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.
Last week, when I was on a walk, some boys were selling bracelets and rings made out of colored rubber bands. I stopped at their lemonade/jewelry stand by the side of the road and looked through their goodies. I wanted to get a ring or everyone in my writing group. As I chose a number of rings the little boy who made them started doing the math and adding up everything in his head and shouting out the numbers each time I picked up a ring – even before I chose it. He was so anxious to get the sale – but he didn’t care about me.
They were a dollar each. I said, “Wait, I’m not done yet.” But he kept shouting out the numbers. Totally focused on how much he would make.
Then his big brother stepped in and said, “It would be nice if you charged $2.50 for three of them.”
He said, “No. They are a dollar each. Three rings for three dollars.”
His big brother said again, “Yes and it would be nice if you gave her three of them to her for $2.50.”
Pause. No response from the little brother.
Big brother: “It would be nice.”
Finally, the younger brother gave in.
So it wasn’t fully given. Which makes a difference in how the giving feels. I would have appreciated my rings even more if the younger brother had given wholeheartedly.
As a little something that “would be nice” I have pulled together some of my most popular posts and free stuff so you can fill yourself with some goodies after Thanksgiving and through the holidays when you’re enjoying family and friends after a feast or get-together.
First, the most popular webinar / live training of the year….
I need to lose 20 pounds. I wish I had less wrinkles. My butt is too big. Look at my wobbly double chin. She’s a liar. I don’t believe a word she’s said. What a schlump. Is that any way to sit in a chair?
These are actual phrases that clients said to me in the past 23 years I’ve been a media trainer and consultant. When I media train my clients for TV shows most of them first fret about their appearance. Sound bites take a back seat to clothes, expressions, body language and butt size. Shame, fear, insecurity, all rear right up. The question, “What will people think of me?” takes center stage.
And rightly so. In three seconds your audience has already decided whether they like, trust, respect, believe, and will buy from you. So how much of what people think of you has to do with your clothes, facial language, body language, and demeanor as well as the look and feel of you? A lot.
But here’s the silver lining. People follow your lead. If you feel like a slouch you’re directing people to think you are one. If you radiate beauty and good health even while toting extra pounds, we may notice your heft, but we forgive it for your verve. And while I know that a TV appearance isn’t going to help you get over your childhood issues any faster, there are still strategies that can help you be fabulicious, increase your business, and stop thinking so much about your butt.
But, because the question I get most is about looks, I’m going to address how to prepare now, in advance, BEFORE you get booked on TV so you’ll feel your Fabulicious best when your day in the sun arrives. No scrambling for clothes that don’t accentuate your best features. No last minute panic about how you look. You can’t lose 20 pounds overnight but you can focus your full attention on what you can give your audience that only you can. In the brief time you have – two to four minutes – on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, or Fox, you can deliver your sound bites with generosity and wit.
1. Clear your mind.
Drink Bulletproof coffee. I start every morning with this special coffee combined with unsalted Kerrygold grassfed butter, MCT oil and collagen. This combo was created by Dave Aspry who bio-hacked his body to lose 250 pounds and gain optimal health. This is potent coffee that is organic and doesn’t contain any toxins normally found in commercial coffees. You combine the coffee with Upgraded Brain Octane oil (which is fat-burning))that is 12x stronger than coconut oil, for maximum cognitive function.
In English that means peak brain performance – a clear mind. Aspry says that you can, “Learn to be perfectly focused in any situation — in one week.” He says, “In this protocol, you eat no protein and no carbs at all in the morning, instead enjoying a Bulletproof Coffee. That provides the most energy and the least hunger for about eight hours. Adding in the collagen “delivers low inflammation, high quality, and heat stable protein to my coffee without affecting the taste.”
According to Tim Ferriss, author of, The 4 Hour Body, eating protein within 30 minutes of waking up is essential for losing weight. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, this coffee will sustain and nourish you while giving you clarity of thought. Exactly what you need in a media pressure cooker situation.
