5 Reasons Media Exposure Isn’t Growing Your Business


Too many small business owners spend way too much time and money on PR and forget it connect it correctly to their sales funnel. Here are some simple tips that don’t require a fancy PR agency or mad writing skills.

1. Get crystal clear on your ideal client and what media they consume

If cashflow (as opposed to credibility) is your short term objective, you want to make sure that you create a story that will speak directly to your ideal client’s needs. And then pitch that story to a media outlet that he or she is likely to consume. Go niche with trade publications instead of wide with morning talk shows.

Small, targeted blogs, podcasts and trade magazines often have smaller numbers but very engaged audiences, so although folks outside your niche might not recognize their logo, they tend to convert to sales better. (more…)

How I landed my column with

Inc sequence FB ad

Are you scratching your head trying to figure out how to turn those famous Facebook “likes” into actual cashflow? Yeah, me too!

It’s what small business owners are told to do, right?

“There’s 1.3 billion people on Facebook!” the stats scream. 

Sure. But if only 103 of them like my Facebook business page and most of them are friends and family, how does that help me connect with paying clients? Right?


The #1 crucial question every journalist asks when reading your press release

#1 crucial question copy


Get the answer to this one wrong and you get the delete finger. Get it right and you get your message out to millions (without having to build the audience first)

One of my party tricks as a professional speaker is to ask the audience, “If you were pitching the press and a producer asked you why is this a story right now, what would you say?”

One after the other, hands will go up and small business owners will call out, “Because I have a new product launch” or “I’m opening a factory” or “We’re expanding into a whole new facet of the industry” or “we’re having an event”. Or even worse, “we just hired a new CEO”.

These answers are the correct answer if you’re a Kardashian or a brand like Apple or Facebook, each of which have such a huge footprint in the media’s consciousness that Zuckerberg or Kim endorsing a new kind of breakfast sandwich is automatically news.

For the rest of us mere mortals, not so much.

Too many entrepreneurs and experts make the mistake of assuming that just because their product or service is one that’s useful throughout the year, it’s automatically interesting as a story at any time.

It isn’t. Here’s why.


Baby Got Booked Lab’s $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

geeta_amazon gift card

If you don’t build your own dreams, somebody will hire you to build theirs.

– Dhirubhai Ambani, billionaire, named one of Asia’s top 50 entrepreneurs

I read that quote for the first time in the summer of 2014 and it seemed to explode something in the centre of my brain. There it was, such a simple and elegant truth, a call to action that I felt keenly with every fibre of my being.

Yet, arguably, it was a tricky time to launch a business for me. I had a 19-month-old child, with whom I had stayed home since his birth, and our family’s sole income was increasingly unreliable. My husband Pat worked in public broadcasting and we knew there were cuts coming. We just didn’t know exactly when or how the axe would fall: would his hours dwindle gradually, making our budget tighter each week? Or would it be one of those conversations in his boss’s office that ends with the words “two weeks”?

We had no savings thanks to a legal issue we were tangled up in with our condo association, and I had, just the previous year, tried to launch a baby sling business that never really lifted past the “friends and family” phase.

If these were your circumstances, would you have started a business?  (more…)

3 Reasons Why No Small Business Should Hire a PR Agency

sm_ad_pr_agency_raspOriginally published on

Sir Richard Branson once famously remarked, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a frontpage ad.” The problem is, with PR agencies charging retainers of $3,000 to $10,000 per month, few entrepreneurs can even let themselves imagine what a full-page article or TV appearance could do for their growth.
But here’s the deal: As a former journalist myself, with more than two decades of experience in TV, radio, print and web, I can assure you that pitching your story is not rocket science.

Journalists and producers need fresh, interesting and topical content. All you have to do is learn to package your brand’s message in a way that’s mediagenic, then get organized about following up. Because the benefits of doing it yourself extend past the cash savings.

The 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Pitch the Press

Originally published on

When I first had the idea to launch Baby Got Booked, an online course to teach entrepreneurs how to do their own PR, I did what every startup owner is supposed to do. I went around surveying my market to gauge interest. What I heard over and over was, “Sounds like a great idea, but press releases don’t work. I’ve tried.” And: “TV’s not really my thing.” And “I’m not ready for the media.”
It was maddening. Like, rip-my-eyelashes-out-and-set-them-on-fire maddening.

As a former journalist, with 22 years of experience interviewing thousands of people, I know that some of the best stories I’d written or presented over the years came from people who didn’t think they were ready for the media, either. Yet, too many think that media happens to “other people.” Meaning: other people with bigger, better businesses than they have. People with advanced degrees. Rich people. Beautiful people. And yada, yada, yada.
And, chances are that, as an entrepreneur, you have just such a story to tell. That is, after all, why you walked away from the security of corporate life and set out on your own.


