How do you identify the most relevant PR and media opportunities? – Esther Kiss
Esther Kiss is the founder of Born To Influence, a one-of-a-kind publicity & marketing agency specializing in helping experts and personal brands get more publicity, leads, and sales. Her clients have been featured on TV, in newspapers, magazines, and on some of the top podcasts in the world, resulting in millions of dollars in additional sales.
Esther has worked on campaigns in a variety of industries from SaaS products, mobile apps, and digital information products to New York Times and other national bestseller book launches to philanthropic projects.
She’s the creator of the popular course Publicity Empire, where she teaches entrepreneurs how to get interview opportunities in the media.
Esther is also the producer and host of Born To Influence: The Marketing Show, where she interviews highly successful entrepreneurs and New York Times bestselling about their publicity and marketing strategies.
She is regularly interviewed in the media, including major business publications, notable podcasts, and TV appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and more.
Esther speaks fluent Hungarian and a little bit of Dutch. She lived in six European countries before moving to Los Angeles, CA in 2007. Today, Esther lives in Palm City, FL, and travels frequently for speaking engagements all over the US.
Tobin Slaven 0:00
This is Book of Experts.tv and I'm your host Tobin and I'm back, because today we're going to talk about publicity in PR and media. And we know that this topic is of great interest to our community. Because a lot of experts know that they know the good work they're doing. They know the impact and the influence that they can make. But sometimes they feel like a best kept secret. Like you're doing all the good work, but not enough people know about you. So you are going to love hearing from today's guests. I'm going to bring her on now. Welcome to Book of Experts, TV, Esther Kiss from estherkiss.com and also borntoinfluence.com You are an expert in the area of media and publicity, helping some pretty big names, by the way, Gary Vaynerchuk, for one, helping folks get out in front of more people so that they can do their good work. So I'm so excited to have you here in chat today. yesterday.
Esther Kiss 0:53
Thank you so much for having me Tobin. I'm excited to be here.
Tobin Slaven 0:56
So So first, I want to ask you about your accent. You you are you're originally from Europe, you're here in Florida now. But how did you get into this line of work? I always I'm always curious about people in their their slot,
Esther Kiss 1:11
it was exactly curiosity that is. So um, my background is in marketing and business development. And back in 2012 ish, I discovered this whole world of experts and coaches and consultants and online thought leaders and everything. And I'm like, this is where I want to be. Do you know, I knew that I have the experts, or expertise and skills and how to grow a business, but really in the traditional world. And I didn't know what I would offer, I just knew that this was the playground, I wanted to be playing it. And so I thought, well, if I develop my relationships with coaches, consultants, experts who already have built a substantial business, they're at the multiple five, multiple, seven to eight figure level. They're multiple New York Times bestselling authors. That's the kind of crowd I want to be. And I don't know what I'm going to offer it to them. But we need to build those relationships. And so I came up with this genius idea with a friend of mine to create a podcast. And that was the important to influence podcast where we would connect with people like Gary Vaynerchuk, like Perry, Marshall, all these really successful entrepreneurs. And I thought if I can give them a platform to talk about their message, share about their books, that will be good, and then we'll figure it out. And every time we did an interview at the end, once I stopped the recording, and would ask them to Hey, I know you have this book coming out here we have this event coming up. Would you like to be on other shows as well? And they always said yes. And so I thought, Well, okay, I'm gonna help you out, but completely for free just to invest in those relationships. And we're get out. And so one of my clients came to me, and he's like, Hey, I have this guy. He is a best selling author. Can you help him get on some more shows? And like, Yeah, sure. And he's like, Yeah, but this time, you have to charge for it. So I literally went and googled, how was this a publicist make and they figured out the offers from there. And that was eight years ago. And so we've developed now this full blown publicity agency where we do both traditional media, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and and also online media, like podcasts, YouTube shows, Facebook, live interviews, just depends on what makes sense for that particular person and their campaign.
Tobin Slaven 3:23
Esther there, there are so many things that you just shared that I want to underline in and make sure that our audience does not miss this. So first of all, I work in the business development space as well. And I love what you're what you shared here. There are a couple of lessons that I think a lot of people, I don't want them to miss this. So first of all, you fell in love with a group of people. And I and I love them to our expert based entrepreneurs, the coaches, consultants, they're people who are changing the world. And the important thing was, you did not come to this with I'm going to sell this product or service. Let me go find someone who will buy it. You came to it with here's a group of people that's really interesting to me. How can I do something cool with them? And I think there's a lot there's a there's brilliance in that strategy. And I'm going to attribute it to your business development background. Would you say there were other inspirations? What made you think because it's uncommon these days, I see a lot of people who put the cart before the horse, they decide what they want to sell before they find that market.
