I came up with [and then describe an alternative solution].

Green-Eyed GirlPhoto Credit: Ozgun Erdem

Positive body image tips for girls

That’s it.

You’re holding to your principles while offering an elegant solution that serves everyone.

Don’t back down.

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

Girl W/ GuitarPhoto Credit: Luis Hernandez D2k6.es

Prevent cyber-bullying

Show people that you are not someone who is easily swayed or pressured. Someone who is to be respected and honored.

Need a little encouragement?

Check out these powerful public figures who have said NO even when there was intense pressure to say YES:

: Bestselling author and TV actress Mindy Kaling has said NO (repeatedly) when red carpet stylists try to drape her curvy body in gigantic muumuu-style dresses. She wants to wear form-fitting gowns that show off her body, not hide it!

Mindy KalingPhoto Credit: Cass Anaya

Mindy Kaling Positive self-esteem for girls

: America’s bestselling poet, Mary Oliver, almost always says NO to media appearances + interviews. Her reason? She finds them unnecessary. She prefers her poetry to speak for itself. (One of her most famous poems is called Wild Geese.)

SirenPhoto Credit: Kisses Are Better Than Wisdom

Mary Oliver wild geese poem

: The 40 CEOs profiled in this book each had to make touch calls in the face of tremendous pressure —often with billions of dollars on the line. In each scenario, their call was a career-making decision.

Saying NO isn’t always easy, but in the long run, it’s always easier than living with the pain of a YES that you shouldn’t have given.

_____________________

What’s the hardest NO you’ve ever had to give?

Parents and teens …while we’re on the subject of saying NO, here’s something to know:

I’ve just released a new book called Girl On Fire: A Teen Girls Guide To Surviving Real Life. It’s a guide to verbal + physical self-defense, especially for teenage girls … a topic that is close to my heart.

Girl On Fire

Self-Esteem & Self Defense Guide for Girls

You can read a free chapter + buy the book here. Get a copy for yourself, or for a girl that you know and love. Enjoy.


7 Inspiring Tips on How to Be a Fabulous Public Speaker – With Results

Get hired to speak

Get hired to speak
madamepsychosis via photopin cc

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.

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

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

Communication skills: body language

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.

4. Book your dream speaking engagement
In this article Susan Tardanico goes over how we can do what the pros do and book the speaking engagements of our dreams. She shares how we can communicate better with our body language (over 90% of communication is nonverbal!), how find your most useful personal stories and how you can best avoid the jeopardies of PowerPoint.

Become a paid professional speaker

5. Learn the perfect formula to make people want more of you

How to give a TED talk. Talk like TED

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.

6. Cope with your nerves and rock your speech
Sweaty hands, dry mouth, the trembles? How to manage your anxiety – and your body – to rule the stage.

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.

How to book public speaking engagement

How to book public speaking engagement

BONUS: 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

Solid advice for beginners and experienced speakers about how to manage your inner life as well as your outer actions. “It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding value to their world.” Ultimately, this is what all good speaking is about.

Share a favorite moment (or blooper) from one of your speaking engagements. Often our mistakes create the best connections with our audience. 


Subscriber Spotlight Shout Out

 

marsmet522 via photopin cc

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

This is a monthly shout out to anyone who has taken action and reached a goal or made a shift. I will be searching through your comments every month to choose a new person to feature in the “Subscriber Spotlight Shout Out.” So post some success you’ve had that you’ve gleaned from a webinar, course, product, ezine, blog post, consult, or Joy Spot™ session with me.

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

Here is what Lily says about the sound bite course:

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

Lily Gold, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Sound bite course success story Lily Gold

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

You are like my media mother! 

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

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

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


How to Rock at Marketing (and Still Like Yourself in the Morning)

 

By Christine Gallagher

How to Rock at MarketingWhen you hear the word “marketing,” how does it make you feel?

If you’re like many business owners, it doesn’t exactly cause you to jump for joy. Why? Because for so long, it has conjured up images of the sleazy used car salesman trying to get you to buy something you don’t need. No one wants to inflict that on someone, right?

