My guest today is an expert at one of the most powerful disciplines required to build any business in any company. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 2009 as she appeared on my stage with Tony Robbins at the Ultimate Business Mastery Summit, which is where Tony, Chet and I launched that company. She was incredible and her training became part of the curriculum for every member of our community. Now, she helps leaders create their publicity plan and execute to success.
Profit of Kindness; A Unique Publicity Perspective with Jill Lublin
Welcome Jill Lublin to the show.
Thank you, Mitch. Delighted to be back here with you.
It’s been a while. I think the first time we met was back in 2009 at that event. You were amazing and I think you got the highest ratings of all of the speakers, which is incredible.
Thank you. That was such a delight. I still have such fond memories of it all.
I do too, and that’s an era that someday you and I should have a conversation about because so much has happened since then. It was one of the peak experiences in my life being the CEO of Business Breakthroughs. Let’s get to you, Jill, because you have an amazing ability and some incredible skills but I want to start at the beginning. Tell me about how you developed your business and where that all started for you.
It started with me in the fact that I was in law school for a year and actually hated it. I just had to find a path that would be interesting for me. While I was in law school, I actually ended up working for a music business attorney that then introduced me to a whole wonderful world of creativity and excitement. I happen to work with one of the biggest rock and roll promoters in the world, Bill Graham, and his attorney. I started pretty high up there pretty quick. What was wonderful about that is that led me to a whole new career as a director of the Rock and Roll Museum that we were going to put in San Francisco. That started me really launch my whole publicity and promotion career. That’s really where that all started and how that all started.
That’s now in Ohio, is that right?
It’s in Cleveland, Ohio.
You launched the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio?
No, I wish. We were going to do it in the Bay Area and that’s how we were talking about setting it up here and did feasibility studies and have a board. Then Cleveland beat us it to it. What can I say?
We’re an incredible project to be involved in. Bill Graham, I can’t tell you how much money I put in his pocket as a young man. Every concert at the New York venues, I grew up with rock and roll. The Fillmore Theater was my second home. What happened after that? As you started working with rock and roll promoters like Bill Graham, how did you evolve to get to the place that you’re at right now? What was your next step?
I really started in the music business and then in the area of promotion and publicity. Then I actually opened up my own public relations agency and consultancy. That was the really the next step where I owned a PR agency for close to seven years. We had a wonderful boutique agency where I was supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners and some at large companies. Then from there, I actually got what I call tapped on the shoulder to write my first book, Guerrilla Publicity. That was quite an honor with Jay Conrad Levinson. I was able to write that and that came out, then the good news is my book did well. I, of course, knew how to do publicity and my publisher asked me what every author wants to hear and that’s, “What’s your next book?” That’s how that happened.
Jay Conrad Levinson was a dear friend of mine as well. We spent time together. It was so sad to see him go because we love him. He was an integral part of Chet and myself and our friendship together. To have written a book with Jay is an honor and to have it do well is even better. What was the book you wrote right after that?
Right after that was Networking Magic. That went number one multiple weeks in a row. Then I actually wrote a book on McGraw-Hill called Get Noticed… Get Referrals. That was exciting because I got to jump to big publisher and that was a lot of fun. My latest book has just come out called Profit of Kindness. I’m very excited about that. That’s on Career Press. That’s really about using kindness in business and how that can work.
What I’d like to do, if it’s okay with you, Jill. This is a show for business owners who are really at the point where they’re scaling their company. Since I have you captive on the show, what I want to do is if I can, have you explain to business owners some of the tricks and techniques you use to get publicity for your clients and for yourself.
A couple of things that I think are really important. One is you have to start with a message. You have to start with a message that’s powerful and that works. Let me give you a great example. Although I’m very excited about my book and spreading kindness in business and really a movement around that, the truth is from my publicity perspective, that’s not the message that’s going to work. Although it’s not about, “Jill has got a new book.” Profit of Kindness came out two days after Trump’s inauguration. We all know that state of chaos in the world. No matter what you believe, who you are into, it doesn’t really matter. The truth is there’s been a lot of chaos and it was really a tough election and all kinds of stuff.
I sent out a press release that talked about the divided states of America. That press release got picked up by all kinds of Fox News network. I’ve been on seven and counting Fox News TV stations up to this moment, 45 radio interviews. I’ve been in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, CEO Magazine. Why? Because I sent out something called “The divided states of America.” It wasn’t about a new book. I want you all to hear to this because it’s not necessarily always about our business or what you think the main message is. The main message really goes into far more than just the book, or far more. Does that make sense? I think that’s really what’s important here that people understand that.
