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SPI 442: How to Get More Traffic and Exposure for Your Brand with Brittney Lynn

Back at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when so many people were getting laid off, I thought, I can help. I know what it’s like. I got laid off in 2008, and I turned lemons into lemonade. Maybe you noticed that I appeared on some news shows during that time and did some interviews. Media outlets turned to me as an expert to help people get through it. Want to know how they found me? Because I hired a PR strategist who put me right where I needed to be—in front of their eyes.

For this episode of the SPI Podcast, I invited my PR agent, Brittney Lynn, to talk about how she and her team help people get media attention. She’s super cool, and so generous in giving us some tools to do this PR work on our own. It’s an extremely valuable episode, so check it out.

Today’s Guest

Brittney L. Lynn

Brittney Lynn is a PR strategist for online entrepreneurs worldwide. She has over ten years of experience working in the online marketing industry and has a passion for helping others grow their reach, revenue, and impact through strategic PR. She’s also the host of the Human Connection podcast, which dives deep into the topic of how entrepreneurs and small business owners can be better at building real, authentic relationships with their audience. Brittney has landed clients at Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, US News & World Report, and the Washington Post, to name a few. She’s based in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and pup.

Website: brittneyllynn.com
Instagram: @brittneyllynn
Twitter: BrittneyLLynn
Facebook: brittneyllynndotcom

You’ll Learn

Resources

SPI 442: How to Get More Traffic and Exposure for Your Brand with Brittney Lynn

Pat Flynn:
Today on the show, I wanted to invite somebody who has recently helped me out tremendously. Her name is Brittney Lynn. You might call her my PR agent if you will, my public relations person. Somebody who has helped me recently literally get on TV. Get in magazines, get in publications online. Entrepreneur, Forbes, things like that. I wanted to have her come on to talk about the process that she takes clients through to help us, whether you choose to work with her or not, it doesn’t matter, to actually get results. Meaning getting more exposure for free. It just takes a little bit of work and understanding of how this kind of world works.

Pat:
On top of TV and media and those kinds of things, first of all, we’re going to talk about why that’s important. A lot of people have been avoiding those situations now because we are in the world that we live in right now and the way it is. You actually have access to more of that, because news stations aren’t just interviewing people locally anymore. They’re interviewing everybody around the world because everything is remote now. This is the new normal. We can take advantage of this. Brittney talks about that as well. Also, we talk about getting your pitch down to get on other people’s podcasts. Getting to be a guest on another person’s podcast is a huge opportunity for you to get more exposure to a targeted audience, to get more… everything from back links for SEO to traffic to your website, and more authority for your brand. Today, we’re going to unpack all those strategies and more with Brittney Lynn today. You can find her at BrittneyLLynn, L-Y-N-N, .com. We’ll talk more about what she’s done for me. There’s so much to talk about. Anyway, enjoy the show. Let’s get to the intro.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Now your host. His nickname is middle school was Stormtrooper because when it came to girls, he always missed his shots. Pat Flynn.

Pat:
What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to session 442 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Plat Flynn. I’m here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people too. A great way to grow your brand and get exposure, and gain a ton of authority, especially through publications and media and podcast, is through the work that Brittney does. BrittneyLLynn.com. I literally hired her to do PR stuff for me. I’ve just been blown away from what she’s been able to do and how it works. A lot of this stuff we can actually do on our own, which is really cool.

Pat:
What I really love about this conversation that you’re about to hear is she teaches us. We share more about where you can go deeper with her if you’d like. But even without that, here you’re going to get some stuff, and even some free templates at the end for pitches for different publications, and news stations, and things to look out for and whatnot. Make sure you check this out. This is a great 101 for PR and exposure and free traffic if you do it right. She’ll tell you how. Here she is. Hey, Brittney. Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

Brittney Lynn:
Thank you for having me on. This is a surreal moment for me to be on here. It’s pretty cool.

Pat:
Why? Why do you say that?

Brittney:
Well because, and I’m sure we’ll get into this, but how I started and how I found this whole online world was through your podcast, like thousands of others. I remember the specifics of when I first found your podcast. For me to now be a guest on it is just crazy to me.

