Before I went to the National Publicity Summit, I was getting mostly local publicity in my hometown. I was getting some radio exposure and even had a few markets that were running my newspaper column. I was working with a radio booking firm that hooked me up with Radio-TV Interview Report. I advertised in that, and then I started getting the emails and direct mail about the National Publicity Summit. Of course I was very intrigued and thought, “Gosh, this sounds great,” but of course, like most people, I was skeptical. How could there really be all of these great contacts in one room?
I went ahead and signed up for it and started doing some of the over the phone training that Steve Harrison offers to people to prepare for the Summit.. I was just getting more and more impressed by how thorough the training was. I was really impressed with how much I learned in the process leading up to the actual Summit. It’s like a college course.
When I finally met the media at the Summit, I felt polished, very eager, and also nervous. The whole process was really exciting, from the time you first start learning techniques on the teleseminars up to even the night before you hit the room and meet face-to-face with the media. The night before, Steve’s still training you. What I learned were skills I knew I was going to be able to continue to use even after the Summit.
The other attendees you meet at the National Publicity Summit are really neat people with fascinating stories and great ideas. They come from all different backgrounds. Everyone is there for the same thing, and you’re all like-minded, so it’s a great place to network and meet wonderful people. Even the energy in the room every day is just so positive. It’s very exciting because everyone there is so hopeful, and everyone feels like this is the beginning of their story.
I got some really great media coverage because of the National Publicity Summit, and learned some valuable lessons there that can help you get more publicity and increase your book sales:
1. When producers express interest, follow up and close the deal.
I made great contacts at the Summit, and the very first thing I got was an article in Jane magazine about how to have sex dreams. Also, a producer from The View was really interested, but I had to keep working on her after I got home. I stayed in touch and didn’t inundate her with calls and emails. Every couple of weeks I’d send her a new story idea. You have to be careful not to annoy producers and always have something new and fresh when you contact them. She finally got me on the Halloween episode to talk about the most common nightmares.
2. Don’t think any media outlet is too small for you.
At the Summit, I spoke to an editor from a Hackensack, New Jersey newspaper and pitched a story idea about nightmares for Halloween. She loved it and ran the story, then lo and behold, the producer for Good Morning America read the article. That’s how I got on Good Morning America. Remember, the media reads and watches the media.
3. Being interviewed on national television makes other TV shows want to interview you.
Once you get some national media, producers are impressed. I’ve been on CNN three times, the Today Show, The View, Good Morning America, and even hosted my own special on the Discovery Health Channel. Once you get these notches in your belt, it’s almost more impressive than a Ph. D. as far as getting more media because producers say, “Oh, this person is media savvy. She knows what she is doing and how to speak to an audience.” I was called by CNN because they saw me on Good Morning America. Every interview connects to something else.
4. Radio shows network with each other, so one successful interview can lead to others.
I got quite a few radio interviews from the Summit, and I discovered that if you are a good guest, hosts will often refer you to other hosts. Usually morning shows have a morning show prep board, and they will post names of guests that they liked. Then hundreds of other morning shows read these prep boards and they’ll see your name and the comments, and they’ll contact you. It becomes like a spider web in that everything connects to everything else.
5. Radio interviews can dramatically increase your sales.
Sales have shot up since I did the Summit. I recommend getting as much radio as you can because while all the national television appearances are great, what I’ve learned is that I do better in sales when I do radio than when I do TV. On the radio, I get to talk to callers who ask me about their dreams, and I interpret them. People actually get to see how it works and how it relates to life. When they see it work, it sells better. They get online and buy the book. Also, if you have one of those topics where you can answer questions, you’re more likely to be invited back. I do tons of weekly and monthly appearances now, and that has become my bread and butter.
6. Literary agents will approach you once they see your media and sales success.
I self-published my first two books, but a literary agent from New York came to me, and I’m working with her, and we’re putting together a book for Penguin Books. That was a direct result of my publicity.
7. Your website can be a powerful sales tool.
You learn how to make your website sell. I make all of my money through my website. People set up consultations with me and buy books through the website. At the Summit they teach you how to use the right words and bullet points on your website and how to get opt-ins. You don’t want people to just come and leave. You want them to give you their contact information so you can keep emailing them updates and things to keep them interested and keep you on their minds, so when they finally feel like they want to open up that wallet and buy your product, they’ll do it.