Yes, there is decaf as well, however I didn’t find the same effects with it. And since I’m sensitive to caffeine I combine half decaf with half caf beans – just so I could drink more of the delicious stuff. Otherwise I could just have one tiny cupful. (And I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all before this. Green tea was my go to morning drink, which I still enjoy after I have my Bulletproof coffee).
You’ll be the judge of how much you can drink without getting a buzz on. I suggest you sip a small cup and wait fifteen minutes so you can judge the effects. Also, add as much butter as you like. I admit I was first horrified at the thought of dumping a half stick of butter into my coffee. I thought it would taste disgusting. But it’s like putting cream on steroids, rich and smooth. I prefer a bit more butter than my partner so I add in an extra pat into my cup after he’s made it. You’ll discover what works best for you. While you’re on the Bulletproof website check out the Podcasts and articles about everything from upgrading your IQ, losing weight and sleeping less.
2. Slim down.
Do T-Tapp and Lose 2 Dress or Pant Sizes in 30 Days. You’re a month away from a smaller, more toned you. I went from a size 8 to a size 6 in a month (I’m now a size 4), Lisa Earle McLeod lost 2 dress sizes and got back the flat tummy she hasn’t had for 10 years. Teresa Tapp first created this program for models to get back into shape after pregnancy. No one cared about their weight. What mattered was size – so they could fit into the proper clothes that they were modeling. Tapp says it’s all about the inches and loving what you see in the mirror —not what the scale says.
If you’ve got a media appearance coming up and you want to get in tip top (T-Tapp) shape ASAP. Order either Total Workout, Basic Plus, T-Tapp MORE or Total System. (Read the descriptions to find the right program for you.) My sweetie is doing it in the living room right now. Yes, it works for men too. Also check out WhiteBrite, a teeth whitening spray that doesn’t make your teeth sensitive and hurt (like all those other whitening kits), so as a TV guest your smile can be as bright as your information.
3. Tone up.
Want to know the Hollywood stars secret to looking great, staying fit and getting a flat stomach fast without exercise? The Flexbelt.Essentially you strap the Flexbelt around you waist and it contracts your muscles like you’re doing sit-ups — while you’re walking around getting stuff done.
I put it on first thing in the morning before I brush my teeth, feed the cats, start my day. I use the butt and thigh belt too and also the flexbelt for the arms. The great thing about the Flexbelt is once it’s on you can just go about your business so you’re getting a workout while you’re answering your email, talking to clients, working in the yard. Do it daily for a few weeks and then 2-3 times per week or as needed. Once you get in the habit it’s simple to stay in shape.
4. Release your fears.
The Sedona Method is one of the fastest, simplest and most effective methods to instantly release uncomfortable or unwanted feelings on the spot. It’s also a tool to let go of current or long-standing pain. Whether it’s fear of speaking, becoming a more public person, losing weight, or letting go of stress, or past issues or trauma, this will help you achieve your goals effortlessly and with great joy. It also works to get to the root of physical and emotional pain.
I learned these techniques long ago and still use them when a client confronts me, or when the media springs a surprise question. I particularly like the technique of going back and forth between opposite extremes to neutralize forceful feelings – just one of the things you’ll learn and keep using as long as it serves you. This course is essential if you’re getting ready to go on a media tour!
Whip up a green smoothie.
This is my own special green drink smoothie recipe that helps make your skin gloriously golden and nourishes you at a cellular level. You’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin, vibrancy, and energy almost immediately.
I use all organic ingredients and buy from the local farmer’s market when I can and mix this up in the Vitamix that chops every part of the fruits and vegetables so you get the most nutrition. We grow chard, cilantro and parsley so I dash out into the garden to snip a few leaves before the birds and other animals get them (which is often).
