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Learn how to get publicity and influencer marketing for course creators with Esther Kiss in this LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. In this episode, Esther shares a lot of wisdom around publicity and marketing strategies you can employ to become an influencer in your industry and to connect with other influencers.
When most people think about publicity, they think of traditional media such as TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Publicity can be generated from new media, such as podcasts, YouTube shows, Facebook live events, blogs, and all kinds of ways. Esther shares insights on how new media may be more niche and have a smaller audience than traditional media outlets, but the audience is highly targeted compared to traditional media.
We did a previous LMScast episode with author Ryan Levesque, and Esther was the person who made the connection to bring Ryan on LMScast. Ryan had been working with the podcast marketing strategy to sell his new book Choose.
Your strategy for gaining publicity should be in alignment with what you’re gaining publicity for. With Ryan Levesque’s new book he had a launch date, so he had to plan months in advance to generate hype for that. If you are working with an evergreen program, you may end up taking a different approach that is not time-dependent.
Esther emphasizes how the most important thing to understand is when the right time is for you to do interviews and gain exposure for your business or a particular product you’re selling. Esther has a free 12 question assessment at BornToInfluence.com that will point you in the right direction for where you should go for your publicity needs.
You always want to lead with value in your interactions with influencers and audiences. Deliver something to them that helps get a clear result and reciprocity may not take place immediately, but you will likely see an ROI on that if you are able to truly help them out.
Understanding what you’re looking for from media exposure is important as well. Are you looking for credibility? Do you want the opportunity to build relationships? Do you primarily want leads and sales?
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and we’re joined by a special guest, Esther Kiss. How are you doing Esther?
Esther Kiss: I’m well. How are you, Chris? Thank you so much for having me on the show.
Chris Badgett: It’s great to have you. I’m really stoked to get you in front of the course building community. You have a lot of wisdom in publicity, and marketing, and strategy, and becoming an influencer, connecting with influencers.
Chris Badgett: I want to just dive right into it. How has publicity changed, especially in the past couple of years?
Esther Kiss: Oh, I love that question. Okay. Just to backtrack a little bit what publicity is, first of all, maybe for your community-
Chris Badgett: Sure.
Esther Kiss: … and then how it has changed. But most people when they think about publicity, they think of traditional media, so TV, and radio, and newspapers, and magazines, that kind of thing. And that is very accurate to this day.
Esther Kiss: What we also have today is new media. So we have podcasts, and YouTube shows, and Facebook Live interviews, and blogs, and all kinds of things that are getting your exposure in front of niche audiences that may be much, much smaller than for instance being on a TV show, but they’re very, very targeted.
Esther Kiss: And so to answer your question, how it has changed over the last couple of years, I think we see a lot more podcasts popping up. It’s been really popularized over the last eight to 10 years. podcasts have been around a long time, but in the last I’d probably say about three years or so, they have really grown, particularly in the niches that are relevant to course creators, and experts, and online marketers.
Esther Kiss: There’s a lot of shows that are focused on marketing, entrepreneurship, personal development, health and fitness. And so if you’re focusing your energy when you’re giving interviews on approaching podcasters, and YouTube show hosts, and Facebook Live to online media. Typically, your ROI is going to be more significant than if you only went the traditional route.
Esther Kiss: Now I’m not saying TV is bad, or radio, or anything like that. Those are fantastic and they’re huge credibility builders. So once you have those logos on your website at [AC9 00:02:42], ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox Life, whatever it may be where you are featured, those are huge for building your credibility.
Esther Kiss: And if your topic is something that is mainstream, like for example with weight loss, or fitness, or something… nutrition, something that is interesting to the average person in the street, then it will also help you with the generation.
Esther Kiss: If you have a niche offer, for example you teach people on… And with your situation, Chris, for example, you teach people on how to create a course, and how to put it online, that’s not something that will be interesting to someone watching break-fast television.
Esther Kiss: So for that for you to get leads actually, it’s fantastic to be interviewed on podcast and any other types of online media as well. We’ve had clients that literally made millions of dollars just through the exposure of being on podcasts.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Esther is over at borntoinfluence.com. Go check that out, and we’re going to talk more about that in a little bit. For podcast guesting, recently you connected me with Ryan Levesque. I interviewed Ryan, and then I think I saw on a tweet or something, he said somewhere, “I just got off doing 30 interviews for my book tour.” Whatever.
Chris Badgett: So clearly he’s doing a podcast guesting strategy, and he had a great interview, it was awesome. How does somebody… If they decide to focus on podcast guesting as a strategy, what’s the first steps to get the ball rolling and to even think about approaching all these people and how to do it?
Esther Kiss: Okay. The very first thing that you got to know for sure is what your deadline is. For example, with Ryan Levesque, he has a book or he had a book coming out. It just came out on April 30th. So we counted back the clock of accommodating for the lead time, a while we will take to reach out to podcasts or get that interview recorded, make sure that everybody’s calendar is saying that. And at the same time also leave enough time for publishing.
