This is the first episode in a mini two-part series on publicity for authors.
The wider media can reach, the more we can get our messages out there. With social media joining the traditional media outlets, it is safe to say that there are tremendous opportunities and possibilities out there that can take our business to the next level. Especially in this day and age, there is no excuse not to utilize these digital assets. Helping you leverage these things and more, Robin Colucci interviews Jill Lublin as part of the two-part miniseries on the topic of publicity. Jill is an international speaker on the topics of radical influence, publicity, networking, kindness, and referrals. She shares with us some insights and tips and tricks on how we can go across all digital platforms by getting our message right. She also lets us take a peek into her book, The Profit of Kindness, and reveals some of the myths about publicity that could guide us in taking action towards promoting our books.
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Get Your Message Right: Keeping It Clear And Focused for All Platforms with Jill Lublin
I am delighted to have with us the great Jill Lublin. Jill is an international speaker on the topics of radical influence, publicity, networking, kindness, and referrals. She is the author of four bestselling books including Get Noticed… Get Referrals published by McGraw-Hill. She’s the co-author of Guerrilla Publicity, which was the first time that I heard about Jill, and Networking Magic. Her book, The Profit of Kindness went number one in four categories. Jill is a master strategist on how to position your business for more profitability and more visibility in the marketplace. She is CEO of a strategic consulting firm and has over 25 years of experience working with over 100,000 people plus national and international media. Jill teaches an excellent virtual publicity crash course, which I have taken and got so much value out of. She consults and speaks all over the world. I’m happy to have Jill with us and I hope you enjoy the show.
Jill, I remember the first time that I saw you speak in 2003 at Steve Harrison’s National Publicity Summit. I think it was one of the first times he ever did it. You were speaking about publicity. I think Guerrilla Publicitywas a fairly new release at that time if I’m not mistaken. I remember thinking, “This lady knows what she’s talking about.” To think that it’s 2020, we’ve become good friends, collaborators and colleagues. It’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Thank you. I’m glad to be here too. I love our long-term collegial friendship and association and who you are in the world. It’s a delight to be here with you.
I feel the same way. As I was reflecting back on these many years stretch of time that has passed since I first met you, and thinking about how things have changed, social media didn’t or hardly exist in 2002. I don’t think there was very much going on at all in that space. I was curious to know your perspective as someone who’s been in the publicity game for such a long time. What do you see are some of the big shifts that have occurred as it relates to publicity for authors?
Call me an eternal optimist, Robin, which I am. Here’s what I see. What’s an interesting change that most people aren’t talking about that’s positive is the fact that every print, TV, radio, traditional media has their digital assets. Every time you’re in their media, there are also tremendous opportunities for other possibilities. That is amazing. We’re always grateful for that. Additionally, the social media message has to be very refined and that’s important. I’ve always been a big one on your publicity message must be clear, concise, and precise so that it can operate in multiple formats across digital platforms. That includes all the social media outlets. The good news is if you get your message right, get it clear, and focused, you can go across all platforms.
I do think you’ve got to be ready for anything, the 140-character tweet, the longer magazine article, the 7 to 10-minute radio interview. I was interviewed on a major station in Columbus on Fox News Radio. That was ten minutes long, but when I was on Fox News TV when The Profit of Kindness came out, that was 4 minutes and 20 seconds on every single station. I did eight of them in the first week the book was out, on an average, they were 4 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s why it’s important that people need to be ready for short and focused messaging.
That’s an important point because one of the things that I have seen authors have to overcome is to be able to answer that question, what is your book about? In a way that it doesn’t become a 30-minute monologue. Maybe you could talk a little bit about what you’ve seen around that and how do you help authors get that dialed in?