I pick dandelions from the neighbor’s lawns and look for the tender, young ones without a stiff stem. You can buy dandelions at Whole Foods if you don’t want to ferret. As a child when we’d visit my nana and grampa they’d send us kids out into the yard to pick dandelions to put in the salad to give it some bite. According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Who knew a weed could be so nutritious?
Ingredients for green smoothie
½ cup water (or more as needed depending on how thick you like it)
½ cup virgin olive oil (I do 15 glugs vs. measuring).
1 frozen banana
1 large sweet apple (I like Pink Ladies, Yellow Golden Delicious or Fuji)
1 large carrot
1 large avocado
Tamp down these ingredients into the above mixture before you restart the Vitamix.
1 generous handful of spinach
2-3 large leaves of chard with the stalks (to taste as this can make it bitter)
2 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of cilantro
5 leaves of dandelion
1 stalk celery
Optional: Add frozen blueberries for added anti-aging benefits. Adjust the sweetness to taste by adding more fruit. You can add grapes, which are nutritious, but high in sugar, for additional sweetness if you like.
We’ve concentrated on honing and toning your face and body in order to move you to a place where you’re not worrying about how you look so you can focus on what matters most – your message. Victor Hugo said, “Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.”
Audiences look for consistency in your message and in your life. One of my clients is a well-known motivational speaker who naturally also talked about health and wellness as well as the process of transforming the mind. But one thing was out of synch. He was fat. In a kind and considerate way his wife pointed out the discrepancy. So he created an exercise and diet regime for himself. It wasn’t easy as he loved apple pie and ice cream and didn’t care much for lifting weights. But he did it. So now the overall message he’s conveying is consistent with his teaching.
Take what works for you from these strategies so you can feel good inside and out. The French have an expression, “Bien dans sa peau,” to feel good in your own skin or to be at ease. When you’re relaxed and calm we’re right there with you.
Many people see getting on TV as holy-grail to getting publicity. Oprah was the leader in making careers overnight. Other shows don’t necessarily have the same instant influence that Oprah had, but a four-minute segment on a major morning talk or news show can still have that magic formula effect.
While getting on TV can be a powerful way for entrepreneurs, authors, leaders, coaches and consultants to increase their sales and grow their business on the spot, it can also be something of a dud if not done correctly. Here are three ways you can get on TV and then make your appearance count.
Know the show
For you that means that you need to be familiar with the show you’ll appear on. That’s essential. Think of it as a job interview for your dream job. You would want to know the background of the person interviewing you, their personality and pet peeves and their style and pacing. You would want to understand the culture of the company. You would want to know what kind of products or services had been successful for them and the way they like those things packaged.
Be privy to the hosts’ perspective
For Dr. Sara Gottfried, Harvard trained integrative physician, yoga diva meets science nerd, and author of The New York Times best-selling book The Hormone Cure, we developed a segment called, “What does every woman have in her purse that can balance her hormones naturally?” for the 10am slot on NBC’s Today show with hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb.
This segment has automatic gal appeal to women hosts and their audience, plus addresses one of the most difficult issues women deal with – cortisol, the culprit behind stress. And since the segment hasn’t aired yet I can’t tell you what those items in her purse are. (Sorry!)
Develop your 5 points and 5 questions
From there we first found the 5 points we wanted to focus on and then reverse-engineered the questions that the hosts could ask. Next, we crafted the women-centric visuals that would drive the segment and create interaction between the hosts and Gottfried.
Give extra perks
Then we created quick teaser copy (that’s what you hear when the hosts let you in on the secret of what’s upcoming so you don’t change the channel or tune out).
Finally, we chose a special report for a website giveaway. TV producers want to drive website traffic to their website not yours. So their audience goes to their site for the “extras” and then can jump to the guests’ website from there. Extras can be anything that takes you deeper into a guest’s work and world: a book excerpt, a recipe, an infographic, an audio or video clip.
