April 6, 2013
Be Heard, Media Savvy 101
In mid-February, I received a semi-urgent request from Dawn Klingensmith — a feature writer for a magazine called Job Week. I had served as an expert resource to her in the past, and she was tossing a “hail Mary” pass at the 11th hour to get my take on some of the blunders folks make with their online profiles.
I dropped everything to respond to her email and request to speak by phone because I just knew her story could reach far and wide and help a lot of people.
On March 31, the story ran in a wide range of media outlets, including The Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, and online. I’ve been receiving cards and letters in the mail from folks who were happy to read the article and congratulate me on the good press. Dawn, if you are reading this blog post, thank you so much for reaching out to me, and let me know how I can help you going forward.
The bigger idea for you is how quickly can you respond in a very compelling manner to urgent reporter requests and be of service so YOU are the resource reporters come to again and again to benefit from YOUR commentary. Being ready for opportunity is an important ingredient, especially if sharing your message with a much wider audience of perfect people to benefit from your message in high priority.
If you’d like to read Dawn’s article, here it is:
How to spice up an online profile and finally get noticed
By Dawn Klingensmith
A challenge to writing your bio is to determine what you have done with your skills and experience that sets you apart. Imagine if Batman had a LinkedIn profile. It would be impossible for him to have a boring bio. He has established a brilliant personal brand as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight and theWorld’s Greatest Detective, and a formidable list of accomplishments despite lacking a superpower.
ONCE YOU START considering your accomplishments, you may be able to distill them down to something akin to a superpower — or, at any rate, a special ability that sets you apart — and you can lead with that. While no one in business is as awesome as Batman, there’s no shortage of superstars whose boring bios diminish their marketability.
They may have saved six companies from bankruptcy, raised $ 10 million for a nonprofit agency or developed the product that a decade from now will drive Apple out of business, yet their bio won’t stand out from all the rest. That’s because professional bios tend to follow the same dull format: title and employer, expertise and experience, previous employment, education and training and maybe some personal tidbits.
Instead of taking that predictable route, “Wow readers from the start by highlighting something really fantastic and then work your way down, inverted- pyramid style,” suggests Endrea Kosven, founder and CEO of the Los Angeles- based marketing firm EDK & Company. Picture an upside- down pyramid, with the widest part at the top representing the most substantial information— something that makes people take notice— and the tapering lower part representing other relevant material in order of diminishing importance.
One way to approach bio writing is to list your skills and experience, as you would for a résumé, and then acknowledge that it’s possible that someone else, or several people, possess the same skills and background. So the challenge, Kosven says, is to determine what you have done with your skills and experience that sets you apart. In other words, what have you accomplished? Once you start considering your accomplishments, you may be able to distill them down to something akin to a superpower— or, at any rate, a special ability that sets you apart— and you can lead with that. Maybe it’s a sharp eye for how businesses get bogged down in inefficiencies, and how you consistently reduce their operating costs by 30 to 50 percent.
*** “Start with stunning results in specific terms,” says Nancy Juetten, whose “Get Known to Get Paid” mentoring program addresses the importance of business bios. As a whole, in succinct story form, an effective bio tells others “who we are and who we serve and what we do,” she says. To that end, “One of the most important elements is a headline,” which, on LinkedIn, comes up right alongside your name, Juetten says. “The headline helps busy people understand more quickly what you’re about.”
A simple descriptor or job title is sufficient, such as “customer service specialist” or “Boston- based certified financial planner.” “Content over cute is better, because you have to consider SEO,” or search engine optimization— how easily people can find you when searching the web, she says.
Clever, unconventional job titles are common in certain industries and “fun for personal branding,” says Juetten, “but it makes you hard to find.” People are likelier to type in “social media strategist” vs. “social media rock star.”
Keeping a goal in mind when writing the bio will help keep it focused and concise. What do you want to be known for? Make sure everything in the bio supports that goal, Juetten advises. Interview yourself. How did you get where you are? What are you known for professionally? What do coworkers or clients say about you? What are you praised for in performance reviews? What problems do others come to you for solutions? What have you done for past employers? What aspect of your work is most satisfying?
“Be crystal clear about results,” Juetten says. “No one’s looking for a bundle of credentials. They’re looking for someone who makes things happen.”
You can include some personal information to spice things up and set yourself apart. On her website’s “about” page, Juetten quotes the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella; mentions her cockapoo, Champ; and reveals she’s just under 6 feet tall in her bare feet. ( That’s almost as tall as Batman, who’s pegged at 6 feet 2 in the DC Comics Encyclopedia.)
