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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!

5 Incredible Ways Small Business Owners Can Use Pinterest to Publicize Anything

There are three things that I can always count on to bring me waves of pleasure, delight and deep satisfaction.
A kiss from my sweetheart.
A square of dark chocolate.
And… Pinterest.

Oh, Pinterest. How I love you. I could spend hours prowling through your copious collections of perfectly-styled meals, curated outfits, far-flung destinations and inspirational quotes. (And sometimes… I do!)

Harrow Pinterest boards

For those of you who have yet to discover Pinterest, it’s a social media site that allows you to create beautiful “boards” by “pinning” images from other people’s boards… adding images from other websites on the Internet… or even uploading them, yourself.

It’s bizarrely addicting, and that intense pleasure can be put to good use because…it’s a powerful tool to generate tons of excitement about your business offerings — excitement that can lead to sales.

Think of it as a visual press release that you don’t need to send to the media.

Here’s how to use Pinterest to get out of this world results… while promoting a product, a service, an experience, a book or just… yourself.

Pinterest + A Product

Benjamin Moore is a company that sells something most people don’t get particularly excited about: paint.

But with this stunning Pinterest board, the smart team at Benjamin Moore has curated a collection of unique and colorful doors from around the world… while including a subtle reference (and link) to the company’s line of exterior house paint to “make a stunning first impression with a beautiful front door.”


Staring at this board, all I can think is, “My door is incredibly boring. It needs some gorgeous new paint, ASAP!”

Benjamin Moore’s mission = accomplished. No big smarmy pitch. No begging for business. Who doesn’t want to walk through a beautiful door, sigh, and say, “I’m home.”

You try it: Create a Pinterest board with curated images (tasty gluten-free recipes, summer nail polish trends, romantic wedding hairstyles, family game night inspiration) and then include a link to your (related) product in the Pinterest board description.

Pinterest + A Service

Simply Marketed is an agency that provides marketing and social media services to restaurants, non-profits and small businesses.

Peek at their Pinterest profile, and you’ll spot several boards packed with inspiring marketing tips and advice.

There’s a board called “Unique Marketing Ideas,” another one called “Logos We Love” and another called “Our Clients” featuring impressive portfolio samples.


Lots of terrific content for business owners who are hunting for fresh marketing ideas (zing! Those are the agency’s ideal customers.)… plus a clear description of what Simply Marketed can offer… and a link back to their website.

You try it: If you’re a service provider, try thinking about each Pinterest board as a “blog post” and fill it with helpful tips and advice on a particular topic… that can help your ideal clients.

Pinterest + An Experience

Mirella Saraswati is a yogi on a mission… to inspire YOU to come to her yoga retreat in Ibiza.

She has created a stunning Pinterest board filled with “Ibiza Inspiration” — photos of the landscape, the food, the drinks, local shops, and of course, that exquisite aquamarine water.

Customers who are thinking about investing in this experience will swoon over the imagery… and be far more likely to say, “Yes yes yes!”


You try it: Planning a retreat, workshop, webinar, seminar, class or conference? Curate images that inspire you — flowers you want to purchase for the entryway, candles for the dinner table, notebooks and pencils for each guest, photos of the venue, and anything else that evokes the spirit of the experience. Yes, it works for an online experience as much as an in-person one.

Pinterest + A Book

Leading up to the launch of her first book, 50 Ways To Say Youre Awesome, author Alexandra Franzen created a Pinterest board full of encouraging advice on how to tell someone, “Hey… I think you’re awesome!”

Alex Franzen Awesome

The board included illustrations taken directly from her book, along with other photos that expressed the message of the book. (Like a cake with the word “YAY!” baked inside. Adorable.)

Here’s another great example: to promote her book Happier At Home, author Gretchen Rubin created a Pinterest board that featured a simple question: “What makes you happy at home?” Her board features calming, joyful images of things that make Gretchen happy… along with a few carefully chosen images of her book, including the cover design.

You try it: Create a Pinterest board that features photos of your book, quotes plucked out of your book, behind-the-scenes book photos (like a snapshot of you at a book launch party)… along with other images that sum up the essence of the book.

Pinterest + YOU

Gala Darling is one of the world’s most-read fashion bloggers — and the co-founder of a program called The Blogcademy, where she trains amateurs bloggers who want to “go pro.”

Gala has built a remarkable “lifestyle brand” with legions of fans who adore her unique twist on style, home decor, travel, love and friendship.

Her Pinterest universe is full of images that evoke her unique aesthetic and worldview — including boards devoted to Style Influences (quirky and offbeat, as expected), New York City (her hometown), and Tattoo Love (she has numerous tattoos — part of her signature look).

Gala Darling Style

You try it: Build a collection of boards all about… you! Your home. Your work. Your life. Your style. Your favorite foods. Places you’d love to visit. Anything you like. When you’re building a “lifestyle brand,” anything goes.

With 335 million monthly active users worldwide. Pinterest is a serious social media heavyweight.

But what’s particularly intriguing is that Pinterest users spend an average of 14 minutes on Pinterest, per visit. To draw a stark comparison, most visitors will spend 15 seconds (or less) on your website homepage.

Pinterest is a place where people cozy up with a warm cup of tea, metaphorically speaking (or literally!)… lean in… and go deep.

As a business owner, Pinterest is the perfect platform for enchanting potential customers with a world of color, beauty and magic… while holding their attention for a remarkably long time.

Happy Pinning!

If you’d like to learn more about how to create, publicize and monetize your own Pinterest boards (works for ANY niche or type of business!) then hop on over to this free training to learn from the Pinterest Kings, Daniel Hall + John Kremer, who have created their own Pinterest empire and taught others to do the same right here.

Join us for a FREE Pinterest Training to grow your list + gain more followers + sales

The Experience Products Phenomenon: How to 10x Your Sales and Your Clients’ Results


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The Experience Products Phenomenon: How to 10x Your Sales and Your Clients’ Results

Welcome everyone, our topic today is the Experience Products phenomenon; how to 10x your sales and your client’s results. Our guest today is Marisa Murgatroyd. She is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into online superheroes.

One of the things we will be talking about today is a very new kind of way to create trainings and products. You can go and get a free video and training series, and also a workbook or playbook here. We are going to talk more about this and how you can create your own product in such a way that is going to have people wanting to share to other people and make it go viral. It is brand new. I have invited Marisa here because I did not even know what this was. She’s created a whole new category of experience.

What do you mean by that when you are creating a whole new category of experience for people?

That’s a really good question, Susan, and thanks so much for hosting me. I am super excited to share about it. First of all, let me set the context. Basically, right now, there is a revolution that is happening online that really affects you, me, and our ability to earn money online. There is, as of today, more than billion websites online and every year there are more than 300 million more websites coming online. If you look at the top Ivy League universities, they’ve released their entire course curriculum online at no charge. Google and YouTube are these massive libraries of free information products. So many entrepreneurs are out there creating training based on information. What they don’t realize is that the value of their information is rapidly diminishing to almost nothing because everyone, your customers, have at their fingertips the hundreds of thousands and millions of hours of YouTube trainings and Google articles all the time.

What not a lot of people talk about in this industry is that with information based products, the studies actually show that only about 3% of people ever finish those kinds of products and get results from them. That is astonishing and shocking. What I’ve seen in this industry of online training, is for the first time since this industry was created last year, that industry has been in decline and has seen negative growth, downward growth. The reason why is because so many people are getting left behind by trainings and products that are based on information.

The market doesn’t value this any more, it is based on an old school 19th century way of teaching and education that doesn’t fit our 21st century audiences. So people aren’t completing these products that they are not getting results from these products. They are not continuing to reinvest in the people that they buy these products from much less spread the word about these products. and share them to others.

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

Experience products are the revolution in online training.

What I realized in this context of what is going on now historically is that info products pretty much are a dying category of product. They are getting less and less valuable and people are going to pay less and less attention to them. Entrepreneurs will have to market harder for fewer sales at lower price points. It is like trying to start creating information products in today’s age is like trying to open a video store in the age of Netflix – it just isn’t relevant anymore. It has been taking a long time for the industry to catch up with trends that are happening in the world of entertainment and trends that are happening in the world of reality TV. Those industries have really been able to captivate people’s attention , hold their attention. Just two months ago Pokemon Go was released by Nintendo. In a single month, the very first month this app was released it made $200 million in sales. You’ve got stampedes of people in New York City, Los Angeles, Rome, and all over the world who are playing this game in the streets. Running through the streets to capture these little virtual creatures.