I agree with you. I know we’ve lamented about this before, I love you authors, but here’s the problem. The media doesn’t want to know all about your book. They want to know your message. They want to know what’s in your message that’s in it for their readers, their viewers, and their listeners. One thing I love to tell speakers and authors of which many are both is that you have to be focused on the audience and not what your book is about. I’ll give you a great example with The Profit of Kindness. I’m big at what I call create your ooh-ahh factor. One of the things we found, as much as I’d love to say we got on a tremendous amount of media, which is true for The Profit of Kindness, the reality is it wasn’t because Jill’s got a new book out.
It was because I hit the right message and that right message was the divided States of America. That’s why we needed kindness. That got me on seven Fox TV News interviews in the first eight days. That’s gotten me on over 80 podcasts and Inc. Magazine, Forbes Magazine and so on because we hit the right message. It’s never about the new book. You’ve got to find the message under the message of your book. What’s in it that’s going to give the audience, the listening audience, the media audience something valuable, a great gem? They’re going to glean good stuff from you because you wrote a book to leave a lasting legacy. It’s important to write books. I’m convinced of that. I’m glad to get it done.
I’ve been helping people in my virtual publicity courses. One of the things with authors, I also want to say, is to start your publicity before you need it. I want you all to think about planting a publicity garden. You’re going to plant seeds so that they grow 3, 6 and 9 months ahead. The reason books are successful in the media is because you started ahead of the game. Don’t get so wrapped up in the writing of it that you forget about the promoting of it, even before it’s out.
I have a question I’m excited to ask you because this comes up with clients from time to time. I know one of the biggest fears that authors have is they don’t want to share their big splash thing too soon because they’re afraid someone else will jump on it or take that idea and run with it by somebody who’s already maybe better known than they are. They are afraid to put those ideas out. I’m not even going to tell you what my advice has been yet because I want to know your advice. I don’t want to color anything. What would you advise an author who has that concern?
Here’s the thing. Just straight, there’s nothing that new under the sun. Your take on it is fantastic. Your spin on it is wonderful, but I don’t buy into this. Maybe don’t spill your complete book title. One of the things I have all my authors do in my virtual publicity courses and who I’m working with privately is I say to you in my upcoming book about publicity. You can say it that way, “In my upcoming book about,” fill in the blank. You don’t have to say everything about it. You don’t have to even say the title, but I want you to start referencing your book. I want you to get it in your bios. Frankly, I would like you to use the title, especially if you know it and are sure of it.
I want you to say it everywhere. I have to tell you, Robin, this is something my little antennas notice a lot about most authors. A lot of you will say, “In my book,” but then you won’t fill in the title. Every time you mention your book, you’re going to say, “In my book, The Profit of Kindness, you can find.” In a typical media interview, even 5 to 7 minutes, I want you to repeat it at least three times. That’s an average for how many times you should mention the name of your book, The Profit of Kindness in every interview you do. In my book, Guerrilla Publicity, you will find more tips on how to create publicity. I’m sharing this with you because I want you to get this. I see authors forget to do this a lot. You say, “In my book,” but I don’t know what book.
I have to laugh because I noticed when you were speaking about the Fox News interviews, how many times you use the title. I can see how that’s such an effective strategy because I will never forget The Profit of Kindness. You not only used the title, but you make it relevant when you’re using it, which I think is another important thing to take note of in terms of how you say it. What would you say are some of the myths about publicity, specifically getting publicity for a book that you would say are holding authors back?
There are a couple of things. One, you think the media is about somebody else. The media is about you, especially as an author, what’s super great about this. This is because you’ve invested in doing a book. You’re working with Robin, you’re smart enough to be in this process. What I love about that is the fact that this is your lasting legacy. People need to know about the book, you, and your message. Also, finding ways that you can get in there, which leads me to another myth, which you think the media is about other people. The news is about you. You’re the ones, your comments, you’re the sources, you are the people, the experts with books that the media loves and needs to interview. I want you to get it out there and keep it out there.
Some of you think that maybe publicity is too hard. I’m going to tell you because I wrote the book, Guerrilla Publicity, I’m really big on fast, easy ways to get your name out there without spending a fortune. I’m big on systems, replicatable systematic. When you have systematic replicatable publicity tactics, you can get it done ongoingly and consistently. That’s a super thing. Do not get scared about publicity because it’s going to sell your books. It’s going to create that platform you want and desire. It’s going to give you the influence that you’re meant to have in order to touch more lives with the legacy that you’re leaving in your book. You can also speak it, be it, and do it in front of people, with people.
What I love is the multiplier factor. In being in one media, one podcast, which is fairly easy to get, think of how many more people you’ve now multiplied to reach. That’s amazing. With one article, I’ve seen people sell out their books on stock, for instance. In fact, Tuesdays with Morrie, if you remember that beautiful book, he was on Oprah and they couldn’t even get the book in bookstores because it sold out so fast. That was a new problem to have. That’s a good problem if we’re going to have a problem.
That’s a high-level problem. That’s the kind of problem that we’d all invite. I’m curious about that because I know that, in some cases, you can tie publicity directly to book sales. In other cases, it’s not always such a clear straight line. There’s a compounding effect, but it’s not necessarily like people see you on Oprah and run out and get your book. Can you talk a little bit about the other ways that publicity benefits you, your book and your messaging?
First of all, I would beg to argue that if your book is on Oprah, they’ll be running out to get it.
I’m acknowledging that, but those days are a little bit behind us. Although Oprah’s Book Club will probably still do it for you. I’m thinking in terms of more general publicity like some of the other things we were talking about like podcasts and articles and being interviewed. I know that awareness can also lead to book sales, but I want you to expand a little bit upon how because there are other benefits to the publicity as well.
I am teasing you because I want to make that point with your readers that it all matters. I worked with Mark Victor Hansen. He flew me in to do some strategy with his book, The One Minute Millionaire that he did with Robert Allen. I want to share with you one of the things that Mark Victor Hansen told me about Chicken Soup for the Soul that had sold 85 million books. Here’s what he told me, “Jill, you know why you’re in this room around this table? When I wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul and we were starting and nobody knew who we were or what that book was, we did every little radio interview in every little city that you’ve never heard of. We woke up at 4:00 in the morning. We did small papers and big papers. We did everything. We kept saying, ‘Yes.’ That is what drove our franchise, our 85 million book sales. I know the power of publicity.”
Here’s what I want to say. Yes, it’s the cumulative effect. Sometimes you’ll get a huge amount of book sales and you’ll see a spike in your web stats immediately. I’ve seen that a lot. It’s a yes-and. You’ll see speaking engagement leads come from it. You’ll see name recognition increase. You’ll see trust in the marketplace, which you can’t exactly measure. If they’ve heard your name a number of times, your trust factor is going up. It’s the opportunity to leave legacy for people to find quotes about you in places that you’ve been interviewed. I got on a call with someone on a podcast. He said, “I listened to your interview with a woman Aldana.”
I didn’t even remember the interview but somehow they found that on YouTube because Aldana posted it. What I’m finding is people will find you in all kinds of ways and all kinds of places. People go to my website, they’ll see I spoke on stage with Tony Robbins, but then they’ll see a Facebook interview I did live with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul saying, “Give me three publicity strategies you love.” You never know where people are going to find you, how they’re going to relate to you, but one thing I’ll tell you for sure is that your name recognition, that credibility factor, that visibility factor, you could not buy it because it replicates and grows in value.
It’s a little bit of the more you get, the more you get. It’s not always about the volume. Sometimes one podcast you’ll be amazed. All of a sudden, a client will come through that. Somebody will have heard you and said, “I want to talk to you about your services besides just the book.” The book is a way that your revenues are going to increase. In my virtual publicity course, I have this particular strategy about sending out an announcement. That’s not a press release, but an announcement which you all can use as authors. You’re going to send out an announcement that your book is coming out, then that it’s out, and that it reached number one bestseller status because I know that will happen for you.