Pat:
Well, I definitely want to dig into that story. But I mean, this is a well deserved spot for you. First of all, you’ve done so much for me, like everybody in the intro heard. We’re going to dive into more of those specifics as well. Let’s get back into your origin story. You heard the podcast. What about the podcast, and what did you do? What did you start?

Brittney:
Yes. I worked a corporate job. I worked in corporate America for a while. I had just started a new job working at a university. I’ve always done marketing, PR, social media. That’s what I graduated with, so that’s what I’m familiar with. I started a new job, and it was my second day of work. Somebody threw a brick through my car window.

Pat:
Wait, what? An actual brick?

Brittney:
An actual brick. I can’t believe I haven’t actually told you this story before.

Pat:
Okay, I did not know this was going here, but keep going. This is freaking crazy.

Brittney:
Yeah, this is real and raw here. It was my second day of work and somebody threw a brick through my window. This was back in 2012. I still listened to an iPod. I’m just kind of old school. I didn’t listen to anything on my phone. I only listened to music on my iPod. They threw a brick through my window and they stole my iPod out of it. I was really upset. I go home and I’m like, “I can’t believe it.” I had to drive home with this flapping piece of plastic covering my window because I lived in Milwaukee. It’s very cold in Milwaukee, and I started in December.

Brittney:
I get home and I’m talking to my husband. I’m like, “What the heck am I going to listen to? I don’t want to listen to FM radio, those cheesy DJs, but I don’t have my iPod anymore.” He’s like, “Well, you know you can listen to stuff on your phone.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.” He was like, “Well, have you heard about podcasts?” I was like, “What is a podcast? That sounds nerdy. What are you talking about?” He was kind of explaining it to me. I was like, “Okay.” I go on, and yours was one of the very first podcasts that I had found. I remember seeing the album artwork. I was like, “Who is this goofy dude? Okay, I’ll give it a try.”

Brittney:
From there, I became obsessed with this whole online entrepreneur experience. I had never heard of it before. I didn’t know of it as an option. It really made me determined to figure out, how could I do this for myself and my family? Through finding podcasts, we also found personal finance podcasts. We were able to pay off all of our debt. Me being able to pay off all of our debt allowed me to be able to start this business. It really all started from whoever threw a brick through my window and stole my iPod.

Pat:
I’m glad I was able to actually hit the car from where I was at. No, I’m just kidding. I’m sorry you went through that, but obviously we go through these life experiences and they open up new doors for us. That was really cool. What are some of the podcasts that you listen to in the finance space? I’m curious, if you want to give a shout out to any of them.

Brittney:
Yeah. We first landed on Dave Ramsey because he’s very popular. He’s been around for a while. Again, back in 2012, that was pre The Serial Podcast. I feel like that’s the podcast that exploded podcasting.

Pat:
It was, yeah.

Brittney:
For the general public. That was the first one that we listened to. Then we followed his debt snowball. We interpreted it into our own. We kind of made it our own. Then I got into all the personal finance podcasts, then how I found out about FinCon, which I know you’ve spoken at and I now go to that. It’s just all very connected and interesting to think about.

Pat:
It is. That’s cool, that’s great. A lot of great things can happen when you listen to podcasts. Keep that in mind, audience. When you listen to podcasts, great things happen. Please subscribe if you haven’t already. I know that now, you have this other business. Obviously you’ve helped me with it. It’s your PR, public relations business. Tell us about that. What kinds of services do you offer? I’d love to dive into some of the ways that you help your clients. Even if people choose not to go further and work with you, things that we can take away from this episode so people can actually take action. I know that you have some free stuff to give away too, templates and whatnot. We’ll save that until the end. Make sure you stick around. Tell us about what it is that you do now for your clients, and what you love about it.

Brittney:
I kind of fell into offering PR as a service, to be quite honest. About the first year of business, I was just doing anything under the sun that somebody would pay me to do. You’re just figuring things out.

Pat:
Freelance type of stuff, whatever.

Brittney:
Freelancing, yeah. Then about a year in, a few people asked me if I could pitch them to podcasts, because they were trying to not travel as much. They wanted to stay more at home, but they still wanted to get in front of bigger audiences. For me, it felt like a dream because I listened to all of these podcasts that they wanted to be pitched to. I knew what type of guest that they would want to have on. I was so familiar with the host. It just felt like, wow. Somebody is going to pay me to do this? This is incredible.