If you can even imagine that level of enthusiasm and excitement about your products and your  information around topics that are life changing and world changing. Can you imagine having people running to participate and making changes in their lives that actually mean something? It is possible to take whole principles that are going on in these other industries, and apply them to the world of information, knowledge, expertise, and training that actually does real value and good in the world.

I just heard on the radio or read that millennials don’t want to ever pay for information. They are so used to getting it for free, and they grew up in a different era than we did. They think information should be free and they don’t value it, they don’t want to pay for it. How do you then still apply principles of gaming and video games and these principles of being interactive in experience products and actually getting people away from their computers and iPhones and getting them to interact with their world? How does this apply to actual product or an actual training? What would that look like?

With Experience Products it is not just the principles of gaming, it is the principles of the brain’s reward center. We have an ancient system in our brains that releases happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that causes us to experience joy, happiness, and triumph. When we win and when we are set up to achieve our expectations and move towards them and experience wins, we are flooded with positive emotions which is why video games are so effective; every few seconds you are winning something. When you think about products – and it’s not just products, this works for services, coaching, or consulting, this works for any class of offer where you need people to take action on their own lives – especially regular repeat action in order to get results.

One of the ten core concepts of Experience Products that I teach in the video training in the workbook that Susan mentioned here. One of the principles of Experience Products is the principle of constant wins. How do you create a game where people can win in your product or service or in your coaching? That means winning from day zero, which means starting to achieve a win during the marketing phase of your product. That people have an experience where they get a result, or they make a choice or they do something that maybe has eluded them before in the past. As soon as they sign up to get whatever product or service, they immediately are set up for the very next win. For example, what often happens in the realm of info products, you sign up for an info product, and then sometimes it’s a course that starts two or three weeks later and you get bombarded by three, or four, or five emails with different instructions and the receipts and the things to do.

What happens for most people is they feel like they don’t have time for this, and they aren’t going to come back later. Even if they need one of those things, and they go to a membership site and they log on and there’s all this stuff everywhere and they don’t know what to do. For most people, what that creates is what I call a negative experience escalation. They have a series of experiences with your product that instead of getting them to action and getting them on track for their first win, are creating barriers and obstacles to their success.

What that does is that in addition to having a rewards center in our brain we have a punishment center, when we are not winning and not moving towards the goals and outcomes that we set for ourselves, the brain blocks the flow of these happy chemicals and we start to feel frustrated and overwhelmed and a whole series of negative emotions. For many people, we were told to avoid something called a thud factor when we create these products.

The more information, the more of a thud it makes when it lands on your desk or wherever it happens to be. What I’ve realized is that thud factor – and I used to make products with the thud factor, I’d slave away for months at a time doing dozens and dozens of videos because I wanted to give every little piece of information. I thought – and this model is based on being the guru and having all the answers, so it makes people spend a lot of time creating products that are a lot less doable for people. What I’ve realized is the thud factor is really just the sound of your customers’ hopes and dreams getting squashed.

That’s so sad – the thud factor. So what you are saying is that it is so overwhelming with information. You as the guru and the teacher, you want to give everything. That’s like dumping your whole mind and everything that you know into someone else’s. That’s so overwhelming and it can’t be done. Then people feel discouraged and they then give up.

Yes absolutely, it’s also for the product creator, it slows them down. As I’m trying to create the product as this masterpiece, trying to create War and Peace, where someone just wants the Cliff Notes version. I don’t know about you, but I love to read and I haven’t had a chance to finish a whole book in two years!

Since Experience Products is experiential, and I think it would be really helpful for people to be able to see something, What does it look like to be able to have something land in your inbox and have an immediate win? What does that look like, even from the marketing perspective, because we are looking at this from two different perspectives. One from the person who is creating this product and the other is the person who is consuming these experience products. Let’s look first at it from the point of view of the person marketing it, what does it look like if you landed into my inbox, and I was then rewarded and had a series of wins and that released the dopamine and the happiness in my brain?

Sure, let me give you two different examples. First is an example of a more traditional product that is delivered virtually and then I’m going to give you an example of a product that is delivered live and in person because this works for a lot of different industries. The experience of the Product Master Class that we are about to release to the market, what happens is as soon as someone says, “Yes, I’m in, I want to do that!”, they hit “sign up now, register for this class.” Right away they are redirected to their confirmation page, they aren’t told to go to their inbox yet. In the confirmation page they have a welcome video that’s fun and surprising because it reinforces many of the other principles of Experience Products, having a really defined mission and create a picture of someone’s future self. It helps motivate people and helps them understand what they are exactly there to do. As soon as the welcome message is over and people are told what to expect, because they need to have the big picture context of what they are doing and they go right then and there into their first training on that confirmation page.

They achieve their win from setting their revenue goals, which is what they want to earn for their particular product. Then there is a link right below the video to sign up on a calendar for a very experienced coach to develop their own experience, product, schedule – their customized schedule, and launch plan. Right away, they have chosen their revenue goals and they’ve scheduled their call with their coach. They haven’t had to go to their inbox, they haven’t had to go to a membership site to do it. That’s just the very first experience that they have. They are getting into action and I’ve removed a lot of the information that often times people spend an entire module and training just to set context, that they probably have already gotten. They got what they needed in the marketing, which is why they said “yes.” That is an example of how I am doing that differently with Experience Products.

Throughout the course instead of loading people up with these hour long, two hour long trainings that happen once a week – which that is the old school way. I’m breaking them up into much smaller trainings. Studies show that 50 minutes is the longest amount of time that an adult can keep their attention. If you are doing training for an hour, hour and a half, two hours, you are losing your audience. The vast majority of our trainings are super short, like 10 minutes. Some of them are 5 minutes, some are 20. No training will be longer than 50 minutes. I do more trainings but shorter ones. Every training is only oriented around a single result or a single action for them to take. There is a lot more embedded in that, which makes it really exciting and experiential for people. Those are just a handful of things I’m doing.

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

Experience products play on the brains reward center instead of punishment center by creating a series of constant wins.

So first you are getting them into action on your page, there’s not a lot of things for them to read before they begin so they are already thinking, “Oh my God, I can do this. I’m doing it! Not only that, but I am doing it! I’m doing it already!” The other point is that it is overwhelming for training to be an hour or more. I was just doing a telesummit with someone and they polled their people, and they did 20-minute calls for the telesummit only, where usually it’s an hour – and this is going to be an hour! Maybe we should make it shorter? Let’s go for 50 minutes because I’ve been kind of talking about doing an hour, but we don’t want to lose you in the last 10 minutes. Then the other thing is, you are breaking things down super short, so people can have – it’s like micro-lessons where they are only learning one thing, but they are learning it really thoroughly and they are learning it quickly in those ten minutes.

Beyond learning, it’s the difference between having your learning cap on, where you are passively receiving information and going into action mode, doing mode, implementation mode. For most people, the learning is what stops the process of getting what they want. You see so many people in the training world that do course after course without getting any results and implementing. They mistake learning from doing. It is fundamentally shifting the paradigm from information to experience, from passively receiving knowledge into doing, implementing, getting the result, getting feedback, making progress, and getting what you want. I have done programs where the customer results have an 83% engagement rate. On the last program that I designed in this way, which means 83% of the people came on the line every day for five days. I was teaching three hours a day, five days straight, and we had 83% of the people come on the line. 50% of them upgraded to the next program as well. The rates we are seeing from engagement and resells, all of that are just phenomenal to compare to the old model when you do it this way.

What would keep those people on the call for three hours?

Those are my first experiment with these Experience Products. When I did this last year, I was experimenting with it. There are a lot of ways to interact with and let people engage on the line. I was able to hold people for three hours, but next time around I’m doing much much shorter calls. There’s a lot of ways to do it where you are not just doing audio visual where they are listening, but they are participating, giving feedback, talking, and doing exercises. You can hold people longer if you break up the content. They are engaging with it on a regular basis.

I know it’s new, but it sounds like it’s old in a way. When I used to give live workshops, they were all experiential, they were all doing. I don’t like to get up and talk for an hour at a time, I really like for things to be interactive, so I would set up every workshop to be immediately interactive. So there wasn’t that much talking, there were people doing things together, people doing things alone, there was writing, there was talking, there was movement. So, is Experience Products using these same kinds of principles but on an online way to communicate with people when you are not there in person with them?

