GCM 96 | Refining Your Message

 

When you’re trying to reach the people whom you’re targeting with your business, refining your message to the point where it’s easy enough to communicate is crucial. Without a clear message, you lose direction and connection, and at the end of the day, that’s not how you do business. Rodney Flowers is joined by international speaker Jill Lublin. Jill goes straight into how one goes about message refinement. Make sure you never get left behind on this particular subject again!

Listen to the podcast here:

Refining Your Message With Jill Lublin

I am excited about the show. If you are an author or have something that you want to market, promote, or you want to have more influence. Maybe get a little bit more PR. How many PR people are out there? You’re going to want to stick around to the end of this because I have an expert in the field of PR, influence and networking. If you want to become an author, maybe you have a book idea, you want to get a book out there, or maybe you already have a book and you don’t know how to put it out there for people to see, read, enjoy and change the world, I have the one and only Jill Lublin with me.

She is an international speaker on the topics of radical influence, publicity, networking, kindness and referrals. She is the author of four best-selling books including Get Noticed… Get Referrals and the co-author of Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic. I want to talk about her book, The Profit of Kindness, which went number one in four categories. I know Jill personally and she is a master strategist on how to position your business for more profitability and more visibility in the marketplace. Welcome to the show, Jill.

Thank you, Rodney. It’s so good to be here with you.

I’m delighted to be here. I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to slow down, visit with me and share your words of wisdom with my audience. I know there are some people out there that may have some book ideas, maybe they’ve written a book, and maybe want to get more PR. To have you on the show is such a delight to be able to tap into your brain and find out how we can have more influence in the world. I know that you have been doing this for quite some time. It’s been years that you’re a veteran to PR. Let’s start with this. What is public relations?

I love that question because, to me, public relations happen from the minute you walk out of your door. It’s not about getting on the radio, doing podcasts, being in blogs, featured in TV, in magazines, and newspapers, all of that is key but what are you going to do the other 364 days of the year? It’s about maintaining an image and perception. It’s about cultivating your message. It’s about knowing what your message is literally from the minute you walk out of your door. That, to me, is good public relations.

We live in a world where there are so much social media, I feel that there’s so much saturation of images, ideas, coaches and expertise. To me, the key is to get noticed, find your own niche and that piece of expertise that can serve the world. How do we do that in a world that’s saturated with social media? It seems like everyone is doing everything.

Firstly, you’ve got to consider your social media as part of your publicity. That’s important. Find a cause. Find your voice regarding a certain message that might be in the marketplace depending on what’s going on. I have a client that wrote a book on women’s leadership. We’ve got impeachment. We’ve got Nancy Pelosi being a strong woman leader. I said to her, “You’re going to comment on Nancy. You love her or hate her. I want you commenting on her because you’ll become the expert in that since you wrote a book on women’s leadership.” She hadn’t even thought of that up until we talked about it. I want to know where you can tie in your marketplace message so it matters to others.

Public relations happen the minute you walk out your door. Click To Tweet

How important is it that you find something that is truly natural to you? The reason why I asked is that there are a lot of coaches and experts who claim that they are experts in certain fields. What I look for when I’m looking for an expert or coach is someone that has a natural knack for that particular field. How important is that in the marketplace?

What you’re looking for is perfect. It’s good to have people who are authentic to who they are. For me, I am the queen of public relations. That’s my lane. I don’t profess to be the queen of other things like bookkeeping or even digital media. I know PR, messaging and know how to make it all work together with social media but I’m always cautious of people who say, “I can do this and yes, I can do this.” In these years, I’ve been successful in helping people sell book deals, without a word written. That’s related to PR because it’s great to have a book for PR. It’s not the only thing. I work with banks and software companies. They don’t have books, scientists, real estate agents, chiropractors and all kinds of industries. The key is to find the right message and that crosses every industry. That’s important.

Let’s talk about finding the voice. You mentioned and that there may be someone out there that has a knack for a particular field or industry. Maybe they have some strong ideas, but they don’t know how to quite articulate them and bring them across to the market. How does someone find their voice?

The first thing I like to do when I’m consulting with people is to focus on what I call What’s the Problem Out There. What I don’t want people doing is going, “Here’s what I do,” which is what most people do. We want to switch that to What’s the Problem Out There. What we’re looking at with that is related to what’s going on in the marketplace, the news, what’s going on that’s a bigger story that’s interesting or something that relates to things that are going on. I like that first that we look at the problem out there. If you’re reading, fill this question in, “The problem is,” and see what shows up because that will tell you a great way to start looking at your message, voice and whether you’re dialed in on it. The truth is, Rodney, it always takes tweaking. I’m big on replicable systems in PR and in life in general. It certainly helps to streamline and make things easier. One of my systems in PR is you have to look at your message every 30 days. See what’s true, real for you still and see what feels right to still say. That way, it keeps it authentic. The other two words that are important with regards to the message is to be consistent and persistent in the marketplace. That’s helpful.

What do you mean by that? Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

GCM 96 | Refining Your Message

Refining Your Message: Find a cause. Find your voice regarding a certain message that might be out there in the marketplace today.

 

What I mean by that is what’s your message? What are you going to tell people that’s consistent? To do that means a lot. It keeps you authentic and powerful in the marketplace. To be consistent and persistent means that you come to the market with an ongoing message that you know what it is. I’ll tell you the truth, you’re going to be bored with your message. That’s what happens to a lot of people. They get bored with their message before they spread it enough.

You feel that you’re tired of hearing it, maybe perhaps and you feel like other people are tired of hearing it too. It may be the thing that other people need to hear. How do we avoid that syndrome? That’s the syndrome because when you talk about spreading the message, it’s not about us. It’s about helping other people. When we have that mentality, my story, my message, and the thing that I’m offering can help you. This has a different connotation. It’s a reality check when we feel like we’re tired of our messages because we’re serving on a bigger purpose. That’s what PR is all about. It’s not so much getting seen and putting yourself out there, but it’s making yourself available to people that need to find and need to hear you.

Here’s the truth, people and companies get bored with their messages. Let’s look at Coca-Cola who tried to change their message and actually bombed horribly. It didn’t work. They had a catchy jingle that people were singing it and all of a sudden, one day they decided to change their packaging. Pretty much the whole marketing campaign completely bombed and that’s Coca-Cola, who has millions of dollars to put behind their ads. Part of that we, the people, wanted consistency. That’s not to say you can’t make changes, but you have to be careful. There are a lot of campaigns that have changed their image publicly that frankly didn’t work and there’s a lot that has worked, even in the face of a crisis like Odwalla Juice Company.

Some people died from drinking their juice from a pasteurization problem. Odwalla from a PR perspective handled that well because they came out right away. They said, “We are sorry. We take full responsibility for this and we’re going to fix it.” They did and they told people how they fixed it. They’re more popular than ever. Their sales are booming and their market shares are excellent. How wonderful is that? Take a company like Exxon. When the oil spill in Belize happened, they didn’t accept responsibility. They didn’t handle it well from a public relations perspective, and people still talk about that so many years later because it wasn’t handled well. They still remember it. That’s the issue when you don’t handle it well, it will be remembered. If you do handle well, you might be not talked about as much but believe me, Rodney, that could be a good thing.

Is it true that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all?

Not necessarily, I don’t believe that personally, because then it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and people can only remember that, which is unfortunate. Here’s the good news, people’s memories are short and they won’t remember that much but we don’t want bad publicity floating out. All somebody has to do is Google you and they will. I would ask all your people reading to make sure you Google yourself so you see what’s being said out there about you. You know what your reputation is. Make sure you do Google yourself. That’s important and keep up on things being said and heard about you. That’s a key but I’m not a big believer in bad publicity. Anything that does happen needs to be stopped but that’s probably not going to be an issue for most of your readers.

What is your definition of an expert?

An expert is one who has frankly the competence and capability to comment that’s been in a field for a certain amount of time. It doesn’t have to be twenty years or two years. It depends on the field and it depends on who they are. The other truth is, being an expert is a bit of a state of mind. You have to declare yourself as an expert. You have to declare yourself that you’re the competent, capable one to make comments and be out in the marketplace. That does take a little bit of bravery, confidence and sometimes a little bit of fake it until you make it until you catch up with yourself to a certain extent. We’re all working until the end of your life as far as I’m concerned. It’s an evolution of who you are as a person, expert and a force in the world. That evolves. I have four books out and every time I get a new book out, I become a different kind of expert. Ones on publicity, referrals, networking, and in the profit of kindness, all of a sudden, I’m a kindness expert. That was a new version of myself.

People and companies get bored with their message over time. Click To Tweet

You’re constantly reinventing yourself?

Not constantly. These are years of each book being out there and another book. Especially as an author, I’m saying that you have to invent yourself around your book but I’ve helped people get book deals, not a word was written. That’s actually one of my specialties. Somebody’s dreaming about doing a book. One of the things, when we do promote it to publishers and agents is we create that person as the why to. Why can they speak about this in the field? What makes them the expert? That comes from their bio, life experience and their ability to translate their expertise.

What do you look for when you are proposing an individual to do a book or to do a book deal? What are some of the characteristics that make a good candidate for that?

There are a couple of things. One, they’ve got to have an interesting premise. For instance, a couple of years ago, the whole opioid crisis has been out there. I met a woman who not only was an opioid addict but got through it. It ruined her marriage and business. There was an incredible story there, but we didn’t sell the book on the story. The book was sold because that story was important and popular and she had a story that was relevant to trend to something that was out there. The book wasn’t her story. The book was about how to deal with this kind of addiction. That was the trend. I look for trends and experts who are leaders and thought leaders. I tend to do well with business books and books that are spiritual and transformative in nature. I’m always keen to see what those are. Publishers love how-to books. They want to know not only your story, which of course, Rodney, you have an amazing story but also, how to. How do you get through every day and how do you fill in the blank? How-tos are good and that works for people.

How important is influence? Influence doesn’t get the publicity that it deserves. We talk about public relations and marketing, but underneath all that, there’s a lot of influence. Give us a little crash course on your take on influence.

Influence is key if you look at it. People are getting paid pretty well for advertising products. If they’re an influencer on Instagram, particularly, and I know people are getting paid either product or actual money for their influence that they have as a leader. PR is building your influence and it also is about building trust, credibility, and visibility in the marketplace. That’s what’s key and what’s important. When you’ve got the trust, the credibility, the visibility, and the influence, that’s what creates influence equals influence. Influence equals your ability to translate messages, to attract prospects and clients which attracts money and builds influence. It’s a wonderful circle of attracting, create and continue to serve. I see doing business as doing service. It’s your gift, whatever your gift is and it could be working as a bank teller, creating widgets, it can be anything. It’s not only about having a book or any of it, although that’s always helpful.

Help us out here. Let’s say we have a reader who has an amazing idea, story or product but is having a hard time getting any traction with that. What would you say to that person? Maybe they’re not as influential online with social media and maybe they even have some fear around that. What would you say to them to increase their influence?

First thing, let’s do some publicity, shall we? The first thing I always do with people is we’ve got to get clear on that message that’s important. What’s the special message that’s going to take you to the marketplace and be the piece that’s key in the marketplace. With that, I like to start local for people. What does that mean? It’s about focusing locally in the marketplace so you create a visibility factor, trust factor, know you like you part and that that is supporting you to grow your influence, to create those prospects, to get more business fabulous at the end of story and beginning of the story. After, we target who do you want to reach. I have a client, he’s a consultant and we did a session. He wants to reach people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because he hasn’t traveled much. He’ll reach out to Columbus, Ohio so we can still drive there. He’s targeted and clear on what he wants to do. That’s perfect.

GCM 96 | Refining Your Message

Refining Your Message: Make sure you Google yourself so you can keep up with what’s being said about you.

 

How does one position themselves to be a master at PR? What are some of the critical elements that someone needs to say they’re ready to go off and start seeking PR events or opportunities? What are some of the key must-haves?

The biggest thing is desire. The truth is, there are people reading who are afraid, “I don’t know what to do or what to say.” That’s okay. That can be taught, learned, practiced and perfected. The point is you’ve got to have the intentionality, the excitement and/or the fear. Fears are okay. I work a lot with people who are afraid or don’t feel as confident. That we can work with. It’s no problem. The point is that we’ve got to start getting it out there because otherwise, you become stagnant. Your message becomes stagnant.

I know that one of the things that you are keen on is having a media script. Many people may not know what a media script is. First, can you tell us what it is and tell us why it’s so important?

Having a media script is about knowing what to say when someone asks you, how about the basic question, what do you do? It amazes me. I’ll ask people that question and I’m not sure if they get scared. They don’t always know the right answer. They don’t have an appropriate answer. It’s fascinating to me that people who don’t answer well aren’t concise and precise in their answer. We’ve all been there, networking, meetings, you meet new people, and you say, “What do you do?” They go on and on and they’re not focused on what they do. It’s not interesting. You lose a bit of interest and excitement in who they are and what they’re offering. Personally, that’s where you start. Knowing that your message is a message that you use for publicity, networking, social media or for an answer when someone says, “What do you do?” This is what I want. When I say to be consistent and persistent, I want you across the board saying the same thing, which is why I say, “You’re going to be bored, we won’t.”

