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8 Things Donald Trump Can Teach Us About Courting Publicity

Guest Post By Victoria Greene

It’s fair to say that America is a fairly divided place right now, with wildly differing ideas about what’s right and wrong. Whatever your views, our blundering, boastful President does seem to have mastered one thing, and that’s showmanship. As he appoints more than a few questionable characters to office, many of us remain distracted by the latest inflammatory statements he’s made on Twitter, or by what’s going on with Celebrity Apprentice. As intelligent entrepreneurs and business owners, here are 8 lessons we can learn from his strengths and weaknesses when it comes to courting publicity.

PR is rooted in positive relationships

Most CEOs respect PR, or at least understand its function. Whatever their feelings towards it, they accept that in positions of high power or visibility, it is necessary. For better or worse, Trump is not most CEOs.

Donald has yet to realize that at the root of PR is a carefully tended network of positive relationships, built on clear and transparent communication. He mistakenly considers himself an ‘expert’ PR person, despite his total lack of tact, sensitivity, or awareness. Let’s not forget, he appointed a hedge fund manager to run his communications office.

For the life of him, Trump cannot seem to hold on to a PR chief, and the reason is quite simple – no self-respecting, professional PR person wants to work for a boss who thinks he can do better, and who will publicly shame you for trying to do your job.

How to apply: Dale Carnegie says in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”. In other words, an aggressive approach will get you nowhere. He also says that “Winning friends begins with friendliness” – another simple yet oft forgotten pearl of wisdom. Take a look at this list of the 100 Most Trusted People in America. They are well-liked, charismatic, and many of them are actors. Interestingly, none of them are TV bullies.

Sometimes you need to take an unconventional approach

Some believe that Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential race due to his poor TV presence, compared to JFK, who understood the power of the medium. Trump is, of course, no stranger to television, having perhaps more experience with it than any other presidential candidate in history. Throughout his election campaign, he consistently eschewed conventional politics in favor of sensationalism and sound bites, in contrast to Hillary’s more measured approach.

What’s more, while Clinton worked to secure votes across all demographics, Trump lasered in on a specific target audience – white, working class men who had been feeling less represented under the previous Democrat government. In marketing we are often advised to ‘find our niche’, and it seems that the same could be true of politics.

How to apply: There are lots of ways to get unconventional with PR, though it’s no guarantee that just because your campaign is unconventional, it will be a success. From publicity stunts and viral videos, to riding trends and putting out crowdsourcing content, the internet has made it much easier to be imaginative. Check out these Timeless Creative PR Ideas.

If you fake it, you’ll probably get found out

Earlier in Trump’s career, several New York reporters spoke with a John Miller or a John Barron – two supposed PR men who sounded suspiciously like Trump himself. Miller and Barron were particularly insightful, sharing detailed explanations for Trump’s actions and love life, all the while presenting him in the most favorable light possible. You can read the full transcript of one of John Miller’s interviews here.

Of course, these strangely forthcoming sources were none other than Trump himself, and if you read or listen to the interviews, it is startlingly, ridiculously apparent. At one point, he even forgets to speak in the third person. The lesson here? It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: don’t pose as your own publicist and expect to get away with it. Oh – and the tan isn’t real either.

How to apply: It’s fairly straightforward really – just be honest and authentic about who you are and what you do. If you don’t fake it in the first place, you don’t get found out. Lance Armstrong was a celebrated road racing cyclist who many people admired, until the doping scandal came out. Likewise, Tonya Harding was a famous figure skater, whose career was left in tatters after she hired a thug to break her rival’s leg. The public hates a cheater, so keep your record squeaky clean.

You must be willing to listen to advice

PR professionals are much like counselors. Their job is to advise the client on the most effective approach to communications, if they want to achieve certain goals. They are a valuable asset to the team, and a smart client will realize the importance of listening to their advice, even if they end up taking a slightly different course of action. A sensible business owner will involve their PR person in all big-picture discussions.

The thing about Trump is, he really doesn’t want anyone’s advice. He wants to do his own thing and he thinks he’s got PR sussed. When Spicer worked at the White House, he griped about his limited access to the President, yet was still blamed when things went wrong.

How to apply: Benjamin Franklin said that “wise men don’t need advice – fools won’t take it”. If you’re attempting to navigate the choppy waters of publicity, it’s better to do it with a legitimate expert at your side. Part of a PR practitioner’s role is to train their clients to effectively face the media, as well as making their client’s reputation as strong as possible. Ultimately, they help to keep you focused and moving towards your goals – with the force of the media on side.

The celebrity phenomenon

Whether your feelings towards Trump are mild or extreme, it can’t be denied that he is something of a sensation. For better or worse (and likely worse), we’ve never had a figure quite like him on America’s political stage. We now live firmly in a culture of celebrity, and Trump – a longstanding TV star and populist bigmouth – is known by everyone. It shouldn’t really come into the equation when you’re running for President – yet it does.

Why? Because with their deity-like status, we listen to what celebrities have to say. So in 21st century America, should we be surprised that a celebrity has managed to become President? It’s wall-to-wall (pun intended) publicity, be it good or bad. Whether you love or despise Trump, he remains a popular topic of conversation – and that’s just what he wants.

How to apply: So how can you find ways to keep people interested in you? To enjoy the kind of engagement that Trump gets online and in the media, it’s all about being engaging and having a stance or opinion that people relate to. Today’s consumers are discerning about which brands deserve their time and attention. Don’t be afraid to start discussions, and fan the flames to keep them going. Experiment to find out what resonates with your audience, and mix up your timing, language, and use of imagery.

He tells it like (he thinks) it is

Trump doesn’t speak the political tongue. Everybody knows that – just look at his Twitter feed. Instead, he seems to say whatever comes into his head, without much of a filter to speak of. Agree with him or not, you always get the jist of what he’s saying. Some politicians do themselves a disservice when they speak in political jargon, alienating the less articulate voters.

Honestly counts for something in PR, even – or especially – if that honesty is controversial. Trump’s followers love him for his willingness to tackle any subject, in particular those that more seasoned politicians dance around.

Why is this so appealing? Because we value people who give us perspective on things that matter in our culture. In other words, we love someone with a strong opinion. And Trump – well, he is big orange hot air balloon of opinions.

How to apply: We want your perspective on what matters to you and why it’s important to your audience. Your strong opinion about a topic you care about sets you apart from your competitors who may have a different take – and sets you up as a thought leader. News shows are made up of people proffering different opinions on a topic then backing those opinions with facts, research, or other evidence.

Pick an enemy (or several)

Branding experts will often tell you to identify an enemy and position against them. That enemy doesn’t have to be a person, it could be a system, a state of the world, an injustice, or an opinion. The world’s top brands all have distinct enemies – and Trump is a brand too.

At this point, Trump has made many enemies, and he has a habit of calling them out and going after them. Choosing an enemy gives your campaign a focus – it’s the classic scenario of ‘us vs. them’ that galvanizes large groups of people into action. It’s a great tactic for businesses. Is it a good one for politics? It’s certainly been successful at getting Trump into office, but as to the effects on society and the world, it all starts to feel like a dark and dangerous road.

How to apply: So every brand or personality needs an enemy, but that doesn’t have to be a competitor. It could just as easily be an idea. A nutritionist might position processed food corporations as ‘the enemy’. A pro web designer might frame DIY website builders as ‘the enemy’. For an artisan coffee shop, it might be instant coffee. Whether it’s a belief, an assumption, or a rival business, every beloved brand has something to push against and rally behind.

If you don’t have the instinct for it, leave it to the professionals

Anthony Scaramucci has said that Trump has ‘excellent public relations instincts’. So is that true? He certainly represents something different, and something different – especially in politics – is pretty irresistible. But I would argue that overall, Trump’s PR instincts are fumbling at best, and volatile at worst. And they appear to be getting worse. His weeklong assault on his own attorney general in July was apparently ‘all his idea’. Good one.

Trump is used to the selective media exposure granted by his TV lifestyle, but as President, you are on show 24/7. PR decisions are more critical than ever. The best bosses understand their own strengths and weaknesses, but Trump’s inflated view of himself means he won’t listen to others. From a PR perspective, it will be interesting to see where his ego leads him over the course of his time in office.

Trump famously exaggerates, but if you’re looking to implement his tactics into your own business PR campaign, maybe think twice. Exaggeration and dishonesty are no way to do business – and you will be found out eventually. If you’re trying to get more media attention for your business, here are some good guidelines. What we can take away from his success is the importance of picking an enemy, leveraging social channels, being true to yourself, and being memorable. But we can also learn to become better listeners, better bosses, and better people.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.

Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves following politics and drawing lessons that can be beneficial in other areas. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.

Leverage Your Glamability Before a TV Show Even Airs With Shannon Walbran

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Leverage Your Glamability Before a TV Show Even Airs With Shannon Walbran

Our guest today is Shannon Walbran who is known as South Africa’s top psychic. Her main message is, “You are guided.” Even though she guides you and she loves to teach people how to get their messages themselves … I love that Shannon, that, “You are guided.” You are guided by yourself, as well as by you, is that what you meant by that?

Thanks, Susan. Yeah. That’s really my sound bite. It was you who taught me how to make really brief sound bites. “You are guided,” is one of my best sound bites because I really want to put the power back interview people’s hands so that they don’t feel or believe that they have to pay an intermediary to get their messages.

I really love that. Although it is really wonderful to get the intermediary because I was just listening to your podcast and you're so fast and incisive.

It was absolutely fascinating. People were asking all types of questions. At the end of our interview, because we’re going to be talking about publicity today, but at the end of our interview, I'm going to get to ask you three questions. Wait until the end of this podcast to find out what Shannon’s going to discover for me. I'm really super excited about that. Also, Shannon’s website is

What we’re going to talk about today is something that’s really interesting that Shannon has done, which is she has gotten publicity for a Ukrainian reality TV show that is not going to be translated into English and yet she’s been able to get publicity for it. We, in the English-speaking world, are never going to be able to get to see that. Is it called the World’s Top Psychic? Is that the name of it, Shannon?

It’s called International Psychic Challenge.

Got it. You’ve already taped it?

Yes, I taped it in July of this year.

Before you even taped it though, you’ve started thinking about, “How can I get publicity for this?” that you're going to be on this show in Ukraine. What did you do first?

Susan, I have to give you a lot of credit here because I was part of your Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul membership club. You were throwing out a lot of ideas and the other people in the group were throwing out lots of ideas about media coverage. I was practicing even before I got the invitation to go Ukraine. I did a few things.

I had some professional photographs taken. I was really, really pleased with them. I thought they looked really cool. I worked on my sound bites. In addition to, “You are guided,” I have some other sound bites. I really honed them. Another one is, “I want to work myself out of a job.” That relates to what we were discussing about, I want other people to do this work, I want to teach people how to do the work that I do.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Leverage your glamability by crafting your own newspaper worthy press releases.

Joining the Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul membership club showed me how to craft a press release that sounded exactly like a news story. I got invited pretty much out of the blue to participate in this International Psychic Challenge, like world’s top psychics, like an Idols program, in Ukraine. The first thing that I did was I wrote a press release, “Shannon Walbran has been selected to represent South Africa in this international challenge.” That’s how I crafted the press release. I wrote it exactly as if it were a news story that you would see in the news section, in the "A" part of the paper.

That’s really brilliant. To do that, to write it as a news story because by doing that, producers or editors, the job is already done for them. You’ve crafted the story, you’ve shaped the story. I like that you put it … It’s not about you. It’s not about, “Oh, Shannon Walbran, this and that.” It’s like, “Shannon Walbran represents South Africa.” That’s the bigger story.

One of the mistakes that people often make is it’s just about me, me, me, and not about how it relates to the audience or why it’s important out in the world. By crafting that as a news story, that puts it in a different dimension and that makes it really considered as something important and for people to know. I love that you did that.

I also love that you said you did this and you were practicing even before you got that invitation. I think that that kind of mental preparation and then bringing it down to the physical world, and you really know about both of those worlds, is so important. There is a phrase that I love, which is, “Write it down, make it happen.” Even that much, taking the action, but you were actually practicing verbally your sound bites too, right, as well as writing down the press release?

Absolutely. I can add in that the tagline that I practiced for myself, which is South Africa’s Top Psychic, I crafted it after reading your material and working with you. By South Africa’s Top Psychic, I actually mean I have the highest listenership. I'm on a really popular radio station. That radio station’s program, the morning show, has 8 million people listening to it every day. I'm not on it every day, I'm on it once a month. But that means that 8 million people are listening to me. There are other good psychics in the world, there are other good psychics in South Africa. There are other very accurate and helpful psychics in the world.

By saying, “I'm South Africa’s top psychic,” I just gave myself a tagline that is true and that works. It’s also, as you say, what makes it relevant to the audience. I want to represent this country. It’s not my country at first. I am American, but I live here and I'm going to live here for a long while. I'm raising my child here. South Africa is a good place to be right now. I'm very happy to be here. It all ties together.

That is really a great point. That your moniker, what you name yourself, really needs to be true. Because there are a lot of people who are calling themselves America’s top this and America’s  top that and there’s no basis behind it. Before you give yourself a name, you do have to have the gravitas and the statistics or whatever the experience behind it. You did, and you just proved that, that you have the highest listenership. You’ve also worked with over 20,000 people. That gives you a huge amount of credibility.

I remember one of my clients, when she first was starting out. By the way, now she’s a New York Times Bestselling author. At the time, she had written a self-published book and she said it was a bestseller. I said, "An Amazon best seller?" I said, “How many copies has it sold?” It was like 20. I said, you cannot call … yourself a bestseller because you sold 20 copies on Amazon. I said, “You just can't do that.”

I don’t know what the amount is to become a REAL bestseller because for the New York Times it can be many different things based on the other books that are published at that time, but it’s typically a minimum of 20,000 [books sold]. That’s not really even considered a bestseller at that. I love that you have the gravitas and you back that up. Do you think that giving yourself that tagline … How then did the reality TV show find you? How did they find you?

I talked to the producers about how they found me. I talked to them while they were in the process. They said that they were Googling and they were Googling to look for people in vastly different countries. Australia, Scotland. They were looking all over the place and for people who speak different languages. They had somebody from Mexico and they had somebody from Turkey. I think that because I put “South Africa’s Top Psychic,” I'm pretty sure that that helped them find me.

That’s great. What was the interview process like in order to vet you to be on the show?

It was that they made me make a video of myself because they wanted to see that I was lively and talkative and could string a sentence together. They had me describe what my special skills were. I sent in my video. There were more than 100 candidates from many different countries. If they were from neighboring countries, they were given train tickets. We were all flown to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in the beginning of July. The filming went on for six months.

The thing is, is that I told them that since I have a small child, I would only be able to be there for a maximum of three weeks. I was with them for three weeks. I made it to the top 10, which is fantastic and I was really thrilled. But because I was only there for three weeks,I was seriously filming about 16 hours a day. It was so intense. In the long run, when I'm watching the show now, they chose to edit out my segments because I couldn’t complete their story arc because I couldn't stay the whole six months.

The people who are still there … Actually, I believe it’s finished now. I believe it’s finished this month. They were the people who could stay. They were people who didn’t have the same family obligations that I did. When I talked to you before the filming and I said, "Look, I'm leveraging all of this publicity before I go,” you said, “That’s great because we don’t know how it’s going to turn out anyway.”

Here’s the thing, even though I did make it into the top 10, they chose not to use the footage because of my limited time. Thank goodness I did all of that leveraging beforehand.

