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What To Do When People Criticize You in Person or on the Internet

Last week I spoke at East Bay Women’s Network to a group of wonderful women attended who were curious about how to promote their businesses and themselves. It had been a long time since I’d given a “speech” as I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from speaking engagements or other public events.

My stomach was roiling that morning as I drove the hour to Alameda and before that I’d had weeks of worry, nightmares, and plenty of time to fret about the actual talk.

Afterward many women came up to thank me and tell me what they loved about my talk.

There was one man in the room. But he had no interest in complimenting me.

He wanted to criticize me so bad he could hardly wait his turn.

“I don’t know if you saw me sleeping in the back,” he started out.

“Nope. Didn’t notice,” I said, wondering why someone would bring that to my attention.

He then battered me with questions leading up to his punch line which was designed to tear me down, so he could tell me everything I’d done wrong. My stomach sank and my face fell. My first thoughts: I’m such a failure. I’m a stinky speaker. Why did I accept this gig? What was I thinking?

Then I breathed, relaxed my tummy, let it go and stayed open.

Eventually, he got to his point which was that I didn’t tell a signature story to let the group know who I was. “Oh gosh, I’ve got about 5 signature stories that I’ve told so many times I’m tired of them. I wanted to try something new.”

“Sure,” he said. “But WE haven’t heard any of them.”

He was right. I teach telling your signature story in every media appearance and when appropriate, your speaking engagements. The “why you do what you do” story.

I was out of practice. I had forgotten.

I thanked him and packed up my things. Point taken.

What to do you do when you receive uninvited criticism in person or on the Internet? 

I recommend asking yourself these 3 questions (and then doing this last thing – which is the hardest).

1. Consider the source.

Is this person a nutball? If so, dismiss their rant without another thought. Don’t let it sink into your skin for a second.

When a friend had a very revealing piece published in the New York Times the editor warned her to expect a backlash from Internet trolls. She and I discussed not even reading the hurtful replies so she could revel in the glory of achieving her dream. We batted around the idea that later when she had some distance and perspective, she might scan them for ideas to write another article based on the responses she elicited, thus using them for the positive. Distance creates perspective and allows you to see things more “objectively,” and less personally.

2. Is there something I can learn here?

Is there a kernel of truth in anything this person says? Is what they say worth examining so I can improve myself, my course, my talk etc.? If so, great. If not, move on.

3. Did what they said/wrote trigger an unresolved wound?

If you find yourself becoming hurt, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, or experiencing a strong feeling arising, take a few breaths to steady yourself and come back to center in the moment. Later, examine what touched the nerve. The event can show you where there is still work to be done to let go of past patterns that we all have or harbor. Consider tapping to resolve challenging issues.

The hardest part? Staying open. To hear the truth, or someone’s version of it, and not react. Or, if you react, don’t judge your response just let it go so you can listen and assess the situation.

The second hardest part is to ignore the hurtful words and not let them lodge in our hearts and close us down.

There is a time and place to just ignore the offending party. Not give them or their words any energy at all. If you’re up for an “advanced” practice, send them a blazing bolt of love from your heart to theirs. Shoot it straight in. We are all hurt somewhere and if you can soften even a little consider that an accomplishment.

BONUS: Use hurtful words to open an interesting discussion. I witnessed an Instagram influencer do this when she raised over 50k to help a single mom of two in her congregation get a car, apartment and get started on a new life in an unfamiliar city.

It was quite amazing to see all the support her IG community gave and to watch the pot of gold grow. Then came the naysayers who accused her of doing it for the money. None of which she kept, by the way. So she shared the hurt and gave her followers the opportunity to discuss the negative comment and to give her even more support for her good deed, which they did.

Some people make it their mission to make you feel small. Ignore them. Others are devoted to finding infinite ways share in order to inspire you to feel good. Embrace them.

To make a practice of celebrating others and bringing joy I recommend Sherry Richert Belul’s new book, Say It Now: 33 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU To the Most Important People in Your Life

If you’re in the Bay Area I invite you to join us for an in-person workshop with Sherry where she’ll lead us through how to make a Love List on May 11 in Alameda. I’d love to meet you!

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

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

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

Harrow Pinterest boards

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

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

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

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

Pinterest + A Product

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

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


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

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

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

Pinterest + A Service

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

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

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


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

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

Pinterest + An Experience

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

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

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


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

Pinterest + A Book

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

Alex Franzen Awesome

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

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

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

Pinterest + YOU

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

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

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

Gala Darling Style

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Pinning!

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

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

How to Promote Live Events Mindfully With Gorgeosity With Clare Barry

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How to Promote Live Events Mindfully With Gorgeosity With Clare Barry

Welcome everyone to the Be a Media Darling Podcast. My guest today is Clare Barry. She is a London writer and the founder of Urban Curiosity. That is creativity and wellness brand that helps busy people like all of us, slow down and spark ideas. You can find her at

I met Clare when we were both on a retreat in Bali with Andrea Scher and Juna Mustad Milano. I fell in love with her immediately. I was intrigued by her and her vivacious personality. She has a great combination. You do, Clare, have such a great combination of being both bubbly and grounded. I love that aspect of you, indeed. I invited her and we just then discussed what we could talk together about on a podcast which is how to promote live events mindfully and with gorgeosity.

Here we are. Thank you for having me.

Let’s start off with your Urban Curiosity. When I opened your website, I wanted to go because that’s a fascinating tour of London. Since this is a podcast focused on publicity, let us talk about what your event is and how you get publicity for that event.

Urban Curiosity Walkshops came about because I was a city slicker running around living life at 100 miles an hour. I was working hard climbing the career ladder, not sleeping very much, socializing, and traveling, living life fully. At the same time my lumbar spine decided that it did not like this pace of living. It was trying to tell me for a number of years that I needed to slow down. I ignored it. I stuffed medication in my mouth, I had physical therapy, I spent days laid out flat. I had epidurals and all sorts of treatment but fundamentally the thing that I needed to do, which I did not do, was to stop.

Eventually, we know where the story ends, eventually my body did that for me. I ended up having a major back surgery. While I was recovering, my rock star neurologist told me that I needed to take a daily walk. So I did. For the first time, in really the longest time, I walked slowly, less hurriedly at that point. I walked without a smart phone in my hand. I walked without my mind filled with thoughts about the future, or thoughts about the past, I begun to notice things that I walked past every single day in my journeys around the neighborhood and around this city, London, my native city.

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Urban Curiosity "walk"-shops around London.

I got really excited about the details that I saw in the architecture, the cityscape, the colors and the patterns. It helped me make connections and it sparked ideas. I came rushing home, as fast home as you can do when coming back from back surgery, because I wanted to get my pen and my paper and start writing. I had been a fiction writer. I wrote a couple of contemporary women’s novels during this time of living at this full tilt. I wanted to get back to that sense of feeling creative that I had enjoyed as a young child and as a young adult that had been abandoned for a number of years while I was climbing the career ladder. In some way I was satisfied with my fiction writing but I was not totally satisfied by that outlet.

