Small Business Marketing
This is the email that got me featured in a local paper called The Marin Independent Journal (Marin IJ). The journalist, PJ had written about our garden (Which has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens) before from a different angle—saving the disappearing bees.
You can copy it in a snap.
So you can get free publicity too – either local publicity or national publicity. This email is universal.
Business Coaching Photo credit: Will Csaklos
EMAIL #1 ME TO PJ:
Subject line: Group coaching salons in the garden
Loved your piece on going directly to jail to get garden bargains. We’ve been considering getting an owl box so this is great to know!
While we do have native plants and make sure the birdbaths are full for all the birds, bees and insects, we’re also using the garden for something new so other people can enjoy it’s beauty:
Think party, literary salon and laser coaching all wrapped up in an enlivening day.
Kind of like blooming your business.
It’s a new alternative to meeting in stuffy hotel rooms and following a stiff agenda. Instead you…
Come with your business longings, dilemmas, and stuck points.
Leave with a clear mind, a full heart — and a plan.
And though I love virtual trainings (and run a few) people are craving more intimate experiences.
Love to hear your thoughts.
Here is how our correspondence continued.
EMAIL #2 PJ RESPONSE
Love it! When does it start?
ME: It’s 1 day on Saturday Sept 19 from 1-5.
Email #3 PJ RESPONSE
Got it. Does it have a strong garden connection other than just being in a garden. Events need to have a strong connection to the garden : )>
ME: Well, everyone says that this feels like a sanctuary and when they see the trellis they say it’s the perfect place to get married so I see the garden as a way to better connect with yourself and what you want vs. sitting in front of a computer.
We are not just going to sit at the table, but were going to walk and talk down the pathways and use movement and the flowers as a way to loosen our thought process and brainstorm.
We will also deadhead – prune away what no longer serves us, by pruning our roses, echinaceas, or boxwoods.
Everyone will also plant a seed in a tiny pot of dirt as a metaphor to grow their business. (Gloves optional!) When I planted tiny maples that had self-seeded from our giant Japanese Maple, hands deep in dirt with my next door neighbor’s kids, they said, “I wish we could do this more often!”
Everyone will leave with a bundle of beautiful lavender to smell to remind them of the day to stay inspired and to take action on what they say they want.
Is that enough?
How does that sound?
Inspiring Creativity! Entrepreneurs grow their business with business coaching in the garden Photo Credit: Will Csaklos
RESULT: We set up a time to talk two days later. She interviewed me and the article posted. This short format works for either local or national publicity. It’s short, to the point and doesn’t give away all the nitty gritty details until the reporter / producer is interested and asks.
As soon as the piece posted people called or just purchased their place online the same day the article came out.
There are just 2 spots left. Want to come? (San Francisco Bay Area).
I rarely do in-person events and this is the only one I’ll be doing this year. I’d love to meet you and work with you in person! I hope one will be for you. ?
Here is PJ’s piece about the garden coaching salon.
For the FREE 100 Word Email That Can Get Media To Call You special report, template + examples that goes into more detail and the psychology behind this strategy go here. You can copy it exactly to pitch YOUR local and national media contacts so you can get publicity. (It’s free!)
Follow us on Instagram here for more PR tips, insights, gorgeous images, beauty and fun (See me do a knife takeaway for my Aikido test – but don’t expect to be impressed…).
Sunita (name changed) walked into the dojo, confident, regal and self-possessed to begin practicing Aikido.
For some people — including me — studying Aikido (The Japanese Martial Art, called The Way of Harmony that works as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold) is a slow, awkward, and arduous process. It can take years — decades, even — to master the intricate movements and achieve a level of skill and grace that would be considered “masterful.”
I’ve been practicing this martial art for almost six years. Even though I’ll be taking my black belt test in a few weeks, much of the time I still feel like a hulking Clydesdale, tromping around inelegantly.
