Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:
Zafira Rajan: Bringing Personality Through Your Voice (even if you're an introvert)
Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Zafira Rajan: Bringing Personality Through Your Voice (even if you're an introvert)
Before jumping on the PR/Media blitz train that promises piles of leads, exposure and the coveted “AS SEEN ON” section for your website, slow down and set your strategy. In this episode, I’m sharing 3 essential questions to consider BEFORE chasing media opportunities.
Ensure the energy and effort you're putting into growing your online business is pointed at the things that matter to you and will get you the results you’re after. So if you have ever asked the question: do I really need those “as seen on” logos on my website? Or “does being featured on TV or publications actually drive sales?”, this episode is for you.
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If you have ever asked the question, should I be seeking out PR or media opportunities to get more eyes on my business, today's episode is for you.
Welcome friend to the show! I am thrilled to be your High Performance Coach, your speaking coach today to help you show up in a bigger way in your business. My name is Heather Sager, if you're new around here. We're so thrilled you chose this episode to tune in because this is a hot topic. You most likely in this online space have heard the word you've heard the word visibility.
You've heard that you have to get seen in order for people to find your business, to find your brand, to figure out how to work with you. But today we're specifically talking about media opportunities and when's the right time to chase them. And what questions you should be asking yourself beforehand, so that you don't get caught up in shiny object syndrome? Is that what they call it? I don't know. You know, I mean, the shiny object thing, we all go chase down those rabbit holes. We got to have a conversation around this because in a world where we are saying no to the shiny, flashy jets and cars, and everyone's showing off like their big flashy stuff. That is no longer acceptable in this online space. It's not inspiring for most online business owners, growing course creators, coaches, service providers, for those especially if you're hanging around here, it's probably not an attractive thing for you. You're looking to make an impact in this world.
And so what I have noticed happening lately is there is a new flashy, shove it in your face, that's not as, what's the fancy word ostentatious? I know that word from 'Miss Congeniality.' I never used it in my life but I feel like that might apply here. If it's the wrong word, please forgive me, whatever.
Flashy thing, the new flashy thing, the new cars, the new shiny watches, is showing your 'as seen on logo' lineup. Oh, yeah, I can't be alone and thinking this. I also can't be alone and being a little lustful of wishing that I had the Forbes, or the Entrepreneur, or whatever other sticker comes to mind. The 'as seen on' means that you're legit. It means you've made it.
But I often wonder, does it?
Do the people who have the flashy logos become successful because of those logos? Or if they have them are they even successful now?
I don't know the answer to that. But I do know that I want to ask some questions of myself and of you today to make sure that the energy and effort you're putting into growing your online business is pointed at the things that matter to you. Because your definition of success is going to be different than the next person. So you really have to think about what success looks like, for YOU.
We're going to talk about this today. We're going to talk about media. I'm not saying that media is bad, but you're going to hear straight out of my mouth that I think too many people, especially our online coaches, course creators and service providers were chasing that media coverage way too early in our businesses. And I know that might be a controversial opinion but it's what I think and I hope you hear me out around why I think that and what I think you should be doing differently, depending on your business goals.
So you've been there, right? You've seen the ads. You can be on TV now. You've seen the ads. Get into Forbes. Heck, just this morning, let me pull it out real quick. Just this morning, I got a pitch from someone who found my email address on Instagram, promising me, promising me, like, seriously. They had this big, big thing around how I could get on CNN, on Forbes, and any one of these media opportunities could grow my Instagram following in a day by 5 to 6,000 followers. All I need to do is pay them a five figure investment so they can get my media placement.
This is a lot of my beef with media. I'm going to tell you this right out of the gate. You should not be paying for media placement, especially if you're not consistently generating money in your business. Let me just start right there, friend. If you are still trying to figure out your offer, if you are still trying to figure out how to consistently make money, month to month, media isn’t going to save you. It's not, it's not, it's not, and I'm going to talk about that more.
But I want you to be very mindful if anyone promising you or trying to persuade you to think that they can get you thousands of followers overnight. You know, you're skeptical of it, right? Listen to that inner gut. It's smart. It's gotten you where you are right now, which I've given yourself a pat on the back like you're doing good. You might not be where you want to be but you are progressing. You were making things happen. Sure, we all go through phases where we get frustrated and we wish things would go faster. But that gut, it's gotten you this far, so keep listening to it. But don't be persuaded by those random or those random things.
