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

By Susan Harrow, media coach

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

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

1. Cultivate an opinion.

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

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

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

2. Make a prediction.

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

KentYoungstrom thought leader training

9 was you can be a thought leader

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

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

3. Shape thinking.

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

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

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

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

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

4. Have a philosophy.

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

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

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

Brene Brown thought leader

Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action

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

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

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

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

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

5. Spearhead a movement.

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

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

David Sheff thought leader, movement maker

Thought leaders start movements

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

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

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

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

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

6. Be controversial.

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

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

Dr. Sara Gottfried thought leader

Thought leaders invite controversy

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

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

7. Play both sides.

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

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

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

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

thought leadership training

Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue

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

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

8. Coin a term.

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

9. Declare your vision.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you’d like to schedule a free 15 minute time to talk about you becoming a thought leader go here.


3 Ways a Media Appearance is Like a Vince Flynn Thriller


Baby shoes for sale. Never been worn.  ~ Ernest HemmingwayI have four Vince Flynn thrillers piled on the floor by my bed right now. I stay up way too late reading them, glancing at the clock saying to myself, “I should stop now.” But I don’t. They are more than page turners, they are enthralling. They put you in the world of politics, danger, revenge and love. These are elements of the greats like Shakespeare. And though not written with the same eloquence or insight, Vince Flynn’s books still pull you through a world of intrigue and assassinations. Your media interview should have that same thrilling quality – like you’re taking people on a tour of your life and work, inviting them into your a place where you know things that they don’t. Maybe there is melodrama and machinations. Maybe there is high intensity and ideas that inflame. Whether there are or not, here are 5 qualities to make your media appearance as engaging as a Vince Flynn thriller.

1. It’s economical.
Vince Flynn sets up each character clearly detailing what they look like and a few telling personality characteristics. Then he sets up a dynamic of another character who opposes whatever agenda the first character has. By creating tension he has our attention. Create your answers to interview questions with economy by choosing only the essential details that will set up your story or point. Eliminate the rest. These might be a quick visual description so we “see” what you’re talking about. One of the most famous sound bites in history comes from an ad that Earnest Hemingway wrote:

Baby shoes for sale. Never been worn.

You see and feel the whole story in just two lines. Practice telling a story in two or three lines. In this one you have life and death, the two most powerful opposing forces juxtaposed side by side in just two sentences. See how economical you can be and still create engagement.

2. It’s fast-paced.
By speaking in shorter sentences your media interview will give your audience impression of moving along swiftly – like a thriller. Vince Flynn’s chapters are short. Each one is a complete story in itself. Once you finish reading a chapter you can’t wait to read the next one. Within each chapter his sentences are short which compresses time so you have the same sense of urgency that the characters have.

By making your sound bites each a complete and fulfilling story you’ll have your audience wanting more. When my private clients first engage me to media train them most most tend to speak in long, drawn out sentences and their stories meander in many different directions. We practice creating a cohesive stories in twenty to thirty seconds that have a clear beginning, middle and end. Each sentence moves the story forward in a decisive linear way. Each sound bite story has a definitive ending.

When I media coach my clients to do this it gives them two great advantages in a media appearance. First they lead the audience confidently through their story so the audience trusts them to be knowledgeable and stay on track. We trust people who give us clear direction. We don’t trust people who ramble. They are often perceived as not having a sharp mind and to be inconsiderate time-wasters. Second, people who speak concisely signal the interviewer when they are done with their definitive ending. I recommend that my clients pause after completing a story which creates breathing space and then allows the interviewer the time to ask his next question. This creates a relaxed flow of conversation. Many beginner media guests bemoan sound bites as the dumbing down of ideas – but they can be quite the opposite. You can still create deep resonance with economy of language. Study the famous Japanese Haiku poets who make you feel sadness, longing, and desire in four lines. Here’s one of my favorites. Notice how concrete and visual it is. This haiku is fast paced, beautiful and deep. Your sound bites can be the same.