The best book I read in 2015 (and why you need to read it too)

Ever read a book that’s changed your life? Well, I’ve got a recommendation for you!
For those of you who protest that you don’t have a ton of time to read or have learning disabilities that make the written word a challenge, skim to the end  because I have an excellent hack for you. It’s one I use to keep my reading hours sky-high even though, as a business owners and the mother of a young child, I seldom get to sit down with a book.
I’m a huge believer in two ideas:
Open mind

1. The stories you tell yourself either propel you upward or hold you back: The fabric of our reality – literally everything we believe – is governed by the stories we tell ourselves. So if you tell yourself “life is hard”, that is what will be true for you. If you tell yourself “all the good ones are taken”, that too is what you’ll live.
Employing proper story hygiene is crucial – it means becoming aware of the stories that you’re telling yourself and then deliberately rewriting them.

I’ll give you a concrete example from my own life: When I stayed home with my son for the first two years of his life, we had to make some pretty drastic adjustments to our lifestyle. I was NEVER poor, but our household budget was tight to the point where I remember eating out just once in 2013 and having coffee outside just twice. Tight.

We already didn’t have a car and had lived cable-free for a number of years, so there wasn’t much to cut. The story I told myself in those days was that living with less was a virtue. I’d avidly look for expenses to cut and reveled in the minor discomforts each adjustment brought. It made me feel noble somehow to live with less. Interestingly enough, it also made me extremely judgmental of folks who displayed abundance in their lives.

Because the story I was telling myself was that in order to have time with my child, I couldn’t possibly have money or career success too. It was a sum zero game built on a scarcity mindset.

At some point (when I literally ran out of things to cut) I got sick of this story. Sick of the constant pressure. Of not having buffer to allow for life’s inevitable ups and downs.


This top marketing tip works for scientists, too!

Hey everyone,

I just got back from the NSA Convention in Washington, DC, and wow: it was a total whirlwind of awesome-ness. I got the chance to meet so many talented and fired-up people, share tips, and learn a tonne. (Here’s a cute little behind-the-scenes video: see if you can spot me)

The whole thing was also a bit overwhelming, which was why it was such a delightful surprise to see that one of the tips I delivered on my opening night speech has been translated into a blog post. For scientists. Yes, that’s right, in this day and age, scientists are also having to market themselves. Kudos to Marc Kuchner for helping them do it, and for this awesome article.

My hunch is that this tip will be helpful for you and your business, too.



Oprah, Fox & Friends and…you?


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If you could have coffee with the editor of Oprah magazine or the producer of Fox & Friends, what would you want to ask them?

The reason I ask is because now that we’ve launched the Baby Got Booked podcast, I have the perfect excuse to pick up the phone or send off an email to request an interview with just about anyone in the biz.  (more…)

Podcast party for rainy summer afternoons

So this morning I was chatting with my right hand gal, Juniper, and we realized that I have been interviewed on a bunch of awesome podcasts lately, and we totally forgot to let you know. Gulp.

PODCAST PARTY BLOG GRAPHICFor those of you have taken my course or seen me speak about making the most of your media coverage, you may be silently shouting “BUT YOU SAID I SHOULD LEVERAGE MY MEDIA//PUT IT ON MY WEBSITE//SHARE IT WITH MY FOLLOWERS” and, quite frankly, you would be right. Leveraging your media appearances by repackaging them and sharing them with your tribe is crucial. So,  in this case…do as I say, not as I do?

To hopefully make it up to you, what follows is a list of links to the aforementioned podcast interviews, so that if it’s cold and rainy and not-so-summery where you are, as it is here, you can purchase zithromax antibiotics And maybe cook up a nice nourishing (piping-hot) soup or curry, while reflecting alongside me on all things media, parenting, and entrepreneurship.

Here you go!

ExpertPreneur Radio Show with Sheryl Wolowyk: why PR is a better investment of time and resources than social media (for most businesses), the #1 mistake entrepreneurs make when pitching the media, and how to get past the butterflies and give your best interview. Shortcut to the audio here.

Parent Entrepreneur HQ with Mary Kathryn Johnson: the intersection of parenting my smiglet and being an entrepreneur. Featuring…my failed attempts at being a small-business owner, trying not to swear, and the two apps that have changed my life.

Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas: a peek into my mental toolkit, that time I sassed John Lee Dumas, and the BEST advice I was ever given (that literally helped me 10x my business in a matter of months).

OK, are we still friends? Did any light bulbs go off? Let me know what you think in the comments below!