At a certain point I realized that I was missing something. This way of walking slowly, breathing deeply and noticing what is around was something that I needed to share with other people. It helped me reignite my creativity. So I created Urban Curiosity Workshops with a number of routes throughout London with different themes. I guide people on these two hour walking, creativity, mindfulness, and digital detox sessions. They are fun. We would love to have you come on one.

I want to. I love this digital detox. I really respond to what you are talking about, getting back to the tactile universe. The digital world takes us away in way puts us in our heads and we forget about our bodies and the beautiful smells and the visual treats that we get when we walk. I walk every day and I meet puppies, old dogs, and children. Sometimes I know more about the name of the dogs than the people. But being able to sniff the flowers and take the time to enjoy and pick the kumquats in the trees. I think there is really a craving for a digital detox.

I think so. It’s not necessarily about being creative but allowing a space in your day for thoughts to occur. For instance, for years while I was working in my old corporate life I suffered from insomnia, because I crammed every waking moment of my day with stimulation and information. And so, when I collapsed into bed exhausted at the end of the day, really desperate to fall asleep because I am physically tired, my brain was wired.

It is really not surprising to me now that I was unable to sleep in those times. I did not allow the thoughts that bubbled up when I was trying to go to sleep to be processed throughout the day because I was standing in the coffee queue looking at my smart phone or I was standing at the platform waiting for my train on my smart phone.

I was afraid of being with my thoughts, afraid of letting myself daydream, to let my mind wander and make a connection. To make a connection, maybe have a space to make eye contact with that barista and say, "Hi, good morning." To have a moment to make a meaningful exchange. Which is something that is parallel to the creative piece, which is equally as important, if not more so.

To have a time for those thoughts to occur, as you've said, is so important in the creative process. It is also really important when you think about how you want to publicize and market what you've got because often times it's not about - well yes, sit down and write a marketing plan. But it is then in those relaxations when you are like taking a shower or eating your lunch while actually enjoying it, that there is this space for those thoughts and creativity to occur.

For those ideas to occur is indeed fantastic light bulb moments just like when you are in the shower. This is because, for most of us, the shower is the last place where we get to go without our smart phone.

Yes, they don't make them waterproof!

I'm sure there is a case out there that does that job. But yes, is the world going to stop turning because for a few minutes you are not online?

I was in Hawaii, and I saw someone who was in the ocean with a smart phone. I wanted to like tackle the guy. I do not want to hear you talking on your smart phone on the beach in Hawaii in the water! It is insane.

It is insane. I do have one thing I want to make clear, my life had been changed for the better because of mobile technology. I think this technology that we have is fantastic. It is allowing us to speak today even though you are in the west coast of the US and I am in London. This is fantastic as it allows us to work in different ways as well as connect with each other in different ways. That is positive. I don’t really even like the term detox in digital detox, but I prefer digital mindfulness because to suggest that my smart phone is toxic is not true. This is perfectly good and a helpful piece of technology. It is how I allow myself to interact with it that can become not positive to me if I'm not deliberate about it.

If I'm mindlessly scrolling through my Twitter feed right before bedtime, well what's that all about? I'm searching for something, I'm craving for something. It's like the same as when I open the kitchen cupboard and I'm looking for cookies, that are still not there because they weren't there the last time I looked. That's a kind of boredom, a desire, a want in me in that moment. It has nothing to do with what Twitter is going to tell me. It's about being in tune with your body and your mind, and that's a long answer to why I'm not crazy about the detox in the term digital detox.

Yeah, and I know you are going to be running these online events but right now you are running these live events. I think you've kind of answered that question why you run live events, but let's chat about that for a minute on how to promote live events mindfully.

Yes and let me expand on that, I started them with a little experiment. I felt like if it helped me it might help somebody else. It got me so excited that I decided to leave my old corporate life and embark on one of creative entrepreneurship and writing. That is partly because I reached a point in my life where I needed to be fulfilled differently. I wanted greater flexibility with the way I worked. I had had this terrible shock in my physical self and I also had family tragedies that clarified what it was that I wanted to do each day.

This experiment was not terribly strategic at first. In essence I got excited about these certain neighborhoods, I decided to make things thematic according to where I was and what was coming up for me, and what was intriguing to me. I created these routes, and I had a blend of quotes. For instance researchers at Stanford University found that walking boosts your creativity exponentially. That's not just walking outside in a lovely location. You can even just be in a basement gym and walk on a treadmill and stare at a blank wall, and still be creative. They found that for those people creativity was boosted as much as 60%.

Wow, that is amazing. I wouldn't think I would be as creative on a treadmill as walking in nature or in a neighborhood.

Exactly, and that is what I thought, but their research suggests otherwise. The first thing that I did was I find the right platform here in the UK in order to put my event on the listing and get it out in the world. I happened to use this Eventbrite site, which is a big resource of events here. I was really lucky, but also I was smart; I chose a good title for my event, and I decided that curiosity had to be in the title of all of these events. I liked the idea of it being urban, because I think that we can’t all escape to the country or the coast to get a little hit of Zen.

But if we are deliberate and mindful of how we move about in the city, we can find it here. London, in particular, is even a very green city when you search that out. The workshops are about finding everyday moments of beauty and interest and curiosity, so that it's less about being somewhere that is exquisitely scenic, per say.

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Titles are so important when it comes to being able to promote live events mindfully.

How did you come up with your title? Because I think that titles are so important for events as well as press releases or whatever. Do you have a process for that?

No, I don’t. I think it is quite instinctive. I wanted it to have either the word or the essence of curiosity. I liked it to be called Urban something. The workshop twist seems cool for me, it was a walk-shop. It stuck. One of my first routes was in East London. East London is really popular and there are lots of graffiti walking tours, lots of historical walking tours and contemporary walking tours, so the title I chose was East End Urban Curiosity Workshop. My event got picked up by the Eventbrite people and it got on their calendar. It got some exposure just by virtue of me, maybe not very strategically, picking the title that I picked. It is really crucial that you consider carefully the title that you choose.

But also that it came to you, whether it was your walking, or it came to you in one of those flashes that you really love that. It does not necessarily need to be a process. It is part of something that you are doing that allows this space for those thoughts to emerge.

Precisely, and then moving on from that, I made sure that I got in touch with people like from Time Out. I was then careful in looking for relevant hashtags in my social media accounts.

What types of hashtags did you use for that situation? First of all, some people might not know about Eventbrite, but it is here in the US. You also mentioned Time Out London, I guess we've got Time Outs but I'm not sure.

