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5 Things I Learned From Pitching Top Publications

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Everyone can publish a post on Facebook, go live on Instagram, or record a Youtube video. While social media is making out to be a serious business for experts and influencers around the globe, there is nothing that says “I am the expert” as much as a feature in a top magazine.  

There is still a certain mystery about traditional media; they are a bit of a closed club with no clear membership guidelines. During the last 4 years, I pitched and placed stories in multiple media outlets from top tier magazines like Forbes and Entrepreneur to national TV like NBC. 

Here are a few things I learned that would hopefully help you to share your expertise using the power of media:

1. No one cares if you are a best-selling author

Neither do they care about your “top-rated app” or “new exciting startup.” The number of your reviews or rankings alone are not a good foundation for an interesting story. Sure, that’s an important achievement for you. However, asking a journalist to feature you solely on the basis of being a best-selling author won’t do. You have to dig deeper. 

Imagine you are on a plane about to take off for a 4-hour flight. Next to you is a stranger starting a conversation. If you open with a list of your achievements, that will likely just be awkward. Instead, what if you get to know your seat neighbor, and when the moment is right to tell them about a book you’ve published or company you’ve built, you might be in for a long and interesting conversation. Journalists don’t care about your list of achievements, but they do want to hear from people who lived through some outstanding experiences and lived to tell the tale. 

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt 

2. This is a place where your degree finally matters

While employers no longer care about where you went to school and which diploma you are holding, the media still does. Every journalist and editor that holds a value of objectivity would make sure to find at least a few original sources for their article. They would often look for studies, personal interviews, and some expert opinions. And how do they know someone is an expert? Diplomas, certificates, and other proof of your knowledge come in handy. 

You are much more likely to be quoted by a journalist if you hold any of those official certifications. Just send your short bio to a few journalists covering topics in your area and ask them to put you on file, so they come to you next time when they need a source. 

Pro tip: Editors appreciate diverse sources. So, even if a journalist already featured your competition, you can still get a spot in the next article.

3. Find a new angle to something that’s already widely discussed

One of my favorite techniques is called “stupid majority.” There is a great TEDx talk about it by Jerry Silfwer. He suggests that one of the best ways to get your message across is to debunk a popular belief. 

For example, about 30 years ago, the general public believed that fat was one of the unhealthiest food types, with a large body of studies of links between cholesterol and heart disease. The “stupid majority” already had an awareness of the topic. Here enters the “smart minority,” telling us that it isn’t all that easy. In fact, there are “good fats,” which are essential for your nutrition. Where there is already an existing conversation, it’s easier to enter with some new facts, examples, and studies, rather than trying to pitch a whole new topic never discussed before.

In your industry, ask yourself what are some things that everyone believes and you know is wrong? 

4. Know who you are pitching: Contributors vs staff writers

It goes without saying that before contacting anyone with a cold pitch, you should do your research. Apart from analyzing their topics, style, and area of interests, it’s important to understand what their primary reason for being a writer is. 

There are 2 main types:

Staff writers are paid to write. They have weekly and daily quotas for the number of articles they should turn out. In the reality of today’s media, one staff writer might be covering a spread of different topics and need to stay on top of many of them. Point out a new trend or research when contacting them – it might be a great start.

Contributors and freelance writers usually do writing on the side. Often, those are entrepreneurs with primary business outside of the media platform. They often use media platforms to position themselves and sometimes, to promote their services. They only publish when they find something really exciting, as there are no minimum requirements for them. With contributors, it would help to build some personal connections first and show them how a conversation with you might support their needs.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

5. The Media moves fast. So should you

When you’ve been sending pitches and finally get a “yes” or even a “maybe,” you have to be ready to follow up with more information very quickly. We are talking hours, not days. Stories move quickly and often being picked for an article comes down to sending the right information at the right time. If you follow a few reporters, you’ll see they sometimes turn out a few stories a day and the best way to respect their work is by giving them accurate information fast.

Media exposure can provide an enormous advantage when it comes to attracting investors to your startup or establishing your authority as a personal brand. Keep these tips handy when you start building relationships with the writers. 

Have you ever tried to be featured in other top publication sources? If so, what did you do? Share your stories with us below!

My name is Natasha Zo. I’m a media relations specialist, artist, and salsa enthusiast. For me all these career paths of mine boil down to one core interest: I love to meet people, discover stories that are worth sharing and help those people to be heard. I’ve helped multiple authors and entrepreneurs to score that Amazon bestseller title and amplify their message through the power of media. Currently, I’m running a PR agency that helps wellness thought leaders to raise their expert status by building a media presence.

Success Advice

5 Smart Goals to Make This Year Your Most Successful Ever

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Setting goals at the start of the year means you will know exactly what you need to do throughout the year to be successful. By setting goals, it forces you to build a plan about how you intend to achieve those goals. By having a plan in place, you will wake up every morning with a clear idea of what it is you need to do each day. Just by writing down your goals, there is a 42% greater chance you will achieve those goals than if they just stayed in your head. It may seem like a small thing but actually creating goals every year and then writing them down significantly improves your chances of success. (more…)

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7 Ways to Face Adversity Using the Power of Extreme Ownership

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Adversity is an inevitable part of our lives, and it is an important and defining factor of our personal story. The stories we build for ourselves in the face of adversity will either empower or discourage us emotionally, help us move forward or remain stuck in the past, allow us to grow or to decline. (more…)

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Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence

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Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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