Well there are ten core principles of Experience Products. So for sure, it is about making things interactive but it goes beyond making things interactive. There are ways to make multisensory experiences, there are ways to leverage stories, there are ways to engage people emotionally. So yes, and there’s more, there’s a whole other level beyond just creating an interaction with people. That is the first step, but it goes far beyond that in terms of helping them work with their own psychology and  being able to believe that they can do it as well. What’s really interesting is the number one reason why people don’t say yes to a product or fall out, and get struck, or walk away, or refund is that they don’t believe they can do it.

Even if you set something up and it’s about interaction and engagement, if they don’t believe they can do it, they are still going to get stuck and fall out. There are deeper levels of how to create that psychology of belief and set them up and do smaller wins. It helps them gain unstoppable momentum. It is one of the first principles of Experience Products. When you create unstoppable momentum where people feel they have gained enough momentum and that they can keep going, you actually can gradually work them into bigger things that they wouldn’t have thought possible when they started.

That’s so interesting to me, the brain’s natural reward system is wired to win. The action is working with the natural neurology. Can you give me an example of that – without giving away your whole training program, I know we’ve got your training program coming up and you can find that here. I know that Marisa has a lot and more all in her free video training program and PDF downloads, not all of it, but a nice taste of Experience Products is in there.

So when you say an example of working in your reward center, do you mean what is an example of a win?

Yes, what would be an example of win that is not necessarily dependent on interaction?

The example I just gave you about when someone signs up about the Experience Products Master Class, the very first thing they do is to set their revenue goals. They are already imagining the product that they are creating, they are already figuring out their minimum goal, target goal, their stretch goal, this is what it can look like. From there, they are able to reverse engineer their success, so they have already done something You can say if this is your very first time out of the gate, “I can make $5,000.” Anyone can do that if they have set a goal for themselves, it’s a very simple thing, it’s a very simple process to go through to set a revenue goal. That is an example of something that anybody can do. They are already saying that they have done something and taken that first step. You are creating momentum.

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

With Experience Products you are creating manageable goals for customers to reach right there on the sign up page.

So another example, because I said I’d give you two, one from the world of in-person and one from the world of online. One of my students she was selling this retreat. She originally called it the Redwood Retreat. I helped her rebrand that actually to: Write Your Book in Paradise. When she first launched the retreat, only one person signed up at $3,000. What she realized is that most people felt the reason why they weren’t saying yes to the retreat is that they don’t know what their book was about. They didn’t want to go on a retreat and not know what it was they were going to be writing about.


What she realized is that was what was holding them back. If they didn’t know what their book was going to be and they were going to go to this multi-day retreat to write their book, and what if they didn’t come up with the right topic? That was overwhelming and intimidating to them, so they weren’t saying yes to her retreat. After doing these conversations with people she realized that was the issue. So she added one more thing to her offer which was as soon as they sign up she would do a private one-on- one outlining session with them to help them create the entire outline for their book so a big part of their process was done before they even got in the room and they knew what they were going to be writing about.

The very next retreat, she went from making $3,000 at the first retreat to almost $20,000 at the second retreat. Now she’s on track to do her third retreat and it’s about to sell out. Each one since her first retreat, she has been making more money because she has realized what was getting in the way of making people say yes. It is a simple experience that she was able to add, but of course it goes deeper than that. Sometimes it is hard to understand what’s getting in the way of people saying yes and finding that core objection, what is core issue they have that is stopping them from moving forward either before they say yes or after they say yes and are actually in the program.

Yeah, and you were talking about that too, that people say one of their biggest barriers is they don’t think they can do it. So, one of your principles in Experience Products is about showing people how they can do it and make that mindset shift.

Yes, absolutely. One of the principles is related to normalizing challenges too. A lot of times what happens is, our marketing is all targeted at making things sound super easy and quick. When people get in, they realize it’s not super easy and quick. But you have just set it up to be super easy and quick in the marketing to sell them which might give you short term rewards. Then they get in and think, “Well this is actually a lot harder than I thought. What’s wrong with me?”

One of the principles is about normalizing challenges. Instead of saying everything is easy and quick, you say that, “Well these are the stumbling blocks that people have, it is normal and natural for these to happen. When you do have these stumbling blocks, here’s what you do…”

I like that and it’s very intriguing. How is this connecting with brain science? What happens in the neurology or whatever that keeps people up chemically connected to you?

It is not about being chemically connected to us necessarily. We go through a lot of the emotional side; engaging the multi-sensory to create a much more vivid experience for them. That is going to have a higher level of engagement when storytelling or other strategies to use will keep them more connected to you. The neurology part comes around from the idea of when people feel they are making this constant progress and winning along the way, that is what it is releasing the positive flood of emotions. The other engagement tools of being able to engage more of them, not just their brain or logic, because people don’t make choices to change their life and take action by logic alone.

Most of the time they make it by emotion, right?

So many of these products are training people’s brains, information in and of itself does not engage people in a more holistic fashion.

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

Marisa’s philosophy behind Experience Products.

I was curious about what you were saying at the beginning, going back to Pokemon Go and taking some of those experiences and taking some lessons from Pokemon Go. What kinds of things are you taking from that, how successful Pokemon Go has been to create that viral experience that people want to share? That’s really the ultimate success is that people do it and then they want to share it.

The psychology of winning is a really important one that we are taking from the world of games, which is what we have been talking about on creating this positive experience escalation. It is about the positive experience that people get from winning. In games, each level increases in complexity by 25% in how challenging it is. From one level to the next, how can you challenge people to grow but not overwhelm them so they don’t think they can’t do it? Striking that balance for people is really important and it’s what keeps people hooked; where they are winning and it’s getting harder, but they still feel like they can win.

They are growing and experiencing that growth as they play the game. That is one big piece of psychology and one thing that the Pokemon Go does as well as it leverages the power of community. You are not there alone playing the game. You know that everyone is playing the game as well and a lot of times you are running into and bumping into them playing the game as well. It is not necessarily what many video games in the past have done in isolation, Pokemon Go is mapping a virtual reality onto the real world. It encourages people to meet each other more. There are so many ways to build community into online programs as well and to do something similar in that way.

Eight of the ten principles in Experience Products don’t rely on technology at all. They are principles of engagement and the science of how humans work and how they do their best work and become successful and change their lives. Video games happen to do this in a more technological format and you don’t have to go out and create a video game or an app to make this stuff work. It is a matter of dialing in the core strategy and the design of the experience that you are creating, and making it relevant to you, and understanding how to create the path that you are promising in your product or service or coaching package.

This is brand new by the way and it’s not even out yet, but it will be by the time you hear to this. To get more of Marisa’s great information you can go here. There you will get a free video training series and also a workbook (downloadable PDF) – all free, to go along with that, so you’ll start to understand what this is. If that intrigues you, and this is something that you want to do, then Marisa will invite you into her Experience Products course where you will actually get to see how this is done. You can hear that she has done it in beta and it’s been working super well since before they have launched this. You are going to be able to do super well on your own no matter what kind of product or service that you have.

Tell us about the kinds of industries and businesses that these Experience Products are working in. You had mentioned that it also works for services. It is not just products, it’s everything.

It’s brand new, but I’ve actually been working on these concepts for about five years. As a brand strategist, I’ve worked with dozens of different industries and helped them craft experiences into their businesses into their services and products that have already increased the value and engagement on their work and reduce the need for marketing because people are a lot more likely to spread the word when they are getting better results.

What is new is the idea of this fundamentally different kind of product called an Experience Product, I’ve been playing with this for years now, and finally codified it based on the experiments that we’ve been doing in our own business with lots of my customers. I’ve had it work for people in educational therapy, in publishing, in business training, in reiki. People need to take regular action. Even when it comes to accountants and lawyers, and things like that, a lot of times, they can’t get what they need from their customers because they are doing the thud factor of, “Okay I need you to go read this 50 page document and get back to me”

It becomes harder and harder for people to have the brain space to get those kinds of tasks done. We have a web design business. Traditionally, I am waiting for our customers to get us everything that we need, and doing a much better job of breaking it down for people and showing them the entire bird’s eye view of the process, is really easing that moving it forward. I’ve applied it to my agency, my branding agency and the web design clients that we do. When you start to understand how can you engage people in the process to help them get the result they say that they want and make it easier for them.

It also a lot of times makes the process easier for you. I think what a lot of experts and product creators who love what they teach so much don’t realize is that less is more. It is an important lesson to learn. When you try to give people everything, a lot of times what it is, is that it just muddles what they need to be doing – the minimum amount of information they need to get to the result. As our world gets busier, as information starts to explode as people are more distracted and multitasking more and more. It is important to get down to that most fundamental level of what is it they are doing for people, and how you can help them there in as few steps as possible, and how you can make it as easy as possible for them to get the results. That they realize they are getting the result each step of the way and to create a game that they can win.