You never do know how much you're going to be actually in any kind of storyline that has extensive footage or even has footage for a top show by the way. One of my other clients, he’s a regular on a reality TV show. He said the same thing, that they do film quite a lot of segments but he’s not sure necessarily which ones are going to air.

Because they have to craft the story after the fact and then they piece it together so that it makes sense. The people who win in the end, then they [the producers] go back to the beginning and they find all of the footage of those people and really put a lot of them in  at the beginning.

This is the same in a reality TV show as it is with any kind of extended news show or even sometimes a four-minute segment. You were talking about creating an arc. There is an arc to a story, to the entire story with all the people involved. There are also story arcs or arcs for each of the people too.

Like in Game of Thrones. There’s a story arc for each character and a story arc for each season. For a little while, I was a documentary film producer. I was working on a documentary that was made by some really famous people in the UK about kids behind bars in Brazil. I was one of the translators. I played a really minor role in producing the film.

One of the kids was 9 years old when he first went into jail. He was 14 years old when he was released from jail but he looks so different from 9 to 14 because of the changes that he’d gone through while he was in prison. They almost couldn’t use the footage, if you know what I mean. The audience would not have been able to identify him as the same person.

That’s interesting, that’s fascinating. That’s another way to connect because that could be an advantage too. “Look what happened.”

That’s what they decided. They did a split screen with his name on it. They said before and after. They had a choice. They had many different child candidates to show. They preferred to show the ones that it was really easy to identify. I'm sure you coach your clients on this also. When I was a child actor, I was a child actor for like 1 season one a TV show. Really. I decided to cut my hair, I cut my hair really short without consulting the director. She said, “What have you done? Now there’s no continuity at all. We’re going to have to make you wear a baseball cap for the rest of the show.”

Wow. You don’t think about those kinds of things.

I was 11, I didn’t think about that.

Because it’s not something that …

My hair was blonde by choice. I thought a lot about the way I looked. I like the way that I look, but I'm glad that I liked the way that I look because I'm going to need to look like this for a long time now.

That’s interesting. Keep that consistency of image so people recognize you. That’s something that’s really interesting. I'm talking to a woman about branding right now. She’s talking about if she wants to wear the same clothes over and over again. These are branding choices about how you look and how you want to be perceived and creating a consistency. They're really there sinking deeply, even something about your hair color and your hairstyle, about keeping that really consistent. Let’s go back to how else you’ve maximized your publicity when the show did air and now you're not even in it.

Before I went, I got covered in national newspapers. That was really important to me because I'm holding seminars, teaching seminars not only in Johannesburg, where I'm based, but also in Durban and Cape Town which are the other main cities in South Africa. The story was picked up by a Durban newspaper. In that article it said, “She’s going to Ukraine and she’s going to represent South Africa,” and then said, “She will be giving seminars when she returns.” I did, I came back and then I gave the seminars. They were sold out. I was thrilled about that.

Wonderful. When you said national newspaper, it was in the Durban newspapers, was it picked up by other newspapers? What did you say, Cape Town and Johannesburg?

Right. The news was spread via a national news service which is called News 24. That was a syndicated news. It was picked up, but more on a personal basis, and I’ll get to that in a second, by the features editor of the Durban Newspaper which is called The Mercury. It was also in the Saturday Star I believe and also in the Johannesburg papers.

I hired a publicist even though maybe I didn’t need to. I don’t have a healthy up to date list of the names and numbers of the journalists and the editors that I wanted to send this to. I hired her basically just for her email list. Because I had crafted the press release by myself, the news press release, and because I had really good high res photographs that I was really proud of, all she had to do was hit send.

Wonderful. I just want to recap what you did and what the effect was. What you had said first was that photographs are super important today, especially in our visual age where a photograph can make a story. You look really beautiful, you've got your blonde hair. You've got some other photographs where you’re more full body and face. Sometimes even action photos are really helpful, certainly on the Internet.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Leverage your glamability like Shannon did to appear in many different media outlets.

You also did local publicity which went national in Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg that then got syndicated. You never know when a story is going to get syndicated when it’s interesting, but obviously yours is interesting enough to get picked up and circulated and then to make it into local papers which then helped you fill up and sell out your seminars. Which was the goal, right?

Totally. One thing I want to say is after it went syndicated and after it made it to the other town’s newspapers, then individual journalists called me to do individual interviews. I don’t know if they were more or less interesting than the original news story, but they had a question and answer format which some people like better and it’s a little bit more engaging and talkative.

Nice. I just want to say also, sometimes people, because we’re in a digital age, sometimes people are really discounting newspapers and magazines. But they're actually a super powerful way to get publicity. The most powerful strategy is to use those digital and offline media. Now, because it’s becomes so crowded online, actually offline, if you can do it … Shannon is really experienced and obviously you’ve had a lot of other experience too that really made this effective, just the fact that you know what a good story is from doing documentary films. These are the kinds of things that play into a background and that also are impressive to the media.

The other thing that I wanted to point out is that they needed to know you were mediagenic. When you were applying for that Ukraine reality TV show, your video was of the essence in order to pass the producers’ test to even get on the show. Every one of you, if you're looking to do TV, you have to have a little demo video of at least two minutes that imitate … If you haven’t been on a local TV show, it’s what imitates a real TV interview in order for the producers to know that you're mediagenic and that you can handle yourself on TV.

You did all of these things right. It sounded like the results were really great for you in terms of filling up your seminars. Were there also other results that came from that? Your immediate plan was to fill up your seminars, are there other benefits that happened?

Sure. I'm looking to host my own television program and/or to be a guest on a regular television program. I already got radio down. I'd like to transfer my skills and my availability and the help that I can get people to TV. Working on the Ukraine TV show and even just talking about that I worked on the Ukraine TV show, boosts my possibilities of making TV here.

You're absolutely right that I think the demo video, which I then put in my YouTube channel obviously, really elevated my profile. Also, I decided then, even before I went to Ukraine, now I'm going to film everything that I do. When I have these seminars with 50 women in a room and then giving each of them an answer, now I film it with their permission. Each woman comes up to the front, sits in the chair next to me, kind of like Oprah. I give her her answers and then everybody claps and we’re filming it. It’s like having a TV show. It is that. It’s almost “fake it till you make it” but it’s “create what you want and show people what it could look like.”

That is so brilliant. That follows along the lines of what the Mormons do by the way when the Mormons need to go out and convert people. Each Mormon needs to do that. They practice in a real studio of a real living room. They're going to go into people’s living rooms. They have a studio with a real living room and they sit down and they do role-play with people as if they're sitting in their living rooms because that’s enacting the real scenario that they're being sent out to do in order to convert people to Mormonism.

We have friends who are running podcasts even like this one. We have friends who have radio shows or blog talk radio or whatever, we can get interviewed on those radio shows and we could offer them content and value that will be useful to their audiences. It’s just creating a huge body of evidence and proof that we are mediagenic, as you say, and that it's useful and helpful and should we have more than what we have been given, we can multiply.

I love that. I love that you said it’s a body of evidence, a future reality. By you doing filming every single time you do a seminar where you said it’s like having a TV show, you actually are creating your reality. You're putting this out into the world and showing that you can do it. By doing it, the actual act of doing it, actually puts you closer to your goal as well.

Absolutely. Both in, as you say, both in the world above and the world below. In the practical sense, figuring out how to do it, figuring out the timing, figuring out the lighting, figuring out the logistics. Do I have the person come up? Do I have them stay in the audience? Which works better? It’s amazing practice.

It is. I love that you mentioned the logistics because I think a lot of people don’t realize how much work there is in the logistics and that that’s really an important part of making the whole thing flow, both energetically and visually. You’ve been experimenting with having some women come up, having women sit down and other things. Have you experimented with other things as well? What other things are involved in the logistics?

I'm coming here from the side of psychology. I have a friend who is a practicing real psychologist, a licensed psychologist. She and I talk a lot about the container. Whether you're doing coaching, which you do a lot of, or therapy or helping people in any way or hosting a TV show, there’s such a thing as a container, which is letting people know how long it’s going to go for, giving them a beginning point and an end point, benchmarking them, “How stressed are you? You're stressed 9 out of 10? Oh my goodness, we’ll be addressing that in this session.”

Doing the work and then recapping, which you're also very good at, and then benchmarking them again, “How’s your stress level now? It’s down to a 3, fantastic. Are you clear about what you're going to do going forward? Okay. Thanks very much for coming up and giving your answer. You go back to your seat and we’ll be ready for our next client.

That container, which works so well in psychology because a person who’s going to a therapist wants to know, how much is this going to cost, how long is this going to take me, am I going to feel better? It works very well in coaching and works very well in TV. You can see that they're all related.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Leverage your glamability by creating a consistent structure for your audience.

What you're talking about is creating a consistent structure and also a way of setting expectations both for the audience and the people involved live. That also creates a safety. The safety-ness and the comfortableness both with the people involved and also in the audience themselves. If you notice, all TV shows and all news shows, they have a format, a consistent format that you can expect.

It’s even the same thing in a book. Books have a certain structure so we can feel comfortable as we move through that structure. That creates an underlying comfort level in both your participants and the viewers to understand what to expect.

I think what you were talking about in terms of also showing what your results are. For you, results are a really important aspect of your work. Also, anyone who’s doing media, when you want to actually do media appearances and have them result in actual sales and clients and experiences and real things happening in the world, it’s super important then to structure your sound bites in such a way that people really get your experience and that they get that you're effective.

It doesn’t even matter if you have clients or not, or you're selling something. It’s about creating that confidence in you and being fascinating at the same time. That draws people to you. I think it’s the fascination, it’s the proof of your experience and it’s the trust. You and I, Shannon, were talking at the very beginning that now trust is established in 1/10th of a second. Believability, not in 3 seconds, in 1/10th of a second. You actually said that this is like the vibration reaching us even before, almost before we see a person, that we've already got the vibe, right?

I do think so. I think that we should trust that vibe more often about who we partner with, whether it’s romantically or professionally. I think we should really trust that vibe which is what what Sonia Choquette says all the time. Really trust that intuition and follow it. Don’t cross everybody off of your list just because you have not a very good first impression of them. But, at least give them the benefit of the doubt for a little while. But also pay attention to that and take them with a grain of salt. If it comes true that they aren’t really the person for you … Then, I really see a lot of that with my clients, that they have a hard time disengaging with someone with whom they’ve invested time or money. That’s romantically and in business.

Actually, if it’s not working, it’s not working. If you’ve tried to change it and it hasn’t worked, then it’s up to us. It’s up to us to have the authority to say I need better for my life, and I need to clear that out and go forward. It happened to me with another publicist. I told you about that one publicist that I hired. But my friend who works in radio with me was insistent that I work with her publicist. I said, “Okay, I’ll take both of them on and I’ll see what happens.” Have you ever done that, hired two people at the same time to do a job?

I have.

Just to see what happens, to see who does better. I did. The one that I told you about worked brilliantly. She had sent, and she also done follow up with me and she followed up with the journalists. She was really friendly and really nice. The other one, she said she had sent and she said she sent it to 35 people. I never ever got anything from any of the people that were on her list. I don’t know why that happened. My first impression of her was, “This isn't a fit for me.” I went ahead and did it anyway as a favor to my friend. I paid her, but there was no results whatsoever. Interesting, isn't it?

Very interesting. Obviously, I think that there are two parts to that too, that when you do hire a publicist, that you go by your first impression then you do your due diligence. You look at their past experience. You also can tell, like you said, your publicist that you felt good about was friendly and you trusted her to hit send and feed back the results of her hitting send so you knew that she had done it. The other one, it doesn’t even sound like you had any evidence that she actually done it.

I think she did do it but I don’t know why it didn’t work. It doesn’t matter. In fact, I'd like to say that this whole process … I'm going to say thanks to you again. Thanks to you and thanks to being part of your Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul group membership club. It was an incredibly low cost campaign. Really, really do it yourself, really low cost. I don’t think I spent more than $1,000 doing this whole thing.

Wow. That’s really wonderful. That’s kind of unusual because typically publicists in the US are much more expensive than that unless you go pay for placement. That’s pretty unusual. But you did a really targeted local campaign. You weren’t doing national publicity. Were you doing national publicity in South Africa?

Our prices are different from South Africa to America. I converted the money in my head right now to dollars. I had professional photographs taken. I did all of the writing. I said that I would follow up with all of the journalists. All I wanted her to do was hit send. She really didn’t have to do anything else. She agreed to do that for a price that was really low because it was our first feel. She wanted to see whether it would work. I wanted to see whether it would work. I was really satisfied with that. I will use her again for my next project.

That’s really wonderful. I love it. Also, I do want to say that in the Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul membership club, you did all the assignments. Obviously, that’s why you had success. You came to the Q&A calls every month. We’re now moving on to 12 modules. You did all of the modules and you actually put that into action and followed it through.

You hired a publicist, you’ve gotten your sound bites down, you did your video for the Ukraine show, you put your videos now up on YouTube. You're a psychic. You deal in the other world but you're also very grounded and you’ve dealt with this world too.

There are two parts of that equation. It’s not about like what some people interpret the secret as, that you choose whatever you want from a catalog in the universe and you sit in your desk and wait for it to happen. I don’t think it works like that. You choose what you want from the catalog of the universe and then you work your butt off to make it happen.

Luckily I can say that it was super fun. I can say that the homework assignments were really helpful for my own self-development. Because as I defined myself more clearly and more closely and I was able to describe myself and what I wanted and what I was selling and what I was offering, I felt better about it. It was an upward feedback loop that got easier and easier every time I did it.

I like that, an upward feedback loop. In this feedback loop, one of the things that was necessary for you to do in order to even create your video was to create your sound bites. You said you had worked on those. You had four that you always included in your press release.

My tagline, “South Africa’s top psychic” is what I would consider one of them because it’s a short sharp phrase that defines, so I consider that a primary one. The next one is, “You are guided,” which I really believe is the soul of my work. The other one is, “Everyone has an angel.” I never want people to feel left out. I never want people to feel like only some people have angels and some people don’t. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, it doesn’t matter if you're an atheist. There is a divine intelligence and it’s working for you.

Another one is use is, “Life is for you.” Meaning, life is on your behalf, life is not working against you. You don’t have bad karma. There’s not exactly such a thing as having bad karma. The last one is, “I want to work myself out of a job.” Meaning that I want other people to be able to do this. A lot of my work is, “This is what your angels and guide would sound like if you wanted to hear them every day.”

I only allow myself to have one session with a client per year. That’s a 10 question session with a lot of follow-up questions. All of the information that she would need for the whole year, I do it in one session. Then I say, “Please don’t call me for the next 12 months.” I don’t have a business plan where she can call me in a week or that she’s keeping me on retainer. I really don’t have that.

That’s shocking.

Yeah, it is.

I had an acupuncturist like that, Dr. Ou She would say she didn’t want you to make an appointment after you’ve just finished an appointment. She says, “We’ll see what happens, you call me when it's necessary.” That’s a very unusual business model because I think a lot of people are taught, especially coaches, that you want someone to stay invested for as long as possible with you. Your model is about creating independence in that client right away. You don’t have repeat business unless, it’s once a year. You want to work yourself out of a job.

That’s the kinds of things that you express that I think tell people that you're both trustworthy and that you believe in all of those things that you just said. That we can each speak to our angels individually but you are a facilitator and once we understand … I think you give us that capacity or that container to understand that this is possible and then how to get those answers for ourselves because we’re not used to getting them.

