CSG 93 | Boosting Visibility

 

Connie’s motivational quote for today is by Ronn Torossin: “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”

 

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/TkH0N9dlPnY

 

Check Out These Highlights:

It’s funny how important PR is to any business, and yet for me, I feel like I don’t fully understand the many outlets that exist, how to tap into the correct platforms or resources, and lastly how to stand out and remain relevant for the long game. Being an expert in sales is a far cry from understanding, let alone being a PR expert.

 

About Lynette Hoy

Lynette is the founder of Firetalker PR.  We are going to discuss how we can all start showing up to get seen and heard in the industry we serve.

It is about going after the right media, so we can reach our ideal client through interviews that count. But where do we begin? Lynette will lead us!

Since 1994 Lynette Hoy has practiced public relations in different capacities inclusive of founding her firm Firetalker PR, 11 years ago.

The “fire chief” has worked with organizations like the National Institutes of Health, and the American Cancer Society to put their products, services, and events on the map. In the profit sector, Lynette has turned C-suite executives into speakers and thought leaders featured in major media including CNN, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine, and Fortune Magazine, to name a few. A fiery connector and idea generator, her work increases the bottom line!

 

How to Get in Touch With Lynette Hoy: 

Email: lynette@firetalkerpr.com

Website: https://www.firetalkerpr.com

Free Gift: 20 Tips to Get Visible Starting Now, https://www.igniteyourvisibility.com

 

Stalk me online!

LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/conniewhitman

Download Free Communication Style Assessment: https://www.changingthesalesgame.com/communication-style-assessment

All-Star Community: https://changingthesalesgame.mykajabi.com/All-Star-Community

 

Subscribe and listen to the Changing the Sales Game Podcast on your favorite podcast streaming service or on YouTube.  New episodes post every week – listen to Connie dive into new sales and business topics or problems you may have in your business.

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Lynette Hoy – 3 Uncommon Ways To Boost Visibility And Profitability

As you read this blog, if you do not feel my passion for the word sales that we’re shifting, where we’re doing that big mindset shift from that icky, sleazy manipulation to one of love, care and respect, that’s what I’m all about. I hope you feel my passion to help you on your journey of change. I do have my gift, which is my Communication Style Assessment. Find out how you are perceived in the world. That is your natural superpower.

You will also get a secondary report from me showing your lowest score, which is your blind spot and that is what is even more magical to learn about so you could show up in a bigger, better way. Also, have a tool to navigate through that perspective. Changing the sales game, that word sales, no more icky, sleazy. It’s all about love, care and respect.

This episode’s quote or topic is to get you guys in the zone of what we’re going to discuss. The quote is by Ronn Torossian. He says, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology and lawyering. It’s an ever-changing and always interpreting landscape.” It’s funny to me because I know how important PR is to any business and yet for me, I feel like I don’t fully understand the many outlets that exist and how to tap into those correct platforms or resources for me and my business. Lastly, how to stand out and remain relevant. Not only the short game. We’re always in this for the long game. How do we stay relevant over a long period?

Being an expert in sales is a far cry from understanding, let alone being a PR expert. I’m bringing you an expert. In this episode, Lynette Hoy and I are going to speak about PR stuff. Lynette is the Founder of Firetalker PR. She is a fire talker. You’re going to love her. We’re going to discuss how we can all start showing up to get seen and heard in the industry that we all serve. It is about going after the right media so we can reach out to our ideal client through interviews that count but where do we begin? Lynette’s going to lead us there because I am not the leader on this one.

Since 1994, Lynette has practiced public relations in different capacities, including the founding of her firm, Firetalker PR many years ago. The Fire Chief has worked with organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society to put their product services and events on the map. In the profit sector, Lynette has turned C-Suite execs into speakers and thought leaders featured in major media, including CNN, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine and Fortune Magazine and that’s to name a few. A fiery connector and an idea generator, her work increases the bottom line. Welcome to the show, Lynette. I’m so happy to have you.

 

CSG 93 | Boosting Visibility

 

Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

It’s always fun hanging out with you. Let’s talk PR. What are the three uncommon ways that we can boost visibility and profitability? What do you think?