I like what you said about it’s the minimum amount of information to get the result. Obviously as a media trainer it’s what I love in terms of language, it’s saying the minimum amount in order to get the result, which is a sound bite. Getting your messages out there clearly and quickly. This is applying it to a whole functionality of a way of getting a result. I really love that because I think that to really think about what is not necessary is hard. You know the old joke, I think it was Proust who wrote this, “I would have written you a shorter letter had I had the time.”

Yes, totally.

This is the same sort of thing, that this takes a lot of thought and really understanding how little you can give people – which that is generous. That is the generous thing to give them as little as possible to get them the result they want. I love that idea. By they way, check out the Resources at the bottom of the page with more links that can help you with this. You can access Marisa’s videos and PDF workbooks so you can get started on this right away on how you can create a course with the minimum amount of information to get the results for your people, your tribe. It sounds like Experience Products isn’t industry or genre specific, it can work for any type of business and any type of topic.

Yes, absolutely, like I’ve said, I’ve helped people who have services or coaching and consulting as well. A lot of them also need their customers to do things. They have been creating tasks that are impossible for their customers to do. If it is seems impossible, they are hemming and hawing and dragging their feet, it takes a lot longer than it needs to and they miss deadlines. It is a practice to simplify. I think ultimately it is easy to create this kind of course because is a lot less for you to create, there is more thought that goes into the process upfront. The actual marketing and the delivery becomes a lot simpler. It is a matter of doing the thought upfront to make the marketing and delivery more simple. What most people do is they jump in and create something really fast, and then they spend all of their time on the marketing and delivery later on. It’s where you choose to spend your time and focus.

So if you do the thought upfront, then the delivery and the marketing and the creation of it is much easier.

Yes, absolutely.

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

Check out Marisa’s free videos on Experience Products.

I’d love to hear another example – like why don’t we talk about the other people that you have helped so we get a sense of what actually happens. I love that example of the woman who had the writing retreat and you changed it from Redwood Writing Retreat to Write Your Book in Paradise and then discovered what was holding people back. I think that was really fascinating, I’d love to hear and I think that since so many people are coaches, I’d love to hear and example from the coaching industry.. I think it’s hard for coaches to distinguish themselves from one each other and to create a course that doesn’t sound like everybody else and to create the life of your dreams – that doesn’t appeal to anyone.

Yes, I am working with someone who is coaching people with learning disabilities. They do it one by one for twenty years. Because it was so challenging and time-consuming, his profit margin was 10%. 10% profit margin in coaching people one-on-one, both kids and adults, with someone who has severe learning disabilities for the last twenty years. He wanted to do a group program but was really convinced that each student was essentially so unique because they did brain testing and identified out of the 29 different brain functions where each person is and which ones are compromised and which ones are underdeveloped and which ones are not. He played with the idea of a group offering for years and years, and after five years, he had given up on it. He didn’t want to compromise the results and the experiences they were getting from his one on one sessions. This is Matthew Turton at Breakthroughs in Learning.

I sat down with him and asked questions. We were able to figure out how to create different groups based on different learning abilities. The timeline to help someone develop that part of the brain that is underdeveloped is two about years for them to really see the clear and tangible results. So you can imagine how hard it is to keep engagement over a two-year process where sometimes you don’t see results can be incredibly challenging. How do you build this journey with clear milestones and the sense of feeling the progress for people who are going to take two years to get up to an average capacity in a particular area of their brain?

I helped to sketch out this two-year program. He has two groups now in different focal areas. It is a huge success. A lot of people who couldn’t previously afford to work with him one on one are now able to afford group sessions. Now, his profit margin went from 10% to 40% in a single year because the groups are so much profitable than the one-on-one training was and he still has been able to provide this incredible experience to people. He has got students who are spending $100 a week for two years to go through this program with him.

Because they are able to increase their profits by 40%, his is able to give his entire staff of coaches a 25% raise. This is a brick and mortar industry with a high overhead that he had been doing the same business model for twenty years. We figured out how to create a brand new experience in that industry that hasn’t really been done before. We are creating and integrating these ten principles of Experience Products to make these students feel like they are gaining momentum in a field where they could feel that they are not and that they are stuck for a long time.

I think that is a pretty common problem with any kind of coach, or therapist, or dance teacher because it is someone who is having been used to a one on one experience. How do you translate that one-on-one to a group experience without losing the quality, consistency, and the feel of you giving that one on one kind of attention? It sounds like this Experience Products gives that same feeling without having to be there, you, 100% of the time one on one with people, is that right?

It is a similar feeling, but it has got a slightly different flavor of that feeling. I believe that doing Experience Products gives you a more powerful experience one to many than the one on one. You are leveraging the power of community into the other experiences that are incredibly powerful for human being, we are tribe-based animals. You have all of a sudden 500 work out buddies, who make sure you get fit. There are higher chances of success than one on one in that context. I believe that using Experience Products in many cases gives you a more powerful one to many experience than you could have in the one-on-one.

In Matthew’s case with people with learning disabilities, he was able to make this available to people that they were having to send away and were left behind by the school system who had no other places to go. They couldn’t afford the work. Matthews company, they were doing it in the 10% profit margin, trying to make it as affordable as possible. They still couldn’t afford the work. Now, there is a new place for people to go and benefit and have the advantage of the experience of community. They realize they are not alone and everything that community can bring when you do it right.

I think that is super important, because I think that some communities – to make a community work and to make it really have people uplifting each other and one of my friends is in a grief community for people who are divorced. She lost her fiancé, and she said the support has absolutely been amazing in there because people are actually experiencing it together. They really have pulled together and are encouraging each other and she can see all the other people that have had a very similar experience even if they are not feeling the exact same thing.

I know that to be true too when I media trained a group of stock analysts via Skype, where some are in the same room, and some are in other parts of the world, and how fast they could learn from each other. I didn’t have to say the same thing to each person because they had already incorporated it by the time it was their chance to be in the spotlight and work with me directly because they were all watching the media training experience and so they picked it up super quick.

Not to mention that there are different kinds of learners. There’s the kind of person who doesn’t like to be put on the spot and be the first person to raise their hand, even if they are working with you one-on- one. I’m sure as a coach or consultant, you’ve had the kind of person who needs to think about first, it’s this  slow burn. And now, for that kind of person, they are getting the opportunity to see someone else go through it. It is adding fuel to their learning. It allows for different kinds of people to experience in different kinds of ways as well.

I totally agree with that, because I am a slow processor. When I was getting media training, and getting trained on presentation training, my partner told me to do something and I couldn’t immediately put it into action. He was looking at me like, “What is your friggin’ problem? The trainer just told you do this and you’ve got to revise on the spot.” I just needed more time to process it and before I could put it into action. You’re right, there are different kinds of learners.

I want to ask you a question and you do not have to answer it, because I know that this is going to be in your upcoming video and training series on Experience Products, so if you want to keep it a secret you can. I was wondering  if we could go through what are the ten principles? If that’s all in your video, I don’t want to spoil it.

It’s all in the video and the thing is, just knowing the principles is not enough. You need to understand the applications and examples of the principles. What I don’t want to do is like, “Oh here are the principles, I’ve got it and I’m going to try and do this on my own.” It is a really different thing to understand the core principles and to see them in practice and understand how to leverage them. For Steph in her Write Your Book in Paradise Retreat, knowing exactly what experience to create is the biggest challenge. You don’t necessarily know. I am concerned that the people will have just information in making them dangerous but not enough information to get the result.

Fair enough totally understand that, I love the example of the people with learning disabilities, maybe you can share one more example from a different industry to see how Experience Products works? I think it’s really helpful for people to hear those stories, you’ve explained some of the really fascinating aspects of it and that part of it is that you do need to understand all those ten principles in order to create your own course or own experience or service in this way that is going to be very effective and it’s going to be very personal. It’s going to strip away everything that is non-essential and just give people exactly what they need to get the result.

I was talking to one of my students, Julie Lowe, who already had a six figure Facebook product that is embedded in other people’s programs. We crafted a new idea for a product for her called Facebook ATM (Facebook Ads To Money); she had just stalled out for four months in creating the product because it felt boring, dry, and dull to her. She informed me that she wasn’t going to do it anymore and just go back to doing one-on-one work. I started to ask her questions since this doesn’t make any sense considering that she has a successful six-figure product already, why not make another one?

