About seven years ago, I (Jesse) was at a party and my former life coach approached me and said, “I’ve heard that you and Sharla have become quite successful. Congratulations!”
I was speechless. Us? Successful? Really? Is that what people think about us?
Why was I so surprised and embarrassed?
Sure, we had made $732,000 that year (in our third year of business together), but it didn’t feel like we had arrived… not even close.
I knew our struggles so intimately. I knew how many people we wanted to reach.
We weren’t even close to where we wanted to be.
Four days after that party, I entertained the idea that we really were successful. I realized that in comparison to some people we were successful and in comparison to others, we were failures. I discovered that nobody had the power to determine whether we were successful or not.
So, if success isn’t an objective truth then what is it?
Success is a choice as to how you see yourself.
Get clients with this fill in the blank script
If you look for evidence that you’re successful, you will feel successful.
If you look for evidence that you haven’t “made it” yet, you will feel like a failure.
After that party, I CHOSE to start seeing Sharla and I as a success.
And we attracted more success to us.
Even if you just started your business, you can see yourself as a success.
Look back at your life and find tons of small successes that have made you the incredible human being that you are today.
No matter how unsuccessful you may think you are, you get to CHOOSE how you see yourself. And you get to choose how you describe yourself to other people.
No matter how unsuccessful you may think that you are, I guarantee that you are at least two steps ahead of many people on this planet who could use your help.
And two steps ahead of your people is ALL you need, if you want to be of service.
In last week’s blog post: How to Position Yourself as an Authority Without Sounding Arrogant, I wrote,If you are trying to help someone get to the top of a mountain, would you rather get underneath them and push them up? Or stand above them and pull them up?
It’s a LOT easier to stand above them and pull them up to your level.
So as long as you are two steps ahead of the people you want to help, you are in a GREAT position to help them.
But how do you convey you are two steps ahead of them, without sounding arrogant, egotistical and full of yourself?
And what do you do if you’re just starting out or you’ve just been in business for a very short time? Or if you’ve been around for a while, but haven’t quite “made it” yet, then how do you position yourself?
As we shared in last week’s blog, if you just list your accomplishments or your expertise, with no humanity, you will sound arrogant.
So it’s important to share your humanity and your expertise.
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Here are some true examples from our life that might spark ideas for how you can position yourself by sharing both your humanity AND expertise.
1. How many people we’ve helped:
(Humanity) We struggled a lot in the beginning, but we never gave up. And, because of our perseverance…
(Expertise) we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help over 25,000 people.
2. The collective results of our clients:
(Humanity) While we have had some clients who have not gotten any results,(Expertise) we do have a LOT of clients who are making six figures and attribute their success to what they learned from us. In fact, if you pooled all of our clients together, we could conservatively say that our clients have made tens of millions of dollars with what we have taught them.
3. Our personal results:
(Humanity)In our first two years of leading workshops, we gave our heart and soul to our participants, but never earned more than $1,000 for the workshop.
(Expertise) Recently, we led a live event that brought in over $500,000 in one weekend. We feel so blessed to have learned so much over the last 10 years.
If you’ve helped a lot of people, gotten great results for your clients, and had tremendous personal results, you can use the three ideas above to help you decide how to position yourself without being arrogant.
But how do you position yourself if you’re just starting out (or if you’ve been around for a while, but haven’t quite “made it” yet)?
Your personal story (we call it Your Hero’s Journey Story) is the story of how you faced something (and got through to the other side) that you now help your clients face. You can share how you walked through your own “dark night of the soul (humanity)” and are now living an amazing life (expertise). If you are someone who walks her/his talk, this also positions you in a way that has your Potential Clients believe that you can walk them through their dark night of the soul also.
Your Image. We recommend you dress two notches higher than your potential clients.
Many people make the mistake of continuing to dress how they do when they’re with friends when they’re doing business. We recommend you dress like you’re making 6 Figures. Dress in a way that is both elegant (expertise) and uniquely you (humanity).
How Long You Have Studied Your Profession (Personal Development PLUS Your Niche).
Here’s a great template that includes Humanity and Expertise: “I’ve studied personal development and ________ (your niche: health, money, beauty, or love) for many years. During this time, many people have been drawn to me, and asked for my support. Enough people have approached me that I decided quite some time ago, to dedicate my life to helping a LOT/hundreds/thousands of people overcome this problem.”