In one of my announcements, one of the places I say is to make sure to post it in your university alumni. Their magazine is a great place that most people forget about. I did that with Get Noticed… Get Referrals came out. The next thing I know, I get a call from San Antonio, Texas from a gentleman who says, “I saw you got a new book out. Congratulations. I bought it. I see that you do PR consulting and I’d love to do that with you.” The next thing I know that was a $6,000 VIP day. This guy bought a $21 book. Because of that, they called me and hired me. That would not have happened if I didn’t have publicity, which didn’t cost me anything.
It was a free listing in my alumni magazine. Look for the ways that you can announce your books in every association you’re a member of. In your private Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, in all your social media, put it in there, get the buzz going. Even if it now is announcing that the book is coming out. I don’t care if it’s a year from now, you don’t need to tell them that. Just say, “I’m the author of an upcoming book,” and then fill in the blank. That’s a good way to get it done.
I want to call out here because something you’re saying is important and relevant. It’s not about getting the big Oprah booking or the big national interview on whatever. There’s a cumulative effect that comes with consistency. That comes with a steady, consistent effort of putting yourself out there, putting the book out there, connecting your message to the market, connecting your message to the conversation that’s going on in the news or whatever that might look like. That’s a valuable point that you bring up. I know that a lot of times, back when Oprah was on every day, I would ask people, “What would be a big publicity win in terms of promoting your book?” Without fail, they would say, “Getting on Oprah.” I started framing the question, “Besides getting on Oprah, what would be a big win?” It is because it was common. People can make that mistake of looking at those big boulder achievements when a lot of times, if you have enough grains of sand, you can still fill up that jar.
You guys all have to know this. It’s called everything matters, everything counts, small, big, large announcements, mentions, one-liners, keep the visibility building activities going. That includes your local Chamber of Commerce, all your memberships. Look to see where else you can be doing announcements. Where else can you get your word out about something? I always love something that I learned from one of my coaches. I’m having a Kindness Summit and I want 100 people there. I have to reach out to 10 people to do 10 things to get 100 people there. Break it down into small measurable sets of activities that you can do daily. If you want to do one hour a week of visibility building activities called publicity, you must dedicate at least that to it. I know you have it. I know you’ve got that time. You’re going to have a lot of fun doing it because you get to be on podcasts. It’s a delightful experience to take all of your information and expand it.
I’ll tell you what, anyone who doesn’t have an hour a week to devote to publicity probably didn’t finish their book because it takes more than an hour a week to do that. Since we’re talking about all these things a person can do, and I know you have this great publicity crash course that I’m going to have you tell people about next. Tell us a little bit about the difference between hiring a publicist and doing it yourself. I know you work in both ways with people. What would you say are some of the key differences if somebody was thinking about going which way they should go?
It depends on what kind of money you have to invest. I owned a PR agency for many years. That’s how I started my career besides in the music business. We charge $5,000 a month and that was many years ago. Now, it’s anywhere between $4,000 to $10,000 for anyone who’s good at what they do to help you get placement. It because of the market being what it is. That’s a significant amount of cash and you’ve got to be willing to invest that. I want to say that you can’t do it for a month. Realistically, publicity, you’ve got to give 4 to 6 months to create that instant focus. I love these quotes from people about saying that, “It only takes twenty years to become an overnight success.”
It takes time to leverage. I want you all to know that. I wrote a book called Guerrilla Publicity. I’m big on do it yourself, get it done, and publicity tactics because I owned a PR agency, I don’t anymore, but I did. I found a way that I can get people getting their publicity done the right way, doing it in a systematic way and getting real results. It’s been very successful. I’m now able to reach people faster, quicker and get them frankly, empowered to even have a virtual assistant get it done, all that good stuff. At some points, it may be good to hire someone, but it’s important to still do some of the things that I would recommend to you to do it yourself so that you fill in the gaps. The problem people get into is when you hand it all over to a publicity agency and you say, “Get it done for me, please.” You then hope and you pray.