Esther Kiss: It would usually take a minimum three to four months. Now with a bigger book contact, for example, with Ryan’s new book, We Choose, we started it in October, so seven months prior to the book coming out. So this is the first thing that if you want to do your podcast interviews as an effort to generate buzz for example, for a book launch, or a live event, or a product launch, or course, or something like that, you really have to plan ahead of time.
Esther Kiss: The other thing that you have to understand is, what kind of content am I going to share on these podcasts interviews that will be really relevant to that audience? So you don’t want to talk about something very esoteric if it’s more of a how to type of a show. So you need to be prepared for that.
Esther Kiss: And how can I create something that is a free offer that people can learn more, that will be relevant to what we just talked about in the interview? So to give you an example, Chris, you and I were just talking like literally before we started recording, “Okay, what do you want to mention as a free offer? Something that you can actually promote to your audience.”
Esther Kiss: And we discussed between two options based on what will be most relevant to this particular group in this listenership. So that’s really important to have a couple of things in your arsenal, and make sure that you talk about something in the interview where in your audience’s mind the next logical step will be that I want check it out, I need more information, and they will want to update your email list based on what you offer.
Chris Badgett: Can you describe what you’re offering over at Born To Influence [crosstalk 00:06:06]-
Esther Kiss: Oh, sure. One of the things that you can do… We have a lot of resources on publicity, how to get media attention, but really the biggest thing to understand is when is it right for you to do the interview? What you should do to actually get more exposure, because somebody like Ryan Levesque, he has an eight figure company. He is in a different position than someone who just launched their first course.
Esther Kiss: Financially, time-wise, relationship-wise, so you only need to know what would be relevant for you. And so I’ve designed a quiz actually based in Ryan’s methodology that will actually help you with… There’s 12 really fun and easy questions that you can fill out, and it’s an assessment that will point you in the right direction.
Esther Kiss: What type of media to go after, whether or not it makes sense for you right now to maybe hire a publicist, or maybe it’s something that you should do on your own for now. So it will help you figure out what your next best steps are to really build that authority and personal brand that you’re looking for.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You mentioned in your last answer something about like news, ABC, NBC, Forbes, entrepreneur, you get these a credibility indicators on your website. If somebody wants to go after some of that, whether that’s through TV or through these publications, how do they go after that, getting on those stages?
Esther Kiss: It’s incredibly important both with podcasters and with the publications like Forbes and Inc and Entrepreneur, with anything really to build relationships. You don’t want one that’ll just come out and say to you, hey, random person, I should be a guest on your show. That doesn’t work in a show.
Chris Badgett: I have to say, I was on your website and I was watching you, and in some of your videos, and you’re on these news channels and stuff and I’m like, how did that happen?
Esther Kiss: First of all, relationships are key. That’s always the biggest thing. It’s more important or it will take you… It will give you more exposure over the longterm to focus on relationships, particularly in online media. With traditional media like TV and radio, it’s more news based.
Esther Kiss: So there, if you’re pitching yourself… Of course, it’s great if you have a relationship with that editor or a producer or whatever, it may be news director that you’re pitching your story to. But there what is also really important is answer the question, why now?
Esther Kiss: Not only does it have to be a good story, but it has to be something that they have a reason to cover now. So it has to have a strong news peg. For example, Chris, you were mentioning that you saw some of my TV interviews on my website. One of them for example, was very timely.
Esther Kiss: Do you remember when the United Airlines scandal broke out when they dragged off a passenger who was a doctor, like that whole thing?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Esther Kiss: It was covered in the news for a whole week. Every station was talking about how terrible it was. And so I did an interview in New York on The CW on this topic, like what can the airline as a company do from a publicity perspective to recover from this horrible thing that they’d really lost a lot of trust with their customers, with a lot of people who are maybe considering flying United before.
Esther Kiss: So we talked about that. So you would look at what’s going on right now, what’s trending news. Trending is not something that you can time because it’s just something that happens based on breaking news.
Esther Kiss: Another way you have to go about it is maybe you look at upcoming holidays, like Mother’s Day, we just had, Father’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, upcoming holidays or local events. Like if you live in a small town, for example and they have a conference going on, or something that you could tie your expertise to.
Esther Kiss: And now you ask yourself, what is my expertise and how can I connect it to something the media is already interested in? For example, with the United Airlines, that was an easy one because we knew that they’re already interested in the scandal, and it’s also a huge publicity fiasco for the airline, so it was an easy connection to what my expertise is, but it’s not always like that.
Esther Kiss: For example, let’s say if you’re an expert in sales, maybe you’re a sales coach, or trainer, or somebody who helps people get better conversions to identify your service, something like that, what are some of your underlying skills that really make the service possible?
Esther Kiss: So maybe you’re really good at building rapport, you are good at getting people to trust you, you are good at striking up conversations. There are a bunch of soft skills that you can actually tie into something that is an upcoming event or something that a news media is interested in. For example, right now we are going into the summer season, all the barbecues are coming up, right?
Chris Badgett: Right.
Esther Kiss: What do you do with social anxiety? What do you do if you don’t know how to talk to people, you’re always a wallflower at parties. So you could use those skills that you have as a sales expert and tie in into something that the media is going to cover anyway already. So you always want to connect those two, and that’s how you pitch it.
Chris Badgett: I like how you came into the United Airlines thing with like a solution. It wasn’t like I’m here, I’m talking about the problem, but you’re like, hey, I have a solution. So were you publishing content or something that then they reached out to you to like come speak on the matter or how did that?
Esther Kiss: No. I’m very proactive with this, particularly with traditional media, TV, and radio. There’s a tipping point. If you are really in a very quote, unquote famous person, even if you’re in the online space, like let’s say Lisa Nichols, or somebody who’s really been featured in hundreds and hundreds of TV shows, at national shows and everything.
Esther Kiss: There might come a point where they actually call you to comment on a story. But generally speaking for your average entrepreneur, for people in this particular audience, the best way to go about it is to figure out what’s going on right now, and how can I connect my talking points and my viewpoint to that and pitch yourself.
Esther Kiss: So you want to be proactive for sure.
Chris Badgett: So the phone’s just not going to ring. You got to go out there. You’ve mentioned on your comment about a wallflower. I watched something that you had done about connecting with influencers, whether you’re not as successful as them, or you’re introverted or shy. Can you talk about that dynamic and how to get comfortable when people have different levels of power, or fame, or you’re not super experienced at creating these partnerships and joint content?
Esther Kiss: Yes. The very first thing to understand is that it all gets decided in your head. It’s much more of a mindset game rather than what you actually do, what you say, how you reach out. So it’s really important to… For example, you want to connect with Grant Cardone, or Gary Vaynerchuk, or whoever it is that you perceive as someone super successful, New York Times best selling author, they made hundreds of million of dollars, whatever.
Esther Kiss: And so it’s important that just because that is the real objective truth, that doesn’t mean that they are a bigger or a better person than you. So don’t put them on a pedestal because then you’re always underneath them.
Esther Kiss: It’s like when you go to an event, a conference and you see the speakers, and now you’re running up to them to say thank you, and congratulations, or let me ask you a question. That’s a very different situation than for instance, if you are one of the speakers and now suddenly you’re peers.
Esther Kiss: So it’s important to have that mindset when you approach someone, whether or not you were speaking at that conference, whether or not you’re reaching out through social media or connecting with someone directly. It’s to really understand that they’re just a human being just like you.
Esther Kiss: And I bet you that there are things in your life that they would look up to as well if they only knew. Maybe you’re a super organized and productive person, or you really have your health together and they don’t, or your relationship, or whatever it may be.
Esther Kiss: There’s definitely something that they are struggling with. And from the outside it seems like, oh my God, they are the big person, but everybody has their little bit of fragile self-esteem things. So if you put them up on a pedestal, it makes it difficult for them to relate to you as an equal as well.
Esther Kiss: So it’s really important to approach the conversation in a way where they can be comfortable talking to you. Imagine if I came up to you and I’m like, oh my God, Chris, I don’t understand how to do anything with this whole online thing, how do you put up a course? Like I was drooling over your [inaudible 00:14:33].
Esther Kiss: It might be very flattering, but at the same time it will be really hard to have a conversation, right?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Esther Kiss: It was better to find this offering that maybe is relevant to expertise, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s something like they’re moving to a new city, and you are able to recommend the realtor to them or whatever. Contribute to them in a way that actually moves the conversation forward.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. While we’re on this topic of do’s and don’ts, I know you have some opinions on social media do’s and don’ts. What are some things that people should avoid, and what are some things that people should do more of if they want to get more exposure through social media and connections?
Esther Kiss: One of the things that you want to definitely pay attention to is to lead with value. I always say to lead with a spirit of generosity and giving, because if you’re trying to only promote or only reach out to a particular person because you want something from them, they really feel that. They know that, they’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Esther Kiss: So you want to lead with value always, and to make sure that you’re contributing in a way that is very selfless. And that comes back tenfold. I actually like to call this the reverse mafia game. For instance, if you’re reaching at the really big name influencer, with the mafia, they’re always doing you a favor, but then you owe them for life, you got to return the favors, you did the favors, you help them out.
Esther Kiss: And coming with that level of generosity and really no agenda, it comes back to you tenfold.
Chris Badgett: And there’s a time delay right? It’s not instant?
Esther Kiss: Yeah. Most of the time. It might take you a few weeks, it may take you a few months, it might take you years to actually see something very specific and tangible from that particular interaction. But the beauty of this is that the more consistent you are, like let’s just say you reached out to two people in a week. So over the next year you’re going to have a hundred conversations.
Esther Kiss: If you don’t have at least 25 to 30 solid relationships just from that, then something’s wrong. So just having a couple of little emails, a couple of little messages a week going out proactively to people and starting to build these relationships really makes a difference over the long term.
Esther Kiss: And the other thing is that the person who you’re connecting with may or may not be in a position to hire you right now. Maybe they’re not looking for that type of thing, or they can’t afford it, or they already have someone in their team, who knows? But if you build credibility and trust with them, they’re going to be recommending you.
Esther Kiss: Over time, you’re building a reputation, which is really a big part of building a personal brand. It’s great to have all the media exposure, but also it’s the relationships.
