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Public Relations

Are Workshops, Retreats, and Seminars a Dying Trend?

Seminars. Everyone seems to be giving them. You can find seminars on The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga. Leadership Development. Legal Training. Binge Eating. The Vegan Lifestyle. Hot Monogamy,.How to Create Your Own App. Become a Mommy Blogger. Make a Million in Online Marketing. You name it, someone is giving it.

Are you?

If yes, keep reading.

If no…

perhaps there is a workshop inside you that haven’t figured out how to package and sell. You have knowledge to share. And sharing it in an event seminar or workshop would get your word out in a big way.

Here’s how.

Callan Rush FBCreate your own workshop, retreat, seminar and speak from the stage

The buzz is that live events such as workshops, retreats and seminars are more difficult to fill…

and its getting harder to sell from the stage, which is making any these types of live events much less effective than they used to be.

I’m not sure if this is true or not.

The debate continues. But what I do know is that Callan Rush, who leads more than 30 events a year, and who built a $7-figure business, has has just published a new report called:

“The Live Event Revolution: What’s Working Now With Live Workshops, Retreats & Seminars … And What’s Doomed to Fail!”

Feel free to pick up your free copy here…

Callan Rush Report DeadWealth through workshops Callan Rush

She’ll fill you in on the trends and truth of what’s happening now so you can decide for yourself whether this is something you want to pursue to broaden your career—or not.

Because… speaking is how the experts became authorities.

When you get on stage and speak what you know to be true, from experience and/or research, you establish authority and leadership more effectively than anything else. (In conjunction with publicity, of course!)

It’s the ONE core strategy behind every great mentor and luminary.

So if you have any inkling that you might like to speak, get your free report here from Callan Rush, the world’s foremost authority on filling, designing and profiting from workshops, retreats and seminars.

5 Sensational Ways to Get Your Product, Service or Business in a Holiday Gift Guide—This Season


Getting your product or service into a gift guide can be tricky. But there’s no doubt that when it comes to the holiday season, features in gift guides could make you a tidy fortune for your business (not to mention a bit of fame). Whether you’re on Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways or featured in your local newspaper, you’ll want to get in on the action.

PresentsHoliday gift guide tips for products, services, business.
Photo Credit: Will Montague

The angst of even more work during the already hectic holiday season steers many business owners away from trying to get featured, but it really shouldn’t, because it’s much easier than you’d think.

Here are 5 tried and true tips to help get your product, service or business featured in a holiday gift guide:

  1. Know when to pitch.

Print publications typically start planning their holiday gift guide in June—pitching early is optimal and don’t be nervous to jet a follow-up email to the person in-charge a couple months later if you haven’t heard back. With the caveat that you offer, what Wasabi publicist Michelle Tennant, calls “goodies” — more information that helps support your story that intrigues and piques the media’s interest. Regional magazines and large online publications start solidifying features at the September mark and October though mid-November is when to pitch the online versions of those same magazines.

EXTRA: Sending professionally-shot product photos is a non-negotiable. Think about creating vignettes or little scenes to place your product or service in that gives that audience a sense of how they might use them. Remember: People are attracted to visually stunning images. Photos can do most of the selling for you.

PhotoshootPitching holiday gift guides with professional photos
Photo Credit: Tuija

  1. Suggest a round-up.

Pitching your product or service as a main feature may not fit into the editorial plans of the publication you’re pitching. However, placing your product as one of many suggested items with a single theme could work. Editors and producers love round-ups because you’ve done all the work for them. You’ve researched and packaged it all so nicely that they would have a hard time turning you down.

For instance: If you make custom cellphone cases you could include it in a round-up titled, “12 Must-Have Items For The Techie In The Family” and your case is just one of the twelve gorgeous gizmos. Voila!

Cell phone cases PinterestPitch round-ups for gift guides

EXTRA: Create a round-up board on Pinterest and include the link in your pitch. If you’re pitching a product make sure that you put in both the prices and the price alerts on whatever you’re pinning. Pins with prices are 16% more likely to get likes than those without—which increases your viralocity.

  1. Keep editorial calendars handy.

Take a peek into the very editorial calendar you’d like to be featured in on EdCals. (Here’s where to look.) Here’s one that’s free.