What makes up a media script? Is it those things to say at a certain time? Is there a secret sauce to it?

I won’t tell you all my secrets but I will tell you the main secret which is you have to know the answer to this, “The problem is,” and I want you to come up with three solutions. Tell people what to do and one of them cannot be hire you. It has to be real things that people can do. I like to say give them gold. Give them given the real things that they can do that will support their message in the marketplace. If you’re a chiropractor give them things to do for their being. If you’re a real estate person tell people how to sell a house in a tough market. You want to be a valuable resource. When I wrote Guerrilla Publicity, I was privileged to talk to media like CNN and the Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine. Imagine if your business gets into those publications. I asked them, what do you love and what do you hate about publicity? Their answers were as varied as you are, but they agreed about two things and that is to give value and benefit in the marketplace.

Those are key things that if you can focus on those things you get clarity around those things. That’s a game-changer. That makes a world of a difference in your business. I want to shift a little bit and talk about your book The Profit of Kindness. I haven’t read this book but I’m interested in it. It seems to be a little different from some of the things that we talked about in terms of influence and PR, and things like that. Tell us a little bit about this book and what inspired you to write it.

There are a couple of things. One is my 85-year-old friend who I’ve been friends with for many years. She’s been getting older. I’ve done things to help her out, take care of her, drive her to doctor’s appointments, take her to lunch and all kinds of fun things. One day, she looked at me and she said, “Jill, I wish other people were as kind. Would it be nice if we had a new currency, the currency of kindness?” You know when someone says something new and it sounds like a bell in your mind? That was it because The Profit of Kindness was born from that conversation. I created seven returns on kindness principles, things that generate more profit for you like generosity, patience and flexibility. These are all important return on kindness principles.

Your life can change when you make the right choice: the choice of kindness. Click To Tweet

I interviewed amazing companies with great stories of kindness and what it had done for their companies. I have to tell you one which I love which is about Panera Bread company, which we’ve all heard of. One young man who his grandmother was dying. He called up the Panera Bread company in his smaller town, and he said, “My grandma’s dying and she wants clam chowder. I know it’s Tuesday and I know that you don’t make clam chowder until Friday, but she’s not going to make it until Friday. I’m only asking.” That woman who answered the phone, she was a minimum wage person working in a franchise store. She, with her heart led in kindness, said, “Absolutely, I’m going to make you a batch.”

When he showed up, she had clam chowder, a tin full of cookies for him and wished him. His grandma did pass and he wrote on social media. Remember, it’s all publicity. I look that story up and when I looked it up, he had 325,000 views, hits, and comments on this story of kindness by Panera Bread Company. Here we are talking about it and there he is continuing to talk and post about it. That young woman got promoted to the regional manager and her whole career skyrocketed because she made the right choice, the choice of kindness. They brought more profit to Panera. As much as my Guerrilla Publicity, Get Noticed… Get Referrals book all of those are having to do with kindness. A good and kind company will get more publicity.

Thinking about the profit of kindness it’s always good to be kind. Kindness always has a return on investment. It’s always good to be kind and be kind to people. You can always expect something good.

Again and again with every company interviewed, it was Honda, Kleenex, small companies or Hyatt who was giving away passes to their spa to surprise customers. It was a veterinarian clinic and how she treated their customers. It was so fascinating because what I noticed is kind companies were consistently profitable. Their CEOs were happier, their customers were delighted and their employees were happy. Isn’t that a great thing all the way around?

I noticed a lot of companies now are giving things away for free. When you visit websites and you visit companies, there’s always something that you can take away for free. That’s intentional. They want to give you a taste of what they have and show a little act of kindness. That goes a long way. What are your thoughts about that?

GCM 96 | Refining Your Message

Refining Your Message: A good, kind company will get more publicity at the end of the day.

 

It’s smart. Mrs. Fields Cookies started because she used to give away cookies in malls. People got hooked and they loved it. She got that feedback immediately. Samples, giveaways, something for free, and a taste is absolutely important. It’s great that people can try something and it’s smart. I’m about to get a car. I love Toyota but Hyundai was saying, “Come in and test drive our cars and we’ll give you a $50 certificate.” I was interested in their cars anyway, I thought, “What the heck?” I did and guess who’s buying that? It’s not because of the $50 gift card. It’s nice but it’s because they got me in there with a taste of. It was smart marketing.