I definitely get what you’re saying. Maybe to shift it to the perspective that I see it from is what I saw you do with that is you took what I think of is current events and you used the current events to insert yourself into the conversation that was already going on at the national level. Once you had the attention of those who were interested in this particular topic, which is the current events, you were then able to take the time and explain what you were doing with your own product, in this case a book. Yes?
Exactly. That you’ve got to look to see exactly what it is and how can you fit in.
That’s the question, how can you fit into the current situation going on in your business, in your locale, in your state, in your country? Once you understand that perspective, once you have that angle, then you can begin starting to use the press to amplify that message. Once you do that, what happens next? Are you literally talking about the divided states of America in your case or were you talking about the message inside of your book?
Here’s the cool thing. I’m sitting there at Fox News in Las Vegas, morning show. They’re on for three hours at the time and I’m on for four and a half minutes. As I go and sit on the couch, getting ready for the wonderful interview, we’re two minutes to air time and the host says to me, “Would you like to talk about kindness in the workplace? Would you like to talk about kindness in general? Or shall we talk about kindness in politics?” They gave me the choice. The deal is they will talk about your book or your product or your service. They will talk about that. You just got to get in the door. That’s the main focus I want to get people zooming in on. That’s what’s important, get people in the door.
Let’s take another example. How else can we get in the door? Obviously, the press release in this case was your vehicle. What else could we do?
Here’s the good one you’re going to love. I call it use everything you’ve got. Use everything you’ve got. For instance, one of my clients, Ryan. He is an instructional designer. To be honest, Mitch, I didn’t even know what that was. He came to me because he knew publicity would grow his business and create prospects. At that time he came to me, he was in a bad way, meaning he didn’t have a lot of prospects. He didn’t actually have a lot of business but he did know that power of publicity. I said, “Great. Let’s create a story.” Remember I just went through this a little bit around it’s not what you think the story is about. I said, “Ryan, tell me your story.” He told me that he’d been downsized from a corporate job. At that time, he had a pregnant wife with their third child and he had just bought a new house. Here’s a guy who’s got a pregnant wife, he’s got no job and he’s got a big mortgage payment. I said, “What did you do?” He said, “I started my own company,” and online within 24 hours, he had seven people across the Bay Area doing instructional design. I thought, “That’s interesting, much more interesting.”
The story you created was about him and his life and his current life situation, is that what you’re saying?
Exactly. What we do is we created a story that talked about what do you do to be a virtual office warrior? If you notice virtual office warrior is VOW. Ryan took a vow never to work in an office again. What I do is I had him create a new story about taking a vow, and that was awesome. That’s what actually made his story work. Ryan took a vow never to work in an office again. That’s the story. That story got him into Entrepreneur Magazine. That story got him into the front page of the San Francisco Business Times. That story got him into Mac Home Journal. Ryan laughed because he goes, “Jill, I don’t even have a Mac.” It doesn’t matter. The reason we got Ryan so much wonderful media is because his opportunity and ability to create a new story. Then using everything you’ve got, Ryan is also Asian-American. Although he doesn’t speak a word of Chinese, what we did was we took his article and translated into Chinese and put it into the Chinese Times. Isn’t that great?
That’s awesome. Here’s another question. What would happen if we took your advice and used everything we have to create a story, say, my listeners would create a story about themselves the way you just described, and it doesn’t seem to get traction? I would assume at that point there’s a mechanical aspect of it where you get a press release, you published a press release, you post it on social media and you link to your story. What happens if it doesn’t seem to click?
If it doesn’t seem to click, you change the story, number one. The other thing is, truthfully, most people are not patient enough to keep doing follow up, to stay consistent and persistent in the media. I’m giving you some cues here and some important clues. You have to stay consistent and persistent. Some people just give up or don’t keep going, and that’s a problem. I just really want to encourage you, that’s the kinds of things you have to keep doing. Stay consistent, stay persistent, stay focused on your story. Make sure that people are paying attention to your story. If it doesn’t work, change the story, change the focus. I think that’s really important. A lot of people don’t do that.
You said make sure that people are paying attention to your story. How would you do that? That’s not really up to you. It’s not like you’re spending $40,000 a month on ads to get your story in front of people. How do you get them to pay attention?
You get them to pay attention because you consistently send stories that work and of course follow up. That’s important. The other thing I want to say is you have to watch what’s going on in the media. Here’s a great example. I’ve got a client right now who is a medical doctor, who is transgender. We’ve been doing great stories about how to deal with workplace issues and what to do and how to deal in the workplace with this issue and she’s leading the conversation. Today, I opened up my Google Alerts and different things I watch for media and it says Trump bans transgenders from the military. I immediately called up Dana and I said, “Guess what? This is your moment in the news. This is your time to shine.”
