Client Kudos: How a Yoga Teacher is Making Mental Health Less Taboo

Click image to read article about Mandy GivenMandy Given has one of those stories.

Heart-wrenching. Courageous. Moving. Inspirational.

TRANSFORMATIONAL.

It’s no accident the fates brought us together.

Mandy is a mom. She’s a business owner. And she’s a fearless messenger.

When we met in the fall, she suspected that her story needed to be tightened up & positioned strategically. She also knew she wanted a more professional sounding & looking website.

As we worked together, it became clear that in addition to a powerful story that would connect to potential clients, she had a message that would benefit the 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders.

That is a story worth pitching to the press, & Mandy was game.

Earlier this year, Mandy landed placements with her local paper & the local CBS radio affiliate in Boston, the country’s 8th largest media market (click the links to read the article & hear the spot). And she’s just getting started.

Here’s why it worked, & how you can do this too.

  • Clarity around message & story. Mandy came to me with her story so I could help her turn it into its most concise & compelling version. From there, we shaped & re-purposed it for different channels including her website & media pitches.
  • Media connections. I love it when clients like Mandy already have connections with journalists, That’s half the battle because if a journalist already knows, trusts & likes you AND you have a great pitch, getting placed happens fast & easy. You don’t need to have existing connections or relationships to get publicity. If you want more tips on how to start making your own connections check out my interview on The Carrie Roldan Show.
  • Craft a media-worthy pitch. Pitching the media is part art, part psychology. There are plenty of free resources on my blog (like this one & this one) & others (check out The Publicity Hound — better than a PR degree!) to help you pull your own pitch together. Or you can just hire someone & be done with it.  Here’s the email pitch I wrote for Mandy’s CBS contact — in less than an hour.

What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Hi <first name>,I’m Mandy Given and I’m the owner of Govinda Yoga Play, where I help children in grades 4-12 throughout Greater Boston & North Shore better cope with the stress of these uncertain times and the daily dilemmas of modern society. I’ve listened to your show and I believe I’d be a great guest for your audience.

Proposed Topic: What every parent should know about how to help a child with anxiety

Did you know that anxiety affects 25% of US children ages 13-18 (SOURCE: National Institute of Mental Health)? At the same time, anxiety is highly treatable yet only 20 percent of children suffering with anxiety receive treatment. Parents of children with anxiety can help ease their child’s worries, and it doesn’t always have to be with the use of powerful prescription drugs.

As a guest on your show, I propose discussing the following points:

  • How families can experience more peace & happiness in spite of these turbulent times
  • Simple, drug-free techniques anyone can use to change our chemical response to stress
  • How to avoid the dangers of your child, you or any loved one being misdiagnosed & over-medicated from the perspective of a parent with anxiety

Many of your listeners may struggle with anxiety or have a child or loved who struggles with it. They may not know that easy-to-learn techniques and alternative solutions to pharmaceuticals are available.

I’ve recently been interviewed by my local newspaper (Marblehead Reporter) and my goal is to deliver an informative interview for your audience. I’d be happy to provide you with sample interview questions at your request, as well as come into the studio should you decide to do a segment on this timely topic.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Mandy Given

xxx-xxx-xxxx

name@emailprovider.com

(I’ll break down this pitch with footnotes in another post but in the meantime study, rob & duplicate this format for your own topic & pitch. Or book a consult with me if you want me to take care of it for you.)

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. For goodness sake, DO NOT wing an interview with the press. Figure out your talking points & practice. Mandy & I sculpted the most meaningful & succinct points, then hopped on the phone to review & mock interview. If you’ve never done a media interview and you plan to make media relations a key branding & marketing strategy, get media training.
  • Re-purpose your media placements. It’s exciting to be in the press. High-five yourself. Not many people have the balls, tenacity or organization to reach out to the media. Share your news! Your co-workers, clients, partners, friends & family will be excited for you. Link to your press from your website. Add an “As Featured In” section to your homepage & include the logo of the media outlet. Post it on your Facebook timeline & business page. Print out the actual article, blow it up to poster size, laminate it & hang it on your office wall. Go for it, you deserve to toot your own horn.