Here’s how to come up with your own Positioning Statements:
Step 1. Make a list of all thedifferent ways you can position yourself as an authority in your field (be truthful, of course). (If you are struggling with the six positioning strategies listed above, we are happy to give you 10 more in our Client Attraction Mastery Home Study Program (we’re launching on March 31st, so stay tuned).
Step 2.Write up phrases you can say in conversation, in your emails, or on your website that bring humanity and expertise to your communication.
Step 3. Practice saying these phrases in a safe place. You can practice in front of the mirror or with a good friend. You can also come to the Client Attraction Summit, which is a very safe place to practice positioning yourself in a community of heart-based people.
Get the FREE templates [PDF Download] that you can send out today to get clients by referral (from people you know who want you to succeed!).
Want to close every client who is a good match for you? Here is the template [PDF Download] for that. FYI it’s gentle and heart-centered. Thousands of coaches, consultants and healers who couldn’t stand to sell have used it successfully.
Last week, when I was on a walk, some boys were selling bracelets and rings made out of colored rubber bands. I stopped at their lemonade/jewelry stand by the side of the road and looked through their goodies. I wanted to get a ring or everyone in my writing group. As I chose a number of rings the little boy who made them started doing the math and adding up everything in his head and shouting out the numbers each time I picked up a ring – even before I chose it. He was so anxious to get the sale – but he didn’t care about me.
They were a dollar each. I said, “Wait, I’m not done yet.” But he kept shouting out the numbers. Totally focused on how much he would make.
Then his big brother stepped in and said, “It would be nice if you charged $2.50 for three of them.”
He said, “No. They are a dollar each. Three rings for three dollars.”
His big brother said again, “Yes and it would be nice if you gave her three of them to her for $2.50.”
Pause. No response from the little brother.
Big brother: “It would be nice.”
Finally, the younger brother gave in.
So it wasn’t fully given. Which makes a difference in how the giving feels. I would have appreciated my rings even more if the younger brother had given wholeheartedly.
As a little something that “would be nice” I have pulled together some of my most popular posts and free stuff so you can fill yourself with some goodies after Thanksgiving and through the holidays when you’re enjoying family and friends after a feast or get-together.
First, the most popular webinar / live training of the year….
Drama gets attention. The unexpected gets attention. Bold gets attention. But how can you tell if you’ve come up with a sound bite that has undeniable promotional punch yet goes over the top into hype or outright falsehood?
First, pay attention to the little voice in your head that worries or holds back when you think about using a certain phrase about yourself. After all, if you can’t wholeheartedly embrace it and say or hear it without embarrassment, others tune into your hesitation and won’t accept it, either.
Then stop and think about whether your sound bite is just harmless fun, like dressing up in a costume. Who’s to say you are not “The God of Organic Gardening” or “The Priestess of Pain Relief”? It’s perfectly valid to crown yourself with a moniker like that. No one runs a pageant for such titles, with only the official winner having the right to use the phrase. As long as you do have expertise in organic gardening, pain relief or the subject matter of your amusing nickname, go for it.
On the other hand, watch out for phrases that make a factual claim. Perhaps your little voice is warning that what you’ve said isn’t quite true. In that case, toss the sound bite or tweak it until it’s something that would stand up in a court of law.
For instance, a client once told me a branding expert advised her to say she’d gone from homelessness to a seat on the stock exchange in less than a year. In truth, it took almost three years for that journey, and people could quibble over whether she’d actually been homeless. (She had been living in her brother’s basement and occasionally sleeping in his car.) I told her it was just as impressive to know she’d gone from near-homelessness to a seat on the stock exchange in less than three years.
Superlatives in sound bites are tricky. When you say you’re the first dentist to have had a website or you own the largest accounting firm in Louisiana, you’d better not have made that up out of thin air. But if you’ve researched your claim and are 98 percent sure or better, that’s something you should be able to stand behind. Deploy it with confidence if a third party like a well-known expert, industry association or media outlet has bestowed the superlative on you.
