I keep forgetting how easy it is to get free publicity.  If you know where to look and how to respond, it’s straightforward. But, you have to have discipline.

My favorite site for free PR is HelpAReporter.com, commonly known as HARO.

Last month, on December 20th I was featured in an article on kids, parents and gratitude  on CNBC.com, 5 Ways to Teach Your Kids the Art of Giving This Holiday Season.

A couple of weeks earlier, FS Local wrote a story, Picking the Brain of a PR Pro! Behind the Business with Brand Expert Robin Samora.

Do You Want Free Press? Follow these 7 Steps to Get Picked Up by HARO Reporters

  1. First, sign up for HARO and get daily emails from reporters and journalists.
  2. When you see a query that interests you, make sure there’s a fit.
  3. Make your pitch short, concise and be sure there are no misspellings or mistakes.
  4. Don’t deviate from the questions, stay on topic. Be light, bright and polite.
  5. In the subject line when you respond write: HARO: and copy the title of the query.
  6. Include your contact information, website, email and phone number. Be available 23/7.
  7. Don’t stalk the reporter or follow up, unless they ask. Do your best and become a resource.

The more practice you have pitching a story, the better you’ll be. And, once you start getting published, the more you’ll want to respond.

This is earned media and you’re showcasing your expertise.

Sure, responding to HARO and other sites takes time, but the rewards far outweigh the work.

Sign up this week, and get the visibility you deserve!

At my Make Money Monday’s stop this week, I had the opportunity to sit for about half an hour, and enjoy a cup of coffee waiting for my first appointment. I was delighted to have some time to rest and regroup my thoughts after a busy weekend.

In line, I heard a familiar voice that I recognized from years past. It was my plumber, Barry, who had moved out of town. Wanting to catch up, I invited him to sit with me, and in no time, we shared stories about business, family and life. I remember Barry fondly because he was working at my home the day “my water broke” when Vanessa, my first child was born. Being a plumber, and a good one, he took my comment literally, and wanted to fix the leak. He realized soon enough, that what I really needed was a ride to the hospital! 🙂

As I re-focused back to where I was (at Starbucks) and my conversation with Barry, I noticed he seemed excited to talk with me. He mentioned wanting to show me something, and left for a moment to go to his car. With a smile on his face, he came back with a small book.

Loving surprises, I opened the book. As I turned the pages, there were pictures of Barry, at 57 — a perfectly sculptured body builder, winning 2nd place in the Men’s Over 50 Championship.

Barry worked out for years, but for six months trained at an incredible rate, and ate certain foods in certain combinations that prepared him for this contest. He also deleted foods (and many of them) to prepare for this challenge. No wine. No pizza. And little desire, for some of the fun we take for granted.

Barry’s nutritionist and trainer were his team. Team Barry, supported the effort, but Barry alone, had the drive and discipline to get to his goal.

What do body building and business have in common? It takes time, commitment and effort to build a beautiful body — and time, commitment and effort to build a profitable business. There will be days you want to give up. There will be days you are hungry for more. There will be days you are so exhausted you just want to go to bed, and times when you might want to scream — in loneliness, fear or frustration.

The winners continue, not knowing if they’ll place first, second or third. They might not even qualify. But they do it.

They do their due diligence for their own reasons. They stay in business. Follow a plan. Get up every day and work – or work out, or both.

Much like Barry.

When I asked Barry why he did it, he told me it was all about discipline and deciding that this was important to him.

When I mentioned revamping my own nutrition, he told me I could do anything. I believe him, because of one thing… If it’s important to me, I know I’ll have the discipline.

The question is, what are we willing to have discipline for?

What’s your why?

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Anaïs Nin

Sometimes, you realize you just can’t live the same way any longer for fear that you’ll blow up – or blow up at someone who happens to be near you. If you don’t “expand”, you might just explode! The explosive feelings are all about you. You’re ready – or overdue – for growth. On the up side, it can be an exciting time, but in the early stages, dealing with it is often a challenge.

Change doesn’t come to some of us very easily. It’s not tied up in a small box with a pretty bow. If we ignore repeated warnings to change, it can feel like the need to change now reared its ugly head out of nowhere. How many of us ignore those early messages, or don’t pay attention until it’s too late?

Although I have twenty plus years of business experience and a successful business with events and promotions – taking a leap and adding a new dimension is scary, even for me! Often, we have to have a breakdown before we have a breakthrough.

Breakdowns come in many forms and they show up as fear, uncertainty, risk and security issues. You may even hear your inner voice trying to talk you out of realizing your biggest dream. While that inner voice is trying to protect you from hurt, it can also limit you to a life that is safe, but not that fulfilling. That’s where this feeling that you must expand or explode comes into play.

Doing something that feels uncomfortable is often one of the hardest tasks. It’s a risk to make a change, and it takes discipline to stay the course and not give up. Moving forward fearlessly — despite the uncertainty — means saying YES to the unknown. This has been one of my lessons to learn, and I’m reminded of this lesson often.

Trust and faith play a huge role in moving forward when things get scary. It’s important to focus on what you know and to remember that you’re never given more than you can handle. Others have felt this fear and moved through it instead of away from it. Why, I bet if you look back over your own life, you can find places where you’ve moved through this fear to the other side too. Think back over those times, and do it – one more time! If it gets too hard or too scary, go somewhere private and have a mini meltdown — talk it through with a trusted friend, but keep at it. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Are you at a place where you need a change? Is life passing you by? Can you taste the possibility, but you’re afraid others will be disappointed by your actions? Worse yet, will others be jealous of your desire to have a better life? How’s that serving you? I’m offering a free 15 minute “Get to Know You” session. It may be just the jump start you need to start changing your world.

Give me a call – let’s talk – and Let’s Make You Shine.