The truth is, marketing today doesn’t have to come with a side of slime. The real deal is that modern marketing is simply compelling, effective communication that has nothing to do with manipulation or sleaze. It’s about meeting your client or customer’s deepest needs, and no matter what business you’re in, it’s NOT optional.

The good news is, it’s not about lying or being out of integrity to make sales, no matter what you’ve heard in the past. Happily, you can still really profit while still being completely truthful and ethical.

Remember, it’s your job to remind people that you’re in business and that you have a solution to offer them. Marketing is simply the vehicle that allows you to do that, and without it in your business, you’ll stay broke. (It’s the hard truth.)

If that’s the case, how can you really rock it out with your marketing? Here are five simple ways to keep the cash flowing while remaining sleaze-free.

Schedule it and be consistent.

The only way your marketing is going to get done is if you make the time to do it. Put it on the calendar and DON’T move it! If you’re lacking in clients and cash flow, it usually means you’re not marketing enough. Be brutally honest about how you’re spending your time. Schedule at least three hours a week to do it and beware the temptation to stop once the money begins to flow. Yep, to ensure your success continues, market even when you’ve got a full pipeline.

Ask your market what they need.

The Email Marketing Process

Click for a larger view of image

Find out what your market needs and how they want to be served by simply asking them. Survey your list, email or call past or current clients, ask probing questions. Ask them what their biggest challenges are, what their perfect solutions would be, and what they’ve tried that hasn’t worked. Find out how critical it is for them to get their problems solved, and listen carefully to the words they use. You can then position what you offer as a solution to the needs you’ve discovered.

Be curious about copywriting.

Copywriting chops are not just for the pros! Because it’s one of the most expensive things to outsource, it’s wise to sharpen your word-slinging skills. Practice writing headlines and bullets. Use words that evoke emotion. Especially online, much of your communication will occur via the written word. Learn how to use your writing to pique curiosity and showcase the benefits you offer.

Track and tweak.

Tracking your results shows you what you need to change and improve. It also helps you understand your market and what fuels their behaviors. Don’t be super-hard on yourself if something doesn’t work—think of it as a learning opportunity and a chance to do things better. Do more of what works!

Keep soaking up the knowledge.

I’m a big believer that the learning never stops. Read blogs and books, attend workshops and seminars, and take courses. The more you learn, the better you can serve your market.

These days, the absolute best marketing is relationship-based, honest, and best of all, it has the power to change the lives of others. Sounds a lot more appealing, doesn’t it? Keep these five ways in mind and you’ll be a marketing rock star in no time.

Join us for Free webinar training called Get the EXPERT FACTOR: Simple Steps to Stand Out, Serve More People and Turn Relationships to Revenue Online.”

Christine Gallagher is founder of ShesGotClients.com, a company dedicated to teaching women entrepreneurs all over the world how to use authentic relationship marketing and online strategies to attract raving fans, enroll more clients, and enjoy more income and freedom in their business, all while sharing their gifts and their message in a much bigger way. After applying Christine’s proven online marketing methods, her clients typically experience a significant increase in traffic, subscribers, clients, affiliates and lucrative joint venture opportunities.


The 5 Keys to Podcasting and Tapping into 500 MM Active iTunes Buyers

 

By Kris Gilbertson

The 5 Keys to PodcastingAre you looking for a way to generate more traffic, leads, and sales for your business?

Are you looking for a way to reach a larger audience for your brand, products or services?

Then podcasting may be just the answer you’re looking for to helping you generate more quality traffic, prospects and sales.

Launching a podcast can be one of the most fun marketing strategies you do this year while positioning yourself as The Expert in your niche.

There are a few key specifics to launching a successful podcast though and making sure you stand out in the iTunes market place.

There are now over 1 Billion Podcast Subscribers — all who are seeking experts to entertain them, educate them, and most of all help them solve their problems in their business and their life.

#1: The First Key to Podcasting Success:

Dynamic Eye Grabbing Album Cover

Once you launch your podcast, iTunes has an amazing program called New & Noteworthy that will feature top new podcasts for 8 weeks to their directory of over 1 Billion Podcast Subscribers.

My clients have been able to dramatically, upon the launch of their podcast, increase traffic to their website, increase email opt-ins, and some even make sales within their first week — because of this Bonus Perk brought to you by iTunes.