I helped her zoom into what her core motivations were as an entrepreneur. She loved to help people and she loved that interaction. She was having no interaction on the product creation process side so it was hard for her to stay motivated. A lot of the information that she felt obliged to include, she was having all of the stuff in the product that she had no interest in recording it because it bored her. I was like, “Yeah and that’s going to bore your audience too. Get rid of it” We identified and looked through the entire program and cut a lot of it. I told her to start here, Let’s get your people a result right away. They aren’t going to want those two hours of context before they get to work and doing this. They want just the right amount of information.

In half an hour, I helped her completely re-structure this program. She felt so relieved that she felt so much better about what she is doing. That got her excited again, and it moved her launching up by three months. She felt like she could go ahead and create it. This is what I call rapid agile product creation methodology. It gets your product to the market faster and you teach it in collaboration with your audience the first time around and get their input and their feedback.

So many people spend lots of time trying to craft everything before they begin. They miss the benefit of getting the input from their customers as they are creating it. One of the reasons why people want to do everything ahead of time is that they feel a need to have all the answers and know everything before it starts. It’s that need to have that crystal clarity and to know and they end up putting a lot of effort in to creating everything ahead of time. Once I started experimenting with this process that I talk about of really marketing it and selling it before delivering it, at first they are scared but once they start doing it they are like, “Oh my gosh, this is so much easier.” They realize that they can respond to people and see what kinds of questions that come up and things that aren’t clear, things they might have over looked because they think that it wasn’t relevant to people.

I teach really simple ways to market and deliver the products a lot faster, It’s not just the idea of a strategy behind the product. It simplifies things. When you get people going and you get them the results faster than they thought possible, and a bigger result than they thought possible, they spread the word for you. In my last event, I had one of my customers bring 27 people to my live event. I had another person who brought 10 people to my live event. They were so excited from our work together, that they want to bring all their friends to my work. What happens when you change the dynamic is that right now, so many online entrepreneurs are spending all their time marketing. They are like, “Market, market, market. And market, market, market.” They are like politicians in spending the time to be re-elected and they don’t have time to serve govern anymore.

When you shift your focus to creating experiences that I’ve designed to get people the results that they want, then often times they do the marketing for you. Its intentional designing in viral loops within the feedback loops in the products. That encourages the cycle of talking about what you do more and more. If each customer brings 1.3 people to your business, you completely eliminate the need to market it, and still are having at least 20% growth every single year.

My goal for Experience Products is to end marketing, which is a completely radical thought. You can add marketing if each customer will bring 1.3 customers in while still growing your business. That is the magic ratio.

I think that is amazing – end marketing? I’m in! I’m serious. How many people can say they love marketing? If you can put the end to marketing and have people do it because they love it and because they are getting the results they wanted, I think that is really amazing.

Pokemon Go exploded in a month, from $0 to $2,000,000 because people wanted to share it with each other. I’ve seen it in my own products that people get excited with the results that they are getting that they share it with the people and bring them to my work. Steph, with the writing retreats, half the slots are filled by referral. She’s only done two of them before, and the first one only had one person at it. When you do it like this, it creates incredible loyalty and excitement in your customers. What happens is customers start buying other products as well from you.

The first time that I did experiments with these principles, the numbers were off the charts compared to the industry’s standards. In three months, I did $137,884 in revenue from basically 108 people who took our entry products for $497. It ended up in $137,000 in sales. It started out as a webinar that people 990 opted into. Every opt-in generated $139 each sale. The first product generated $1,227. It is one of those things where you are not only increasing people’s desire to refer new people to you, and potentially ending the need for you to market it if you understand how to craft experiences where they are getting results, and getting excited, and you are  creating the feedback loops.

You are increasing the number of people who become repeat buyers. The industry standard is 10-20% of people who become repeat buyers. I have as much as 50% of people move on to the next offer. It transforms everything when you do this and they are also bringing new people to you as well. It’s a way for you to go back to what you love about your business, instead of focusing all your time on marketing because you are selling stuff that’s not getting people results. It’s not that you mean to, nobody intends to not get people results, it’s the model that we’ve all been taught and that we’ve all be using that’s somehow gotten less and less effective. It’s one of those things where you are like, “How did we get here?” You just don’t realize it, and you’ve just been doing things the way that people have told you do to things and that’s not actually working.

By fundamentally shifting the model, turning it on it’s head, and creating a brand new model like what we’ve done here. Because information products really are dead, and Experience Products are replacing them. It’s like you get to buy stock in Netflix on day one. You get to be part of the future of where this industry is going and go back to what you love about your business, which is delivering value in serving people. You spend less time marketing and more time in giving people results by designing your products, services, and coaching specifically for that. It is terrifically exciting because the results that I have seen through my preliminary tests are off the charts compared to the industry standards. The results that I’ve been able to get some of my clients by making some of these shifts, and when they make all of these shifts, it’s like, “Holy smokes!”

When it’s possible for them and they feel so much more excited about their business because they want their business to feel good for people, then all of a sudden when customers don’t get results and don’t do the work, it doesn’t feel good. When you spend all the time marketing, that doesn’t feel good either. So you can start to feel good again.

That was beautifully put, I just want to say. People want to get back to serving and working with people and having experiences that feel really good, like you are making a mark in the world, or even if it’s not in the world you are helping your clients and customers in some way and you are helping them get those results. I think that is pretty much everybody’s deepest intention, and then they get caught up in the neediness of needing to sell it which perverts the original intention. It is like getting back to how you are helping your clients or customers get the results, which then is also a blessing to you because they sell the product for you or refer people to you and they love you and they buy more products.

So it’s like the end of marketing . imagine if you didn’t have to do any marketing! How amazing that would be if that people are doing the marketing for you because you have helped them so much, which I think it really wonderful. It’s like the best kind of viralocity because it’s not viralocity of a silly picture – even though I love silly cat pictures – but it’s not just viralocity of something that is going to give you some eye candy for the moment. It is really giving something that is very deeply nourishing for whatever it is that you are giving people what they want. It is a kind of viralocity that is really going to help people get results in that.

You said something also in this riff that I want to talk and touch on just briefly, because we are already past the 50-minute mark, but we are going to wrap up soon! I love that idea, I’m going to make it a goal of mine to be 50 minutes, but I can’t let this one go – intentionally designed viral loops. Can you speak a moment to what those are and how they work?

One really good example of viral loops is 99 Designs. It’s where you go, after you create a logo for a design contest, and all these different designers submit their logos and you invite all the people you know to go rate which of the logos is best logo.

What happens is that you get feedback from the people on your logo, but 99 Designs gets all this free publicity. “Oh my gosh, what is this awesome site, these logos look great. I need a logo. Let me go do my logo there.” But how do you build in interaction, not just in the people in the community doing it but outside of it and strategically so more people get involved in the process and get to be part of the experience? It informs people about what your customers are doing in interesting ways.

Okay great. Well, I think that is a great place to end. Unless there is something I haven’t asked you that you wanted me to ask?

No, I would just so to go check out the videos and the workbooks, there is a whole video on the end of marketing idea as well here. You can check it out and see for yourself what this can look like as well as the interesting thing that I did with my videos is I did my best to make them an experience.

I can’t wait to see them. Thank you so much, Marisa. This is super exciting for all of us, particularly on both sides; whether you are the kind of person who wants to take a course and get through it in such a way to get results, or you want to create a course in such a way to give your tribe real results. There is so much learning on both sides. Experiencing your whole course and then also actually doing it for others, I think it’s a great learning experience on both sides.

Thank you so much for coming here today in the middle of your launch. I so appreciate you, and I can’t wait to take your course.

You are welcome, thank you so much for hosting me. It was super fun. I can’t wait for you all to check all of the videos and use Experience Marketing too – which I haven’t even talked about

That’ll have to be another podcast!

BAMD0009 | Experience Products

About Marisa Murgatroyd 

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Sage Lavine, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. You’re invited to get a free video training series + workbooks here.


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The Top 7 Tips to Getting on TV

By Guest Blogger Gina Rubinstein

Every time you turn on the radio or TV, you see a so-called expert being interviewed. The Today Show, CNN, Talk Radio, local morning shows and all the rest rely on these experts to give background and insight on the hot topics of the day.  For these experts, the result of being on TV or radio is that their BOOK SALES SOAR, they become an IN-DEMAND SPEAKERS, and one media booking leads to more.