What I like with what you do is that in your sound bites, you're talking about what you want for yourself and your clients in the future, not just now. Talking about your future business or your future daydream is a really important part of moving that into the conversation of your sound bite. You can be supported in not just where you are now, but supported in your future.

What a cool observation. I hadn’t actually noticed that angle, but I think you're right. I do my radio shows weekly as community service. I do say, “You can call in to one of my radio shows any time you want. You can always have one question and it can be anonymous. If you get stuck six months from now and you don’t know whether to take job A or job B, please feel free to call in for free.” I do offer them that. The thing is, it’s really hard to get through to my radio show because there are so many people who call.

I also say that they're allowed to come to a seminar and ask just one question as long as it’s a fresh question. I don’t know if you know this about people who visit psychics, it’s in one of my articles that I've written, it’s," 7 Things Not To Do When You're Visiting A Psychic." I also have one like, "5 Things Bad Psychics Do." They're related, the two articles. One of them is bad psychics ask you for a lot of background information and then just tell you what they heard. “Oh, you're a specialist, huh? I see you working with TV and newspapers.” Duh, you just told her that. There’s no point in going to somebody who’s going to take your information and give it back to you.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Shannon's weekly radio show where listeners can call in to ask their Spirit Guides a question.

A lot of people I think would be baffled about your business model. You're turning people away, you're giving them a couple of different ways that they might engage with you but it’s really hard to get through on your radio show, it’s like, “I need Shannon now.”

Because I don’t want them to need Shannon now, I want them to need themselves now. Go away. That’s my business model, go away. Go swim.

I think that’s a great sound bite too.

It sounds actually much harsher than how I actually feel. What I really want to do is teach them how to do it themselves so then they don’t need me. Because that’s kind of an addiction also. People get addicted to their healers and to their psychic. “Shannon can solve my problems. I must go see Shannon.” I'm like, “No, dude. I'm not here to solve your problems. You are here to solve your problems. This is what solving your problems sounds like and looks like. Okay, now, you can do it, go swim.”

Talk about how you have a thriving business from not taking people on.

I do. I have long lines of people waiting to see me. People come back year after year. I have an assistant and we used to send annual reminders. “It is time. You had a session last November, now it’s time for your annual session.” Now I notice that people just remind themselves. Sometimes, if their session last year was in November, then they schedule for October. I don’t care, that’s fine. 11 months and 12 months, no big deal.

When you also do your sound bites, do you have other sound bites that talk about other situations that you’ve helped people in? I know you work with anyone or anything. Do you have sound bites about stories that you tell when you're being interviewed or do you always just take on questions or people actually asking you about your work?

Susan, I think that’s a real area of development for me. I really have been looking a lot at the way that you do that and the way that other people who do things that you do talk about their clients and how their clients came to great success. There are some of my restrictions though. It’s anonymous and it’s really confidential, my work. Also, when people come back year after year, they might tell me and they do tell me, “Yeah, I got married. Yeah, I had that kid. Yes, I have joined that company and yes, I'm really successful.”

I don’t usually ask them for a lot of information. I think you can see why, because I try not to take information. I try to just give the messages that their angels are giving them. I would say that that’s a weak point in my whole PR strategy. I do have a good story. Can I tell you a good story?


This is when I was still seeing people really face to face. Now, I do mostly phone and Skype and my VIP face-to-face sessions are much, much more expensive. When I was seeing people face to face all the time, a woman came to me and said, “You saw my boyfriend about three months ago,” and immediately I was very put off. I said, “Look, you can't ask about other people. I don’t know who your boyfriend was.” I was a little bit dismissive. She said, “No, you don’t understand. He’s dead.” I said, “He’s dead? He died?” She said, “Yes. You told him that he was in trouble.” I said, “Okay, you better come in and sit down.”

She told me that three months before, there was a man. Then when she pieced it together, I remembered who it was. He was 35, he was an executive, he was burning the candle at both ends, really driving himself crazy. He was starting to get very distracted in his life. His angel said, “Hey, you could have a car accident. You're texting and driving and trying to work and do all of these things at the same time. This is really dangerous for you.” He said, “Whatever, whatever. What about my girlfriend?” The message was, “No, she’s not the right person for you. Please let her go.” He was only 35, he died of a heart attack a week after my session.

She comes and finds me three months later, tells me the whole story and then she says, “One of the last things he said to me was, “Shannon said, we should get married,” which was a big lie! He had used the session to try to convince her to marry him even though I had said, “No, you guys aren’t a good match.” I said, “What did you think about that? I'm sorry, did you want to marry him?” She said, “No, I didn’t think we were a good match at all.” What a story, huh?

What a story. That’s really wild. How people can use it against …

There are a lot of things messed up in this, huh? He didn’t listen to the advice about working too hard. I didn’t know how he was going to die. I was saying I thought he was going to have a car accident. I hoped he wouldn’t die, obviously. Heart attack at 35, pretty weird. The woman saying, “Yes, he said that we should get married.” I said, “No, actually I had said exactly the opposite.” She was so relieved because she was thinking, “Oh, really? Did I just lose the man that would have been my husband?” No, she didn’t.

Interesting. I have an idea for you about how to collect these stories. What about if you just have people call into your free conference line and if they choose to use that story, that they can put as many details as they want into the story. Invite people, anybody who wants to tell about what … I would invite even your radio audience. “If you would like to tell about the success of your, or how this worked out, no matter what time, call into this line and leave a message. You can do it either anonymously or you can leave all of your information.”

Oh my gosh, that is so perfect. There was a woman who was called in to my radio show not that long ago. She said, “Remember me, I'm the one who lost my sense of smell?” I said, “Certainly I remember you. That was quite a dramatic problem.” She said, “It’s 3 weeks and I regained my sense of smell because you told me to inhale those essential oils. I hadn’t had a sense of smell for a whole year and all of my food tasted like sand.”

That’s wonderful. That’s a beautiful story to tell. I love that it is so short and it’s so sweet and it’s really visual because the essential oils and the sand. Those are really super great details. I hope that people listening will listen to the way that Shannon tells stories because it’s really very engaging. Part of the reason why it’s so engaging is not only the way that she uses her voice, because you have these intonations that’s riveting. In the way that you use pauses, in the way that you elongate certain words or emphasize certain words.

The other thing that’s so interesting is that you use very descriptive details that put us in that situation. We really are feeling what you're saying. Obviously that’s one of your gifts because you feel other people. You have the gift then of allowing other people to feel as well. The gift is going both ways for you. I just want to point that out to people.

I had never noticed that before. I have the gift of being an impasse, which really is kind of a troublesome gift, right?

Yes, it is.

Because I can feel other people’s stuff all the time. I have to work really hard on my boundaries to decide when I'm going to allow myself to feel other people’s symptoms. Also, I feel sick all the time.

The gift is that too, that you can describe things in such a way that makes other people feel too. The gift is going both ways. Just listening to you, I'm riveted by all of those stories that you’ve told.

It’s kind of you to observe that because I had really never noticed that before. Thanks because you're on the receiving end so you're really getting it. Cool.

Exactly. Any other things that I didn’t ask you? I guess I want to know also about how you're leveraging your glamability and all the publicity that you’ve already gotten? If there’s another way that you're continuing to keep the ball rolling?

You’ve filled up your seminars. Your radio shows, there’s a waiting list. You don’t allow people to come to you for more than one session a year, although they can attend your seminars or they can call in on the radio show.

What else are you doing, if anything, to keep all of that energy, all of that great energy moving forward for your next level? I think you said your next level was, were you going to teach people to do what you do? Or you just want people to be independent? You want to have your own TV show?

I do want to be on TV. I'm working on another book. I'm talking to Hay House about that now. If I get Hay House, that would be really the perfect platform for me. I would be rubbing elbows on the stages with Mike Dooley and Deepak Chopra and all of those other things. People that I've read their books for years and years. I would very much love that. I think that would be perfect.

One of the things that you could do to, or one of the things that you put in the book, as you know is endorsements. One way that you can get endorsements from people like Mike Dooley and Deepak Chopra is to offer to do a session with them.

I could, you're right.

Sure. You can always talk to their assistant because you can always also get into that by offering it to the assistant as well. A lot of people discount people’s assistants but they're the gatekeepers to people and they're your helpers. They're the people who you want on your side. I'm not saying that just to be nice to people to get something. I'm saying of course you should always be nice to everyone and consider everyone your friend and helper. They are one of the best helpers. This is the same for producers by the way. People often give gifts to the hosts and they forget the producers. The producer has done all of the work. The host gets all of the glory.

The producers are the ones who call and the producers are the ones who know who I am. When I show up at the radio station, it’s often the producers who greet me by name. The host is drinking coffee and looks at me, squinting and saying, “Yeah, you're that psychic.”

Exactly. It’s about treating those producers and the people who are doing all of the work, rewarding them with a lovely gift and showering your attention and just being grateful for the work that they’ve done and not just the person who’s in the front getting the glory. All of those people who are helping behind the scenes. That’s just one thing that you can do. Just pop in. That would be an easy way for you to get endorsements from some of those people which will elevate your book proposal and also elevate the status of your book when you have those quotes on the back.

That’s really helpful. That’s great. Keeping the good energy flowing, as you were asking about, I'm in touch with the journalists and with the radio producers and the other people who interviewed me. I was really, really happy to get one on our top radio station here, a top talk radio, which is called 702 and it simulcasts in Cape Town. The woman who called me was the producer. She said, “This presenter really wants to talk to you but she’s really pretty skeptical. She wants to do a reading with you privately but she’s going to videotape it. If you're accurate, she will broadcast the video and she will have you on her radio show. If you're not accurate, she won’t and she may even say something bad about you.”

I thought, "Oh no, what kind of pressure is this?" I think I'm 85% accurate but I'm not 100% accurate. 85 is better than 0 but it’s not as good as 100. I went there and she videoed me. It was before, it was three hours before her radio show was going to go on. It’s the worst kind of thing for me actually. She said, “I have an injury on my body. Where is it?” I don’t like it when it’s that confrontational. I like it when people say, “How can I get back together with my baby daddy?” We work on strategies together. It feels more collaborative.

Luckily, instantly I felt the pain in my right shoulder. It felt like band-aid as pain over my shoulder. I described that to her. She said, “Actually that is exactly where it is.” She said, “What I've done is I've put these little …” I don’t know if you’ve seen this. Kinesiology tapes right there on the part that looked like a blue band aid actually.” That’s what I was feeling in my arm as I was talking to her, right in my shoulder. She broadcasted the video, thank God.

Yay. What else are you doing …

Keeping it going. I don’t have a good newsletter. I have a subscription list of about 5,000 and I don’t have a newsletter and I don’t have a capture on my webpage. All of these things are tools that I need to get going. I need to do the free report, gifts, those kinds of things. There’s a lot more that I could do, really. I'm so not done yet.

I think those are really important things to leverage your glamability. For people who don’t know, she’s talking about an opt in box or an incentive for some sort of special report or a video or something to give someone in order to get them their name and email address so she can continue to contact them on there via a newsletter. You already have 5,000 people that you’ve connected with.

One thing you might be to do to yes, connect to those people, and to talk about your dream of getting your own TV show. Just putting it out there, that you also have this new telephone line where they can call and get to conference line and leave a message. If you use that conference line all time, you want to get another line specifically for that where they can leave a message of their results. Just a newsletter could be something super simple. Telling about the Ukraine experience, telling them when this contest is up, that they can look into this contest.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Shannon is able to offer many different ways to get a session with her.

Also, just talking a little bit about your news. Tell them about your big dream that you want to get a TV show. Because you have no idea who’s on that list. They may be able to help you realize your dream. You don’t know.

One of the best ways in South Africa, I don’t know how it is in the States right now, but before I can get a TV show, I really need an anchor sponsor. Someone who’s big. As big as Kroger or Macy’s, a really big sponsor. That’s how TV shows are made here right now. I can talk about that and ask for that and put it out there and see what happens.

Absolutely. I love that. Was there anything else that I haven’t asked you that you wanted to add?

No. We could talk for hours. Let’s get down to helping you with a session. Let’s do a mini session for you.

Great. I have three questions. Number one is, what is the next book that I haven’t written yet that I have to write?

Before I go into that, I would like to turn myself on. I would like to switch on and ask permission to be able to do your work. I don’t walk around switched on all the time. Just like a dentist wouldn’t walk around looking at people’s teeth. What I'm going to do is say a short prayer that will ask for permission for me to serve as your translator. The prayer sounds like this, “Dear God. Please allow me to serve as Susan’s translator. Please give her your divine guidance and allowing her to your path. Amen.” Susan, sorry to make you repeat, could you please say your question one more time?

Sure. What is the next book that I haven’t written yet that I have to write?

They're saying it’s a quick book. It’s going to be really easy for you to write. It’s going to be fun and it isn't really directly related to the field that I know that you do. It’s related to something else. It’s a guide or a handbook. It’s a how to. It can be made available digitally. What they're saying is that it’s local, local, local to you. What it could be, the thing that’s coming to my mind is … What is the name of the town where you live right now?

San Rafael.

What is it?

San Rafael. San Rafael, California.

San Rafael. Thank you. It could be a guide to the art deco architecture of this place. A guide to the local foraging foliage of this place. A guide to the … I don't know. They're coming up with the astrology of this place. I don’t know that means. Oh, may lines. A guide to the geopathic stress and places of this place. Do you remember the concept of genius loci?


Which means the spirit of a place. Sometimes it’s spelled genius, like a very intelligent person. Loci, sometime spelled with a double I. It has to do with the Deva or the deity or the overarching angel or spirit of that particular place where you are. I don't know anything about the place where you live. I've never been there. Your angels are saying that you yourself, Susan, have a very special connection to that place. Connecting and talking to the Deva of your place will reveal something wonderful and beautiful about your town and about its … not actually it’s history. It’s not who was mayor or who discovered it or when the Spanish left. It’s not about that but something very special that people can walk around with. It will have a map.

That’s what I get. The idea of it would be you are really multi-talented. You don’t have to stick with one area of expertise. Writing is just a joy for you. It’s just fun. This actually could be a moneymaker. There could be a little app attached to it that could be connected to the tourism and the spirituality of your place. Susan, that’s your answer.

That’s totally wild. I had no idea.

It could be a little bit weird. Maybe you can let it simmer because it certainly doesn’t have to be done by tomorrow afternoon.

Does it have to do with Aikido? Can you tune in to that? Because the geopathic stress or foraging foliage, that’s not something I have any knowledge of but is it something ...

Or even have any interest in. Aikido, that’s what you are writing a book about?


We were going for the next one that you hadn’t written yet. What would you like to ask about your Aikido book?

I have another question about my other books that wasn’t the Aikido book. I'm not sure what the question would be about the Aikido book. Let’s ask about my verbal self-defense guide for girls. What would be the best strategy and methodology for getting my girl’s self-defense book into organizations and schools?

They want you to go with the Girl Scouts, the actual Girl Scouts that sell cookies. Verbal self-defense. They're saying it would be a real winner and that your chapters make a fantastic poster. “The 10 ways to defend yourself verbally.” It makes a poster that you would print and you would distribute it to all of the Girl’s Scouts. They’re talking about nationally, contacting the national organization of Girl Scouts.

Great. Anywhere else?

The way your angels are telling it to me is that it’s perfect for 11 year olds. What’s your target audience?

Probably 15 to 25. Are you talking about defending oneself from being cat called, for example?