Sheer wordplay is almost always a plus. A clever verbal twist can dance in the minds of readers and in the mouths of commentators. That might consist of a triple, like Superman’s “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” a contrast, like “Our food is fresh. Our customers are spoiled,” from online grocer FreshDirect, a rhyme, such as Muhammed Ali’s “I outwit them and then I out-hit them” or a play on a popular culture reference, such as “Building community deep in the hearts of Texans,” from Texas Nonprofits.
Keep in mind that our culture allows even the most serious and dignified organizations and individuals, from Supreme Court justices to CEOs and companies we trust with our retirement savings, to take an ordinary idea and make it memorable. Listen to your intuition when it whispers concern about a sound bite. Yet except for the scruples outlined above, give yourself the same kind of permission.
Marcia Yudkin is a copywriting and branding expert and the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, along with 15 other books. Her ebook No-Hype Copywriting: The Keys to Lively, Appealing and Truthful Sales Writing, is available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. Learn more about how to describe yourself and your work both honestly and dramatically at the upcoming FREE No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit.
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
9 was you can be a thought leader
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Thought leaders start movements
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Thought leaders invite controversy
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
We were all sitting in Jack Canfield’s living room on a huge couch in his home in Santa Barbara surrounded by giant gems, crystals, artwork and views into the lush gardens reminiscent of Canfield’s beloved Hawaii. Canfield mentioned that he wanted a room where diplomats and leaders of countries as well as his family could feel comfortable. I love the idea that we were sitting on the same couch where those same leaders of countries had sat before us.
Each of us in his living room had won this mastermind day with Jack Canfield for being a top affiliate for his Bestseller Blueprint Program. In the room, brainstorming about our businesses, were some of the most successful Internet Marketers on the web today.
Bill and Steve Harrison led the discussion and asked us each to share something about our business that was working well that others could learn from. A fact about ourselves that no one knew. And then ask a question about our business to get feedback and help from Jack Canfield and the group. I’m going to share with you some of the things that happened in that room that will help make your book a best-seller.
1. Speak With Authority
“I’ve got one question, then I’ll tell you what to do,” one outspoken Internet Marketer said. We all laughed. And then we listened. He had already proven himself as someone who knew what he was talking about. Earlier he had kept us all in rapt attention with the measurement tools he employed to get the highest clicks to conversions as well as his mistakes that lead him to his success. Once you’ve proven that you have solid knowledge people trust what you have to impart. Best-selling books are written by voices who have proven methods and who can impart them in a simple and direct manner.
2. Talk the Language of Your Tribe
When one person in the room asked for advice about stopping slander many people offered solutions to help him let go of his resentment. But he would have none of it and got more and more red-faced and worked up over the unfairness of it all. He said he wanted justice as he filled the room with his fury. He wouldn’t accept anyone’s methods to make a shift until someone said about the slanderer, “F_ck him, then forgive him.”That worked.Why? He spoke the angry man’s language first. Then gave him what he needed to let it go. When you give advice speak the language of your audience so they can hear you. There’s a Sufi joke that goes like this: A tax collector fell in the river and couldn’t get out.. Many people gathered and tried to assist him. Even though was starting to drown he wouldn’t take anyone’s hand so they could pull him out. Mystified and alarmed the people rushed to get advice from the wise fool Nasrudin. He asked what the helpers were saying. “Give me your hand,” they said.
“Never ask a tax collector to “give” you anything,” said Nasrudin. Say, ‘take’ my hand,” which they did and got him safely out of the river.
The examples in a best-selling book need to address both the spoken and unspoken needs of their audience. Best-selling book authors understand the language of their tribe so they can tell them things that others can’t because they may be hard to hear or bear.
3. Tell Stories With Your Own Twist
When it was my turn to offer the factoid that no one knew about me to the group, I told a short story about an experience I had in college.When I was attending UC Berkeley I worked at Zellerbach Hall as an usher. One evening the great ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev came to perform and, in my naivete, I thought it would be lovely to invite him to tea. After his performance I went back stage and approached him. When I asked him to tea he just stared at me. I thought, well, Russian is his first language, perhaps he didn’t understand. So I asked again. This time he smirked. Not a word, just a smirk. That was my answer. The typical saying goes: Always ask for what you want. The worst that can happen is you get a “No.”“But that’s not the worst thing that can happen,” I said. “The worst thing isn’t even a word. It’s a smirk.”Canfield said, “Good story!” This story didn’t have the same ending we’ve heard before. No one expected anything to come after the “perceived” ending: The worst that can happen is you get a “No.”