Which is why I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy (OK, more than just a “twinge”) watching Sunita, the “new girl” at the dojo, pick up all of the basic moves so quickly — and effortlessly.
As a former gymnast, Sunita already has a great deal of physical intelligence, balance, coordination, and the ability to memorize patterns and dance-like movements quickly. Oh, and did I mention that she’s also drop-dead gorgeous and mesmerizing to watch?
It was hard not to feel jealous.
Self-Esteem for women Photo Credit: Lies Thru a Lens
Jealousy is a funny emotion. I’ve found that — no matter how “evolved” you think you are, and no matter how fiercely you try to deny that it’s happening (“Nope! I’m not jealous, no, not at all…”) it has a way of creeping back into your body and taking over — if you allow it.
I see this happen with my clients all the time, and unfortunately, it can be detrimental to their success.
Just a few weeks back, a woman in my monthly training program confessed that she’s been hesitating on moving forward with a crucial piece of her publicity plan because she feels like one of her “business heroes” is “so much better” than her, so much “farther along” with her business, with a more attractive website and legions of online fans, and polished programs — so what’s the point of even trying? She feels like, “Why even bother? I ought to just give up now, because I’ll never be able to measure up!”
I probably don’t have to spell out why that kind of thinking is so harmful.
Imagine if J.K. Rowling had said to herself, “Oh, plenty of other people have written stories about wizards. J.R.R. Tolkien already wrote a whole bunch of wizard-y books, years ago, and he’s a much better writer than me. He already has tons of adoring fans. I have none. Plus, 12 publishers have rejected my manuscript for Harry Potter. I’ll just quit now.”
When jealousy turns into creative-paralysis — freezing you in place, holding you back from doing the work you feel called to do — nobody benefits. The world is left bereft, with a “gap” where your finest contribution ought to go.
On some level, I’m guessing you already know this. You get that jealousy can be a harmful emotion if it’s left untamed and undirected. The question on your mind might be, “So, if I’m feeling jealous of someone — say, a business competitor, peer, athlete, or even a good friend — what can I do about that?”
Here are three acts of “emotional alchemy” (that is, transforming one emotional state into another) that I recommend trying. Or, to word it differently, three “gifts” or “opportunities” that are hidden inside of every twinge of jealousy…
1. Turn jealousy into an opportunity to “steal the technique.”
Watching Sunita’s graceful movements, I found myself thinking, “I want my body to move like that. I want my mind to be more still.”
When there’s something I want, I’ve trained myself to shift out of “jealous lurker mode” and into “student mode.” I began to study her more closely, picking up cues, copying her subtle movements, learning through imitation, asking that I can absorb her qualities and make them mine.
Aikido Martial Arts Training Photo Credit: Øystein Alsaker
Later, even though I was advising her, since I’m her “sempei” or senior (though based on years and experience that doesn’t necessarily mean superior in skill), I could feel her technique and that, in itself taught me. I noticed myself improving. Just by being near her I felt myself becoming more calm.
In Aikido we call this “stealing the technique.” Actually, I’m not just jealous of Sunita. I’m jealous of everyone in the dojo. Every single person who trains at Bay Marin Aikido has a quality or movement I envy.
In fact, I’ve written down those qualities and techniques and consciously practice them on the mat. I have a list that I review before going to training and take one per night to focus on. This is a variation on what Saito Sensei, who trained directly with O’Sensei advised.
My sensei (teacher) Hans Goto Sensei explained it this way: “Work on one thing and then you’ll get it. That’s yours. And then you can work on another one thing. That’s what Saito Sensei said. He said, ‘You can try and work on too many things each class you’ll get zero. 30 days of zero still equal zero. But if you only try to get one thing out of each class after 30 days you have 30 things.’ This is huge.”
Jealousy doesn’t have to “freeze” you. It can be turned into motivational fuel, inspiring you to study and train more precisely, more intensely. Or perhaps, simply try something new to achieve the result that you want. It can be an opportunity to “steal the technique” and learn from the best.