We didn’t expect that but that’s what’s happening. I’m going to have her stand up and talk about this having nothing to do with the story we talked about. The big learning and lesson out of that is watch what’s happening in the media. Put yourself on Google Alerts for your particular segments, what you’re an expert in. Mine would be publicity and marketing. Some of yours might be something else depending on what’s your business is, strategy and whatever you’re an expert in. When I work with coaches, whatever they’re coaching in. I just had a marketing strategist I was working with out of London. I have him listing himself under marketing, under business, under strategy. All those kinds of distinctions. That I’m really big on.
That’s very exciting and very inspiring at the same time. I would imagine that if you had taken on this transgender doctor and the story did not come out, now is her time. Transgender is in the news. It’s really a topic now in this era. Certainly that gave you a great example and a great entry point. What exactly would she talk about and how would you get her story out there? Give us the mechanics of that.
I’m sure there’s many different stories but as an example, how would you get this out there?
For example, this came out today and I immediately called up Dana and said, “Press release time.” We may not even have time for a press release, so the urgent things I would have her do is specifically call up her local affiliates in the area which she lives. That’s a great thing. If there’s breaking news, you just get on the phone and you call your local ABC, NBC, CBS, a radio and television. That’s usually three calls max, let’s call it six because radio and TV. That’s six, everybody can do that for the US market. For the international market, same thing. You’re looking at your local affiliates for whichever stations are on. That’s what I’d have her do first. Secondly, I then would say, “Let’s send out a press release.” There’s somebody I know who does a press release distribution service, that’s really good. PRWeb Direct is a great press release distribution service where you send out one press release that reaches all kinds of people all at once. That’s a beautiful thing. Frankly, what I would do is just pick up the phone. I think that’s important.
Tell me who you’re calling.
What I’m connecting people to is the producers of the new shows in particular. That’s usually who I’m calling. For example, I was working with a gentleman who’s a speaker and he was at my house for one of my VIP consulting days. One of the things we did was we actually Googled what he spoke about, in his case, although he works with corporate executives, he was helping college students ace interviews. We found some wonderfully enough a US News and World Report reporter who was actually working on the story. We actually read her article. We made a particular comment on it. We sent her an email very specifically back saying, “Hi, I’m representing Steve. He’s the author of this book. By the way, we read your article. That’s really wonderful. P.S. If you ever need someone to be a source, we would love to be included.” We got a response back in literally, we counted, five minutes. Isn’t that great?
Let me tell you what I love about what you’re doing with me today. You’re showing us exactly what you do. With your twenty-plus years of experience in this business, you’re giving us the steps. I love this. Here’s another interesting thing I’m noticing about the things you’re saying. I didn’t hear you say the word internet once. Tell me more about that.
The truth is, all of my pitches are over with my clients through social media. The PRWeb Direct source I just gave you is all through the internet. The other reality is that every one of my clients, for instance, gets on the dot-com of whatever else they’re on. Like all my TV interviews for Profit of Kindness, the next step they went to was the Fox-Affiliate-dot-com of the local, in Vegas, in Sacramento, in San Francisco, etc.
I guess you submit the stories to those dot-com affiliates and you can even reference the fact that there was a live appearance as well, is that right?
Step after step building upon each other until you get to the point where you’re now booking show after show, appearance after appearance. What is the path to national exposure? Let’s say you got on the affiliate’s website. Where do you go? Who do you call? What do you do when you want national exposure?
With national exposure typically, you’ll be working off a media list. I think the best ones to go after are producers of the news shows and as well as, especially for business people, editors at business journals across the nation are really good, but obviously particularly where you live. Also, editors of your particular subject matter, so depending on what the subject matter is. I send my health people to health and medical editors. Business people, we always focus on business editors. That will depend too. Print, radio and television and then there’s some magazines and that’s of course important. Inc.com as an example and Forbes.com also has a lot more ability for people to be in there because they’ve got a lot more latitude.
All these things are what you do to make this work in concert with one another. A quick story, Jill. When I started Timeslips Corporation, the very first person I hired was a PR. It wasn’t a sales person. It wasn’t another programmer. It was a PR person. I did it for maybe a strange reason. I did it because PR was free. I couldn’t afford to put fancy ads in magazines. I couldn’t afford to go and spend a lot of money on other ways of reaching people. I knew that if I simply kept pounding on my story and getting in front of as many editors as I could, sooner or later we would hit gold. We did, by the way. That was exactly how the company launched.
