Getting media exposure can be costly at times, but it does help you grow your business. But how can you earn media coverage without spending any money on ads? Media expert Christina Nicholson sits down with Scott Carson to discuss how businesses and entrepreneurs can achieve media exposure without wasting a ton of money on ineffective ads. Christina is the owner of Media Maven and the host of the Become A Media Maven podcast. She shares why press releases are dead and her biggest pet peeves regarding public relations and media companies’ selling spots. Plus, they also dig deep into fake news and how you can stop spreading it. Join Christina and Scott in this conversation and learn more about how you can get free media coverage to promote your business!
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How To Get FREE Media Coverage To Promote Your Business With Christina Nicholson
In this episode, I talked to Scott about how you can earn media coverage without spending any money on ads.
We’ve got a very special guest. She’s somebody that I had a chance to meet at FinCon in Orlando who absolutely loved what she shared. This lady is a badass. She calls Florida home. She spent a little time in Beaumont. She says that’s where she found her cowboy. She is a mother of three, a TV host, and a business owner. She lives in Wellington, Florida. She’s the head of Media Maven, which is a PR agency that she created after working as a TV anchor and reporter for more than ten years.
She is a phenomenal person if you’re looking to get more PR for your real estate or note business, you’re trying to get the word out more about what you’re doing, and you want PR and stuff. She’s known online as Christina All Day. We are honored to have the amazing Christina Nicholson. What’s going on, Christina? How are you doing?
That was the best show intro I’ve ever had. Thank you.
Tell us about why you’re a badass and why they need to look deeper to get the word out about what they’re doing.
Long story short, I’m a former TV reporter and anchor. When I was in that role, I was pitched a lot by publicists, people at PR agencies, marketers and even business owners who wanted to get more exposure. They wanted that free commercial on TV. Nine times out of ten, I deleted their emails because they were pretty bad. When I was looking for a more flexible schedule, I worked at a PR agency for six months before leaving and starting my own thing. Now I help small business owners earn exposure in the media without spending money on ads to promote their personal brand, product or service in a very organic way.
You shared one thing that drives you bonkers. Besides the constant influx in your inbox of stuff, you mentioned one thing that I found humorous because I’d made that mistake before. What is the one thing that drives you bonkers that people are paying to do, and that they need to stop immediately?
I feel like there are a few. Are you referring to press releases?
Yes, I am.
This is what I started with because this is everybody’s go-to. It’s like, “I need coverage so I need to write and send a press release.” It’s like, “No, you don’t.” It worked wonders in the ‘70s, ‘80s and maybe in the ‘90s but now, the last thing anybody wants in their inbox is a long boring press release that is promotional about you, your business or your brand. It’s not new. Instead, they’ll send you to the sales department and tell you to buy an ad. You need to make what you are pitching newsworthy, and don’t do it in a long boring press release. You need five sentences to get your point across and to get somebody interested in getting them to hit that reply button to want to know more.
You also mentioned a couple of tips on secrets. Can you go through a few of your best tips? You said to keep it short and direct. What are some of the best ways for folks to be reaching out to news organizations or their local TV shows or stations to try to add some value or anything?
I can give you a couple of secrets. One secret would be before you even pitch the media, connect with the person that you want to connect with on Twitter, Instagram or wherever they are. Scott, what is your social media of choice?
I like Twitter and LinkedIn. I did exactly as you said. I went out and started looking at the articles that I read on like DSNews and the people on there. I went and started following them on their social handles, commenting, paying attention, liking and re-sharing as well.
When you go to pitch them to be covered, they are going to recognize you because you are interacting with them on social media. I’m sure there are a lot of people who want to be on your show. You probably get a lot of emails from people pitching your show, but if you get an email from somebody and their name sticks out to you because they interact with you on LinkedIn or Twitter, you’re probably more likely to pay a little extra attention to their pitch in your inbox. That is why it’s important to be following specific people on social media before you pitch them.
Another big mistake that a lot of people do is they will pitch 500 people with the same pitch at the same time. This is so obvious when people do this. They still do this. A lot of PR agencies operate this way. They’ll throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hope something sticks. It used to work a little bit better years ago, but nowadays there is so much competition. Everybody is creating content. There are so many freelancers and contributors that you need to pinpoint, “Where do I want to be? Who is the writer? Who is the podcast host? Who do I need to contact to make this happen?”
You want to focus on quality over quantity. That’s a big thing that will set you apart. It’s by getting your spreadsheet out, writing what podcast you want to be on, who’s the podcast host, and what is their Twitter handle. Make it a point every day or every other day to block out 15 to 30 minutes to start connecting with these people. This way, in 2 or 3 weeks, when you do go to pitch them, you are going to stand out. You are more likely to get the coverage than somebody else who is just including them in a blasted email.
One of the things that I’ve done in the past is I saw a trend that was going on. This goes back to 2007 or 2008 in some cases when the sky was falling. It was going crazy. I went out and grabbed quotes from a couple of my colleagues in the industry on the mortgage back then. One was a hedge fund manager. We also found a quote from Warren Buffett that we threw in there, and then I sent a short article. I said, “Would this be helpful for what’s going on?” I almost rewrote the article. We got picked up in Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.
That’s amazing and that sometimes will happen. A lot of times we’ll pitch coverage and the writer will come back to us and say, “This is great. I would love to do this story. I just don’t have the time or the resources. Why don’t you just write the story for me and we’ll place it in there?” That’s why experts get contributing roles. I had a real estate agent get a contributing role at Inman, one of the biggest real estate websites there is. Getting contributor roles is a great way to earn exposure and you’re earning it on a consistent basis. When you take that article that you wrote and share it on your LinkedIn or Twitter, then people are going to see you as an expert in the industry. You’re going to stand out from your competition.
You could pitch ideas to the media and have them write the story or you could write the story yourself and pitch it to be placed. A lot of times, it’s more work on your end and you don’t know what the end result will be, but a lot of times, it’s easier to get coverage that way because you’re doing all of the work for them. It’s not just you putting that on your website but it’s you getting it placed elsewhere so you’re getting those new followers. You’re getting that authority and credibility. That is one strategy that we use for some of our clients at Media Maven. These are our clients that are expert clients who are trying to build their personal brands. That’s something that should be considered.
I have a very little bit of an audience, but when you talk about building a personal brand, what do you see as some of the better ways or contributing factors? Are you talking about TikTok or Pinterest, or spending time on LinkedIn to be more professional? What do you see as being some of the better bangs for the buck?
It depends on what your industry is and who your audience is. You mentioned Pinterest. If you’re a recipe blogger, 100% Pinterest should be your platform of choice. If you are an educator or a coach and you want to teach people how to start investing in real estate, get on YouTube and start your own podcast. If you work B2B, then LinkedIn is going to be your jam. It depends on where your people are and what they’re doing.
When it comes to creating content, you should be creating it yourself. You should treat your business as a media company. You should be consistently posting blogs, releasing podcasts and posting on social media. I’m not saying do all of these things. I’m saying pick and choose because whatever one you choose, you want to be consistent with it. You also want to be creating content for other outlets or earning media in other outlets because that is where you are going to get new people to come and follow you. That is where you are going to earn that authority and credibility.
It’s one thing to tell everybody, “I’m great. Here’s my blog. I’m amazing. Listen to my podcast episode,” but it’s a completely different thing for somebody else to say, “Scott is great. Listen to him on my podcast. Scott’s amazing, I wrote about him in this article.” You are then already going to be known, liked and trusted because that source is known, liked and trusted. It’s an automatic thing that if you’re selling and getting people into your funnel, it makes that sales process so much easier.
It is so much better to do versus quoting yourself in the third person like, “Scott is a badass,” written by Scott Carson. A friend out of Dallas is a realtor. She got caught up in the whole January 6 stuff. She had to go on probation and got a little jail time.
She’s one of those.
I don’t care who she voted for, but she then sent an email blast press release out to her entire database written by her and quoting herself in the third person. I’m like, “Is she smoking crack?”
Obviously, for so many reasons.
“Did he pay for somebody?” It was literally written by her. She likes pink. I was like, “Why are you sending this out? We all have our opinions, but you look like you’re raving mad when you’re talking about all those things,” because it was all opinionated. I was like, “I could hear that bomb going off.”
I would not recommend it on many levels.
What are some other things that drive you bonkers that you’re like, “Don’t do that. Don’t pay for that.” What are some of those things out there that you see?
Speaking of, “Don’t pay for that,” many people are getting those scams in your DMs. You don’t know their scams because they sound good to be true and you want them to be true. People will slide into your DMs and they’ll tell you that they can guarantee you coverage and all of these amazing media outlets. First of all, nobody can guarantee you coverage. The only way you will be guaranteed coverage is if you pay for an ad by somebody who works for that media outlet and has the authority to sell ads. For the love of God, please keep that in mind.
These people that are sliding into your DMs and guaranteeing you coverage either know somebody who’s a contributor at that outlet or they’re just going to copy and paste your press release and put it on a news wire. What happens is that news wire will then release your press release to 300-some media outlets and it’ll be on all of those websites, but nobody will find it. It will be either gated content or buried somewhere. Unless you have that long URL to get to it, nobody is going to see it, which means, “What’s the purpose of getting it here?”
Let’s say the situation is they know a contributor for Inc Magazine. If you pay, they’re illegally collecting money under the table to get you an Inc Magazine. What happens if you pay this person and the editor in Inc. says, “I don’t like that quote. Take it out.” The story doesn’t get published because crap happens and it doesn’t get published, or the editor finds out that you paid for inclusion, and then everything that writer has ever written is going to be taken down. That has happened before.
Do not pay for coverage unless you are certain. You are buying an ad from somebody who works at that media outlet. Otherwise, it’s like crazy PR scams. These are popular. I get them in my inbox and DMs. I’m like, “Do you know what I do for a living? This isn’t going to work for me. Many times, I just follow along. I got one now. I was following along with it and I said, “Just to be clear, are you trying to sell me PR services?” It took him a while to respond. I think he was checking out my website after that. He was like, “I’m not trying to sell you PR services. That’s what you do and you do it great. Have a good day.”
It happens all the time. I get those all the time. Those are almost as bad as, “I’ll get you 10,000 followers or the blue check on social media.”
It’s the same thing. It’s garbage. People think it’s true or they’ll be like, “Look at what we did for this person.” It’s like, “I don’t know if you’re telling the truth or something. You could be lying. You probably are lying.” You can’t fall for that stuff. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anybody can say anything on the internet. A lot of these people say they’re PR or marketing experts. Do your homework. Don’t give people money unless they have the credibility and authority to back up what they’re saying. See what they’ve done for people. Have they really done that? Get referral. Google people. It’s wild to me how many people fall for these scams on the internet just because it sounds good. They want that. They’ll give their money to this person and then it ends up being a waste.
We’ve seen that as well in people looking to public speaking. There’s somebody out there like, “Pay me and you’ll speak at Harvard.” It’s some conference room off the side. It’s not really Harvard that they are inviting them to speak. It’s somebody who ran a room and is selling that space and says, “You can take a picture in front of a Harvard podium.” Don’t get it.
It’s wild to me. At the end of the day, does the picture of you at a Harvard podium move the needle for you? Come on, people. Stop doing crap to look cool on the internet. Just be cool. By default, you’ll look cool on the internet.
We get students all the time that are looking to start doing their videos and podcasts. They’re always scared to be themselves. They’re trying to be the next Gary Vee or be somebody else out there. How important it is to be yourself and be original versus trying to copy somebody?
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at people for inspiration, but I get embarrassed for people when I look at their social and it’s so obvious it’s not them. It’s cliché to say, “Don’t be somebody else. They’re already taken.” Why would you even want to create content, and have a YouTube channel and a podcast if you’re not going to be yourself? Why do you want to do it anyway? There are many people who say, “I can’t do that. It’s saturated.” Many other people are doing that. There could be a lot of people doing it but is anybody doing it the way that you do it? Is anybody speaking to people the way you speak to people? Think of your own behavior.
There’s a lot of “bro marketing.” When I look at hiring a business coach or somebody to help me with my funnels and I see a guy who does it, but all of his clients are opposing outside of Lamborghini with hot chicks, and they’re making it rain with their money. Those are not my people. Let me find somebody who teaches this and does it well, but speaks to women like me. I feel like even if you are going into an industry, which I feel at this point, every industry is saturated. There are people who are starting now who are still being successful because they’re doing it in their own unique way.
It’s important to play up your experience and your education if that’s what it is. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Play that part of it up and that will set you apart. I honestly feel it’s a matter of practice. Some people are afraid to start because they’re afraid of what other people think or judgments. Trust. Nobody is going to care that you’re nervous or think that you’re nervous. They’re going to be watching you and listening to you to hear what you have to say. There are going to be trolls. Whenever you put yourself out there, that’s what you get, but you’ll get used to it. It’s a good sign. It doesn’t affect me anymore.
I was a TV reporter and anchor. You would die if you saw the emails and the DMs I got. I have a Google folder full of death threats from believers after I did a story about Justin Bieber getting arrested for drag racing in Miami. Those Beliebers came for me because I reported on his arrest. It was wild. People are going to say crap even if you’re doing something positive. I had an Instagram post go viral about me praising my husband for being a stay-at-home dad.
People were still being negative in the comments. It is what it is. People wake up looking to be offended. They will say terrible things to you. You can’t care because if you care, you’re not going to make it as an entrepreneur. You have to brush that stuff off. What strangers say on the internet does not matter. Keep doing you. Do what you want and focus on that. The other stuff will be like the noise you learned to ignore.
You’re a little passionate about the whole fake news aspect. You had an amazing TED Talk about how it’s our fault. Do you want to talk a little bit about your TED Talk and what your opinion is?
Fake news became a big term quite a few years ago when a certain person used it a lot when he would see something he didn’t like, whether or not it was real or fake. The TED Talk wasn’t about that. It wasn’t political at all. The reason I say fake news is your fault is because many people get on the internet and see something they agree with. Whether or not it’s true or false or it could be somebody else’s opinion, they share it and say it’s a fact. There are many talk shows that people think are news. It’s not news. That’s a talk show. Those are people sharing their opinions. They’ll be like, “I saw this on the news. This is the fact,” and then they’ll share it. It happened so much.
I told a story about how my friend who’s a TV reporter was accused of going on a racist rant at a nail salon because one person who lives across the country said it was her. Everybody retweeted and shared it. She didn’t even look like the woman. She was about 40 years younger than the woman who was on the video doing this. Because one person on the other side of the country shared it, it went viral. She was a TV reporter. This could have destroyed her career and her credibility. She ends up happening to be the nicest person ever. Of all the people to happen to, it was her. It goes to show that no matter what you put out there, you are the media.
If you’re sharing on social, you are the media. It doesn’t matter how big or small you think you are. It takes certain people to see it and share it. It is what it is. It could blow up or not blow up. It depends. It’s also important for people to realize that what you give attention to will live longer. I use the example of the Kardashians. Next time you see a post about any of those girls, check out the comment section. You will see nothing but hate. Not one person is giving them props or saying anything positive, but the comment section is on fire.
This is a big one with E! News. People hate it when E! News shares anything about the Kardashians, but they get all the comments. E! News sees that like, “I don’t care if all your comments are negative. You are giving this topic engagement. We’re going to keep on covering it.” That’s how it works. When I worked in the news, people would say, “Why do you cover all this negativity? I don’t even watch the news anymore. It’s all bad stuff.” I would say, “We get the ratings every 30 seconds. We can see that when we switch from a negative story to a positive story, people change the channel. People tune in when it’s negativity.”
Don’t tell me you don’t like the negative news and then turn around and watch it. We can see that stuff. This stuff gets tracked online too. That’s a loaded answer to your question. I didn’t even get into some of that in the TED Talk because I only had 7 or 8 minutes. You control what you see. If you don’t like something, you should not comment on it because when you’re commenting on it, you’re giving it more life and engagement. That is going to tell the poster that you want to see more of it because you’re engaging with it. The idea is you control what you share. When fake news is spreading, it’s because somebody like you helped it spread.
What if you’re like your friend who’s on the wrong side of that? Is there something that you would recommend that they do if they’re on the wrong side of fake news?
I told her, “You should totally do a story on this as a learning lesson of what could happen.” I don’t know if that happened. I know her station got behind her and stuck up for her. In that situation, when you work at a TV station and you’re limited as to what you could do, you need to ask them permission on what to post. The TV industry is wild like that. There’s only so much you can do. You have to defend yourself especially when it’s something that’s totally untrue. It’s not even you. There are things where things are taken out of context that you may have said or maybe you misspoke live.
Some people are afraid to speak out about certain things, “What if I say this the wrong way?” Be transparent about everything, and be open and honest. If you did say something that was taken out of context, then share the full clip or the full quote. Get on a live and explain it. Take a few steps back. Let it play out because a few days later, it’ll be on to the next. They are going to be canceling somebody new. It may seem like it’s the end of the world but the way the new cycle works, you may be forgotten in two days. The whole thing may be forgotten.
That’s why it’s important to have your own platform, website and social media. You control that narrative. If somebody tries to take something out of context or tries to do the whole fake news thing, you can post it in your defense. Many years ago you probably weren’t able to do something like that.
What’s your thought on what happened with Kevin Hart at the Emmys where people went back many years ago and shared a joke? I heard about it and it impacted me. That also happened with Julio Iglesias. The comedian talked about that in his special. He says, “I’ve apologized for what I said fifteen years ago, but it was relevant then. It’s not relevant now. I have a different opinion now.”
It’s different for everybody. We’ve seen this with the contestants on The Bachelorette. With everybody, it’s going back into the archives and seeing it. It was a different time. I’m not saying it was okay for some of these people to say and do these things then, but I feel like there has been much more education and acknowledgment of what you can and can’t say. I remember even the movie Bring It On. I don’t know if you’re a cheerleading fan. In the movie, I remember in the backseat she was asking if a guy was gay. Instead of saying that, she said, “Do you speak fag?” or something like that.
At the time it was like, “Whatever,” but now it’s like, “That’s offensive.” They even silence it when the movie was replayed. It’s like with the #MeToo Movement, it was never for men to take advantage of women in the workplace. Now, we’re listening to women when they say it happens. It’s good that this is all coming out. With comedians, there’s a gray area. You almost pay a comedian to offend you. It’s different with comedians. They just make jokes about that stuff.
I don’t think a comedian in a show saying something should be held to the same standard as somebody in the workplace. They have their own line as to what’s going to be crossed and not going to be crossed. The only time I believe in cancel culture is if you get called out on something, you double down and refuse to even try to acknowledge or see the other person’s side. You’re then just a bad person and we can cancel you, but if you’re like, “This is it.” There is so much ignorance. We’re all ignorant of something. None of us can know everything about everything. If you’re open to learning so you’re not ignorant to that topic where maybe you slipped up, then you should not be canceled.
If you have canceled somebody in the past, you are ignorant of something. You don’t want to be canceled over not knowing something because you’ve never been exposed to it. Honestly, people will say you’re canceled and two days later, they forgot. Somebody else has been canceled since then so you’re uncancelled. We can only cancel a few people at a time. I feel like because social media and whatever you post can spread like wildfire, it can happen. I don’t think you’re ever truly canceled as people say. It’s a silly thing.
Everybody has got such a short memory and things come back. There are always two sides story. That’s the thing I think is most frustrating with what’s happening in the world these days, especially in the United States. People are non-willing to listen to other opinions no matter what it is, “I’m right, you’re wrong,” or “If you change, you’re wrong. I’m right,” and digging their heels into the ground.
It’s frustrating. That’s why I don’t talk to people. Stay over there with your crazy opinions and your unwillingness to see any other perspective.
When you’re pitching news outlets, TV shows or stuff like that, I know that you’ve got sweep weeks and stuff like that, but is there a time or day where news runs a little slow, you’re consistent, and you may be able to slide it a little bit?
In TV around the holidays, it’s always a slow time. On Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, we’re still working. A lot of the time, we’re doing holiday stories. If you can give us some hard news on any of those days, it is a low-hanging fruit. I remember the day after Thanksgiving, I always did my Christmas shopping because I would double dip. I would do my Black Friday story. I would shoot it and give it to my photographer. I would say, “While you’re editing this story, I will be shopping. I will see you back in time for our live shot at 6:00.” Focusing on holidays is good. Weekend morning shows for TV, they are always bringing in guests.
If you can think of a cool idea, they give you a three-minute segment. Weekend morning shows are big, and morning shows in general because they have so much time. Sometimes, they’re two hours straight. They repeat the same news in different ways every 1/2 or 1 hour because you go by the people watching. They’re getting ready to go to work. They’re only going to see it in half-hour segments. That’s why you have to repeat the same thing. They’re always looking for content. Focus on the slow times. That means you have to do a lot of the work too. They may want you to write something or bring some things in. Whatever you can do to make a journalist’s job a little easier, the better your chances are of getting that coverage.
Are you a big fan of Help A Reporter Out or HARO?
I have a love-hate relationship with HARO. For those who don’t know, HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It used to be great and amazing. You would get three emails a day, morning, noon and night. They would be from journalists wanting sources. It’s like, “I’m writing a story about real estate investing and I’m looking for a real estate investor in Austin, Texas. Can you comment on it?” That still happens. You can still get great coverage using HARO. However, as of a few years ago, it’s gone downhill. That’s because they let anybody post anything in there.
You could be a blogger in Piedmont, North Dakota. You could have maybe two people reading your blog and say, “I’m doing a Christmas roundup for the best gifts for kids under the age of ten. Send me your gifts and I’ll include you in this roundup.” This blogger will get all kinds of mail and free gifts. Maybe you’ll be lucky if she writes a blog post on it. They’ll let anybody post anything. Some people will post things, then you’ll reach out and you’ll want the coverage. They will say, “This is for an ad and it will be $500 for inclusion,” which you’re not supposed to do. HARO is not regulated or not looked at. It’s something that’s there that a lot of newbies use.
The competition is crazy. I’ve used it before. I won’t use it. When I’ve been writing articles for something and I need quotes, I will get hundreds of responses and most of them are garbage. Most of them were like, “Here’s my book. Read my book.” Your book has nothing to do with my query. This is not what I need answers to, but you can get good things there. I don’t want to say it’s a needle in the haystack, but be mindful of what’s out there.
You got to filter through a lot of stuff these days. It always seems that way with different organizations, whether it was Backpage or Craigslist. Now we see that with Nextdoor. A lot of junk is on there. They become the venting thing for neighbors to vent about stuff like grumpy old people.
Some of them are funny. Where I live, they put these little stop signs on the road for golf carts. People were going crazy on there. They called them little lollipops because they were little stop signs on the sidewalk, “How much are we paying for these little lollipops on the sidewalk?” If you want some entertainment, go to Nextdoor and read what your neighbors are writing.
You’ve got your PR firm, Media Maven. Can you talk a little about your process when you’re working with somebody and what you’re looking for to help somebody or help them identify opportunities out there?
It’s the same thing I do with my online course. Media Maven is a PR agency, and then I started the online course to help a small business owner who doesn’t have a budget for a PR agency. When we start out for the clients, we do an onboarding session. It takes less than one hour. What are your goals? Where do you want to be and why? You want to make sure you’re focusing on the right media outlets or else it’s all going to waste. It’s not going to turn into a profit for you.
Where do you want to be and why? What do we need to get there? You probably need a good personal story. Let’s talk about your expertise. You want to get as specific as you can with talking points. It would be one thing for me to say, “I could come on the Note Closer Show and I could talk about how people can grow their business through marketing.” I’m sure you get a million bajillion pitches about people building their businesses through marketing. You can’t envision what that looks like.
Instead, if I said, “I could come on and tell you the biggest mistake people make when they pitch the media to get coverage and how they could fix it.” That is much more specific. You can envision what I’m going to talk about and you’re not getting a lot of pitches that say that same thing. That’s what we want to focus on when we are working with those expert clients. It’s different if you have a brick-and-mortar location. We still want to talk about the owner’s achievements and tell their personal story as well.
In brick-and-mortar locations, it’s like, “Are we going to have an event? Are we going to team up with some businesses near you? Do you have any promotions? How can we link your promotions to what’s happening?” For example, one of my clients is Midas, Tire Kingdom, NTB and Big O Tires. When we talk about like Thanksgiving, it’s like, “That’s a lot of travel. Here are five things you need to do. Check your car before you hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.” It’s things like that. We’re thinking of these different stories, ideas and talking points.
You almost have to think of them and do this every three weeks or every month because you want to be super timely and it has to be newsworthy. You have to give that journalist a reason to do the story now and that’s what makes it newsworthy. Otherwise, it’s just a promotion. It can’t be promotional. It has to be something that makes sense. If you picked up a newspaper, it’s like, “This is why I’m reading this right now. This is newsworthy for this reason.” That’s what we work with clients on. With our agency, we do all of the outreach and follow-up. With the online course, you do the outreach and the follow-up, and then we help you by telling you what to do and how to do it.
What’s the link to check out the online course? Is it the one that you gave away at the FinCon? You gave away some great resources.
I gave away tons of resources. If you to 16Places.com. It is a PDF. It’ll give you sixteen places to pitch to be a contributor. I tell you what story ideas they’re accepting and the exact person to pitch it to. If you go to EarnMediaNow.com, it’s a one-hour-long masterclass that goes into specifics of some of the things I talked about here and at FinCon. Those two things will get you a pretty good headstart. I have my own podcast where I blab on about things like this too. That’s at Become A Media Maven.
It’s useful stuff to help people take that step and see if they’re willing to do then. Your firm does a great job with some big names but also helps a lot of folks out there to get the word out. As we move into 2023 and you’re probably keeping track of a lot of different things news-wise and PR-wise. What’s one thing people should probably keep an eye out a little bit more for or spend a little bit more time on if they’re entrepreneurs or business owners?
Personal branding is huge, even if you’re not an entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a job, LinkedIn isn’t just a place to apply for jobs. That’s where you build your personal brand. You post something about your expertise every day. You are leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. Personal branding is going to be big. People want to know through your experience and your eyes. There are a lot of people who talk about real estate investing, but there’s a reason people listen to you when you talk about it versus somebody else. For example, I have a friend who has an online course teaching people how to invest in short-term rentals. She is a woman and she teaches other women how to do it. That’s super niche. There’s a reason she does that and there’s a reason I’m in her course.
I feel like people need to play up their personal brand. Don’t get imposter syndrome. Don’t think you’re not ready for this. I did a bootcamp and I included this section on day one where the people who have imposter syndrome are always high achievers. The number of people who have it is insane. You know so much more than you think because you have the curse of knowledge. It’s natural to you. It’s secondhand that you don’t think what you know is special and it is.
Think of something you are ignorant of. For me, it’s cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Meta and Web3. I don’t even know how to tell you what I’m ignorant of because I don’t get it at all. That 101 version of stuff is so over my head. Your expertise is like that for somebody else too. The more you put content out there about who you are and what you do, not only are you going to attract more of your people but you’re also going to attract a lot of those media opportunities as well.
One of the best things is sharing what we think is dumb. It is not always the case for everybody else out there. No buying for dummies. We started our course like that years ago and people understand, “I know what I’m going to walk out of this knowing I’m not going to be a dummy anymore.” That basic knowledge is always a great place to start off and then build from there. You said something good. It is to niche it down too in a lot of cases, knowing your niche versus trying to be broad and serve everybody out there too. That’s important too, being niche specific.
It’ll also help you create your content and get those media opportunities because we’re sick of hearing the general stuff from everybody all day, every day. It’s like, “Five ways to get started investing in real estate.” You could say that or you could say, “Five ways to invest in real estate even if you don’t have money saved up or to invest in real estate in Austin, Texas or while you’re working a full-time job,” whatever it is. Get as specific as possible because then I’m going to be more interested because those specifics cater to me in my current situation.
I don’t know if you had a chance to see Bobbi Rebell, one of the keynotes from the Big Ideas. They speak. She used to be a news anchor. She had me on her podcast and it was the same thing you said, five ways to invest in real estate without using your own money or with no money. It was funny. You raised the relevant point there. It’s important to be that specific and shared specific insight down to a nugget.
It’s the same thing in podcasts and real estate. If you try to be a Jack Of All Trades, nobody is going to listen to you. You’re not going to be successful in any form or fashion. Know your niche and narrow it down, and then share your story. It is one of the biggest things too. Nobody wants another realtor from Keller Williams. We got a guy here in Austin who wears the big cowboy hat. He’s the short sale expert for Keller Williams.
My sister became a real estate agent in Central Ohio. I was like, “Michele, you’re fun. You need to be the fun real estate agent.” She’s a good gift-giver. She closed on her first house and she was like, “My closing present for my client was the bomb. Listen to what I got them.” He loved it. He wants to be your best friend now because of this closing present. I’m like, “That needs to be your niche. You make the process fun.” A lot of times, when people are looking to buy a house or sell a house, it’s stressful and it’s not fun. You need to be like, “I’m the fun one and you will get a bomb present when you close with me.”
I think about the movie with Paul Rudd where he was the realtor, I Love You, Man. His buddy took all his photos and put them on all the billboards. It’s hilarious.
Anything with Paul Rudd is fabulous.
What’s the best way for our audience to connect with you and follow you? What’s the best way for them to listen to you?
Follow her on Twitter and everything out there. Listen to her podcast. There is so much value there for you, especially if you’re starting off new and trying to figure things out. She’s great insight and we get love if you didn’t know from her. She is fun and she’ll have you laughing a little bit at her stories and things like that. It’s valuable. She’s straight-shooting out there. That’s why we had to have you here on the show. You add value to my business since FinCon. Thank you so much.
Thank you for having me. I’m glad to see you again. I’m happy to be on the show.
That is going to wrap it up for this episode. Take a look at those free resources. Make sure you follow Christina online and listen to her podcast as well. Go out, take some action, and we’ll see you all at the top.
- Media Maven
- TED Talk – Fake News. It’s Your Fault
- Become A Media Maven
- @ChristinaAllDay – Twitter
About Christina Nicholson
Bio: Christina Nicholson is a mother of three, TV host, and business owner who lives in Wellington, Florida.
Christina started her PR agency, Media Maven, after working as a TV anchor and reporter for more than 10 years. Since then, she has created an online course and group program for solopreneurs and small business owners who want to earn coverage in the media, but don’t have a budget to hire an agency.
Christina is also the host of the Become A Media Maven podcast and the founder of Podcast Clout, a podcast database that makes it easier for PR professionals to build podcast pitch lists.
You can still see her in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, in national commercials, on the TEDx stage, and read her work online in Huff Post, Thrive Global, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, and Boss Babe. She was selected as an Oprah Magazine Insider and Ambassador out of thousands of applicants. In Boca Raton, Christina gave a TEDx talk titled, “Fake News: It’s Your Fault” that has tens of thousands of views on YouTube.
Christina has a local lifestyle and family blog, Christina All Day.
As an avid reader and book lover, she is also a steward of her very own Little Free Library.
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