By Ian Brodie
Here’s the second insight I got from Susan as we were preparing for this week’s “Speak In Sound Bites” webinar (click here for free registration).
Yesterday I mentioned how you could apply the lessons of media appearances to more everyday communications.
Here’s the surprising corollary: you can apply the lessons of everyday communications to media appearances.
Before I explain what I mean, here’s a story from magician John Lenahan I heard from him at a conference a few years ago.
John was describing being at FISM (the “world championship of magic”) where a whole room of magicians were being entertained by the legendary Juan Tamariz. John watched as everyone had a great time. They laughed, they gasped, they clapped.
But John could also feel that he had a special connection with Tamariz. Like he was his favourite audience member. It was subtle. Just a smile, a look, a laugh every now and then. But John knew he was the favourite.
After the performance John spoke to some of his buddies in the bar. Surprise surprise, they all said the exact same thing. They’d seen everyone else enjoying the show, but they knew that secretly, they were Tamariz’s favourite audience member.
After arguing for a while over just who was the special favourite, John realised that he’d come across the secret of a truly great performer. They make everyone feel like they’re performing just for them. That they’re the special one.
Turns out it’s the same with media appearances. You’re not speaking to an “audience”. You’re speaking to everyone individually. You and them. One to one.
The way to make a media appearance successful is to use the same skills you would in everyday communication. Be authentic. Talk person to person. Share your truth. One to one.
We often get overwhelmed when we think about speaking to a big audience – especially if it’s on video or radio. I know I certainly did and still do. But if you just focus on speaking as if you’re talking to one person…
…making that individual connection. Then that’s how people will hear you.
They’ll hear you talking to them personally. And you’ll have impact.
Join Susan and me on the webinar next Wednesday 24th to learn more techniques for making your communication effective (and profitable).
You can sign up here: Speak in Sound Bites Webinar >>
Ian Brodie is a marketing specialist and author of Pain Free Marketing the step-by-step guide to attracting and winning more clients without the pain and expense of traditional marketing.
When he’s not working with clients to help them grow their sales, he’s relaxing with his family or dreaming about Newcastle United winning the Premier League.
By Susan Harrow, media coach
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over eighteen years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
9 was you can be a thought leader
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership marketing is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
I love TED favorite Brene Brown’s The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto, her leadership manifesto and my friend, photographer/writer Andrea Scher’s Superhero Manifesto. They are heartfelt, revere beauty and are holy without pretention.
Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Thought leaders start movements
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, and Younger speaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Thought leaders invite controversy
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
9. Declare your vision.
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist
Maybe you’ve noticed.
I haven’t sent out an ezine for quite some time. (Please forgive!)
I’ve been rethinking just about everything. Creating a new website. Developing a new blog. Working on a new webinar. Hosting webinar trainings for the kinds of things I think you’ll need most to create a sustain your business in the face of so many technological and economic changes.
I had an idea for a novel and pitched it to my literary agent over Pad Thai noodles and crispy squid when he was in San Francisco for a conference. He said he loved it and had a publisher waiting for it. Could I write it up in a month? Small snafu – I have no idea how to write fiction.
But I did one thing to start anyway.
A friend and I went to Cavallo Point Spa in Sausalito for a day of luxury and writing. We got jacuzzied and steamed up and all relaxed and then sat by the fire and wrote. Me in a journal, she on her iPad. Then we read to each other. She said, “F_ck you!” when I finished. And then explained that this was the highest compliment cause she was jealous. It gave me heart.
Next, I bought a book on how to structure a novel called, Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris, who has written 8 bestsellers as a ghostwriter so I figured she must know what she’s doing. Plus she’s English so she says things in a fetching way, which makes me think a bit differently about language out of my usual mindset.
But with all the tumult in my business I haven’t had much time to focus on that book. I need some puttering around time to let ideas in. That’s one of the phases that Roz recommends. But there will be a time soon where I’ll need to hunker down and get three chapters written to send to my agent.
I hope you’ll hang with me in this phase and tell me what you think of my new ideas —and perhaps use this as a starting point for your own plans…
So here is the overview my grand multi-media plan across all platforms.
- My personal and professional business goals (they are intertwined).
- Platforms to share information.
- Editorial calendar for the types and frequency of postings across the mediums.
- Goal for each type of communication.
- Systems to measure tangible and intangible results.
- Offline or traditional ways of connecting.
The underlying goals are:
- Increase interaction from my existing audience (you.)
- Increase subscribers and engagement across all social media.
- Stay more closely connected with my tribe (you).
- Promote my own and affiliate products and services that serve your highest good.
- Share the shine™. Bringing your talent out into the spotlight.
I’ll do that through a delicious mix of:
- How to or step by step articles/trainings. (I love these, don’t you? Instant learning).
- Opinion and visions pieces. (I get to spout off on what pleases or pisses me).
- Promotions, launches and products from myself and others. (Trainings that inspire action – let’s get it done, OK?)
- Analysis of great stuff that works. (Creative geniuses, wild thinkers, crazy coots and magnificent mavericks and things I’d never think of).
- Beauty that moves me. (Things I can’t resist that give pure delight).