Your angels would like to point out that that’s happening younger than it happened for us. They would really, really like you to frame the language in a way that an 11 to 15 year old could understand. This happened to me when I was a kid. I was probably 12. I was walking down the street and two boys were walking towards me. I wasn’t wearing a bra and my breasts were just starting to develop so they were poking through the little jersey that I was wearing, the little sweater.

These two boys, from about 20 feet away, started pointing at me and laughing at me. I didn’t know why they were doing it. As they walked towards me, they started going, “Mosquito bite, mosquito bite. They look like mosquito bites,” and then they walked passed me. To tell you the truth, I didn’t get what they were talking about until maybe five minutes later. Then I just was burning with shame. So embarrassed. I was crushed. It actually did my self-esteem some harm.

That’s the kind of scenario, of course you explained it so vividly, where a girl could respond in such a way to make sure that those boys understand that that’s not right to say. “That’s none of your business,” or “Get away from me.” Anything like that.

Maybe there are multiple audiences for your book. There is an audience that’s the 15 to 25 year old audience, a university level audience, we would say, that age, or working women. There’s also an audience that you can reframe, you can take the same content and you can make it available and useable to girls even from the age of 11, which we call tweens these days.

Great. Now I have a question that’s sort of broad but just given that I've got so many different projects …

Can I just interrupt because I'm getting a little bit of information about that?


It’s, “Talk back to,” and then there’s a blank. “Talk back to …” What’s a word that start with T that is mean? Talk back to?

To tease?

To teasing. Talk back to teasing. That’s a younger version. You're talking about more serious abuse. I'm still aiming at the younger audience.


Because the boys will way, if you confront them with it, they will say, “Are you joking? This is not sexual abuse? I was just teasing her. What’s the big deal?” Teasing is still condoned in our society, where it actually shouldn't be. That’s another possible use. Because you know that you like to take content and multiply its uses. That’s’ another way for you to look at.

Should I run by a title of you or should I ask a more general question?

Try the title. What have you got?

We’re renaming it, True Shield: Verbal Self-Defense Guide For Girls.

Why do you say ‘girls’ if you have just told me that your audience is 15 to 25?

I have another one. Verbal Self-Defense For Young Women and Girls. Geez, that’s so long and bulky. Girls, I think we have a “survival guide for girls” which means girls for our age, yours and mine. Girls can be more board than just … like “girl’s guide to wearing stilettos.” Those are the kinds of things that I think use of the word ‘girls’ is more broad.

When we’re talking about offending a woman about her sexuality, I think it would be more respectful to use the word ‘woman’ rather than ‘girl’ because ‘girl’ … I know what you're saying but when you say “a girls guide to stilettos”, it’s when you and I and are speaking to each other casually and in a fun way and we can both accept each other kind of a way. The oppressed people can always use the oppressed language among themselves. In this, “a girls guide to talking back …” True Shield. I like True Shield quite a bit.

You do? Good.

I really love true shield. Your angels are giving it a big check mark and a big yes, a big go ahead. The tag line, the subtitle needs a little bit of work around maintaining the level of respect. A true shield is super respectful, isn't it? It gives you that knight in shining armor, we are the women warriors. It could be waging a war, true shield, waging war against … and then what’s another way to say inappropriate behavior? It carries well with the true shield because it loses its power when you say the word ‘girls’ there at the end.

What about True Shield; Verbal Self Defense For Young Women And Teens?

Just say young women because as teen, I want to consider myself a young woman. I don’t really want to consider myself a teen. If I was 15, I would gladly read a book aimed at young women. Just drop ‘and teens’. Because I'm aspirationally a young woman, aren’t I?


There’s a negative around ‘girls’ in this context only.

Wonderful. Thank you. That’s really helpful. I really love that. Thank you for that.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Shannon Walbran taps into Susan Harrow's Spirit Guides.

Your angels and guides want to tell you something about the view that you have when you're writing. I don’t know what your room looks like where you write but they're saying that they want you to have a longer view. Do you have the possibility of looking out a window that has sky and looks toward something tall, like a palm tree? Do you have that possibility?

I have no palm trees here but looking out a window or in my garden or something like that? Doing it in, writing in the garden?

Yes, you could write in the garden or you could write at a window that’s near the garden. Your angels are pointing out that you are … Of all of the kingdoms, that is the angel kingdom, the healing kingdom, the mineral kingdom, the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom, the kingdom that wants to help you the most is the plant kingdom. Plant medicine, herbal remedies, things like flower essences, essential oils. All of those things are really your allies in these chapters in writing this book.

Some people like to keep crystals around and so they're really aligned with the mineral kingdom, some people love their fish or their cat or their bird or whatever. You could love all of those things but this is a voluntary connection from the plant kingdom to you saying, “Susan, we want to work with you.”

I love that because we have a very robust garden.

You do?

Yeah. The garden is bigger than the house.

By the way the garden in the back, in the bagua, in Feng shui it’s in the romantic/love area so it’s a visionary place for us too, a creation of our relationship in the garden. Maybe that’s part of it.

What’s the tallest tree that you have? What’s the tallest thing there, in the front of your …

We do have from really tall evergreens in the back.

Right. That’s it. I just saw a waving tree so I thought maybe it’s palm trees, it’s in California. If it’s a pine tree, really those are the things that they're talking to me about. You looking at them as they’re waving in the wind, getting inspired to know that you have as much an impact of a really, really tall tree that can be seen from far. Does that make sense to you?


If you get stuck at any point writing your book, it’s to go and be with those trees and say, “Show me how to be tall, show me how to have an impact, show me how to be visible from far. This is what I want for these ideas.” Because your ideas are so helpful and useful in the world.

Thank you for that. I love that. I do sometimes go and sit beneath them. There’s a little meditation bench off the path down there. I definitely wouldn’t be looking at them but I would be in them. That’s a nice place. They're all around.

The only thing I'm hearing about the Aikido is that they keep saying this funny pun on it in my ear which is Ai-kiddo. Do you think that exists already as a brand? It seems that’s a pretty easy brand to make. Ai-Kiddo.

No. I don’t know.

Maybe it already exists. There’s something about the childlike nature of the play of Aikido, which I don’t do although I would love to start. The serious child, the wise child, the eternal child.

It is very childlike. To see the kids doing it too is really great because they don’t have any hang ups about it. They're tumbling, they're fooling round. One of the tenets of Aikido is joy, you should leave joyful and better after training that when you came in. It’s so true. Sometimes I come really crabby and I always leave happier, no matter what.

You find the childhood when you do it.

Absolutely. Our sensei Hans Goto sensei is very childlike too. He’s got that impish and childlike quality. We’re always laughing a lot at things. I'm always making gasps inappropriately, not on purpose.

That’s so delightful. That’s just mostly such a kick. I'm glad that you're doing that.

It is. It’s lovely.

Does anything come to mind about your health? Do you have questions about your health? The way that I usually clients to frame their question is not, “Am I healthy?” It would be more like, “How can I fix this headache that I usually get at 4:00 in the afternoon?” If you could think of anything specific that’s bugging you about your health, you're not quite concerned about your health, you take good care of your health, but is there anything that’s irritating you?

Yes. I'm not sure I can say it on the air. Let’s talk about some mental probable symptoms where I'm not sleeping as well or I'm pretty tired, a little tired and worn down.

Your angels’ main recommendation for that is licorice, not licorice the candy but licorice the root. You can find licorice root and you can make tea out of it. In fact, it is in an ingredient in a lot of herbal mixtures of teas that you could find, like celestial seasonings and those. If you go to your health foods store or your whole foods and you look at the ingredients of tea, it’s going to be licorice. You can find licorice in a tea. That is a hormone rebalancer. That’s what your angels are recommending for you, and this is a lot, but could you please drink three cups of that per day?


Yeah, really.

I don’t love it for sure but I can try it. Are they saying anything else?

In a mix with other teas.

It’s so strong. I don’t mind it horribly but it’s not one of my favorite things for sure.

You can take licorice capsules and then you can't taste it.

They have licorice capsules?


That might be better.

BAMD0029 | Leverage your glamability

Shannon taps into Susan's Spirit Guides and details what teas and vitamins will benefit specific health issues.

There is such a thing as de-glycerized licorice which has no effect on the blood pressure because glycerized licorice, or you could say just ordinary licorice, does cause blood pressure to rise. In fact people who have low blood pressure like to take licorice and people with high blood pressure should not take licorice because it could cause it to spike. In my mind, while I'm talking to you, I'm also talking to them so I'm on two calls. I said, “Why aren’t you recommending chaste berry?” Which is a really good hormone rebalance.

I am taking that.

They said no … Really?

I'm taking a lot of it.

They said please stop. They said it’s not appropriate for your level of estrogen.

Really? We just upped it to five capsules.

That’s not working. Also, have you noticed your symptoms getting better? No, you have not.

No, I have not.

Your angels are saying, “No, you have not.” They answered it for you actually.

We’re in sync.

Exactly. I'm going in my mind,"What about chaste berry?" They say, “No.” Then you say, “I'm taking chaste berry.” Your angels are going, “Yeah, see you're symptoms aren’t getting better so knock it off.”

What about myomin?

Is it MY?

MY, myomin. Let me ask this, is there anything else that I'm taking that I should not be taking or is there anything that I am taking that I should not be taking, like the chaste berry. We upped that.

I got it. Is there anything I'm taking that I should not be taking? No, everything else is fine. Is there anything that I'm not taking yet that I should be taking? Yes. They would like you to increase your multivitamin B. Are you already taking this?

It’s not a multi vitamin but I am taking B12 and B6 I think.

They're telling me that they want one with all of the Bs together, B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. They want the one with all of the Bs.

1 to 10, okay.

Other than that, you’re doing really well.


And if you stop the chaste berry and if you start the licorice, your symptoms should go away within five days and you can tell me whether they do or not. Let’s see if they do. Let’s do an experiment.

We will do an experiment. Thank you.

It’s my go to also. I always use chaste berry. But they're saying not for you.

That’s really good to know, super good to know. Maybe that will help with my freezing feet.

I can't believe that you just said feet because they just showed me feet. I was looking at feet and I was looking at the skin of the feet. I wondering if the skin of the feet was healthy because I was just about to say, “Are you demonstrating symptoms of candida, by peeling skin on your feet?”

Yeah, they are peeling skin on my feet. I had no idea what that meant. I didn’t even think to ask you about that. It was just weird.

It’s a demonstration of candida and candida usually means too much sugar. I don’t think that you're a person who takes sugar. Are you having too much sweets?

I've been eating sweets lately just because I've been feeling crappy and I just … I don’t usually eat sugar and I have been eating a little bit of candy that I actually bought for someone else that I haven’t given them yet.

The best way to get rid of candida is to eliminate sugar altogether. Green tea is a nice way to not have candida.

I drink that every morning after my coffee. Absolutely.

Other than that, your health is at an 8.5 out of 10. These are tweaks.

I’d love to get to a 10. Can I get to a 10 by doing this?

No, they said if you wanted to get to a 10, you would need to run.

Are you kidding me?

They're not kidding you. They said go running.

What about my knees, people? I used to be a runner. I used to run 5 to 10 miles a day but …

In order for you to get your health at a 10, your body needs to make the gestures of running. If that’s too hard on your knees, you can do aqua running or you can do Zen running, which is having the body do they gestures of running but in a really low impact way. It looks as though you're walking at .1 miles an hour but you're doing the gestures of running.


You used to be runner?

Yeah. I do walk. I do walk a couple miles when I'm not doing Aikido. I don’t run just because …

Have you seen Zen running? Have you seen what it looks like?


It’s like slow motion, pretend running. As if someone’s filming you and you're pretending to run.


Looks weird.

I’ll take a look.

Your body loved running and when you're running, it was the healthiest that you have ever been, according to your angels, you were the healthiest than you have ever been in your entire life.

I did love running.

Did you love it? Good.

I did really love it. I got into a car accident and I couldn’t run anymore. Walking just did not give that endorphin lift that the running had.

You need to talk your body into believing that it’s running. It can release the endorphins.


Yeah. By running in slow motion.


That’s what a reading sounds like. Sounds like guessing with no background and then answers that are maybe 70% familiar and then 30% challenging.

Great. I love it. I wanted to end with you telling us a little bit about how we can get in touch with you if we want a reading or go to one of your seminars. I don’t know if you ever do any online or do them out of South Africa, but if people were listening in South Africa as well, could you tell us a little bit about how to get in touch with you and if people want to reconnect?

I am launching an online course but it will only come to fruition or come to publication in October 2016. It’s on a wonderful platform called Daily Om. It’s a great platform. That will come out next October. Even before then, I’ll probably do online courses. I'm working on the content right now. All of my stuff, my individual sessions, my seminars, my online material and my book are all available via my website,

Wonderful. Thank you so much for being our guest on how to leverage your glamability before a tv show even airs. This was entirely delightful. I love hearing about all of your experiences and I love of course getting my own reading, which was really fun too.

Cool. I think we should do it again when other interesting things crop up.

I can't wait. Thank you so much, Shannon.

Thank you.

We’ll talk to you soon.

About Shannon Walbran

Shannon Walbran, who is known as South Africa’s top psychic. Her main message is, “You are guided.” Even though she guides you and she loves to teach people how to get their messages themselves After travelling the world in her 20s and 30s, Shannon received a divine message while meditating in the Sinai Desert, which was, “Now, it’s time for you to help other people.” She gave up her career as a writer for a nonprofit and she quickly rose to the top of her field, helping over 20,000 clients directly since 2003.

What she does is she brings people instant, specific, personalized answers to their most pressing personal questions. She adds in details that nobody else knows. Currently, Shannon speaks to a radio listenership of about 8 million people and is the author of the book called Guided, which is available on Audible. She does corporate key note speaking, large group and individual consultations in person and by phone and Skype worldwide. Shannon’s website is


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5 Ways Your Branding Can Get The Media To Call You With Karen Leland

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5 Ways Your Branding Can Get The Media To Call You With Karen Leland

Welcome everyone to the Be a Media Darling Podcast, today our topic is five ways your branding can get the media to call you. Our wonderful guest is a dear friend of mine, Karen Leland. She’s CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, which is a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm, helping CEOs, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. Her most recent book, is The Brand Mapping Strategy, Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand. To reach her, go to

You’re doing a TED Talk too. Did you already do your TED Talk?

I haven’t. Actually, I'm doing a TEDxTalk at Yale in October actually.

That’s fantastic. Obviously, the topic is branding?

The topic is actually of that whole Yale TEDxTalk, the theme is the gap. I'm going to talk about the gap between how people experience themselves and how their brand is sometimes represented in the world.

That will be a great place to start. There’s a lot of definitions of a brand. That you are the brand. Maybe we could start with what your definition of a brand is and why people should have one.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

The Brand Mapping Strategy by Karen Leland

It’s funny because in the book, one of the things that I say is I tell people I'm going to play fast and loose with language because I use the word branding, and the word marketing, and the word PR, and the word social media, and the world business development. Not that they're all the same thing, but they're so inextricably linked in today’s world that they're really different facets of a diamond.

Branding in general, I like the definition Jeff Bezos gives about a brand is what someone says about you when you're not in the room. I really think a brand, whether it’s personal or business, is it’s your reputation. It’s how you are seen, it’s how you are viewed. It’s what people think of when they think of you.

That reason that I say that PR and social media and all of that is intertwined is that today, there are no just pure branding activities or pure marketing activities or pure PR activities. They all have a linkage and a relationship with each other.

