Posts Categorized: Networking

My Interview on Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Networking, Publicity'

I recently had the incredible honor of being interviewed by Pat Flynn for his podcast, Smart Passive Income — and I’m so excited because our interview was just released! (You can listen to it right here.)

Why is this so exciting?

It’s been a long-time dream of mine to be interviewed on Smart Passive Income. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a top-ranking and award-winning business podcast by Pat Flynn. He has interviewed some of the smartest minds and biggest names, including Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Amy Porterfield, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more.

So I was grateful for this opportunity.

But here’s the thing — this opportunity didn’t just magically fall out of the sky and land on my lap.

Pat was someone I’d wanted to connect with for years, but I didn’t want to force it. I was sure it’d happen when the time was right.

I was first introduced to Pat through a mutual friend who put us in touch because I had a client I wanted to recommend for the Smart Passive Income podcast. (The request wasn’t about getting something for myself — it was about adding value because I genuinely believed my client would be a perfect fit for his show.)

Then, last fall, Pat mentioned in his newsletter that he’d be in New York City for a speaking event. He said it was a short visit, but he may have time to meet up with some people in his community.

I knew that Pat was a very busy guy, so instead of trying to set up a one-on-one meeting (after all, he still didn’t really know me), I offered to host a dinner party for him, along with other thought leaders and industry experts.

Here’s a screenshot of the email I sent:

And I got a reply. We went back and forth a couple times about the details and the guest list, and voilà! A dinner party for Pat Flynn materialized.

The dinner party was a great way to add value to Pat, and next thing I knew he invited me to be a guest on his podcast.

And that’s the exact same interview that was just released today!

During this interview, we covered topics like…

  • How to get major media coverage — what editors are looking for, the perfect story ideas to pitch, and more.
  • Creative ways to “add value” — with lots of specific examples.
  • The do’s and don’ts when connecting with big influencers — and how to leave a great first impression.

Pat also put me in the hot seat by throwing a hypothetical product at me. I then shared how I would get that product out into the world and into the hands of potential buyers.

You can listen to the whole episode here.

How to get your book into Oprah Magazine

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Networking, Publicity'

If you want your book read by millions, what’s the fastest way to get there?

You’d need your book endorsed by a publication that reaches millions — like O, The Oprah Magazine.

My friend Abbe Wright used to work in-house at O, The Oprah Magazine, reviewing books for their monthly column. Now she writes for Glamour magazine, and continues to write features and review books for many magazines and online outlets.

I wanted Abbe to share what it takes to get YOUR book into O, The Oprah Magazine. Here’s what she had to say…

Oprah

Amongst all the books you received at Oprah, how did you decide which books to review?

There were at least 25 books on my desk each day, along with hundreds of email pitches, so I couldn’t respond to everyone. However, I did my best to give each book a chance by reading the first 20 pages. We always featured a mix of really well-known authors and new authors. I always gravitated towards the underdog.

If I had a relationship with someone, I’d make the extra effort to consider their book and follow up. Having a great book cover and strong endorsements also helped certain books to stand out.

How would someone go about creating a relationship with a book editor?

Editors are very busy. There are hundreds of people asking for our time every day. While it’s a nice gesture to ask an editor out to coffee or lunch, it’s going to be tough for us to do.

Here’s what I recommend instead:

  1. Write a strong email. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Know how to craft an email with words that will grab my attention.
  2. Do your research about what magazine you are pitching to. Know the types of books they cover, and if yours would be a fit. You’d be surprised by how many books I would get that are not a fit at all for the Oprah audience.
  3. Do your research about the editor you are pitching to. For example, I would love when someone would mention that they enjoyed an article of mine, or wanted to pitch something related to something else I’d published. The extra effort is definitely noticed and appreciated!
  4. Send the book in creative packaging. One of Selena’s clients, Christine Egan (author of The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer), sent me her book with a glass straw, which I now use every day. Other books arrived with confetti or cookies, which were always fun! (I’m not saying you have to butter me up, but those books certainly stood out!)
  5. Have great press and powerful endorsements. I also love to see what buzz you’re getting for your work. What are other authors saying about your book? Who else is in your inner circle, raving about you?

