Speaking opportunities can help boost your popularity in your industry. By getting the right people to help you achieve this, you do not only save time and effort but can surely get to your desired goals. Today, Juliet Clark talks to Jackie Lapin, the Founder of SpeakerTunity Cities™ Regional Directories which provide leaders with contacts for hundreds of speaking opportunities in their individual markets at the touch of their fingertips. Jackie has personally booked more than 10,000 interviews and speaking engagements over the past years. She is here today to share her wisdom with us.
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Getting The Right Speaking Opportunities With Jackie Lapin
I have a great guest but I want to remind you before we get started, go over and subscribe to the podcast, and leave us a review. We love it when we hear from you and you tell us what you love about the podcast and you’re reading. Get it downloaded directly every week. A couple of months ago, I had Jackie Lapin on. We were introduced by a mutual friend of ours, talking about SpeakerTunity. You have to hear about this. I happened to sit next to her at lunch at an event and I found out she does something book related. I wanted to bring her back and for you to know what she’s up to. If you haven’t read the other episode, Jackie Lapin is a leader in helping authors, coaches, speakers, health practitioners, and entrepreneurs connect with their followers all over the globe.
Her internationally acclaimed conscious companies have been providing PR campaigns, radio media tours, speaking engagements to support growth and revenue for change-makers. Our clients have included Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements, an amazing book, Dr. Joe Vitale, James Twyman, Denise Linn, Arielle Ford, Hay House and more. She is the Founder of SpeakerTunity and if you want to find out more about that particular platform that she has, I encourage you to go read that episode. She provides leaders on a regional basis with contacts for hundreds of speaking opportunities in their individual market at the touch of their fingertips.
These purchasable geocentric lists enable speakers to have a massive impact in their regions and to select directories for other regions where they want to connect with clients. That’s not what we’re going to talk about. Jackie, I found out for all of you authors out there, has something called Conscious Media Relations for podcast and radio tours. The cool thing when I was talking to her is that she guarantees a certain number when you have the done-for-you. If you have ever hired anybody in the PR industry, you’re going to pay a whole bunch of money and you get no guarantees. This is amazing for the book world.
Juliet, thank you for having me and thank you for that lovely testimonial.
I was so glad I connected with you at the event because we’d only connected online before and you’re even lovelier in person than you are online. Remember that you need to connect with her because she’s even lovelier. How did you get into this? Ten years ago, this was a big thing. You could book people on the blog tours, podcast tours, different things like that with your books but there were no appreciative results. They didn’t guarantee that you would even get on podcasts. Sometimes when they did, they weren’t quality.
You have to understand the story of how I got to where I was. I became one of the first women’s sportswriters in America. Writing is in my craft.
Did you get to go in the locker room and see all those bare athletic butts running around?
I did. It was so early. I got locked out of the ballpark at 2:00 in the morning. I’m waiting for Reggie Jackson. It was a fun time but the people who followed me got that opportunity. From there, I made national television. I was the Detroit free press in the Washington Post and front pages of the LA Times. From there, I went on to have one of the largest sports special cable TV, PR agencies in America, which meant that I was working with a world-class client list, everybody from the National Hockey League to Toyota Motorsports to the Golf Channel to Avon, Seagram’s, Showtime. I can go on and on. The last thing I did was launched the worldwide poker phenomenon with the World Poker Tour. That may be on my epitaph. That was all winding down.
The media was changing. It was contracting and it was harder to get all the kinds of things that we traditionally got, newspapers, magazines, television. I wrote two books on personal growth because I was called to write those books. The first one was called The Art of Conscious Creation. It came out right about the time The Secret did. I started building my media list for my own book. I knew how to do this but at that time, the only thing that had been done by publicists was broadcast radio. I’m seeing this emerging field of internet radio. I started data mining for that in my subject matter.