2. Turn jealousy into an opportunity to return to the present and rejoice in the success of others.
When I feel my mind spinning into intense jealousy, it’s usually a signal that I have “left” the present moment. Instead of focusing on the Aikido technique that I’m trying to master, or the blog post I’m trying to write, or the webinar that I’m trying to deliver, or the client I am trying to coach, my mind has gone somewhere else.
My mind is caught up in what other people are doing and how they are doing it better. That kind of mental departure leads to distracted, fragmented work. It’s hard to do your best work when you’re not fully engaged in the present moment and it just doesn’t feel good either.
When I sense that happening, I take a few deep breaths to center myself back in my body, back in the present moment. Sometimes I say silently, “OK, I’m back here now.” Everything feels better once I’m “back,” and in that more centered place, I let go of the envious feelings and focus on what I’m working on in the moment.
Ginny Breeland Sensei says, “The Breath provides a bridge to subtle energies that can nourish. It is the connection for the Mind to the Body and the Here to the Now. On the mat it allows us to go from tension to relaxation, from confusion to a clarity, from irregular motion to coordinated ease.
In life it can quell a sense of separation and allow us to find that comforting sense of interconnection. It can take us beyond ourselves.
Let attention allow us see ourselves with a new reverence.
Study the Breath. The most profound things lie close at hand.”
So the breath can connect us to the very person we envy thus dissolving the separation between us. It brings us closer to what we want and who we want to be and gives us the chance to “see ourselves with new reverence.”
How to turn jealousy into an asset Photo Credit: Øystein Alsaker
Another way to look at this is that whenever jealous feelings arise for me I’m being pulled off center. One of the key principles of Aikido is to keep your center and take your attacker’s center, to get them off balance so they are light and easy to throw. It’s often said that someone asked O’Sensei, the founder of Aikido, “How is it you never get pulled off center?” And he replied that, just like everyone else, he does get pulled off center but he has trained himself to get back to center so quickly you can’t see it. So the more you practice pulling yourself back to center the faster you’ll be able to do it. And soon, like O’Sensei, your process will be “invisible” and incorporated into how you handle jealousy, and ultimately, self-acceptance.
3. Turn jealousy into an opportunity to reflect on your own strengths, skills, desirable assets, and “swallow the world in one gulp.”
Curly haired women long for smooth locks. Straight-haired women spend hours trying to add curls and waves.
Skinny women yearn for Marilyn Monroe-esque curves. Curvy girls wish they could slim down and look like a runway model.
A struggling yoga studio owner might long for more money, more influence, or a big team to manage. A successful CEO might wistfully yearn for quiet days filled with minimal responsibilities, no meetings, and plenty of time to practice yoga.
So many of us crave the opposite of what we have! It’s almost comedic.
I admire Sunita’s instant, effortless grace on the Aikido mat. One day, in the dressing room, she mentioned that she found me a patient teacher who didn’t condescend. Who knew? Another woman in the dojo startled me by saying she was studying my conversational skills. I know I’m much more fluent verbally than physically, but had no idea that someone would study what comes naturally to me.
We all have skills and strengths that other people find enviable. Sometimes, though, caught up in a whirlwind of jealousy, we can’t see our own gloriousness.
The Neuroscience of happiness Photo Credit: Alex Masters
Not surprisingly, self-acceptance is a key happiness factor.
Christopher Bergland, a world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist noted, “A 2014 survey by psychologists who study happiness identified ‘ten keys to happier living’ including daily habits that make people genuinely happy. In an unexpected finding, the psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire who performed the survey found that the habit which corresponded most closely with being happy — and satisfied with overall life — is self-acceptance.”
Unfortunately, self-acceptance was also the “happiness habit” that participants in the survey practiced the least. The new study is titled “Self-Acceptance Could Be the Key to a Happier Life, Yet It’s the Happy Habit Many People Practice the Least.””