Also, can I just say it now that I'm on my soapbox and I'm going on a tangent. Did you know those media ads, you could buy them? There are some locations, no, either you can't pay for them. I think Forbes is one of them. I don't know. I honestly don't even know the details of it.
The one that's really, I'm sorry to out y'all, but the one that's really boiling my blood lately, I've seen a lot of times on Instagram is the Yahoo Finance list of the top coaches or the top speaking coaches. But you can laugh and see how I was like, Oh, look at those, I'm not on that list. You want to know why I'm not on that list? Well, one, my business is still small. That was hard to say. But two, people bought those seats. That's paid media.
Here's the thing, if you are unwilling to spend money on Facebook ads that are targeted, like actually targeted to the person that you're trying to serve. Why would you spend money on media when you don't know who is actually going to read it? I mean, again, sorry, Yahoo finance, whatever. We're going to call it that. Who reads that? Who goes there? All it does is just a stamp of approval on your Instagram wall or on your website.
All right, I'm not totally anti-media, kind of sounds like I am but I get really heated talking about this because we all get swept up into this new flashy thing that we have to have as a badge of honor. It's the new sports car and it's the 'as seen on logo.'
Let me share with you a couple questions. Let's dive into it quickly. I want this episode to be super short today because I want to get you thinking, I want to get you thinking and asking questions of yourself so you can make the decisions that are right for you and your business. Let's jump into the three questions I want you asking yourself before pursuing media opportunities.
Now, side note, if a media opportunity lands on your lap, do not run from it. Ask some good questions, right? I'm talking about investing the time and energy that you could be putting in your business, in your marketing. I don't want you to displace that to media without reflecting on these three questions.
Here we go, question number 1. Am I chasing popularity or profitability? Am I chasing popularity or profitability? You get the gist of what I'm saying here. But yeah, we both have to admit it. It would feel real nice to have those fancy logos on our sales page, on our website, being able to put Forbes contributor or whatever contributor up in your Instagram bio. We'll see people do it and we're like oh, I see you there. I see you must be legit. It is enticing.
But the question you have to get real honest with and ask yourself is this:
Do you want to be popular or do you want to be profitable?
Now you're like, Wait, can I be both? And sure, but I find, oftentimes when we make business decisions that fuel our ego, it comes at the risk of the smart, profitable decisions we should be making. Are you following what I'm saying right there?
So sometimes we're going to say yes to opportunities because they're going to fuel our ego. They're going to feel good to do that event. It's going to feel good to spend your time over here because Susie George. I don't know her name is Susie George, evidently, this person asking us to do something. They're asking us and we feel special because we want to do that thing so we go over there and spend our time over there. But over here, our funnel still not working or our webinar registration page is not converting well, but we're ignoring it to go over the shiny, flashy thing because it feels good. Somebody wants us to do something, we want to feel significant.
So we have to ask the question, deep down, are we really doing this because we want to be in the quote-unquote, Cool Kids Club. I am struggling to speak today which we're not going to edit this. We're gonna show up anyways and keep going. But I want you to really ask, am I chasing profitability to fit in at that table because I too, want that badge or because I'm truly making decisions for my business that are gonna help me with my profitability? That's question number one.
Number 2, am I adding gasoline to my marketing fire or am I trying to get it started? Let me say that again. Am I using media, to add gasoline to my marketing fire or am I trying to get it started? Let me break this one down for you because this is super, super important.
The promise of media is exposure. It's getting seen. It's getting people to get eyes on you, and on your brand, and on your message. And we think, oh, more eyes is good, right? But what if they're not the people that you have designed your business to serve? What if they're not your quote-unquote, ideal audience?
What if, let's say, for example, me, I work primarily with online entrepreneurs. What if I get exposure and it puts me in front of a ton of corporate leaders? Sure, that's all well and great. I can do some corporate consulting, but my main engine in my business is my program Speak Up to Level Up and I've designed my business around serving online entrepreneurs inside this program. For me to grow that program, I need to make sure I'm in front of those people.
Let's talk about this, the visibility piece. We need more eyes on our business. If right now, if we do not already have a business engine running, if we do not have a sales mechanism that is working, even if it's small, if it's not working and we're not consistently making money, we do not have a fire started. Do you hear what I'm saying?