Avoid words like world- renowned ( if you truly were, you wouldn’t need to say so) and award- winning ( just list any awards that are sure to impress), and don’t start every sentence with “I.” Don’t just write your bio and forget it. Update it as necessary to reflect current accomplishments, Juetten says.
When a bio is accompanied by a photo, the image should be appropriate for the platform and audience. For LinkedIn, use a professional headshot and dress as you would for an interview, Kosven says. Twitter photos can be more casual and reflective of your personality.
September 25, 2012
Be Heard, Personal Branding
I’ve been stepping into what it is to be authentic and visible, in spite of and because of my foibles and missing pieces. That is what authentic visibility is all about. And if I can’t live that brand, then I am an imposter. Being an imposter is not an option for me. So, with that said, here is some very candid sharing.
- Math and technology are really hard for me.
- Doing time zone conversions is a level of logic that is completely lost on me.
- I take this whole “get ready” piece so seriously that sometimes, I feel like I pull muscles I don’t even have!
- I worry what people think about me far more than I should.
- There is a very narrow and specific zone of brilliance where I do my best work, and there is a very wide zone of mediocrity around other skills that are clearly not my best events.
- “Going with the flow” has not prior been my preferred operating style.
Over the last few months, things have heated up quite a bit in my life and business, and these foibles and missing pieces have been in plain view. Everything I don’t do especially well seems to be showing up in an exaggerated way. And, I have been giving myself a super hard time about all of it. I have exhausted myself in the process.
So, today, I am declaring some new mantras to pull me forward, and I would love for you all to be my accountability partners to hold me to them. Maybe some of these mantras will help you, too, especially if you are reaching higher to make real impact on the world through your work.
- Isn’t it great that I speak about a topic that attracts thousands of people around the world to listen in and enjoy?
- How wonderful it is that I need old fashioned clocks displayed on my desk to show me what time it really is Pacific, Central, Mountain and Eastern.
- I can download the World Time Clock to my cell phone for free and always have confidence that I am getting the details right.
- I attract perfect partners to extend the reach of my message far and wide, and they are happy to promote me — no matter the outcome.
- Even though I have specific intentions to invite results, I am open to other and even better outcomes, one and all.
- I have the courage to just SHOW UP because I know my content inside and out and have a deep desire to be of service to those I am here to help.
- The story I used to tell about being “Avis” in a world of “Hertz” is not a story I tell about myself anymore. The heck with trying harder! It’s time to work smarter.
- I can roll with things and still connect and contribute to those perfect people who absolutely need my particular brand of magic.
- “Going with the flow” is my new mantra because that is the best way for more success and joy to show up in my life and work.
- This journey I am traveling gets to be fun, no matter what happens next.
- I get to create my own table of dining companions who love what I am serving up and can’t wait for seconds.
Sometimes, you just have to breakdown before you can breakthrough. I learned this from one of my good friends and mastermind partners Olalah Njenga, and life just keeps on giving me this lesson until I get it right. And now I am moving forward, full steam ahead, with these ideas to pave the path still ahead.
There are gifts waiting everywhere if we can just have the willingness to see them. Sometimes they aren’t the gifts you were expecting or reaching toward, and it’s all good if you find the pearl and keep moving forward.
Today, there is a beautiful necklace of pearls around my neck — a gift from my good friend Tammy Redmon — to remind me that impossible things are happening everyday. From grains of sand beautiful things emerge. And the sandbox of life and business gives each and every one of us plenty of opportunity to create castles that are joys to behold and rewarding in priceless ways.
Amen. Hurray. And Whew!
July 11, 2012
Be Heard, Book Publishing
Got a new book that needs a place in the spotlight? Share your "author spotlight" information on Anita Smithson’s site, and you just might get what you crave. I did, and here is the result.. I am among the 33 contributing authors to the new NSA book — Speak More! Marketing Strategies to Get More Speaking Business. The NSA National Convention starts today in Indianapolis, and this book is making its debut there.
Anita first heard me speak during Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience on May 25, 2012 and reached out to invite me to make a submission to her "author spotlight." So, I did.. One good thing leads to another, and voila!
I double dare you to put your hat in the ring to see what happen for you when you take action. Who is going to take me up on this challenge?
June 28, 2012
Be Heard, Event Promotion
by 6-Figure Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig
How many of your subscribers open the emails you send?
Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called "open rate." Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.
Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?
Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know:
Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.
As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate.
To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked.
The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.
Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.
But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as "image blockers." More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.