You used to, but you don't anymore. So a key thing, in hindsight, if I was being more strategic than I was then - I am now; but at the beginning, it was just this experiment that then just grew as I was talking to more and more people. There are key three things; get clear with what it is that you are offering, and who it is that is going to help. I feel that this is something that was manageable — a two-hour event that could really help a busy city slicker who was having a bad time and feeling a bit stressed and spread thin, and they wanted to connect themselves. Maybe this is someone who hasn’t put pen to paper for over 15 years just because their teacher told them that they are bad at writing.

I then expanded it to anybody. It doesn't have to be anybody who has particularly got a writing interest or background. It is much more about busy people wanting to feel calmer and feel more creative, and that is through the guided exercises that I have given them in the workshop. They go away at the end of the workshop with a greater sense of the time that they've perceived themselves not to have to pursue creative passions, versus the time that they do have if they are deliberate about the time that they choose to spend connecting online. That's something that people leave with.

Word of mouth has been really positive. Me being really happy to tell new people about what it is I do. A little bit at the beginning, I was quite anxious and shy and self-conscious about that. But now, it is very clear. This is what I do, though it might not appeal to everybody. The people who resonate with it are going to get excited about it.

When somebody asks you, "What do you do," what is it that you say? What is your quick elevator pitch?

My quick elevator pitch is that I am a writer who also leads Urban Curiosity walk-shops which are creativity and digital mindfulness sessions on foot around a variety of London areas. And that these target busy people who are stressed out and need to just slow down while unplugging and to spark ideas. This gives them space to do that.

You said that once people start writing in their journals, which you give them, do you actually make the journals?

I do. I was lucky enough to participate in a fantastic workshop run by my friend Rachel Hazel who is a book artist and teacher of book-binding. She taught me how to cut the paper and how to do coptic stitching, and all sorts of beautiful things. I decided to incorporate that in my offering.

We were talking about you putting the next course online. For those of us who don't live in London, you can go to, and very soon you will have one for people who like me, live in California, or live elsewhere so we can buy your book or your journal and write in something beautiful as we tour London with you.

This summer there will be something coming out like that. That website is where I will be posting my news first off to my mailing list.

Just to expand a little bit on your question on getting the word out, as I have come along this journey, I have realized how important collaboration is; that is getting to know others and going to networking events like Creating Mornings, I go to that here in London. It is meeting people in the real world, going to fantastic conferences like Alive in Berlin, going to retreats like the one we met on with Andrea Scher and Juna Mustad Milano in Bali, and all sorts of things. That makes it easier to reach out to people when you need the help in spreading the word. They are already your friend and they have already a sense of who you are because they have a human connection. I think there is great power in that. I believe in getting out, meeting people, and not just sitting behind my screens all day long.

It's things like reaching out to membership associations. For instance, I met a man who is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education here in the UK. They've got a community of people who are potentially exactly my audience. It's contacting those guys through their regular mail outs. It's things like Writing for Wellness Association here, the Romantic Novelists Association, all of these different organizations that I'm either a member of or that I follow. I've made sure to connect with the relevant people and let them know what I'm doing and how to encourage their community to benefit from what I'm offering. Where appropriate I also offer discounts to those people because they are members of those organizations or associations. I think that's really powerful.

More recently, partnerships that I have embarked on have been with Digital Magazines like Thoughtful. We got something that is coming out this summer. It is a really fantastic and relatively new magazine that this publication has. It really excited me because it is about meaningful living without compromising the coolness of a product that you might be interested in, or the people that you want to learn more about. I have being doing some interviews of really interesting people for them.

We are developing something that is coming out later this year which we will see some kind of collaboration between the publication and me offering some kind of Urban Curiosity exploration just for their readers. That has been really fun to explore and develop. I think it is also really helpful to me because that opens me up to a whole new community here in London which might not have come across me otherwise.

So that's the digital magazine online called I know you do live events in person, but do you also promote live events mindfully online?

I do. I currently have a number of social media profiles. I love, love, love Instagram, and I am there as @ClareBarryUK. I post most days, and I love that little moment of mindfulness. This is why I don't like digital detox. This is one act each day of finding that image that I want to record and capture and share with the world.

That is a mindful moment. How do I want that image to look? How does it lend itself to the words I want to share? How does it inspire me or speak to me in that moment? I am on Twitter with the same handle (@ClareBarryUK). I am also at Facebook at Urban Curiosity Events so that's a really good place to find out about things that are of interest and for me to share cool articles and curate good things from people online, and also share updates of all upcoming and past workshops and retreats.

You brought up something really interesting too, that social media can be mindful if you choose to do something you really love. I think a lot of times people think they have to do every social media, and Alex Franzen, who you and I both know and is my mentor, sort of experimented with it. She fooled around with Instagram and found that it wasn't for her. She built up a following very quickly but she didn't love it. She never was on Facebook. She did Twitter for a long time and then she gave that up and now she just does blogging. So go where you are called.

You used Instagram for a mindful moment, something that you really loved, the beauty of the image. I say go to the social media where you are called, you don't have to blast every single social media because it's really important to be consistent on one social media. If you are posting an image a day, that's really consistent so people get to know you. Maybe they are just visiting London, they don’t necessarily live there but they want to go to your workshop. I saw that you offer writers workshops too and there's an overnight one I wanted to go to as well. I was like, "Oh that sounds super fun."

Yeah I'm really excited. I've got a good group of people coming to my first couple of retreats at my house. It's going to be good.

I spent a long time figuring out how to word that particular page on the writers retreat on my website so that it appeals to the right person, gave them all the information that they needed, and was presented in a way where they can scan the page and they will pick up the right points in an easy way.

For the writers retreat?

Yes and that is

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Clare Barry's writers' retreat

You can see here that Clare has really easy to remember set of URLs, which is a really good thing when it comes to being able to promote live events mindfully. It's really important to remember to just keep things simple for when you need to say them when you are on the radio or have to write them out.

Exactly, because I did a collaboration with a friend recently, we came up with a workshop called Mouth and Mind. It combined creativity with mindfulness and a walk and food. It was a fantastic workshop and we are really excited to do it again. That's with Meredith Whitley from Food at Heart. But what we found, and we were playing with titles before we launched our workshop, we came up with a couple that looked great on paper but we couldn’t say them. If they don’t roll off my tongue easily, they don't make the cut if I can’t say it, because I have to say it lots and lots of times.

That's so important even with sound bites. Sometimes they look really great written, but they are not written, they are spoken. So you do have to have them be able to sound natural when you speak them. It's the same thing for titles, if you don't feel comfortable speaking them, then they are not for you even if they do sound really great on paper.