The temple bell stops
But the sound
keeps coming
out of the flowers
~ Basho

3. It has clashes.
Vince Flynn has lots of heated arguments in his New York Times best-selling thrillers. His characters each have their own agendas – and have to prove to each other that their agenda is the one to follow. They voice their opinions strongly and back them up with concrete experience and hard facts. One of the best ways to get media attention is to be controversial. Combine that with informed opinion and you’ll have a great advantage over your competitors to be a chosen media guest.

Strong emotion equals good ratings. To create strong emotions you can tell a moving story and back it up with facts and statistics. Here’s a little know fact: You can get the same effect as having a person with the opposite point of view debate with you on TV by being your own debater. So if you set up your point of view and also the opposing point of view to an issue and cover both points of view you have an instant element of intrigue. We love to hear about how others try to knock you or your ideas down. We love to see how you triumph over hard-headed opinion or false facts. Create your own clashes and you could be an in-demand media guest in a hurry.

3 Superstar Secrets to Getting Results From Your Media Appearances


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Most people who are in a rush to get publicity dash off a press release and then expect instant fame. But what typically happens IF the media calls is they don’t have their sound bites ready. What follows is…disappointment.

They don’t get quoted, or if they do it does little or nothing for their business. Then they blame the media, saying that publicity doesn’t work. In order for publicity to work – you have to do the work first.

So BEFORE you ever contact the media watch this video to find out the three things you should do that set the foundation of your talking points or sound bites. Then craft your stories, statistics, facts, vignettes, one liners, aphorisms, anecdotes, analogies and acronyms that are the mainstay of your messages.

3 Crucial Mind-Set Strategies to Become a Media Darling & Whatever Else You Want


I've been training for my 3rd Kyu Aikido (Japanese Martial Arts)By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

I was a nervous wreck.

I’ve been training for my 3rd Kyu Aikido (Japanese Martial Arts) test for about 9 months now. I have to memorize all the Japanese names of techniques. I have to know how to perform them when they are called out on the mat in front of all the students. And, worst of all – there is no talking. Just movement. And that scares the bejesus out of me.

I’m a verbal person and I figure I can get out of anything with the right words. I’ve done this many time in speeches, on the street to fend off an attacker, and during media appearances on TV, radio and print. But in Aikido, no go. The body does the talking. And mine is an awkward introvert.

I needed a way to cope.

So I’ve set my mind to do three strategies to blaze through my test. You can use these strategies when you have an upcoming media appearance, meeting, speech, or any encounter that gives you the shakes.

By the way I’m now a black belt.

1. Meditate.
Meditation helps clear the mind and make space for, well, nothingness. It doesn’t matter what kind of meditation you do. Whether it’s just breathing in white light and out black smoke, or following your breath or, as Thich Nhat Hanh recommends, (one of my favorites) to sit quietly and smile. For people with super busy minds (hello) you can do walking meditation, just feeling your feet on the ground, the sun on your face, the air in your lungs. Even doing this for five minutes a day can produce a kind of lasting peace inside in the moment, and also, a profound sense of calm over time. Any practice done consistently will change you, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in large. There’s often a big loud tipping point, but frequently just a subtle shift. That’s the beauty and surprise of practice.

2. Imitate great examples.
For my aikido test I’m watching Hans Goto, my sensei or teacher, do every single technique that’s on my test on a video. I play it in slow motion. I stop and start it. Then I get on the kitchen floor rug and imitate him as best as I can. I klutz my way through, over and over again. I go to practice several times a week so I’m in constant training mode.

Then I ask different black belts in my dojo to do one technique with me, taking me through the details. I train every Sunday for two hours with Maria, a black belt who is always ready with a laugh – and who is brutally honest with me. She does a technique on me to show me the correct way to do it and then I try it. I watch other videos that show the technique from different angles so I can understand the mechanics better. Aikido is about angles and leverage – kind of like almost everything, right?

For media appearances find excellent examples and then get a sound bite buddy, or anyone for that matter, and practice different scenarios with your buddy. Try your excellent example’s voice tone on. Try the rhythms of their sentences. Try the format they use to frame their information. Try on their body language to see what it feels like. Sit like them. Hold your head like they do. Mimic their hand gestures and facial expressions. You can learn a lot by exact imitation. Embody their best qualities. You’ll begin to discover how it makes you think differently. Experiment. It’s only through the doing of it that it gets ingrained. And remember it takes 3000 repetitions to ingrain a habit and 10,000 repetitions to master it. So be patient with yourself.