Esther Kiss 4:24
Yeah, I kind of had an idea that well, we'll build this big audience for the podcast. And so we started with a daily show, which I don't know what I was thinking. So literally everyday Monday to Saturday, and so I the initial plan, like very vaguely was that that would be an option to monetize once the audience is big enough to have sponsors on their show and potentially sell some products and services, but I didn't know what it would be. I knew that my skills are around building relationships. So like I played around with some idea of creating a mastermind or a networking group or a directory or things like that, but nothing that I actually offered as an offer, because none of it really resonated with me. And it surely they offered that I have now is really came something that came out of these conversations that hey, how can I help?
Tobin Slaven 5:12
Yeah. The second thing that I want to share that Esther did that I think also brilliant was, because we hear these words, people say, you have to give value. And so what a lot of people are thinking, and I'm just telling you guys, it's not enough. I'm just being honest with you, like, let's call it what it is. But when you write your special report, and you write your data, your lead magnets and all these things that yeah, it's good information. But just putting it out there isn't, is that's really not what it means to give value. Esther was putting her sweat equity into going and helping people get more business. And in really genuinely putting her time and energy into it, her attention into it going above and beyond and has now created, I think some amazing relationships with people whose businesses have taken off. And they attribute some of their success to the work that she was willing to do for free originally, to to invest in that relationship. And I don't want to, I don't want people to miss that. Because so many times it's Yeah, if I just put out my content, if I create great content, that's my giving value, not enough these days.
Esther Kiss 6:21
Well, a couple of things. And that one is that, first of all, it's so much more competitive now than it used to be as far as your reach on social media. So just creating value, putting out great stuff, unless you're putting yourself intentionally out there, both through organic marketing and paid ads. And that also getting publicity being interviewed on other people's shows, like really is this, you know, the three legged stool that's this, the more stable one because it has three points of contact with the ground. That's what you need, you need to have all three organic paid and publicity, otherwise, it's something is missing, it's not going to work. And then as far as the creating value, and just helping out people I, I feel like there is a lot to say, for doing free stuff. If you actually want to help people, but not with the expectation that now they have to do something for you. I had no idea that I'm going to end up working on Gary's campaign like a few years later, when I first interviewed him for our show. Part of it was probably luck, you know, because he happened to be in a stage in his life where he committed for an entire year to do every single show that he could. And when I invited him for our show, he literally didn't we didn't have a website, we didn't have the show up like everything was in pre production. But I could say to him that look, this is our ad budget for the Facebook ads. And this is the reach that we expect to have based on what we have. So I was already able to contribute value that way, right? Like, and once we had him booked and confirmed and we everybody else was kind of easy. So you can always use this snowball strategy. But as far as expecting something immediately back in return, I feel like people know that. And they're kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. So it's important to do it truly because you actually want to help.
Tobin Slaven 8:02
Yeah, I think there's so there's a great book out there, Adam Grant has written give and take. And he's classified people into three groups there are, there are givers and takers, that's in the title, right? And then there's a middle group in there that is very transactional in their thinking, meaning I'll give but I expect you're going to give an equal, you know, I'm keeping a balance sheet to make sure even, and Esther you and I met, I'm going to shout out give it do a shout out for Jason van orden. And Michael Roderick, those are two guys that really get the givers mindset. They're they're really building relationships, including I got a chance to meet you by going to one of their networking events. And I see you displaying this as well, which is I'm going to give to invest in the relationship it may or may not come back in some form. But I know that I'm putting good things into this. And I trust the process.
Esther Kiss 8:53
Tobin Slaven 8:55
Tell us if you would. So I'm extremely curious about what you're seeing in the media, publicity space right now. Because I'm watching all these changes, and I don't always know what to make of it. And you're, you're the pro here What are you doing things differently today than you were maybe three or four years ago?