By the time I wrote my second book, which was called a Practical Conscious Creation: Daily Techniques to Manifest Your Desires and was voted the best spiritual book of the International New Age Trade Show that year, I had built a very substantial list of over 1,000 radio shows and podcasts. It was before podcasts. It was radio and internet radio. These radio shows were hungry for content that had to do with personal growth, wellness, health, conscious business, living a good life in any way, shape or form and improving the status of us humans and the planet. When I got done with doing that, I’m looking at it thinking, “That group of media and the mainstream is putting up big roadblocks.” These guys are saying, “What do you get for me? I want more.”
I thought, “Why not feed this pipeline of people that are anxious for this kind of content?” That’s when I thought, “I’ve built this list for myself. Other people could benefit from me building this list.” That’s when I decided to shift over, to re-brand as conscious media relations and so I have two brands in my life. I got Conscious Media Relations, which is the done-for-you service and then SpeakerTunity. It is a do-it-yourself service. Under Conscious Media Relations, we decided that how we could help authors and leaders were by writing a compelling pitch letter, which is what I’ve been doing all my life, and sending it to the media on this proprietary list that we had created.
In the interim, that list has grown substantially. First of all, it’s about 4,000 interested in those topics that I was talking to you about. We’ve got about another 3,000 podcasts in various different categories. We have 3,500 general morning drive and general talk shows. We have specialty lists. Now we’ve also got a new directory of 6,000 business podcasts on top of that. We have a business list, parenting list, women’s, paranormal. We’ve got 200 paranormal shows. We’ve got health and wellness. We collect different categories so that when the right book comes in, we can feed the right audience that pitch. At any given time, when we’re pitching for one of our shows, I read the book, write the pitch, then send it to 9,000 radio shows and podcasts at this time. It continues to grow.
My schedule or Missy picks it up from there and she handles all the scheduling but we’re a team that works closely together. Whenever we’re promoting an author and their book, we make sure that a massive number of people get it and it’s the people who might very well be interested. As these programs evolved, we were confident that we can get a minimum of 30 interviews with every author. Depending on what the book is, how compelling and how unique it is because if it sounds like a lot of other books, it’ll get the low end of it and get 30, 35, 34 maybe 40. If it’s different, unique and compelling, it can get up to 75 or 80.
That’s what we’ve been doing. We continue to do them. We’ve launched two already. We’re launching two more. I suspect that we’re going to be talking to a lot of other people to nail down some several more. In 2018, we did 25 of them. We’d like to keep those numbers continuing but we’re the only game in town that specializes in radio, podcast, and the whole self-help spectrum. Nobody else does what we do. You can find individual agencies are going to go out and they’re going to pick individual people. They’re going to pitch them one-on-one. That’s not what we do. We cast a wide net and we find who’s interested and then hook them up with the author.
We’re talking about non-fiction books, right?
Correct. There is not much we can do with fiction books at this point. There’s not a lot of shows that will take those people on.
I started out a fiction writer and it’s much harder to get visibility with a fiction book, especially even the traditional publishers don’t promote them much when they take them on.
That’s social media, a book club, and online organizations like Goodreads and stuff. That’s where you need to be promoting those kinds of things.
What kinds of books do you guys look for because you have to be choosy? You’re sending out 9,000, they don’t want to get inundated every day. What great books do you look for to do this with?
I like something that’s different and unique when possible. I did a book for a colleague of mine who owns a wolf sanctuary here in Southern California. Like they do with horses, they do therapeutic work with disadvantaged youth who’ve had problems in their lives working with the wolves in a therapeutic program. It is transformative, but it’s not youth. The book covered the history of the wolf and how its relation to human beings. It goes way back and why that therapeutic relationship works and how much like wolves we are. It was a fascinating book that was so unique and so different. We pulled in 75 or 80 the first week because it will show unique and different. That’s a boom when it’s different. The book needs to first of all, not be an eBook. It needs to be a physical book. Eight-five percent to ninety percent of these hosts want something in their hands to read.The best books are things that do not say the same thing over and over again that is already in the marketplace. Click To Tweet
It also needs to be of a substantially decent size. It can’t be a pamphlet that’s 60 pages. It has to have some heft to it. That doesn’t mean that it needs to be in big letters and flushed out. It needs to provide valuable information and have a point of view that’s unique and different. One of the things that I do, I pride myself on being able to find some way to make each book unique and different. I get a lot of books about living a happier life, manifesting all of those kinds of things. If I can find a way to either call on that person’s history to make it unique or a particular aspect of the book that makes it different, then I will do that. I don’t want any book to sound the same as any other book. It’s got to reflect the personality, the mission and the message of that author in a special and unique way. The best books are things that do not say the same thing over and over that is already in the marketplace. That doesn’t mean that we can’t find something unique and special in somebody’s book and bring it forward even if it’s in a common genre.