Esquire editorial calendarSearch editorial calendars, Ed Cals for the best time for your offer

  1. Toss out traditional thinking.

People always associate holiday gift guides major thank you or gift giving days like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Graduation, but if you think outside the box and pitch to publication’s for holidays that commemorate cultural or personal celebrations like Mardi Gras, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, or even National Blood Donor Month you can get coverage in a less competitive guide that’s highly targeted to your offer.

mardigrasChristmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Graduation
Photo Credit: Will Montague

  1. Go a little wild.

Don’t let your service languish because you don’t think it belongs in holiday gift guides. While services may not take first place in gift guides they do have a spot. Do you offer online cooking classes geared towards men in their twenties? Does your restaurant ship cakes right to your buyers’ doorstep? Does your company sell wigs for women with cancer who want to look their best during the holidays? There’s no reason those services shouldn’t be offered in a gift guide, too.

Orange LipsPitch services and causes to gift guides
Photo Credit: Charlotte Godfrey

The average American lavishes $515 in gifts for their family and friends every year during the winter months. That’s no small change.

Potential clients and customers are out there, just waiting to buy-up what you’re offering.

Why shouldn’t they be your clients or customers?

Enjoy this FREE training: Speak in Sound Bites: 5 Surefire Strategies to Get More Clients, Customers, and Sales, and Become a Media Darling so you can enthrall the media when they call – so you can get you, your product, service or cause quoted and featured in all the upcoming gift guides.

To help you get into those holiday gift guides get your FREE List of 2014 Magazine Editorial Calendars right here.

How to Get Past the 4 Kinds of “It’s Too Expensive.”

By Ann Convery

TooExpensive image

Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
Wonder where the flowers is?

If you’re not in the Southwest, you probably can’t find the flowers underneath the snow.

Keep looking. Just like today’s story, There’s buried treasure when you dig for it.

4 Kinds of Too Expensive

Have you ever come to the end of a great prospect call and heard, “I’d love to, but it’s too expensive.”

Jerri was superb coach and trainer, but selling made her nervous.

Whenever she heard, “It’s too expensive, ”Jerri made the rookie mistake of talking back to her

Rookie Mistakes:

  1.  “Not when you compare the value you’ll be getting.”
  2. “This program is actually half my usual rate.”
  3. “Do you know what Tony Robbins charges?”
  4. “Can you afford not to invest?”
  5. “What will happen if you don’t invest in yourself now?”

And more often than not, the prospect would hang up with, “Let me think about it.”

And Jerri would follow up, and hear, “Thank you for calling, but I can’t make a decision now.”

Jerri was suffering and so was her income.

Jerri didn’t know was that there are 4 kinds of “too expensive,” and she didn’t know how to find out which one she was up against.

Here are the 4 kinds of “Too Expensive.”

The 4 Kinds of “Too Expensive”

  1. “I don’t have the money– period.”
  2. “I don’t know whether this is worth it.”
  3. “I don’t know whether this compares favorably to other options.”
  4. “I think that this is worth it, but I’m not sure I want to spend the money.”

Jerri stopped trying to answer the “too expensive” objection.

She started asking questions instead.

Jerri realized that she had to find out which “too expensive” she was dealing with. Otherwise the conversation turned into: “Who, me? Expensive? I’m not expensive. Not when you consider the value…”

This was the deadly trap Jerri had fallen into.
All she got was excuse after excuse.
She could not find the real deal-stopper,
So she couldn’t deal with it and close her client.

Finding the Real Excuse

Jerri learned to gently ask questions, such as:

  1. “Well, I mean, will they switch off the electricity if you spend the money?”
  2. “You know, having listened to your friends who’ve done the course, you think you personally can do it? They did it, but it depends upon you…
  3. “So, you’re saying that yes, you see yourself doubling your revenue. Do you think there’s an easier, cheaper way of doing it?”
  4. “You said you’ve misspent money in the past on programs? Do you feel that this could happen again with the one here?”

Faster than she could imagine, Jerri’s prospects began to open up to her, because people tend to get very honest when they feel respected.

And she was able to help them see what was really stopping

And by remaining neutral and questioning, Jerri helped her prospects make a good decision – which frequently became – to work with her.

