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#220: 14 Simple Tips to Grow Your Audience

Today I’m interviewing publicist and visibility coach, Lisa Simone Richards, to talk through 14 simples tips to grow your audience.

What it all boils down to is how can you get yourself in front of new people who want to hear your message?

Lisa shares so many great strategies like:

  • How to find visibility partners where you can both gain a “win” from partnering
  • How to lean into trends to get your content found
  • How to get onto podcasts so you can find new audiences
  • How to get the attention of traditional media

If you are trying to grow your audience and visibility, so you can grow your traffic, social media presence, and make new sales, this is the episode for you!

14 Simple Tips to Grow Your Audience  | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Show Notes:

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Intro 0:04
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello everyone out there. Welcome, it is Jillian Leslie host of the Blogger Genius Podcast. I have a fantastic episode for you today. All about getting visibility.

And before I launch into that I just had to read this iTunes review. And it is from Kelba2008 and she wrote, “I love this podcast, Jillian is so down to earth and relatable and she brings on guests that actually share actionable tips. I love the most recent episode on Pinterest.”

Which by the way, many of you have loved I will link it in the show notes. She continued, “The emotion that Jillian shared was so spot on.” And what I was sharing was all of my fear and anxiety around Pinterest. And she finished with, “Hhighly recommend.”

Well, thank you for that review. I read every single one on iTunes. If you are liking the show, please head to iTunes and just give it 5 stars. It helps so much getting the podcast found.

For today’s episode, let’s get back to the idea of visibility. Today, I am interviewing Lisa Simone Richards. She’s a PR expert and she teaches people how to raise their visibility, how to get exposure and how to get sales.

This is such a rich episode filled with actionable tips. Because the idea is you don’t have to change your messaging. All you have to do is change the audience you are in front of and Lisa gives so many great tactics.

I think you’re going to love this episode. Without further delay. Here is my interview with Lisa Simone Richards.

Lisa, welcome to the show.

14 Simple Tips to Grow Your Audience

Lisa Simone Richards 2:03
I am so excited to be here with you, Jillian, this is going to be a super fun conversation today.

Jillian Leslie 2:07
Great. So, you teach visibility, is that a good way to describe what you do?

Lisa Simone Richards 2:16
I think it’s the word that people resonate with the most. If you’re going to go by my technical term, I’m a publicist, I work in PR. But when I talk to a lot of creative coaches, bloggers, they don’t resonate with that word.

It’s something that sounds like ooh, that’s fancy. That’s for people who they have a publicist, you know what I mean?

Jillian Leslie 2:34
Totally, I think of like… Vogue.

Lisa Simone Richards 2:38
Like spending $10k a month hiring an agency. So, when I use the term visibility, a lot more people land with that term. And the nice thing is whether you call it PR public relations, visibility, it’s all the same thing.

It’s learning how to build relationships with the right people to get access to somebody else’s platform and have your message heard on a bigger level.

Lisa Simone Richards

And it’s completely accessible. I think that’s one of the myths that I always love to overcome.

Some people think, “Oh, my goodness, PR that’s just for the really big guys out there who’ve been doing this for such a long time. I just got started. There is no way that’s for me, that’s like three years down the line.”

No, it 100% is for you right now where you are. Because if the right people don’t know about you, and that you exist, how could they work with you?

Jillian Leslie 3:25
Absolutely. Okay, so let’s launch in. Let’s say, I’m a blogger, and I have an Instagram presence. It’s not big, and I have some loyal followers.

And I monetize via ads on my blog, and I work with sponsors, but I’m not seeing so much growth, whether it be in my traffic, my followers or my income, but I’m doing it.

I’m in there, I am posting, I am creating blog posts, and I’m consistent. What would you say to me so that I could turn up the heat and just like, grow bigger?

14 Simple Tips to Grow Your Audience  | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Tip 1: Look for Visibility Partners

Lisa Simone Richards 4:04
100%, I would say look for a visibility partner. Funny enough, a lot of the people who I ended up working with don’t love being on social media. But I do have one client right now who was actually one of my first clients back in 2015.

So what a testament and how cool to be working with her again, seven years later. She is like in the tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, she’s a big Instagram deal.

And so she’s learning a bunch of other PR and visibility strategies with me, but she was in a crunch to fill one of her challenges. So I said to her, “Why don’t you identify your visibility partners?”

Jillian Leslie 4:37
What do you mean to fill one of her challenges? What do you mean by that?

Lisa Simone Richards 4:41
She was doing a free workshop. A five day challenge. One of those types of event.

Jillian Leslie 4:45
Oh, a business challenge to her like where she’s selling something. Okay, got it.

Lisa Simone Richards 4:48
Yes. Thank you for interrupting me because I tend to go real fast, so interrupt me anytime so I can clarify.

So, she was looking to get more people registered for her upcoming challenge and I shared with her. Okay, if we’re doing this on a timeline, why don’t you look for more visibility partners?

Who are people also on Instagram, who are either complementary or competitive, they’re serving the same kind of person as you.

So this client, her name is Michelle, she’s a personal trainer, she works in fitness. I was like, “I bet that you follow and interact with some people who specialize in nutrition, or juicing or clothing brands for fitness. Is that right?”

She’s like, yeah, there’s this person, that person, the other person. I’m like, then since you’re already on Instagram, you’re already doing that strategy. You’re doing Reels, you’re doing stories, you’re doing static posts.