It also helps if it’s relevant if it’s something that is being talked about right now too, in my opinion.
We did a book on the vaccine controversy. That was incredibly fascinating and illuminating. It definitely changed my vision of the controversy and which side I’m on. When we put that book out, we got a flood of interviews and a lot of them were national players and that was a significant boom to that book. The publisher said that we helped make it the number two book of their year.
Traditionally published or self-published?
It was a hybrid published. That means that it’s traditional publishing quality, but it was handled via an intermediary and the author paid to have it done.
Is there a preference for what you take, traditional or self-published?
No, not at all, as long as the quality of the book is good. What’s nice about it is the hosts don’t care either. As long as the information is good, it doesn’t need to be a new book. As long as we can make it sound unique and different, it doesn’t matter that it came out a year ago or two years ago as long as we’re creating the buzz that will help that author drive their business. That becomes much more of a factor when you’re talking about mainstream media. For example, the national televisions won’t touch you unless you’re published by a national traditional publishing company. With radio and podcasts, they’re open to whatever it is as long as the content is good.
What else should I be asking here? I feel like we covered a lot.
We did three different programs so that people have a concept. One is where we do everything soup to nuts. The second thing is it’s very interactive. We log all the information into a shared Google Doc with all the data on the host and the show and who’s making the phone call, etc. The author does the booking themselves and a reminder email to the host. The last one is where we read the book, write the pitch, and set it from the author’s email. They’re solely responsible for all of the fire hose of responses that come back and they have to sort through them and get all the additional information. There are different prices based on how much work.
The other factor is you need to have a media kit with this. The media kit needs to have these things in it. A release on the book, a full bio on you, who are you, what is your business and why are you doing what you’re doing. A short version that’s called the on-air introduction, that’s 4 to 5 paragraphs. Here’s the most important thing, twenty questions. In the old days, ten questions were enough when it was on broadcast radio and you were on for ten minutes. Now you’re on for an hour and you need to give these hosts plenty of questions in the order you want them to be asked. When we do the media kit, which our authors have the option to have us do for an additional small fee, is that we do what we call the learn more page. That’s how the public can engage with you and it’s in bullet points.
It’s the book and where it’s available. What is the author offer? Is there a freebie? Is there an e-course? Is there private coaching? Whatever the upsell is, maybe even their speaking opportunities where you can find and contact them for speaking, the other social media contact and their website. All of that gets packaged up and it looks attractive. One of the reasons that we do the media kit in a very specific way that we do is it solves all those problems of the host coming back and say, “Do you have questions? When do you have this? Can I have the bio this way?” We give it to them in a way that’s instantly digestible for them and they don’t come back with those kinds of questions anymore.
One of the things we pride ourselves on is making it so easy that the author can sit back and never have to leave their home and do a slate of interviews. These interviews will stretch out anywhere from 3 to 5 months beyond the initial period because sometimes people are already booked and they keep going. It gives you a full slate. You’re not going to be inundated that first week and have to do them all like you used to do in the broadcast world where they’d sit you in a room and then you’d do all your interviews in two days and you’re done. This will stretch out and it works around your schedule. If you’re going away for two weeks, it gets booked around your schedule.