3. Visualize what you want with feeling.
Writer Mary Carr said something like, My mind is like a street in a bad neighborhood. You don’t want to go down it. Mine too. It’s full of worst case scenarios, mishaps, and things gone horribly awry. When you visualize, just don’t “see” what you want. Include the emotions and body sense. And don’t worry about getting it perfect.

In Aikido, for Koshinage, a technique where you have to flip your opponent off your back while making sure that they can do a high fall and land properly, I envisioned throwing Maria, my uke (attacker) on her head, breaking her neck. Yikes.

But that’s OK. That’s part of practice and training. So I just noticed that, and tried it again. If I visualize the negative again, I just let it go and try again. Or I move on to another technique that I know and can see me doing it well with elegance and grace. Then, perhaps a few minutes later I attempt to see Koshinage throwing Maria safely.

So practice getting the felt sense of what you want to happen. Put yourself in the scene. If it’s a TV show get a clear picture of the set, the lights hot on your face, the glass of water on the table, sitting knee to knee with the host, answering questions smoothly with the sound bites you’ve prepared that tune into what you audience most needs to know.

See it, experience the emotion of it, and then see the result of your efforts. For media appearances it might be your phone ringing off the hook or your email box filling up with shopping cart orders. You might imagine another TV producer calling you to be an expert on their show. You might see yourself having coffee with someone who you admire who called you up after they saw you on that program.

I’ve set myself up on a little program that I know that I can do. I’m doing all three of the practices I’ve outlined daily for three weeks before my test. But guess what? Have I done all three daily? No. But I make sure to do at least one of them. Some days are better than others. Still I hold my deepest intention in my mind of the ideal day and I keep in mind the big picture of what I want to accomplish for my Aikido test – to have  fun, own the room, to do the techniques to the best of my ability, to keep moving and do something even if it’s not the right technique, and to stay steady and present in the moment no matter what. Oh, and to infuse my spirit with joy.

I’d love to hear about a practice you’re doing….

Exchanging Knives and Guns for Handshakes and Deals: Job Interview Skills are Not for the Timid


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

I’m trying to do something big and I’d like your help.

Here’s the short version of it:

AikidoI have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.

I want to accomplish 4 things that will help our economy out of the recession and improve the status and well-being of America in the global marketplace.

  1. Prepare college students for job interviews after graduation.
  2. Prepare inner city kids (not collegebound) to land a job w/a career path that suits their strengths.
  3. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs what it takes to get start-up funding from venture capitalists by media training them to say exactly what their audience needs to know.
  4. Teach teen, college and young adult entrepreneurs how to get and keep media attention to be profitable companies, thought leaders in their industry, and recognized, respected and sustainable brands.

To do this I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant for $250,000 with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.

That’s where you come in.

  1. Go here:
  2. Click the button: Log in and Support
  3. Log in using your Facebook account
  4. Enter the following information: 
    Business name: Harrow Communications
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click on Vote

REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the site that says, “Share vote.”

Here is what you can put:

Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did!

I’d be enormously grateful! Thank you!

Six Most Common Interview Blunders

I Have a Dream – but it was almost ruined


By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Something horrible happened. There was a stipulation in the grant application for Chase/LivingSocial that said you can’t offer a incentive of any kind for voting. I overlooked this in the rules and offered you the special report: Get on the Today Show Tomorrow. A woman wrote me a mean letter accusing me of deliberate dishonesty and turned me in. (More about that later in a blog post).

But, I explained to the Chase/LivingSocial board that it was an honest mistake and I’d be willing to start over with no votes (I was up to 120). Their board said that there was nothing in the rules stating that I couldn’t submit another application and start from scratch. So I did.

But the bad news is…

None of the votes counted. 🙁

The good news is…

I get a second chance.

I know that this is a lot. And I’m asking you to do this for no reward. But if you could vote for me and my big dream I’ll send stars in your direction.