Integrate stories into the conversation that bring you in business
After that we honed each example down to a 20 second or so response that included a story or vignette of how Gottfried wanted her business to grow. Since she has an online community and courses one of our examples included a success story about women in her courses. It seems like a “duh” moment, but it’s an essential that most TV guest forget first — especially under the pressure of hot lights and a tight timeframe. By using specific success story examples you drive the kind of business, partnerships, experiences and sales you want directly to you.
Be natural and engaging
This is pretty much rule number one: You must mention the kind of business you want in an example in order to increase it. The hard part is that it needs to be integrated seamlessly into the conversation in a natural and engaging way that is totally on target to your point.
Practice your sound bites
That’s where lots of practice comes in and it’s where I spend the majority of time with my clients — role-playing the entire segment in different ways so they can speak their sound bites smoothly and don’t crumble under pressure or slip up when surprised. If you don’t have this element down pat, then you’re not getting the full value of your media appearances. In other words, you’re losing, business, sales, experiences and opportunities that you may never get again.
Time your sound bites
Once we’ve completed the segment I pulled out my timer and we set it for four minutes and raced through in real time so Gottfried could manage her own time and get a sense of the pacing. I played the part of the chatty hosts, complete with interjections and comments to make sure that Gottfried could stay on message even if the hosts aren’t asking the exact questions we prepared.
Package your program
By creating this segment ourselves and not waiting for the producers to tell us what they envision we invite them to take advantage of our ideas. We’ve done the work for the producers. We get a segment in which we’ve prepared the package we want presented, shaped the perception of our business, book, produce, service or cause, strategically outlined the presentation of our information, and done it all in a lively and entertaining way which delights the audience and the hosts and producers. The result: great segment, media trained guest, good ratings, engaged audience, happy hosts, thrilled client. Everyone ends up winning.
2. Post a demo interview on your website.
National TV show producers need to make sure that you’re mediagenic. They want to see that you know how to dress, handle yourself in a tight-time frame, entertain, enlighten and inform in 10-20 second sound bites-all while being completely natural and engaging. You want to have an example of you interacting in a TV interview or a mock one so you can pass the pre-audition and then move on to the actual audition. It’s OK to create a mock one if you haven’t yet done any media appearances. If a producer sees that you’re capable and lively then they’ll most likely move forward to the next step – the audition.
Create a sizzle reel
Later, when you have a series of interviews you can cut them together into a sizzle reel so producers can see clips of the best of the best and get the total picture of your capabilities.
Help shape the show
Typically the process works like this: a producer and publicist discuss some topics and story angles and then the producer gets on the phone with the client so they can hear the kind of responses the “potential media guest” (you) will give and to bat around ideas and shape the show. You have to be fluid with your topic and think like a producer in helping to lay out a visually dramatic, fast-paced, enthralling show.
3. Be a great guest.
Now you’re on the show. Waiting in the green room. Sitting in the chairs across from the hosts. Hot lights. Count down. You’re on camera…
Review your notes
Even though we had practiced for hours, and this wasn’t his first media tour, one of my clients, a New York Times best-selling author said, “Susan, everything you taught me went to hell in a hand-basket as soon as the interview began.” I told him that he could keep his notes handy and glance down at them when needed. Especially when quoting breaking news statistics. You’ll often see experts bringing their notes onto panel discussions on news shows or when they are commenting on current events.
It’s quite common for your brain to fritz out. A combination of anxiety, nerves, jitters and being in an unfamiliar and foreign setting can upset your internal applecart in the blink of an eye.
Calm your nerves
When I media trained my author-client on-camera I taught him some relaxation exercises to practice that involved both movement and breathing. The key word here is practice. A lot of it. Before you contact the media. Before you get the call.
Practice on video
I highly recommend that you turn on that video camera, pull out a kitchen timer and have a friend or media trainer run you through the questions you’ve created so you can answer them in your sleep. That way you’ll get used to the sensation of being video taped and it won’t seem as foreign once you’re in a studio. Of course the TV studio cameras are much bigger than your compact camera and the very setting itself can be intimidating. Really intimidating.