I know! And we were so sad to say goodbye to a couple of them, but we made the right choice in the end. I just want to jump back to what you said about Alex Franzen, I loved it when she put out those blog posts that were a reminder to people that we can spend a lot of our time on social media connecting with other people. But what kind of connection is that? It can be meaningful connection, but it can also be mindless connection. I really admire that she had the courage and the clarity to say that this doesn't work for me, and in fact business wise, I don't need to do this, so I'm not going to anymore. I think that was really fantastic.

I had a big love/hate, push/pull relationship with social media in the last couple of years. I have not used it as well, or leveraged it as well as I could have done from a business point of view. I felt that it was this time suck. I had a real mental block about it. I had been working with a fantastic woman here in London called Samantha Miller of, she is definitely someone worth checking out. She has helped me deconstruct it and see that it is something that doesn't have to be over us, it doesn't have to be a big thing that is going to be a big time suck everyday. It is a really important tool for helping me spread the word about the work that I am doing and how it can help other people.

On a very practical note, things like Hootsuite have helped be less overwhelmed by the idea of trying to figure out how I can try to push my content out and how to present it, as well as manage it. Also, crucially, how to manage the responses. There is nothing I loathe more than to respond to somebody's tweets or update and then for it to disappear into the ether and they don't acknowledge it. I love it when somebody comments or acknowledges that something they have put out into the world has touched me. Finding those tools to help you manage those things that makes it seem not overwhelming is key.

Also, don’t be everywhere. I see some websites where people have got umpteen icons. When I click through, many of them are inactive, and that is quite damaging. I think you should then do one or two things really well.

What does Samantha Miller do?

She has recently launched a business here in London which is to help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs to branch out. She helps them to be strategic in thinking what it is that they like doing, and how to grow their business in a way that is sustainable and meaningful to them as individuals.

That's at

Her name is Samantha Miller and her website is She is very interested in wellness and creativity. I think she is brilliant because she is a young woman who is ahead of her generation. She realized that we need to nourish ourselves and our bodies as well as our souls. We need to work in a way that allows us to do that, and not work and live like many people do, which is to be switched on all the time.  That's not necessarily that we are switched on online, it's that we never allow ourselves that space in the day. Like I used to not allow myself that space and then I struggled to sleep at night because my mind was filled with all the thoughts that I suppressed throughout the day.

Hello, I know that one well. I've been up since four in the morning and haven't slept since then, my mind was buzzing so I just got my little notebook out and started writing just so I could get it all out into my little notebook so that way I could fall back asleep. That didn't happen, I just had so much on my mind today.

BAMD0026 | Promote Live Events Mindfully

Promote live events mindfully with social media tools like Hootsuite.

Getting back to social media for a minute, you use Hootsuite to manage social media. Do you set up a little campaign when you’re promoting an event on social media?


How do you set up that campaign?

I think about what it is that I'm doing, I think about what problem does this solve, who is it going to help, and when am I going to run it, and where I am going to run it. I have a little template whereby there may be some obvious themes that might come up for that event. I'm always writing down interesting quotes that I hear on other people's podcasts, I really can't wait for you to launch your full suite of podcasts, before and after mine!

So I've got this running notebook with lots of different things. I pick out the quotes that I've listened to or read, and I tie them in with the theme. I'm also finding other content or articles that are interesting that are related to the theme. Then I write a number of my own tweets and status updates around this particular event that is not overwhelmingly salesy. I remind people in a variety of ways that the event is happening, that what it is going about, and this is how it might help them, and where to go next to book that ticket.

That's great, so you have collected quotes, articles, things that are about your topic that are not direct promotions about your topic to create interest around this whole thing, then you promote in between. Do you have a certain number that you do? Like three other people's stuff to your one promotion?

I am not that strategic, but I shouldn't admit that out loud on a podcast about how to promote live events mindfully. But I am very instinctive about my business. I think I get turned off by the people on social media who are trying to flog their book every other tweet, so I am acutely aware of what a turn off that is. I am interested in curation and I want to be known for curating and sharing interesting content and spreading the word about good stuff that other people are doing. But I only share it if it touched me or if it's worth it to be putting me on your radar. I don't want to waste your time, you are a busy person Susan.

So five or six is probably more realistic. It also depends also how near I am to the event and what numbers are looking like. There are times where my event tickets have sold out really quickly. There are also times around the holidays where things are a little bit slower and that time is where I might do some last minute messaging of that the last tickets that are available. It is just all about reminding the people of the scarcity of these tickets. "There's one or two left, final booking of these slots available now. Book here."

You said also something that touched me, is that you said you curate things that touched you and that you want to be known for curating those meaningful things to people. You are about meaningfulness so you are putting out meaningful images, not just because they are popular, but you are putting them out there because they've touched you in some way and have meaning for you. Whereas I think that sometimes people start sharing because other people have shared. They are not thinking, "Is this something that is really connected with me that I want to share with others?" That is not a way to promote live events mindfully with gorgeosity.

I feel very strongly about being respectful to other people. If somebody else has liked my Urban Curiosity Events Facebook page, I don’t want to bombard them with a load of crap, frankly. I don't appreciate it in the reverse, from a business point of view and being a bit tougher. I have unliked or hidden certain pages when there is a steady stream of stuff that does not resonate with me in that moment. I want to nurture my community whether they are following me on Facebook or whether they are following me on Twitter.

Each of those platforms operates in a different way and the interaction is different. I think you have to be cognizant of that and adjust. I want to share stuff that is going to have an impact and will be helpful, not just because I need to send out a tweet because it's been one hour since my last tweet.

The other thing I was thinking about when you were talking about social media, and I want to finish up with social media and then I want to ask you one more question about your international publicity. Do you use other tools for social media too? I think what you said is really important too, each medium has a different protocol and a different way to connect with people that you want to be cognizant of. It's not okay to blast people with your stuff over and over again to your community, which I know that some people do.

But by the same token, with something like Twitter, this is where you have to understand the platform because it is very fast moving. If I put in a tweet out in the morning here, but because you are in the West Coast of the US, you are going to miss that one teeny tweet in the sea of a million when you wake up, or at the point in the day when you jump onto Twitter. There is merit in making sure that you share certain messages more than once, absolutely. But it needs to be deliberate and done with intention and not in a way that is going to turn somebody off, you never want to do that.

I know someone who is a producer of a radio show that circulates the show one tweet every two hours and mixes them up on Twitter and cycles them in over and over again. I asked the person who works for him if he has unsubscribes on Twitter and she said no because he is consistently building his audience. But I bet they are hiding some too, those that see the same things over and over.

Also this comes back to, and I hesitate using this word because I think it gets thrown about too much these days, but this comes back to being authentic. So I am my business the same way that you are with yours. My integrity is really really valuable to me, and once that is gone with a prospect or a customer, I don't easily get it back, if I ever get it back. So that works for him, and that's great. For me, when I am putting something out, I am aware of what I would feel if I were the consumer. Would I be ticked off because this was the third time I saw the same salesy tweet or Instagram with a terrible image?