Why not collaborate with five people and do Instagram lives on their account, they turn on their IG, they let their followers know, “Hey, today later, I’m going live with Michelle.” And then you can go live with them.

And then you can talk back to the challenge, invite people to follow you, see who your new followers are and start having DM conversations with them. And she came up with a list of maybe 5 or 10 different visibility partners.

And she just went hard for a few days of going live with a bunch of other people. And she was able to fill out her challenge. She exceeded her goal numbers.

And then in terms of registrations in the backend, because we know a lot of these free workshops and challenges that we do are with the intention of filling a program on the back end. She exceeded her goal number of registrations as well.

And that was simply by just looking for people who are doing something similar to her who had a similar audience and leveraging their platforms to reach more people who are her ideal client.

Jillian Leslie 6:31
Okay, now wait, I want to break that down. So let’s say I am her and I am a fitness person on Instagram with a big following. But I’m an introvert, and I have a hard time asking for things.

So, I now let’s say there’s the yoga brand of clothing that I love, or there is the juice company or the juicer. And I know them, peripherally. I then send them a DM and what do I say?

Tip 2: Looks for Win-Win Opportunities to Collaborate

Lisa Simone Richards 7:06
The number one thing that I would recommend is look for the win-win for both of you. Don’t just make it about you.

If there’s anything I see that’s the number one mistake that people make when they are asking for a visibility opportunity is leading with something like, “Hey, my name is Michelle, I’m hosting this challenge. And I’d love to fill it, can I come and do an Instagram live with you so I can bring some of your audience onto my challenge?”

Don’t do that. You will get a delete, you will get a no, you added zero value, you just ask for a free commercial.

However, when Michelle approaches from the angle of, “Hey, I’m Michelle, we’ve been following each other on IG. A lot of my followers are people who are already in fitness and they want to take it to the next level.

I bet they’re people who would love to know about your juicing brand. Your people are people who are into nutrition, and I could give them some fitness tips and content you didn’t already have for them.

What do you think about going live together next week for 15 minutes and we can share some tips on the best juice to drink before a workout?

And then maybe next week, you can come on my Instagram. And we can talk about something fitness related to juicing whatever that could be.”

And now we’ve created a win-win situation, finding people who have complementary audiences, just a 15 minute time commitment, not a big deal, looking to see how the other party is going to benefit from it.

And that’s a great way to take especially with this example, people who are already on Instagram are already doing content. Now, how do we take the work that you’re already doing and getting in front of more people so that we’re getting visibility?

Jillian Leslie 8:40
Interesting. So here’s the thing, do I say to this person, the juicer, “Hey, I’ve got a challenge.” Is it okay if I mentioned this challenge in the live or it’s going to be on my page?

You know what, I mean? How do I make it so that I don’t make it all about the challenge? But I do have a goal. My goal is, yes, I want to grow my followers. And maybe that’s it.

Maybe the reason I go live with this person isn’t to talk about my challenge is just to grow my following. So then when I talk about the challenge on my page, my page is bigger.

At what point where does it seem spammy? Where does it seem like it’s a win-win? Where does it not seem like a waste of my time that I do this with this person like I don’t talk about the challenge, and my followers don’t grow?

And so I go, “Oh, that wasn’t really worth it.”

Lisa Simone Richards 9:29
It’s funny, you’re asking me that question. I was just having a voxer voice message conversation with one of my clients. And she was asking me about, what the series of the process would be for pitching a podcast.

Tip 3: Treat Collaborating Like Dating

And one of the things that I said to her was, let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s treat this like dating. First, would you like to go out with me? Then would you like to go for a second date? Maybe, what are we going to do on date number three.

We’re not going to say hey, do you want to marry me or do you want to hop into bed. We’re not going to jump into that. That’s too far that puts people guards up. So let’s take it one question at a time.

And let’s also ask questions because nobody likes a date who just talks about themselves the whole time. So, just check in, “Hey, what are you working on right now? I had an idea for collaboration that could be a win-win for both of us.

Really quickly this is what it looks like, what do you think of that idea? What would be a win for you? What would be a win for you in this arrangement? What would you like to take away from it?”

“Cool, here’s what would be a win for me? Would that be a fit?” All about questions? Let’s evoke from people, I think when you come with that pushy energy, it gets people’s guard up.

But when you ask questions, and if someone says, “Hey, you know what, that’s actually really not in alignment with what I’m working on.” Totally cool. No skin off anyone’s back.

Oh, okay. I like that idea. But you know, what, could we tweak this or that, this is what would work for me, then you can have a conversation.

So, I think one of the fun things about being creative is being independent is that we can play, we can talk back and forth and see what a great win is going to be for both parties.

And it’s a win for me, because I get access to a new audience, it’s a win for you because you get access to new audience. And it’s a win for both of our audiences, because they’re not getting content they would have gotten access to otherwise.

So I think when we approach it from not necessarily the what can I get, but how can we make this a win-win for everybody, people feel the difference in that and it translates very differently.

What Is Emergent Business Building?

Jillian Leslie 11:21
I think that is very powerful. I am all about this idea called emergent business building, which is, you don’t know exactly what you’re building, you get in there, you have a goal.

Like, I want to ultimately fill my challenge, or I want to get some sales, or I want to test out this new idea and see if people are interested. But you don’t have it all mapped out.

So just as an aside, we have this new payment platform for selling digital goods, that we’re launching called MiloTree Easy Payments. And it’s a way for people to set up paid workshops, get paid memberships, sell services, coaching, that kind of thing.

And I was talking to a woman today, actually. And I said, “Hey, you’d be perfect for setting up a paid workshop, I’ll help you set this up if you want.” And I could see her spinning down the road like she wanted it all figured out.

And because she couldn’t figure it all out, I could see her brain start to explode. And I said exactly what you just said, I said, let’s take it one step at a time. And let’s let it emerge.

And let’s see, maybe you find an audience that you think wants to learn this from you. But really, they want to learn this from you. And so you get to slow down and listen and be present in this experience. And then see what comes out on the other end.

Lisa Simone Richards 12:52
I love that you’re saying that because it totally lands with me. Every time someone’s like, what’s your five year plan, your 10 year plan, your one year plan, I’m like, I don’t know, like I’m taking this 12 weeks at a time. Let’s see how things go.

And then I’m going to have to evolve and flex, I’m not so rigid. Of course I have a sense of direction as to where things are going to go. But I need to be able to be flexible with where things are moving.

And if there’s another thing that I see that entrepreneurs and creatives and everyone else in that category make often is that they don’t take the time to ask their audience, what is the thing that’s going to serve you what is the thing that you want?

We have to remember when we’re launching something, people aren’t just buying it because we created it.

When I bring on new clients, one of the first things I say is, “I know that you’ve probably done this exercise a thousand times, so bear with me as I put you through it one more time. Okay, cool. You game, okay, great.”

Tip 4: Do Customer Interviews to Understand Their Fears, Frustrations, Wants and Aspirations

And I have them do ideal client avatar interviews, and I have them do it over a video call where they transcribe it, they do a series of them so that we can do a word cloud, and then pull out the words that get used the most.

The purpose is to understand their fears, their frustrations, their wants, and their aspirations. Because when we understand the way that our ideal client is saying those things, we can create a message that lands with them.

Jillian Leslie 14:06
So you’re saying you work with the client. And you say to them, tell me your ideal avatar. And they start to describe their avatar. And that’s how you’re creating the word cloud?

Lisa Simone Richards 14:25
No, I asked them to actually talk to people, not like, come up with do they have a kid and what would their kids names be? Where did they go grocery shopping? No, I want you to talk to real people.

So, I asked them to look for who were the people that you’ve worked with in the past that you loved and you would love to work with more people like them?

Who’s somebody that you know, that you know, would be a dream client for you. Ask them if they’d be game for 20 minute talk so that you can get into their head.

Jillian Leslie 14:48
And then you record the talk, and then you transcribe it. And then you put it in a word cloud?

Lisa Simone Richards 14:54

Jillian Leslie 14:54
You do this with multiple, let’s say customers? So, I would take my three best customers and I’d say let’s get on a call and we record the call and I download the transcript, I transcribe it.

And then you start analyzing the words that people are saying, not my words, the customer’s words.

Lisa Simone Richards 15:14
Correct 100%. I have a series of I believe it’s 11 questions that they asked consistently throughout the interview. So that we’re gathering data.

One of the things about us being experts, it’s a blessing and a curse is that we want to say things from such an advanced perspective. But we need to say things that land with our client, the things that keep them up in the middle of the night.

We need to talk their language, I think a lot of the times, we might be talking at a grade nine perspective, for example, when really they’re at a grade four level.

And that’s not to say they aren’t smart, it’s just to say their point of entry is, down here, but we’re talking from up here. And if we’re not connecting, they’re never going to come into our world in the first place.

Tip 5: Use Your Customer’s Exact Words to Pitch Your Products and Service

So, we need to make sure that our marketing copy that our sales copy that our messaging is reflecting where that ideal client is, so that we are magnetic to them so that they land with what they’re saying.

So that it’s like, “Oh, my God, it sounds like Lisa is in my head.” Exactly. That’s what I want you to think.

Because that’s when you’re going to follow me and hear my message and see the way that, if the way that I support people can be of help to you and then attract you to me.

I think the key thing I’m trying to bring out here is I love the idea of attracting a client to you. Just by using the right words, examples, stories, versus feeling like you’re always on the hunt, chasing them, trying to get somebody to hear what you want to say.

Jillian Leslie 16:33
Okay, I’m completely aligned with that. And I always say definitely listen to what people are saying and how they’re describing their problem. So you can use those exact phrases and say it back to them.

Because it’s funny, when you’re in your business, you have your own nomenclature. Like my husband and I, we have shorthands, and we’re talking in technical terms, and who knows.

And then you have to go wait a second, just because I understand that in this way doesn’t mean you do. So it’s like, how do I translate it in your language and then say it back to you, but as the solver of your problem?

Lisa Simone Richards 17:10
Can I tell you a really funny story about that?

Jillian Leslie 17:13

Lisa Simone Richards 17:15
So, when I started my side hustle in 2015, and I had a PR agency. My first clients were identical twin chiropractors, so think like Property Brothers, but in chiropractics. And these are guys that I’ve known since high school.

From a college relationship with a girl who’s in another sorority, she was now a producer on a national television show. She knows that I’m a publicist and she’s like, “Hey, Lisa, do you know any chiropractors we need them for a segment.”

And this was the beginning of my business and I know chiropractors and like, “Hey, do you guys want to be on TV hire me as your publicist, I got an opportunity for you.” So, they ended up doing national TV a number of times.

This was around 2015 and I think we were just trying to get front-facing cameras on our phones. And they wanted to pitch a segment to television on elbow and wrist alignment, what was taking selfies doing to our elbows and our wrists.

And I lovingly had to say, “Hey, guys you know what, that’s boring.” Nobody is going to hear oh, elbow wrist alignment. Let me watch this. No, they’re going to go to the fridge and get a snack because they’re not interested.

However, sometime around then Kim Kardashian love her or hate her doesn’t matter. She went to the UK and she reportedly took 1,500 selfies over the course of seven days.

So, I went to the guys I’m like, “Hey, we’ve got a story here. Let’s talk about selfie elbow. Kim Kardashian went to the UK for a week and took 1,500 selfies, what is that doing to your elbows and wrists?”

So, that’s where we were able to take their advanced level of messaging of elbow and wrist alignment that the common person doesn’t care about, but throw Kim Kardashian name on it, they never worked with her or anything.

But throw that name in there and all of a sudden news outlets are interested. So that ended up getting them a national morning segment that aired across Canada talking about selfie elbow.

So, one of the doctors went down to the studio that morning did the segment and then while he was at the office that day.

They got a call at reception from radio producer saying, “Hey, I watched Dr. Marco on Canada AM this morning talking about selfie elbow, would he be available to do a radio interview? We’d love to air that on 680 News.”

Which is a station that is traffic on the ones and weather on the two. So, whatever time his interview is at it looped for like five hours.

And then somebody who was an editor who had seen the segment who had heard the radio interview, reached out to the office again was like, “Hey, I saw Dr. Marco on TV. I heard him on the radio. And we would actually love to do an article about that. Would he be able to write something for optimized magazine about it?”

And lo and behold they got three opportunities by taking the exact same topic but changing the language to match the way that people cared about it. The way that people were interested in it.

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Tip 6: Lean Into Trends — Where People Already Are

Jillian Leslie 21:20
As a blogger, for example, I am the first one to say lean into experiences. So, let’s say you have a blog and your readers are moms.

Okay, back to school, we all deal with back to school, we all deal with Christmas, we all deal with New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day, whatever, the Super Bowl.

So you lean into those things and figure out a way to hook your content who you are to that. And it’s amazing. It’s like you are riding waves.

Lisa Simone Richards 21:55
So it’s funny that you call it riding waves because my term for it is “newsjacking.” What are people already talking about in the news? And how can I insert myself into that conversation, which was that Kim Kardashian example.

I only heard about it because the news said it and I was like, “Oh, they’re talking about it. Let’s get in on this while it’s hot.” And the example that you’re giving with Christmas, New Year’s etc.

I also tell my clients pay attention to commemorative days, weeks and months that matter in your industry.

And you can just literally go on Google type in commemorative day, commemorative week, commemorative month, and Wikipedia has a list of them, go through them what comes up in January, February, etc. that’s relevant to you in your industry.

So you can plan in advance, I want to be a part of that conversation.

Tip 7: Get Podcast and Media Exposure

Jillian Leslie 22:38
Absolutely. Okay. So let’s say I’m a blogger, and I care about backlinks. I care about getting my name out there and people linking back to me. Therefore, I’ve heard you want to get on podcasts or you want Newsweek to write about you.

You want, whatever kind of publicity you can get. How do I think about that like a small craft blogger?

Lisa Simone Richards 23:08
Oh, my goodness, I have two different strategies for that one. So, when it comes to traditional media, and what I mean by that is a website like Newsweek, a television station and magazine.

The kind of media outlet that’s owned by a corporation, they will never link to your lead pages, they’re not linking to your opt-in. So, what I recommend is not to link to your website, because that’s a lost opportunity.

People are maybe going to click on it, but then they’re going to go off and do something else, their phone is going to ring, their dog is going to bark, their kid is going to cry, they’re going to get off your site.

Tip 8: Create Unique Content on Your Blog that Big Media Will Link to with an Opt-in

So, what I always recommend is create a unique piece of content that’s relevant to whatever your feature was on. So, one thing that I did one time was I did a guest blog post for a marketing coach for health coaches on five ways to get visibility.

And at the bottom of that blog post it had Lisa Simone Richards, a PR and visibility strategist for five more tips on how to get visibility, click here. So, I created a blog post on my own website that was very specific.

If you had read through this entire blog post and liked it and you got to the bottom, you’re already a warm lead. So, now you want five more tips. Sure, click here over to my blog.

Now I can manage and look at the traffic and the analytics on my back-end to see how many people are coming from here. Is this landing. So I had another five free tips. And then I’ve had a content upgrade is what I called it.

If you want to get a fill-in-the-blank template or whatever, whatever that was relevant to that entire blog post. Enter your name and email address to get a free download.

So, now I’ve identified people who are hot leads, they read it off Kathleen’s blog. Now they’ve come to my website, they’re pretty warm. Now they’ve given me their name and email address that tells me that I’ve taken you through a cycle.

And I can analyze it on the back-end too now. Thanks to the backlinks so I like to be very specific and where I’m taking a call-to-action, so I was saying traditional media isn’t going to link to your lead page.

So, that’s the kind of strategy that I would recommend to my clients. So, you can still capture an email address. And then on the other hand with non-traditional media, so something like a podcast, it’s a little more casual.

Often someone’s going to say, “Hey, Lisa, how can our audience find you?” And that’s where I can share a lead magnet more candidly.

Jillian Leslie 25:25
Yes, that’s super smart. And I always think this too, is there some relevant piece of information? You were just saying, connect the dots, it’s worth that extra hour to come up with an offer that relates to what you’re talking about.

Go to Canva, create a checklist, do something so that it isn’t just hey, come here and learn more about me. Because that’s a big ask. It’s like abstract.

So this way, not only am I getting the backlink from wherever, but now there’s a journey, I’m taking somebody on a journey.

Lisa Simone Richards 26:06
It’s compelling, one of the Chief Marketing Officer of the business coach that I work with. She always says you’re not just competing with other people in your industry, you’re competing with every celebrity breakup, every cute puppy every baby on the internet.

So, you really need to have something compelling to get people to come your way. And maybe that might mean you’re creating another lead magnet that’s relevant, but especially if you’re creating a piece of evergreen content.

So you and I are having this conversation today, people will still be able to listen to this one year down the line, two years down the line until one day if you decide to take the podcast down.

So, if there’s a piece of content that we’re putting in the effort to create, why would I not take the time to have a relevant lead magnet, not just whatever lead magnet I decided to create two years ago and still try and push out.

Something that’s going to be valuable to the person listening to it so that this piece of content continues to work and work and work on the back end. Unlike a Facebook ad, where the second you turn off your ad spend your contents completely gone.

Jillian Leslie 27:05
I think that’s great. Now what about if I want to get on a podcast, get on TV, get in a magazine? Could somebody small do that?

Tip 9: Try to Get on Traditional Media

Lisa Simone Richards 27:17
100%. I totally have clients where I’m representing them, I can get them on TV in about less than two weeks, even if they’ve never been featured anywhere before.

And for the clients who I actually take through the process. Within six months, they’re both booking their own segments.

If I cannot so humble brag, as I call it, my superpower is being able to turn people into recurring guest experts. One of my clients, she has done over 50 TV segments on her local Fox station as their health and fitness girl now,

Jillian Leslie 27:48
And how has that directly grown her business?

Lisa Simone Richards 27:52
Number one, what’s been really awesome for her is that helped her get a ton of sponsorships. So she’s in fitness, she’s over 40. And she’s reached out to a ton of brands that she’s always looked up to, and she’ll identify the gap.

So this is something else that I share with them how to do, “Hey, I’ve noticed that a lot of your marketing is all towards this younger demographic. I’m someone in this category who loves fitness, here’s my background, I would love to partner with you is that something you’re available to?”

So, she’s able to get not only free products, but brand deals with them. Something else that’s really fantastic that a lot of my clients end up doing.

A lot of my clients in fitness specifically, if they have TV relationships, and they’re doing segments. Around the holidays, they’ll be like, do a segment on five fitness gifts under $100.

And they can reach out to their favorite fitness brands and say, “Hey, I’m a fitness expert on so and so station, here’s a link to me on TV, I’m doing a product roundup on XYZ would you like to be included, feel free to send me free products here.”

Or if you’re at a certain level, you can say, “To be included in this segment, it will cost X amount of dollars.” So again, you have to be transparent with the TV station when you’re charging brands. It’s 100%.

Don’t try and be sketchy on that because you will not get on TV again. And I know people whose stories have ended poorly from doing that.

But the first few times, it’s probably just an exchange for product and then you grow from there to be able to charge to do that. And all of a sudden you have become the fitness expert.

So, not only do you have your own platform, your own owned media, but now you have those as seen on logos, you have other people endorsing you.

So it helps you to really elevate your authority, your expert status and your credibility, especially in a world that’s so noisy and crowded. This is really a way for you to elevate yourself amongst everybody else who’s doing something similar to you.

Jillian Leslie 29:38
Okay, when I am going to reach out cold how do you recommend I do it? Do I do it by reaching out on Instagram? You know, kind of casually do I find somebody’s email address?

And what goes into that email I know I probably want to make it short but long enough that I’ve put out my value. What do you recommend in terms of actual steps?

Lisa Simone Richards 30:02
Number one, I really do prefer to stick to email and try and find their email address at work. I remember definitely one time I was having a hard time finding an editor’s email address.

She was someone I worked with, when I interned at a magazine, I emailed her Gmail, and she was like, “Why are you emailing me here, this is my personal email?” And that taught me a lesson on respecting people’s personal space.

14 Simple Tips to Grow Your Audience  | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Tip 10: Reach Out to People for Opportunities Via Email

A tool that I think can be helpful for people, if you’re having a challenge, looking for people’s email addresses. Number one, identify who the person is simply go on Google and type in, Lisa Simone Richard’s email address or something like that.

Not like it’s a secret. Alternatively, you can download an extension for Google Chrome. It’s called hunter.io. Hunter.io and what this will do use a free extension that you can add to your browser.

And anytime you land on a website, it will crawl that website to see if there are email addresses associated with it and tell you what the formula is. So, it might be like, it’s first name, lisasimonerichards.com or first letter underscore last name.

It really helps you to nail that down. So, that’s a great tool to use to find the email address.

If you’re having a challenge finding an email address, I would consider sending an IG DM, I might send a voice note, I might send a video try and make a personal create connection.

And I would begin apologetically by saying, “Jillian, you know what, I looked all over to find your email address, and I couldn’t. So, I hope you don’t mind me sending this IG DM to you.

I would love to pitch an idea for a podcast, this is what I’m thinking and is there a way that you prefer I send that message to you. Let me know if anything, I can keep going over here.

Or if you prefer I take it to email, let me know what that is and I’ll shoot you a line there instead.”

So, at least that way it shows you’ve taken the effort, you’re apologizing in advance and I don’t think someone is going to respond and if they do, that’s probably not the kind of person you want to collaborate with anyways.

Jillian Leslie 31:53
Absolutely. Okay. So for the email, let’s talk about it. So we found the email, and I want to pitch myself. So my question for you is, am I pitching ideas, this is like similar to say, pitching brands, I’ve heard both.

I’ve heard, don’t pitch specific things because they might be in a different part of their content calendar, and you’re pitching for Christmas. And they’re already booking for Easter.

And so you’re saying my Christmas ideas might not be relevant to what they’re looking for, they’ve got this new product they want to push, and you’re kind of in a different direction.

And so therefore, I’ve also heard, hey, if you can tee up some ideas that people might be interested in the person on the other end doesn’t have to think as hard because you’ve done the heavy lifting for them. So, how would one literally structure that email?

Lisa Simone Richards 32:43
Okay, so I’m 100% on the second camp of that. You’re making me think of something that I often say in podcast interviews that PR is they’ve been two things that my mother always asked me not to be fast and easy.

If you can be quick. And if you can make someone else’s life easier, they are going to want to work with you. So okay, here’s the challenge that you’re presenting me with Jillian, I’m going to do my best.

I have a PDF called 7 Pillars of the Perfect Pitch. Someone actually emailed me this morning to say that there was a slight error in it, which we corrected.

So, good news is I looked at it this morning, and I’m going to do my best to share some of those 7 pillars with you. So number one, when you’re sending a pitch to somebody, do not make it a novel.

They don’t know you, they don’t have anything invested in you. I love you, but they don’t want to hear where you went to school in your childhood stories. We’re going to make it succinct.

I remember one time somebody out of the blue emailed me and this email could have been four pages, single spaced, printed. Do we not think I have other things to do today? No offense, but I just don’t have time for that.

So, we’re going to start off by making it succinct. The first thing I want you to do is give a quick introduction. Give yourself context, put yourself in a box.

Tip 11: Structuring the Perfect Pitch

I often start off with, “Hi, my name is Lisa Simone Richards. I’m a PR and visibility strategist for online coaches who want to get seen everywhere.” In one sentence you can digest and understand who I am and what I do.

Don’t use some random title like, “I’m the queen of hearts.” Nobody knows what that means. Be clear, be someone who can be put in a box.

Pro-tip hyperlink your name. My name is Lisa Simone Richards and that clicks over to my website. So, now somebody doesn’t need to Google me. I’ve been thoughtful enough that they can just click and get that information. So, I’ve done a quick introduction.

The next thing that I like to do is showcase some familiarity. Make sure this person knows that this isn’t a mindless copy and pasted email that got sent to 30 people and doesn’t make them feel special.

Say something that’s going to build connection. I’ve listened to your podcast. I like these episodes. These are guests that landed with me. I like how you do X, Y and Z on your show.

I love that you asked guests these three questions, do something that shows that you took a little bit of research to actually understand who this person is. So, you’re going to do your quick introduction.

You’re going to showcase some familiarity and create a connection with the person, then what you’re going to do is pitch your idea. This is where I’d like to say something along the lines of your audience’s XYZ kind of person.

So, I’m showing that I understand who you want to communicate with and what your intention is. I’m showing that I’ve done my homework. And what I’d love to open up for them is the idea of ABC. So now I’m bringing value to the table.

In an episode where I talk about ABC, here are three things that they would learn. So, I’m painting the picture for you, I’m not making the onus on you to think about what could they take away from this?

I’m saying at the end of an episode, here are three things that somebody would leave richer with that they would know how to do, would this be of value?

I’m asking the question, you can tell me nope, this isn’t the right thing. Awesome. No problem. Thank you for letting me know, yes, this could be helpful for people great.

And this for the person who’s like, but I’ve done so many things, I want to be able to brag about myself. At the end, if someone has made it this far through the email, chances are, they’re kind of warmed to your idea.

If after jumping, they knew it was a bad idea, they’d hit delete, and they wouldn’t have read through the whole thing. So, they’re more interested the closer to the bottom they are. So, this is where you can share just a little bit more about yourself.

One of the things that makes me different as a publicist is that I’ve shown coaches how to sell out their programs before they even open doors. I’ve helped fitness business owners grow their revenues from $400,000 to $4 million a year.

And I’ve helped companies grow from 30 locations in one province to over 100, across Canada. So I know I could bring something different to the table. So this is where I’m actually doing my unique selling proposition.

What makes me different? Giving myself credibility. And then the last thing that I do after I’ve asked, “Would this be of value to your audience? Let me know.” Cheers, Lisa. I’ll say PS.

PS, to get a sense of my energy or hear how I talk on a podcast, click here to listen to me on XYZ show. So, now if the person could be interested, again, I’m taking away the friction, I’m being easy just like mom said not to do.

So, they just have to click on that link to learn more about me to get a sense of who I am and make that decision. So, that is really roughly how I would structure it and you want to keep it really brief.

Ask some questions, give the person an opportunity to say yes or no, do not force anything down someone’s throat. And number one lead with value, would this be helpful for your audience?

Jillian Leslie 37:21
Wow, that is great.

Lisa Simone Richards 37:24
That was a lot.

Jillian Leslie 37:25
But it was really good. And it makes a lot of sense. And it is selling but in a useful way. So, you are being your best advocate. You are not being shy about what you do, or what your value proposition is.

Tip 12: Make the Ask

Lisa Simone Richards 37:44
And I think one of the pillars of that pitch that I didn’t remember to say was make the ask, you’re advocating for yourself. Would that be a value for your audience? Can I come on your show as a guest?

I would love to give back to a show that I’ve listened to. Ask for it. I would love to be a guest can I? Don’t shy around it, boldly ask for it. This is the intention of me sending this email. Would you be open to that?

And for the person who might be thinking, ooh, I would hate to get a no that would be soul crushing, it would feel really bad. I went through my analytics.

I preach to my clients all the time, pitch 10 podcasts every single week and follow up with 10 podcasts from the week before every single week.

So for the month of January, doing the math, that should be 40 podcasts out the door pitched, 40 podcast followed up with. So, to make people feel better about getting noes.

I think I pitched 60 podcasts in January. My math is atrocious. I think I pitch 60 podcasts and I got 12 yeses. So I did get 38 noes. Is that it? No 50 podcasts. So I got 38 noes, but I got 12 noes or people who didn’t respond whatever it was.

But I did get 12 yeses. And that is no sad story. How awesome is it that I was able to connect with 12 different hosts to share my message with 12 different audiences.

So, if anyone is like, “Ooh, I couldn’t handle the rejection.” I am rejected all day, every day. It’s no big deal. I just let it roll off my shoulders. And I keep going.

Jillian Leslie 39:09
That is terrific. And just the fact that you shared that. In fact, I was having a conversation with somebody today. And I said, “What if you post in your Facebook group an idea for a paid workshop?”

You just say, “Would you be interested in this?” And she said, “I can’t do that.” And I said, “Why?” And she said, “What if people said that’s a dumb idea. Like, ooh why would I pay you for that?”

And I said, “First of all, it’s your Facebook group, are people saying that to you? Has anybody ever done that?” And she’s like, “Well, I’ve probably gotten like one bad comment.” And I go, “One bad comment.”

She’s got like 40,000 people in her Facebook group. And I said if you are that fragile, you need to look at that. Because you will not be moving your business forward.

Lisa Simone Richards 40:02
Yeah, you absolutely have to own your power and it’s okay as you’re not going to be a fit for everybody. And I was hearing this quote on a book a podcast, Goodness Knows that I was listening to the other day, they were saying, you win or you learn.

If you put out enough podcast pitches, and you get a bunch of noes to everything, what’s the common denominator here?

Is my idea not landing with people. Can I ask for feedback? Do I change it not? Do I just give up on this altogether? Nobody wants to speak to me, boohoo.

Jillian Leslie 40:24
And I get in my bed.

Lisa Simone Richards 40:30
Throw me a pity party. Sure.

Jillian Leslie 40:32
Yeah. Totally. Totally.

Lisa Simone Richards 40:34
We have to get it out of our system. And then we get to choose how we move forward.

Jillian Leslie 40:39
Yes, absolutely. You said you were going to leave my audience with a win.

Lisa Simone Richards 40:46
So it’s interesting, because we did veer this conversation a bit of a different direction. We talked mostly about podcasting or a lot of podcasting and pitching.

One of the things that I love to share with people is, it’s really important to have what I call a healthy media mix. So, the person who wants to consume your client probably likes to consume it in their preferred one of three ways.

Reading it, listening to it, or watching it. Of course, we all do a combination of all three, but we probably have our favorites. So, I really encourage my clients to be on a platform where you can be written about or write an article or be interviewed.

Tip 13: Find Other Website to Write For

So that could be doing a guest blog post, writing an article for a website being interviewed for a magazine.

So a tip that I love to share with people, if you want to get your name out there. And you want to start being Google-able, you want to be found on places outside of your platform.

And you want to write an article for another website instead of your own blog, for example, go on to Google and type in “Write for Us” and your industry.

Write for us: fitness. Write for us: keto, write for us: relationships, write for us: money. What you’re going to come up with is a number of sites, who are looking for guest expert contributors, just like you.

Now from the jump it’s probably not going to be oprah.com or forbes.com, these are going to be smaller sites. But for someone who’s just getting their foot in their door and just starting to create that footprint for themselves.

And getting featured on platforms outside of their own, this is a really good way to get started and build your name out there and be searchable.

Jillian Leslie 42:15
That is terrific. And also I want to say there’s also Help a Reporter Out.

Lisa Simone Richards 42:21
Huge fan of that one. So, for people who aren’t familiar with that Help a Reporter Out is kind of like a matchmaker, if you will for journalists and sources, and you would be the source. And let me explain what that means.

So, let’s say a journalist from forbes.com, is writing an article about, best business trends for 2022. But they’re on deadline, and they need to have that done by tomorrow at 5pm.

This website will send out a bunch of queries like 50 different journalists are looking for answers to this and that and all these huge publications.

And you can actually just send an email back and say, “Hey, I saw you’re looking for the top three marketing trends for 2022. Here’s one, two and three. This is a link to my website. And let me know if you have any other questions from there.”