Brittney:
It started with podcast pitching. Then it kind of grew from there to then pitching publications, and then pitching TV networks. We’ve done some influencer marketing. My retainer services grew over time. My team grew over time. Now, we have a full service agency where we help specifically online entrepreneurs get their message out there in front of bigger audiences through the media. We primarily now focus on podcasts, publications, and TV.

Brittney:
We have some other options where if the retainer option, that’s typically what we offer for the done-for-you services. There’s a retainer option where people hire us on to become their publicist, like we have done for you. I’m sure we’ll talk about that. Then we also have a course, and other options for things, because I know everybody might not be at the point where they can hire a publicist and a team, but they still want to get their message out there. I just so strongly feel like everyone’s message matters. You need to be out in front of your people. You are doing a disservice if you are not out in front of those people. One of the best ways to get your message out there is through different media platforms.

Pat:
When we hear about exposure in growing our business, growing our brand oftentimes, especially entrepreneurs and those just starting out, we focus on things like search engine optimization and content marketing and social media. Those are our sort of big three in terms of getting more exposure. I think a lot of people consider media as a bonus extra add on or a one-day kind of thing. What would be your argument for actually having that be inserted into your brand as exposure mechanisms earlier on?

Brittney:
Yeah, absolutely. I will say, the three big things that you just talked about, content, social media, SEO. Those things work really well with PR. With PR, it’ll work best if you have some sort of foundation already. If you have some content created, whether that’s blog posts, podcast episodes, or YouTube. Some type of content that then you can pull from and pitch to the media. Because I don’t want us to reinvent the wheel. You shouldn’t be pitching on topics that are totally brand new that you haven’t talked about before, because that misses the whole point. The biggest reason why I am a big proponent of, people should be doing PR activities now before maybe they are “ready,” because it’s free.

Brittney:
Of course people pay us. We’re not working for free. If you hire us to do the pitching and reaching out, and research on your behalf. But if you want to do this yourself, if you want to pitch yourself for podcast interviews, if you want to reach out to journalists, if you want to pitch yourself to a TV producer, you can do that. It’s sending emails; it’s reaching out. That’s how they get story ideas. I think a lot of people get into their head of, I have to have this amount of money to be able to spend. But all of these opportunities are free that we get our clients. Now, there are the occasional podcast hosts that charge for their guest to come on, or round-up articles that sometimes are charged. But I will say as someone that’s worked in this industry, 98% of the opportunities out there are completely free. To have that opportunity to get in front of these big audiences when all it takes is some research and crafting up an email, that’s a much quicker way to get out in front of a lot of people than some other marketing activities.

Pat:
You make it sound so easy. Just a little bit of research and crafting an email. Obviously it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

Brittney:
Yeah.

Pat:
In terms of, where do we do our research? How do we craft an email? We’ll talk about that for sure. I think there’s another aspect to the idea of media versus SEO content marketing. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, I posted something on Twitter today. Check out how cool I am.” Versus, “Hey, I was featured on such and such’s podcast as the guest of honor today.” Or, “I was on a news publication. Here is the cutout in the magazine that I was in.” The prestige that comes with media. You’ve helped me book a number of television interviews on news stations. Not just locally here, but all over the United States. When I share those, it kind of blows people away. If somebody has just found me, I would imagine that if they see me on the news or in a publication, a cutout of a newspaper, there’s a lot of, oh, there’s some proof there already that this person knows what they’re talking about. Can you speak to [inaudible 00:13:30] of this versus maybe SEO and just social media?

Brittney:
Yeah, for sure. It’s really that podcast, that publication, that TV network giving their stamp of approval on you. It’s like they see you as an expert in your industry, and they want to interview you about a particular topic. It builds up that brand trust with you as a company, as an individual, as an entrepreneur. For new people coming, it’s effective because it’s like, oh wow. I saw this guy on TV or I heard this person on a podcast. You already have a relationship with that podcast host. It’s like me listening to this podcast for so long. I knew you so well, or I felt like I knew you so well. Any guest that you would bring on, I automatically had a trust built with them because you trusted them to bring them on. It’s the same thing for publications and the same thing for TV.