I am always thinking about myself as my prospect or my client, maybe that is not what the business and marketing gurus would recommend, but up to now it's worked for me and I will keep at it until the day that it no longer works for me.

I think that's great and I don’t think you need to listen to the gurus because it is important to listen to yourself for your own integrity. Also to understand what resonates with your community.


If it resonates with you it will resonate with your community. I know Andrea Scher works like that too. Other people who are the "marketing gurus" might say that is not correct, but I will disagree with them too.

Andrea's got a fantastically successful audience and her audience is very established because what she does is very good. She is really good at what she does. She has found a way for it to be authentic and meaningful for her. That is what keeps people going back to her. That's why people like us leapt at the chance to go to Bali with her and Juno.

Back to social media for a minute, do you have any other tools that you recommend other than Hootsuite?

At the moment, that is the main one. I am really late to the party on this one but that has revolutionized things for me and made it seem less overwhelming. There is a guy called Bryan Collins, he is an Irish writer, and he has a free guide to Twitter. I find it really helpful because it demystified the whole thing to me. If I just pulled off Excel all these fantastic quotes that I am collecting and just put them in to a couple of columns and just upload them to Hootsuite in a CSV file. I just upload it and schedule it through the platform. It just makes it so much easier for me. I am sure that there are a lot of other tools out there, but those are the ones that I am using for the moment.

While it's really important to get the word out and social media is one strand of that for me, and I have to be very careful to not allow it to be a time suck, which is what put me off getting involved in the first place. Now I feel not so [apprehensive] about it, I know what I'm doing when I jump on. I am on for a fixed amount of time and then I get off. It's working for me.

Can you upload images to Hootsuite?

Yes, everything. It really made it less frightening and overwhelming. I felt frightened by the sense of overwhelm that I had with, "Oh my God I need to be on social media." I wanted to do what Alex Franzen's done, but by the same token, she was able to do that because her business is much more established. She already has a solid client base, which is fantastic and well deserved. I am much earlier on in my journey, I can’t afford to not embrace the power of social media at this point in my business. Maybe at some future point I may pull back. By the same token, it's allowed me to maintain contact with some fantastic people that I meet along the way and I am enjoying that.

I also know that Alex built up her following through her blog posts, then that fanned out to social media. Obviously for any social media, you want to drive people back to your website to connect with them more deeply.

BAMD0026 | Promote Live Events Mindfully

I was also curious about national publicity. I remember when I was a publicist and I did publicity for a hair salon and art gallery called Architects and Heroes. I did national publicity for them in Vogue, Bazaar, all the big fashion magazines like InStyle. The reason why we did it is that is people from all over the world when they came to San Francisco, would book an appointment. So even though you've got something local for Urban Curiosity Walk-shops, have you done any national publicity or is that something that you have not considered yet?

This is something that I am working on right now. I am doing a soft launch of a new speaker event that I am hosting this week in Notting Hill, London. Next month, I will have a launch whereby I invite along some media from the glossy magazines, so Psychologist Magazine, Harpers, and Tattler, those kinds of guys and the people from Wellness Magazine. I would like those people to receive my lovely invitation which will be a handcrafted invitation.

My speaker is going to be book artist, Rachel Hazel, who is fantastic. She is going to come along and speak to us about the tension between living - she lives partly on Iona, this tiny island on the west coast of Scotland and partly in Edinburgh. The rest of the time she's traveling the world and making fantastic art, and books, and teaching people like me how to make our own books.

She is going to teach the audience how to make a tiny book after I've grilled her on stage. I'm really excited about that. I am really hoping that the time is going to pay off for me because here, all of the journalists are running around doing Christmas in July. They taste the minced pies in the heat of summer because they are working on their editions that you and I buy in November, December, and January.

So you are doing this well in advance is what you are saying. You understand the editorial calendar of journalists and that they need three to six months depending on what they are working on.

They do. One option that I have not explored yet, but I am about to, is looking at those more niche magazines where there are overlaps. It might be the executive magazine that is handed out in business class on one of the major airlines. It might be one of the more niche craft journals that come out quarterly. I am doing research which is code for buying lots of fantastic magazines. I love magazines and journals. There are so many fantastic ones out there.

We love paper and tactile things. Will you share some of those? Even though you are in the UK, we would love to have some of those.

Yes, and they are not all UK based, there's lots from Australia, Germany, and the United States too. I'll fish those out.

That would be great for people like us who love books, journals, and all those tactile things.

She literally just arrived back from Squam and arrived back in the UK today.

Did you say Squam? I've never heard of that.

Yes, so I'm sure I'm going to get this a little wrong, but they do live retreats and online retreats. They are based out of the east coast of New Hampshire but don't quote me on that. It's a female community and many of the people who are interested in knitting and crocheting, very tactile crafts.

I thought it was a place! I was like, "Here's another place that I don't know about in the world."

Yes, it's held near Nantucket. She's definitely one to check out.

What you've just said I want to repeat, because some people really want to go for the big national media, that they ignore the niche market and the trade magazines. The market where your people are could be very niche markets. There is still a lot of competition there, but you can do a very targeted campaign that is very specific to what you do that really reaches those people. What I'm saying is it doesn't necessarily matter the size.  You might get a better response from a small niche magazine than you do from a big national one because it's right for you.

An example of that is my client, Lionel Bissoon who does something called mesotherapy. It's natural vitamins, minerals, and homeopathy under the skin with tiny pin pricks that rejuvenate your face, or get into the place where it is hard for you to lose fat, things like that. So his business used to be mainly women and star celebrities all would go to him if they wanted to look great before an event. He did one placement in a magazine that targeted CEOs in the New York area because he is in New York City and his whole business shifted because these men wanted testosterone therapy.

It's so competitive in New York to look young, you want to feel great, you want to get the young women, and you want to get ahead in business. His whole business shifted because of that one small, but very targeted publication which was for CEOs who could afford his testosterone therapy. I'm saying that the power of a small niche can shift your small business into growing one particular part of it or shifting the whole thing.

And in unexpected ways. If your business model is one that allows you to be agile, and allows you to pivot when these opportunities present themselves, then that is fantastic. Go for it.

So remember that you can go to or Tell us about your next big project and your plan to entice big prospects into it and promote live events mindfully. 

BAMD0026 | Promote Live Events Mindfully

Promote live events mindfully with Clare Barry

Something I have been working over the summer is this mentorship community called Thrive. This is set to launch in the autumn or fall and it is going to be for the busy person, for men and women who want to find those moments of pause throughout their day. Maybe they need a little help through inspirational essays, whether it's through a webinar with interesting guest speakers sharing their expertise on wellness, on quirky more specific topics like the work Rachel does on papermaking and handwriting. It's also things like keeping an eye on your physical health.