I believe that it starts with those things that people don’t spend time on and don’t think about. One of those is an online media kit or press kit. The next one is the press room. Where do we house this beautiful thing? Where do we put all of our interviews? Where do we put our pictures and downloadable press-approved images? Where do we put all the things and the deals that go into a press room? Lastly, creativity. We don’t think about creativity when it comes to putting stories together and what that looks like. It’s a real mix of wonderful things that can make all the difference.

I like the idea of a media room and I have a media kit. It has downloadable stuff so it’s easy-peasy when I’m on someone’s podcast. For the show we do, you had filled out my form and there are disclaimers and all sorts of things. However, for someone who wants to check you out, this media room that you’re talking about, would that have all of the podcasts that I’ve been on and all of the speaking events or do you pick and choose your favorites? I would imagine it would be overwhelming for anybody to have to look through all of those videos.

I like to call it press room because of what it tells people that are visiting your site and want to learn more about you. “How credible is this person?” First of all, most About pages on our websites don’t cut it. They’re short and sweet. They give a flavor of who you are. In the press room, that’s where the meat and potatoes begin to show up.

CSG 93 | Boosting Visibility
Boosting Visibility: People who visit your site want to learn more about you and see if you’re credible.

 

When we’re talking about what you’re suggesting about only having X number of podcast interviews, television interviews or radio interviews, that’s true to some extent but the whole premise behind it is credibility. If you only put a few podcasts in there and you’re behind on maybe adding the other 15 or 20, you want to have a minimum of 20 because it speaks volumes to your credibility.

If you’ve been on television 3, 4 or 5 times, you want to have those in there. You want to have where people can click and watch you doing your thing. They’re not going to listen to all of them. They’re going to choose the top three on the list. You always want the best of the best at the top 3 or 4 but you want that list. You start it off with icons.

With all of our podcasts, we have the square icon, the artwork that represents the podcast. You want to showcase those because we love visuals. If you have your top three and it’s represented by the artwork, the box, the 150 x 150 or whatever it is, below that, you’ve got links. The way you would do that is to say, “To listen to additional interviews, click below,” or something similar to that. People will know, “She’s been interviewed on all these podcasts.” It’s a big deal.

I would think it would be a big deal for a podcast host because if you have this living breathing page and it’s updated constantly, it’s exposure for the podcast, the show or whatever it is that you’ve been on. You’re advertising for them every time somebody clicks in and goes to that media page. There is a little bit of reciprocity in there as well, I would think.

Absolutely. The place that it goes in the press room is under quick links. You want to have a podcast link. If you have a podcast and that goes to a different page on your website, it houses all the lines of artwork. You don’t always want to have just links because it’s not attractive. It doesn’t show who, what, where and all of those fun things as to who’s being interviewed. Not only do you have the audio but on your website, you’ve got links to your YouTube, if you’re showcasing it on YouTube.

You can also add your show notes there because you and I both know that so often on iTunes or wherever we have an MP3 in there but you don’t get the opportunity to have the show notes. You can have them on YouTube but to also have them on your website is glorious. Not everybody’s going to go to YouTube for a podcast where in their minds they’re thinking audio.

This platform then becomes a multimedia resource in essence. Somebody could scan through the show notes or the transcriptions of the show. They can listen to the show if they’re traveling and the visuals are there. I would imagine showing the depth of your ability, credibility and how many times you’re being asked or requested to be on these different shows. It’s robust. That was the word I was thinking as you were describing it. It’s a very robust almost calling card as to the depth of who you are beyond the About Us page.

It helps you stand out. How many speakers are out there that focus on business or wellness or living a better life? There are so many that you get lost in the wash. Especially if you’re a coach, you need to stand out from the rest. If you have a podcast, that’s a big credibility factor but there’s also where you’ve been interviewed and showcased. It gives people almost a little microsite within your website where they can go and see how extensive your expertise goes.

I’m an organizational freak. That one page or one link makes it so easy for people to get a vibe of who you are. I want to share a story. I’ve been asked to speak at a banker’s conference. My corporate clients are banks. I was invited to speak and the guy didn’t know me. I said to him, “I want to send you my speaker’s reel so you get a vibe of who I am.” There was money involved if they are paying me or not paying me. I was like, “No, I want to get paid.”

I was the sight unknown. I was referred. He invited me but he was like, “We’re going to test you.” I sent my speakers reel and in less than two minutes, he responded, “We’d happily pay for it.” That’s the difference between having something queued up and organized like you’re talking about versus, “What do I do?” I’m scrambling to put something together. It matters.

These little steps that you’re talking about matter big time for us to show up big because we’re big. We want to show up big and what you’re describing allows us to do that. Here’s another question. You’re mentioning visibility, depth of knowledge and expertise. Why all of a sudden I feel like visibility is such a hot topic? Has something changed?

What’s changed is the virtual world. Many of us are speaking virtually. We’re on virtual stages. Your speaker reels got to include you being a speaker virtually. This is because we’re not getting on stages as much. This is going to come back. You need to up the ante on your visibility online because the fact that we’re not on live stages and in front of hundreds of people makes a big difference in terms of visibility.

Here’s another reason why. During 2020, there is the Great Resignation that began, as you recall and it’s still in motion. It’s crazy. First of all, the Small Business Administration together with Pew Research did a great deal of outreach and found out that 48% of those that were leaving their jobs were starting their businesses.

Visibility becomes an enormous piece of what’s got to be part of your professional profile so that you can stand out. How many of those companies are going to last five years? We don’t know but we’re in the midst of it. Many of these people are coming from extreme professional backgrounds and they’re not going to mess around. They know how to jump in and make things happen.

Visibility becomes an enormous piece of what's got to be part of your professional profile so that you can stand out. Click To Tweet

Everybody’s sick of COVID, pivoting and all of this other stuff but here’s the reality. We all had time to reset, rethink and reconfigure not only our personal lives but our professional lives. That’s why that number as staggering as it sounds, I’m not surprised because people all of a sudden thought, “Wait a minute. I could work remotely. We’re so digitally versed that it’s not such a foreign concept. This technology isn’t as scary as it was a few years ago.” That is what’s propelling all of this forward. You’re right. That’s a good answer because of the visibility piece, you have all this noise out there. How do you rise above it?

You have players coming to the market that were execs. They know how to get stuff done. They know visibility is important. “I got to do it. I’ll put the money towards it.” It’s fascinating the next few years what’s going to happen because the technology is amping up. Let’s face it, Lynette. We could do great videos. I created a mini-course for a summit I’m in as a VIP gift and I don’t have it offered anywhere else. I did it for the summit. I did it in five hours. I created it. My VA edited it. It was done easy-peasy and it was on Zoom. The quality is great. I have a Mac but with the camera and everything, the quality is there.

It’s easy for us to create but here’s the thing. What do we create? How do we create it? What’s going to be relevant? That’s why we need experts like you. It’s great to think I know it all. I started my intro like, “I don’t know this stuff.” That’s why I have friends like you who are able to come on the show and guide the people that are following me. I’ve heard that every one of us does public relations. Are we all pros at it or are there varying levels of how good we are at that public relations stuff?

First of all, public relations is a vast industry. Like a golf umbrella with all the pretty stripes, every stripe represents a different aspect of the industry and how people can get involved with it. For example, there’s corporate PR, crisis PR and all sorts of different areas. When we’re thinking about all this, the big piece is that public relations mean we are all public relations pros because we are consistently relating with the public. If you’re not trained in PR or you haven’t been working in the industry, you’re certainly not an expert. I would not go alone. I would get some training from someone like me to get started and get the basics so that you can move forward.

The thing to remember is there are different types of publics in public relations. There’s your internal public and external public. Your internal public that we have to remember to serve is our family because as an entrepreneur, for example, your family is involved. They’re directly affected by you as an entrepreneur. There are also our employees, virtual assistants and other employees if we have a virtual business that is across the country, if not around the world. We’ve got our current clients and vendors. All of these people are affected by what we do.

There’s the external public and that’s everybody else. That’s your future clients. That’s everybody on Facebook, Instagram and all the social media platforms. It’s vast. How we communicate has everything to do with how we relate to the public. We’re all PR people at the end of the day. It’s critically important when you’re a business owner to stay away from politics, religion and topics that are extremely controversial. You can ixnay yourself out of getting publicity like you wouldn’t believe.

CSG 93 | Boosting Visibility
Boosting Visibility: We’re all PR people at the end of the day. It’s critically important when you’re a business owner to stay away from politics, religion, and other topics that are extremely controversial.

 

For example, let’s say you’re doing your own thing and you’ve got the foundation for doing PR. You’ve been doing a lot of political judgment and running people down that don’t vote like you do and all of the things. What happens is this. The media does their homework. If you are taking sides or you’re blurting out all of this stuff on your social media platforms and the media does their homework and they see that you’re doing this, they don’t want to interview you. It’s huge.

In things like this, people that are not versed in PR get stuck and hurt. They don’t understand why they’re not getting any publicity. Sometimes someone will call you back and say, “I’m sorry but your opinions on your social media platforms are not something that we are accepting within our media. We’re going to have to decline to bring you on the show,” or whatever it is. You get lucky if they tell you. 9 times out of 10, they hit the delete button after they do their research.

It’s fascinating because I am appalled. I don’t know if maybe that’s too strong of a word but more and more, I am seeing on Facebook, the business owners that I’m connected with because of business and rants about whatever’s going on. I have to tell you, I block them and I won’t do business with them. Everybody should have their opinion, beliefs and values. I commend you for being passionate about your opinions but with business, we have to be very cautious in how we share our opinion.

I like how you said the political and religious. They’re two hot topics. The vaccine for COVID is another hot button that in my training personally in my groups, we don’t have conversations about because it becomes heated. People end up disliking each other or something ridiculous. “It doesn’t matter whether you believe in the vaccine or not. It doesn’t matter what I believe. You do what honors you. I do what honors me. We shouldn’t have a conversation about it.”

I’m seeing more businesses or celebrities using their platforms to preach to people. As a business owner, that’s not my platform. When I’m teaching, it’s always about sales, service, communication, podcasting or something that I know I’m good at and I can help people get good at. It doesn’t matter what my political or religious views are. We have to be cautious with that. I didn’t even think about it because I’m in Switzerland. I’m neutral with that stuff because I don’t use my business platforms or business voice to profess my beliefs but I never even thought about that.

I remember when my kids were in high school and I kept saying, “Watch what you’re putting out on social media because you’re going to be in college. When you go for that first job, they’re going to vet you out.” If you have pictures out there that are borderline inappropriate, who’s going to hire you? It’s the same thing we’re talking about. Everybody sees everything. We have to be careful and make sure that the message we’re sending out is consistent. Is that pretty much what you’re saying?

Some people won’t post about politics and getting too personal, COVID or religion on their business pages but they go gangbusters on their personal pages. Just because you send it to your friends and you’re not making your posts public, they can be found. You have to remember that many members of the media also have access to what we’ve all heard about as the dark web. This is where they can dig in and find out more information about you. Also, potential clients. We don’t want to ixnay ourselves away from people that need us because they don’t like how we think. All too often, these things get found on the internet.

It’s your personal page, I get it but people are following you. You have to be cautious. It’s the same advice I gave my kids and myself. My clients are pretty cool that they understand the boundaries. We’re talking about boundaries here. Another question, Lynette. For everybody reading, what are some practical tips for getting started with the media? How do I know if I should be on podcasts or something else? How do I know what media to go for?

First of all, podcasts are a wonderful way to get your feet wet. You want to focus on the podcasts that are just starting because they don’t have a wide audience yet and they need people to interview. It’s like a training ground. You have the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes and find out where your strengths and weaknesses are when you’re being interviewed.