We’ve all heard tons of advice – mostly unoriginal – except in the telling and with a twist. That’s what makes you, the best-selling author a unique storyteller – and thought leader – the surprising twist.
4. Put Butt to Seat, Words to Page
“I’ll tell you a secret to working less. Work less,” said one coach. We all sat stunned. Huh? It’s a similar statement to what made the Nike brand truly famous. “Just do it.” But how, people ask. I don’t have the time, others moan.This coach claimed that he only worked three hours a day (Less than Tim Ferriss!) by just allowing himself that time to get his work done. He then had to manage his time around those three hours instead of letting the minutiae of his day frizzle away his time.
Here is my version of his statement on how to write a best-selling book.
p style=”text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;”>Step one: But butt in seat. Step two: Put pen to page. Step three: Move pen without moving mind. Step four: Don’t stop. Step five: Rinse and repeat.
5. Write the Worst Sh_t in America.
Yes, give yourself permission to write the worst sh_t in America, advises best-selling author Anne Lamott, who told an audience recently that her sh_tty first drafts are just as sh_tty as yours. Believe it.You first have to write something in order to create a best-selling book. Editing comes later. I was talking to my client and colleague, Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. – business psychologist and stress resilience expert who has a new book out called Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On, and she said that to try and write and edit at the same time is at cross purposes for your brain. These are two different functions that aren’t compatible when done simultaneously.
I know how hard it is to get words on a page so I’ll share a few secrets from my writing group.
First, we all follow Anne Lamott’s advice. So write without censoring yourself. When you don’t think you access the deep knowing that is available in the unconscious. This is the same process for creating sound bites. I advise my clients to just talk without pausing or thinking. I then search for the gold, mining the best phrases that come out naturally in the uncensored talking.
Then we follow Natalie Goldberg’s philosophy not to take your pen off the page. You keep moving your pen no matter what.
To do that you can write phrases like, “What I really want to say is….” What I don’t want to say is….” What I’ve hidden from you all along is….” “I am writing the worst sh_t in America….”
These phrases will keep your pen moving on the page. And yes, I suggest that you write by hand before typing your work into your computer. There is something that happens when you’re touching organic objects like paper that allows for a deeper connection to yourself and the world.
All of the brilliant Internet Marketers in that room had written the worst sh_t in America. Then they refined it and refined it again and again. But they weren’t afraid to do it. Or rather, their fear didn’t stop them. “Better done than perfect” is a good place to start.
Editing is not writing. Some of the best “writers” in this country are perceived as such because they have talented editors.
So write the worst sh_it in America – and then edit the heck out of it.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Most people who are in a rush to get publicity dash off a press release and then expect instant fame. But what typically happens IF the media calls is they don’t have their sound bites ready. What follows is…disappointment.
They don’t get quoted, or if they do it does little or nothing for their business. Then they blame the media, saying that publicity doesn’t work. In order for publicity to work – you have to do the work first.
So BEFORE you ever contact the media watch this video to find out the three things you should do that set the foundation of your talking points or sound bites. Then craft your stories, statistics, facts, vignettes, one liners, aphorisms, anecdotes, analogies and acronyms that are the mainstay of your messages.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
There’s a new study that a cat videos make you more productive. “Japanese scientists found that workers who watched kittens and other cute baby animals on the Internet are more focused and productive the rest of the day,” noted host Peter Sagal on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell me, the crazy funny NPR show. Cat videos cheer you up and energize you.
So the next time you’re doing a video think kittens and cute. What can you interject to give people that boost that they need in the middle of the day? Can you incorporate a real or stuffed animal into some quirky point you want to make? We’re all looking for a lift – even while we’re being taught something useful. Think about how you can animate your information so people will want to pass it around.
Here’s the crazy thing about video. It’s often the video that’s NOT directly about your business that brings you in clients, customers and sales. It’s this back door approach that makes people feel good, then curious about you and your offerings. So give up a little bit of your serious, gotta sell, gotta enroll, gotta get ’em in your sales funnel mentality and look to connect on the cozy. A little cute never hurt anyone.