Relax and settle
Once you’re on camera you don’t want to be thinking about what you’re going to say next. You want to relax, be in the moment, create connection, and tell your audience what you want them feel and to remember.
Not easy, I know.
Feel my support and guidance
The next big interview my “hell in a hand basket” client told me, “I had you in my head the entire time.” So he could keep his cool and stay true to his message. Did he do it perfectly? No. Did he tell stories that had emotion and dignity that brought tears to my eyes? Yes. Did he remember everything he was supposed to cover? No.
But every interview is a process. And I suggest that after every media appearance you ask yourself two questions.
What did I do well that I want to keep?
What would I have done differently?
Then on the very next interview you incorporate both of those things. Knowing that someone believes in you gives you a solid foundation and confidence you didn’t know you had.
Discuss your success
The way you double or triple your business during an interview is by doing three things.
Talking about successes you’ve had through your clients. This is how you avoid bragging. It’s about them, not you.
Addressing the needs of your audience by telling a story that relates directly to a deep longing or something practical they want.
Being human and authentic while sharing a personal story or accomplishment that is meaningful to you that creates emotion, connection or curiosity.
Process is progress
Process is everything. It’s in the doing that things shift. More to the point it’s the doing and doing and doing that creates change. After you’ve sent in that segment and when you get called for that golden opportunity to be on national TV know that preparation is key. Now is the time to map out exactly what you’re going to say, time it to the second, and practice until you can do it in your sleep under any circumstance being your natural, inviting, engaging self. Then when you’re on TV your four minutes of fame will be the beginning of many more media appearances that will sustain you for a lifetime.
When I was preparing for my media tour for my book, Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, I thought that I’d love being on radio and despise being on TV. I’m kinda shy and don’t really relish being in the spotlight. Radio, you can be in your fuzzies, sip your tea, and snuggle in with a cat on your lap.
But it turned out I loved TV. The fast pace, the thinking on your feet, the excitement of the cameras, suited my style and temperament. What I didn’t love was sitting back stage in the make-up chair for an hour while a stranger fussed with my face and hair slathering on grody make-up and misting me with hairspray. I don’t even like to put mascara on myself let alone have someone else that close to my eyes. It’s pretty darn personal.
So when Matthew Kimberley asked me to do a masterclass for his website,daily success deals via Skype split screen video, my first thought was…oh no there goes an hour out of my already hectic morning doing make-up.
But, then I remembered how much I loved doing TV. And since I would be talking all about getting on TV I just decided that I’d reward myself with delicious smoked salmon and cream cheese on a toasted gluten free bagel to start the morning right. Our cat Lucky is always at the ready as soon as I take the cream cheese out of the fridge so he can get his dab.
There’s no opt-in you can just see it as soon as you get to the website. But it only stays up until Monday April 29 so mosey on by.
Confession. It took me longer to do my make-up than it did to make this video. And no, that’s not a bullet hole in the art piece you see behind me in my office. It’s a vintage Purina Dog Chow Tin. I think the holes add to its charm.
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to getting on TV that can ruin everything.
How to get chosen over your competitors-and still play nice.
How to make yourself irresistible to TV producers.
What you need to think about BEFORE you get booked on TV. (This can make the difference between making a fortune and not making a dime.)
What to wear on TV. (Hint: we talk about socks).
How a flash-drive can be save your skin and your show.
Plus, you’ll get to see something in Matthew’s hotel room that will surprise – and we hope – delight you.
Yesterday I mentioned how you could apply the lessons of media appearances to more everyday communications.
Here’s the surprising corollary: you can apply the lessons of everyday communications to media appearances.
Before I explain what I mean, here’s a story from magician John Lenahan I heard from him at a conference a few years ago.
John was describing being at FISM (the “world championship of magic”) where a whole room of magicians were being entertained by the legendary Juan Tamariz. John watched as everyone had a great time. They laughed, they gasped, they clapped.