Esther Kiss 9:14
A little bit? Yes. So first of all, a lot of platforms come and go so that's just something that is the nature of the work we have to keep up whether you there was a periscope thing for a while and then he went the way of the dodo bird you know there is no YouTube live there is clubhouse there's all these different things. So you got to kind of fill out what is good that I could get ahead and be and have the first mover advantage potentially. But at the same time also make sure that you do put yourself out there on platforms that are proven so that would be your legacy brand names like being on TV on ABC, NBC Fox, that's unlikely that it will go away. Forbes magazine entrepreneur in those really have that cachet because they are selective with the types of guests that you have that they have on So that if you can get yourself on there, automatically that credibility and trust transfers to you and your expertise as well. And then in the podcasting space, that's huge for experts. So if your goal is to get more credibility, certainly get after the mainstream media first, because that that's really what the biggest credibility builders are. But then if you want to have more leads, and sales, there are two ways that you can think about it. One is if you have a mainstream offer, like let's say you have weight loss offer that's interesting to a general audience to the average person on the street. So for you to be interviewed on TV, probably you're going to get customers too. For anybody who has a very niche offer, like let's say you're teaching Facebook ads, most likely being on TV is not where your customers are, you still can do it. Because you can talk about you know, like, Apple's crazy thing about the pixels and the tracking. And what does that mean for consumers, like all that stuff, that will help you build the credibility and then your customers will come from online media outlets that have much smaller, but much more niche audiences who are already accustomed to buy, they're familiar with the fundamentals of your area of expertise. And now you can teach, teach them a cool stuff and give them examples of what you've been able to do with your clients. And that will help you grow your business.
Tobin Slaven 11:18
When when experts are coming forward faster, and they're reaching out to you for support. And I my understanding is you have the done for you services, and you have publicity Empire where you're sort of guiding or coaching people through the process. Is that right?
Esther Kiss 11:31
Yes, that's right.
Tobin Slaven 11:32
What What do you wish that they knew or were doing before they even arrived at your door?
Esther Kiss 11:39
Well, one thing that you have to keep in mind is how am I going to present my message in a way that's compelling. And that also fits the media format that we are going after. And this is something that we work with all of my clients before I start pitching them, this is the very first session that we do is develop your intentional media message content. Because a lot of experts are used to speaking on stage and there you can do the introduction, the talking points, and then the conclusion, right, and you're good. It's a formula that works. But the audience is not going to follow you from city to city. So you can kind of do the same talk every time. But a mine or with any kind of media, if you do a podcast interview, and somebody hears about you for the very first time, what do they want to do? Well, they will check out your website and your freebie. And they want us to listen to other interviews, you have to create bingeable content. And if it's always the exact same formula a thing, it's they're gonna tune out real fast. So what you want to do is figure out what are some of the foundational talking points, elements that I have to share each and every time to say what audiences need to hear and believe in order to want to take the next step with you. And what is something that's unique just for that media adjust for that show. And then that way, they're like, Oh, I'm always learning something new from this person. And that's how they fall in love you shortening the sales cycle, and they become customers much, much faster. And the other thing too, is that the traditional media, you kind of gotta know how to speak in sound bites, how to be very concise with a TV interview, it might be only two minutes. So you have to deliver those talking points really quickly in a way that's relevant to whatever news story is going on. And then with podcasts, it's the opposite, right? It's 20 to 30 minutes, it could be an hour, which is very deceptive, because people think that, Oh, I'm going to have such a great conversation. And we're having fun and joking around. And that's all great because you want to create rapport with your host and with the audience. But don't forget to also mention some of the talking points that you need to include there so that your interviews are effective for why you're doing this. Why are you building this, this platform for yourself?
Tobin Slaven 13:47
I love that structure. What what are the the hosts the the gatekeepers on the media side that have these their own channels, the access to wider audiences? What are they looking for, that we might not be considering? When we can you sort of see both sides? You're a matchmaker essentially, between the two sides. So what should we be thinking about that we might not have considered?