Podcasts are a wonderful way to get your feet wet. You have the opportunity to make a lot of mistakes and find out where your strengths and weaknesses are when you're being interviewed. Click To Tweet

Also, getting training. It’s so critical to get training and it’s so easy to find great experts out there that know how to train you. Even for me, I do a lot of media training and it has to do with how you show up on camera, how your audio is or what your background is like. All of that is huge when we’re learning about podcasts but it can be learned and you can get out there faster.

The other thing that I love to tell people about and this is something that should be listed in uncommon ways as well is doing your media research. People think, “How am I supposed to find the right writer in Entrepreneur Magazine,” or whatever the case may be. It starts with consuming media. A lot of people don’t want to do it but the long and short of it is if you want to get interviewed and get that publicity that exponentially grows your business, you got to consume.

Part of that is consuming the right media, that ideal avatar. The way to do that is how you search. You start with those platforms where you want to be focused or interviewed. If you want to get quoted or get a feature with Entrepreneur Magazine, you want to find out who’s writing features, what are they writing them on and who’s doing quotes. Who’s writing about my expertise?

If you want to get interviewed and get the publicity that exponentially grows your business, you’ve got to consume the right media. Click To Tweet

How you do that is you go to the internet and let’s say you are into video production. You would say, “Video production and Entrepreneur Magazine.” What’s going to pop up are articles that are written by entrepreneurs that have a focus on video production in all of its facets. You start learning by reading those articles, who is a fit for you? Who writes like someone that you could pair up with and do a feature or do a Q&A? That’s another place that the online media kit comes in because as part of the online media kit, you do a Q&A.

I teach people how to do that effectively because when you find that media person that does a lot of features and we’ve all seen them, how many features do a Q&A? There are so many. You’re interested in this person. You follow them. You want to comment on their articles. You want to find out where they hang out on social media. I can tell you likely it’s going to be Twitter. That’s where the media goes. You want to be patient.

Sometimes the person writing the article will say, “Thanks for your comments.” Sometimes they’ll say nothing. You want to keep doing that. When they realize that you are following them, you’re commenting on what they’re writing about and you’re being thoughtful about it, not just, “Great article,” that’s not going to get you anywhere. You want to pull pieces of that article out and make thoughtful comments about what you’re reading. You’re building a relationship with someone in the media that you want to get interviewed by. I can guarantee you, over time, it will happen.

It’s persistent and consistent behaviors that you’re talking about and implementing. It starts by becoming a student and consuming the information so you could figure out, “Who do I want to be interviewed by? Whose show do I want to be on? What magazine do I want to be in?” We have to do a little bit of recon to get in there.

There are two comments I want to make. One is you said to be coached so that you can move the needle faster. I remember when I started my podcast. We’ve become friends with the owner because I’ve been podcasting for many years. When I first started, one of the first times she coached me, she said, “Connie, it’s the New Jersey Show.” I laughed because I said, “Who do you think I know? I only know people from New Jersey. I don’t know how to meet people outside of New Jersey to have on my show.”

I don’t know if you believe in the universal laws, the source and all of that. I’m a big fan. I remember at night I would share with my husband after she coached me and I go, “It’s the Jersey show. I don’t know what to do.” He goes, “What are you going to do?” I go, “I threw up my hands and told the universe, ‘Can you bring me some people outside in New Jersey, please?’” I was joking. Do you know that within two weeks, all of a sudden these PR firms started finding me because podcasting started to become a thing? This was decades ago but it was cool because the universe answered.

The cooler thing was all of a sudden, I had somebody from the UK and Hawaii. Here’s the thing. I wouldn’t even have known to look for that. What did I know? I hadn’t been podcasting. We need coaches. That was the second comment I wanted to make. I am a stubborn Italian. I had a media kit and a speaker’s reel. I’m just not that smart. Somebody told me to hire a coach. They’re like, “You need to do this and that.” They gave me some pointers to do it. We need people like you because we don’t know what we don’t know.

The online media kit is typically a download. You break out the pages within your online media kit inside the press room on your website. However, the thing that I find gets lost in the wash is the level of professionalism that needs to go into an online media kit is off the charts. If you’re putting your press-approved photos in your online media kit, you’re losing some gusto because that should be the written portion. There are certain things that go into it.