We’re really talking about perception is reality and how all of those things still need to be consistent. Your social media can't look cutesy and wild if your website looks serious and buttoned up - that won't get the media to call you.

Exactly. The thing is that, the brand of your website and your collateral materials really need to match what the tone of your brand is, either your personal brand or your business brand, depending on which one you're designing collateral materials for. So many people have websites and collateral material that is just counter to their brands.

For example, I have people call me sometimes and they’ll go, “I use chartreuse in website design because my web designer said chartreuse is a really hot color this year.” Or somebody said to me the other day, “I used pink because I like the color pink.” That doesn’t mean that pink is the right color for her brand. As a matter of fact, for this person, pink was completely the wrong color.

People tend to think about designing their brand identity based on how they feel or what’s popular rather than based on what’s consistent tonally and energetically even with the particular brand that they have, either personally or business.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

Get the media to call you by matching your brand to what you do for a living. This includes color choices, fonts, and language.

What should they start with? Let’s imagine somebody loves that color pink but it’s not matching what they do for a living or what they want to promote or they're offering.

What they want to communicate, what they're feeling they're trying to communicate. Again, we’re talking about color. Color is only one aspect. There are fonts, there’s design, there’s language. There are all these other aspects of how you represent your brand. Color is an interesting one because there’s a whole psychology to color. Colors will communicate to someone very, very different things depending on the color.

I think the place for people to start, it’s the reason, Susan, I really wrote The Brand Mapping Strategy book, the reason that I wrote it is that I think people need to start with defining their brands in some very specific ways. Let me give you an example that I use or an analogy that I use. I wear glasses. I know a lot of people wear glasses.

When you go to the eye doctor, you sit there and you're reading the eye chart and the eye doctor will put this big, heavy, gigantic thing on your face and he or she will click a bunch of different lenses. They’ll ask you, “Does this lens make it clearer or fuzzier? Can you see the letters clearer or fuzzier?”

The brand is like that. There are seven different aspects to your brand that have to be clear, not fuzzy and for you to understand and be able to articulate those seven aspects of your brand before you should be doing any brand design and before you should be even doing any brand building and putting it out there.

What happens is, people start putting it out there and building buzz for their brand but they drive people back to a website or to social media or to an online blog that is not representative fully of the brand. Then they lose people. There’s no conversion.

What are those seven things?

Of course, they are in the book.

Of course.

Of course.

It’s fully explained.

Absolutely. I’ll give them to you very briefly. The first one is what I call the anchor statement. That’s the go to statement about who you are. A lot of people call it the elevator pitch. It’s the very quick, who you are, go to description.

It’s not a tag line.

No. It’s literally like when you're at a cocktail party and someone says what do you do, it’s the one or two sentence answer you give.

I must say, “I double or triple entrepreneurs’ business using sound bites properly in their media appearances.”

Exactly. By the way, the thing that the anchor statement has to do is it has to be … People’s brains look for patterns. It has to be a pattern they can recognize. We’ve all said to people at a cocktail party or a conference, “What do you do?” They talk and we’re like, in our minds thinking, “I've got no idea what this person does.” We are totally lost.

As obvious as that sounds, a lot of people can't actually answer that question in an effective, timely, impactful way. It sounds easy but it’s not necessarily. It has to be something people, as I said, can fit into a pattern.

For me, I say, just what you said at the beginning of this. I'm a branding and marketing strategist and implementer. I work with executives, CEOs, business people on improving their business and personal brands. Everyone can get that. It’s understandable. That’s the anchor statement.

The other thing is the unique branding proposition. We always talk about, in business, unique selling propositions. It’s the same idea applied to the brand. What is it about what you do or how you do it that makes you unique, distinct, special? What sets you apart? I don’t mean by that, what makes you better than other people, but what is it that really is distinct about you? Again, a lot of people I find have not thought this through.

The third one is brand tone and temperament. What’s the consistent mood, tenor, quality, character, manner that you bring to all your interactions? Because there is a tone and a temperament that each person and in fact each business brings to their interactions.

Then there’s what I call the brand energy, which is what is it that you can be counted on to contribute in all circumstances and in all times? I've actually divided the brand energy up into a series of archetypes, which I go into detail about in the book. There are people that are advocates and people that are makers and people that are connectors and people that are motivators and people that are fixers and people that are visionaries.

As a matter of fact, you are in the book. I think I had you as a synthesizer. Yes. That was the brand energy that I gave you as an example for. I'm going to read what it says. You haven’t heard this. It’s short.

How exciting, because I apparently don’t remember.

It’s short. I think I might have just done it without asking your permission.

I don’t remember this at all!

It’s nice. I said something nice about you. Here’s what the synthesizer brand energy is. It’s, “People with this energy have the ability to bring together various elements, ideas, products, thoughts, etc. and combine them in a way that creates something new and improved. The types of statements they might make about themselves include, ‘I enjoy projects where I take multiple parts and put them together to make a new whole. I'm often asked to figure out how make several separate things work together and people tell me I'm good at blending and combining things together to make something better.’” I said, “For example, Susan Harrow is a media coach with a talent for taking information, blah, blah, blah.” There’s a little paragraph explaining how I think you are that.

Other words that describe that energy are integrator, blender and producer. That’s just one of about 12 different archetypes of brand energy. People are usually one or a combination of one or two. It’s very important to know which type you are because that tends to also determine the kind of language you use in your branding materials and how you talk about what you do. That informs it. Even sometimes the kind of logo that you create.

Number five is the signature story. Why do you what you do? What’s essential story that brought you to this place? How did you get here? What is it about your past and your history and something …

That’s the same as the story of origin.

Exactly. Same as your story of origin. The sixth is what I call the signature services, which is what are the core competencies and offers that you have that are particular to you. It may be a process you’ve created, it may be something proprietary that you have. It may be a system that you use. It may just be a particular spin or take you have on something.

The seventh one is what are your brand enhancers and your reducers. Really, what are your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as a brand? Really understanding those and addressing those. Those are the seven general areas. Those sound so obvious. It takes me an entire day, an entire day working with an individual or a team to have them to identify all seven of those things.

I don’t think it’s obvious to most people. Yes, it might sound obvious but I know that people have so much trouble even with the elevator speech and their stories of origin and their bio and all of that. It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a lot of trouble.

Just list the seven again, just so people can remember that these are all necessary to have a personal or a business brand that is going to be effective before you go out and start doing buzz for your brand, which we’re going to talk about that and how to get the media to call you in a minute. I really want to have people have a sense of what is involved in creating a brand so they can start to see what parts of their brand are missing from these seven. Or if you’ve got all seven, bravo for you, rah-rah. If you don’t have all seven, to start getting those aligned before you reach out to the media so you can have results you want.

Of course this is going to help you get the kinds of clients that you want too so there’s no chink in your brand or nothing jarring that people go, “Hey, that doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t jive with all the rest of the stuff that I've seen or read on your website or on your social media or meeting you in person.” Because all of that has to be consistent too.

If somebody’s an organizer and they show up and their hair’s a mess and their clothes are askew and nothing matches, even though they may be an organizer for a home, you're going to go, “I’d never hire that person.”

Right, because it’s an inconsistent brand message.


It’s funny, I was talking to someone the other day who’s a productivity expert. I went to her website and it’s chaotic. Everything’s everywhere. You can't figure out the path. It literally looks like somebody just threw stuff on her website and tossed it all up in the air. I said to her, I said, “The problem is the message you're giving with your website is totally the opposite message of what you say you do. At the very least, you're giving people, emotionally, a confusion.”

The seven are an anchor statement, a unique branding proposition, a brand tone and temperament, a brand energy, a signature story, signature services, and brand enhancers and reducers.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

Having a strong personal brand is important when you want to get the media to call you.

Great. Let’s talk now about why personal branding is important for everyone who wants to get media the media to call you. We’ve touched on that a little bit but I'd love to hear more of your thoughts. Why is this meaningful for the media?

As you know and I know, because we do this all day long, the space is super crowded today. The one thing the Internet’s done is it’s the great equalizer. In the past, you had to be really well known or really famous or really big to get media attention, or really, really extraordinarily unique to get media attention.

Today, anybody can compete for that media attention by being online. That’s just the reality of it. There’s a huge amount of noise, a huge amount of competition, a huge amount of input coming at media all the time. As a result, they're more gun shy, number one. Number two, they're much more careful to screen for certain attributes before they’ll even be willing to talk to someone. They're not as willing to give people a chance as I think they were 20 years ago because there’s so many people out there who are not qualified but think they are, so the media gets an influx of that kind of content from people.

I think you have to be able to distinguish yourself and to build a personal brand. Otherwise, it’s very hard for the media either one, to find you; or two, when you find them or reach out to them, for them to be interested in you.

According to Wasabi Publicity by the way, with the new survey that they did, the number one way that journalists are finding sources is Google.  

You mean they're Googling the terms and finding the person?

They're Googling terms and finding the experts for those terms. If you're not showing up, or you show up and they land on your website and you might have a good search engine ranking but your personal branding is not 100% in sync, then they're going to go down to the next person.

Just to give you an example of that, I was being interviewed by a reporter for a newspaper - not a newspaper - a magazine, the other day. I asked her how she found me. She said, “I Googled the topic personal brand consultant and you came up. I went to your website and I looked at what you had and I was very impressed, blah, blah, blah.” We somehow got into a conversation, this conversation about looking for sources.

I asked her, I said, “When you go to someone’s website, how big of a deal is it?” She said, “I have found people who are amazing sources and would have been fantastic for my article.” This was a major magazine, top magazine. She said, “Who would be amazing for my story but their website is so poorly written, designed, or represented, or all three.” Sometimes one, sometimes all three. She said, “That I can't use them because if I use them, what will happen is a reader reads my story, looks at the source. If they go to that source’s website, looking the way it does, or being written the way it’s written or being as poorly done as it is, it reflects badly on me.” Isn't that fascinating?

That is fascinating. Especially since it’s a national or a reputable source.

It was a national paper, a national magazine.

I would think that pretty much all journalists are starting to think this way too. That it’s part of their brand and the credibility of their story and their sources. You're right, if a source looks shoddy, it’s going to reflect back on them. I think that makes perfect sense.

It makes perfect sense. I just don’t think people think about it like that. I don’t think people realize it and they don’t think about it like that.

Let’s talk about how that works in social media. Essentially, what the media does if you do come up in Google like you did quickly, is that they have to vet you. She goes to your website and then typically they go to your social media too. What are some typical branding mistakes that happen on social media that would turn the reporter off and not get the media to call you?

It’s funny because I had some people over for dinner last night. One of them is a PR person and the other one is a branding expert. We’re all in a similar profession. We were talking about a client that we’ve all worked with. This person has a book out and they're trying to promote their book. I said, “What’s their social media look like?”

We went on their Twitter and their Twitter had 300 followers and they were following 250 of them back. I was like, wow, that is not good. This person was trying to get on CBS and all these major shows. The PR person was trying to explain to the client, “The producer of CBS is going to look at your Twitter feed. If you’ve got 300 people who are following you and you're following 250 back, that’s basically saying you have no influence in your sphere, in your area, in you field.”

I think one of the big mistakes people make, for example on Twitter, is they follow all these people then they follow them back. They don’t really have a Twitter following. Your ratio of followers to following on Twitter, you should be 10% or less of who’s following you number-wise of who you're following. That’s one big mistake people make on Twitter.

I haven’t even considered that. I don’t even know how many people I'm following. I have to look at my Twitter feed. Especially since when you go to other things like Klout, they say, “We can follow people for you.” I'm thinking, I don’t want those …

No, that’s a bad idea. You actually don’t want anybody automatically following people for you.

No, I don’t. That’s one of the criteria in order to connect sometimes. They follow people for you. I'm thinking, "I don’t want that." That’s one part of it, the ratio of followers to people that are following you. What about the content of the feed?

As you know, content is still king and it’s everything. It’s back to that thing about there’s so much noise today. What happens is, if you don’t have quality content, if you're just doing keyword stuffing or you're just throwing stuff up there, if you don’t have quality content, one, you're going to be penalized by Google. Two, when the reporter or the producer or the potential client gets there, you're not going to convert and close that person because the quality of your content isn't being seen by them as valuable, useful, helpful, etc.

Quality content, if this is even possible, is more important now even than it was just a couple of years ago. It’s probably the number one issue that most people have in their branding, is that their content is not of high enough quality. That can be visual quality, if you're doing something visual. That can be written quality if you're writing. That can be quality of the interviews if you're doing podcasts. If you're doing videos, I don’t mean the quality of the video like how pretty it looks because the standard for video …

It’s more like …

What you're talking about, exactly. The value you're delivering.

What you're saying is number one, ratio of followers to followees. Number two, the content of your feed in terms of if it’s valuable and high quality and it relates to what your business is, I would think. Sometimes I see people and that seems fairly unrelated to whatever they’re doing.

Are there any no-no’s not to put on your social media that would turn a reporter off? Let’s imagine you’ve got lots of quality content, but you’ve got one of your personal interests, maybe something, a little sketch or on the edge or whatever.

The thing is with something like Twitter, there is an expectation that there will be something personal. With Facebook again, it’s on the edge of personal. LinkedIn, there’s really not an expectation for personal. LinkedIn is pretty much the straight business to business player.

The problem comes in when people post things that they aren’t thinking through how they're going to make them look. For example, complaining about a former employer. That’s not a good idea, and people do it. Some of the things I've seen are things like people talking about how they were driving drunk, the cop pulled them over but they got away with it. That’s just a stupid thing to put on Twitter or Facebook.

It’s anything of that nature. Somebody used to say to me, “Never put anything on social media you wouldn’t be comfortable if it were printed on the front page of the New York Times.” That’s always my rule of thumb.

That’s very good advice. What about anything that’s going to attract the media and get the media to call you when they see your social feeds?

I think one thing that attracts them is numbers. If you do have good social numbers, if you have a certain numbers of followers, that’s absolutely something that makes a difference. That’s number one.

What would be the minimum of good? What would be considered good?

I think if you're on Twitter and you have 3,000 to 5,000 followers, you're in the percent of people on Twitter. Having 40,000 is better but if you at least have 3,000 or 4,000, it’s obvious that you are a player at least to some degree in your game. If you're on Facebook and you have more than 500 followers, you have more than 500 connections, you're obviously someone who’s using … Excuse me, LinkedIn. I said Facebook but I meant LinkedIn.

I knew you meant LinkedIn.

I'm not sure for Facebook. You would probably be able to answer that better than I would. As you know, Facebook is not where my audience lives. My audience lives on LinkedIn. LinkedIn first and foremost and Twitter second. I don’t really used Facebook for business because it isn't where my audience is. I'm not super familiar with that.

Facebook is more the business to consumer place. If you're selling to consumers, Facebook is a great place to be. If you're selling to businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are more appropriate for that market.

That’s such a great point because doing social media, when people feel like they need to do all the social medias, do the social media where your people are. One of my clients and one of the Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul membership club participants, we did a podcast interview where … I will recommend that all of you go and listen to that. Where she talked about she had no list and she got 15,000 Twitter followers in two months and converted that to $40,000 worth of business

That’s definitely a podcast to listen to that will pop up on this one just so you can hear it, so you can use that strategy to get ready, so you will be media ready when they look at your Twitter feed. She had a really super great strategy for that.

We’re talking to Karen Leland and her new book, it’s called The Brand Mapping Strategy. You can find her information at Because we’re friends, we did a little interview over … I think you barbequed me up a fabulous steak and strawberries and cream, something super healthy. It was delicious.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

The Brand Mapping Strategy by Karen Leland gives excellent tips on how to be ready for the media and get the media to call you.