Here is a snap shot of a 4 podcast clients that within their first week were having incredible success and being found for their brilliant expertise.

New and Noteworthy

 

Just a few examples of what the Power of iTunes can do for you:

The Month Pillow by Sean Malarkey

– #1 New Top – Business Podcast and Reached #2 in ALL of iTunes Directory right behind Dave Ramey, driving traffic and creating a massive exposure and a new following for his book coming out in the fall.

Awakened Author by Ronda Del Boccio

– Generated Free Traffic, leads, and had sales from her podcast into her premium membership program within the first 2 weeks of her launching in iTunes.

And it doesn’t stop there, after your claim to fame in your first 8 weeks in iTunes is over, they will then Continue to Showcase you in their What’s Hot Section for each main category. This enables you to be easily found, discovered and your marketing message heard — as long as you continue podcasting.

The search feature in iTunes is also an incredible way that people find your show based on the key words that a listener would be searching for to help them or Experts that you may be interviewing on your podcast.

#2: The Second Key to Podcasting Success:

Clear Concise Title {WIFTL}

The dynamic image is what grabs the attention of the listener and the title is what moves them to want to click on your podcast and take a listen.

You want the title to speak Directly to your ideal listener avatar – or your ideal client.

The title should allow them in a matter of seconds help them understand what your show is about and how this can help them solve their problems or provide the entertainment they would want to listen to.

Using legible fonts and clear images is the key to success for iTunes. Always remember, less is more.

#3: The Third Key to Podcasting Success:

Podcasting Imaging (Intro + Outro)

Once you have the grabbed the attention of a listener to check out your podcast, you want to bring them in with your podcast imaging. Which is simply, an introduction that grabs their attention and lets them know what the show is about and the benefits for THEM.

Too often, I research podcasts in iTunes, that just start off with someone talking and no proper introduction or imaging. The problem here is they may have incredible information for me, but if it isn’t expressed within the first 90 seconds (which is actually a great amount of time to WIN over you’re listeners) on how it can help me, I might not stay tuned in and that is how podcasters lose thousands of potential listeners.

The other problem here is that if I don’t know you, I don’t know if your content is worth my time to tune in and listen. You want to Save Time for your listener and let them know right away what the episode is about and what the show is about to help THEM.

Remember it’s always – What’s In if For the Listener.

Keep it simple, short and to the point. A great show introduction for your listeners can be anywhere from 30-90 seconds, which allows you to still have room to bring on sponsorship spotlights for your show as well, and not take up too much bandwidth into the main program.

You also want to have a strong CTA (call-to-action) for your listeners. To bring them out of listening mode and into action for how you can help them.

Great offers can be discounts or coupon codes for your products or services, free mini-courses or eBooks to grow your email list, Amazon eBooks to drive sales for your books, or social media contests to engage your listener to take action and start to engage with your brand on other social networks.

#4: The Fourth Key to Podcasting Success:

Podcasting Show Format

As a podcast listener there are many different styles and formats you can create for your show and your listeners. You want to create a format that is engaging for your listener yet fun for you!

Your own personality and style should be encompassed in your show format.

For example, I love interviewing Top Lifestyle Experts and sharing their key strategies and pulling out incredible nuggets of wisdom for my listeners. Not everyone wants to create an interview-based podcast though. You may want to focus on your expertise to grow your audience.

Here are 3 Top Proven Show Formats That Work in iTunes:

  1. Expert Based Interview Show
    Interviewing experts in your niche or similar industries that can benefit and ad value for your services. This allows you to be discovered by interviewing other experts and provide incredible content for our listeners.
  2. Specific Topic Matter – Tip Based Show
    Short 10-15 minutes podcasts that teach one training point in a short burst of a podcast to showcase your expertise and give them a taste of how you can help them.
  3. Talk Show Based Podcast
    Multiple guests that discuss and talk on topics that are based around a podcast theme for each episode.

#4: The Fifth Key to Podcasting Success:

Marketing + Consistency

Podcasting success is all about consistency. Let your audience know when you will be releasing episodes. This will allow you to start to create a habit with your audience and they will be looking forward to the release of your next episode.