So if you’ve got a newsworthy story to tell . . . I challenge you to reach out to the media.

If you need help pulling together a PR strategy & concise, compelling press materials, book a complimentary consultation so we can discuss what’s possible for you!

You’re Elevator Pitch Sounds Goofy (Here’s How to Sound Like the Real & Outstanding You)

Entrepreneurs have been asking me lately how to introduce themselves and their businesses. Essentially, how to deliver an elevator pitch without rambling or clamming up while sounding like the REAL you.

I break it down for you in today’s video and I challenge you to try it on for size.

There’s an optional element — The Call to Action — that I will sometimes use ONLY when it feels right. I don’t include it in the video but this BONUS section is simply inviting someone to take the next step with you. For example, “If you’d like to learn more, you can . . .” and add a free offer — “schedule a complimentary consultation” or “request my daily affirmations”.

What’s your “Free to Be Me” introduction? Share it in the comments below. 

When you don’t want to tell your story (& what to do about it)

I didn’t want to tell it.

There I was in front of 50 woman, standing on a dark stage because the lights had eerily gone out moments before. As I began to tell my story . . . alone, in the dark, completely exposed, I felt just like the child and young woman I was speaking about. Small. Scared. Wanting to be anywhere but there.

Then, poof, the lights flashed back on . . . and I froze.

Alone, lights blaring, completely exposed.

I forgot what I wanted to say next so I didn’t say a word for what seemed like two cycles at a stop light (think very dramatic pause).

Life is going to throw curve balls at you. You will feel resistance around telling your story. First, know that this is NORMAL! Then check out the video for some powerful insights to help you tell it anyway.

What pieces of your story sometimes feel like a burden to you or (worse) your audience? Let us know in the comments so we can breakthrough that resistance once and for all. 

3 Essential Questions You Must Ask (& Answer) for More Ease & Profits in Your Coaching Business

My sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Straube had a wise-cracking catch phrase that I’ll never forget and has unexpectedly served me well in my business.

“Who am I? Where am I? Why am I here?”

I’ve learned that these three questions are more than just a way to get sixth-graders to stop their tomfoolery. In fact, these three questions – and your answers to them – can make the difference between struggle and ease, failure and success when it comes to your business.

Whether you’re a new or experienced business owner, if you’re feeling like there’s no thought, strategy or consistency behind your brand, take some time today to think deeply about the answers to these questions.

Who am I?

In business, you need to be able to clearly articulate who you serve (market) and what you do for them (niche). Sounds easy, but nailing your position in the marketplace has less to do with a SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and everything to do with what motivates you, the unique way you see the world and how you want the world to see you.

When Derek Halpern launched Social Triggers, he got featured on almost every major blog with a conversion site review video and said the same thing on all those videos. Why? Because not only does he know who he is and what makes him special, unique & precious, he’s intent on shaping what he wants people to think about him and his company. As a result, he’s emblazoned in our minds as Derek Halpern, the Conversion Guy who talks about marketing & psychology. In order to shape what people think of you, you need to first know who you are.

Where am I?

If you don’t know where you are or where you want to be, you’ll continue to wander about aimlessly. Wandering in itself is not so bad, it’s the aimless part that can be the stinker in your business.

When I was getting married, I planned my wedding in reverse. I started with the destination and got crystal clear about what I wanted my dream day to look like. I brainstormed all the things that needed to be true in order to make that vision a reality. With calendar in hand, working backwards from the wedding date, I sketched out the plan.

It’s the same process when it comes to planning out your business. If you’re not satisfied with where you are today, don’t start at today. Because when you do, it feels like your standing at the Mt. Everest base camp. Go to the peak first. Psychologically it feels smoother, easier and (often) faster to shoosh down the mountain than plod up it.

Why am I here?

Why . . . the most powerful and confounding question of all. Very few people are born knowing their why. If you have zero connection to why you do the work (or anything) you do, stop reading right now and ask yourself what you are NOT doing that gives you more meaning, joy and fulfillment?