Get the engine going before adding the gasoline
If you do not have a sales mechanism, whether you do one on one work, group coaching, you have one on one services, you do one on one coaching, you have group coaching, you have an online program, you have a mini little $37 offer, I don't care what it is. But if you do not have a way to make money and results in making money consistently, you do not have a fire.
We need to go back Fred Flintstone style and get that fire started, get it working. We got to get it smoking on its own. We got to get it burning the fire without us hovering over trying to feed it with a little kindling. We got to get the engine going before we add the gasoline.
Here's the thing. If you were still in the kindling phase, if you're trying to still figure out whether or not your offer works, if you're still trying to figure out your messaging, if you're still trying to figure out how to move people through a funnel, what’s going to happen when you pour gasoline on the fire that's not even lighting on its own?
I guess technically it's a fire so it's probably gonna burn. I don't know, I've never really thrown gasoline on a fire so my analogy is kind of falling apart here but you follow what I'm saying is there is no use of adding an accelerant, this accelerant being getting more people to see your business, if your engine isn't already moving, if your fire isn't already sparked. It doesn't mean you need to have this wildly successful business but it means you have to have an offer that's people are buying, that's working.
I think that one's the one I'm really passionate about because I've seen so many new online business owners in the last few years since I've been in the space. I see them investing in these programs that are three to $15,000 to help them get on TV, to help them get their next media thing, to be on Forbes, to pitch their story to magazines and that's all well and great, but I can tell you from personal experience, these business owners still do not even have an online offer.
To me, that is just crazy banana town, and I'm not going to tell anyone how to spend their money but do you see how backwards that is? If you all of a sudden have these opportunities, and sure you can have the following, and then monetize it later but I don't know, do you have a hobby or do you have a business?
My main priority when I started my online business was to be profitable from day one.That was my goal. I don't know what your goal is. But I've heard from, especially a lot of business owners inside my program Speak Up to Level Up. I recently walked them through the behind the scenes of the first two years of my business and I share with them the numbers.
There was a lot of feedback of like, holy crap, you were profitable from month one? You've been paying yourself a salary this entire time. I don't tell you that to brag. I tell you that, I've had the opportunity to coach business owners for 15 years, coaching business owners in brick and mortar stores and online businesses all around the country, all around North America.
I've worked with a lot of business owners at different scales, right? We worked with small, tiny startup businesses. I've worked with million dollar businesses, I've worked with a $20 million business in Denver, I've worked with billion dollar companies.
I've been around the block in the business world. And there's an interesting thing that I noticed a lot in the online space is a lot of people come in with the employee mindset, used to getting paid a consistent paycheck and thinking like an employee versus thinking like the owner-investor of the business.
To grow your online business you must THINK DIFFERENTLY
I don't tell you that for it to break you down or tell you you're doing it wrong but I want to tell you that if you want to start growing your online business, you have to think differently. And for me, that means you have to put profitability at the center of the conversation. Get your engine moving before you start adding the gasoline.
This right here this example around media, in my opinion, especially if you're still not consistently profitable in your business. You are trying to add gasoline to a fire that isn't even burning yet. So order of operations, get your fire started before you add the gasoline.
Question number three. Whew, question number two, I've got real heated on that when we went down that rabbit hole. But here we go, question number three. Are you ready for it? Am I confident with the message I would deliver? We're talking about media opportunities, three questions to ask yourself before seeking media opportunities. So the third question is, am I confident with the message I would deliver?
Here's this little spoiler. It's actually not very hard to get yourself in media opportunities, to get guest speaking opportunities, to get on virtual stages, to get on podcasts. Yes, there's a nuanced things if you want to get into big name things, for sure. I am not sugarcoating that whatsoever. But I think all too often people are asking the wrong question. It's not how do I get on the big stage? It's what will you do with your onstage moment?
You see, I think right now there's a really big opportunity while you're still small. I'm just assuming right now, if you're listening to the show, you are a newer business owner trying to figure out your message, trying to get more comfortable. You are trying to scale in a way that's sustainable for you in a way that's of high integrity, that feels right for you but you're still figuring it out quite a bit. Whether you're figuring out your webinar, you're trying to figure out your messaging, you're trying to figure out where to show up and how to do it with the same level of intention.