This can be you.

As a TV producer, I can tell you from experience that we are always on the hunt for guests and experts who shine.  Actually, we are desperate to find smart and funny people.

In my career, I’ve cast thousands of people for talk shows and other types of reality TV, and said “No” to many thousands more.  I’ve coached many authors and speakers who were looking to promote themselves and their products on TV so they could do the best job possible.  As the one you must get past, the one who says “Yes” or “No,” I can tell you what you need to get booked AND THE MISTAKES THAT CAN TORPEDO OPPORTUNITIES.

Here are the top 7 tips to getting booked on TV:

1. Be authentic: So many people try to be what they think is “right” and come across stilted and rehearsed instead.  I coached my client Judy Carter on how to be authentic and within 30 seconds of being on TV with Marie Osmond, Marie sat on her lap because she liked her so much.


2. Connect your expertise to a current hot topic.  In order to get the attention of mass media, you need to build a bridge from your expertise to what’s hot in the news. A client of mine who wrote a book on parenting got onto a show about legalizing marijuana because she had advice for parents who want to say “yes” to pot for themselves and “no” to pot for their kids.

3.  Have a compelling elevator pitch – In three or four sentences I need to know who you are, why I should listen to you, what problem you’re going to solve, how if affects me and what fresh ideas you have as solutions. A client of mine found herself in an elevator with a radio producer, gave her pitch, and by the time the elevator got to her floor she was booked on the producer’s show.


4. Talk in sound bites: In our ADD, double latte culture, no one has the time or interest to listen to someone who rambles on or goes off on tangents. In order to be media presence you need to express yourself concisely, in a few short, punchy sentences.

5. Make your points using compelling stories: Your stories give your message the one thing that facts can’t — heart. You need to emotionally connect with audiences and these stories are the way.


6. Work in your best credentials in a clever way: Nothing is more boring that an arrogant name-dropper. But, it’s important for the audience to know your credentials. I teach my clients to reveal their credentials in anecdotes that enhance who they are in a natural, unforced way.

 7. Have a hot sizzle reel:  90% of the sizzle reels I see have bad audio, are too long, and don’t showcase the expert’s personality immediately. A sizzle reel should be short (3 minutes max, and shorter is better), and should present you as an attractive person who’s an expert in their field and can reach people’s hearts as well as minds. I’ve produced several sizzle reels for clients and all have gotten TV and radio appearances as a result.

Gina Rubinstein is a Los Angeles-based media coach who helps her clients grow their business through the media. For more info go to here. For a free evaluation, please fill out this short questionnaire.

Escape the Time for Money Trap by Launching Your First (or second) Product

By Guest Blogger Danny Iny

Too many of us fall into the trap of trading time for money.

You may have already launched a product—but had disappointing results. Or you may have created a product that got some traction, but didn’t get the kind of success you’d hoped. Or, you haven’t developed a product yet, but you feel pretty sure you’d like one especially since….

Coaches, consultants, speakers, freelancers… all of us are in the same boat of working for an hourly wage.

Now, for some of us, the hourly wage can be very attractive; if it’s a cage, then it’s one made of gold, and studded with diamonds.

But still, it’s a cage; if we don’t work, then we don’t earn – which means that in some ways, we never get to take a real break and get off that treadmill without a gnawing fear in the back of our minds about what our business will look like when we get back.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way…

Your First (or second) Product: The Secret to Scalable Revenue

There’s a way to escape the time for money paradigm, and it lies within your first digital product.

As freelancers, we often find ourselves daydreaming of that perfect situation where we can walk away from our business for a few days without everything falling apart.

We think about what it would be like to create something that creates huge impact, making the world a better place.

And we think about how wonderful it would be to create that something once, and how easy it would be if it worked behind the scenes, even when we weren’t there.

We dream of vacations on white sandy beaches, holding drinks with tiny umbrellas and laughing with friends as the breeze gently sweeps across the beachfront.

All the while our business hums away quietly in the background, leaving us free to enjoy life.

But as much as we dream of this lifestyle, it’s not something we know how to create.

We aren’t sure how to scale our business outside the bounds of trading more time, or possibly the same time for more money.

You may have thought about building a product, but don’t know how to balance the time you’ll take building it with the money that you won’t be making in the meantime.

It’s a vicious cycle.

What if I told you that there’s a way for you to get paid to create your first product, while virtually guaranteeing that it will be successful?

There is, and when you implement the strategy, you will build a product that scales with ease, and it may not even matter if you’re there to deliver it, once it’s automated.

But wait…

If Products Are So Great, Why Don’t More People Build Them?

It’s a legitimate question.

Up until now, product creation has been fraught with danger.

Using the standard model of product creation, an entrepreneur might spend months of their time and a serious amount of money slaving away to create what they are sure will be a groundbreaking new product.

The entrepreneur has spent enough time interacting with their audience to know exactly which of their great new ideas will be the best to build out.

They know their audience better than anyone else, after all.

But in the end, most entrepreneurs creating new products will have their offering met with a lukewarm reception, or even worse: silence.



The opportunity cost is too high for most people, and for those intrepid enough to break into product creation, failure can be painful and costly.

The problem here is that entrepreneurs base their product creation on an assumption.

And they not only start with an assumption, but they either use faulty reasoning to validate their ideas or don’t validate them at all.

So how do you avoid the assumption trap and create something that your audience really wants, and at scale?

You take a little lesson from the technology industry.

Rapid Prototyping for Training Products

Now that you know why so many others have failed before you, how can you avoid the same fate?

Start by listening to your audience, and using what they tell you to quickly and profitably validate that they want what you’re going to build.

By listening, we don’t mean just skimming over what they say, picking and choosing which pieces seem to validate the ideas you have.

It’s about meeting your client or customer’s deepest needs. You want to figure out what problems they are having, and the exact language that they use to describe that problem.

How do you find out that information?

1. Listen and Validate

The first step is to find out what your audience wants, and quickly test to see if they really want it.

There are several ways that you can listen to your audience that will help you discover what they would pay you to create for them.

  • Listen to the questions that your audience sends to you via email. What are they asking for?
  • How do they respond to your blog posts? Which posts are they sharing or talking about most on social media?
  • The same thing applies to your emails and newsletters: which emails result in a lot of enthusiastic responses or questions?
  • You can also “eavesdrop” on conversations on social media to find out which topics are the most discussed.
  • Or, you can review comments left on blog posts and forums around the web. What questions are people asking repeatedly?

2. Dig Deeper with Surveys and Interviews

To dig deeper into the problems your audience is facing, you can create a simple survey, asking what their biggest challenge is.

And then, to gather additional information, you can conduct informational interviews with members of your audience or the people who responded to your survey.

These interviews can be conducted over the phone or by video chat. During the interviews, you can go in depth about the topic and the problem they are having.

3. Analyze Your Data

When you have finished your eavesdropping, surveys, conversations and interviews, you should have gathered a lot of data.

Your next step is to analyze the information you collected, looking for patterns and repetition of problem language.

If you have enough data points, and your audience really cares, you have likely just uncovered a problem that your audience is practically begging you to teach them how to fix!

4. Sell a Pilot Version

Finally, you need to validate that your audience will take out their wallets and pay you for the solution to their problem.

The best way to validate your product is to sell a pilot version of the course.

After the pilot, you can then use the outline and student feedback to build out your full product.

The process outlined above means that you will get paid, ahead of time, for creating a scalable product for your audience.

What’s even better is that this post includes both a case study about exactly how this works, and templates that will help you to create this success for yourself!

Case Study: The Course Builder’s Laboratory

At Firepole Marketing, we used this exact model of product creation as we built our soon-to-be-launched program, Course Builder’s Laboratory.

In our case, we had audience members and students in our Audience Business Masterclass come straight out and ask us to solve a problem for them.

We looked at all of the requests that came in and found there was a real pattern.

There were different ways that our audience asked for it, but in the end everyone wanted to know how to teach effectively online, and how to sell their own digital courses.

Then, rather than taking those requests and just building the final product, we used the process we describe in this post to validate that our audience would actually pay for the course.

We ran an initial pilot program called Course Builder’s Bootcamp; these live weekly calls went over what we thought the biggest pain points in terms of building and selling online courses would be. This program lasted six weeks in total.

We received some amazing feedback from the students, and were able to make smart choices about how to build out the final product in a valuable way.

We also ran a second pilot to gain more insight: a higher end in-person weekend in Montreal called Course Builders LIVE. We decided to run the additional pilot because the eventual course we were thinking of building was going to be HUGE.