* * * * *

Most of all have fun with your podcast! People are tuning in for you – your personality, how you interview your guests, and your unique spin on your subject matter.

The iTunes market is literally UnTapped when it comes to experts –there is a wide open market for you in iTunes to showcase your talent and start building your tribe today!

To learn how to start to generate leads, traffic, and sales on Autopilot for your business, join us on a Live Training Webinar August 14, as I share key strategies and a simple 5 Step Process to Create Your Own Podcast. http://bit.ly/1Podcast

About the Author

Kris Gilbertson is the Founder of the LifeStyleAcademy.com, Host of The LifeStyle Entrepreneur Podcast, Author of Podcasting for Profit, Positioning, and Promotion, and creator of the Podcasting Pro System.

She is a leading expert in how to partner with iTunes to create your own world-class podcast. Her clients praise their podcast enables them to reach their ideal customer, create a thriving tribe, increase their traffic to their website from over 40%-5000% and do what they love by simply using the power of their voice.

To book Kris as a speaker for your next event or to learn how to partner with her, please contact her at: http://lifestyleacademy.com/contact


Honoring Your Honesty: Sound Bites You Can Believe In

 

by Marcia Yudkin

Marcia YudkinDrama gets attention. The unexpected gets attention. Bold gets attention. But how can you tell if you’ve come up with a sound bite that has undeniable promotional punch yet goes over the top into hype or outright falsehood?

First, pay attention to the little voice in your head that worries or holds back when you think about using a certain phrase about yourself. After all, if you can’t wholeheartedly embrace it and say or hear it without embarrassment, others tune into your hesitation and won’t accept it, either.

Then stop and think about whether your sound bite is just harmless fun, like dressing up in a costume. Who’s to say you are not “The God of Organic Gardening” or “The Priestess of Pain Relief”? It’s perfectly valid to crown yourself with a moniker like that. No one runs a pageant for such titles, with only the official winner having the right to use the phrase. As long as you do have expertise in organic gardening, pain relief or the subject matter of your amusing nickname, go for it.

On the other hand, watch out for phrases that make a factual claim. Perhaps your little voice is warning that what you’ve said isn’t quite true. In that case, toss the sound bite or tweak it until it’s something that would stand up in a court of law.

For instance, a client once told me a branding expert advised her to say she’d gone from homelessness to a seat on the stock exchange in less than a year. In truth, it took almost three years for that journey, and people could quibble over whether she’d actually been homeless. (She had been living in her brother’s basement and occasionally sleeping in his car.) I told her it was just as impressive to know she’d gone from near-homelessness to a seat on the stock exchange in less than three years.

Superlatives in sound bites are tricky. When you say you’re the first dentist to have had a website or you own the largest accounting firm in Louisiana, you’d better not have made that up out of thin air. But if you’ve researched your claim and are 98 percent sure or better, that’s something you should be able to stand behind. Deploy it with confidence if a third party like a well-known expert, industry association or media outlet has bestowed the superlative on you.

Sheer wordplay is almost always a plus. A clever verbal twist can dance in the minds of readers and in the mouths of commentators. That might consist of a triple, like Superman’s “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” a contrast, like “Our food is fresh. Our customers are spoiled,” from online grocer FreshDirect, a rhyme, such as Muhammed Ali’s “I outwit them and then I out-hit them” or a play on a popular culture reference, such as “Building community deep in the hearts of Texans,” from Texas Nonprofits.

Keep in mind that our culture allows even the most serious and dignified organizations and individuals, from Supreme Court justices to CEOs and companies we trust with our retirement savings, to take an ordinary idea and make it memorable. Listen to your intuition when it whispers concern about a sound bite. Yet except for the scruples outlined above, give yourself the same kind of permission.

No-Hype Copywriting: The Keys to Lively, Appealing and Truthful Sales WritingMarcia Yudkin is a copywriting and branding expert and the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, along with 15 other books. Her ebook No-Hype Copywriting: The Keys to Lively, Appealing and Truthful Sales Writing, is available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. Learn more about how to describe yourself and your work both honestly and dramatically at the upcoming FREE No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit.