Growing Pains and Big Lessons

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I’ve been stepping into what it is to be authentic and visible, in spite of and because of my foibles and missing pieces.  That is what authentic visibility is all about.   And if I can’t live that brand, then I am an imposter.   Being an imposter is not an option for me.  So,  with that said, here is some very candid sharing.  

  • Math and technology are really hard for me.
  • Doing time zone conversions is a level of logic that is completely lost on me.
  • I take this whole “get ready” piece so seriously that sometimes, I feel like I pull muscles I don’t even have!
  • I worry what people think about me far more than I should.
  • There is a very narrow and specific zone of brilliance where I do my best work, and there is a very wide zone of mediocrity around other skills that are clearly not my best events.
  • “Going with the flow” has not prior been my preferred operating style.

Over the last few months, things have heated up quite a bit in my life and business, and these foibles and missing pieces have been in plain view.  Everything I don’t do especially well seems to be showing up in an exaggerated way.   And,  I have been giving myself a super hard time about all of it.   I have exhausted myself in the process.

So, today, I am declaring some new mantras to pull me forward, and I would love for you all to be my accountability partners to hold me to them.  Maybe some of these mantras will help you, too, especially if you are reaching higher to make real impact on the world through your work.

  • Isn’t it great that I speak about a topic that attracts thousands of people around the world to listen in and enjoy?
  • How wonderful it is that I need old fashioned clocks displayed on my desk to show me what time it really is Pacific, Central, Mountain and Eastern.
  • I can download the World Time Clock to my cell phone for free and always have confidence that I am getting the details right.
  • I attract perfect partners to extend the reach of my message far and wide, and they are happy to promote me — no matter the outcome.
  • Even though I have specific intentions to invite results, I am open to other and even better outcomes, one and all.
  • I have the courage to just SHOW UP because I know my content inside and out and have a deep desire to be of service to those I am here to help.
  • The story I used to tell about being “Avis” in a world of “Hertz” is not a story I tell about myself anymore.  The heck with trying harder!  It’s time to work smarter.
  • I can roll with things and still connect and contribute to those perfect people who absolutely need my particular brand of magic.
  • “Going with the flow” is my new mantra because that is the best way for more success and joy to show up in my life and work.
  • This journey I am traveling gets to be fun, no matter what happens next.
  • I get to create my own table of dining companions who love what I am serving up and can’t wait for seconds.

Sometimes, you just have to breakdown before you can breakthrough.   I learned this from one of my good friends and mastermind partners Olalah Njenga, and life just keeps on giving me this lesson until I get it right.  And now I am moving forward, full steam ahead, with these ideas to pave the path still ahead.

There are gifts waiting everywhere if we can just have the willingness to see them.   Sometimes they aren’t the gifts you were expecting or reaching toward, and it’s all good if you find the pearl and keep moving forward.  

Today, there is a beautiful necklace of pearls around my neck — a gift from my good friend Tammy Redmon — to remind me that impossible things are happening everyday.  From grains of sand beautiful things emerge.   And the sandbox of life and business gives each and every one of us plenty of opportunity to create castles that are joys to behold and rewarding in priceless ways.

Amen.  Hurray.  And Whew!

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Goldilocks is Grinning at Bio and Branding Wow Options So You Can Get What You Need Now

Personal Branding, Recommended Resources No Comments

You need a message that excites you and causes your ideal clients to pay attention to what you offer.  And,  I’ve been hearing from people around the world who want bio wow now, but they are struggling with scheduling or dollars. Here is the GREAT news.  You have options to meet your needs and budget.  Choose your "just right" way to get what YOU need right now.

  • The Bio and Branding Wow Now Digital Webinar Series and Toolkit guides you step by step to  create your message that will help you stand out and be remembered in a cluttered marketplace so you can make your impact and attract all the attention, clients, and money you want.   We recorded the prior LIVE session of this six-week course and created a digital toolkit that includes all the amazing bio and branding content, the Steeping Hot Seats to showcase the learning, and all of the digital tools to serve as your very helpful guides to get your bio and branding wow now on right now.  Practical value is packed within at a price that makes great business sense.

Bio and Branding Wow Now

  • Add a one-hour Build Your Buzz Strategy Session with me to refine your bio or work on another issue most important to you to build your buzz so you can attract clients, speaking gigs, and media interviews now.  
  • If you want a done for you service, consider your very own Extreme Bio Makeover.   I’ll create a story that will excite you and turn heads among your ideal clients.    This work takes time and heart, and the price point reflects that.  Happy and relieved clients who are tired of wasting their time with less than fabulous stories say it is well worth the investment.  What price do you put on making a fabulous winning impression, 24/7?

I’d love to work with you, so take a look at these options and make your "just right" choice.   I can’t wait to work together in the manner that suits your schedule and budget best.

 

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It’s Back-to-School Branding Day – Post Your Comment for Your Chance to Win Branding for Small Business by Maria Ross

Personal Branding 1 Comment

Is your brand in great shape to rock your business and attract the perfect engagements for you to bring your magic to the marketplace?  If not, take my advice and check out Maria Ross’ new book, “Branding for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget (2010, Norlights Press)

“Maria Ross cuts through the fluff and explains why strong brands are built on customers’ experiences, and not on huge advertising budgets. Ross concisely describes how to mold a meaningful brand, why companies need one, and how a brand should be applied. Complete with real examples from top companies, this book is a roadmap leading small businesses and entrepreneurs in the right direction.”

– Adam Sutton, MarketingSherpa.com

This book is the perfect way to get the 411 on what branding really means and why it matters, follow a 10-step process for discovering your brand, and read some delicious case studies of brands in action.
And, when you post a comment to this blog  today about why you need this book now more than ever, I’ll choose one of you to receive a gift  copy with Maria’s compliments!   Ready, set, post!
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Nancy Shares Tips to Avoid Boring Bios on WILS-AM 1320 Lansing, Michigan

New Audio File to Support Your DIY Publicity Success, Personal Branding No Comments

What fun it is to share tips to avoid boring bios on radio shows well beyond my own Bellevue, WA backyard.   Click on the play button below: [audio:http://authenticvisibility.com/images/10-22-nancy-juetten-bbbbag3.mp3] This will give you immediate access to my interview with WILS-AM 1320 in Lansing, Michigan.  It’s about eight minutes of sassy, memorable conversation to inspire you to write a fabulous bio for yourself that rocks your world.    If you are ready to kick your fuddy-duddy, snoozer bio to the curb and exchange it for one that really rocks, the Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide can show you the way.

And, if you want to share your expertise well beyond your own backyard, check out Radio TV Interview Report.

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Red Slice Founder Maria Ross Shares her HARO Advertising Success, Plus Branding and Advertising Tips

Be Heard, Measuring Results, Personal Branding 1 Comment

This blog is about DIY publicity.  However, publicity combined with other ingredients can create a powerful success recipe for whatever you have brewing in your business.

Help a Reporter Out is a fabulous and free media query service created by Peter Shankman that now boasts over 100,000 loyal subscribers who are interested in getting seen, head, and celebrated in the media.   HARO also offers advertising opportunities to reach these loyal subscribers, and the success stories I’ve read about are certainly compelling.

I wanted to talk to HARO advertisers to get the skinny on what really happens with HARO advertising as the secret sauce.   As luck would have it, Maria Ross, founder of Red Slice and the author of Build Your Own Brand Strategy in 10 Easy Steps — And Why You Need One Now, is a colleague of mine here in the Seattle area.   I asked her to share her success story as a guest blog post.  This blog post is longer than typical, but it is well worth your time.  And, you just might want to link back to it so everyone else in your community can read it, learn from it, and benefit from it.

I wrote my  eBook, How to Build Your Own Brand Strategy in 10 Easy Steps, to

1) help small business owners who couldn’t necessarily afford my consulting services, but needed guidance when embarking on branding to launch/refresh their business and

2) help educate and inspire business owners about what brand really means and help them create good, authentic brands in a sea of mediocrity.

My mission with Red Slice, my branding, marketing and communications consultancy, is to help businesses engage, inform and delight their target audience and keep them coming back for more.

The premise of the eBook is not only to offer a bit of Marketing 101 terminology and clarity, but to explain that brand is the core, the essence of your company. It’s more than just your logo.  That would be like judging a person’s entire complex personality based on their shoes. Your brand is how your receptionist answers the phone, how you price your products (the quality of your products), how easy or difficult you are to do business with, how your store is laid out. It’s not just the visual “logo and website” elements or pretty pictures; it’s the mind share you occupy in people’s brains. What parts of their brains light up when they hear your company name or think of you?

The eBook is a labor of love to help save the world from bad marketing – and to help small business owners save thousands of dollars when working with designers and writers, as well as on investing in the right marketing tactics and opportunities. I constantly see people trying to communicate things visually with their logo, their website, etc. without giving poor designers a clue about WHAT they are trying to communicate and TO WHOM. Also, nothing about what they want visually  – or what marketing tactics they want to do – is consistent with what they offer or the company personality.