Jerri began to sign client after client.

Her business began to grow, and so did her new-found Don’t settle for the first “too expensive” you hear.

It’s a smoke screen.

Keep asking.

Ann Convery

Ann Convery created “Speak Your Business,” a system used by thousands of clients across the globe to increase their business up to 300%. “Speak Your Business” shows anyone how to instantly trigger the “buy” signal in a target market, online or off.  Ann has delivered over 150 trainings worldwide.  She has been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Elle, Cosmopolitan, ABC-TV, and Entrepreneur. Her two books were published by HarperCollins.

Join us for a free training session where you’ll receive more useful real-life strategies – the exact scripts to use to work with the kind of clients that you most want. Who value and appreciate you and understand your worth and are happy to pay you for it. Register now: 5 Sales Secrets for Success: 24 Carat Proof That You Can Sign More Clients Now. (Even If you’re scared of sales).

The 10,000 Shirt Close

By Ann Convery

Here’s a story from Thomas Witt
(Thomas Witt Consulting GMBH, Germany)
about the most amazing sale I’ve ever heard of.


The 10,000 Shirt Close

It was after Christmas. Rose, an elegantly dressed
woman in her late 50s, walked into an upscale
furniture store.   She picked out a walnut bedroom suite,
a mahogany dining room table, and pale green carpeting.
Her account exec, Jim, noticed that
she clearly adored her choices.
They sat down to finalize the sale
and Jim brought out his sales sheet.

“Oh, no. I’m not going to buy anything
before I talk to my husband,” she said calmly,
sitting comfortably on a Regency chair with her designer bag.

“But we’re having an after-Christmas sale
and you won’t get this price for another year,” said Jim.

“My husband has made all the money
in our 28-year marriage, and he makes all
the financial decisions. I’ve never made
any money in my life, so I don’t decide
what to buy,” Rose said, softly.

She could not take her eyes off the walnut dresser.

At this point Jim could have continued
telling her what a great deal she was missing,
but he was smarter than that.

“OK,” he said, “I’m married myself
and I totally understand that you don’t
want to buy this today. But just so I
understand, you’ve really never made any money yourself?”

“No, never,” said Rose, flatly.

“Rose, just because I want to understand,
have you ever ironed your husband’s shirts?”

Pile of Clothes

“Of course I have!” flashed Rose,
“I’ve washed and ironed all his shirts,
and my children’s clothes too.”

“Well, the cost of a dry cleaner is $2.80
per shirt, and allowing for vacations,
Rose, you’ve ironed 10,000 shirts in 27 years.

That’s $28,000,” said Jim.

“That’s my job,” said Rose as she
continued to stare at the bedroom set.

“And have you ever cooked for your husband?”

“Of course I cook for him!” Rose snapped. “Every night of his life!”

“Well, the cost of a dinner at a medium-priced
restaurant is about $60,” said Jim.   “That’s $655,200.

If we allow for inflation it’s about $350,000.
When we include your children, it’s about another $393,120.”

“And Rose, you make the beds, right?”
Jim continued, gently probing for how much
Rose actually did in her marriage.

Soon he said, “Rose, adjusted for inflation,
you’ve made $880,000 in your life.”

Gourmet Meal

There was a moment’s pause.

Then Rose opened her elegant,
cosmetically enhanced mouth and said…

“Oh F*** it! Where do I sign?”


Are you willing to hold up a magnifying glass
to see what’s stopping your prospects? Online or off?

Or are you too polite, too shy, or too nice
to do something so “intrusive”?

When you find out the real “Deal Stopper,”
they will either convince themselves, like Rose,
or get real with you about how they can work with you.

And sometimes, they just can’t work with you.

But if you’re not willing to ask, you won’t get the answer.

Or the client.

If you’d like to hear an actual demonstration
of this technique from Thomas Witt, one of
Europe’s top sales trainers, join us on March 19th
For “7 Secret Scripts for Success.”

Meanwhile… try it. It works.

Happy Successful Senior Lady

Ann Convery created “Speak Your Business,” a system used by thousands of clients across the globe to increase their business up to 300%. “Speak Your Business” shows anyone how to instantly trigger the “buy” signal in a target market, online or off.  Ann has delivered over 150 trainings worldwide.  She has been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Elle, Cosmopolitan, ABC-TV, and Entrepreneur. Her two books were published by HarperCollins.