And I want to thank all of you who voted for me. It means the world to me.

Here’s the short version of my big dream:

The Art of Peace of HarmonyI have a dream of helping inner city kids get jobs straight out of high school by learning how to spotlight their skills during a job interview. But bigger than that is to give them the means to speak their mind, hold their ground, keep their originality, and get their way — in a peaceful manner. To do that I want to bring sound bite training and Aikido into the schools as part of the curriculum. (Aikido is a Japanese Martial art with the philosophy: The Art of Peace of Harmony, a path to polish the spirit. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”) The practice of these two skills together will enable them to EMBODY their words and deeds.

To do that I need funds. So I’ve applied for a grant with Chase Bank and LivingSocial. To qualify for the grant I need 250 votes for my idea.

That’s where you come in.

  1. Chase and LivingSocial  Mission Small BusinessGo here:
  2. Click the button: Log in and Support
  3. Log in using your Facebook account
  4. Enter the following information:
    Business name: Harrow Communications
  5. Click on Search
  6. Click on Vote
  7. REQUEST: After you vote would you do a kindness and pass this on via your social networks to your friends, colleagues, and followers who you think would benefit? There is a “Share” button on the site that says, “Share vote.”
    Here is what you can put:
    Susan Harrow wants 2 help inner-city kids & college grads get jobs. Vote 4 her biz: Harrow Communications. I did!’d be enormously grateful!

And thank you. (Know that I appreciate you already even if you do nothing!).

May YOUR big dream come true. I support you in inviting it to happen.

Lotsa laughter and good living,


Pattern Break: Changes in the Ezine and My Biz


Pattern BreakPattern Break.
by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist

Maybe you’ve noticed.

I haven’t sent out an ezine for quite some time. (Please forgive!)

I’ve been rethinking just about everything. Creating a new website. Developing a new blog. Working on a new webinar. Hosting webinar trainings for the kinds of things I think you’ll need most to create a sustain your business in the face of so many technological and economic changes.

I had an idea for a novel and pitched it to my literary agent over Pad Thai noodles and crispy squid when he was in San Francisco for a conference. He said he loved it and had a publisher waiting for it. Could I write it up in a month? Small snafu – I have no idea how to write fiction.

But I did one thing to start anyway.

A friend and I went to Cavallo Point Spa in Sausalito for a day of luxury and writing. We got jacuzzied and steamed up and all relaxed and then sat by the fire and wrote. Me in a journal, she on her iPad. Then we read to each other. She said, “F_ck you!” when I finished. And then explained that this was the highest compliment cause she was jealous. It gave me heart.

Next, I bought a book on how to structure a novel called, Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris, who has written 8 bestsellers as a ghostwriter so I figured she must know what she’s doing. Plus she’s English so she says things in a fetching way, which makes me think a bit differently about language out of my usual mindset.

But with all the tumult in my business I haven’t had much time to focus on that book. I need some puttering around time to let ideas in. That’s one of the phases that Roz recommends. But there will be a time soon where I’ll need to hunker down and get three chapters written to send to my agent.

I hope you’ll hang with me in this phase and tell me what you think of my new ideas —and perhaps use this as a starting point for your own plans…

So here is the overview my grand multi-media plan across all platforms.

  1. My personal and professional business goals (they are intertwined).
  2. Platforms to share information.
  3. Editorial calendar for the types and frequency of postings across the mediums.
  4. Goal for each type of communication.
  5. Systems to measure tangible and intangible results.
  6. Offline or traditional ways of connecting.

The underlying goals are:

  1. Increase interaction from my existing audience (you.)
  2. Increase subscribers and engagement across all social media.
  3. Stay more closely connected with my tribe (you).
  4. Promote my own and affiliate products and services that serve your highest good.
  5. Share the shine™. Bringing your talent out into the spotlight.

