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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.

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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