Esther Kiss: And so I’m sure you had this experience too, when somebody is asking for your type of expertise on Facebook, and then you see your Facebook notifications that five people are tagging you in the comments on that post. And that happens over time because you built those relationships, and you build a reputation by sharing your results on social media.
Esther Kiss: Usually, I share a couple of interviews from each of my clients that, hey, look at this TV interview, or this podcast that they’ve just done. If I think that they are relevant to my audience as well, I’ll definitely share it.
Esther Kiss: And so it’s always top of mind for people who follow me. And so next time somebody is asking for publicity, they’re going to definitely tag me on that. And that’s a really cool way to build awareness and word of mouth as well.
Chris Badgett: Thank you for that. I wanted to ask you for the course creators out there and people building these learning and training platforms. Sometimes we hear that joint venture partnerships can be an effective way to grow, or to launch, or to scale. Can you describe what a joint venture partnership is and how to go about structuring one of those and any general advice around that?
Esther Kiss: Yeah, it’s not my expertise, so I’ll just preface it to that, but I have actually negotiated quite a few of these deals for my clients starting with the interview side. So typically what we do is, I reach out, for example, to a podcaster and say that hey, I have this client, I think that he would provide really great value for the show.
Esther Kiss: These are some ideas, this is what the person is about, this is their story, and these are a couple of ideas for what you guys could talk about. Once they say yes to that interview, if that client, or if you’re doing it for yourself, if you know that you have, for instance, a course that you’re launching, or a book or whatever, and you’re looking for affiliates to promote them.
Esther Kiss: Now that they said yes, now it’s a great time to reach out and say, hey, by the way, we also have this thing on the back end. I would love for you to share it with your community as well. What do you think? Let’s hop on a quick call.
Esther Kiss: And so basically you do it not after you’ve done the interview, you do it between booking the interview and actually recording it. And the reason is because psychologically that person already said yes to you. They like your content, they like what you’re about, your values and everything else. It would be crazy for them not to want to share more.
Esther Kiss: It doesn’t mean that necessarily they will email their list, it depends on their editorial calendar whether they do affiliate deals or not. But that’s the best time to ask it. And it also gives you an opportunity to have an additional conversation with that person, whether it’s to discuss the set up of exactly what the payout is and what the affiliate or JV deal looks like, or maybe have someone on your team to take care of that for you.
Esther Kiss: But you’re building a deeper relationship with that person where they will be so much more likely to promote and push out the podcast even more because they know that they’ll also have a monetary benefit from it once they start promoting that affiliate link too.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Thank you for that. I know your client, Ryan Levesque… There’s this strategy here, I was wondering if you could explain and unpack a little bit where you’re helping him get on niche podcasts.
Chris Badgett: And then he has a book which I believe he’s doing free plus shipping in terms of the pricing around the book, which is what he’s promoting at the end or on the podcasts that he is a guest on. And then there’s back end sales, like once people opt in and get the book, then he has other things that are on offer.
Chris Badgett: Can you describe that strategy a little bit more in detail or what you like about it and how it works?
Esther Kiss: Yeah. This is really important to understand for everybody listening. If you have a course or even if you don’t have a book, but just a lot of people in this industry write a book at some point, whether or not they make a bestseller campaign, that’s a different thing, but really the idea is to establish your authority, and to have that book as a conversation starter, to give away as much as you can.
Esther Kiss: So the age of these old legion books, which was like 60 pages of all fluff and no content, no value [crosstalk 00:21:33]. Yeah. That doesn’t work. What you want to do is to really give them the how to because people who are DIYers who like to implement everything themselves.
Esther Kiss: They will have everything in that book, and they can use it as a manual, and they’ll tell all their friends about it, versus people who actually would rather have you do it, or take your course, they will reach out anyways. So there’s no harm at all in… There was no downside to giving them all the information.
Esther Kiss: Now you want to be strategic about it. And for instance, if you have a book, then you want to have additional resources like an audio book, or video content, or quiz, or whatever it may be that’s not feasible to put it in the printed form.
Esther Kiss: So that’s something that’s a little bit more interactive or it’s in a different media format so that people have to opt in for it, because that way they get into what you were saying, into your funnel. They get on your email list, and now you can market to them longterm, ongoing, as long as they want to hear from you.
Esther Kiss: And so this is really critical because most people who just simply write a book and they don’t have a background, they don’t have a funnel, they’re not making any money. They really don’t. The average book sells about 700 copies, and that’s with really great marketing.
Esther Kiss: So what you hear sometimes like the New York times best sellers, we sold 100,000 copies, or whatever, that’s really because they already have a huge platform, and they have a lot of advertising and publicity both going on at the same time. So paid ads like Facebook ads and whatever else they have as well as a lot of content, SEO optimized and then doing all the interviews.
Esther Kiss: So even then with the internet marketing space with just 20,000, 30,000 copies sold, it’s a great accomplishment. It’s a lot more than the average book, but it’s still not going to make you any money. You’re lucky if you’re to break-even. So it’s critical to have something that you offer like a course on the back-end where they understand the content from your book, and now they want help with the implementation.