Want to learn more strategies that bypass the sleaze and make you feel good about your offer? Join us for the free webinar: 5 Sales Secrets for Success: 24 Carat Proof That You Can Sign More Clients Now. (Even If you’re scared of sales).

Confessions of A Bestselling Author: Lessons from Olivia Goldsmith, author of The First Wives Club

By Steve Harrison

When people ask me what separates super-successful authors from everyone else, I think of several things. 

One of the most basic distinctions is simply they keep pushing forward in the face of resistance.

The late Olivia Goldsmith, bestselling author of the novel The First Wives Club, is a great example of what I’m talking about.First Wives Club

I discovered her story while reading Cynthia Kersey’s wonderful book Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You.

Here’s how it’s described in the book:

Goldsmith said, “For me to write, I had to quit my job, live off my savings, and hope that what I was writing was not a pile of garbage but a salable manuscript. I had worked as a marketing consultant for eleven years and had become the first woman partner. Although I had a successful career, something was missing.”

“The painful divorce I was going through caused me to reevaluate my life. As I thought about what I really wanted to do, a tiny inner voice said, ‘You’ve always loved reading.’ That’s all it said. I was afraid to admit to myself that I wanted to write. Another voice asked, ‘Who do you think you are?'”

Despite on-going battles with self-doubt, Goldsmith persisted.

She committed to “writing five pages a day, no matter what. If they stunk, they’d be five lousy pages, and if they were good, they’d be five good pages. Usually they were lousy.”


After two and a half years, she had finally finished the manuscript which she wrote by hand. She dropped it off to be professionally typed. When it returned, it took her three months to find the courage to pick it up.

“My inner voice was telling me, ‘No one will ever buy it’ and I knew that once I picked it up the hardest part lay ahead–trying to sell it” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith sent The First Wives Club to eleven publishers. But the only thing she received back were form letters explaining that they didn’t read unsolicited manuscripts.

Finally, she got an editor to read it–only to receive a personalized rejection letter explaining that the story was “too unbelievable” and “no one is interested in reading about middle-aged women who get dumped by their husbands.”

Goldsmith, however, believed differently. She began calling agents, and after several months, finally found one to represent her. He insisted that she change the manuscript to make the characters more sympathetic.

He told Goldsmith to give the first wife a cat with leukemia, the second wife a mentally disabled daughter, and the third wife a baby that died.

She was strongly opposed to making these changes, but after thinking about it for a long time, she relented. After all, she figured “He’s the expert.” The agent sent it to his best contacts at various publishing houses. They all rejected it.

“I was very depressed at that point,” Goldsmith says. “But then something exciting happened. An unpublished manuscript had gone out to Hollywood where it was discovered by Todd Harris who believed in it. He sent it to some producers he knew.

Soon, the CEO of Paramount Pictures bought the rights to The First Wives Club. She liked everything about the book except for three things: the cat with leukemia, the mentally disabled daughter, and the baby that died.

Goldsmith made the changes and it was published by Simon & Schuster. The book became a bestseller and the movie was one of the biggest box office hits when it came out.

Goldsmith concludes, “My experience taught me a lesson that I’ll never forget: As long as you believe in yourself and your own vision, you have something. When you give up that, you are personally bankrupt.”

What if Goldsmith had listened to the voices of doubt that told her she was crazy to try to make it as a writer? What if she hadn’t been committed to writing five pages a day? What if she had let the response of the publishers discourage her and stopped there? What if she hadn’t been willing to spend months looking for a literary agent?

Nothing would have happened.

So what about you? What’s the vision you need to recommit to? Whether it’s finishing your book, making your book a bestseller, landing a major media appearance, or getting into a major corporation the answer is the same: never quit.

Here’s a quote I’ve loved for the past 20 years. Whenever I’m thinking of giving up, it haunts me with its truth:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
–Calvin Coolidge

Have you been taking your foot off the accelerator lately? Have you turned off the engine and pulled out the key? Then there’s only one thing to do. Get back in the car and start driving.

You won’t have the best, unless you give your best.