So I write these days and I can easily spend all day sitting down behind the computer screen and write. These are some of the topics that I am currently working on at the moment and how to package them in a way that is really appealing to my prospects.

I am feeling excited and more confident about the marketing options out there. This is a digital product. This is a membership community. It is going to stretch me to market my product in a very different way from the marketing that I have done to date. I am looking forward to hearing all of your juicy tips from your other guests on your podcasts. I am looking at what other people are doing and what is working. I am a big believer in deconstructing what is working for somebody else.

A piece of advice that I got when I was writing fiction was to take a favorite novel and deconstruct it. Look at the framework and the techniques. Don’t read it as a reader who is sucked into this fantastic story. Break it down into its component parts so that you can analyze how the author has managed to create this fantastically compelling story that has sucked you in. I did just that with two of my favorite authors. I just got stuck two chapters in because they were such good storytellers that they sucked me into the story and I stopped seeing the architecture and the framework of how they wrote it. That is what I have done in figuring out sales copies.

I have looked at what other people have done that has enticed me to buy something from them online. What compelled me to buy that course? What compelled me to sign up to Andrea and Juna's fantastic retreat in Bali? Deconstructing their sales page, I can see how it appealed to me and I can see that they are clearly telling me what they are going to be offering me. Taking that same model of deconstructing, I am looking at what other people are doing at their launches online and figuring out a plan with two or three months lead time as to how I could launch that community to my audience. I will come back to speak and will let you know how I've been getting along.

That is something that I do too, regularly. I know that for some people that doesn't necessarily come naturally. I am writing a YA novel, and I don't know anything about those kinds of novels so I just started reading them like crazy and deconstructing them like you did.

Like you, I learned to write sales copy from people like Joe Vitale. He made me want to buy every single thing even though I don’t need it. I thought, "I do not need this, but why do I want it so bad?" I call it reverse engineering, because it is the same way I create sound bites, is I listen to how people speak naturally. I listen to all the great people on radio and on TV and in print, then I reverse engineer it.

What did they do that other people could do too? That is what you are saying to do, and I think it is so valuable because you need to know what is out there in the market place, it's your own homework. You also need to know what if there are ten other people who are doing walks in London?

There are lots of people who are doing versions of what I do, but they are not me. It has taken me some time to reach this point where I got the confidence to say that there might be similarities, there might be overlap with our audience, but this is the differentiating factor: it is me. This is what has attracted me to the products and services that I bought, it's the person behind it. It is part of their story and how they have conveyed their story. I will be tapping into all of those things as I develop this marketing strategy for my new community project.

I am thinking of the idea of also doing vlogging which I am slightly trepidacious about. Not because I am afraid of the recording part because I'm kind of overcome that anxiety because I've been doing some recording for some other things. What I am anxious about is the actual technology, I am a tech dolt, I am not very clever when it comes to the fancy stuff that makes these things work. I know I will get there but sometimes I find it quite difficult to get my head around how to make some stuff work. I'm looking at vlogging like, "Oh gosh, I'm going to have to figure out how to edit, and upload, this, that, and the other and hope that this is not potentially just another big time suck.”

However, I really love when my favorite people online post stuff that is live. Maybe it's not live, but I get to see them and see how their face is animated when they are excited and telling me about the service or the products that they want to sell me or the information they want to share with me that is going to help me learn and help me grow my business. So I am toying with the idea of doing some kind of vlogging because I think there is something powerful about it that helps you connect with your prospects quicker and more easily than just written words or through audio. It is just another complimentary mode.

I think this is true because to not get caught up in the technical aspect, you can hire people to do that. The most important thing is you and you being yourself. Which, by the way, you are the one who's created this fabulous walk and created the idea of making that tiny book for people which is so appealing, it's so much about you and that's part of your personality that is coming through in what you do and what you leave people with. Not only in you leaving them with your great spirit, but you are leaving them with a book that they are not going to forget which is tactile and beautiful. It now has things in it that they have written and that are important to them and they will associate that with you.

That's my plan, thank you Susan for saying that.

Thank you so much for joining us, Clare Barry. I and Clare are not feeling very well, but we still managed to give this episode on how to promote live events mindfully with lots of spirit. Sometimes things happen like this during a media interview. Suddenly the day of your interview, whether it's the Today Show, Good Morning America, or Oprah, or whatever it is, something horrible happens.  Sometimes it's something minor - your kid is sick at school, but sometimes it is major. One time one woman told me that her father was dying. Sometimes it can be as little as a cold or as big as impending death. And yet, we are still able to bring, and it's so much of what we talked about so much today on how to promote live events mindfully, it's bringing that mindfulness to the moment from where you are despite the way you feel, even if you are not feeling 100%. How often are we really at 100%?

We have been talking about the stuff that gets us to be excited. I love talking about this stuff. An hour ago, I was not feeling too hot. Right now, I am feeling fantastic. That is the thing. Telling your story and spreading the word is exciting because I am passionate about what I am doing. I want to tell this to more people because I can help more people. It is about bringing that enthusiasm in the moment whether you are feeling tip top before you start recording or not.

Thank you so much Clare, it’s been a joy to talk to you on how to promote live events mindfully.

It’s been fun. Thank you for having me Susan.

About Clare Barry

Clare Barry is a London writer and the founder of Urban Curiosity. That is creativity and wellness brand that helps busy people like all of us, slow down and spark ideas. Her writing workshops, retreats, and monthly speakers’ events focus on creativity and human connection in a digital world, in London, the real one. She went from frazzled office worker whose creativity was in a puddle at the bottom of the career ladder to a thriving writer and a creative entrepreneur when she slowed down long enough to breathe. Now she helps writers reclaim time and head space for what really matters. You can find her at


Take a marvelous mindful walk with Clare

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  • A geniune way to build your business
    August 26, 2016 by Siriusjane from United States

    Loved this podcast. I found it very helpful and informative. Susan has a very open, friendly, riveting approach to promoting one's business and self. Her sharp insights and her real-life examples and guests can really help a business going from a start-up to a viral presence. I recommend this highly if you want to get your message out there with a genuine approach. Even the poetry speaks to the importants of our words. Check out all the episodes.

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Let Your Work Carry You Via Milan Rai

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Let Your Work Carry You Via Milan Rai

This is a story about Milan Rai who's an artist living in Katmandu, Nepal. He was pondering a very complex project. He wanted it to shock his audience. As he was pondering, a small white butterfly landed on his paintbrush. He said, “I forgot what I was doing and became happy. The little butterfly was teaching me so much.”