It’s a very interactive process because we want to make sure that the author is getting the most out of the experience and the hosts are getting the most out of the experience. We make sure that all the pieces are in the puzzle and the way that we do it is so detailed that there are limited opportunities for the ball to drop but it does. We always reschedule and do all that. Sometimes there are technical issues, somebody accidentally missed the interview, whether it’s the author or the host. We’ve got one client we’ve been working within Lebanon whose interviews were interrupted by the sound of gunfire and the unrest that’s going on in their country. You never know.
Most of our interviews are US and Canada but if you’re in Australia and you’re doing a radio tour, that means you’re going to get up in the middle of the night. You’re going to have to make sure that you have a phone number that is two-way from the US, which you can do on Skype. You got to be able to do Zoom and all of those other kinds of things. Some of the older authors are still a little edgy when it comes to Zoom but we get them up to speed. One of the things we do is a tracking document briefing so that everybody involved in the process can see what’s going on. Let’s say the author gets up in the middle of the night and think, “I’ve got an interview at 7:00 tomorrow. I don’t remember what the telephone number was. I didn’t put it in my calendar.” They can go onto the Google Doc and see it right there.
There are no mysteries. They don’t have to get ahold of Missy in the middle of the night to do it. Everything’s available for everybody. A lot of times, we also work in concert with other publicists because we have a specialty in what we do and they’re doing other things so we play well with others. That’s one of the things we like. For example, we work a lot with publishers either for them. We’ve worked with Hay House, New World Library, Sounds True, Red Wheel Wiser, HCI books, and a number of others. We did a book for Simon & Schuster. Either directly for the publish themselves or the author will have us coordinate with their publisher. That works. Another thing that you might want to talk about, Juliet, is people say, “What’s the timetable on this?” We do not do this to fill your pre-order calendar. It doesn’t work that way to upsells for what we do. We will trigger this when we have 50 books in hand or you have 50 books in hand. We prefer not to work to have the publisher send, but in some places, that’s unavoidable.
When we trigger it, we want the host to be able to have the book in a couple of days, read the book and then within 2 or 3 weeks implement the interview. To do that, either the publisher has to get us or you guys have to order or the author needs to order from Kindle and have them available. That way also when the interviews are going on, if somebody is motivated and excited, they can go straight to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or whatever it is and order the book right then as opposed to pre-order and they’re like, “I got to wait for the thing.” That’s it. I am doing multiple things in the world. I speak as you know and go to a lot of conferences, I need to have time on weekends to read a book. Sometimes it may be a month or two before we trigger it that I need that book so that I can get time in to read it, digest it, write the pitch if I’m doing the media kit, etc. People need to plan ahead and we do them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I want to get people on that calendar in advance so that we don’t give their data away. We make sure that we know what’s coming up. We plan for it and we schedule for it. Those are things.
I want to go back to the media kit from and if you don’t mind. I cannot even stress how important this is. As someone who is a podcast host, if you send me these things piecemeal, I may uninvite you because you proved to me that you are not a professional. I want quality people. I do stress and I recommend all my authors have it on their websites as well. If you have a website, get up a tab with the media, all of your interviews there because one of the other things people want to know is how you present yourself on air. If you have other interviews, definitely get them on that media kit so that people can see. You can be talented but if you don’t look credible in an interview, you’re done.
One of the things we do on our tracking documents is there’s a whole column for recording the link from those interviews so the author can go back at any time and grab that and say, “I want to go on this on my website.” We want to make sure that you have all the value out of this that’s going to increase your business.As long as the information is good, it doesn't need to be a new book. Click To Tweet
What kind of results do you get from this because that’s something I see from authors? They’re like, “I’ve tried everything.” What is going to get me results? What kinds of case studies do you have?
I talked a little bit about that one book on the vaccine controversy. We did another book for a leader/author for Sounds True which talked about what this author learned from people who were sent to genarians, 100-year-old people about staying healthy. That wasn’t the total content of the book but that’s what we led with. We also made that book one of their top sellers of the year. I had an author who did two books on the legends of Celtic goddesses and women figures in the Celtic tradition. She said she got on one interview where she had 700 downloads.