This in-person pilot was a much smaller group, and allowed for a very intensive, hands-on experience for the students.

We were able to see places in the pilot curriculum where students were asking lots of similar questions, requesting additional features, or getting stuck – so we could fix them for the final version.

Through the two pilots, we were able to really refine the course material for the ultimate product. And we made about $70,000 while we were at it.

How to Do it Yourself, Starting Today

Following the process outlined in this post, you can easily create your first product.

Start by listening to your audience, analyzing the data you gather, and validating the problem that you think they are having.

Then, sell a pilot version of the product.

When you reach out to your audience, you will want to use the same language they use to describe the problem your pilot solves.

If having sales conversations isn’t your strong suit, we have created a set of free templates that will walk you, step by step, through how to get started creating and selling your pilot.

Then, once you’ve sold your pilot, you will deliver the content and gather feedback from your students.

Afterwards, you will use the basic outline of the course material and any student feedback to create your final product.

This final product is your key to scalable revenue.

So, does it feel like it’s time to break out of the hourly wage cage?

Then let’s get started!

We just have one favor to ask of you: send us a postcard from your next vacation!

Danny Iny is the co-founder of Firepole Marketing, and creator of the Course Builder’s Laboratory. For a limited time, he’s giving away a comprehensive “Done For You” swipe kit of email templates that you can copy-and-paste to sell your own pilot course

The 10 Best Social Media Tips & Tools Posts From 2014

This is a curated list of the very best posts from top social media peeps. It’s all of THEIR best posts. So you get a giant dose of great tips, tools, strategies, and ideas to start the New Year. Enjoy!


  1. Buffer’s top 10 most-read posts of 2014
    Curious about copy that converts? Want to know the best length of everything online verified by research? You got it.

free image

  1. Top 10 Social Media Posts of 2014
    Get solid strategies from an active social media strategist who walks his talk. Good stuff.
  1. Digital Marketer’s 10 Most Popular Articles of 2014
    Small business alert — you can use the same system that Starbucks and McDonald’s do for their mega campaigns and more….


  1. Top 8 social media posts of 2013 (doesn’t look like they’ve done 2014).
    Who knows what tickles the psyche when it comes to going viral. Check out the most popular posts of last year. Prepare to be astonished. Be sure to check out the crazy Norwegian video.
  1. Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014
    Trends, Tools, popularity, people, and marketing strategies. Lots to learn and use.
  1. 10 Types of Images to Boost Your Social Media Engagement
    You know that images boost engagement. But, I bet you don’t have all of these in your bailiwick ….
  1. 10 Best Social Media Tool Posts in 2014
    Get hyper productive with these Apps and software. Includes video marketing, Pinterest tools, and plug ins. (Plus, how to get 1000 shares on your blog) from a very reliable source I follow.
  1. Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts: This Year in Social Media
    You’ll want to follow Social Media Examiner you’ll find consistently useful info. Want to generate leads? Create content? Understand Facebook’s metrics? It’s all there.

Social media examiner

  1. 20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros
    These are tips and tools that got results. We want that, yes?
  2.  50 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog PostsYou want your great posts to reach your tribe, to expand your reach. Here’s how. Jeff Bullas’ blog is a regular must read. Always relevant. One of my favs.

Bullas bullhorn

BONUS: 19 free social media analytics tools

No budget? No problem. All these tools are yours for the taking. I bet you haven’t heard of some of these terrific online helpers.

ONE CAVEAT: No matter how great your social media presence is your strategy won’t work unless your website does. You’re directing people back to your blog or your website so people who are intrigued by your social media updates can have more than a taste of your great content. Don’t disappointment them by having a website doesn’t look and feel like you, your tweets, pics, and posts. Here are 3 free highest converting home page website templates from Marisa Murgatroyd. You can choose the layout that best suits your personality and goals—so your website and social media messages are aligned.

8 Website Conversion Trends Could Transform Your Business in 2015

By Guest Blogger Marisa Murgatroyd

Blink your eyes three times.

That’s 1 second — the amount of time it takes for 10 new websites to hit the internet. (That’s 86,400 new sites each day!)

Holy Christmas! How do you compete against that?

It’s actually easy.

  1. First, stop following the latest & greatest “web design” trend articles that get put out every year. Web designers can tell you what’s new & what looks good, but they’re rarely experts in what works to CONVERT traffic into results online.
  2. Second, implement these 8 new conversion trends I’ve identified. (By sticking to whatconverts, you’re guaranteed that you’ll get a return on your investment.)

Here they are, starting with the MOST important one of all. The one trend to rule them all.

1. The World Has Gone Mobile.

Last year, mobile, cell & tablet internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time — up to 67% of people are now visiting you with a small(er) screen.

So what”, you ask? Well – think about it this way young Padawan.

If YOUR site looks craptastic on smaller screens, what do you think up to 67% of your visitors are going to do?

That’s right — they’re going to hit the back button as fast as their fat fingers can find it.

Without a great mobile experience, all of the hard work you’ve done up until now (and money you’ve spent) will be for nothing because you could be losing up to 67% of your traffic INSTANTLY.

No, I’m not trying to make you feel bad here right off that bat. On the contrary. Take this as a great opportunity to get out ahead of this huge trend and bring in a bunch of new business that are currently visiting you on their tablets from their couch.

Quick plug: I’ve got more information about how to do just that in my upcoming trainings on Jan 14 and 15. It’s free to attend and you can get more info here.

OK – so moving on to the next trends.

2. Big, gorgeous, full-width graphics and videos!

Global internet speeds have increased 2-3x in the last few years, bringing with it demand for more episodes of The Walking Dead, along with demand for more “eye candy”.

This means designers are now featuring large photos, graphics and videos that stretch full-width across a web page – expanding to fill an extra large monitor or shrinking down to fit a small handheld device.

The upside for you is that these large image areas grab your visitor’s full attention helping them focus on the thing you want them to do.

3. Modular Organization of Pages

It’s easier to scroll down a page on mobile devices then it is to click a small button. Web pages are getting longer and making greater use of full-width graphics and backgrounds to organize the page into “modules” that focus visitor’s attention on one concept at a time.

In case you’re wondering, your “So What” factor is this…

Many of us were taught to think about websites one page at a time. But website structure is evolving along with the technology, and we need to start thinking about them one section or module at a time.

(More on that in my upcoming free webinar! Woot!)

4. Sticky Nav. (AKA navigation…)

As pages are getting longer, it takes more time to scroll from the top to the bottom of the page, where the site navigation is usually featured.

Enter the “sticky nav”.

By minimizing the top navigation and allowing it to “stick” to the top of the page as a visitor scrolls, they now have access to the most important pages on your site at any moment in time.

5. Modals, pop-ups & “microinteractions.”

As we’ve already seen, pages are getting longer while attention is getting shorter.

This means it’s become more important to direct your visitors to thet one single action you want them to take at any given time — such as signing up for your email list or scheduling a free call.

For example, a single extra large button in your top banner launches a modal or pop-over focusing your visitors attention exclusively on inputting their name and email address.

Or a well-timed pop-up directs your audience to do the same.

6. Less text, bolder type

Just like it’s predecessor, the newspaper, people scan rather than read when they’re online, often consuming 30% or less of the text on any given page.

Up until now, smart designers have made use of bullet points, numbered lists, headlines, short paragraphs and other ways to chop text up into smaller and smaller pieces.

Now designers are using typography itself to draw attention to the handful of headlines & content that’s truly important.

Google Fonts plus low-to-no-cost type libraries are allowing businesses to craft custom font palettes that allow them to treat content like design – grabbing attention and pulling the reader in – while reducing the amount of text on a page for greater consumption.

7. Cleaner, fresher, flatter, simpler

Websites used to be jammed pixel-by-pixel with textures, graphics, tables and animations.

But the 80s are gone and these dense designs don’t convert well for seamless browsing on smaller screens.

The best sites coming online today make use of the full length (vertical scrolling) and width of the page (full page-width graphics & backgrounds) to create more spacious, modular designs that work on every screen and device.

They’re also making greater use of space and color to create cleaner, fresher designs.

8. Live chat

Only scammers still bury their contact information — social media has created a culture of transparency and accessibility where people demand conversations with businesses before making a purchasing decision.

Easy live chat technology now allows and encourages visitors to interact with business owners the exact moment they have a question, which skyrockets conversion.


Download Marisa’s 3 Highest Converting Home Pages (Yours Free!) 