Be confident in what your message is and how you deliver it
I would bet that you're not even quite confident with how you're talking about your offers in your business. You feel like there's an opportunity, be it small or large, to get your messaging stronger. There's a big opportunity for you while you're building that fire, while you're getting that fire going, to be playing with your messaging. I think there's this false narrative happening that messaging, there's like one perfect way to message your products and your business. I think messaging is a moving target. It's going to evolve and grow over time and your message will always get stronger. But you have to feel confident in what your message is and how you deliver it.
You want to make sure the moments you have on a stage you feel like you've nailed it, not like you've missed an opportunity. That's the worst feeling, right? Have you ever had that happen where you have this holy crap the clouds parted and you have this opportunity to be a guest on a platform, maybe a friend invited you on their podcast? Heck, maybe you turn it down because you weren't feeling great about your message and it's still sitting in your message request queue in your inbox right?
You'll get to it later or you ghosted them or maybe you did do the event, but afterwards you're like, Ah, damn, I wish I would have prepared more, or I really feel like I missed the moment. didn't have a freebie prepared or it didn't really line up there or I was clunky over how we introduce myself. I need to tell them about my program, but you're really in your head, thinking about all I should have done this or I didn't do that right and you're not able to actually enjoy the moment.
When it comes to seeking out media opportunities, it's going to be intimidating, it's going to be scary but it's also going to be thrilling. Because I can tell you when you are in the spotlight, when you are jiving and connecting with an audience, whether it's on camera or in person, it feels good to be a light for others. I know you know that if you listen to this show, you do have that inkling. You've probably experienced it before.
There is a whole nother level of confidence and swagger that comes when you know, you have a message that resonates with people, when you know they're like, Oh, damn, she is in my brain. You might be thinking a little bit of that today on today's episode and or a couple times, like whoa, she's heated about this. I hope you're getting both because I am heated about this. But also, I'm all up in your head like that's what I do. That's my messaging, it is a constant pursuit around how to get more in the head of the people that I serve, so that I can serve them better.
Get your messaging down and it doesn't mean to be perfect. It doesn't mean you have to have it totally and completely nailed. It just means you have to be confident in what you're talking about when you're given the opportunity. Those are the questions I want you asking yourself, and not to put you in procrastination mode that you'll never do these things. But I want you to set up for success.
So let me repeat those questions again and let me help you say what do I do instead? Right, if you're saying Heather, don't go chase the big media. That doesn't mean don't accept them if they come your way, right? I said that once I'll say it again. It just means I don't want you spending your precious hours every week trying to go out and find media opportunities when there's other things you can do in these stages.
Let's recap those questions.
Three questions to ask before seeking media opportunities for your business
That's what I want you thinking about.
Remember, there are stages available to you right now.
Now, it doesn't mean I don't want you chasing getting out there and getting seen. If you all hang around here on the show, you know, my big thing that I advocate for is speaking on stages. And I'm not just talking about live event, conference stages, we all know that drastically has changed over the last year.
But what I want you thinking about are their stages around you all the time. A stage is simply a platform for you to share your message and you have more stages accessible to you right now as an online business owner than ever before. And the amazing part is they're normalized, because everyone has been forced to use virtual stages.
So gone are the barriers of people going meh, I don't do zoom, everybody zooms. My six year old zoom. My two year old the other day wanted to call grandma on zoom. Which was very weird because grandma doesn't want to use zoom. How funny is that?
But aren't you thinking about like, stages are all around you all the time. And those stage opportunities do not need to be the big Kajabi summit stage, or craft and commerce or Amy Porterfield's entrepreneur experience. Those are all great, right? But there are stages all around you, podcasts. You have probably many peers that you know who have programs that serve your ideal audience. They might be looking for guest teachers. Heck, they might be looking for people to beef up their channel on Facebook and do some Facebook Lives with.
Did you know when you go on Instagram and you do an Instagram live and bring somebody on you hack access to their audience, which that sounds kind of sketchy when I say hack their audience, but just imagine this for a second. Do you have somebody who follows you that has an incredible following who you love and respect you that have a shared audience? Could you ask if they would come speak on your platform on Instagram? Would they go live with you and you hack their audience?