Brittney:
That’s effective to get new people over to your world so that they can see your stuff on Instagram, on Twitter, or what you’re blogging about. Then it’s also effective for current people that are in your audience that already know about you. But then they see, oh wow. He got interviewed on Forbes, or he got interviewed on four different TV stations. It builds up that trust a little bit more. Maybe if they are on the edge of purchasing from you, whether they’re going to purchase a course or a service, it can send them over the edge of, like, okay, “this person is the real deal. I trust them, and I want to invest my money and my time with that person.”

Pat:
Yeah, absolutely. This is inception because we’re talking about PR, but here you are, I guess, on the SPI Podcast. Everybody listening, they’ll have some credibility with you already since they are listening to my show, and you’re on it as a guest. If they ever want PR services or they want to learn more or take advantage of some of the free challenges that you offer, whatever, they already know who to go to through me, which is pretty cool. To have some help to get on the right podcast, to have some help to get in front of the media is so key. Or at least understanding of how to do that. Let’s get into that a little bit if you don’t mind. For anybody out there listening right now who is like, “Okay, Brittney. You’re saying there’s these free opportunities. I just have to do the research. I have to craft an email.” What is the most important thing for a person to have before even diving into this world and reaching out to people? What do they need more than anything, or what are the requirements if you will?

Brittney:
I’m going to cheat. I have two.

Pat:
Okay.

Brittney:
The first thing is, before you do anything, before you’re crafting any emails, anything like that, you really need to know your target audience and where they spend time. Because I don’t want you to waste time pitching yourself to opportunities where it’s not going to have a great return on investment of your time, investment of your money, all of that kind of stuff. Really having a crystal clear idea of who your audience is. Do they listen to podcasts? Do they watch TV? What publications do they read? I would challenge you, if you feel like your audience… let’s say you have a super-niche audience and you feel like they don’t listen to podcasts. They probably do.

Brittney:
There is a podcast for basically any type of topic. I mean, you have talked about that plenty of times here on your podcast. Don’t be dismissive of podcasts, even if you have a super small niche, because there’s literally a podcast for every type of topic. Just really knowing who your audience is, down to the core. A lot of times, whenever we have clients that are onboarding, we have them fill out an assessment so that we have a clear idea of who their audience is. A lot of times, they will have an ideal client avatar where they name the person. It’s like, this is Suzie from New York. She has a family of two.

Brittney:
They get really in depth. The more in depth that you can get with your audience, the better. Then start figuring out, once you have some of those answers, it’ll start to be clear as to, okay, where are some… are these places that I can pitch myself to? If you are feeling like you have no idea really where to start, look at where your competitors are featured. Or maybe people that are three or four steps ahead of you in business. Go to their website and look at their press logo bar, or go to their media page on their website. See where they have been interviewed, because that can give you some places to aspire to, to pitch yourself. Number one, know where your audience spends time. Then you can focus on those places to pitch yourself.

Brittney:
Then number two would be, what is your messaging? What is the message that you want to get out there? Then how does that lead people back into what it is that you sell? Because a lot of times, it’s not necessarily you’re going to go into a podcast and be like, “Okay, I’m going to promote my done-for-you retainer services.” That’s not really how podcast interviews work. That’s not how TV interviews work or interviews on publications. But it’s how can I help people? What is my message? What is the thing that I am an expert in? How can I share my own experiences and knowledge with an audience? Then that’s going to help you start crafting your messaging. Because whether you’re pitching a podcast, a publication, a TV, those people that are looking at those emails, they want to know what’s in it for their audience. You could probably speak to an example as you being a podcast host. You guys probably get hundreds of pitches all of the time.

Pat:
Yeah.

Brittney:
You are always looking for what’s going to be of value to the SPI listeners. Those are the ones that are going to stand out to you the most. If somebody doesn’t sell that within their email, it’s going to be disregarded because you only have so many episodes you do. You only have so many interviews. Really getting down to your messaging, and what is the message that you want to get out there? If you have those two things figured out, you’re going to be light years ahead of so many other people.

Pat:
I think the struggle is when maybe you have a more general audience, or you have a lot of talents and skills and things that you could share. It’s like okay, where do we start from there? How much does relevance to what is happening in the world right now matter? The reason I’m asking this is because this was sort of a struggle that you and I had. Okay, I could talk about 100 different things because I’ve had 12 years of entrepreneurial experience. Would that alone be interesting? Not really, but what’s happening in the world right now? Okay, a whole bunch of people are losing their jobs.