Your downloadable pictures and some of these other things go in the press room. They’re there. The media can go and download it right then and there. They don’t have to read the online media kit if they don’t want to. The whole goal is that we are here to serve the media, not the other way around. Many people get caught up in that, “I’m an expert. They want to interview me.” We’re here to serve the media. It’s their writing and interviewing that boosts our expertise and credibility. They make the choice that people want to make in terms of who they want to work with.

CSG 93 | Boosting Visibility
Boosting Visibility: Many people get caught up in that “I’m an expert. They want to interview me” mentality. We’re here to serve the media. It’s their writing and interviewing that boosts our expertise and credibility.

 

“Who would you want to work with?” “Someone that’s getting interviews that’s showcased their expertise or you can listen, watch or read what they’re up to.” You see who they are and what they represent or someone that has nothing on their website other than an About page or a more in-depth bio. That’s all they have. Also, testimonials and so on, which we all need. Who are you going to choose? If it were me, I’m going to go with a person whose expertise is out there in the media and whom I can look up to as well.

We’re out of time but this is so important because the importance of having the right PR can either make or break your website, business or the invite you get. All of this is foundationally supercritical. When I started my business, I didn’t even need a website. The game has changed over the past decade because of the technology and podcasting is a thing.

There are these virtual stages. Everything is getting amped up. If you don’t have the right stuff loaded for easy access for people to vet you out, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. The value of this is crazy. You need more Lynette. I need more Lynette. Email her if you have a specific question. It’s Lynette@FiretalkerPR.com. Go to her website, which is FiretalkerPR.com.

You have a gift for igniting visibility and increasing profitability. In everything that we do, we want to spend money but we want to earn that money. We want the return on time and investment to be exponential. Briefly, tell us what the gift is, the downloadable so everybody understands what the benefit is to them.

It’s IgniteYourVisibility.com. It is a download that encompasses all tips and tactics on what you can do to get going and what you can do to support yourself in your exploration of getting publicity.

It’s easy-peasy. Start with that and then email Lynette and go through some questions you might have for her. You have group coaching programs and you offer a multitude of things. No matter where you are on your journey, Lynette will be able to help you with ease. We all need a little more PR in our life. Lynette, thank you so much for being on and sharing so much good information.

I love the statistics about 48% of open businesses. The noise is going to get greater. How are we going to differentiate? How are you guys going to differentiate you from the other businesses or the other people out there depending on what your role is, if you have a corporate job? We need people like you, Lynette. Thank you so much for being on. I appreciate it. It’s great information.

Thank you very much. It’s been a great pleasure to be here with you.

I enjoyed it. It’s funny because I’m a novice on a topic like this. I am not a PR person at all. I hire people to do it. That’s number one. You got to hire people because we can’t be good at everything. You waste time and you don’t bring in the dollars that you could be bringing in by hiring a PR person. We’re penny-wise dollar foolish. That was the first thing that I learned the hard way. Don’t make the same mistakes that I’ve made. The second thing is the information you’ve given is such a great starting point for us to be mindful and raise our awareness plus the downloadable gift. Thank you so much. It’s a real joy.

Thanks, Connie.

It’s good seeing you.

It’s good seeing you as well.

I hope you’ll join me every episode as we question, build and discover together about sales, whatever your business is or wherever you are in your career. I hope my guests and I provide some tips, strategies and ideas but use them, please. Information is a beautiful thing. If we do nothing with that information, it’s simply information that’s stored in our brains. Take some of the tips and ideas. Start to look at the posts that you’re putting. Are they controversial in any way?

It’s not that we want to be plain vanilla but we want to stay in our lane and not be plain vanilla with our expertise, not our political or religious views. I hope that we have shared some ideas and tips that help you move the needle wherever you are in your business and career. Thank you so much for reading. As always, I am honored to have you on this journey with me and I am honored that you tune in. I hope that you take some of this information, apply it and start to look at your PR presence out there. Make some changes and talk to Lynette. I’ll see you next time. Have a great one, everybody. I love you.

 

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