What I mean by that is, it shows on the little buttons at the top of Instagrams, not buttons, but on stories, how it shows when you go live. It shows to your people that you're live with, 'fancy whoever person we're talking about,' and also tells their audience that they're live. So you just got a backstage pass, front door invitation, whatever analogy works here. You got that to their audience. Oh, that can be a really cool way for you to start building some exposure. But the thing is, you can't go out and do one Facebook Live, or one podcast, or one Instagram Live and think there's the gasoline. No, no, no.
Use these little stages to practice and to nail your message down
I believe that getting yourself out there and sharing your message on these, will call them smaller stages but I don't want you to hear that from me discounting them or making them any less than. But I feel like these underserved stages, that's where you do a couple things. Let's go back through these questions here. That's where you start testing out your messaging and you start getting more confidence in your delivery.
By all these smaller stages, I would much rather practice on smaller stages then lead myself into like a stress ball if I booked a really big opportunity and I was like nervous for weeks. Use the baby stages, little stages, micro stages, whatever you want to call them. Use those to build your confidence to get your messaging down because you're gonna learn every single time.
When we talk about adding gasoline to the fire, I think about nurturing the kindling. I view these kinds of stages as more of like the building, the kindling to test out your sales mechanism to make sure it works. You can start bringing amazing leads into your business through this kind of visibility in your business. Because here's the thing when someone hears you speak, especially in longer form content, long form content like a podcast or a guest speaker in a group, people's like, know, and trust of you skyrockets way more in my opinion than one of those little tiny offers, right?
People are like, Oh, I know her. She's talked about our concepts. I really love and respect her. Yeah, they're probably saying they love you because you do your natural charm thing. And they're like, oh, we're all BFF's now. But that happens and then when you have some kind of offer, or lead magnet, or way for them to continue the conversation, they'll jump to it because they feel like they know you. People want to do business with people they trust, not just random strangers on the internet.
So guest speaking is huge, in my opinion and I think far underutilized because they're shadowed by the big glitzy glamour of those who want to be popular, those who want the flashy logos. And like I said, there's nothing bad about. I still, I'm seeking those logos. But let me be real clear, friend. My fire is burning and the sales engine is moving and now I'm looking at those opportunities.
Getting real clarity around what you want in your business
You have to get really clear around what you want in business. You have to ask yourself tough questions. And I hope today's conversation, well, maybe you got your mind moving, maybe you didn't agree with everything that I said, but I hope you can agree with this. Before chasing any strategy, you have to ask yourself some questions to make sure that you are making a smart decision for you, and your business, and your goals and not because somebody on the internet or in your earbuds said that you should. Do not get distracted by the next shiny thing because they're always going to be coming at you. You have to figure out what the right thing is for you.
I think that guest speaking on some of these smaller stages could be that thing for you. You might already be at the point you're like, yeah, I got that down. I'm ready for more. Media might be your next step but I can't tell you that, only you can. But do not get swept away in the marketing messages because there's a lot of marketers online, including myself that are damn good at what we do to persuade you, to think you need something that you might not actually need.
So what I hope is to equip you today with the right questions, you can ask yourself what do I actually need and where should I actually be focused. I hope this message was helpful for you. I hope these questions and a little bit tough love. I hope it got a fire under your butt. I mean, pun intended, that you're starting to think a little bit more and you're thinking more like a business owner, thinking less like a chasing the shiny object syndrome, thinking like an employee. We all go through that transition.
If I called you out a little bit today, know that I did it with love because I know you have a damn good message to share with the world. You're here because you want to become more magnetic with your voice. You want people to hear your message not because you want to be a big deal. It's cool that you do. I do too. But you know your message will make an impact and make the world a better place. And as cheesy as that sounds, it's true. And that's what I'm here for and that's why I push you every single week on this show.
I hope that it was helpful. If it was, friend, do me a solid. Would you please head over and rate and subscribe to the show, leave a review, all the things. It would mean the world to me. If you're watching the show, we're now casting to YouTube. If you've been a listener of the audio podcast just know you can also start watching the show and actually see me here talking to camera with my crazy freakin hand gestures, now live on YouTube. You can get the link to that in the show notes. If you're watching on YouTube, brand new channel. I'm so glad you're here. Be sure to subscribe. And again, you can download and subscribe to the podcast by clicking the link below.
Alright friends, I hope this was helpful. And hey, if you are trying to share your message in a bigger way, be sure to check out my latest free training