Pat:
There’s a pandemic happening. I have a story, and I have taught people related to that. In fact, I was laid off in 2008 as many of you know. That was the last time the world saw sort of major recessions and layoffs like we’re seeing now. That became the story. That became the pitch. Almost like a niche pitch, if you will. Tell that story about how we came up with that, and what to do to almost start with the message first based on relevance to what’s happening, and then [inaudible 00:20:46] audience from there.

Brittney:
I’ll say different things for podcasts versus TV and publications. Podcasts, if you’re going to be pitching yourself to podcasts, those can be a little bit more evergreen.

Pat:
Yeah, for sure.

Brittney:
Topics. If that’s a good starting place for you and that’s where you feel comfortable, whoever is listening, that is a little bit more safer with evergreen-type topics. Now, obviously you want to know what types of topics that podcast talks about. That’s where the research comes into play to see if your topic is going to be a fit. But in regards to publications, and really in particular with TV—and TV is going through a very interesting time during this pandemic, because before this time, you would have to basically go into studio to be considered to be interviewed. Well, all of the studios are closed. Everybody is doing remote work.

Brittney:
Our opportunities with you, the world was our oyster because we could pitch you to all of the coasts. I mean, we got you in DC. We got you on the West Coast. We got you everywhere, which was great. I think people should not discount TV right now either. Even if people are going more back to work, I see this as people are… the stations are still going to be doing remote interviews because now they have the technology. Now they know how. Whereas before it was like, well, we don’t want to figure this out, so come to the studio. With that, with the messaging, TV moves a lot more to what is happening in the world at large.

Brittney:
If you’re going to start pitching yourself for those types of opportunities, you will want to be somewhat informed of what is happening in the news. That can be just literally watching the news, going to their websites. Watching the local news, seeing what’s been reported on. What’s been reported on nationally. Then just seeing what types of articles are coming out on whatever publications that you are looking for and identifying as places that you can pitch yourself. What types of articles are they reporting on? For a time, it was very COVID pandemic related, because that was affecting literally every single person on this earth practically. If you weren’t pitching about something related to that topic, then nobody was going to respond to it because that’s what was important in the news.

Brittney:
I will say that we’ve had to navigate this for each of our clients. Our clients, while all online entrepreneurs, they’re in different industries. We have a student-loan expert. We have a productivity expert. We have someone that works with product-based businesses and brick and mortar shops. Each of those, we strategically came up with topics that they could pitch on that were still relevant to what it is that they are knowledgeable in. But also relevant to what was happening in the news right now.

Pat:
You were still able to make it work for them, and still get them gigs despite the different industries.

Brittney:
Yeah.

Pat:
And despite all this stuff happening. It really obviously helps when you have somebody who is knowledgeable about this kind of stuff, or who shares information about, okay, well what’s working now and what’s not. In terms of PR, media and such. But what if we’re on our own? How do we be creative with that? I think this speaks to really just… First of all, I think there’s major opportunities in the world in guest podcasting for sure. That’s likely where most of the… majority of the audience listening right now is likely going to start. Obviously I want you to focus on media as well, because these are free opportunities. Everybody is always looking for new stories. It’s just how you craft that story is important. Anything else left to say in terms of what we’ve spoken about already before we shift into legit how to pitch and what’s that messaging like?

Brittney:
Yeah. I think I just want to speak to anyone that’s listening right now that is second guessing, like, “I don’t know if I’m ready. Who cares about me and my message? I don’t know if I have anything to share.” I just want to say, don’t count yourself out. Everybody has something to share. Everybody has a story that’s worthy of sharing. Your people need to hear from you. I know that it’s scary to put yourself out there, but it is so, so worth it. Just think about the people that you’re affecting. I think that you talked to this too where you think about if you haven’t started this business and you were too scared to start.

Brittney:
Think about the thousands, potentially millions of people that wouldn’t have been able to start their businesses, or learn how to podcast, or all of those types of things. I think when you flip it on its head and you think about, okay, who are the people that I’m really helping? You’re doing them a disservice if you don’t put yourself out there and pitch yourself for these opportunities. I have faith in you. You can do it. Don’t count yourself out.

Pat:
I love that. Thanks for that powwow. When it comes to pitching, I know that I have been on the receiving end of some terrible pitches. Let’s talk about podcasts first. I think podcast-reach-out is different than other forms of media, correct?

Brittney:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Pat:
Okay. Let’s stick with podcasting first. I have gotten inquiries that are like, “Dear Smart Passive Income host, I love your episode 342.” Then they list the name of the episode. It’s just like, I’m not even reading the rest of the email. I’m out. How in the world, with so many people vying for these opportunities, likely also reaching out to the same people that we’re going to reach out to. How do we stick out? How do we craft that message? How do we get a person to go, “Oh my gosh. You’d be perfect for my show. Let’s make it happen.”

Brittney:
Right, yeah. As a fellow podcaster, it’s like we’ve all received those emails that it’s just like, oh man.

Pat:
Well for you especially, being in PR. You’re like, “Come on. Really?”

Brittney:
Well, I use it as an opportunity. I send them to my free pitch templates. Then I’m like, “Here’s how to make your pitch better.”

Pat:
There you go.

Brittney:
I kind of turn it on its head. What I would suggest, again, this is where your research really comes into play. A lot of times, people are just blanket emailing. They have one pitch and they’re blanket emailing hundreds of podcast hosts, hoping that a few of them reply back. That’s just not going to work. That is not going to work these days. Podcast hosts get inundated with so many pitches every single day. And if you think about it, most podcasts are weekly. It has one episode a week. Let’s say you take a guest on every single week. That’s still only 52 spots in a year. With a podcast as big as yours, there’s just no way you can fit in that many. You really, really, really have to stand out. Whether you’re pitching a big podcast or a smaller podcast.

Brittney:
Doing your research and figuring out, does my topic, does what I’m an expert in, fit within this podcast? Have they recently interviewed somebody on this topic, or have they not touched this topic yet at all? Because if they have interviewed someone recently, let’s say I talked about, I don’t know, email marketing. They just had somebody on that was email marketing. You’re probably not going to be scheduling another person to talk about email marketing very quickly.

Pat:
If somebody reached out to me like, “Hey, I’m a PR expert. I’d love to be on your show.” I’m like, “Did you listen to the episode with Brittney?”

Brittney:
It just came out, yeah. Just doing that quick research, you’re going to stand out against so many other people, because you just took two minutes to do your research on that podcast. Then making the podcast pitch unique. We have templates that we use to help people get started, but you cannot copy and paste this pitch template and send it out to everywhere. Because one, it’s not going to make any sense because it’s not going to have any of your personal information in it. You do have to edit them and to be really strategic about showing that you have done about your research. Literally, this is such a common sense thing. But you said, “Dear Smart Passive Income host.” That’s not Pat’s name. Say their name. It’s such a simple thing.

Pat:
At least.

Brittney:
But so many people don’t do that. Or they’re just like, “Hello,” and get right into it. It’s like, you can find out a podcast host’s name. Here’s the thing. I will say this. This is for podcasts. This is for journalists. This is for TV. Say their name. They are a human being. There’s a human that’s receiving that email. Just showcasing your story and why you’re unique. You can bullet our your talking points. Here’s what the listeners are going to learn after hearing my episode. Because again, podcast hosts are there to serve their audience. They want to know, what is my audience going to take away with this? How is this going to be valuable for my audience to listen to?

Brittney:
Doing that research and then crafting your bullet point talking points of what they’re going to learn is going to stand out so much more than any other cold pitches. If you’re just starting, look at your network of people. Do you already have connections to potential podcasts that it could be a good fit for you? Or do you have a friend that knows someone that you could get a warmer introduction? If you’re a little bit scared to do a cold pitch, that is one of the best ways to get started. Because PR and pitching yourself and all of that, it is all about relationships. It is all about who you’re connected to, building those relationships. Starting with the people already in your circle is a great way to do that.

Brittney:
Then if you’re a little bit more starting out trying to build those relationships, use things like Facebook Groups or Instagram. I feel like Instagram Stories is a great way to build relationships with people that you want to, but you don’t maybe necessarily know. Because it’s so much more interactive. It’s a little bit more personal than other types of social media. That is a great way to start building relationships. That’s how I built my business. I moved to a new city where I literally knew no one. I had no web presence at all. I was like, “I’m just going to get on Instagram and make internet friends.” It sounded weird to my in-person friends, but that’s how I grew my business. I didn’t know any of these people five years ago. Starting there is a great place to start with podcast pitching.