When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying "Ask me first if I want to see images." Your images are "disabled" until you click to "enable" them. So…
If a person elects not to view images when reading an email, it will NOT count as an open.
Likewise, the people that elect to receive text-only emails from you (if you give them the option of text or HTML), also will not register as an "open." Some mobile devices only allow emails to be viewed in text form.
Your open rate reporting could actually be off anywhere from 11% to 35%, according to generally accepted metrics in the email marketing world. That’s quite a bit!
So while it may look like nobody is opening them, your emails may actually be doing quite well.
So should you just ignore open rates then?
No. Despite their shortcomings, open rates can still provide valuable marketing information. Tracking your open rates can help you:
1. Spot trends. For example, if you notice a significant downward trend in your open rates over time (not just occasional dips, say during summer when folks are out of town more), it may be a signal that you need to do something to re-engage your subscribers.
2. Learn your audience’s preferences. You may be able to notice what days and times of day are better for sending by comparing your open rates.
3. Test subject lines. Split your list into two or three groups, and send the same email with different subject lines to see which one generates more opens (which may indicate more interest).
Is there anything you can do to improve your open rates?
Yes, absolutely! It may not be the most accurate measurement in the world, but there are proven ways to improve your open rates. And improvement is always good.
Of course, your list should be an opt-in (permission-based) list. If not, that’s the first place to start improving. Otherwise, look to some of these areas to improve your rates:
1. Make sure your content is relevant and valuable. Know what your audience wants, and provide it. Relevant content is read content.
2. Examine your frequency of emailing. Too much emailing can cause "list fatigue" and too little can cause the "who’s that?" syndrome.
3. Write HOT subject lines. These short phrases are often the golden key to unlocking your open rates. Make people hungry to open your emails and see what’s inside!
A NOTE FROM Nancy: Linda is offering a free training on how to create HOT subject lines on Tuesday, July 10, and I highly suggest that you join her! Among other things, she’ll be showing you how to double the profits from your list with powerful subject lines, the 7 biggest subject line mistakes sabotaging your email results, how improving your subject lines can double your business and the #1 secret to avoid getting your emails reported as spam! Please join her here: http://www.7deadlysubjectlinemistakes.com/nancy
April 18, 2012
I’ve been reading a wonderful book. The title is "The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection" by Raphael Cushnir. I stumbled upon this book while turning in some books for credit at the local Half Price Book Store in my hometown. The cover showcases the image of a hot air balloon that isn’t able to take full flight because a heavy anchor is holding it back. That image is very powerful on many levels.
This book strikes all kinds of nerves and notes with me. The book asks us to allow the current emotion we are feeling to be truly experienced, as opposed to pushed to the side or stuffed below the surface. When you allow yourself to FEEL the emotion and ride the waves associated with it, you can get to a place of expansion as opposed to contraction. And expansion is a good thing. I bring this up because it has been on my bucket list to take a hot air balloon ride for years. There is an image of a hot air balloon on the dream board I look at every day. A few years ago, my husband and I booked an appointment for our ticket to ride. Mother Nature had other plans. The wind kicked up, and it wasn’t safe for us to take flight. It was a dream deferred, and off about our lives we went.
Just last week, we tried again. We booked our appointment for our ticket to ride. We got up at 4 a.m. to drive to the airport. We were met there by a van that would leave the premises only when every seat in the van was taken. By 8:30 a.m., we arrived at the venue where the hot air balloons were supposed to take off. And, guess what? At that precise time, Mother Nature expressed herself once again with wind. The ride was cancelled for safety reasons.
Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I feel the emotion of that disappointment? Absolutely. My husband, son, and I all did our part to express our disappointment because, let’s face it, none of us like to wake up at 4 a.m. to be disappointed with a journey not taken. We headed back to our hotel to take naps and figure out a Plan B for the day.
But why is this dream of taking flight with a hot air balloon so important to me? I think I’ve been stuck in the weeds of my business and life for a while, and I crave a broader view from a higher place. I’ve been reaching for the moon to land on a star for quite some time. I make progress, and then I settle into a holding pattern before I grow again. The waves of emotion that I feel as I journey forward are real and varied, and sometimes, I don’t allow myself to express them fully.
In the spirit of authentic visibility, today I’ll share that one of my colleagues is doing a very similar bio writing workshop to the one I’ve been teaching since 2009, and I feel really icky about it. She’s got a pretty good sized ezine list of folks to whom she is promoting it. It’s out there is a pretty big way from where I sit.