I’m so glad you said that because frankly I’ve had a number of people hire me first out the gate to help, exactly what you’re saying, Mitch, launch the company. The truth is publicity is one of the best marketing strategies to create visibility, to create trust in the marketplace, to create familiarity, to create more of who you are and what you’re looking for, the prospects and clients and of course money. That’s what it does.
For those who think to themselves, “All these PR stuff is a lot of baloney because I, myself, don’t pay a lot of attention to that stuff. I, myself, don’t read Fortune Magazine or Entrepreneur.” Guess what? Everybody else does and those are the places where your customers live. They need to hear about you through an authority-based source. I think that’s exactly what Jill is saying here. Am I right, Jill?
You got it. It’s creating the fact that other people are talking about you and how powerful that is.
Once you get to the point where you have built this publicity engine in effect where you’ve gotten 40 appearances and 30 articles and all these great things have happened. What do you do after that? Tell me what the process is so that the next time you have something big coming out, you don’t have to start all over from scratch. What do you do next?
I’m big on what I call building and publicizing your publicity. Don’t forget about that. When you do get publicity, you want to publicize that, you want to promote it, you want to let other people know about it. As far as events go, there’s calendar listings for those. You’ve got to think about your publicity in three, six and nine month increments and be looking ahead and planning ahead. That’s something I always want you to be thinking about. Look ahead and plan ahead, that’s always important.
Would you say that the people who you connected with for this particular piece, whatever that may be in your business, might be the same people that you’d want to connect with again or that will be a whole different crew of people?
Typically, a lot are the same. One of the things you want to do is consistently, in a way market because you’re still marketing yourself, to the same people particularly in your geographic area, then additionally on a nationwide level. You want to keep pitching because the truth is maybe they won’t need you now, but they might need you later. For example, when Guerrilla Publicity came out, my first book, I went after all the business editors and publications. The Wall Street Journal, although she didn’t connect to me immediately when the book came out, about four months later, I got a call from the Wall Street Journal asking me to comment on how to look like the big boys in business because I wrote a book about doing affordable publicity, Guerrilla Publicity as we like to call it. She got a comment from me. It wasn’t exactly my timing of when my book came out but it was still great. It was still good timing and it still appropriately promoted both Guerrilla Publicity and the main message, so it’s all good.
I would think intuitively, you do it when you can. You do it immediately as soon as you have something to offer or that you have something that’s new or obviously a new story. What about the amount of time? I just mentioned I hired a person to do it because I was too busy trying to build a company. How much time would it take an entrepreneur to really get a story out there? How much of their time would they have to dedicate on a daily basis or a weekly basis?
An hour a week, honestly. I want you to dedicate at least an hour a week to getting yourself out there and putting yourself out there. I think that’s really important.
That’s so encouraging. If you could make a difference with an hour a week, what could you do with an hour a day? Now I’m really inspired. With an hour a day, I think I could just about promote anything. I’m sure you guys listening can do the same. Jill, this has been so incredible to have gotten a download of your knowledge so quickly too. I just have a couple of questions for you before I let you go. I love to ask this question because it really helps me understand where you come from. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?
Tell me why.
I think he was such a leader and took such a stand around such important issues. He was doing it in a time that frankly it was not quite popular. I’m very touched by his words, by his writings, I think by who he was in this universe and what he did for the world, abolishing slavery. The man really stood up and took action in a time where it certainly wasn’t popular. His own personal journey, I know he was depressive. He’s just an interesting character to me and I would really like to talk to him.
That’s a great choice. Frankly, if you ever get the chance, give me a buzz. I want to hang out with the two of you because that’s going to be a great conversation. Now, Jill, I’ve got to ask you the grand finale. Here it is, the last question of the show but in a sense the most important to me. This is what I call the change-the-world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
With my new book Profit of Kindness, I think this is the change-the-world conversation. How to put kindness in business and make it work. As a publicity person, I’ve really noticed kind companies get more publicity, I really see this. I’m very committed to spreading this movement, to creating more kindness in business, in the world. I think Profit of Kindness is leading the way for that and I want to be the leader of that movement.
Jill Lublin, I have to tell you, this has been an incredible interview. I love what you stand for. I can’t wait to read your new book. How can listeners get a hold of you or visit you on your website? What should they do?
Go to JillLublin.com. For Profit of Kindness, go to ProfitofKindness.com/FreeGift. Let me give you some great ways to be more kind and also you can order the book through there. That will take you to Amazon and all your favorite places.
Jill, thanks so much for the time today.
Thank you for having me on today.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Ultimate Business Mastery Summit
- Jill Lublin
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Guerrilla Publicity
- Networking Magic
- Get Noticed… Get Referrals
- Profit of Kindness
- Profit of Kindness on Amazon