Pat:
Awesome. Brittney, tell me a little bit more about maybe some other unique ways to make connections with people who might be hosts of podcasts you want to get on. Is there anything to perhaps instead of sending an email, maybe sending a video instead and other mechanisms like that?

Brittney:
You can get really creative with your pitches. An email-based pitch is kind of a starting place for people. But if you really want to stand out, and especially if you’re pitching a much bigger podcast where they receive a lot of pitches and have to sift through all of those, you can record a video. It can be a personalized video. You could upload it unlisted to YouTube as a way to host it. Send a personalized video of you talking to the host and being like, “Hey.” It shows your personality. It shows your demeanor.

Brittney:
You can talk about, “Hey, I want to pitch myself to your podcast. I’m putting myself out there. I feel a little vulnerable right now, but XYZ, this is how I’m going to help your audience. I want to make this really quick because I know you have a lot going on in your day.” Keep it as simple and simplified as that. I’ve heard of people doing that. That can work really well. I think you have had people do that for your podcast, right?

Pat:
I have. I’m always afraid to mention that because now I’m going to get like 100 videos. Thanks, Brittney. No, I’m just kidding.

Brittney:
Cut this out. No, just kidding.

Pat:
No, no, no. It works though, especially for people who don’t often get that. When people see that you are going maybe a little bit further than normal, that stands out. Whatever way you feel like you could do that, I think that’s where I would have your head space be.

Brittney:
Also, that’s where it can go into social media where it’s like before you pitch, maybe you want to build up and warm up the relationship a little bit. Interact with that person on Twitter or Instagram. Leave comments. Reply to their stories. Participate in their Facebook group if they have a Facebook group. People will start to recognize that. People can start to recognize names.

Pat:
One-hundred percent.

Brittney:
Your YouTube Live, I’m sure you know a lot of the people that are commenting on there. You probably recognize names now. Whenever they tweet you or send you a message, you’re probably more apt to reply, or reply back to their email, or send them a message, because they you know that they are an active member of your community.

Pat:
One-thousand percent, oh my gosh.

Brittney:
And that they know you.

Pat:
The big lesson here is, don’t dig the well when you’re thirsty.

Brittney:
I think Jordan Harbinger.

Pat:
Yes.

Brittney:
Talks about that a lot, yeah.

Pat:
Yeah, dig your well now. Meaning in terms of the analogy, start building these relationships now before you need anything. Then when the time comes when you’re thirsty, then you already have this thing that you can reach out. It’s not weird. It’s not like, “Hey, I know we haven’t chatted for five years, but I’m selling this ebook about dog training. Can you help promote it for me?” It’s just not going to make any sense or something. Or, “Can I get on your podcast?”

Brittney:
Yeah. Whenever I was first starting out my business, again, I knew nobody. It was like, how do I do all of this from scratch? I would just do, people call them virtual coffee chats. Where we would just hop on Skype for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, just to get to know each other and each other’s businesses. Now, of course you can’t do that with someone that has a huge podcast or something. But if you’re looking to grow your relationships from the ground up, especially by the time this podcast comes out, we’re still probably not attending in-person events really. That was a way that you could network with people before and meet people in person.

Brittney:
That’s awesome and amazing. But in a time whenever you’re not able to do that, let’s use the tools that we have access to. Let’s hop on Skype with people. Let’s hop on Zoom with people. Let’s connect with people in that sort of way and build relationships. Then it’s more of a natural way to share, “Hey, I’m looking to pitch myself to podcasts. Do you have any suggestions of where I could be a guest?” Probably the person that’s talking to you will be like, “Yeah, you should go on so and so. I was on there a couple of months ago and it was great.” Then it’s a much warmer introduction where you’re not having to send out a completely cold pitch.

Pat:
For sure. I love that. Another way to get on a person’s radar is to legit help them.

Brittney:
Yeah, exactly.

