Posts Categorized: Publicity

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 grab a TV producer’s attention

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Publicity'

My client Christine Egan was recently on FOX News! She’s the author of The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer and one of my star clients.

Here she is speaking to Dr. Manny and Dr. Laura Berman (Oprah’s go-to sex therapist) on how breast cancer can make your sex life better.

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My friend Paula Rizzo, an Emmy Award-winning producer, booked Christine for this segment. I asked her to share the inside scoop about what TV producers are looking for — and she agreed! Here’s what Paula had to say.

How to get a TV producer’s attention

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Every day, I receive hundreds of pitches from experts, authors, and coaches who want to reach the masses with their message.

But the chances are — if their specialty or topic doesn’t immediately grab my attention, I won’t give it a second glance.

So today I want to give you my insider tips to grabbing a producer’s attention — and keeping it!

1.  Give a unique and timely angle.

Producers have seen it all. In order to get noticed, you need a unique and innovative angle. (Giving “5 ways to burn fat” won’t cut it anymore.)

Look for a recent study or news story that supports your angle or think about how you can dispel common myths that the general public believes. Another option is to give a counterintuitive tip like, “eating bacon is actually really good for you!” (I wish this were true.)

However, make sure to be smart about this. Your angle should fit your expertise and also be a topic we want to hear about. Recently, I was pitched by an entertainment lawyer who wanted to talk about Ebola. It made zero sense and he didn’t get booked.

If it’s not easy for me to see the connection, I’ll lose interest and move on.

2.  Include clear takeaways in bite-sized chunks.

In your pitch, be very clear about what you will be giving the audience. How will you be making their lives better? What better decisions will they make after watching your segment?

Your tips should also be actionable and specific. Rather than saying “be more passionate and you’ll be happier,” say: “write down 3 non-negotiable self-care actions you’ll infuse in your life starting today.”

Remember that producers are used to writing short copy that is very conversational. Talk to us in our language! Organize your ideas in bullet points, because they make digesting information in emails quick and easy.

Be succinct, concise and keep it simple. The same goes for in-person chats and on-camera interviews.

3.  Provide video media clips. 

Sending a pitch without a video clip is like putting up a listing for a home without any photos of it. What’s the point?

We need to see you on camera! It’s just the way the business works — if you don’t look good and sound good, you don’t get booked. It’s simple.

If you don’t have an actual media clip to share, shoot something with your webcam so the producer can see and hear you. Do your best with lighting and makeup. Even if it’s a YouTube video of you talking straight to camera or someone interviewing you off camera, it will be helpful.

4.  Realize when a producer is just not that into you.

It happens… Sometimes it’s not a match. Take the rejection gracefully and don’t push back, get snippy, or pitch more angles in desperation.

Plus, one rejection doesn’t mean we won’t ever book you. Take a breath and preserve the relationship. Some of my best guests weren’t a fit the first time around, but I kept them in the back of my mind. Then, when something relevant popped up, we were able to work together.

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I hope you enjoyed Paula’s insider tips! She is one smart cookie. =)

In addition to her work in TV, Paula runs a productivity site called ListProducer.com.

She also has a new book called Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.

This powerful guide has been endorsed by David Allen (international bestselling author of Getting Things Done), Gretchen Rubin (New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project), and many more. I think you’ll love it too. Get the first chapter here — completely free for my readers.

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…

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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 pitch to TV (+ fun pics of our private NBC tour!)

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Publicity'

Have you seen those segments on daytime TV where they spotlight expert guests like life coaches and health coaches? They might be talking about what superfoods to add to your breakfast, how to know if it’s time for a career change, or how to find your soulmate online.

Ever wondered how YOU could book one of those spots on TV, so that you could share your work with a large, mainstream audience?

Some of my Publicity Mastermind clients got the inside scoop on how to pitch for TV directly from NBC bookers, producers, and on-air talent during a private VIP tour of NBC studios we took awhile back. (Big thanks to my friend Ellie Brett of Media Bombshell for setting it up.)

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Landing a spot in front of the camera starts with crafting an email that an extremely busy booker will open, read, and respond to.

So how do you do this?

First of all, some things to keep in mind:

  • People in the media tend to be busy, stressed, and constantly on deadline. Many of them will confess that they don’t read all their emails!
  • If the subject line isn’t compelling, they won’t open it. If the first sentence isn’t engaging, they won’t read the whole pitch.
  • I know this can feel unfair when you’ve spent days attempting to perfect for your pitch. But the things is — if they read and responded to all 500 emails in their inbox, they wouldn’t get any work done!

To have your shot at getting featured on TV, there are three key guidelines for crafting a pitch that gets noticed.

Crafting a pitch that gets noticed

blog 31) Speak in everyday language.

When you’re on TV, you aren’t speaking to your clients or your colleagues — you’re speaking to the mainstream masses. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is using terms that the general public doesn’t understand, for example: “holding the space,” “pure potential,” or “tapping into your feminine side.”

When producing content for a mainstream audience, you want to break it down in a way that an 8-year-old would understand.

One of the producers told us that when in doubt, apply the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Silly. =)

 

blog 42) Be super concise and compelling.

Your email needs to have a compelling subject line that gets their attention right away. The body of your email should have a few quick sentences about who you are and what you have to offer, with a creative pitch idea that would grab a mainstream viewer’s interest.

Don’t send them your life story in six paragraphs! If they want more information, they will ask (or you can offer it up later). You just want to pique their interest, get them to respond, and start a dialogue.

Now keep in mind that the way television shows stay in business is through high ratings. Story headlines need to grab the attention of the masses, so lots of people will tune in. One example that Jacque Reid, New York Live co-host, gave us was, “5 Yoga Moves that Will Save Your Marriage.” This is applicable to a wide audience, while being sexy, controversial, and off the beaten path.

 

blog 53) Follow up consistently (and pleasantly!)

Don’t expect that by sending in just one email, you’ll be on TV the next month. These opportunities take time and require follow-up.

You might send a great pitch, but not hear anything back. Maybe that person is really busy, or only taking pitches related to the holiday season, a big sports event, or an election going on. Your pitch could be good, but just not right for this moment.

It’s not about being aggressive, but it IS about being pleasantly persistent. Follow-up in a week or two, send additional ideas, and be an ongoing resource to producers (i.e. if you learn they are working on a particular story, offer your help even if it won’t directly benefit your business).

Remember, it is more important to develop a long-term relationship or friendship, versus trying to force an opportunity to happen right away.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! And if you’d like to see more photos from the VIP tour, check out the album I created on Facebook! (We even got a group pic on the Saturday Night Live stage!)

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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.

Selena Soo