You give away a free special report yourself, the Radical Influence Checklist: 7 Steps to Find Your Unique Voice, Be Heard by the Millions and Change the World. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?

I’m big on giving away good value and content. Go to PublicityCrashCourse.com/freegift. You will see the influence checklist and be able to monitor yourself and how you’re doing. That’s important. It’s good to be up to date with who you are and take a look and analyze yourself.

We talked about the Profit of Kindness but we didn’t talk about how people can get it. How can people get that book if they wanted to?

Go to JillLublin.com and you can order it through my website which will take you frankly direct into Amazon, but it’s nice to go to my website if you like. You can peruse a few things that are good. Also, it’s found in bookstores.

Tell us a little bit about what you do, Jill. If I remember correctly, you are a coach and trainer, consultant. Can you give us some details on that?

I definitely consult with companies and I speak all over for companies and corporations of all sizes and do training. I work with what I might call small business owners, as service providers, consultants, coaches, trainers, speakers and authors who want to get their message out and heard. I do that through what I call a Publicity Crash Course. This is a no-nonsense course on Zoom, where I actually go through and do the publicity documents that we need. It’s like what you were asking, how do we do that? We will go through and write your message. We will go through and make sure that the documents are for the media to say yes to you. I love doing that course. It’s live with me on Zoom live in several cities across the nation. That’s been a wonderful thing. For that, you can go to PublicityCrashCourse.com. If you use the wonderful code, PUBLICITY, you will get a huge discount courtesy of Rodney.

Go and take advantage of that. I know Jill personally and I know I’m going to be working with Jill in the future. We’ve been missing each other. We haven’t had the connection yet to collaborate on some things, but she’s definitely on my list of a person to work with because she’s an expert. She’s someone I trust with my business and I noticed that she has worked with other people in my network to make them successful as well.

The other thing I want to say because one of the people in your network, I helped him get a book deal. If there is a dream brewing in your heart or a book you want to write, please connect to me about that, because I’d love to help you bring that to market. You don’t have to have any of it done. In fact, I tell people don’t write it first. Let’s pitch it to publishers and agents and get them to say yes to you. That’s a beautiful thing.

If they wanted to take the crash course, they can go to the website that you gave. How can people connect with you if they wanted to work with you one-on-one or they want some consulting?

You can email Support@JillLublin.com and let us know what you are interested in. We’ll set up a cover session with you and that will be wonderful so I can see how we can serve you. Call my office. I like that too and I’ll give you the phone number of the office. We do still talk to people and we love that. The number is (415) 883-5455. Let me know how I might serve you in any way that you’re ready to move forward with your next visibility building campaign in the marketplace.

I appreciate you doing that. Thank you for stopping by to hang out with me. It’s good to connect with you again. It’s good to see you again. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. I know you’ve been on the road, doing your thing and helping people create more radical influence. I’m grateful to you and thank you for stopping by and sharing your words of wisdom.

Rodney, you’re amazing, I’m in awe of you and I appreciate the opportunity to be here.

I would like to ask you as I do all of my guests. What is your game-changing message?

My game-changing message is your message matters. The truth is, for me, I feel like my mission is to help messengers get their message out and a messenger to me is anyone with something brewing in their spirit, soul, and heart that needs sharing. That could be on multiple kinds of subjects.

It couldn’t be better said that your message matters. If you have any doubt, if you’re wondering if you should take that next step. If you should visit that website or call that number that Jill gave you, there you have it. There’s your confirmation right there. Thank you, Jill, for that. I love that. That has resonated with me. Imagine if I didn’t feel my message matter. Imagine if you didn’t feel your message. That thought alone and that perception can change the trajectory of your life. Your message matters. Thank you so much, Jill.

Thank you.

Your message matters to people. Let’s get out there and bring it fully. Thank you for reading.

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About Jill Lublin

GCM 96 Jill Lublin | Refining Your MessageJill Lublin is an international speaker on the topics of Radical Influence, Publicity, Networking, Kindness and Referrals. She is the author of 4 Best Selling books including Get Noticed…Get Referrals (McGraw Hill) and co-author of Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic. Her latest book, Profit of Kindness went #1 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 experience working with over 100,000 people plus national and international media. Jill teaches Publicity Crash Courses as both live events and live webinars and consults and speaks all over the world. She also helps authors to create book deals with major publishers and agents, and well as obtain foreign rights deals

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