Do you have any other tips for readers?

Be active on social media. It’s a great way to get your voice heard and get noticed. For example, I came across one author because I saw her interacting with my colleagues on Twitter. She was posting funny tweets about her writing process. I started following her.

Six months later, I met her at a party and then we built the relationship very organically. When her book came out, she emailed me and said she would love for me to read it — which I did! By that point, I felt very invested in her success.

While the book wasn’t exactly for the Oprah reader, I went out on a limb and reviewed it for Oprah.com.

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As Abbe said, the best way to get noticed by a magazine editor is by building a relationship the right way.

As you reach your next level of success, it’s not just about what you know. It’s about who you know.

So it’s important to start building those relationships early on, because you never know when an opportunity could come along when one of your relationships could help grow your business.

How to be memorable (it involves ice cream) =)

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Networking, Publicity'

A few weeks ago, I had the amazing honor of being interviewed by John Lee Dumas for his podcast, Entrepreneur On Fire.

Entrepreneur On Fire is one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes. It gets half a million unique downloads per month and features guests such as Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Needless to say, I was so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I wanted John to know that.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

How would you stand out and make your thank you deeply felt?

Most people would probably say thank you after the interview, or maybe even send a follow-up email. But that’s not particularly memorable or meaningful.

I decided to send John a thoughtful, creative gift that would surprise him and bring a huge smile to his face.

I sent him four pints of my favorite gourmet ice cream. Mouthwatering flavors like goat cheese with red cherries, Bangkok peanut, sweet potato with torched marshmallows, and wildberry lavender.

This was of course accompanied by a heartfelt note, expressing my deep gratitude.

What happened next?

You guessed it — I got an email from John. The subject line was “OMG you are my favorite!”

He was so thankful, and told me that the ice cream was the best gift he’d ever received since starting the podcast (and he has interviewed over 300 people), and asked me when I would be in San Diego, saying we need to hang out!

Why do I share this story with you?

Because I want to help you be remembered, and I want to help you build powerful relationships with people you care about it.

The main reason why I was able to quickly build a six-figure business is because of my relationships.

I go above and beyond for my clients, colleagues, mentors, and friends in the media. I make people feel special and deeply appreciated. And this is something that you can do too!

  • Are there people in your life who have helped you, who perhaps don’t know the full extent of your gratitude?
  • Are there people you deeply admire, who you really want to build a relationship with, but you think you have nothing to offer them?

If the answer is yes, I encourage you to reach out and let them know how much they mean to you. And remember, you want to be memorable!

I know many people who THINK they are building a relationship with someone, when really they are not.

For example, say you want to get the attention of an influential person. Maybe you like their status updates on Facebook, or respond to a few of their newsletters saying “great email!”

Maybe they’ll respond back, but the truth is that there are 100 or even 1000 other people doing the exact same thing. So within a few minutes, it’s possible they’ve already forgotten about you. You haven’t really made an impression.

Now I’m not saying NOT to do these things at all, but what I’m saying is that this alone is not enough. 

The only way to stand out from the crowd is to go above and beyond — be so thoughtful and generous that people are literally shocked.

I personally do this several times a month.

One recent example:

A friend who is a magazine editor is leaving her prestigious job to move to the south and be with her fiance (they have a long-distance relationship).

I reached out to congratulate her and find out if she has a new job yet. When I learned that she didn’t, I offered to help. I invited her over to my apartment for afternoon tea, asked what opportunities she was looking for, and then offered to make introductions that could lead to a potential dream job.

If you have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, go ahead and do it!

Now at this point, you are probably thinking one of two things:

1) “Selena, this takes a lot of time! I’m so busy!” 

Yes, you’re absolutely right. It is time-consuming. It may even be inconvenient.

That’s why you should only do this when it comes from a genuine place. You care about the person so much that the act of giving is the reward. You are not simply helping someone to get something in return.

2) “I would love to be helpful, but I don’t know how to help! How do I know what the person needs?”

If it’s someone who you are close to (or having a conversation with), just ask! Say, “What is your biggest need right now? Is there any way I can be helpful?”