Esther Kiss: So to share a little bit with what we’ve done with Ryan, and this is totally his genius of building the right funnel and really having the right people is, on my side we’d get him all these interview opportunities. People ordered a book, they read it. Now they want help with the implementation.
Esther Kiss: And of course, they’ve already built up so much knowledge and trust, now they want to have that information directly from the source, from the right person. So in this case, with Ryan, he has an online course, he has live events, he has a software product that you can use when you’re implementing his methodology. So all of those things play together.
Esther Kiss: And so one of the things that you can do to make it really effective is, use your publicity pieces in many of your podcasts interviews, your features in Forbes, in Inc, in Entrepreneur, your TV interviews, whatever it is that the type of media that you’re getting, and use it as content inside your ads as well.
Esther Kiss: So what we have seen as people who… For instance, they are featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, they take that article and then they use it as an ad rather they saying that, hey, get my free book here. They’re just putting an article in front of that person.
Esther Kiss: Now you’re in the person’s mind who just came across it, is like, oh, I read that article in Forbes, or I saw it in the news, but you’re using a TV clip as a video views ad on Facebook. I think it might be going a little bit technical here.
Esther Kiss: But basically you’re retargeting people and getting it in front of them as a repeated message so that by the time they come to a sales calls with you, for instance, if you’re doing coaching or they come to your landing page to buy the course, it’s incredibly important that they have so much trust that their barriers go completely down, because in their mind you are everywhere, because you’ve been retargeting them with all these publicity pieces.
Esther Kiss: And so with Ryan, with the last book that I worked on with Ask, we literally added over $1.8 million per year to his business with the strategy, podcast and then retargeting them and then selling the back-end products.
Esther Kiss: And with Choose, I can’t speak to it yet just because it just came out a couple of weeks ago, but I know that we’ve sold thousands of thousands of copies, so I’m pretty sure that this will be a great success as well.
Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s amazing. Thank you for sharing and breaking that down. You’ve talked about it a lot already, but I just want to ask if there’s anything else you recommend people being aware of or strategies to try if they want to become more of an influencer, or thought leader and intentionally focus on leveling up in that department.
Esther Kiss: Yes. The first thing that you want to look at is really understand what your own goals are and get clear on that. Do you want credibility? Do you want the opportunity to build relationships? Do you want primarily leads and sales? What is it that you actually want? There was like 15 different things that could potentially play into this, but those are the biggest ones.
Esther Kiss: Usually credibility, having authority, building a personal brand on the branding side. And then also you have the leads and sales. I want more people applying for discovery sessions or are opting in to get a freebie and then market to them through the funnel.
Esther Kiss: All of those things you have to understand what’s most important to you, what kind of publicity have you done so far and what’s the missing piece? So for instance, if you’ve already done some TV shows, and radio interviews, and you have those big brand credibility builders, you can say AC9 because of legitimate interviews on your website.
Esther Kiss: But now you’re looking for leads and sales. Maybe you’ll focus on podcasts, and YouTube shows, and Facebook live interviews versus getting more TV.
Esther Kiss: Again, if you’re in a mainstream market, like for instance nutrition, that’s just an easy example. Something that is really interesting to the mainstream audience. You might still pursue TV and radio.
Esther Kiss: Now, let’s say if you’ve never done any kind of publicity before, then I would always recommend to do a two prong approach. Definitely make sure that you get at least a handful of traditional media interviews and have those credibility builders.
Esther Kiss: It will really help you with your conversions on every other aspect of your funnel, and just people trust you more because really, if you’ve been seen on TV, it’s huge, it’s psychological, but it’s really huge for people to trust you way quicker and way faster, so it shortens your sales cycle and it reduces your ad costs as well.
Esther Kiss: And then the other side of it is if you want more leads and sales, then be sure that you prepare for those interviews. You reverse to engineer the content. We have that whole method called the IMMC, the Intentional Media Message Content, which is basically where I take you through a whole set of questions to really understand what are those stories…
Esther Kiss: … and examples, and case studies, and anecdotes that you’ll be sharing on those interviews in a way that really speaks to the audience, that it will be very compelling so that they want to learn more, and also it fits the media format.
Esther Kiss: And the reason why it’s so important is because the way you deliver your message is going to vary from platform to platform. So for instance, in a podcast interview, you have 20, 30 minutes or an hour, you can talk. You have a lot of time to go in depth, versus in a TV interview, you will have a minute and a half to do minutes, and that includes the questions.
Esther Kiss: You really have to know what are those talking points that you want to head that is easy to convey, that is more visual as well it’s more entertaining, maybe you have some B-roll. So it’s a different way of preparing for that type of an interview, or for a written article in Forbes, or Inc, or whatever versus for instance, an audio podcast.
Esther Kiss: So you make sure that you get clear on your goals, what do you want to accomplish, target the right type of media, and then prepare with your content for that specific type of media, and make sure that you vary your stories as well.