Let’s go back to what else might get media to call you that you could have ready and be ahead of your competitors or other people in your crowded field. You were talking about how crowded the Internet is right now. How can we stand out with our brand and get the media to call us when they're maybe doing that search on Google? Or, when you responded to HARO or you responded to a query and they're checking you out to make sure that they choose you.

Let’s talk about HARO for a minute, which is Help A Reporter Out. As you know, I have a whole series of online programs. One of them is literally about how you use HARO and other online sites to reach out to reporters and have them cover you. Again, as simple as these stuff may seem, so many people are doing it so badly and inappropriately and they're missing the opportunity.

We’ll put that link up on for this too. It’s a great resource.

The thing about HARO is that, you got to remember, if I'm a reporter, especially from any known paper or known entity or known media outlet.If I'm from Inc. Magazine and I put something out on HARO saying, “I'm looking for experts in time management to address how people can set goals for the New Year,” how many thousands of responses do you think I'm going to get within a five minute period?

A couple thousand.

Probably a couple thousand. One of the first things is, I always encourage people to put in the headline what [they are] actually they're responding to. Remember, that reporter, that media person is also getting emails for other things. I always put in the headline, it would be, “Expert for time management.” So that the person knows what it is that they're responding to. That’s one thing. It’s also, if you can sneak something in the headline very shortly about yourself that works, I think that’s great. I think the thing is, just the subject line is one of the first things that you have to do properly just in responding. So many people just don’t do that even well.

The other thing is, I always tell people, when I'm the media person and I put stuff up in HARO to interview people, if I get from somebody a block of text with no paragraphs, I am embarrassed to this but it’s really true, 9 out of 10 times, I won't read it. I’ll just delete it. I can't read a huge block of text. If it’s not separated into sentences or paragraphs that are easy for me to skim, it’s too much work and I’ll just delete it.

Most reporters I know have told me that’s the case. They will do the same. First thing is you have to make it easy for these people to read what you sent them. That’s number one.

Can I just say super quickly, that it should be the same on your website.


Nobody wants to read that huge block. Just putting little headlines for each of your paragraphs so somebody could skim it and see if they want to read further.

Along those lines, one of the ways to skim is you want to put bullet points in that. You want to basically, you introduce yourself, you say why you're writing and then why you think you're the right person for their piece then put bullet point, bullet point, bullet point. If they’ve asked for something like tips, tip, tip or whatever information they’ve asked for. Your contact information and you're done.

I’ll tell you, a lot of times I get those from PR people when I'm the reporter asking for information and the PR person will not give me the contact information for their client. I don’t want to call the PR person, to get the client. That’s ridiculous. I know they want to control it a lot of times, but you really have to say the name of the client and their contact information. Reporters just don’t have time. They need to be able to quickly get access to what they need access to.

If you give them one extra step, then they're going to go to somebody who’s given them the ease of getting in contact with that person. It’s not just about your great content, it’s about the ease of which you deliver it to someone in the form that they’ve requested if you want to get the media to call you.

As soon as you are a pain in someone’s behind, you have just reduced your chances of them covering you by about 90%.

That’s a great point. What else do you look for? Because you’re on both sides of it since you write for and …

Entrepreneur. Since you write both of them, you are also soliciting sources all the time. You're really on both sides of the fence that way.

I think the other thing they look for is people who really are experts at what they are looking for. Not someone who’s stretching the point and not someone who’s trying to pivot their story. They know what they need and what they’re looking for. Nothing annoys them more than somebody who responds who isn't really an expert or is trying to get them to pivot.

People have written to me, “I don’t know about that but you might be interested in this story.” No, because I asked for that. I asked for A, not for B. I will never use that person again because they're on my bad list for having wasted my time.

I totally get it. Are there any other no-no’s that won't get the media to call you?

Being long as opposed to short in terms of what you write the person, and being arrogant. I remember once, I actually have this as a slide that I show in my speeches when I give speeches on branding and marketing, I show this slide. I was once looking for a source on HARO and somebody wrote me back and they said, basically, I'm paraphrasing now, “But you better get in touch with me quickly because my new book just came out and it’s really a hot topic. I'm not going to be available for long.”

It took me less than a quarter of a second to delete that email. Reporters hate that. They hate that. They hate entitlement and arrogance. I don’t ever think it’s a good idea, but if you are Steve Jobs, you probably get a pass on entitlement and arrogance with the press. Unless you're that level, you should cut the attitude.

Also, never pressure reporters like that, “You better hurry up and get in touch with me.”

No. They don’t care. There are a million sources they can use.

What’s something that people should do to get the media to call you? We’re talking about some of the biggest branding mistakes also that small businesses and entrepreneurs make that impact their relationship with the media. Are there other things that they do that are total no-no’s?

I think you know this from the work that you do. I think when people are not really clear about the points they want to make with the media then if they’re doing anything on radio or on camera, it really ends up being a problem.

For example, I never practice a speech. I never rehearse or learn a script when I'm going to be on radio or TV. But you can bet, I know my 5 talking points or 4 talking points or all the points that I want to make and the stories that I want to tell. They are in my head completely. Then I'm free to just be myself and be natural.

I think the lack of preparation and really understanding what their main points are is one of the big problems people have when they're doing live media, like radio or television.

It’s about planning, preparing and practicing your sound bites so you can be free to be spontaneous.


You're right. A lot of people don’t have those down. They can be spontaneous but they're trying to remember what they're points are and the interviews and are not going to be structured tightly to help you actually get business from your media interviews. That’s the difference.

For somebody like Karen, Karen’s obviously experienced doing media interviews so she’s got all of her points down. She knows exactly what she wants to speak about for each particular topic and how she can twist each topic and use points for different angles. That’s something else to be prepared for.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

Knowing your talking points in and out will set you one step ahead when you get the media to call you to be their expert resource.

Have we covered all the biggest mistakes, biggest branding mistakes? That’s an interesting way to look at it. I wouldn’t have considered that branding but I think it is because that’s how you're perceived live. Does that match your website and your social media, the feel, the tone?

I think it absolutely is branding. I would say the only other mistake I would highlight is that people tend to get this fear of missing out and they think they have to be doing everything. I've got to be on Instagram, I've got to be on Twitter, I've got to be doing videos, I've got to be podcasting, I've got to be going to conferences, I've got to be speaking, I've got to be blogging.

The truth is that what you have to do is pick one or two. People always think I'm nutty when I say that but it’s really true. One or two things and do them very, very, very well and very consistently. If you do that, one or two of those channels can be enough to build your brand.

You and I have talked about this, and I have the advantage of being a trained journalist and a writer. Writing is something I can do, it’s natural to me. I've basically built my business, my branding and marketing business on writing. On blogging, on writing articles, on writing books. That’s mostly the strategy that I've used.

In terms of social media, a blog was the biggest strategy that I used. My second strategy was speaking because the other thing I can do, as you know, Susan, is talk. No problem with that one.

The great thing is that you’ve deep dived into both of those. You have so much content on your blog and on your website. Obviously, with the nine books that you’ve written and then you're always speaking at conferences all over the world. You're getting clients that way but it’s also a way that you're consistently talking about this topic.

I also blog for other people. I blog for Forbes, I blog for Entrepreneur, I blog for AllBusiness, I've written articles for lots and lots of other people. It was a way to get myself out there. As you know, I just recently started doing the Branding Blowout Podcast. I started podcasting because that’s just more talking.

Exactly. Which we both love to do.

Which we both love to do, which is probably why we’re friends. We both love to eat and talk. I think the point of this is that I think one of the biggest branding mistakes people make is this feel this pull in all these different directions and then they do a lot of stuff, and none of it very well. That’s to me, a huge branding mistake. As opposed to doing a deep dive on one or two branding tactics and really being awesome at those and excellent at those.

I'm totally in agreement with you. Go where you're pulled. Like Karen said, it’s natural for her to speak and it’s natural for her to write and she’s really good at both of those things. Go where you're pulled and the media will see that and it will get the media to call you.

My friend Andrea who we just had on, Andrea Scher who we’ve just had on as well, is a photographer. I know Karen’s a photographer too. Andrea uses Instagram. She posts at least one image a day because it’s a visual medium and she’s all about joy and photography and beauty. Those things are in sync with her brand. She’s doing photography naturally, every single day. She pops those up on Facebook. She’s also a writer. Her deep dives are Facebook, Instagram and blogging. She started her following with blogging. She’s a beautiful writer. She’s got a very devoted following. Her followers also follow her on those other two mediums for the visual content.

You know you can just do visual content. I always use as an example, my friend Dewitt Jones who’s a former National Geographic photographer. He has a visual blog called Celebrate What’s Right With The World. He was a former National Geographic photographer all over the world so you can imagine how good he is. He, once a week, posts a photo that he’s taken with a quote. I think in two years he’s built it up to something like 17,000 followers. It’s basically all visual content.

What is it called? You’ll pass us that link?

Sure. It’s called Celebrate What’s Right With The World. It’s free and it’s really beautiful and inspirational and wonderful. It’s a great example of using visual content alone to drive a brand.

Are there other ways to drive interest and get the media to call you besides … Obviously, since he’s a photographer, that is very natural for him. You can take a look at his feed and see what he’s done.

You don’t have to be a photographer to do this. I love to take pictures too. I don’t even have a good camera, I do it on my iPhone. I do love that. I love taking pictures. I haven’t been posting those much because it takes so long. I'm going to hire somebody to do that because I actually love taking pictures. If you don’t love part of the process, contract it out.

By the way, I just have to disagree with you. You said, “I don’t have a good camera. I take it on my iPhone.” First of all, the best camera is the camera you have with you. That’s the first thing. The other is that, the iPhone right now is 10, 12 megapixels. The iPhone is an extraordinary camera right now. I basically use my iPhone more than I use my Canon at this point. I know a lot of photographers, including Dewitt Jones, he uses other equipment as well and who consistently use their iPhone.

If you like taking photographs, the iPhone has become an extraordinary tool for taking photographs, for placing on Instagram. Especially with all the apps that there now for fooling round with the images after you’ve done them. There’s an amazing amount of stuff you can do. I think the iPhone is one of the best tools people do have for actually starting to brand in a visual sense. Because it’s always with them if you use an iPhone, or if you use a Galaxy, basically a camera phone.

What kinds of things can they do to use their iPhone to help brand them that would be attractive to the media? What kinds of things can someone put on their website or on their social media that would get the media to call you?

For example, you can use Periscope now which is an app that lets you take really short little videos and post them to Facebook. Anybody that’s got a phone camera can do that. That’s one thing. There’s also Facebook Live where people can do that. That’s one way people can use the camera. They can also use it to take pictures and then …

Sometimes I take a picture and the picture inspires me to write about something. I’ll say, it’s very personal, I’ll say, “I was walking down the street and I saw this, blah, blah, blah.” I’ll make it into some story about branding or some blog about branding.

I just think that the ability to make your own media today with cameras that are embedded, with the cameras, the videos, the recorders that are imbedded in phones and then to instantly be able to publish them is an extraordinary way to start to build your brand in a spontaneous way. You need a planned way, but that’s the more spontaneous way.

That’s great. That’s a great point too, that there is the whatever is in the moment kind of publicity, as long as it’s well thought out and curated as well as the thoughtful plan for your social media, including blogging or podcasting or blogging or whatever that is.

Are there certain kinds of images though that the media, would be more media-genic for people on their feeds? Not that I want people to start just doing that, but to be able to put it in the mix. You do things that pull you or that draw you or that interest you or that inspire you to write a blog and then you can put that on their blog post or whatever medium you're using.

Are there certain things that the media might look for that they can either use or that attracts them or that says, “Wow, this is really interesting. This is an interesting person, I love their brand.”

Content wise, I think the answer to that is no, with two exceptions. You have to stay away from anything pornographic and you have to stay away from anything violent or illegal. Taking those three things out of the mix. I think other than those three things, anything really goes.

With this criteria, it has to be an interesting or well-taken or artistic photograph. It’s really the quality of the photograph or the interestingness of the photograph or what the photograph is communicating is what makes the difference, rather than it being a particular subject.

As you know from taking photographs and as I know from being a photographer and doing a lot of photography, every photographer, just like every artist, just like every writer, has their own voice. The more you develop your voice as a photographer, the more that your photographs will have a certain feel and look based on who you are. That is something that can start to also brand you because your photographs now have a voice. Just like your writing has a voice.

That’s a very good point by the way because I see some actually very well-known people’s Instagram feed that’s just a mess. I just think, “Wow, that’s so not in sync with what I saw in their brand or the quality of their brand.” Even though you're taking photographs, what Karen is saying is that they still have to be of high quality, high visual quality or be interesting and beautiful.

Because I've seen some that I find shocking where I was like, “I really like the website but it looks nothing like the Instagram feed.” Their photographic ability or whatever they're choosing is not in sync with what they're representing. I like that you could have your own photographic style that is as distinctive as your writing style.

You can. That’s something I have to say, I give Dewitt Jones a lot of credit for teaching me that. I came to photography fairly late in life. I was a printer and a painter and I had done all that for a long time, 20 plus years. Dewitt asked me if I wanted to learn photography. I was like, “No, I suck at photography.” He’s like, “No, really. I’ll teach you.”

He did and I think he really did teach me how to find my own voice as a photographer. It’s not only given me a lot of joy but I think … In my new website that I'm doing, I'm actually having a photography section. Not because I'm looking or anyone to hire me as a photographer but because I think it adds to the brand of who I am to say, “This is the creative side of me,” because there is a voice to my photography.

BAMD0021 | Get the media to call you

Showing your personal brand that blends with your business brand is another tactic to get the media to call you. Image from Karen's photography site.

There is. I've seen some of your photographs from India and from elsewhere that are just extraordinary. Just extraordinary moments. They don’t have anything to do with branding in that sense, but it has to do with that you love to travel worldwide.

It has to do with the personal part of my brand rather than the business part of my brand.

Exactly. What are the best ways that business owners can create buzz for their brand and get media attention?

First of all, we talked a little bit about keywords. Keywords really are important. Again, I find that for all the yapping that goes on about keywords and search engine optimization, a lot of businesses do not know their keywords. It’s really pretty simple.

One of the first things is, you got to know what your keywords and your keyword phrases are. If let’s say you’ve got ten phrases that get searched, or five, doesn’t matter, or thirty. I have a silo of thirty words that I know get searched for what I do. I start at the top of the list and I do a piece of content with that keyword in it, based on that keyword. I go to the second one then I go to the third one. When I'm all the way to the bottom of the list, I start all over again at the top of the list.

You just keep cycling them, of your thirty in your silo?

I just keep cycling those thirty through using those keywords and phrases one at a time.

If somebody doesn’t know how to get their keyword phrases, because the Google keyword tool is now gone, is there another way that they can find what their keywords are? Looking at their competitors …

There are pieces of software that people can get. I can't think of any from off the top of my head but you can Google them. There is software you can get that allow you to do that. SEMrush is one piece of software that people can use to do that. You can also hire people like me or other people who can help you figure that out. You can do it yourself by using some software or you can hire somebody. Those are the two basic ways to do it.

It’s not something so easy that you could do yourself.

It’s not that easy to do yourself unless you're a branding and a marketing expert and you can really know how to do that research. It’s not the easiest thing to do for yourself.

Great. SEO words and have about thirty. That seems like a lot.