Without a map, every road looks like the right one. A $250 booth at an event attracting 5000 people is NOT a bargain if none of those people will buy from you – and I hear that kind of thinking all the time.

I heroically completed the eBook while recovering from brain injury and a long hospitalization, so it was hard work to finish. So once it was up on my website, I knew I had to drive people to it and not waste that effort. I had been subscribing to HARO for awhile, making note of the ads at the top.  I loved that Peter Shankman had a tone similar to my tone in the book and how he personally crafted the ad to endorse the product.  This email list is extremely targeted to small business owners and marketing/PR professionals.  I knew these people were the exact audience for my book – if you are subscribing to HARO, it means you are most likely trying to get press opportunities yourself, which means you need to save money, which means you have smaller budgets, which means you must be a small business owner in many cases (or know someone who is).  Bingo! A ripe audience for this eBook.

The ad was pricey, I won’t lie, but the CPM is very cheap for (at the time) 75,000 targeted members with a reported 90% open rate.  He probably has an even larger list now. Take it from me as a marketer: that is an unheard of open rate in email marketing. I personally know I usually open all his emails and scan them for opps, so I don’t doubt this number.  He also sent over testimonials to show the effects the ads had on people’s businesses.

As of April 2009 (he may have changed), he offered four types of sponsorships:

NON-JOBS (Company/Client email) – most of the product/service ads

JOBS (Jobs/Hiring) – for job postings only if you are a firm who is hiring

HARO Gift Bag Product List – This list hits 30,000 “product” people – people who run companies that have products to donate to gift bags, people who want to get their products in front of celebrities, and the like. Virtually everyone on this list is also on HARO. if your company works in corporate events, this is a great one for reaching Event Planners and finding items for auction or goodie bags.

WHOH (What’s Hot on HARO) – 2-minute video-cast that goes out every morning, highlighting what’s hot on HARO for that day. You get a mention in the video, and a link from his blog below the video on that day. That link stays up forever.

Armed with this info, I purchased my ad (he requires payment upfront) for two months out, which was the first time he had inventory. He offers a morning, noon, and evening edition and I got to choose. I sent him a write up on the product, told him the points I’d love for him to emphasize, and set up a HARO discount code for $10 off. I calculated how many books I needed to sell to break even– everything after that was profit.

I can’t say enough good things about this ad – if this is the target audience you need to reach. My email started lighting up the day the ad ran, with PayPal alerts about all the new transactions.  I got some great monetary rewards, as well as future marketing opportunities.

  • The four months before the ad, I sold about 3 eBooks. Within four weeks, I sold 45 eBooks from the ad. Some sales trickled in much later.
  • I got two paying clients directly from the ad  – in Pennsylvania and the Netherlands!
  • A very-well connected marketing consultant in California saw the ad and absolutely loved the eBook  – she started following me on Twitter and we met when she was in Seattle. We might be partnering in the future.

And I will be using HARO again for other products targeted to small business owners and marketers.

Rules to Follow:

Make sure this is the right audience. Make sure your product appeals to the target audience of small business owners, PR or marketing professionals or it will be a waste of money.

Offer some HARO Love: Offer a HARO discount code for dollars off or a freebie. Not only is this a good incentive to entice conversion, it seems to be the standard on HARO ads. This is a very loyal, tight-knit community.

Know there will always be a bad apple. One woman demanded a refund, saying my eBook was just a huge ad for my business. I got pretty bent out of shape about this, especially since I wrote the eBook SPECIFICALLY for people who did not want to purchase my services and I gave lots of useful and unbiased marketing advice and information. She also really thought Peter was endorsing the product and that this was not a paid ad. But I got so much other great feedback, I had to let it go. Peter assured me there is one in every bunch – so make sure you don’t take this personally.

Price Right: Make sure this is a decent price point that is not too high. These folks are all over the country and may not know you from Adam, so you may have better luck with products priced between $10-50. That’s the price point I typically see on his ads for physical or digital products. Make it easy for people to respond. If you are merely advertising your services and they are thousands of dollars, I’d suggest creating a Starter Kit or Trial Package priced at $100-200 and make it a HARO exclusive.