Esther Kiss 14:12
So one thing to keep in mind is, is my story and my expertise actually relevant to this audience? You don't want to be just just for the sake of being on the show, like Good morning, America is great. But if you know, it's not necessarily something that will really help you. So you want to think about how can I make my expertise or my story relevant with podcasts usually are with online media, they tend to be more niche and they are evergreen, so you don't necessarily have to pay attention to trends as much or to new stories. But with traditional media, yes. So what you want to think about is, for example, let's say you're a health expert, and Halloween is coming up, maybe you will pitch something like how can you manage your kids sugar consumption, like things like that, you know, things that would be relevant to an upcoming holiday A day or a local event or a trending news story, and then think about what are some of the things that make my service or my product possible. And that usually comes down to your core skill set your expertise, your personality traits. And that's something that then now you can connect to your trending news story. So relevance would be one. Number two is make sure that you're actually bookable. So you have a professional headshot, it's not an iPhone selfie, it needs to look decent, and not because you know, it's about beauty or anything like that. It's just about like, they want to promote you too. And so they want to make their social media look good. And then have a bio that's written for that type of media outlet. So as an example, for speaker bio, it might be pretty long a 303 feet 350 words, that's, that's like this much, right. Whereas for TV, you might have a little shorter like 250 280 words, for a magazine, it would be 180 to 200 words, for a podcast, it could be anywhere from up to 80 at the most, and some podcasts one as short as 15 words. So what you would like to make sure that you're prepared for is to have all these options based on the type of media that you want to do. So with my clients, we, it's so funny, they're established experts and their bios really are terrible for them. You want to have someone ideally, who can look at it really like what from an outsider's perspective, like number one, you have to have it written in the third person, not I but he she write, write it like that, but also write it in a way that's compelling. And that you can edit down to the shorter versions, because the last thing you want to do is give a really long bio, for example, for a podcast where they want to have a two sentence introduction, because the podcast host in that case, has no choice but to edit it down themselves. And that was your introduction, because now they are pulling what they think is important versus how you want to be presented with the first impression.
Tobin Slaven 16:57
How important are these assets? So for example, the one sheet that the media sheet is what what are you using?
Esther Kiss 17:07
I hate the one sheet. Now, it's a lot of people do it. And I think it's still relevant, especially as a speaker in the speaking while they want to have a traditional speaker one sheet. But generally speaking for media interviews, I hear so many complaints from my podcasts or friends and acquaintances that publicists or even would be a guest to sending their 123 there's an attachment and expect to be booked like come on, listen to that show, give a reason why it's relevant. Why do you think it would be a good fit? And then give them a couple of topic ideas. And then if you have already a professionally produced one sheet, you can use that as a follow up in that, by the way, here is something that I wanted to share with you as well.
Tobin Slaven 17:51
Yeah, I read. We've heard this advice before. So we had Richie Norton, who's pretty well known in the podcast space. And he gave very similar advice, which is just just have a real conversation with people. Yeah, you can follow up with all the assets in the media. And I really liked that. Because I think in this world that we're living in right now, there is so much automation, so much advertising so much, so many demands on our attention that people and this whole pandemic thing I don't know if you heard this past year, we had this pandemic thing, that kind of craving that real connection with other human beings. So I really love that. Another thing that I've been thinking about Esther is how are people? So if I'm an expert based entrepreneur, can you help me walk through that decision making process of when when does it make sense that I might tap into someone like yourself? Sort of on the service side, as opposed to when is it a better decision to educate myself? like in the case of publicity Empire, where I would build my own skill set to get some of these opportunities? How, what's the best way to make those kind of decisions?
Esther Kiss 19:02
The number one thing that you got to ask yourself is where is your time best spent. So if your zone of genius is something that has to do strictly with your service, and and that's where you really can provide value and make money and do that and then hire someone, but that said, it typically it makes sense to have at least a high six figure business or a seven or eight figure business before you would hire someone for publicity. Because frankly, anything that you will get below the price point where financially you can justify that it's not going to be a very good campaign. Like is it's just it is what it is. You pay monkey, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys kind of situation, right? So I would recommend for anybody who has an expert based business, learn the skills yourself until you get at least to a half a million dollars in revenue. That's where you can look at expanding your team in terms of bringing somebody on board to do a proper done for you publicity campaign. Before that. You can certainly get help with, you know, with your own VA or somebody who actually works with you. But like any of these, like, you know, a few $100 a month kind of services generally just don't bring very good results. So I wouldn't bother with that I would rather that you put the time in, build those relationships with members of the media yourself, and then also get the skill set so that you can position yourself in a way that they actually want to interview you.
Tobin Slaven 20:24
Yeah, I so appreciate getting these sort of rules of thumb. So that, you know, I think it helps people navigate really quickly of what they should be focusing on. For that, for the folks that are trying to get to that level to make that decision. Do you have a couple suggestions of where you would encourage them to focus their attention? What's the biggest bang for your buck? If you're, if you're going to do some of this work yourself?