PLUS: Jan 14 and 15 Marisa will give a live training on how to apply the ideas above and more to YOUR website.

Join Marisa free to learn the details, plus she’ll show you how you can actually have other people do all the work for you, leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best. (How cool is that?)

(Sign up for her webinar on January 14-15 and download your website templates now)

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness


Social Media Tips

Social Media Tips
Photo by: deapeajay

Sometimes I’m totally obsessed with pinning, tweeting, and blogging. Then I catch myself….Whhhhaaaaat am I doing? This isn’t work.

Or is it?

Dunno. I go back and forth.

Is sharing this pic good for my brand because I think it’s funny—or cute?


Some things to think about BEFORE you post something on social media.

1. Does this link really represent a great article that will help my further my business or brand?

I admit I ALWAYS click through and read any article before I share because some people are fabulous at writing headlines/titles, but don’t deliver on content. Are you curating your content closely to make sure that you don’t send something that is potentially offensive or worthless? Don’t be in a super hurry to promote things just because others think it’s great. I’m not always of the same opinion.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Best times for social media posts
Photo by: Fey Illyas

2. Should I schedule my posts during optimal times?

Sometimes. I have discovered that, though our Sprout Social app may tell us the best times to tweet and post to Facebook, it doesn’t always predict who is online in the wee hours. I’ve had tons of favorites and retweets when I’m skimming for content ideas on those nights I can’t sleep.

Surprised? Yes, so was I. So don’t always believe the stats as when your tribe is or isn’t tweeting or Facebooking. Learn from your own experience. Those tools are great, but they aren’t God. They are algorithms, not people. The only way to find out what’s piquing your tribe is to choose things that please you or have already piqued others. (Though, neither is a guarantee). Lady luck plays a huge part in viralocity. As does timing and the tenor of the times.

3. Should I hire a social media manager?


You want a social media manager who understands you and your brand and can sift through content quickly and make recommendations for posts, articles, pics and respond to people in your network in your voice. Sometimes this takes a bit of training – once you have the right person in that role.

Most of the time I leave all the social media stuff up to my social media manager Kayli Schattner to help me choose and post things I think you would like and share. That said, I send her things i want her to schedule AND I still want to approve most of the content before it gets posted. My VA Kelly has chastised me about this, saying it’s a waste of my precious time. But I’m super particular about my reputation. So that’s your own personal call.

For example, if someone makes a request that Kayli doesn’t know how to answer or feels uncomfortable answering, she’ll jet me and email so I can write up a response. We’ve created a bank of responses for the most frequently asked questions that she can tailor them to any request. That way I ensure that my followers are being handled in the way that matches my conversational style and integrity. And it saves a ton of time for all of us.

And, you’re in for a treat because…

Kayli has a few openings for a new client.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Social Media Marketing

Kayli is the most positive and optimistic person I know. She is always willing to help—and will tell you honestly when she doesn’t know something —or what doesn’t suit her strengths. I depend on her to handle all my social media and the administration of my blog. She’s a gem. Best to be fast. I scooped her up within an hour of interviewing her as she shined far above all the other candidates.

Here’s what she’s looking for:

Are you a creative entrepreneur or blogger looking to refine your web presence and generate leads through the power of social media? Find yourself craving more time to focus on what makes your soul happy rather than community building and small-talk? Social Media Strategist and Web Presence Consultant, Kayli Schattner, is taking on a couple of extra clients and would love to discuss how she can help you and your business. If you’d like a creative, upbeat and dedicated Social Media Manager for your business, be sure to jet her an email at: to discuss strategy and pricing.

Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:

3 Tips on the Power of Podcasting


by Kris Gilbertson

Did you know iTunes has over 1 Billion podcast subscribers?

5 Reraseons you simply can't afford not ot partner with iTunesTip #1) Podcasting Creates Leverage

With the rise of technology to the tune of over 1 Billion podcast subscribers in just iTunes alone, there is a new age of content curation available for every day entrepreneurs to position themselves in front of the mainstream with your message, programs, products, services, entertainment, and information.

More importantly, technology has allowed you to connect with consumers, and that is more powerful than any other form of marketing out there today.

Stitcher radio has now partners with major brands like GM, Ford, Subaru, Mini-cooper, etc . . . Making it so easy today to easily have mainstream consumers Find and connect with your business and your products!

So imagine this scenario:

The rise of the PodcastYour prospects wakes up, brews their pot of coffee, gets ready for work, and jumps in their car for their 30+ minute commute to work.

And before they have even pulled out of their driveway, they have already – with a simple touch of a button on their dash from Sticher – turned on your podcast to listen to for their enjoyment, entertainment and education on their commute to work.

They are looking for people to help them with problems they have in their life, or solutions they are looking for, or just plain entertainment and to better themselves through personal development.

So now you have their undivided attention.

You become the solo expert that is helping them, and that they’re connecting with and what does that mean for your business?

Reach the Global Audience you DeserveIncreased PROFITS and Revenue!

Tip #2) Podcast Create EPIC Connection

You see the real power of podcasting is the epic connection that happens for you and your business.

The top podcast providers are reporting that the average amount of time a listener will tune into a podcast is for 30+ minutes.

This creates a REAL connection with your listener and what allows you to Build TRUST on autopilot.

Be Found, Be Heard, Start leaving your impactSo how does that exactly translate into clients for your business?

We only buy from people that we TRUST. The power of the podcast allows you to create EPIC connections on auto-pilot and how you are able to turn listeners into clients from your podcast from the connection you make.

That level of connection is what allows you to stand out in this crowded marketplace – standing out as THE expert for your prospects and listeners.

There are many marketing strategies that can grab the attention of your target audience; however, are they all as effective as you think they are at holding it?

And turning the prospect into a HOT lead for your business?

The shift to Portable ContentTip #3) Podcasting Can Shorten Your Sales Cycle

Today the advertising space today is just plain loud.

As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with noise about new products and services that distract us from the last advertiser we were interested in just 30 seconds ago.

If your website does not captivate someone in less than 10 seconds, they head back into the cyber space black hole, probably never to return to your webpage again.

Audio Content: Why it works and is dominating the MarketMost squeeze pages result in less than 5 percent of buyers. A great direct mail campaign produces only about a 3 percent response rate. Radio and TV advertisements are being skipped over. Radio advertisements are being avoided all together following the birth and merger of SiriusXM and Pandora.

So, in a sea of today’s technological advancements, how do you get around that ADD consumer personality and create a loyal, tribe of followers for your brand, message, product, or service?

The answer is Podcasting.

Today’s market is driven by the consumer and in a world where everyone’s voice can be heard through social networks, having a podcast is going to allow you to connect and engage with your clients to keep them extremely satisfied, happy, more loyal than ever, and tweeting your praises to the world for you!

Be Discovered!Most importantly, a podcast is the only way to create a one-to-one relationship, with thousands of people at the same time, more than any other form of marketing.

This is exactly why a podcast is going to be your secret weapon for your marketing strategy and allow you to connect, build trust and rapport, with your consumers on auto-pilot and on demand!

Join us for a free master class webinar where Kris actually SHOW us exactly how to use these strategies to get you 5 figure clients and high-powered Lead generation with iTunes

Register now:

About the Author

Kris Gilbertson

The power of Podcasting to your BusnessKris Gilbertson is the Best Selling Author of Podcasting for Promotion, Positioning, and Profit, Founder of the, and host of the popular Business Lifestyle Entrepreneur Podcast.

She is a leading expert in how to create a 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 learn more please head over to to learn the power of podcasting for your business!

Lies About “The List” & Other Myths You Shouldn’t Buy Into


By Guest Blogger Danny Iny

Hi, I’m Danny from Firepole Marketing, and in the next few minutes, in this video I’m going to show you why a lot of the so-called good advice you’ve been following to build your business could actually be crippling your growth – and what to do about it.

Let’s start by stating the obvious:  Starting a business online is a gargantuan challenge – especially in the beginning.

You work hard to create excellent content, gather strangers from all over the internet, and somehow get them onto your list. It’s slow going – but you try to trust that if you just keep at it – success will follow. Someday.

But you have a nagging sense that you’re missing something important – like there’s one key piece of information that keeps slipping through your fingers – and if you only had it, you’d see a lot more success, a whole lot faster!

And faster would be nice, because it’s been really slow going – sometimes so slow that you wonder if you’re making any progress at all.

Well I want to tell you something. There IS a key piece of information you’re missing….

Watch the video to find out.