Here’s my contribution for my favorite cat videos:
Whether you want to add credibility to your name by becoming a “published author” or you want to attract targeted leads into your website, having your own book is an invaluable tool for growing your business fast.
However, today, I’d like to share a new strategy for creating a short book that not only makes the process easier and faster than ever…
… but will also drastically capture people’s attention, interest and desire for your products and services, like nothing else I’ve seen before.
The good news is, with this strategy, your book doesn’t have to be a 300 page novel. In fact, if you follow the formula below, not only will you create a “gushing” desire for your products, but you’ll also do it in less than 10 pages.
Here it is, in 5 simple steps:
Present a problem. Tell people about the problem they’re having and why it needs to be solved sooner rather than later. This prequalifies your readers so you know this book is for them.
Explain why other solutions don’t work. Don’t mention competitor’s names, but outline different possible solutions your reader might want to try, and why those solutions might not be the best option for them.
Offer a better solution. Give the reader some short, practical steps they can take to solve their problem themselves. Make sure you also let them know there is an even easier solution coming up, if they keep reading.
Conclude your overall message. Recap the problem, the possible solutions, and the fact that your reader now has a way to solve the problem themselves, albeit the hard way.
Offer an even better solution. This is where you show the reader there’s an even faster/easier/more effective way to solve their problem, through buying your product or hiring you. Make sure you explain what makes your product or service unique and how the reader can benefit from hiring you. Include a website link, or a number they can call.
Yes, it really is that simple and as you can see, it’s very similar to a traditional sales pitch.
The difference is, when you offer tips (step 3) and then package this up as a book, it doesn’t feel like a sales pitch to your readers, but still has the same sales inducing effect.
But there’s one caveat…
Nobody is going to pick up your book, or ever trust a word you’re saying, if it doesn’t look the part.
Design matters, more than ever.
For example, did you know that, according to a recent university study, 79% of people said they actually judge a book by the cover?
And it’s not just the book cover that matters.
What happens when you buy a book that has terrible inner page design? Well, it’s like walking into a beautiful looking restaurant, to find dirty tables and under-cooked food.
Which means, without the right design tricks, you could be wasting your time creating a book.
And don’t just take it from me.
Jamie Cawley increased her book sales by 44% with simple design tweaks.
“ZERO? I wish I had discovered this $1,000 ago!”… As hundreds of authors, small business owners, consultants, marketers and entrepreneurs take a hard look at their addiction to spending money on the tools and services they need… many are now scratching their heads in disbelief as almost every pre-conceive notion they’ve ever had about marketing costs gets blown away.
Yes, it’s every marketers’ addiction. And a costly one at that. But the good news is, there’s a cure! And it’s a lot easier than you might imagine. Read on…
You’re an author, marketer or entrepreneur, right? Day-in and day-out you strive to maximize your profits on the Internet, on mobile, and through social media, correct? If you’re like most, you constantly seek traffic, customers, business and referrals… that’s smart. And whether you are promoting online, offline, or on mobile, you know the key is to seek targeted leads and prospects whenever and wherever your time and budget permits.
We’ve all heard time and again that setting up landing pages, building a lead generation site, posting to blogs, pinning on Pinterest, and a little search engine optimization (SEO) can be good. If we have time, we know that creating audio podcasts, YouTube videos, and presentations, just adds to our potential. We realize that publishing a Kindle or iPad eBook can reach new customers. And the importance of building a list, sending out newsletters, developing relationships and occasionally sprinkling in a press release or two can’t be under estimated.
And let’s not forget social media! An engaging Facebook fan page, “LIKE” it or not, has become integral to our success. And we tweet like a bird (sometimes wondering why), beg for PLUS ONES on Google+ and well… the list goes on. It’s part of being a modern day author, marketer or entrepreneur in our always connected, always evolving world.
Some call it marketing, some call it lead generation; some call it “building business relationships” and some call it budget busting hard work. But regardless of what you call it, if done right, it can be a marketer’s best friend. It can make you rich. It can make you poor.