Esther Kiss: So your original story, like how you came to do what you do, like all that stuff you buy, it’s going to be the same because that’s just your story. But then when you’re saying the how to, the examples, you always want to make sure that you include something that you only showed on that podcast so that they feel like, wow, I’m always learning something new from this person.
Esther Kiss: This is really cool, I need to follow them more. Especially with podcasts, people when they listen to one, they don’t just listen to one, they’re going to listen to seven other shows. There’s research done by Edison Pure Research.
Esther Kiss: They do every year about the podcast consumer, and that’s the average. The average person who listens to podcasts, they usually listen to seven other shows as well in a week. So you want to make sure that when you’re doing multiple shows, you address it where it really fits and customized to that audience, and make it so that you’re enticing them to learn more from you because repetition is really, really powerful.
Chris Badgett: That’s a really good point. Sometimes you can tell somebody who has a good publicist like you, and I’ll see them pop up on my podcast feed like in lots of different shows, and some people do a really good job of having… They’re not the same interviews. So if you’re really interested in that person or that topic, you can just follow them across podcast land and learn a lot.
Esther Kiss: And that’s really important to understand, and that goes back to preparation because if you approach it just the same way that he would do a speaking gig where you have your quote, unquote signature speak, and you tell them what you’re going to tell them. You have your five talking points, you tell them what you tell them. That works on stage because we know what works, what the audience responds to, et cetera.
Esther Kiss: And chances are people are not going to follow you from conference to conference, to conference within the span of six months. But when you’re doing that online through interviews, they will go and listen to a few of your other podcasts, and video interviews and everything else.
Esther Kiss: So you can’t be exactly the same because it burns out really fast, and podcasts hosts aren’t like that either. There are a handful of people who I know who are really big show hosts and like, that author, he’s done the circuit, I’m not having them on the show just because… That’s why I do that, look, we can do something really unique for your show, don’t worry.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You mentioned one of the other motivations for becoming an influencer is building a personal brand. I just wanted to ask you about personal brand in general. Some people they want their course or their site to just be a brand and they don’t want to be in front of it.
Chris Badgett: It’s just like it’s the system or whatever, but when I look at things, like if I look at courses that have been around a long time, or coaching programs like let’s say Product Launch Formula, I see a system and I see Jeff Walker, the human being, they’re both present.
Chris Badgett: Can you just speak to personal brand versus the business brand, and should we embrace both? And what is it like when they compliment each other?
Esther Kiss: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Just speak to that.
Esther Kiss: It’s really important, particularly for course creators to have a face to the brand. Actually, I was just speaking at a conference from one of my past clients, Ed O’Keefe a couple of months ago and he… Do you know him or know of him?
Chris Badgett: Which was the name?
Esther Kiss: Ed O’Keefe.
Chris Badgett: Oh, I know that name. I’d have to see him, but-
Esther Kiss: Oh, okay. Ed is really well known in the online marketing space as a marketer, but really his actual business is a supplement business. He has a supplement called Marine-3D that has sold over $70 million, seven zero, over the last few years, literally 500 million bottles already or even more at this point.
Esther Kiss: So for example, he’s not the face of that brand, but he still has somebody who is a human, a relatable person. It’s a physical product. It’s a supplement, but still it’s important for the person who’s taking the supplement, or who is coming across it for the first time to get some kind of information why it’s going to be good for them.
Esther Kiss: And so the event that he put on was particularly for people in the E-commerce and supplements space who are doing physical products, and he invited me to speak specifically on this that why you need to have a face to that brand.
Esther Kiss: Now if you, the founder don’t want to be the person who is the face of that brand, it’s possible, but you’re going to have a doctor, or a chiropractor, or something that would be relevant particularly for supplements and nutrition.
Esther Kiss: For other types of courses where you’re sharing your own expertise, I think it’s important to have your own self, if you’re the one who’s teaching it. It’s really hard, particularly in the beginning to just have the method, and not your face as the brand and establish credibility because people are… When they hear an interview, they are looking to fall in love with someone who they can really trust and who they can look to for guidance, and the next logical step is they’re in the line to buy that course.
Esther Kiss: But if it’s just this magical methodology, and you’re trying to be the wizard behind curtain, it doesn’t work. No, it would require a lot of money like a big company with an established brand, they may be able to do that. But for somebody who is a solo entrepreneur just getting started, it’s critical that you proudly wear your face as the face of the brand.
Chris Badgett: Any more tips on proudly wearing your face, or like authenticity, or just being you?
Esther Kiss: Yeah. This is really critical, you can’t fake it. If I was dressed in a suit here [inaudible 00:34:39], like very corporately, that’s not who I am, and that you would feel that, and it’s sounds silly because it’s just such a simple thing like what you wear. It actually matters. So the old days of quote, unquote being professional is not actually required anymore.
Esther Kiss: Certainly not in the online coaching, in consulting, in course creation space because people are looking to look up to a person and kind of be friends with them as well because they started… Especially when you start sharing little details of your own life like Snap pictures, even if it’s your breakfast, or some animals that you saw on the street, or whatever like your pets or kids, they get a sense that they know you.