I’ll do that through a delicious mix of:

  • How to or step by step articles/trainings. (I love these, don’t you? Instant learning).
  • Opinion and visions pieces. (I get to spout off on what pleases or pisses me).
  • Promotions, launches and products from myself and others. (Trainings that inspire action – let’s get it done, OK?)
  • Analysis of great stuff that works. (Creative geniuses, wild thinkers, crazy coots and magnificent mavericks and things I’d never think of).
  • Beauty that moves me. (Things I can’t resist that give pure delight).

So here’s what you’ll be getting…

1. Pure content ezine updates.
These will be pure content without any free offers. (Watch in the next week or so for: The Best of Pinterest Articles. I’ve been reading them like mad. Did I mention I got sucked down the Pinterest hole for an entire weekend – deadlines pending. I just LOVE this visual diary of people lives and loves.)

2. “The Weekly Bite™.”
A snippet of something (a cloaked way of saying “sound bite”) I’ve come across randomly that moves me in some way. I can be something memorable someone said, an image, part of an overheard conversation. This will be in the form of a video, blog post or audio podcast.

3. Share the Shine™.
Your stories. Your successes. Your spotlight. I’ll be asking you to share some small or great victory that you’ve had in the comments box on my blog after you read a post. I’ll choose people to share the shine by profiling your entire story, photo, website URL so others can be inspired and learn from your successes. Have one already? Share it here:

4. 10 Line Tuesday poems with Maya Stein.
I just love Maya’s poems. They say so much with so little words. A great lesson in communication in our overly wordy world.

5. Special offers to work with me personally or in a program.
What do you think about doing a 27 minute laser consult with me for just $99 (regularly $500/hour)? I did this on once before and it sold out in a few hours. I loved meeting so many of you who said that you’d been following me for years and wanted go connect further or go deeper. I recently did this again on LinkedIn and had a fantastic time talking to people who had everything from an innovative TV show to green business. As I said this will be occasional and I’ll let you who are on my list know about it the moment I decide.

If you like this idea of the 27 minute laser consult would you comment below. No obligation, just curious.

So that’s it for the moment. Whew. Now to implementation. I’ve been working weekends, nights, holidays with only the occasional excursion into the garden to sniff and snip. Heading there now as the roses are calling.

What’s on your plan for your future? Share one thing that you’re going to implement.


Giving Away Seats to the Sound Bite Course

by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist

When you register for Brendon Burchard’s Expert Academy through my link here:

Susan HarrowYup. You heard it right. If you sign up for Brendon’s course I’ll give you the Your Signature Sound Bites Course for Zip, Gatz, Nada, Nothing – INCLUDING 10 weeks of group media coaching with Alison Luterman and 3 months of Q&A calls with me for…NOTHING. FREE.

How great is that?

Let’s do it!

Just forward me your email receipt from Brendon showing that you bought through me (his devoted affiliate) and we’ll get you registered in the sound bites course ASAP.

Way fun.

To your outrageous joy and good fortune.

One more thing: Do you want to OWN the new economy?

Brendon has some thoughts on success in this new economy, where ideas rule and everyone is looking for help and new strategies right now, the most
successful people will be content creators, trainers, and information marketers.

People who use their life’s story and strategies for success to help other people improve their lives or businesses will have more income, influence and impact.

Simply, “experts” now own the economy. They do this through books, speeches, seminars, coaching, and online marketing.

If you want to join the ranks of the new rich, then you have to position, promote and get paid as an expert. The best training we’ve seen for that is right here:

He just opened his program to the public – with over $65,000 of bonuses!

He’s only taking 400 registrations. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not. They go fast.

I would love for you to have this to stop under-earning

Everyday I see Accidental Entrepreneurs-people who love their work but struggle with under-earning-decide they can’t afford to keep working for themselves. Or they skip vacations, go without health insurance, or put off repairing things around the house because they’re just getting by.

And it’s so frustrating. Because not only are they going without, the world is also going without. Without their good work. Work that can serve, help, and heal.

It makes me sad and disheartened. So this year I’m joining master self-employment coach Molly Gordon in the FREE Self Employment Telesummit: How to Transform Under-earning into the Joyful Creation of Meaningful Wealth.

It’s free, and I hope you’ll take time right now to sign up.