Depending on your goals, your approach, your strategy, and the various tools you may need, all this “marketing stuff” adds up. That’s right, it’s easy to spend more money on the tools you need than the leads and money you generate. If you haven’t said it yourself, I bet you’ve hear the old truism, “I’d be rich if it didn’t cost so much to get there!”
Have you ever added up all the money required to get this stuff done?
Below is a summary of the monthly expenses for a recent campaign an author friend of mine did (check his numbers if you don’t believe it – and don’t get hung-up on the tools that are named, they are just popular examples). Sure you might skip a few things, but should you? Really?
Autoresponder / List Builder (aWeber) $19.00
Web Site or Landing Page (Site Tonight or InstaPage) $ 7.00
175.00 mo Paypal Processing on $5000 mo retail
(2.5% + .30 transaction fees)
This totals $534.52 per month in marketing tools and services (OUCH!)
Wouldn’t it be nice to do all this and more… literally OUCH-FREE?
What if your marketing and lead generation costs went away? What if that monthly $534.52 just disappeared—Poof! What if you still had access to ALL the marketing tools and services you needed, but your costs were absolutely ZERO!
What if you needed even more tools or different tools, imagine if everything you needed cost ZERO. What if you woke up tomorrow and ZERO was REAL?
There is a cure for spending too much money on the tools and lead generation you need. But the first step is overcoming skepticism. Those old clichés like “if sounds it’s too good to be true there must be a catch” or “there’s no free lunch” or “you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” those are beliefs from pre-Internet days.
Many companies today have found unimaginable profits in a new way of doing business known as the “Freemium Model.” High quality tools and services are given away free and revenue is generated from creative ways (up-sales, advertisement etc).
Examples are right under our nose: Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Pandora, Dropbox, MailChimp etc. You likely use several of these services already, however, if you write checks to any of these companies, you are in a rare minority.
Here’s the secret: if you can learn WHICH tools are the best and HOW to set them up PLUS master the art of weaving smart strategies into this mix, you are on your way to great results, for absolutely zero.
Want proof? I was the Internet strategist behind the mega-million dollar marketing campaign for The Secret. Want to know the biggest secret? It was a zero-cost marketing campaign. This mega-million dollar campaign likely dwarfed every other marketing campaign you’ve ever heard of, and yet the marketing itself was done on a zero budget.
Ever had a “great idea?” For a new book, a new product, info-product, service or event? Sometimes we spend way too much time (and money) getting our marketing funnel all built, our tools & pages set-up and our product ready for delivery. By the time you are ready to “go-live” you’ve driven yourself half-broke and half crazy. Two to three months into the game, you roll your “great idea” out, only to discover YOU were the only one that thought this was a great idea in the first place. Been there?
The next time you have a “great idea” head over to LAUNCHROCK (www.launchrock.com) and set up a quick “Viral Launch Page.” This requires nothing more than a compelling HEADLINE, a snippet of TEXT describing your idea and a big IMAGE that places your visitors’ mind in the center of your “great idea.”
In 15 to 30 minutes, you’ll have a great, viral destination to send traffic to. Here’s the clincher… if your idea is good or your idea is bad, you’ll find out within a week to 30 days. Perhaps you’ll only need to tweak the idea, perhaps you’ll discover you’ve struck gold, or perhaps you had better stop wasting time and move on to another idea.
If you “great idea” resounds with others, Launchrock will help build an early group of evangelists for your future “go-live” or product launch. You should incentivize your sign-ups with early access to your product, service or idea. You might select a group of beta-testers from those that are referring the most friends. The bottom line is that when you later roll things out to the world, you’ll already have a group of fans and evangelists that will help you gain tractions on a larger scale from the beginning.
This strategy allows you to push out more ideas faster, at zero-cost, test the waters, build evangelists, find readers, find beta testers and tweak you idea… while saving time and money.
Will ZERO COST strategies and ZERO COST tools work for you? For your books? For your products or services? In your niche? With your skill-set? YES! This is a no-brainer, or should we say, “A ZERO-Brainer?”
Pattern Break. by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist
Maybe you’ve noticed.
I haven’t sent out an ezine for quite some time. (Please forgive!)