Register for the Teleseminar on Thursday: What Rich Authors Know That Poor Author’s Don’t and discover how to make a nice living from your book(s) selling as few as 10,000 copies.


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

Get hired to speak

Get hired to speak
madamepsychosis via photopin cc

Whether you’re attempting to break into the world of professional speaking or you’re already a seasoned professional, it’s important that you have an edge in order keep bookings coming — and be seen as the speaker of choice in a league of your own — above of your competitors.

There are two main factors that help meeting planners, speakers bureaus and organizations make that choice a simple one — having a book and being

in the news.

Having a book adds major cred to your skillset and being in the news can help you get booked.

Become a motivational speaker. Speaking secrets.

Become a motivational speaker. Speaking secrets.

Why? People want to see people they hear about and feel like they know. By appearing on TV, radio or in print, you’re already “vetted” by the media. If you’re not already famous, a mention on a national show or publication serves as a badge of honor. And being able to put that logo on your website and speaker’s materials sets you apart.

Then, of course, you have to deliver. Creating the bones of a good speech is not only necessary, they’re crucial, but that’s not all it takes. The audience wants to see that you’re enthusiastic, authentic and humorous. Your value as a speaker is increasingly enhanced if you have a great product or service to sell and the lovability to get booked back.

Here are seven articles to send you on your way:

1. Capture and keep your audience’s attention

Communication skills: body language

Communication skills: body language

In this piece speaking pro Chris Widener covers everything from a simple technique to get 20-35% of your audience to buy, how to know what to charge, and creative ways to get hired (even if associations, corporations or companies say they don’t have a budget).

2. Develop into a top professional speaker
This article is perfect for those of you looking to break into the professional speaking field, covering the 10 steps to becoming an amazing motivational speaker. Joel Brown, a successful CEO, breaks down the tools you need to succeed and make the most from your speaking arrangements.

3. Build your brand by starting small

Communication skills: body language

Become a paid professional speaker

This round up is useful for entrepreneurs of any level looking to book speaking engagements. The Young Entrepreneur Council goes over points even the most developed of us forget, like, the ultimate DIY, make it happen meet ups and how to start local, but go global.

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

Become a paid professional speaker

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

How to give a TED talk. Talk like TED

How to give a TED talk. Talk like TED

In this piece Tim Ferris, public speaker and famed author of the New York Times Bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, goes over the perfect formula to be the best professional speaker in town. These masterminded strategies includes tips such as, how to prepare seamless 10-minute segments, what not to do before heading on stage and what jokes are better left for the break room.

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

7. Prep Your TED Talk
Guy Kawasaki’s 10 top tips take on: Carmine Gallos’s advice from the book, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Tops Minds. If you’re itching to be a thought leader or have something creative or provocative to share with the world work on your TED talk. In the speaker’s realm this is one of the fastest ways to becoming known, followed, loved – and booked.

How to book public speaking engagement

How to book public speaking engagement

BONUS: 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

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

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

5 Best Ways to Get Your Product in Magazines – Plus Resources To Help You Get There

Hard copy magazines are still one of the best places to get publicity for your product. According to The New York Times, “42 percent of people under 30 and 50 percent of people above 30 read magazines.”

If you’re looking to get your product into magazines you’ve got plenty of opportunity — off the Internet. When the right magazine features your product, it can increase business – sometimes exponentially – and bring attention to a previously unnoticed, or even unpopular product.

One of the quickest ways to catapult your product is to get it into the hands of celebrities. When a celeb dons a dress or accessory, or imbibes, indulges, eats or uses something for themselves or for their kids, it can mean outrageous sales.

Having your product used or seen on the famous creates instant approval. Plus you get the extra zing of sex appeal. Nothing has an effect like a splash of Hollywood to bring a bit of glamour to any product.

But you don’t need a celebrity to make a smash. There are many publicity paths for your product.

Here are the 5 best ways to get your product in magazines.

1. How to Get Your Product into the Hands of a Celebrity.

Dreaming of Angelina sporting your new product? J-Law showing off a piece you created? Discover how you can make it a reality.


2. How to Get Your Products onto the Beauty Pages.

Packaging, small talk and a few other key things can get you into magazines like Allure & People…intrigued? Read more.