Have a goal in mind. I knew exactly what my goal was for this ad, and anything else – the clients, etc. – was just gravy. Are you trying to sell a certain amount of product? Are you trying to get more names for your email list? Are you trying to encourage people to sign a petition? Clearly state the call to action – the action you want people to take – in the ad. Don’t just say, “Hey, Look at my Business. We do cool stuff. This is not only not measurable (except maybe web hits?) but they have no incentive to act AND targeted email marketing like this is not meant for branding and awareness – it’s meant for direct, action-oriented marketing.

Negotiate – Fairly. Never just pay the Rate Card price without seeing how flexible they can be on price.  Once you get the rate card, try to negotiate down closer to your budget. I did this and got to a fair number for both of us (although it was still pretty high).  Be sure to make a reasonable offer back in good faith and hopefully you can meet somewhere in the middle. If the ad is $1500, then $100 is not a reasonable offer so use your best judgment and think about how you would want to be treated.

Thank you, Maria Ross, for sharing your favorable experience as a HARO advertiser so the loyal and growing readership of this DIY publicity blog can profit from the wisdom of your experience.

Maria’s ebook is really, really good.  I invite you to check it out if your brand strategy needs improvement.

And if advertising your business to this targeted audience of marketers, business owners and PR professionals is a perfect fit for your business, connect with Peter Shankman at HARO to arrange for your ad in perfect timing with your needs.

DIY Publicity Tip for Today: If you are serious about growing your business and inviting meaningful results at the cash register, remember that DIY publicity — combined with other high powered advertising ingredients — can pack the punch you are seeking.  As Maria writes, PR is just one aspect of promotion.  It is about making sure the truth of your story surfaces clearly and is heard.   She also writes,  “PR cannot just come along and — poof — make you thinner, prettier, or more popular if the fundamentals are not there — if the BRAND is not there.”

Here’s a red apple for Red Slice Founder Maria Ross, who taught us a few valuable lessons today.  Delicious, and so good for you and your business.  Love that.

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Maria Marsala of Elevating Your Business Takes Her Bio to the Top by Following a Winning Recipe

Be Heard, Personal Branding 1 Comment

Maria Marsala, founder of Elevating Your Business, tuned into the recent PitchRate Happy Hour interview with Michelle Tennant and me to learn how to say “bye-bye” to her boring bio and “hello” to something much better.  She also attended the 9-16 Publici-Tea™ Express to get a second helping of DIY publicity tips and inspiration.

Yesterday, Maria shared her “before” and “after” bios, and she did a great job refreshing her story to attract more perfect clients.

Old and Very Good:

Maria Marsala, the founder of Elevating Your Business, is a business consultant, coach, speaker, author, and former Fortune 500 Wall Street executive. She entered the business world selling Avon at 14 and landed on Wall Street three years later. Maria was rewarded for her fierce determination and keen insights when she became a bond trader and department manager at a time women executives were a rare commodity. Since 1998, Maria has helped thousands of B2B service industry CEOs/presidents, professionals and management teams to eliminate the problems of quickly growing businesses by streamlining and automating their planning, operations, and marketing processes. The results? They increase their bottom line, work smarter, and enjoy a higher quality life.  Would you like to be next? Contact Maria today!

New and Better:

An irrepressible entrepreneur, Maria sold AVON at age 14 and landed on Wall Street three years later.  Fiercely determined and keenly insightful, Maria became a bond trader when female executives were as rare as pink diamonds.  In 1998, brimming with over 25 years of business expertise, Maria Marsala created Elevating Your Business, a company dedicated to helping professional service business owners maximize their companies’ value and profits. Is your existing business structure draining your time, energy, and profitability?  Drawing on her experience as an advisor, speaker, and author, Maria will tailor a solution to detect and overcome your unique obstacles, helping you create the business and lifestyle you only imagined. Contact Maria today and take the first step toward an elevated bottom line, turbo-charged productivity, and a sparkling quality of life.

By the way, If you missed the PitchRate Happy Hour, you can still tune in by visiting this link.  Folks are still raving about it, acting upon the tips, and having great success writing better bios.

DIY Action for Today: Send me your “before” and “after” bios and a digital photo of you putting your best face forward.   I’ll be happy to share your story here.

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Tribute to Sheila Lukins Tells a Delicious Comfort and Joy Story of a Life Well Lived

Personal Branding 1 Comment

Sheila Lukins (1942 – 2009), author of the landmark Silver Palate Cookbook, passed away recently.  In a tribute in today’s Parade magazine, we learn a great deal about her life in one column of well-worded text.