So he created these butterflies and he started putting up these little white butterflies in public spaces in the city and on billboards and on trees. And they drew people's attention taking them out of their daily routines for a moment, and he said, “And bringing them some simple poetry from an unexpected place.”

And then people started writing to him. The butterflies have gone to 41 countries and he considers them a message of love and hope and peace. And of course he didn't plan that, it happened very organically and spontaneously from that day that the little butterfly flew onto his paintbrush.

Then, a woman asked if she could make her own butterfly and write the name of her daughter on its wings. And he said that at the time many companies were asking to collaborate and make money on the butterfly, turning it into a logo or some kind of business that would make money. And he didn't want to mix the commerce with his art and what the butterfly represented. But he relented because he'd asked her why she wanted to write the name on the butterfly and she said, “Tomorrow is the six year anniversary of my daughter's death and I want to write her name on a butterfly and put it on a tree.” That touched him and he gave her permission to do this.

follow your passion

Follow your heart

Then other people started asking if they could do the same. So after all these people put butterflies there was a tree and it was covered with these beautiful white butterflies with the names of people's loved ones.

And that just happened by itself. That happened so organically. I love the way it began with this inspiration of trying to do something, trying to put a piece of work out in the world in a certain way and then being led in another direction. So it's let your work carry you.

Then something else happened that led Milan Rai in another direction. Because after the earthquake happened, there were lots of people there but they didn't have toilets. There were only four. So he took this on as a project. He really wanted to preserve people's both health and their dignity. He said girls had told him, “We have to wait until dark to relieve ourselves.” One girl was even refusing to eat because she knew that she would then have to go to the bathroom and use the toilet.

So he went to Facebook and Twitter and in one hour people starting coming out of their homes carrying all these tools. By 7 PM that night they had built 47 toilets. He said, “He was first known as the butterfly man and now he's also known as the toilet man.” And he says “But it doesn't matter to me whether I am the butterfly man or the toilet man. I’ve always wanted to become a great artist but now I want to become a good human being.”

And I love that story. I love it for a couple reasons. Number one, that sometimes we intend something or we want it out in the world in a certain way and we’re taken in another direction. And number two, I love that he followed his impulses in both of these instances that led him in a direction that brought him through emotion and other people chiming into a project that he didn't have a vision of how it would evolve and it evolved organically on its own.

This is the best kind of publicity. This is the best way that our work can get out in the world without forcing it into a certain shape or way that it needs to be. And to let it take a life of its own. And then to be able to expand our horizons. Maybe he didn't want to become known as the toilet man too, but what a great thing that he did for the community that he could bring both beauty, the butterflies and practicality, the toilets to his community.

So I say, let yourself be carried in the direction that you’re led and allow those kind of influences that move you to bring your gift into the world.


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Can't Figure Out Publicity?

How Do I Get Publicity?


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I'm here to give you everything you need to get you ready for the media spotlight so you can live the life you dream of. Let’s begin together with the Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul Membership Club to get you set for your time to shine.

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Podcast Reviews
  • A geniune way to build your business
    August 26, 2016 by Siriusjane from United States

    Loved this podcast. I found it very helpful and informative. Susan has a very open, friendly, riveting approach to promoting one's business and self. Her sharp insights and her real-life examples and guests can really help a business going from a start-up to a viral presence. I recommend this highly if you want to get your message out there with a genuine approach. Even the poetry speaks to the importants of our words. Check out all the episodes.

  • Invigorate Your Message!
    August 24, 2016 by Michele L. Plunkett from United States

    Winsome wisdom evokes and embodies the expertise of Susan Harrow; ensuring enlivening opportunities and outcomes through her podcasts and programs! Grow your business and income with the stellar style of Susan's endearing and enriching coaching! Susan Harrow Media Coaching and Marketing Strategies provide vitalizing results to invigorate your message when you implement her training!

  • Excited!
    August 24, 2016 by Delia McCabe from Australia

    Love Susan's work - her book and emails and short eBooks are all filled with enthusiasm and sparkle! So excited to be able to listen to her too now!

  • Susan makes publicity doable, authentic, + fun! !
    August 15, 2016 by SherryBelul from United States

    I'm thrilled to see that Susan Harrow is doing this podcast! I've taken a number of Susan's courses and I just love how warm, accessible, and doable her work is. Susan is an amazing trainer who is knowledgable about *all* aspects of publicity and media training, but she never overwhelms us with too much at once. She makes everything bite sized. (Sound-bite sized!) This podcast is no exception. You'll love the stories she tells to illustrate he points because they help make the information memorable. And she gives simple things to practice with. If you want to grow your business, I highly recommend this podcast. Not only will you love the training, I know you will love Susan's generous heart + authentic teaching style.

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The $20K Facebook Post

By Nancy Marmolejo

I was chatting with my colleague Nancy Marmolejo about how she was getting so much traction of Facebook. If you offer high-ticket programs or services this is something you’ll want to consider as it’s a “new” and innovative Facebook Marketing strategy. I’m just going to copy the post here with a few of my edits… read it… then if you want to reach out directly to Nancy to talk to her about this, simply go here.

Facebook Marketing with Nancy Marmolejo

Facebook Marketing with Nancy Marmolejo

The public is on to you. They’re sensing something isn’t entirely real when you post in social media. It’s all gotten SO contrived. Your carefully crafted photos, status updates, and strategically planned posts — come across like you phoned them in. It’s not the real you. And people see that. I see that. We all see that…we’re not buying it…literally.

Simply put, these overly “airbrushed” posts is not the kind of engagement that results in revenue.

Look, let me share this with you. Do you know what it’s like to post something that speaks from the heart and then have someone — a total stranger who isn’t even on your list — hire you for $20K? I do. It’s awesome. Sure beats doing a launch, paying JV partners or forking out thousands of dollars for Facebook ads.

Have people ever private messaged you asking how they can work with you?

And I’m not talking low level work, but high-level, high priced work that’s gratifying and profitable and amazing.

People who are ready to take action and don’t want to jump through your funnel to get to you. They want you NOW. 

What if posting about your dog on Facebook could fill your programs? That resulted in getting a bunch of newclients just for talking about something you love? Or what if sharing about your favorite juice bar could get a person to invest in your highest level offer?

No selling. No posing. No B.S. Just you being you. All while you’re still “on brand” and authentic.

Welcome to the world of real engagement… that converts.

For close to a decade, social media has been “my thing” to get clients.

People have been asking me for YEARS how I have successfully mastered social media engagement and Facebook marketing. “How do you get all these comments on your posts? How did you get so-and-so in on that conversation? How come you get clients — high-end ones — from social media and I don’t?”

What if Posting About Your Dog on Facebook Could Fill Your Programs?

What if Posting About Your Dog on Facebook Could Fill Your Programs?