Esther Kiss: And so they are so much more likely to buy because they fall in love with you as a person. And it kind of feel like you’re a friend of theirs, somebody who really gets them, particularly if your story and your expertise is something that you’ve gone through personally through your own transformation, or something that you’ve helped clients with. You can speak that language that they have.
Esther Kiss: But if you’re just trying to write it like in the old days they had like some very famous dating coaches who just use a pseudonym and the stock photo, then no. People want to see the real thing. And if you look at it like even… This crazy, and I’m not following this, or not advising anybody to follow this business model, but there are so many YouTubers who have hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers.
Esther Kiss: They don’t have an expertise per se to themselves, but they’re just logging their lives, and if it’s entertaining enough, people start to latch on and they really want to follow them. Now they’re eager to buy anything that that person is affiliated with, whether it’s just a sponsored product that they mentioned, oh I love this piece of foundation for the make-up gurus, for example, or I love this clothing piece, I like the software.
Esther Kiss: They will definitely buy that because they came to trust the person. So if you can marry the two and talk from your true expertise, and from your own story, and at the same time be very relatable, that’s the best of both worlds.
Chris Badgett: Of course, creators have a strength with video usually because most of them are making some kind of video lesson. I talked to a lot of experts, they make their course content, they get comfortable, they talk on the camera, but they’re not really coming from a background in sales or marketing and entrepreneurship.
Chris Badgett: Knowing that they have a baseline of video skill set, if they want to go to YouTube to get exposure, do you have any more just general tips about YouTube as a channel?
Esther Kiss: YouTube is an [inaudible] expertise, but what I will say is that being interviewed on camera is something that is really a very valuable skill set to have. So if you’ve already recorded a course where you’re speaking directly to the camera, you have a level of comfort where you can speak to the lens and be very comfortable.
Esther Kiss: I think that interviews are actually easier than being prerecorded content. Like when I did my own course, I did the PowerPoint slides, and then I go on camera, pretty fast the introduction, yes, but otherwise I’m giving the information through the slides and I’m doing a voiceover for it.
Esther Kiss: But when you’re doing interviews, you’re talking to another person, so that the general feeling of it is not like I’m being recorded and here’s this list that I have to look at. I’m looking at you, and they’re looking at your face, and we are having an interaction that’s very different. That’s why I prefer actually doing even livestreams too, doing prerecorded content to me personally, it’s just way easier because I get to interact.
Esther Kiss: People just comment, I say hello to them. It’s a conversation, and it’s a very, very valuable skill to have. One thing to keep in mind is of course you want to… You don’t have to be super fancy, but you want to look presentable, and have the best equipment that you can have.
Esther Kiss: Now this again doesn’t mean anything super fancy, but something like for example, right now I have my little Yeti microphone in front of me. It’s 60 bucks, I don’t know, not expensive at all, and just a USB. You don’t need to have the whole big set up for lights as well when you’re on camera. If you can just sit in front of a window like what I’m doing right now, that with just natural light from my window, and it looks good.
Esther Kiss: Now if you want to go really fancy, you want to have your softboxes and lights, definitely do that because it will elevate the quality, but that’s not a requirement to get started and do really, really well.
Esther Kiss: If you needed to buy anything for doing interviews, what I would recommend is to get a microphone because that’s something that podcasters and YouTubers are really picky about is not to have that really crappy sound quality from the built in microphone of your computer, but rather have something that you can plug in and use that.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well you made it to the lightning round, Esther.
Esther Kiss: Ooh.
Chris Badgett: I just have a couple more questions for you. What do you think is your super power?
Esther Kiss: Connecting with people?
Chris Badgett: I have a side tangent with that, which is how do you do… How do you approach that like strategically or… How do you manage all that? Because if you’re connecting with a lot of people, there’s a lot of names. Do you have any technology to help you keep track, or who you should follow up with, or and stuff like that?
Esther Kiss: Yeah. It’s very simple, it’s like really caveman-style intuition. When somebody pops into my head, I’m not going to just think about, oh yeah, I should talk to that person, and I’m going to sit down for two weeks. I’m just going to quickly pop them a message. So that’s the really easiest way… That’s how I do in the majority of it.
Esther Kiss: Now there are times when you actually are time bound, when you say that I’m going to follow up in two weeks, probably you don’t want to wait for inspiration to exactly hit a two week mark, so for that you would mark your calendar, I do that.
Esther Kiss: But it really is something that you build out gradually over time. So when I was saying earlier like two people a week, that’s not that much that it will be something where you need a huge big software system for it.
Esther Kiss: I know that those things exist. I don’t like them because the way I’ve been approached on the other side, when people send me an email and it seems very personal based on what the copy says in the email, but then underneath it says like sent through whenever, contractually or whatever else they have.
Esther Kiss: I know that you’re sending the exact same thing to a thousand other people, like [inaudible 00:40:59]. If you want to talk to me, talk to me. So I prefer just to keep it really simple.
Esther Kiss: Now if I have a client, for instance, and they are looking to get speakers, let’s just say for the live event, and it’s six months from now, you’re are in a time crunch, especially if they want the big name speakers. So I’m going to make an Excel spreadsheet or a Google spreadsheet.