Esther Kiss 20:48
Yeah. So it comes down to your goals, if your main goal is to get more credibility, and ultimately, to create fame and really be that go to person in your industry, the best one that everybody thinks about, it's not just publicity, like, that's great. And I'm all for do everything that you can get to get as much as much media as it can. But also you got to build your reputation. So using your testimonials wisely, connecting with people having these zoom chats from time to time, just to be top of mind. I'll give you an example. Just the other day somebody on Facebook posted that I'm looking for someone to help me get on podcast, who is the best best expert who can help me with that? Literally 10 people tagged me within a few minutes. And that would not happen if I haven't been top of mind for them if I haven't built those relationships over time, right? So part of it is for them to see me being interviewed all the time talking about this stuff, but also because they know me personally. Now the guy who asked the question, he has a multimillion dollar business, he reached out to me and he's like, you know, other people have been tagged in the comments do but you got so many settings, and I got so many private messages, it was very clear. And then we had a follow up call, which is typical of how you know my enrollment process works. And before the follow up call the previous day, he was already asking that, hey, send me the contract and ready to go send me the invoice. So that's the kind of thing where you want to ultimately get to as far as building a good name for yourself good reputation. And so when you think about what kind of publicity do I want to get? Well, where is my lowest hanging fruit to accomplish that, right? So for niche experts, very often it's podcasts, it's stream yard interview that YouTube shows LinkedIn live shows like all these different things that can put you in front of a niche audience. And then most probably having at least a handful of traditional media outlets, even if you have a niche offer, just to have that as seen on kind of thing on your website and to use it in your marketing and in your Facebook ads that really really helps with conversions. So that's the way we did with my clients is once your interviews are published, I helped them with a strategy and how to integrate it with the direct response side of your business. So if you're running retargeting ads, let's take your video clip and use it as a video views ads and your retargeting or take your Forbes article, put it in your autoresponder that tends to work really well for all the way from free plus shipping offers up to six figure agency offers, because you're putting in front of a really relevant audience that you picked right with your targeting. But in their mind, the psychological effect is like, Oh, I keep seeing this guy. He's on TV all the time, or he's in all these different magazines. And so it drops your client acquisition cost by as much as 90%. So now you can for the same ad budget, you can literally get 10 times as many leads and as many clients so there is a huge place for traditional media in the niche expert world as well. So I would just have a think about what are my goals, if it's credibility, get the traditional media, if it's directly you want to go after leads and sales, get podcasts and online media. And then ideally combine it all in and use it also for building your relationships or building your network. Because every time you connect with someone who interviews you, that's an opportunity for further conversation for them to do a JV webinar or joint venture webinar with you or to promote your maybe they're a podcaster but they also write for Forbes, or there could be so many different things that you can do with a person if you just do a little bit of investigation ahead of time and figure out who are the right people to connect with.
Tobin Slaven 24:10
Yeah, I really love this you if you have the assets, you might as well leverage them right get all the different channels that's really
Esther Kiss 24:18
hard when I see people not use it, you know, they have it and that's what typically most people do they have the initial exposure and then they like didn't work well. Okay, you went one time to the gym, it didn't work.
Tobin Slaven 24:31
Exactly. Don't expect great results. After this has been great. Can you share a little bit how folks could? How could they enter your world? What's the best way for them to get to know you a little bit better? And you've given us two sort of search options. There's a service path or there's the sort of educate yourself path if you could you show folks where those doors are so they can walk definitely
Esther Kiss 24:51
So everything is on my website at estherkiss.com you're welcome to come check it out. I do have some free resources there and online course as well. publicity and Prior to that we talked about you can check that out. If you're looking to get this done as a done for you service just email me at Esther at Esther case calm. And if you're just getting to look at getting your feet wet and learning more about the whole thing, get my cheat sheet that will help you and how to position yourself so then the members of the media actually want to interview you. And you can get that at Esther case. COMM forward slash checklist
Tobin Slaven 25:23
checklist. Awesome. I was gonna ask you about that one now. I've got it has been great. I appreciate you taking a little bit of time. This is a hot topic in our community. you've answered a lot of questions and I so appreciate you.
Esther Kiss 25:34
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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