For example, one woman, who regularly signs up 5 figure clients into her high-end program, put out a video to invite people to it. But it got zero traction. No engagement. No one watching it. Once I worked with her to change the wording in the Facebook post her engagement went wild! She has over 1000 views and counting and has converted a number of her ideal clients into her program.

It’s an ART. But like any art form, it can be taught. What’s cool is it will become YOUR art. Your voice. Your magic.

I can teach you how. But I want to do it right, so here’s how it’ll get YOU the best results.

I’m inviting 10 people to do this with me. I will teach exactly what I do, why I do it, how I do it, and how to customize it to YOU so you find your irresistible social media voice. (Hint: you don’t have to be anyone but yourself to do this. But you can’t see yourself the way I see you… that’s why mentoring for this is so important!)

Tell me why this would be valuable to you. I’m offering a small number of free consults to anyone interested in doing this work with me. Tell me about your challenges and what you’d love to see happen here.

Nancy Marmolejo has been in business since 2003,and has won numerous awards in business innovation and achievement, been featured in 5 books (and counting!), has over 100 media credits to her name, and maintains a great reputation in her industry as a thought leader. Her own Talent and Genius draw from a fascinating upbringing in a family business, a first career as an inner city school teacher, and an insatiable curiosity that drives her. She’s a genius at finding yours.

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

By Guest Blogger Danny Iny

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a vicious cycle.

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

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

But wait…

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

It’s a legitimate question.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

You take a little lesson from the technology industry.

Rapid Prototyping for Training Products

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

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

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

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

How do you find out that information?

1. Listen and Validate

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

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

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

2. Dig Deeper with Surveys and Interviews

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

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

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

3. Analyze Your Data

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

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

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

4. Sell a Pilot Version

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

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

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

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

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

Case Study: The Course Builder’s Laboratory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

How to Do it Yourself, Starting Today

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

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

Then, sell a pilot version of the product.

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

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

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

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

This final product is your key to scalable revenue.

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

Then let’s get started!

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

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

The 10 Best Social Media Tips & Tools Posts From 2014

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


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

free image

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


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

Social media examiner

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

Bullas bullhorn

BONUS: 19 free social media analytics tools

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

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

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness


Social Media Tips

Social Media Tips
Photo by: deapeajay

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

Or is it?

Dunno. I go back and forth.

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


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

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

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

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Best times for social media posts
Photo by: Fey Illyas

2. Should I schedule my posts during optimal times?

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

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

3. Should I hire a social media manager?


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

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

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

And, you’re in for a treat because…

Kayli has a few openings for a new client.

3 Tips to Avoid Social Media Madness

Social Media Marketing

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

Here’s what she’s looking for:

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

Interested in more tips for social media? Try these:

LinkedIn Engagement – 10 Tactics that Take Less than 10 Minutes


LinkedIn Infographic Stand OutLinkedIn Engagement – 10 Tactics that Take Less than 10 Minutes
(Rule #36 From 42 Rules for 24-hour Success on linked In)

By Chris Muccio

The goal is to help you create a sustainable participation on LinkedIn.

There are numerous ways to create engagement on LinkedIn by using your time efficiently. If you are building out a 15-minute-per-day participation plan, these tactics should fit perfectly. In this rule, we are going to discuss 10 tactics that can each be performed in well under 10 minutes. (Note: these are all online techniques. You could always integrate offline techniques like writing a note and mailing it and sending a card.)

Quickest Tactics: Each Takes Less than a Couple of Minutes

1. Start your day with a quick glance at your notifications tab
(located, as of this writing, at the top right of your page). In a couple of seconds, you can see who has most recently interacted with you. Based on that, you can respond accordingly.

2. Check your morning e-mails with group activity.
Scan to see which posts you are interested in and can comment effectively toward.

3. Open up your Google Alerts, and scan for interesting information to share with your connections.
(Note: if you haven’t already, set up Google Alerts to monitor keyword phrases that are important to you, your industry, or your target audience. Each day, Google sends you an e-mail with a list of articles related to your search. It takes less than a minute to initially set up.) Always add a sentence or two to the link you post. Just posting links without comments does not create the engagement you want people to make with you. One note of caution: be cognizant of articles that you come across that may be sitting behind a site’s paid side (i.e., paywall). Some recipients won’t be able to read these links.

LinkedIn Infographic
Click for a larger image

 4. Scan your activity stream.
Depending on how you have your filter set, this can show all the activity occurring within your network. Find items to comment on in a value-added way. Making relevant comments keeps you and your company name in people’s thoughts and reinforces the connections between you. If you can’t find something to comment on, then find something to “like.” As we discussed in Rule #24, it can still be a powerful tactic.

5. Endorse someone in your network.
Consider the points we shared in Rule #32.

Quick Tactics: Each Takes Less than Five Minutes

6. When people endorse you, thank them.
If they commented on your update, respond. If they viewed your profile, send them a message.

7. Skip the e-mail in item #2, and go directly into your key groups.
Open each one and post a comment, comment on a post, or add a “like.” Always add value to the discussion. Just do this in your main groups. Spreading yourself too thin will dilute your effectiveness.

8. Post an update on your company page.
It is a great way to engage with a highly targeted demographic.

9. Focus on one-to-one communication.
Check out specific profiles in your network. You can see the last time you’ve communicated with them via LinkedIn’s little CRM function. Take a quick second to send a short message.

10. Invite people.
Take a few minutes to find new people to add to your network. They may be people in your target industry, region, or company. Make a connection request with a personal message. Perform this wisely. Remember to connect with care and with those you have something in common with. Don’t spam invites; LinkedIn is watching

Next Steps

Take a look at these tactics. Try them. Refine them and figure out what works best for you. The goal is to help you create a sustainable participation on LinkedIn. These are quick and can be very effective tools to engage with your target audiences. Take a peek at the video Chris created from our interview on how to use sound bites on LinkedIn.

Chris is a seasoned executive who started his career with PriceWaterhouseCooper . He holds an MBA from the University of Florida, where he was named a Matherly Scholar, the highest honor awarded by the program. Throughout his corporate career, Chris has functioned as a global executive leading multiple highly successful projects, teams and multi-million dollar business functions across 28 countries on five continents. Currently he’s a sought after Chief Digital Strategist. You can get his Amazon Bestselling book and attend CR3 Digital Marketing Telesummit here:

Messy, Gorgeous Process


By Guest blogger Laurie Wagner

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

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

Laurie Wagner

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

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

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

FREE Publicity Sources

Publiseek connects their followers: technologists, computer/telecom experts, & tech companies, with members of the media looking to talk to sources for their articles.

Sourcebottle connects expert sources with journalists and bloggers in the UK, Australia, Canada & New Zealand and the US. They help journalists & bloggers find sources. They help businesses & PR pros get free publicity.