So here’s what you’ll be getting…
1. Pure content ezine updates.
These will be pure content without any free offers. (Watch in the next week or so for: The Best of Pinterest Articles. I’ve been reading them like mad. Did I mention I got sucked down the Pinterest hole for an entire weekend – deadlines pending. I just LOVE this visual diary of people lives and loves.)
2. “The Weekly Bite™.”
A snippet of something (a cloaked way of saying “sound bite”) I’ve come across randomly that moves me in some way. I can be something memorable someone said, an image, part of an overheard conversation. This will be in the form of a video, blog post or audio podcast.
3. Share the Shine™.
Your stories. Your successes. Your spotlight. I’ll be asking you to share some small or great victory that you’ve had in the comments box on my blog after you read a post. I’ll choose people to share the shine by profiling your entire story, photo, website URL so others can be inspired and learn from your successes. Have one already? Share it here: http://www.prsecrets.com/contact.php
4. 10 Line Tuesday poems with Maya Stein.
I just love Maya’s poems. They say so much with so little words. A great lesson in communication in our overly wordy world.
5. Special offers to work with me personally or in a program.
What do you think about doing a 27 minute laser consult with me for just $99 (regularly $500/hour)? I did this on once before and it sold out in a few hours. I loved meeting so many of you who said that you’d been following me for years and wanted go connect further or go deeper. I recently did this again on LinkedIn and had a fantastic time talking to people who had everything from an innovative TV show to green business. As I said this will be occasional and I’ll let you who are on my list know about it the moment I decide.
If you like this idea of the 27 minute laser consult would you comment below. No obligation, just curious.
So that’s it for the moment. Whew. Now to implementation. I’ve been working weekends, nights, holidays with only the occasional excursion into the garden to sniff and snip. Heading there now as the roses are calling.
What’s on your plan for your future? Share one thing that you’re going to implement.
by Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Marketing Strategist
When you register for Brendon Burchard’s Expert Academy through my link here: https://burchardgroup.infusionsoft.com/go/ea5live/SusanH.
Yup. You heard it right. If you sign up for Brendon’s course I’ll give you the Your Signature Sound Bites Course for Zip, Gatz, Nada, Nothing – INCLUDING 10 weeks of group media coaching with Alison Luterman and 3 months of Q&A calls with me for…NOTHING. FREE.
How great is that?
Let’s do it!
Just forward me your email receipt from Brendon showing that you bought through me (his devoted affiliate) and we’ll get you registered in the sound bites course ASAP.
To your outrageous joy and good fortune.
One more thing: Do you want to OWN the new economy?
Brendon has some thoughts on success in this new economy, where ideas rule and everyone is looking for help and new strategies right now, the most
successful people will be content creators, trainers, and information marketers.
People who use their life’s story and strategies for success to help other people improve their lives or businesses will have more income, influence and impact.
Simply, “experts” now own the economy. They do this through books, speeches, seminars, coaching, and online marketing.
If you want to join the ranks of the new rich, then you have to position, promote and get paid as an expert. The best training we’ve seen for that is right here:
He just opened his program to the public – with over $65,000 of bonuses! https://burchardgroup.infusionsoft.com/go/ea5live/SusanH
He’s only taking 400 registrations. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not. They go fast.
Yesterday, I did a call with my friend and colleague Dr. Jeanne Hurlbert, “How to Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do: The Conversation That Generates Cash, Conversion, Connection, and Product Creation.” And it was a blast!
Your response even BEFORE the call astounded us:
You gave us incredible information about what YOU wanted to hear on the webinar and then we tailored the webinar to your exact desires!
You can do the same for your clients, customers and subscribers to create the products and services they want and will buy. Learn how here: http://www.harrowwebinar.com/
Once you started a conversation like that, we knew it was going to be amazing. And it was: You gave comments like the one from Nikki, who said:
“Jeanne, thanks for a terrific and generous webinar with Susan Harrow. . . . one of the aspects I like about your approach is that it’s smart!”
You can hear the replay here: http://www.harrowwebinar.com/
You were so happy that someone is finally telling you how to have a real conversation with your customers and prospects, to find out what they want so you can GIVE it to them. How simple is that?
We also gave you:
- The best way to gain your customers’ trust its NOT what you think it is!
- The surefire technique to create new products all day long that are DEMANDED by your customers and that literally FLY off the shelves (if you’ve ever created a product that didn’t sell well, you don’t want to miss this).
- 3 sure-fire ways to survey your list so you can find out what they’re REALLY thinking (don’t try this at home or by doing your own version on SurveyMonkey or you can destroy your response rateŠ and burn out your list).
- The power of Quizzes to get your prospects and customers to skyrocket conversions by automating the conversation, to diagnose the problem and prescribe YOUR product or service as the cure (there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to do thisŠ you’ll see which is which during this session).
And much more!
You got your questions answered in the webinar and on the Q&A that we held afterwards.
And if you still have questions, please leave a comment on the blog and Jeanne will answer it-let’s keep the conversation going! http://www.harrowwebinar.com/
If you want to know how to get feedback from YOUR customers and prospects, to get the kind of reaction we got this week, you will. Even if you don’t THINK you are ready to use surveys in your business or you don’t know how they could make money for you, take a look at this-we show you how to use them to ramp up the power of social media, create your own product, build your list, get proof, and more, starting EVERYTHING with a survey. http://www.harrowwebinar.com/