I’ve been allowing myself to truly FEEL what icky feels like. I thought this person was a friend. The last thing I expected is that she would start teaching workshops so similar to mine. I am angry about it. I feel betrayed. I was so upset about this yesterday that I accidentally slammed my finger in my car door. At that moment, I was feeling some serious pain, which led to tears falling. That wasn’t so pretty either.
And as I feel into this "icky" emotion, I am starting to breathe in and out a bit more easily. I realize that I have to run my own best race and serve my community the best I know how. She has to do the same. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so some people say. I am not so sure I agree. But that person who is doing something so similar to what I do reveals a lot by proceeding in this way. From my view, that isn’t pretty.
When others reveal themselves, pay attention — so said Maya Angelou. I am listening.
And maybe my own balloon of life and business can expand just a bit more because I have leaned in to experience this icky emotion to set it free. Maybe that is the lesson for me today. I’ve got plenty of good work to do to serve people in my own community, and I had better get on with it. Set this incident aside as a distraction and move on. I am ready to take flight now.
April 3, 2012
Be Heard, Event Promotion
Elizabeth Venturini is among the most focused, tenacious do-it-yourself publicists I have ever met. She is SERIOUS about getting known for her expertise, and the media placements just keep coming, one right after the other. She has earned 18 placements in just a couple of months for her expertise as a college placement strategist. And, a press release she created for her husband’s Mona Lisa Code project earned over 191,000 placements around the world!
I asked her a few questions recently to find out how much time she is putting forth to get known and the specifics around what she is doing to make the noise. Read on for the details to inform your own journey.
Question: Are you primarily responding to media queries, or are you initiating contact with the media on your “wish list” of best places to show up?
I am primarily responding to inquiries from HARO and Reporter Connection. I started responding to their inquiries last November of 2011. I also have a ‘wish list’ of parent publications and local newspapers that I follow and send information when I think it is appropriate.
Question: Are you getting better with a sound bite each time?
Yes I am. Because I created my Rock Star Press Kit, I have stock information of sound bites that I can modify very quickly depending on the story requirements. I am usually able to respond to the requests of reporters within an hour.
Question: And more confident?
Yes. Again, because I created all of the key components, photo, taglines, bylines, 50, 100, word bios, and website listing. I have all of my printed articles in PDF format to send so the media can read what has already been written about me. I can give a reporter anything s/he needs without me being “under the gun” to quickly produce new documents.
Question: Are the media calling you yet?
To date the media has not personally searched me out for immediate quotes. However I have spoken with the media during scheduled interviews. When they speak with me directly I ask to have the questions ahead of time so I can think about the answers. Sometimes I just write the answers to their questions and send them back to the reporter/writer. This saves them a lot of time having to write the story and they use my copy as is without too much editing. I am doing my best to develop relationships with everyone in the media who uses my information. If they use my info I send each one of them a thank-you email and always state how it would be my pleasure to add input to any future stories for their readers.
Question: Have you noticed anything in terms of measurement of results? For example, are more people visiting your website, asking for consultations, or hiring your services than before you made the decision to get known?
By using the bio information I learned in your class I gained one new client. I reworked my bio so it read as if I were a real person who parents would want to call to help them with their children. I notice that when I respond to media inquiries the writers/editors always check my website and LinkedIn account.
Question: What keywords do people search to find someone like you? I searched for college career strategist, and your name came up #2, #4, and #5 on page one of Google.
The key words I use are admissions, college admissions, college counseling, career strategist, career management, Strong, Strong Interest Inventory Assessment.
Question: How much time do you spend each week on getting known? Is it worth it?
I check HAROs and Reporter Connection three times a day. Some days there are many requests for input on education or careers and other days there may be no requests. I submit my responses to meet the writers’ deadline. I do my best to create a head turning headline so my response will stand out among all the responses that are submitted. To date I have sent out 46 HAROs and Reporter Connections. I have been published 18 times to date. The time spent for me to work on getting known is worth it because I am building my credibility among parents as a thought leader in the subject of college and careers for their college-bound hopefuls.
“Google” college career strategist, and Elizabeth Venturini’s name comes up as of today in the #1 ranked position, and she did this one media placement at a time.
Elizabeth is a graduate of the Broadcast Your Brilliance Webinar Series, and she is certainly applying the lessons she learned about preparing and sharing her best story to her expert advantage.
If getting known for your expertise is a high priority, start first by giving your bio a client-attracting makeover. Join me for a free webinar I’ll be teaching on Tuesday, April 24 at 10 a.m. to show you how. Here is the link to register.