No, I said I have thirty. Anybody might have between five and thirty. I have thirty keyword phrases that I use. Remember, my keyword phrases include the whole spectrum of what I do. Thought leadership is one of my keyword phrases, personal branding is one of my keyword phrases, CEO branding is one of my phrases. I have a variety of things that I write about that all are part of the mix of what I do and what I offer. Depending on what you do, what you offer, it’s going to be between five and thirty keywords and keyword phrases. That’s one thing people have to, the place people have to start.

The other way to build brand and buzz is to really come up with a content marketing strategy. Again, it could be visual, it could be written, it could be podcasts, it could be video, doesn’t matter. What is the content marketing strategy you're going to use to get out into the world what you do in a way that creates value for other people? Most businesses do not have that.

Therefore, they're not going to show up in that first page of Google when media is searching for them?

They're not going to show up in that first page of Google, but also when their clients go to look for them, there’s not really enough. If somebody does a search on you or me, a lot of stuff comes up that people can read that we’ve written, that has been written about us. People used to say to me, “Tell me about what you do.” Half the time now, when I say, “Do you want me to tell you what I do?” They go, “No, no. I already Googled you and looked it all up.”

They already know because there’s enough stuff that I've written and enough stuff written about me that’s out there now overtime that it’s created that brand. That’s why people need to have a content marketing strategy because otherwise they can't really get stuff out there.

That’s super important when it comes to being able to get the media to call you. What do you tell the people who are not the writers in terms of a content marketing strategy? Does podcasting count as content?

Absolutely. No question about it. Podcasting completely counts.

It doesn’t have to be writing. It could be video.

It could be visual.

It could be visual and it could be podcasting. It could be any of the other media when we say content. Lots of times when you say content, people think words on a page.

No. Content is content. It could be visual, it could be podcasting, it could be video, it could be written. Dewitt is all pictures, so no, it could be anything that is content. It could be tweeting. I know one person, his whole entire content marketing strategy is just literally 140 character tweets. High quality, consistently done. He drives all his traffic to his website from his Twitter. He converts people on his website for purchasing.

Could you say who the person is so they can take a look?

I can't.

Of course not. No worries. That would be great for people to be able to see what happens. I just want to emphasize one of the key things that you said, which is that driving people back to your website. A lot of times, when people are on Twitter, they don’t drive people back to their website. The whole point is to get people on your list.

The whole point is to get engaged with people so that you know who they are. I think the statistics are it takes something like an average of 6 points of contact before someone buys from you.

It’s actually now up to 10.

Up to 10.

It’s up to 10. It’s about 7 to 10 touches now. One of the things that we’re talking about is with your friend who, darn, you're not allowed to say his name because now I'm curious.  

Sorry. Non-disclosure agreements.

I got it. I love the idea that it’s just one strategy but he’s creating engagement. I didn’t mean to just say drive it back to your website like that. The point is that you're taking somebody to your website to get more than the 140 characters because they're intrigued by your content. That gives them the opportunity to get on a list and then to convert them to a sale if they're the right kind of person who’s interested in whatever it is that he’s promoting.


That’s great. Was there anything that we haven’t covered that you wanted to touch on about how to get the media to call you?

No, I think we’ve covered a lot. I wanted to say, the book is out but also I have started this new podcast, The Branding Blowout. It’s going to be up very soon. I'm interviewing an interesting person every week about the topics of branding and marketing and leadership and business.

Wonderful. Karen’s podcast is the Branding Blowout. You could also reach her at On there, you’ll be able to see her products and particularly if you're interested in how to get the media to call you and how to approach a reporter via HARO, that’s an excellent guide. Is your whole branding course available?

My whole branding course is available online.

I should say that it’s an entire course and it’s also available by module. If people don’t want to buy the whole course and they just want to know about the LinkedIn piece, they can just buy the LinkedIn piece or just buy the reporter piece. They can either buy the whole thing or they can just buy modules.

That’s terrific. If you do know what your content marketing strategy is and it’s just one of those, you can purchase just one module. If you don’t have those seven elements yet of the brand so you can get ready for the media and get the media to call you, it would be a great idea to go through the whole entire course. Karen and I have done some private branding things at Cavallo Point Spa.

By the pool, in our robes.

By the pool, in our robes, next to a roaring fire.

That’s where we do our branding sessions. I want to say, that’s actually a really important point that we didn’t point that we didn’t make today that we should. You're one of the best at what you do in your industry and you're an expert at branding and marketing. I'm really good at what I do in branding and marketing. Whenever you are trying to do some branding for yourself, you come to me. Whenever I'm trying to do some branding or marketing for myself, I come to you.

The point being that I think it’s super hard to do this stuff for yourself, even if you're an expert at it. If you're not an expert at it, it’s really hard to do this for yourself. I think people sometimes get into this mindset of, “I should be able to do this for myself,” when the reality is even the people that are experts, like you and I, we can't even do it for ourselves. We have to go to someone like each other to help us. I think that’s a really important point to make.

It’s a totally important point. I hired a media coach for my book tour for Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul. I couldn’t do that myself. You and I do that exchange, that I media train you and you help me with branding. It’s really hard to discover your own genius in what you do. I think that to take a look and see what’s hard for you and hire people for that and do what’s easy for you, that works and go with that.

Absolutely, something like this, no, I could not do it for myself. Either sound bites or branding. That was really helpful to have our session by … I was going to say session by the sea, but session by the pool. Delicious food and fabulous things at Cavallo Point. Karen Leland, thank you so much for being our guest today. I can't wait to actually read your book on how to get the media to call you, which I'm going to be getting in the next couple days.

You're going to be getting it when we go to Cavallo Point next week.

I can't wait. Thanks so much.

Thank you.

About Karen Leland

Karen Leland is the CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, which is a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm, helping CEOs, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. Clients include AT&T, American Express, Marriot Hotels, Apple Computer, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She’s the bestselling author of nine books. She writes regularly for and The most recent book, is The Brand Mapping Strategy, Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand. She’s spoken for Harvard, Stanford, YPO, the AMA and been interviewed on the Today’s Show, CNN, CNBC and Oprah. To reach her, go to


Hire Karen for business or personal brand building

Hire Karen to speak to your organization

Purchase the whole branding course – or by module

Buy The Brand Mapping Strategy, Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand

Take the quiz to see how strong your brand is

Hop on over to Karen’s Podcast

Wasabi Publicity Survey on how the media finds you and what they are looking for.


Media Training Tips for CEOs

Media Training Tips for Entrepreneurs, Authors, Coaches, Consultants, CEOs

Are you enjoying the Podcast? Then I invite you to hop on over to iTunes to subscribe, rate + review it. Here’s a quick video on how to do a podcast review on iTunes. (It’s simple if you follow these directions). Note: It can take up to 24 hours to show up on my Podcast. You're welcome to send this to anyone you think it would delight. May good fortune always follow you!

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Click below to send me your voice message with a question or topic you’d like to hear more about in my upcoming podcasts! I will answer the most pressing and popular ones in a future episode. (I’ll mention your first name ONLY to protect your privacy.)

Susan Harrow Podcast

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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Miracle Find Me Now – My Mantra

“Miracle find me now” is my mantra for this year.

I didn’t make this up. SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) did. Re-igniting our friendship again after a 20 year hiatus — after a tiff neither of us remembers exactly how it happened, was the first miracle. I was up on Facebook fooling with something on a weekend which I rarely do and a little word cloud appeared with SARK asking if I’d like to reconnect. A minute later we were on the phone yakking away. We ended the conversation by SARK saying, “I never stopped loving you.” I said the same back. She said “How could we not? The connection was there all along.”

In another conversation on the phone, me walking in the chill of late afternoon and SARK with the wind blowing on the beach, she said that you can just say, “Miracle find me now.” And then keep your eyes and ears peeled for it to reveal itself. So I was walking in the very brisk morning in PA over Christmas and I took a turn into the Daylesville Abbey. Its a beautiful serene place, sweeping views, lots of open space with a little creek that was full and noisy after a rain. I followed it along marveling at how clear the water was and looking at the stones, remembering how I did this in my childhood at the gorge searching for pollywogs.

I believe in miracles

I believe in miracles

I said to myself “Miracle find me now,” and around the next bend came across a holocaust memorial art project of stacks of painted boxes with statues of saints and angels that was also a bee keep. What a strange thing to find at a Norbertine abbey I thought. The next night, Father John, a priest from the abbey was over for a cocktail and cookies and I told him about coming upon the memorial. He had no idea it was there and he lives on the property.

holocaust memorial

holocaust memorial + also a bee keep

Now, though Father John visits every year while we are here and gives us a card with a special blessing in it – to mention us out loud in his prayers during a service – along with a cd of christmas songs, this year was different. He and my mother-in-law had a big fight and weren’t speaking. Yet, when he came over he brought her a crazy animal, like he does every year for Christmas and her birthday, because he knows she loves animals. There was no big discussion. No formal apology. Just this big bouncy bird made of colorful iron. At the end of the evening we stood in a circle with our arms around each other as he gave us a blessing and tapped each of our heads naming us as he did so. Miracle? Yes.

The next miracle that happened was my mother-in-law took me aside that same evening after the priest left, held my hands, looked into my eyes and said, “Thank you for taking care of my son.” You might not think that this small thing is a miracle, but given her disposition I can tell you it was. Because miracles come in all shapes and sizes if you choose to see them. They do not have to be some blast from above in some grand or obvious gesture. They can be a creek that brings up happy childhood memories, an unspoken forgiveness, a meaningful look.

SARK told me you can ask for your miracle in many specific ways like, “Miracle relationship find me now.” Or, “Miracle person find me now.” Or, Miracle experience find me now.” Once you begin this practice it’s obvious that there are endless variations. You can see this as a corny or silly exercise…. or… as you move into 2016 can you ask for a miracle for what you want and then open your eyes to see it right in front of you. If you choose to, I’ll be right there with you asking to see my miracle and supporting you to see yours.

Miracle find me now

Miracle find me now

I wish you a miracle filled 2016.

A nice way to start off your miracles is to give. Every day I go up onto this website and click on every option. It costs nothing to give and you’re doing a huge service to all these organizations. It take less than a minute a day. It’s quite satisfying and joy-building.

A few ways to get your miracles started…

  • Hop on this free publicity training designed to help you double your business by doing a few key things right.
  • Keen on getting more clients, customers and sales and become a media darling. This is it.
  • Learn the 3 hot hooks to transform you into a media magnet here.
  • This is a special section of my website filled with lots of videos for you. I recently added several surprising ones. Enjoy!
  • This is where you can try the sound bite course for $1. Yes, you heard that right.
  • Looking for a literary agent? This is for you.
  • Need help writing your book proposal? Ping me here.
  • If you sell high end programs or services this unusual strategy might be for you.
  • You, in O Magazine. Yes. Discover the best ways to pitch the editors here. Find out if you are a prime candidate for getting in the magazine. (There are 12 ways).
  • Stay inspired to write your novel – or memoir, or self-help book. Practical advice too. Get that book done this year!
  • Listen to my chat with Nathalie Lussier discussing what I did to shift my business and serve my clients in the way that really lights me up.

Call in your miracles. If you don’t feel like it’s working, just change the question and keep asking. Keep looking. Keep seeing. Keep going.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.  ~ Earl Nightingale

Feeling overwhelmed? How I deal with heavy, icky, can’t-move moments.

A little while back, I did a PR Secrets survey.

I asked you to tell me what you’re struggling with, what you crave, and how I might be able to help.

There was a theme that percolated through nearly every response.

That theme… summed up in three words?

“I am overwhelmed.”

No surprise, there. Most of the business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, authors, speakers, coaches and consultants that I know place an incredible amount of pressure on themselves to create… serve… help… heal… and of course, grow their revenue. I do it, too.

And when you are running your own business, there is no “5 pm.” There is no timecard to punch out for the night. There is just you, your computer, and a seemingly endless list of things that you could do, should do, ought to do…

Overwhelming? Heck yes.

The perfect solution? I wish I knew.

What I do know is that when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed — when my projects feel too big, when my to-do list feels too long, when my bones feel too weary, when my head feels too foggy to carry on — there is one thing that keeps me sane and keeps me on track.



Connecting with people.

Real, living, human people.

My daily check in with my web designer insures that I’m on track for the next E-zine, new product design, website update, or software implementation.

My daily email back and forth with my social media manager holds down the blog and social media front and makes sure we’re always rolling forward with new (hopefully) delightful content.

My monthly call with my virtual assistant keeps me focused on the business priorities that matter—and protects me from getting involved with products and people who take me off course. Very challenging as there are so many delicious (and some treacherous) temptations!)

My weekly 2-hour writing stint with my Wild Writing group ensures that I’m adding new material to my novel, even on weeks when it feels impossible.

My monthly day with my writing coach means that I’m guaranteed to publish at least a few new blog posts and newsletters (like this one) to stay connected with my clients and customers, even when life feels incredibly busy.

My weekly phone calls with my two best friends who live far away keep me centered through struggles and make me feel alive and loved.

And of course, my evening snuggle and kitchen chats where I keep a notebook for impromptu witticisms with my sweetie, Will, (plus kittie love!) helps me stay grounded and laugh at myself.

It’s those daily, weekly and monthly connections that help me to break through feelings of overwhelm, more than anything else.

If you, like so many of the people I’ve spoken to, recently, are grappling with a heavy cloud of overwhelm and resistance… and if you feel like those emotions are holding you back from making progress with your business, your projects, or your publicity efforts…



I urge you to connect

With people.

Specifically, people who get you, care about you, make you feel alive, and want to see you succeed.

You can get your daily dose of connection with people in your circle of friends. You can do it with buddies in your yoga or martial arts class. Or, if it feels right, you can do it with me and a wonderful circle of peers.

06-9 06-9


Starting in January 2015, I am opening the doors to a new membership club and online community. A place to get media training, business inspiration and encouragement from people who want to see you take action — and who will lovingly nudge you when you don’t.

This membership club is just $25 a month and features a monthly opportunity to get your personal questions answered, live, by me, on the phone (First Q&A January 13). That, alone, is reason enough to join. 🙂

Learn more about The Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul Membership Club right here. Registration for 2015 is open now.

Wherever and however you do it, get some humanity and community in your life, today.

Nothing is ever truly accomplished “alone.”

We all need to connect.

It’s what allows us to show up as our best. 

A THOUGHT: I’ve been thinking a lot about daily routines and productivity so keep your eye out for an upcoming blog post on how I structure my days to keep on track and enlivened.

I love E.M. Forster’s sage advice: “Only connect.” It’s only everything.How do you stay connected? Love to hear.

Subscriber Spotlight Shout Out


This is a monthly shout out to anyone who has taken action and reached a goal or made a shift. I will be searching through your comments every month to choose a new person to feature in the “Subscriber Spotlight Shout Out.” So post some success you’ve had that you’ve gleaned from a webinar, course, product, ezine, blog post, consult, or Joy Spot™ session with me.

Dear Libby: Real Kids Raising Real Issues by Libby KizsnerAt long last your book arrived from America this Friday and I couldn’t put it down. It read like a thriller and it read like poetry. Your multifaceted fascinating personality colored every page and I felt like I was sitting right next to you. It was packed with delicious nuggets, much wisdom and expertise. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you reassured me and you helped me feel more confident.

And mostly, it was a wonderful gift from G-d sent to me at the perfect time.