But John could also feel that he had a special connection with Tamariz. Like he was his favourite audience member. It was subtle. Just a smile, a look, a laugh every now and then. But John knew he was the favourite.
After the performance John spoke to some of his buddies in the bar. Surprise surprise, they all said the exact same thing. They’d seen everyone else enjoying the show, but they knew that secretly, they were Tamariz’s favourite audience member.
After arguing for a while over just who was the special favourite, John realised that he’d come across the secret of a truly great performer. They make everyone feel like they’re performing just for them. That they’re the special one.
Turns out it’s the same with media appearances. You’re not speaking to an “audience”. You’re speaking to everyone individually. You and them. One to one.
The way to make a media appearance successful is to use the same skills you would in everyday communication. Be authentic. Talk person to person. Share your truth. One to one.
We often get overwhelmed when we think about speaking to a big audience – especially if it’s on video or radio. I know I certainly did and still do. But if you just focus on speaking as if you’re talking to one person…
…making that individual connection. Then that’s how people will hear you.
They’ll hear you talking to them personally. And you’ll have impact.
Join Susan and me on the webinar next Wednesday 24th to learn more techniques for making your communication effective (and profitable).
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. 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. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
9 was you can be a thought leader
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Thought leaders start movements
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Thought leaders invite controversy
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Most people who are in a rush to get publicity dash off a press release and then expect instant fame. But what typically happens IF the media calls is they don’t have their sound bites ready. What follows is…disappointment.
They don’t get quoted, or if they do it does little or nothing for their business. Then they blame the media, saying that publicity doesn’t work. In order for publicity to work – you have to do the work first.
So BEFORE you ever contact the media watch this video to find out the three things you should do that set the foundation of your talking points or sound bites. Then craft your stories, statistics, facts, vignettes, one liners, aphorisms, anecdotes, analogies and acronyms that are the mainstay of your messages.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
What do a French woman, LA hipster and prissy librarian have in common?
You can tell who they are as much by their tone as by the way they dress, talk and act.
Remember that we judge you in the first three seconds – three seconds – so tone is as important as your visual appearance, body and facial language. Take care that you are the message you want to give.
A colleague said that he wasn’t sure that all three women were really me. Yup, that’s me.
Please weigh in. Which babe is your fav?
For more media coaching and publicity tips, and some outrageous, shocking and provocative stuff that may tick you off or tickle you I invite you to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/SusanHarrow
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
During Aikido tests you’re not supposed to talk. That alone is torture for me because I feel like I can talk my way out of anything. So my safety valve is gone. You’re supposed to do the technique that is called out in Japanese by the Sensei. Standing at his desk in the dojo a few days before my test Sensei mentioned that sometimes, in the extreme tension of the moment during a test, you suddenly don’t understand the technique that is called.
That’s what happened to me.
At one point during the test it was like my Sensei was speaking Swahili and I could make no sense of his words….
So I said as such. Sensei then described what I was to do and I remembered the technique and did it.
Much the same thing can happen in the bright lights of a TV studio. Suddenly it seems like the host is speaking a language you’ve never heard and your brain goes dead. In a TV interview if you go blank the experienced host or interviewer will typically ask you a leading question that will help trigger the answer. They want to help make it a great interview as much as you do. You reach deep into your mind and pull out something that you hope approximates an answer.
If you can use humor and create a moment of breathing room then things can easily get back on track. The important thing is to keep going without calling a good deal of attention to your gaffe.
In this video what you’ll see is how, in several instances, I did the incorrect technique, noticed and then made the correction without getting too flustered. Keeping your equanimity and continuing on is as much a part of the test as knowing and carrying out the proper techniques.
You’re judged on how you handle yourself overall, not by the minutia of the conversation.
For more media coaching and publicity tips, and some outrageous, shocking and provocative stuff that may tick you off or tickle you I invite you to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/SusanHarrow