Register for the FREE Self Employment Telesummit
“How to Transform Under-earning into
the Joyful Creation of Meaningful Wealth”

October 17-21, 2011

Sign up now for full access to this transformative program including 24-hour instant replay

Each of the 18 free teleconferences/webcasts will be one hour, including Q&A. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll get during this free five-day event:

==> To set the tone, a rousing keynote address by Michael Neill, “America’s Number One Success Coach” and founder of the SuperCoach Academy: Time to Thrive, Pathways to Effortless Success.

==> A radical rethinking of why you aren’t charging enough and how to change that from Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing: How To Stop Under-Charging and Start Earning What You Are Worth.

==> A not-your-typical-telesummit “shift your stuff session” with sound ninja Fabeku Fatunmise: Superpowers, Storytelling and Soul Stuff: How Going Deep Affects Your Bottom Line.

==> Especially for those who teach or want to: Earn Your Worth, Sustainably and Without Hype, Teaching Others. This session from Jennifer Louden & Michele Lisenbury Christensen, Creators of Teach Now! includes the 5 money mistakes teachers make and their antidotes.

==> Wealth creating wisdom from Astro-rocker-coach and Soul Mapper Lissa Boles: It Pays To Be Weird–In Fact, Your ‘Quirks’ Are Your Path to Prosperity. Discover why letting out your inner weirdo can transform under-earning into the joyful creation of meaningful wealth.

==> Is there a book or ebook in your future? Janet Goldstein, editor, agent, publishing maven will teach 8 Ingredients of a Good (or Great) Idea. Simple “Secrets” to Add Clarity, Depth, Timeliness–and Passionate Audiences–to Any Idea-Driven Project. You’ll learn insider secrets that publishers and marketers use to position new ideas, stories, and works in powerful, emotional, and fresh ways.

==> Can nice people use sound bites? Susan Harrow says YES! in Master Messaging: Creating Memorable Messages To Get What You Want in Business & in Life. Among other things, you’ll learn the 3 things that are the foundation to creating a life of favor, abundance and joy and the most popular and successful sound bite formula that immediately captures attention.

==> How can an ordinary person catch the video marketing wave? Steve Washer knows: How to Use Video to Make Yourself the Go-To Authority. Learn why video as a marketing tool plucks you out of the realm of competition and into a world of abundance.
And more!

As you can see, this telesummit has been creatively and lovingly designed to be not just informative, but transformative. I’m excited and honored to be part of it, and I hope I’ll see you there.


Susan Harrow

P.S: Every ticket to the telesummit includes access to instant replay for up to 24 hours after each session.

P.P.S: An event like this is too good to keep to yourself. Please notify your self-employed friends and colleagues.

The 8 Most Magnificent Sound Bite Formulas for Entrepreneurs

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.10.04 AMEntrepreneurs need to have an elevator speech for everything —Photo Credit: Bark

If you think sound bites are just for the salesy, sleazy, or slick, you’re not seeing the big picture.

In today’s hurry-scurry world, where people’s attention spans are the size of a tweet, sound bites, your key messages, can make or break a deal, a sale, or even a casual encounter. In order to be on the cutting edge, or even just competitive, entrepreneurs need to be at the sound bite ready for every opportunity.

Once they are prepared they can make a connection anywhere with anyone at any time that could result in a life-changing shift. Whether you have a business, book, product, service or cause, sound bites are the key to making a quick connection.

I was reminded of the importance of sound bites on a recent call with an author who became a client. She blithered on and on in her emails writing me several detailed pages before we even set up an appointment to see if we were a match. Bad strategy. I took her on because she really has something to say to the world — she just takes way too long to say it. That’s why she hired me.Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.10.58 AMAuthors need sound bites for their book proposal, book title,  query letter, and log line —Photo Credit: Mancha Extraña

On our initial call I had to repeatedly wrangle her in order to discover what her book was about. It wasn’t easy or fun. This is something that I should have been able to discover in 20 seconds. She’s about to embark on a book tour so we have much work to do before her book publishes. Your audience wants to have a good time with you.

It’s your job to deliver only the information that they need to know at that instant. And deliver it in a concise, memorable, entertaining, and elegant way.