Today, I gave my first presentation at a writer’s seminar. Now I know why I had to wait so long, so that it can be fresh in my mind as I tentatively dipped my toes in the big wide ocean of new possibilities. Remembering your words, I felt like you were my friend, cheering me on and supporting me. Thank you for all that you are doing in this world! ~ Libby Kizsner

For many people, I’m better known as the columnist “Dear Libby” for Mishpacha magazine. Others know me by my bestselling books, Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary People and Dear Libby: Real Kids Raising Real Issues and Libby’s Sound Advice. 

Besides writing professionally, I’m the Chief Story Strategist for Your Magnetic Story, which allows you to use storytelling to reach new business and personal goals.

Bravo Libby — for dipping your toes in that big wide ocean of possibilities.

Who’s next?

What is the one small step you’ve taken to move forward?

The 3 Most Popular Posts + The Most Popular Webinar of the Year


blog-121213Last week, when I was on a walk, some boys were selling bracelets and rings made out of colored rubber bands. I stopped at their lemonade/jewelry stand by the side of the road and looked through their goodies. I wanted to get a ring or everyone in my writing group. As I chose a number of rings the little boy who made them started doing the math and adding up everything in his head and shouting out the numbers each time I picked up a ring – even before I chose it. He was so anxious to get the sale – but he didn’t care about me.

They were a dollar each. I said, “Wait, I’m not done yet.” But he kept shouting out the numbers. Totally focused on how much he would make.

Then his big brother stepped in and said, “It would be nice if you charged $2.50 for three of them.”

He said, “No. They are a dollar each. Three rings for three dollars.”

His big brother said again, “Yes and it would be nice if you gave her three of them to her for $2.50.”

Pause. No response from the little brother.

Big brother: “It would be nice.”

Finally, the younger brother gave in.

But grudgingly.

So it wasn’t fully given. Which makes a difference in how the giving feels. I would have appreciated my rings even more if the younger brother had given wholeheartedly.

As a little something that “would be nice” I have pulled together some of my most popular posts and free stuff so you can fill yourself with some goodies after Thanksgiving and through the holidays when you’re enjoying family and friends after a feast or get-together.

First, the most popular webinar / live training of the year….

The 5 Keys to PodcastingTHE #1 MOST POPULAR WEBINAR

Become a Celebrity in Your Niche [Podcasting]

Save your seat now (choice of times!):


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

5 Things I learned From Jack Canfield’s Mastermind Group: To Help Make Your Book a Bestseller

Fabulicious: 5 Strategies to Prepare You for a TV Interview – My Personal Secrets

What is one TV appearance secret you can share? Love to hear!

Have a wonderful holiday season!

May the gifts you share be extraordinary.
May the love you give be wholehearted.
May the way you live be inspiring.

Fabulicious: 5 Strategies to Prepare You for a TV Interview – My Personal Secrets



I need to lose 20 pounds. I wish I had less wrinkles. My butt is too big. Look at my wobbly double chin.  She’s a liar. I don’t believe a word she’s said. What a schlump. Is that any way to sit in a chair?
These are actual phrases that clients said to me in the past 23 years I’ve been a media trainer and consultant. When I media train my clients for TV shows most of them first fret about their appearance. Sound bites take a back seat to clothes, expressions, body language and butt size. Shame, fear, insecurity, all rear right up. The question, “What will people think of me?” takes center stage.

And rightly so. In three seconds your audience has already decided whether they like, trust, respect, believe, and will buy from you. So how much of what people think of you has to do with your clothes, facial language, body language, and demeanor as well as the look and feel of you? A lot.

But here’s the silver lining. People follow your lead. If you feel like a slouch you’re directing people to think you are one. If you radiate beauty and good health even while toting extra pounds, we may notice your heft, but we forgive it for your verve. And while I know that a TV appearance isn’t going to help you get over your childhood issues any faster, there are still strategies that can help you be fabulicious, increase your business, and stop thinking so much about your butt.

But, because the question I get most is about looks, I’m going to address how to prepare now, in advance, BEFORE you get booked on TV so you’ll feel your Fabulicious best when your day in the sun arrives. No scrambling for clothes that don’t accentuate your best features. No last minute panic about how you look. You can’t lose 20 pounds overnight but you can focus your full attention on what you can give your audience that only you can. In the brief time you have – two to four minutes – on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, or Fox, you can deliver your sound bites with generosity and wit.

1. Clear your mind.

Drink Bulletproof coffee. I start every morning with this special coffee combined with unsalted Kerrygold grassfed butter, MCT oil and collagen. This combo was created by Dave Aspry who bio-hacked his body to lose 250 pounds and gain optimal health. This is potent coffee that is organic and doesn’t contain any toxins normally found in commercial coffees. You combine the coffee with Upgraded Brain Octane oil (which is fat-burning))that is 12x stronger than coconut oil, for maximum cognitive function.

In English that means peak brain performance – a clear mind. Aspry says that you can, “Learn to be perfectly focused in any situation — in one week.” He says, “In this protocol, you eat no protein and no carbs at all in the morning, instead enjoying a Bulletproof Coffee. That provides the most energy and the least hunger for about eight hours. Adding in the collagen “delivers low inflammation, high quality, and heat stable protein to my coffee without affecting the taste.”

According to Tim Ferriss, author of, The 4 Hour Body, eating protein within 30 minutes of waking up is essential for losing weight. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, this coffee will sustain and nourish you while giving you clarity of thought. Exactly what you need in a media pressure cooker situation.

Yes, there is decaf as well, however I didn’t find the same effects with it. And since I’m sensitive to caffeine I combine half decaf with half caf beans – just so I could drink more of the delicious stuff. Otherwise I could just have one tiny cupful. (And I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all before this. Green tea was my go to morning drink, which I still enjoy after I have my Bulletproof coffee).

You’ll be the judge of how much you can drink without getting a buzz on. I suggest you sip a small cup and wait fifteen minutes so you can judge the effects. Also, add as much butter as you like. I admit I was first horrified at the thought of dumping a half stick of butter into my coffee. I thought it would taste disgusting. But it’s like putting cream on steroids, rich and smooth. I prefer a bit more butter than my partner so I add in an extra pat into my cup after he’s made it. You’ll discover what works best for you. While you’re on the Bulletproof website check out the Podcasts and articles about everything from upgrading your IQ, losing weight and sleeping less.

2.     Slim down.

Do T-Tapp and Lose 2 Dress or Pant Sizes in 30 Days.
You’re a month away from a smaller, more toned you. I went from a size 8 to a size 6 in a month (I’m now a size 4), Lisa Earle McLeod lost 2 dress sizes and got back the flat tummy she hasn’t had for 10 years. Teresa Tapp first created this program for models to get back into shape after pregnancy. No one cared about their weight. What mattered was size – so they could fit into the proper clothes that they were modeling. Tapp says it’s all about the inches and loving what you see in the mirror —not what the scale says.

If you’ve got a media appearance coming up and you want to get in tip top (T-Tapp) shape ASAP. Order either Total Workout, Basic Plus, T-Tapp MORE or Total System. (Read the descriptions to find the right program for you.) My sweetie is doing it in the living room right now. Yes, it works for men too. Also check out WhiteBrite, a teeth whitening spray that doesn’t make your teeth sensitive and hurt (like all those other whitening kits), so as a TV guest your smile can be as bright as your information.

3.     Tone up.

Want to know the Hollywood stars secret to looking great, staying fit and getting a flat stomach fast without exercise? The Flexbelt. Essentially you strap the Flexbelt around you waist and it contracts your muscles like you’re doing sit-ups — while you’re walking around getting stuff done.

I put it on first thing in the morning before I brush my teeth, feed the cats, start my day. I use the butt and thigh belt too and also the flexbelt for the arms. The great thing about the Flexbelt is once it’s on you can just go about your business so you’re getting a workout while you’re answering your email, talking to clients, working in the yard. Do it daily for a few weeks and then 2-3 times per week or as needed. Once you get in the habit it’s simple to stay in shape.

4.     Release your fears.

The Sedona Method is one of the fastest, simplest and most effective methods to instantly release uncomfortable or unwanted feelings on the spot. It’s also a tool to let go of current or long-standing pain. Whether it’s fear of speaking, becoming a more public person, losing weight, or letting go of stress, or past issues or trauma, this will help you achieve your goals effortlessly and with great joy.  It also works to get to the root of physical and emotional pain.

I learned these techniques long ago and still use them when a client confronts me, or when the media springs a surprise question. I particularly like the technique of going back and forth between opposite extremes to neutralize forceful feelings – just one of the things you’ll learn and keep using as long as it serves you. This course is essential if you’re getting ready to go on a media tour!

5.     Energize!

Whip up a green smoothie.

This is my own special green drink smoothie recipe that helps make your skin gloriously golden and nourishes you at a cellular level. You’ll see a noticeable difference in your skin, vibrancy, and energy almost immediately.

I use all organic ingredients and buy from the local farmer’s market when I can and mix this up in the Vitamix that chops every part of the fruits and vegetables so you get the most nutrition. We grow chard, cilantro and parsley so I dash out into the garden to snip a few leaves before the birds and other animals get them (which is often).

I pick dandelions from the neighbor’s lawns and look for the tender, young ones without a stiff stem. You can buy dandelions at Whole Foods if you don’t want to ferret. As a child when we’d visit my nana and grampa they’d send us kids out into the yard to pick dandelions to put in the salad to give it some bite. According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Who knew a weed could be so nutritious?

Ingredients for green smoothie

½ cup water (or more as needed depending on how thick you like it)
½ cup virgin olive oil (I do 15 glugs vs. measuring).
1 pear
1 frozen banana
1 large sweet apple (I like Pink Ladies, Yellow Golden Delicious or Fuji)
1 large carrot
1 large avocado

Mix together.

Tamp down these ingredients into the above mixture before you restart the Vitamix.

1 generous handful of spinach
2-3 large leaves of chard with the stalks (to taste as this can make it bitter)
2 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of cilantro
5 leaves of dandelion
1 stalk celery

Optional: Add frozen blueberries for added anti-aging benefits. Adjust the sweetness to taste by adding more fruit. You can add grapes, which are nutritious, but high in sugar, for additional sweetness if you like.

We’ve concentrated on honing and toning your face and body in order to move you to a place where you’re not worrying about how you look so you can focus on what matters most – your message.  Victor Hugo said, “Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.”

Audiences look for consistency in your message and in your life. One of my clients is a well-known motivational speaker who naturally also talked about health and wellness as well as the process of transforming the mind. But one thing was out of synch. He was fat. In a kind and considerate way his wife pointed out the discrepancy. So he created an exercise and diet regime for himself. It wasn’t easy as he loved apple pie and ice cream and didn’t care much for lifting weights. But he did it. So now the overall message he’s conveying is consistent with his teaching.

Take what works for you from these strategies so you can feel good inside and out. The French have an expression, “Bien dans sa peau,” to feel good in your own skin or to be at ease. When you’re relaxed and calm we’re right there with you.

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:

Want More Publicity? Learn How to Speak in Sound Bites


By Steve Harrison

When you respond to a media request, how will the journalist or producer decide whether to interview you or some other expert? It often depends on who provides the best sound bite.

I’ve been amazed at how many people take ten sentences to say what could be said in one or two. Developing the ability to speak in sound bites is easy if you know a few key techniques.

Steve’s commandments on speaking in sound bites:

1. Keep it short. Say what you have to say in one to two sentences, no more.

2. Be specific and vivid. In an interview with Business Week, Donald Broughton, an analyst for Avondale Partners, LLC, was talking about the stocks of two railroad companies: Union Pacific and Burlington Northern. Notice the language he used to make what would otherwise be a boring statistical trend truly memorable for the journalist interviewing him:

“It’s one thing if you steal dirt from my front yard, and it’s another if you break into my house and take my sterling silver,” Broughton said in an interview. “For six quarters, Union Pacific’s been walking around Burlington Northern’s house and taking as much silver, jewels and flat-screen TVs they can get their hands on.”

That’s speaking very specifically, and (this is another hint) vividly. It’s no surprise that of all the different analysts that journalists could quote, they quoted Broughton. He knows how to speak in sound bites.

3. Express a solid opinion. Many people are afraid to voice their opinions because they fear that others will disagree with them. But people who are good at giving sound bites know that the media are looking for clearly expressed opinions. If some people don’t disagree with what you’re saying, you’re probably not saying much.

When Warren Buffett was interviewed about the tax that President Obama wants to levy on financial companies, he said, “Look at the damage Fannie (Mae) and Freddie (Mac) caused, and they were run by the Congress. Should they have a special tax on Congressmen because they let this thing happen to Freddie and Fannie? I don’t think so.”

His willingness to express a solid opinion got him quoted. But did you also notice how he made a comparison? We’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Now I want to share with you some secrets I’ve learned by studying two sound bite masters. One is Warren Buffett, as I’ve already mentioned. The other is Robert Thompson, arguably the most quoted university professor in the world.

Thompson is a professor of television and pop culture at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the author of six books, including Television in the Antenna Age: A Concise History.

I discovered him by reading an article in the Associated Press by Jocelyn Noveck (dated May 14, 2007) which referred to him as “the most quoted man in America,” next to the president.

He is so good at giving sound bites that he’ll sometimes get 60, 70 or even 80 media calls in one day. If you just Google his name, you will see that he has been quoted virtually everywhere. He has been quoted in the New York Times more than 40 times in the last four years. In fact, he’s been quoted so much that some newspapers even have a moratorium on quoting him.

“Unlike many people in his position, he almost always finds an angle or perspective that I haven’t thought about,” says AP television writer David Bauder.

Here are some more principles on speaking in sound bites that you can learn from Buffett and Thompson:

4. Repeat the same word. In describing Paris Hilton, Thompson said, “She’s the non-story that keeps on being a non-story.”

When giving advice about investing, Warren Buffett said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

You can see how in both examples repeating one or two words gives the statement a memorable sound and makes the point succinctly.

5. Compare something to something else that everyone knows about. In describing Katie Couric’s debut on CBS Evening News, Robert Thompson said that her first broadcast would be “some of the most scrutinized frame-by-frame video images since the Zapruder film” (of John F. Kennedy’s assassination).

By using a comparison to an example that nearly everyone is familiar with, he was able to make his point in a memorable way.

Thompson uses this technique often. When speaking about the Grammy Awards, he commented, “With the extreme fragmentation of music, the fact that you can still put on a mainstream award show, like the Grammys, as opposed to a funky, niche show like the VMAs (the Video Music Awards), is really kind of amazing.”

6. Speak in metaphors.  When talking about Fox News, Robert Thompson says, “They want to be the David of David and Goliath, but they are the Goliath.”

When speaking in this type of short metaphor, Thompson makes his point in a way that gets the media to pay attention and quote him, rather than another communications expert.

It’s critically important to use sound bites when you’re being interviewed by the media, when you’re responding to media and whenever you’re writing a press release.

I learned this firsthand as a painful lesson. I once sent out a press release that got picked up by a newspaper, but they didn’t quote me in the story. They quoted somebody else. Why? Because I forgot to include a really good sound bite.

Don’t make the same mistake. Make sure that every press release or pitch letter you send out includes at least one memorable sound bite that is so good, so pithy and so memorable that they feel their story won’t be nearly as good without it. They’ll be grateful. And you’ll be thrilled with all the media coverage you receive.

Want to meet over 100 top media face to face?  You’ll get some media training there to help get your sound bites down. Apply now to reserve your spot.

Attend the National Publicity Summit in New York. Previous attendees have been featured on Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Fox News, O the Oprah magazine, Entrepreneur, Time and many others.

To apply, go here now.

President Sound Bite Infographic