Stunning Results:

With her flair for creating lively dishes with interesting flavors, she inspired millions of us to expand our horizons in the kitchen.  Her cookbooks have sold more thant 6 million copies worldwide, and her collection of recipes is one of the best-selling recipe collections of all time.

Sassy Sound Bite:

Lukins recalls, “The best compliment I ever get is that cooking from these recipes is just like having a friend helping you in the kitchen.”

Succinct Story:

To Sheila, good meals were a way of bringing family and friends together, marking occasions, and making everyone feel happy.

Social Information to Help Her Ideal Customers Connect with Her:

She would think nothing of cooking for two days so she could host a party in her gracious home.

My own copy of the Silver Palate Cookbook is well worn and splashed with the sauces and flavors she helped me prepare for my own family.   Sheila Lukins made a delicious impact on my life and times in the kitchen, and I am one of a cast of millions who knows this to be true.

DIY Publicity Tip of the Day: Bios in life or tributes to mark passings have a lot in common. The same recipe applies.   The timely lesson to ponder is this.  Live your best life and do your best work today.  Tell your story in a vibrant way that makes a delicious impact on your ideal customers.   Add interesting flavors and spice to set yourself apart.  If not now, then when?

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Two Articles & a Podcast to Kick Your Boring Bio to the Curb & Tell Your Story So the Right People Will Listen

Personal Branding No Comments

Special thanks to Amber Singleton Reviere of Upstart Smart and the Brown Bug Project for sharing useful tips and examples with her followers about how to kick their boring bios to the curb with a little help from yours truly.   Listen, read, and enjoy.  Most importantly, act.  Action is always the key.

Thanks Amber for inviting me to contribute in these ways.

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Here’s a Radio Interview Offering Four Keys to Turn Your Boring Bio into a Winner Fast

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Here are convenient links so you can listen to my radio interview with Paul Casey that offers the four keys to turn your boring bio into a winner fast.   I also share  what guests can expect at the 9-16, 10-16, and 11-6 Publici-Tea™ Express Workshops coming to Seattle Design Center.  If you haven’t yet made your reservation, what are you waiting for?   This is a must-attend session, and you’ll love every delicious minute — including the premium chocolates from Seattle Chocolate Company.   Treat yourself.  Learn a bunch to propel your business into the media spotlight in perfect timing to make your fourth quarter results.  It’s all for you so jump in and benefit.

Click Here to listen to the MP3 File
Download MP3 File (Right Click – Use “Save Target As”)

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Four Keys to Turn Your Boring Bio into a Winner; Listen to the 9-08 Podcast and Get Your Bio in Great Shape Now

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Here are the details for a PR Happy Hour with me and Drew Gerber of Wasabi Publicity.

I’ll be talking you through the steps to turn your bio from “boilerplate” to “really great” so you can attract more of the right publicity and business opportunities.

DATE:                   Tuesday, September 8th
TIME:                    4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time – 1:00 PM PST
CALL IN NUMBER: 219-509-8111
ACCESS CODE:      194645

By the way, I am taking a service out for a spin called Radio-TV Interview Report.  Best-selling authors such as Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Guy Kawasaki, and Michael Gerber use it and rave about it.  If it is good enough for them, I feel comfortable giving it a try.

Today, the service sent an ezine to radio producers across the country to share hot topics that are timely for upcoming shows.  My topic was mentioned in the mix. Here is the blurb:

4 Ways to Make Your Boring Bio Better

Competition is fierce for jobs right now. Every job hunter is looking for an edge, so invite do-it-yourself publicity expert Nancy Juetten on your show to empower your listeners to turn their bios from “boilerplate” to “really great” in record time so they can get back to work and on with their lives. She’ll reveal how to be memorable and remarkable with a few chosen words along with surefire ways to wake up decision makers fast. “If your bio sounds like ‘blah, blah, blah’ to you, you can bet a decision maker is going to agree. Go deep, describe your experience in memorable, magnetic, and meaningful ways that matter to them, and the right doors will open.” Nancy is the author of the “Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide.” Contact her at (425) 641-5214 (Pacific Standard Time) or nancy@nsjmktg.com.

I look forward to reporting back that this new tool in my marketing mix pays powerful dividends for my latest initiatives.   Stay tuned. You can certainly learn more about this topic and the new Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide by visiting this link.

Can you summarize YOUR talking points and contact details by using just ten lines of text?  I challenge you to give this a try so when the media comes to call, you are ready to dazzle, delight, and inspire your best customers to benefit from what you have to say.

High hopes.  High expectations.

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