If it’s an influential person who gets 100s of emails a day, don’t make the busy person do the work. They probably don’t have the time to type up a long response to explain their situation and what kind of help they need. It’s your job to figure that out (and it’s not as hard as you think)!

This guest post I wrote for my friend Ramit Sethi called “How to get the attention of your favorite expert” outlines specific ways you can add value to influencers.

 

Wishing you much success in your relationships and in your business.

Why Expressing Gratitude Matters: 5 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Colleagues, Mentors, and Friends

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Networking, Personal'

Have you ever gone above and beyond to help someone?

Perhaps you spent two hours on the phone with them offering advice in your area of expertise. Or maybe you connected them to a valuable resource or person to help them with their career, relationship, or health.

Sometimes, you may even rearrange your schedule and cancel existing commitments to help someone during a time of great need. In the moment, the person you are helping may say a quick “thanks!”, but after that, you never hear from them again.

This happened to me last year. A colleague who was unemployed reached out to me. She had been job-hunting for months and was stressed out, frustrated, and losing hope. Every day she’d been sending out her resume, but getting no response.

She asked for my help, and I ended up connecting her to the president of a major company looking to hire someone just like her. Two months later, she got a senior level position with a 6-figure salary!

I found out about this when she announced her new job on Facebook. While I was excited to hear the news, I felt a little unappreciated and forgotten about. In fact, I only heard from her several months later when she had another favor to ask of me.

This happens all the time. We get busy and forget to thank people for their help. But gratitude is so important.

When we forget to thank someone, they feel less motivated to help us again. But when we do thank someone in a thoughtful, heartfelt way, it makes the person feel deeply appreciated and wanting to help you even more.

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Here are five specific ways to express gratitude this holiday season and beyond:

1. Send an email

Just sending a short, thoughtful email is something we all can make the time for. You can make your “thank you” truly felt by the recipient when you share how specifically they have helped you.

As an example, you could say: “It was great to meet you last week! Thank you for recommending that book to me — I bought it right away! I’m already half-way through and it’s amazing. I can already see how I can apply some of these insights to my career.”

Share what impacted and moved you, and the results of putting their advice into action. This allows the recipient to know the difference they have made in your life, which makes the act of giving even more fulfilling to them!

2. Handwritten card or note sent by postal mail

I heard a statistic recently that nowadays, only 3% of mail is handwritten. The rest is bills or junk mail! The receiver of a beautiful handwritten note or card will feel so special and excited to open up a real piece of thoughtful mail.

The fact that you took the time and effort into writing a note by hand and mailing it the old-fashioned way shows someone how much you care.

3. Take them out for a nice lunch or dinner

Another way to show your gratitude is to take someone out to lunch or dinner. You could reach out and say, “I want to thank you for all the ways you have supported me this year. I would love to take you out to your favorite restaurant. It’s on me!”

Many people are too busy for coffee dates in the middle of the day, but taking someone out to a fancy dinner is an unexpected treat that will definitely make you stand out.

4. Thank them publicly

We all have our own public platforms where we share information — whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or a newsletter. You can use any of these platforms to publicly express gratitude towards someone who has made an impact on you.

I love when someone posts something nice about me on Facebook or promotes one of my articles. Not only does it feel special to get recognized publicly, but you are also introducing the recipient to potential new fans or friends.

5. Send a gift

Sending a gift is another way to give back to someone who has given to you. A client of mine gave someone who referred a client to her a Starbucks gift card and said, “Coffee is on me for the month.” The person receiving the gift loved that!

Another example is a woman who I’d recently helped who sent me a card, a book, and gorgeous bouquet of flowers. It was such a sweet gesture that made me feel so appreciated. 

If you don’t know what kind of gift to give, you could ask that person’s friends or even colleagues or assistant. You could say, “I’d like to give Jane a thoughtful gift. What does she like? Here are a few ideas I have.”

The holiday season is the perfect time for you to reach out to the colleagues, clients, mentors, and friends who have made a difference in your life this year, and to tell them exactly how they have done so. 

Selena Soo