Monthly Archives: December 2011

Got a Story? How To Tell It

Gone are the days of “Just the facts, M’am.” Instead we’re all trying to suss each other out in the relationship economy. Do I share something in common with you? How do we relate to each other? Are you relevant to my work?That’s why the resume is on the out, and the bio is on the rise. People work with people they can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure. And that kind of sharing is hard to convey in a resume. Your bio needs to tell the bigger story. Especially, when you’re in business for yourself, or in the business of relationships. It’s your bio that’s read first.

To help you with this, your bio should address the following five questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. How can I help you?
  3. How did I get here (i.e. know what I know)?
  4. Why can you trust me?
  5. What do we share in common?
Your bio is the lynchpin for expanding your thought leadership and recognition, especially online. It frames the conversation and sets the tone. It’s your job to reveal a bit about yourself and how you see the world. Do this well, and people will eagerly want to engage with you further.Here’s the challenge: who taught you how to write your bio? 

Admittedly, most of us never got a lesson in this essential task. You’re not alone. Even the most skilled communicators get tongue-tied and twisted when trying to represent themselves in writing. We fear the two extremes: obnoxious self-importance or boring earnestness. It gets further complicated when you’re in the midst of a career or business reinvention. You have to reconcile the different twists and turns of your past into a coherent professional storyline.

The personal branding industry has only muddied the waters. It’s easy to feel turned off by the heavy-handed acts of self-promotion that the various gurus out there say you’re supposed to do. We’ve been told to carefully construct a persona that will differentiate and trademark our skills into a unique value proposition. That’s mostly a bunch of buzzword bingo bullshit.

Instead, share more of what you really care about. And then write your bio in service to your reader, not just ego validation. Imagine that: A compelling reason to tell your story beyond bragging to the world that you’re “kind of a big deal.” Embrace the holy-grail of storytelling: tell a story that people can identify with as their own – and the need to persuade, convince, or sell them on anything disappears.

With all this in mind, here’s a few key pointers for reinventing your bio as a story:

1. Share a Point of View.
You’re a creative. Having something to say is the ultimate proof. What’s missing from the larger conversation? Speak to that. Don’t be afraid to tell the bigger story. We want to know how you see the world. Show us that you have a unique perspective or fresh vantage point on the things that matter most.

2. Create a Backstory.  
Explain the origin for how you came to see the world in this way. Maybe it was something that happened to you as a kid or early in your career.  Consider your superhero origins. How did you come into these powers? What set you off on this quest or journey? What’s the riddle or mystery you are still trying to solve? When you tell the story of who you were meant to be, it becomes an undeniable story.  Natural authority is speaking from the place of what you know and have lived.

3. Incorporate External Validators.
Think frugally here. To paraphrase the artist De La Vega, we spend too much time trying to convince others, instead of believing in ourselves. Nonetheless, if you’re doing something new, different, or innovative – you have to anchor it into the familiar. Help people see that your novel ideas are connected to things they recognize and trust. That might be your notable clients, press, publications, or things you’ve created. Just enough to show people your story is for real.

4. Invite people into relationship.
Now that you’ve established you’ve got something to share, remind people you’re not so different from them. Vulnerability is the new black. Share some guilty pleasures. Describe what you like to geek out on. Reveal a couple things you obsess about as hobbies or interests. This will make you more approachable and relatable. You’re human, too. Help people find the invisible lines of connection.

To revamp your bio, start with these simple storytelling principles and questions above. In the process, you’ll discover a greater potential to shift how you see yourself and how the world sees you. Your story sets the boundaries for everything else that follows.

If you’re having trouble being heard, recognized, or understood, it’s probably an issue related to your story and identity. The good news? It’s never to late to reinvent your story.
What’s Your Take?
Have you updated your bio recently? What do you struggle with?
Michael Margolis is the Dean of Story University and host of the Reinvention Summit. Visit the The New About Me, where you can download a 7-step formula to reinventing your bio as a story.
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Personal Story Equals Personal Brand

I wanted to continue my posts about personal branding.  I have really enjoyed my journey so far as app designer for small to medium sized businesses.  I have discovered along the way that when we are free to be us we shine.  So why do we have to become someone else in our marketing? That question got me really thinking about what I can do for my clients and prospects to help them down this road of personal branding.

I learned this week that the marketplace doesn’t like to being sold to.  I also learned from interviewing a few thousands friends on facebook and twitter that we also are turned off any marketing methods that are bragging about what you have and have accomplished.  I thought to myself, “Why tell your story?  How do you tell about yourself without sounding like you are bragging?” Well, knowing me, if I have the question in my mind I am going to ask it to my followers and friends.

So I did and I got an amazing answer and then I found  I discovered that the marketplace, i.e., your friends and family don’t want to be sold to, they want to relate to you.  They want to find themselves in your story.  This is what I plan to do help businesses find their customers by linking to them through their stories.  It all begins with your about page.  So, after watching this video and reading my post use the space below to tell your story in a way that doesn’t brag and helps others see themselves in your story.  Let’s help each other relate to one another and build lasting customer relationships!  Until next time……. Many Blessings

Categories: business branding, news, personal branding, small business, technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Pitch Yourself as a Guest on Radio Shows – Plus Sample Radio Pitch

The App Shoppe

How to Pitch Yourself as a Guest on Radio Shows - Plus Sample Radio PitchRadio interviews are one of my favorite promotion strategies for authors. Aside from the fact that you can almost always conduct them from home, you can also reach a broad audience with your message.

Internet radio shows, such as those found at, provide wonderful opportunities for authors to reach a niche audience. Here you can find shows about everything from business blogging to parenting. Shows typically feature guests for 15 minutes up to a full hour, and archives can remain online for years.

To pitch yourself as a guest to radio shows, you can send a press release. However, press releases aren’t the only way to get media attention. I have found that sending a simple e-mail can be even more effective. Since I’m often asked how to do this, here’s a sample I put together to show you how to craft your media pitch.

* * * * *

Greetings <first name>,

My name is Stephanie Chandler and I am the author of Booked Up! How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book to Grow Your Business. I have reviewed your show archives and I believe that I would be a great guest for your audience.

Proposed Topic: Marketing your business by writing and publishing books and ebooks.

Did you know that a recent survey showed that more than 80% of Americans would like to write a book? At the same time, businesses are looking for new marketing strategies and ways to stay competitive in a challenging economy. Promoting a business with a book can be a powerful way to gain a competitive advantage, and it’s easier to accomplish that you might think.

As a guest on your show, I would propose discussing the following key points:

  • How businesses can use books for marketing purposes.
  • Simple strategies for writing a book quickly.
  • Publishing options including traditional and self-publishing.
  • Options with ebooks for the Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Nook and more.
  • Methods for building buzz online.

I have years of experience as a radio show guest and I can assure you that our time together will be well-spent and focused on delivering value to your audience. I would also be happy to provide you with sample interview questions and a complimentary copy of my book at your request.

Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Stephanie Chandler

Some additional considerations:

  • Always address the host or producer by name, if available.
  • Write a compelling introduction that captures interest.
  • Provide a simple list of three to five key discussion points.
  • Mention previous interview experience since it increases confidence of the host or producer and lets them know you’ll be a good guest. If you don’t have previous experience, assure the host that your goal is to provide an informative interview for his/her audience.
  • Offer to provide sample interview questions. Radio hosts may or may not use them, but it demonstrates professionalism to provide them. Make a list of eight to fifteen questions that you think the audience might like to know. Put these in a nicely formatted document and include a brief bio (that will likely be read on-air) and your contact information.
  • Offer a complimentary copy of your book for review. This can help hook the producer or host and give them more reasons to talk about your book on air.

If you use the strategies recommended here, please check back in and post a comment to let us know how it worked for you!

Check out our lists of internet radio shows and podcasts! These are internet radio shows and podcasts list

the ONLY media lists available that are  dedicated to internet radio programs!

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