With The Profit of Kindness, we’ve had a great deal of publicity success because I did a multi-pronged approach. I used my system. I did have two other people hired. I also had interns and virtual assistants doing my own system. We did a multi-pronged approach, which is why we got a lot of media. Go to ProfitOfKindness.com and check out some of the media we got and you’ll see what happened. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and hope and pray. You’ve got to be educated. You’ve got to do the right things in the right order. Sometimes it works to hire it out. There are lots of good people, please feel free to reach out to me. I can make some recommendations.
Even what you’re talking about, doing some of it yourself, and I will say this from firsthand experience or buy Guerrilla Publicity and read it. I got the first edition and there’s still stuff in there I can use. It has great tips. If you are doing some of it on your own, you can also be a better client to that PR agency if you do hire one. You can help them help you get better results if you have some foundation of understanding what’s happening and you’re participating. Would you agree?
I agree. Messaging is key and that will be important. You would see all four of my books behind me on a lovely shelf I got from Amazon for $20. I want all of you to have a shelf that is high, that when people are seeing you in a Zoom room in a media meeting, in a client meeting, they are going to see your books. I’m going to give you a cool Guerrilla Publicity tip and that is even if your book is not fully finished, I want to take a cover even if you fake the cover for a moment.
As long as you don’t have a traditional book deal, I will agree with this. Do not piss off your publisher.
Even your publisher will give you a copy of that. They’ll give you a mock-up. Use those mock-ups, laminate them, and put them so that people can see them. I’m watching interviews on different networks. Whenever an author is on there, the best one I saw was a guy who had probably 30 of his books all around him in a big square stack. You could not miss that book. You need multiple books. Be proud, be loud, knowing that you are in charge of promoting your book consistently. Be excited about it. Be grateful for it. Know that it’s a great gift you’re giving the world.
Speaking of gifts, I believe you have a gift for our audience. Let’s take this time that we have here together to let you share about it and where they can get it.
I do a virtual publicity course full on and I do a wonderful interactive live and free publicity master class. You can go to JillLublin.com/publicity, register for that and it would be my joy to help you on your publicity journey. I look forward to helping you with your public.
Thank you, Jill. That’s generous. As somebody who’s taken your publicity crash course, I would say that you are absolutely brilliant. The tips in the course are brilliant. Anybody who gets the benefit of live interaction with you while they’re learning this material will succeed beyond anything that anybody could do without your expert guidance. Thank you for joining me for this interview.
Thank you, Robin. Remember that your message matters.
- Get Noticed… Get Referrals
- Guerrilla Publicity
- Networking Magic
- The Profit of Kindness
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- The One Minute Millionaire
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
About Jill Lublin
With 200+ speaking engagements each year, master publicity strategist and consultant, and bestselling author, Jill Lublin, consistently wows audiences worldwide with her entertaining and interactive keynotes, seminars, and training programs on publicity, networking, and influence marketing.
Jill has shared her powerful networking and publicity strategies on the stages of Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Loral Langemeier, and many others. Additionally, thousands of people have attended her popular “Crash Course in Publicity”, which she teaches live several times a month at locations around the U.S. and Canada.
Over the past 25 years, Jill has worked with ABC, NBC, CBS, and other national and international media as a highly regarded publicity expert. She has been featured in The New York Times, Women’s Day, Fortune Small Business, Entrepreneur, and Inc. magazines.
Jill is the author of four bestselling books, including: Get Noticed…Get Referrals (McGraw-Hill), Networking Magic (Morgan James), and Guerrilla Publicity (Adams Media), which is regarded as the “PR Bible”, and her latest book The Profit of Kindness (Career Press), which went #1 in four categories. With four international bestselling books, Jill is acknowledged as the go-to person for building success through influence marketing, networking, and publicity. She helps authors to create book deals with agents and publishers and well as obtain foreign rights deals.
In addition to her speaking engagements, Jill trains and consults with executives, sales teams and marketing departments in Fortune 500 companies, as well as in small-to-medium-sized companies. Her innovative influence marketing and publicity techniques consistently increase bottom line results for her clients.
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