This video is a moving example of why words matter.

Being able to get to the essentials of who you are, why you do what you do, and what your business is about, is critical. To whittle your words into sound bites, your key message take-aways — takes practice. Lots of it. But once you master this kind of messaging you can use it across all mediums from your social networks, to a media interview, to a chat in line to get the latest iPhone.Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.11.04 AMCommunication skills for social media—Photo Credit: Rrrrred

The problem isn’t that entrepreneurs don’t have plenty to say — it’s that they have too much — and they have no idea how to organize their thoughts or content into tightly crafted meaningful messages that leave their audiences begging for more.

It’s like taking Tolstoy’s War and Peace and turning it into Haiku. It’s a huge task; one that is best done with a sound bite buddy or media coach.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.10.53 AMSales strategies for entrepreneurs—Photo Credit: Alles Schlumpf

To get into the habit of speaking in sound bites before a networking event, meeting, media appearance, job interview or spontaneous interaction in the proverbial elevator, I suggest that you create at least six sound bites using the following formulas.

  1. Story of origin: My client, Kristen Scheurlein, Founder of Affirmagy, left a multi-million-dollar business as a graphic designer to become what she calls The Blanket Lady.

“I didn’t want to become an entrepreneur, but it’s in my blood. My grandfather was a shoemaker. In the Depression, he saw that many people couldn’t afford shoes. He traded chickens for shoes to make sure that none of the children in the village went shoeless. I didn’t realize that I was following in his footsteps when I began my business, which will become a complete non-profit in five years, but I am. We give away blankets to churches, charities, homeless. In essence, I’m trading chickens for shoes.”

2. Statistics connected to your book or business: Self-employed people, whose numbers continue to grow, have almost doubled since 1980 to over 17 million. One of the biggest challenges of the self-employed is the lack of structure and accountability to follow through on important tasks. Many complain that they feel like they are “all alone” in their business lives.

The book, Extreme Success by Rich Fettke gives self-employed people ways to develop the support they need and proven strategies to stay focused and effective on their most important goals.Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.11.10 AMCombine statistics with your opinion on TV talk shows to become a thought leader—Photo Credit: AJC1

3. Fact: More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with thyroid disease, and another 13 million people are estimated to have undiagnosed thyroid problems in the U.S. alone.

4. Vignette: An anchorman and reporter at CBS spoke at 300 words per minute while the typical person speaks 125-140. The practice of Transformational Speaking taught him to take time, pause. For the first time in his life his evaluations as a professional speaker said things like “Thank you for giving me time to think.” He said, “I don’t beat up my audiences with facts any more.’

5. Anecdote: Chuck Barris, creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and more, said that people were always eating while watching TV. His mission for the shows became the motto: stop a fork. “I always told my staff, if we could stop a fork… midway from the bowl to the mouth then we had done something right, we had just created a moment that was O.K.. That was the slogan that we carried around the company. Stop a fork.”

6. Analogy: “Bangs are the new Botox.” Becky de la Rosa, Hairdresser

7. Aphorism: “Language is the dress of thought; every time you talk your mind is on parade.” Dr Samuel Johnson

8. Acronym: M.A.D.D. Mothers against drunk driving

Through training and practice you move these key phrases you’ve created into the conversations you have at networking events, with potential clients, buyers of your products or services, the media, and anyone who you want to give an experience of who you are and what your business is about. It’s important to be prepared for any personal and professional opportunity that comes your way. Which can happen anywhere at any time.

Case in point. While one of the participants in my sound bites course was waiting in line to buy an iPad 2 she sold over 250 books from the trunk of her car and closed a speaking engagement worth thousands of dollars. How? By speaking in sound bites in casual conversation.

You too can master speaking in sound bites to engage your ideal audience to buy your book, build your business, engage your services, get involved with your cause, and, most importantly, create a lasting connection.Robin Williams quoteAttract your ideal audience with the right words—Photo Credit: Milena Mihaylova

Want to know what to do when the media calls? Hop on over to this webinar to learn the secrets of media stars. (Everyday people just like you who have learned how to do it right and got astounding results).