So, it’s a way that journalists can ask credible sources experts for their expert opinion. And you as an expert can connect directly with the journalist and provide that info.

One of my clients, she signed up for Help a Reporter Out or HARO as it’s known, it’s helpareporter.com. She’s in fitness. And within a week or two, she connected with an editor at popsugar.com.

So, Pop Sugar is a huge health and wellness site, mainly for millennials gets more hits than Vogue and Refinery29 combined.

So, she did an article with them developed a great relationship with the editor, which turned into probably eight pieces on their website that’s getting millions of hits. I don’t know what the metrics are specifically. So, I don’t want to speak into those wrong.

But way more hits and her website was getting, let’s be clear on that, for sure. And through that relationship and doing those eight articles, eventually they were like, “Hey, on our Instagram account, we have guest trainers come on, we’ve got 900,000 followers.”

At the time it was. “Would you want to come on and do a live workout on our Instagram channel?” How cool would that be? We know a million people aren’t going to watch it. Sure.

But if 250,000 people watched it, that would still be more than 10 times the size of her current audience. And how awesome would it be to have that kind of endorsement?

Jillian Leslie 44:23
I think that is amazing. And what I like about what you’re sharing is this idea of using other platforms to really give you this bump up. Can’t say it’s exponential growth.

But it’s a way to let’s say you’ve got this small platform, but whoa, you can just kind of jump like you think of your growth as kind of linear.

Like okay, I’ve got 25,000 pageviews and if I could get it to 30,000 but all of a sudden you find one of these opportunities and boom, you can skyrocket

Lisa Simone Richards 45:01
The distinction I always like to make is the difference between content and visibility. I think a lot of people who fall into that creative category, they’re doing a great job on creating content.

They’re live on their Instagram, their Facebook, whatever their social media platforms are, they’re emailing their list.

But all of this content is nurture content, it serves our existing audience, doing more reels and doing more live isn’t necessarily going to grow your audience, it’s just going to get in front of your existing audience.

So, what people really need to focus on is also visibility, not just how my nurturing my existing audience, but how am I getting in front of new audiences all the time. So, that nurture content that I’m existing is being seen by more people.

Again, I always share with my clients, like with Michelle, you’re already going live on Instagram, go live on someone else’s page.

So, the thing you’re already spending time doing, you’re now getting in front of more people and telling them to come back and follow you.

As you see those followers go up, start to DM them, hey, did you see me live on so and so’s page? Start the conversation and engage from there.

I think, a lot of the time, it can just be as simple as what am I already doing? And how can I get that message on someone else’s platform? A quote that I love from Lisa Sasevich, she was a speaking coach.

I learned from back in 2017, she said, “Don’t change your talk, change your audience.” And that really landed with me because you can come up with a repeatable message that’s so easy for you.

If someone said to me, “Hey, Lisa, can you go on stage and talk for 90 minutes in 10 minutes?” Yeah, I could easy no problem. I know my talk back of my hand. So, just don’t change your talk.

Know it so well inside out and say it so often that you get bored of listening to yourself speak. But you’re the only person who has heard it so many times.

It’s great repetition for your audience. It’s new to people who’ve never met you before. It creates consistency.

Jillian Leslie 46:48
Wow. Lisa, I have learned so much from you. If my audience wants to learn from you reach out to you, where should they go?

Free Template to Pitch Yourself to Podcasts

Lisa Simone Richards 46:58
I am so excited to share something that I think is really going to be helpful. So while I don’t have the 7 Pillars of the Perfect Pitch as a download, I do have something similar, that’s going to be quite helpful.

So, as we were talking earlier about the structure of how do you write a good pitch, I have a free downloadable of the pitch that I use, you’re going to see word for word, what is the pitch that I use to send out when I’m asking if I can be a guest on a podcast.

And then I’m going to give you a fill in the blank template. So you can see the skeleton of how I write it and then just drop in your own information. And now that you’ve listened to this, you understand the logic behind why I’ve laid it out the way that I have.

So, if you would like a free copy of my personalized podcast pitch, you can download that at www.theperfectpodcastpitch.com.

That’s www.theperfectpodcastpitch.com. And then you can see a podcast that got me a yes. And then fill in the blanks to do your own version of it.

Jillian Leslie 47:58
Oh, Lisa, that is terrific. And I like how you have connected the dots. So good job. Good job.

Lisa Simone Richards 48:05
Hope that worked well.

Jillian Leslie 48:08
Yes. And thank you, I just have to say thank you so much for coming on the show.

Lisa Simone Richards 48:13
Oh, it’s been such a pleasure to share with your audience. And I hope that everybody has something that they can now use so that they can take the content they’re already doing and reach new people with it.

Jillian Leslie 48:22
Wow, I thought there were so many great takeaways in this episode, like finding those people to partner with where you can expose them to your audience, and they can expose you to theirs.

I also of course love the idea of riding waves of asking for opportunities. And I think sometimes we can get so close to our own businesses. We’re working on our businesses and we’re not stepping out and looking for bigger opportunities.

I want to leave with this. If you want to set up a paid workshop, a membership or start offering coaching. Please reach out to me because I want to work with you for free setting you up on MiloTree Easy Payments, talk about a win-win.

So, if this is interesting to you. Reach out to me at jillian@milotree.com. And I will see you here again next week.

Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:

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