If you have an inkling of why you’re here but it feels murky and elusive, how would you like more clarity so that you can get focused, achieve the results you desire (clients, cash, changing the world) and really step into your purpose?

 Get clear NOW

Because until you are clear, your message is unclear, your value is unclear and the response you get is less than spectacular. On the other hand, when you are clear about your brand, about your story, about what you stand for and how you want to represent yourself . . . great things start to happen.

  1. Your message and value are immediately obvious to everyone you meet
  2. You have personality, which creates an emotional connection with people
  3. You speak your truth, which makes you memorable to your audience
  4. You stand out as a leader in your niche, which attracts new opportunities, more exposure and more money
  5. You dramatically increase your visibility, which makes it easier for you to reach more and more of your ideal clients

Without this kind of precise clarity your brand – and therefore your business – will be weak. You’ll be forgettable. You’ll struggle to charge what you’re worth. You’ll have to work harder to market and sell yourself. It’ll take much longer to develop a loyal, enthusiastic fan base.

If you want to create that clarity NOW, join me and my colleague Heather Poduska as we take you step-by-step in creating a powerful & true brand.

You’ll get started as SOON as you enroll:

  • You will have instant access to the entire program!
  • We’ll reveal to you exactly how to nail down who you are and why you do the work you do (HINT: This has to do with your powerfully unique story and point of view)
  • We’ll also will take you through the nine steps for creating an irresistible signature talk that you can use over and over again to create profitable preview calls and speaking appearances.

This is the SAME material we taught during our Stage Ready Brand Bootcamp to help our members launch their brands and fill their programs and coaching practices. Now you can learn the steps to creating a stage-ready brand and put this valuable information into practice at your own pace. Check out the details here.

 

It’s not Bragging, it’s Authentic Self-Promotion

beseenSometimes we think of self-promotion as a dirty word, but let me ask you this . . . who is the person who cares most about your success?

You!

And yet so many people tell me, “I hate marketing myself/my business.” Now, it’s fine if you dislike doing marketing activities as long as you get help with it or pass it on to someone else. But when most people say this to me, what they really mean is “I hate talking about myself/my business.”

I get it. I’ve spent years thinking “I don’t want to intrude” or “no one wants to hear what I have to say” or “I’m the only one who cares about this”. Thankfully I’m recovered from that nasty little habit.

So let’s do something fun for a moment. Let’s pretend you are Steve Jobs.

You’re tooling around in your garage, designing and creating something called a personal computer that, although you don’t know it yet, will change history and lives forever. You’ve shared your creation with friends and family and they’re amazed. But now it’s time to take it to the masses. Except you’ve got a problem. The idea of taking a stand for this invention gives you the willies. It means standing in the spotlight. It means explaining why you made this thing and what your vision is for it. It means getting behind your work day in and day it. And, you didn’t sign up for that right?

WRONG!

“But Jobs was a marketing machine,” you’re saying. Yes, yes he was. Because he believed so deeply in his vision. If you’ve read his biography, you also know that Jobs was pretty quirky and not equipped with the best social graces. What if he’d let that stand in his way? What if the Apple computer never came to be? What if Steve Jobs opted to just keep tinkering in his garage?

Someone else would’ve come up with the personal computer instead. And by stepping up, they would’ve gotten the rewards. Or, perhaps the words Mac,  iPod, iPad or iPhone wouldn’t even be part of our vocabulary.

To paraphrase the Father of Advertising David Ogilvy: Unless you TALK ABOUT your big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.

In other words, if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will. That’s because it’s you who cares the most and who has the most stake in your business. So if you think talking up your business is akin to playing dirty, now’s a good time to clean up the story you’ve been telling yourself about marketing and promotion.

The beauty of business in today’s world is that consumers are hot for authenticity. That means you don’t have to be Steve Jobs. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself. Yes, you still have to market and promote but you can do it in a way that’s natural for you, especially when you’ve built the foundation of your business around an attractive and authentic brand.

What will you do today to make sure you’re seen & heard? Let me know in the comments below.

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