Dr. Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness, said: “Our society puts huge pressure on us to be successful and to constantly compare ourselves with others. This causes a great deal of unhappiness and anxiety.”
An antidote to comparing ourselves to others is a Buddhist practice that asks, “Can you be happy for their (the person you are jealous of) success?” You notice your jealous feelings. Stop. Take a breath and simply ask this question. You can do this anywhere, anytime. Can you be happy for this person’s success? Even rejoice in it? At the heart of this practice is the realization that it’s actually changing you. It’s not just for Karma points. You are getting something from engaging in the very act of transforming your feelings from envy into good will toward another person.
Reverse the negative thought by giving a blessing
We may even be able to extend this same practice to ourselves in a direct way by doing what Dr. Mark Williamson recommends, “Ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what your strengths are or what they value about you.”
But don’t stop there, because as psychologist Rick Hanson, author of the best-selling Buddha’s Brain says, “The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.”
He references John Gottman’s study that found in important relationships “a negative interaction in an important relationship is five times more powerful than a positive interaction.”
To counteract this “negativity bias” effect, Hanson recommends that we really savor a person’s positive words. “The way to remember something is to make it intense, felt in the body, and lasting. That’s how we give those neurons lots and lots of time to fire together so they start wiring together. So rather than noticing it and feeling good for a couple of seconds, stay with it. Relish it, enjoy it, for 10, 20, or 30 seconds, so it really starts developing neural structure.”
And lastly, “Sense and intend that this positive experience is sinking into you and becoming a part of you. In other words, it’s becoming woven into the fabric of your brain and yourself.”
When our body and mind are so full of our own happiness it leaves less room for jealousy and makes it easier to be happier for others.
Another way to counteract jealousy is to consider that that moment of “outward longing” might be your cue to pause and turn your gaze inward. Ask yourself, “What are some of the qualities that I possess that others might find desirable, enviable, or beautiful?”
Maybe you have tremendous poise, perseverance, a sense of balance, a wry sense of humor, mental grit, physical endurance, playfulness, seriousness, graciousness, an uncanny ability to say just the right thing at just the right time, or the ability to know when to listen and say nothing at all.
Return to the qualities that make you… you. Make a mental list or write them down.
Refer back to your list when feelings of jealousy are starting to feel overwhelming.
Remember who you are, beneath the noise. Remember what you add to the world.
Neuroscience how to train your brain Photo Credit: Alex Masters
The stark reality is that there will always be people who are more seasoned, more experienced, and more popular than you.
You might feel like you will “never catch up” with them, and you are quite right.
You will never “catch up” with people that you admire deeply, because you are not them. You are you.
You have your own stories to tell, books to write, products to launch, projects to bring forth into the world. In the end, who knows? You might become bewilderingly successful — in the conventional, making-millions-of-dollars sense of the term — beyond your wildest dreams, surpassing all of your personal heroes as you skyrocket ever-upwards.
Or, instead of making millions you might move millions with your words, your deeds, your presence.
Or you might achieve success on a far humbler, though no less meaningful, scale. Who knows?
One thing is certain:
True success is not about being “as good” or “better” than somebody else.
It’s about using all that you have been given to the fullest and maxing out your potential.
That’s the person that your clients, your customers, your fellow martial arts students, and media audiences all want to meet.
As O’Sensei says, “Never become stagnant. Train your body, forge your spirit, and swallow the world in one gulp! Stand boldly, with confidence, wherever you find yourself. Make use of all your innate power and you can accomplish anything.”
On that note, it’s time for me to finish this up, head to the dojo and swallow the world in one gulp.
Domo arigato gozaimashita.
(Thank you very much for what you have taught me.)
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.
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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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.
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 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.”
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.
If you’d like to schedule a free 15 minute time to talk about you becoming a thought leader go here.