3. How To Get into National Magazines.

Want your business splashed on the pages of a glossy mag? These marketing experts tell you how to make it happen.


4. How to Get Your (Handmade) Products in Top Magazines.

Photos matter. You’ll get some guidance on that, plus some a couple of pointers on getting your gifts sold in the UK. (Hint – you need to niche).


5. Five Easy Tips to Get Your Products Featured in Holiday Gift Guides.

Did you know that mag editors start choosing items for their holiday gift guide in June-August? Find out how to be featured.



Attend the FREE (Virtual) Product Publicity Summit

Whether you have fashion, apparel, accessories, eco-products, baby & kids products, home decor, stationery or any other type of products that can be featured in the media, you’ll find lots of great advice at this FREE Summit, March 3-14, 2014. You’ll discover tips and strategies for connecting with top magazine editors, learn what NOT to say when reaching out to editors and find out how to get your products on national TV and more.

Get into the Holiday Gift Guides

The Gift List includes holiday-related features being planned by the wire services, TV and radio shows, and newspapers. Tips include everything from how to submit photos to specific kinds of items the editors are looking for. You get leads and pitching tips for thousands of media that feature special gift sections for consumer products (No services or destination travel/vacations). It includes national as well as dozens of regional and smaller outlets looking for unique home products. Plan on a 6-month lead time for placements so you don’t miss any deadlines ad the giftlist is coveted and competitive. This is essential if you have a product. Take a free test drive.

Get a Free List of 2014 Magazine Editorial Calendars

Editorial Calendars can be found in advertising sales kits. The calendar topics are included so advertisers can tie their ads into topics covered in the publication. You can sometimes find an Editorial Calendar in the advertising section at the publication’s website. If you can’t find it there, contact the publication’s marketing/sales department and ask them to send it to you.

Here is a list of Top Magazine 2014 Editorial Calendars. Included are: O, the Oprah Magazine, InStyle, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, People Style Watch, Fitness, Ladies Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Traditional Home, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living, and more.


Join Blogger Linkup to Get Blog Coverage

Blogs can be an excellent way to get the word out on your product and can be every bit as powerful as a magazine placement – if the fit is right and the blog influential. This free service targets bloggers. Sign up at no cost at to become a guest blogger or source.

Pitch Your Products to Trade Magazines

  • Earnshaw’s – for baby and kids products
  • Stationery Trends – for paper goods and stationery
  • Museums and More –for products that would sell well at a museum store, such as home and garden, gifts, decorations
  • Gift Shop Magazine – for apparel, accessories, baby and kids items, gifts, jewelry
  • New Age Retailer – for jewelry, apparel and products that appeal to the spiritual and new age customer.

(Courtesy of Andreea Ayers)

Contact Any Celebrity

You can search this private database of celebrities. Inside you’ll find 67,100+ Celebrities, 13,100+ Representatives & 7,100+ Companies. So if you’re looking for a celebrity to tacitly endorse your products by using or wearing them, celebrity spokesperson, a charity partner, a blurb for your book, this is the place to go.

Attend Upcoming Consumer Product Events

Held in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas and New York. Consumer product event connects consumer packaged goods with the press who are looking to report about them. Submit your product for consideration.

2 Questions to Ask Yourself That Stop Nervousness: During a Media Interview or Closing Clients

By Susan Harrow

One of the most common questions I get from clients and workshop participants is: “I always get shaky and nervous before any kind of business conversation — whether I’m trying to get a client to hire me, in a job interview, or trying to talk about my work in the media … pretty much anywhere! Any tips on how to calm down + appear more confident?”

Excellent question.

When we humans feel ‘shaky’ and ‘nervous,’ our instinct is to over-prepare.

We think we need to do more research, memorize more notes and pack more information into our spiel.

But that’s actually very stressful — and rarely helpful.

The BEST thing to do when you’re feeling nervous is exactly the opposite — simplify, simplify, simplify.

Do + say less.

Rather than cramming like you’re getting ready for a high school calculus test, you want to re-discover the essence of what this conversation is about, in the first place.

You might begin by asking yourself two simple questions:

What does my audience / client / customer need most, right now?


How can I help?

