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Success Advice

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.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way



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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy



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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds



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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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