By Guest Blogger Nancy Juetten
Have you reviewed your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, website/blog, and Biznik profiles lately to make sure the stories you are sharing are accurate, current, and compelling?
I changed my profiles to reflect a keyword-rich headline two weeks ago and welcomed two speaking engagements and a new joint venture conversation almost immediately. Just imagine what bounty awaits for you when you revisit YOUR online profiles.
Quick Tip: describe yourself in a headline statement with relevant key words within. “Networking Expert Brandy Mychals,” “Boston Elder Care Expert Michael Bloom,” “Business Bio Expert” and “Get Known to Get Paid Mentor” are ways to describe each expert that offer potential clients and the search engines descriptive labels that deliver impact for all.
As the New Year gets off to a fast start, this is a useful exercise, especially if you want to attract more of the right clients faster and more easily. Try it, and share YOUR successes as they unfold in perfect timing to welcome a shiny New Year.
Business bio expert and get know to get paid mentor Nancy Juetten shows mission-driven experts how to get seen, heard, celebrated, and COMPEN$ATED for their expert status. Nancy created Bye-Bye Boring Bio to guide service professionals, speakers, authors, coaches, and those serious about earning expert status to prepare and share their stories so they can Get Known to Get Paid. Nancy’s clients describe her as self-esteem in a can. She sprays it and fabulous things about you are in the air for everyone to see. You feel better, potential clients find you more appealing, and you look and sound like a professional. Just like that.
Join us for a free webinar where you can get Nancy’s help ON THE SPOT for your bio DURING this call. Be there LIVE to give your bio a quick makeover – which can lead to big results.
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….”
I learned these phrases and techniques from my dear friend and wonderful writing teacher Laurie Wagner in her Wild Writing Course, some of which come originally from Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones. This book is till one of my all time favorite writing books, along with Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird.
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.
Question for you. What’s the biggest barrier to writing YOUR best-selling book?
Join us this for a FREE teleseminar with Jack Canfield on how he sold over 500 million books.
NOTE: Even if it’s over, register anyway and you’ll be alerted to the next time it’s offered — which will be soon.
In the meantime go here for FREE training with Jack Canfield on how to write, publish and promote your book.
By Guest Blogger Lisa N. Alexander
They were everywhere.
Advertisements for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday filled my inbox and jammed my mailbox. They were littered across my social media networks; they crowded the airwaves and even filtered into my online groups.
Everybody had something to pitch, hoping they’d end the year in the black and surely the White House said a prayer for a surge in spending to help economic growth.
As the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season drew near I pondered what I could possibly do, what could I offer with all the ads promising slashed prices and discounts galore.
What was a B2B to do?
I decided that I wouldn’t sell a thing. Instead I would give something away. I thought this unique selling proposition (USP) would definitely set me apart and stand out in the season’s raging sea of advertisements.
Earlier this year I hosted a marketing bootcamp; I covered eight marketing topics and decided to give away one of those sessions…Design 101. I bought a domain name, built a quick landing page and placed an ad on Facebook and put up a flyer in a few groups. This would be my test to see if this crazy idea would be worth expanding next Black Friday.
Here’s what happened
- From November 23 to November 26 my Facebook business page saw likes increase by 5.5 percent. Not too bad given my ad’s parameters.
- Twenty-four people signed up to receive the free session and 41 percent of those people had no previous engagement with my brand.
- The jury is still out on conversions because those who took advantage of the free offer have a few more days to purchase the entire bootcamp at the discounted price. (It is the holidays and lots of people like to wait till the last minute.)
Will I do this again next year? Definitely. This campaign allowed people to experience my brand in a way typically not available to prospects. Forty-one percent of the people who requested the free session had never engaged with my brand previously.
Free stuff in general. Everyone usually has something they give away for free. It’s how we build our lists right? Amazingly, the other 59 percent of the people who took me up on my free offer were people who were familiar with my brand. To be quite honest I was shocked to see some of the names of the people who requested the session.