That’s a big topic right now though. A lot of people are interested, especially without Outlander. It’s an interesting topic.
She’s an expert in this area and she’s great award-winning books in them. She said that we help make her book even a bigger award winner. Those are samples. Here’s what I tell people because I’m going to be all honest. I can’t always tell you how many books we’re going to sell because there’s a lot of factors involved in that. What I can tell you is we can give you hundreds of thousands, if not millions of ears do change lives. That we know we can guarantee.
It’s always very tough when people ask, “What you can do for me?” Here’s something I can’t even stress enough too. You have to participate as the author. You can’t say, “Go promote me.” It doesn’t work like that. You have to be visible. I find this so much with authors. They have this, “I want to be well known. I want to be a celebrity but I don’t want anybody to see me.”
To that topic, I would say that a minimum of 25%, if not 50% of our interviews these days are being done over Zoom. Many of the interviews that you will do are videocasts because they’re going to be on Facebook Live, Zoom, YouTube, and any number of other places. We always make this distinction whether this is an audio interview or a video interview so that you don’t show up in your PJ’s for a video interview. In fact, I have a way of color-coding on my calendar. If I’m doing an interview that I have to wear make-up for, it is coded in red.
Normally, I would be in my yoga pants and no make-up working if I don’t have to. I don’t care about my clients. You can see me that way. It’s the real me. You can’t when you’re on camera.
Don’t be surprised in other words. You need to know one way or the other.
You’d be surprised how many people do come on and then they realize they’re on Zoom and I go, “I have to give them five minutes to go put make-up on.” Come prepared, please. Jackie, how do we get ahold of you if we want to find out more about this to move forward or at least discuss it with you and find out which one of those packages is best for you?
They can reach out to me at Jackie@ConsciousMediaRelations.com. If you want to take a quick look at the website, it’s got a lot of stuff on there, but there are only two services that we are ongoing doing, which is the radio podcaster. We also syndicate articles to a database of 1,500 minds, body, spirit, print and online media. Those are the two signature services. You go to ConsciousMediaRelations.com but if you want to see those testimonials that I’ve been talking about and I were proud of them, you’ll see many testimonials by leading figures and first-time authors that had this as an experience that they felt that gave them a significant boost. We’re very proud of our track record. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We’ve outlasted a lot of other people in the industry. There are some people that if you want podcasts and you want to have them pinpoint that, that’s fine. We are a specialty. We call ourselves agnostic about the platform. As long as this show loves this kind of content, we want to make sure that we reach out to them. That’s what’s important. We always update our list. We add 100 to 150 shows every month to these lists.
There are more and more coming out every day. Thank you very much. I appreciated you coming.
Juliet, thank you for letting me talk about this. It’s so fun. The authors are our favorite people. We love doing these. Thank you for letting me talk to your community about the work we do.
- Jackie Lapin – previous episode
- The Four Agreements
- Conscious Media Relations
- The Art of Conscious Creation
- Practical Conscious Creation: Daily Techniques to Manifest your Desires
About Jackie Lapin
Jackie Lapin is a leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, health practitioners, speakers, and entrepreneurs connect with their next followers around the globe. For the past 10 years, her internationally acclaimed Conscious Companies have been providing PR campaigns, radio media tours and speaking engagements to support the growth and revenue of change-makers. Her clients have included Don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Joe Vitale, James Twyman, Denise Linn, Arielle Ford, Hay House and more.
Jackie is the founder of SpeakerTunity Cities™ Regional Directories which provide leaders, with contacts for hundreds of speaking opportunities in their individual markets at the touch of their fingertips. These purchasable geocentric lists enable speakers to have a massive impact in their regions and to select directories for other regions where they want to connect with clients.
Additionally, Jackie’s SpeakerTunity monthly subscription services, give leaders ongoing lists of speaking engagements, radio shows, podcasts, and virtual summits all across North America. Jackie has personally booked more than 10,000 interviews and speaking engagements over the past years—and she is here today to share her wisdom with us.
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