March 13, 2012
So often, I read and write about the upside of visibility, and there is plenty to share on that score. What I’ve been pondering lately is the tender underbelly of visibility. This may not be something top of mind for you at this point because you are still intoxicated at the prospect of welcoming the influence, impact, and income that so often are associated with getting known for your winning ways.
That said, here are among the potential negative consequences associated with getting known that I have noticed in my own experience:
- Visibility is tough on thin skin.
- It makes you more subject to criticism and praise.
- Hecklers can be cruel.
- You may run into envy or jealousy from others.
- No more hiding out or being anonymous.
- Visibility brings up issues around worthiness.
- Visibility brings you face to face with lessons learned as a kid from parents and others in authority around bragging, self promotion, and standing out.
- Your wardrobe gets worn out fast, especially if you are photographed a lot.
- You may suffer loss of privacy.
- You may fear for your personal safety.
- Reputation management becomes more important and potentially expensive.
- Visibility can tax your “receiving” muscles, especially if scarcity and hard work are hard wired into who you are.
- It can be challenging to find safe ways to vent or ask for help the more visible you are.
On the one hand, you could say, “Put on your big girl underpants and deal with it,” and that would certainly be one way to proceed.
My good friend Debbie Whitlock, managing director of the Seattle Chapter of eWomenNetwork, says that one solution is to surround yourself with truth tellers. These are the people who help you put situations quickly in perspective, especially if you feel you are being picked at like those dastardly little birds that eat crud off a hippo. She says it is important to remember that the brighter your light becomes, the more you will attract. And sometimes those who are attracted aren’t ready themselves for the heat and intensity of the light. She says, “Never dim your light to make anyone else feel safe or comfortable. Stand centered and true to yourself.”
That is pretty stellar advice.
And, the truth is, some of these issues run pretty deep and can’t be set aside with the shrug of a shoulder or the turning of a cheek. It takes some real work. Inner work. And I am working on it.
I’d love to hear from you about some of the negative consequences you have encountered around earning more visibility in your life and business. What have you done to overcome some of these challenges? This is a potentially powerful conversation that can be of service to many, so please share your thoughts by posting a comment.
March 1, 2012
A few years ago, Action Plan Marketing Founder Robert Middleton posted to www.biznik.com with a comment that turned my head. He said he was a skeptic about the value of public relations and wanted someone to change his mind. Having followed his work for years, I posted a compelling, concise, and provocative reply to his post. That invited Robert to follow up with me to have a phone conversation to get to know me and my expertise better.
One good thing lead to another because Robert invited me to share my expertise with his Marketing Club members around the world via a 90-minute interview that earned some pretty great reviews He subsequently invited me to participate in a three-day weekend of collaboration in San Francisco with some power players including Bill Baren, Samantha Hartley, George Huang, John Eggen, and others. That single weekend opened the door for me to meet and collaborate with a number of those same powerful people to bring my expertise to much wider audiences.
Today, things just got better because I’ve been invited to blog for Robert’s Action Plan Marketing blog as his publicity expert. Once a month, I’ll be sharing useful tips, tactics, resources, and inspiration to guide independent business professionals around the world to get known, get paid, and enjoy the wow of leveraged visibility.
Opportunity to bring your message to more of the right people is everywhere if you just have the willingness to pay attention, take inspired action, and make your impact.
What will you do today to take inspired action on opportunity that is calling YOUR name?
March 1, 2012
The success stories from the February session of the Broadcast Your Brilliance Webinar Series are flowing like music. Here is the latest good news.
“Right out of the box, changing a first person bio to third packed a punch. From there, culling testimonials, some of which I’d never had a chance to read – blew ME away. Client raves I’d collected yet never shared. Nancy said, ‘Get ‘em out, use them in your bio!’ Over the past couple of weeks she’s done jaw dropping bio ‘hot seats’ on fellow participants. She got a hold of mine and said her famous words, ‘You buried the lead.’ That was one huge mistake I fixed FAST!
Using Nancy’s step by step process, I went from a repulsive (so much worse than a boring bio) to a ‘phone ringing, unsolicited speaking engagement, better than ever bio!’
I’ve got some work to do on this marketing and PR area, but I have never felt this effective all while having real fun. If you’re running on empty or feeling burned out in business, it just might be that boring bio and Nancy may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
My heart has never been in it like this. If you want a ride where you get to control the speed and volume – well bring it on. With Nancy’s Broadcast your Brilliance Webinar Series, you’ll certainly get huge return value for your investment. She’s the best out there – plus she is super cool and really nice.”
Stephana transforms lives from unfulfilled to belting out their soul’s sweet song with fearless abandon. Own your power today at www.stephanajohnson.com.
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