My blog is a great source of information, I have a business event list that I put out just to subscribers and other freebies but the session pulled in a different caliber of audience. Giving away something of value hands down seems to be the best draw. So it’s not just about giving away something for free, it’s about giving away something really good for free.
Closing the deal. Next year, I’ll definitely shorten the sales window, no more than a week after receiving the free session.
So that’s it. My USP for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday connected me to new members of my target audience and I was able to offer this group and even those familiar with my brand something they truly valued. I’ll call it a success even without my sales numbers which I’m sure will drive some in the C-suite absolutely nuts.
Known as The Marketing Stylist™, Lisa N. Alexander helps entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their businesses through strategic marketing and planning. Lisa describes this process as helping clients develop their WOW factor for their big marketing red carpet events. Web launches, advertising campaigns, social media marketing, new business launches are all big marketing events that require the expertise of a stylist and her clients love her work. Lisa is also an author, public speaker and was featured as a mom business with a “stellar” unique selling proposition.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Did I Just See You on Video?
If not, I should have.
Video this, video that. Video, video everywhere. Do you really need to have videos?
The answer may dismay you….
I’ve kind of avoided it as I thought it was just too much work. But you’ll see more from me on my new YouTube channel (more about another time).
After I talked to Steve Washer I got my rear in gear. Here’s why:
- Video will more than double your conversion rates.
- Video need not be expensive or terribly time-consuming.
- Video works equally well for the tech savvy and technophobe.
- Video can make you irresistible, as long as you know the ropes.
- Video is the least expensive way to transform your message into a full-fledged brand.
I have to tell you, I’m jazzed. I know I can do this now, and so can you. And to get us started I’m inviting you to a wonderful new webinar by a video expert who makes it simple and doable: http://bit.ly/PBxAJF
In this dynamic 75 minutes you’re going to learn:
- The 10 step never-lose formula for marketing videos that will bring hundreds of excited clients to your door.
- Two subtle techniques that make you irresistible on camera…or off!
- The 6 factors that bring any marketing video to life.
- How to be your best self on camera without learning lines or reading from a script.
- How to easily create your videos by yourself – even if you’re a technophobe.
- When you should be the face of your business and when you should not.
Save your seat now: http://bit.ly/PBxAJF
If you struggle with what to say in a video, if attracting clients online seems like an endless uphill chore, this is for you.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Here’s the question people often wrestle with when promoting themselves or embarking on a publicity campaign. How do I gracefully move from private person public persona. This is as much about temperament as it is about the desire for a more “exposed” life. Hear what W.S. Merwin says and what author and speaker Sam Horn discovered when she met him.
By Guest Blogger Steve Harrison
Jennifer is a client of mine who figured out a clever way to get a top PR firm pitching stories about her business to major media outlets WITHOUT having to pay the firm’s hefty fees herself.
Because this PR firm has lots of major media contacts, they quickly got her a lot of big-time publicity, including feature articles in the Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine.
As a result, her website traffic and business exploded almost overnight.
How’d she get this top PR firm’s help for free?
Answer: She got a corporate sponsor to pay the PR firm’s bill instead of paying it out of her own pocket.
The Fortune 500 company who paid for Jennifer’s publicity did so because she used their software in her business and was willing to talk about it in media interviews.
Many journalists the PR firm had approached about writing about the software wanted to interview someone actually using it in their business.
In other words, when the company’s PR firm got publicity for Jennifer, they were also getting media exposure for their own product.
Jennifer’s story shows the power of corporate and non-profit promotional partnerships, though of course, there are a lot of factors that go into whether or not a company will sponsor your project.
Save your seat in a free telephone seminar this Wednesday, November 7th on what you need to know to begin landing such deals.
On the call, you’ll hear me interview my friend Brendon Burchard, an author and speaker who’s figured out some really ingenious ways to land corporate and non-profit promotional sponsorships and use them to fund his marketing efforts.