To give you a few examples …

What does my audience / client / customer / interviewer need most, right now?

  • Tips on how to lose weight, by the start of summer.
  • Meditation techniques to calm her nerves, on her wedding day.
  • A delicious new recipe for dinner, tonight.
  • A major shake-up in the way they think about parenting.
  • A personal or professional story that shows I have the skills they are seeking.


How can I help?

  • By delivering those tips.
  • By doing a guided meditation, on the spot.
  • By demonstrating the recipe + offering a few surprising twists.
  • By telling a true story + challenging parents to do something differently.
  • By giving an example of how I would succeed in their workplace environment or culture.

Photo credit: Mitchell Joyce

If you can answer those two questions for yourself, there’s really nothing more you need to do — other than follow-up with an offer to keep connecting with you!

And when you can focus on those two questions, you’ll feel a LOT less nervous, because you’ll know — if nothing else! — that you’re ready to be of service.

Of course, the BEST way to prevent shaky-voiced nervousness is to simplify your message + prepare your sound bites before you actually need them.

The more comfortable you get with your sound bites, the less you’ll sweat in the spotlight — and the more you will shine!

Ready to hone your sound bite skills and prepare ones that will yield results? This post will show you how.

Messy, Gorgeous Process


By Guest blogger Laurie Wagner

What if I told you that it took me ten years to understand what I was teaching? It looked like I was teaching people how to write, but what I was actually doing, I realized late in the game, was teaching writers how to peel away the layers of their story and dig for something more true, more authentic and just plain honest. And while all that digging and examining is good for writing, it’s also excellent for living. When you chip away at the façade of your story, and you lay down one true word, and then the next true word you will eventually become stripped down and naked to yourself. And when you see yourself like that, there’s no turning back. You may, as many of my students have done, begin the process of changing your life.

I’m a process person. I’m all about getting words onto a page; messy, ugly, imperfect, glorious words. And to do that you need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Laurie Wagner

For me, it’s not about what I’m writing or whether I like what I’m writing that’s important. That the pen inks like a river across the page, that I have the courage not to know what the next word is, or the word after that…that I keep going anyway. That’s the spirit, that’s what makes a sound turn into a song. I might only be able to hear bits at first – the merest sound of a refrain – but I’ll swirl it around in my mouth, taste it, roll it on my tongue and Wa La, I start singing. That’s how I make a song. The important part is not that I make a perfect song, but that I have created a channel for song sounds to come through – which means I can make more sounds and more songs.

It’s the same for writing. When I put these words on this page I didn’t know where I was going or what would come next, but if I’ve become a student of anything, it’s learning to not love what’s coming through me and to keep going anyway. That’s just part of the creative process. If I turned back every time I felt lost, or if I judged what I was doing, I wouldn’t make anything. I have to let go of perfection if I want to be a maker of things, because it’s not about the thing that I make, it’s about the making, and I want to be a maker for a long, long time.

Want to be a story maker this summer? Laurie’s 5-week e Course, Telling True Stories starts on June 17th. Laurie is an amazing teacher. Once you start telling the unadorned truth it changes everything. If you want to be a maker of things join Laurie in Telling True Stories – and watch your life change on the page, off the page.

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9 Steps to Be a Thought Leader — and Become a Media Darling

By Susan Harrow, media coach

So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.

Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.

1. Cultivate an opinion.

Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”

To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.

2. Make a prediction.

Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.

KentYoungstrom thought leader training

9 was you can be a thought leader

Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.

Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.

3. Shape thinking.

Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.

What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.

Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.

Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.

How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?

4. Have a philosophy.

Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.

Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.

I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.

Brene Brown thought leader

Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action

During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.

One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.

In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”

Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.

5. Spearhead a movement.

My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.

On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.

David Sheff thought leader, movement maker

Thought leaders start movements

Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.

When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.

I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.

We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.

The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.

6. Be controversial.

Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone CureThe Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”

Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”

Dr. Sara Gottfried thought leader

Thought leaders invite controversy

Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.

If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.

7. Play both sides.

While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.

Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”

Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.

In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.

thought leadership training

Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue

On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”

By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.

8. Coin a term.

During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”

9. Declare your vision.

Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.


9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery

The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”

I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.

My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.

Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.

The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.

So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.