Esther Kiss: Column A is all the dream people that we want to connect with. Column B is the mutual friends. And if you don’t have any mutual friends, and a friend of a friend, the whole six degrees of separation, use Facebook, it’s so easy because you’ll be able to see who are your mutual friends and who are those people who you can connect with.
Esther Kiss: And now down the line you can start building those relationships now in between people, and when the time is right, ask for an introduction. So that’s a really, really easy way to do that as well.
Esther Kiss: And then I did something really similar for following up with leads. If somebody acquires to work with me, usually they ask way earlier, like several months before they actually need the service.
Esther Kiss: So then I just mark in a spreadsheet for myself that this is the person, this is when I need to follow up with them. And as a backup, I also mark it on my calendar. So it’s really you’re doing it twice, but this way it’s a fail safe, like if I forgot to look at my spreadsheet, but at least it’s there on my calendar, follow up such and such person. Really simple.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. If we’re building our influence, what advice you have for approaching a conference? It seems like there’s so many conferences right now and all these different industries, it’s hard to choose which one to go to or whatever, even in a niche, often there’s like lots of options.
Chris Badgett: Is it like speaking, or coming with some key people that we’re going to connect with? How do we get the most out of a conference?
Esther Kiss: Okay. I guess it would depend really on where you’re at in your career right now, how much traction you already have, and how much experience with those people you have. For me personally, I don’t go to events unless I’m speaking. It sounds very slumming, but it really is the truth.
Esther Kiss: Last year I did six speaking gigs, this year I’m not going to any event. The only one I went to is Podfest because it’s a thousand podcasters. I spoke at that event for the last three years. This year I didn’t speak, but I went because I know that it’s good for my clients when I connect with all these podcasters.
Esther Kiss: So you going to be really strategic about what makes sense for you. If you’ve never done a speaking gig before, this is not something that you’re looking for, then certainly you can just go for the content, and for connecting with people at events, particularly if you’re extroverted. If you’re introverted it’s somehow harder.
Esther Kiss: So for people who are more like me with that, that if I don’t leave the house for four days, I’m very happy. Big crowds really, really drain me, so I really like to connect with people through small groups, like a mastermind for example. That’s very different than having hundreds of people at a big conference, or through these one on one type of calls.
Esther Kiss: Even with you, Chris, when we first connected, I emailed you, and then we had a little chat on Skype or Zoom, one of those two. And then we ended up scheduling multiple interviews for my clients, we are doing this one now. It all started from proactively building a relationship.
Esther Kiss: So that’s a really easy way, and it’s a good alternative. One of my friends just posted, and he’s pretty well known. He’s a marketing advisor and guru, and just a couple of days ago he posted on Facebook that, “If you are not going to live events, if you’re not making it a point, it’s going to be really hard to reach $100,000 a month in revenue because you’re not connecting face to face on that…”
Esther Kiss: I just had go on and I’m like, “Well, it really depends on your personality type.” Because if you’re introverted it’s no point. It’s really, really hard. I’m not saying don’t go, if you want to push yourself and push your boundaries, or you really want to learn the content, but don’t feel like you need to fit into the box of someone else’s prescribed formula because all of it works.
Esther Kiss: Webinars work, Facebook ads work, YouTube, everything works. You just have to find what makes sense for you where you can really shine, where your strengths are, or where you can have support through your team, for example, and then do those things.
Esther Kiss: So for me, connecting in small groups, or one on one are way better than going to big conferences, especially if I’m not speaking, I’m not going.
Chris Badgett: Right there with you. I’m more of a small group kind of guy, and I love my masterminds. I’m part of maybe five masterminds. I love it. And for me personally, I like to… I’m more introverted, but I can go to conferences, I like speaking in smaller groups and stuff, but if I’m doing a webinar, I can have like tons of people on there, and it doesn’t feel like I’m on a stage with all these people, or whatever, but it just depends on your personality.
Esther Kiss: Absolutely. I love speaking, I really do. If it’s a big audience, it’s an honor, and it’s really fun, and you get great video out of it. By the way, talking about building your personal brand, having that professional video that AV crew records there for you, that’s invaluable because later if you want to have paid speaking gigs, or you want to maybe do higher end consulting, having a few clips of you speaking at other events, having TV interviews, that will really help with rolling it into more and more opportunities for yourself.
Esther Kiss: But again, be strategic about it. If it’s like a meetup locally, for course creators, most likely that’s not the best way to spend their time. Then you’re much better off reaching out to three, four or five people and getting one on one calls with them.
Chris Badgett: Esther, I want to thank you so much. I feel like you’ve dropped a lot of wisdom, knowledge, hard won lessons and experience. You can find Esther at borntoinfluence.com. Checkout her assessment, “Does the media want you?” The free assessment goes through a series of questions. How else can the good course creators and membership site builders out there connect with you?
Esther Kiss: Definitely through the website, it’s a really easy way. Otherwise, you can just email me at email@example.com. So it’s E-S-T-H-E-R, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’m happy to get back to you and help you out.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well thank you so much.
Esther Kiss: Thank you.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results, getting courses on the internet.
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