I’ve been rethinking just about everything. Creating a new website. Developing a new blog. Working on a new webinar. Hosting webinar trainings for the kinds of things I think you’ll need most to create a sustain your business in the face of so many technological and economic changes.
I had an idea for a novel and pitched it to my literary agent over Pad Thai noodles and crispy squid when he was in San Francisco for a conference. He said he loved it and had a publisher waiting for it. Could I write it up in a month? Small snafu – I have no idea how to write fiction.
But I did one thing to start anyway.
A friend and I went to Cavallo Point Spa in Sausalito for a day of luxury and writing. We got jacuzzied and steamed up and all relaxed and then sat by the fire and wrote. Me in a journal, she on her iPad. Then we read to each other. She said, “F_ck you!” when I finished. And then explained that this was the highest compliment cause she was jealous. It gave me heart.
Next, I bought a book on how to structure a novel called, Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris, who has written 8 bestsellers as a ghostwriter so I figured she must know what she’s doing. Plus she’s English so she says things in a fetching way, which makes me think a bit differently about language out of my usual mindset.
But with all the tumult in my business I haven’t had much time to focus on that book. I need some puttering around time to let ideas in. That’s one of the phases that Roz recommends. But there will be a time soon where I’ll need to hunker down and get three chapters written to send to my agent.
I hope you’ll hang with me in this phase and tell me what you think of my new ideas —and perhaps use this as a starting point for your own plans…
So here is the overview my grand multi-media plan across all platforms.
My personal and professional business goals (they are intertwined).
Platforms to share information.
Editorial calendar for the types and frequency of postings across the mediums.
Goal for each type of communication.
Systems to measure tangible and intangible results.
Offline or traditional ways of connecting.
The underlying goals are:
Increase interaction from my existing audience (you.)
Increase subscribers and engagement across all social media.
Stay more closely connected with my tribe (you).
Promote my own and affiliate products and services that serve your highest good.
Share the shine™. Bringing your talent out into the spotlight.
I’ll do that through a delicious mix of:
How to or step by step articles/trainings. (I love these, don’t you? Instant learning).
Opinion and visions pieces. (I get to spout off on what pleases or pisses me).
Promotions, launches and products from myself and others. (Trainings that inspire action – let’s get it done, OK?)
Analysis of great stuff that works. (Creative geniuses, wild thinkers, crazy coots and magnificent mavericks and things I’d never think of).
Beauty that moves me. (Things I can’t resist that give pure delight).
So here’s what you’ll be getting…
1. Pure content ezine updates.
These will be pure content without any free offers. (Watch in the next week or so for: The Best of Pinterest Articles. I’ve been reading them like mad. Did I mention I got sucked down the Pinterest hole for an entire weekend – deadlines pending. I just LOVE this visual diary of people lives and loves.)
2. “The Weekly Bite™.”
A snippet of something (a cloaked way of saying “sound bite”) I’ve come across randomly that moves me in some way. I can be something memorable someone said, an image, part of an overheard conversation. This will be in the form of a video, blog post or audio podcast.
3. Share the Shine™.
Your stories. Your successes. Your spotlight. I’ll be asking you to share some small or great victory that you’ve had in the comments box on my blog after you read a post. I’ll choose people to share the shine by profiling your entire story, photo, website URL so others can be inspired and learn from your successes. Have one already? Share it here: http://www.prsecrets.com/contact.php
4. 10 Line Tuesday poems with Maya Stein.
I just love Maya’s poems. They say so much with so little words. A great lesson in communication in our overly wordy world.
5. Special offers to work with me personally or in a program.
What do you think about doing a 27 minute laser consult with me for just $99 (regularly $500/hour)? I did this on once before and it sold out in a few hours. I loved meeting so many of you who said that you’d been following me for years and wanted go connect further or go deeper. I recently did this again on LinkedIn and had a fantastic time talking to people who had everything from an innovative TV show to green business. As I said this will be occasional and I’ll let you who are on my list know about it the moment I decide.
If you like this idea of the 27 minute laser consult would you comment below. No obligation, just curious.
So that’s it for the moment. Whew. Now to implementation. I’ve been working weekends, nights, holidays with only the occasional excursion into the garden to sniff and snip. Heading there now as the roses are calling.
What’s on your plan for your future? Share one thing that you’re going to implement.