Pat:
You’re here because you’ve helped me so much. I’m like, “Wow, I need to share you with everybody else who can also get help too.” You’ve provided value to me. Now I want to give it back to you and spread your message out. That’s really key too. You don’t need to be somebody famous in order to help somebody. You just need to speak or do something, and know what they need help with.

Brittney:
Yeah. Again, that goes back to the research and paying attention, and being in that person’s hemisphere. You kind of know what’s going on. If they share something, let’s say on stories, “Hey, I’m looking for XYZ. I need help with this.” You can help with that type of thing. That’s such an easier in, and a much warmer relationship because you’re helping them from the get go. Yeah, I love that tip.

Pat:
I’m going to ask you a tougher question now if that’s okay.

Brittney:
All right, let’s do it.

Pat:
See that pattern interrupt I just did for the audience there? Now they’re paying attention. We were just talking about the importance of relationships. Yet when we hire, for example, a PR agent, this person doesn’t have the relationship with perhaps the podcast. How do you as the PR agent for somebody develop that relationship? I’m just curious, because there’s a little bit of a… now it’s a second tier connection versus a first tier, if that were to be the case. How do you, or do you have those connections? What do we get access to by hiring people like you?

Brittney:
I was going to talk on the opposite side, because we work with such a wide variety of clients. Obviously we don’t have a relationship with every single podcast host or journalist or producer known to mankind, because that would be impossible. But you do get some leverage. You get warmer connections with people by hiring a publicist or an agency that has a lot of those established relationships. As an example, some of the places that we pitched you to get on, they were much easier to get on because we already had a relationship with that particular producer, because we had another client on there.

Pat:
And they’re going to you because you’ve proven that you send good people.

Brittney:
Exactly. They know that it’s like, oh, I can trust Brittney and her team because they sent me these three other people who were amazing at the interview. Sometimes they barely even… it’s like, “Yep, anyone you send me is great. Let’s go.” It can shorten up that time. Then you still get to build that relationship. You’re still the person that’s being interviewed. Let’s say you’re going on to a podcast. You’re still the one that’s interacting with the host. While we are connecting you guys and helping make that connection and that relationship, it’s your job whenever you’re getting to the interview spot to continue that relationship. Who knows what can come from that? I’m sure that you’ve done podcast episodes where bigger relationships that came out of it, that maybe products or services or working together has come out of it.

Pat:
All of the above.

Brittney:
Yeah. I don’t want people to feel like they missed out on building those relationships with people because it’s a little bit removed. Because you absolutely do still get to build that relationship. Ultimately, you’re the person that’s still being interviewed. It’s up to you of how you want to continue that relationship with that person.

Pat:
You just help them get their foot in the door essentially.

Brittney:
Yeah, exactly, and since we already have our foot in our door… Don’t get me wrong. We are pitching new people all the time. Again, it’s impossible to know every single podcast host and journalist. But because we know what they want to see, we know what types of messaging that they want to see. We know the ways in which to pitch them a message, it’s sometimes a little better received because we know how to formulate those things. Now, again, like I’ve talked about, I teach people how to formulate that on your own so that you don’t have to hire someone like me if you can’t, or if it doesn’t make sense. Because I just want everybody to know how to reach the media, because it’s just one of the biggest and best ways, free ways, to get your message out there.

Pat:
Yeah. You’ve saved me a ton of time. I probably could have been able to figure out how to do this on my own. Of course, you get instant access to certain networks and things where you can just pitch me and I’m already there. We’ve been on, I don’t know, half a dozen or more TV stations already, and publications, Forbes, Entrepreneur, all because of you. What about for those who can’t afford your services, for example? We just want to know, okay, straight up, if we want to get on TV or get in a publication of some kind, it’s different. It’s not like a podcast where I can maybe find the Instagram account and send them a cute message or something. It’s a little bit more formalized and professional. What is that process like to get on something like that?

Brittney:
If you think podcast hosts get a lot of pitches, journalists and producers get like 10 times more. They are getting inundated with pitches all the time. Some of my journalist friends, who they were first acquaintances and now they’ve become my friends, I’ve asked them to screen share their email inbox with me. Just to see what it looked like. They were like, “This is just today alone.” It was 200 emails that they were just different pitches from all these different types of people. One, it’s really, really important to stand out in the inbox. Like we talked about earlier with making it relevant to what’s going on right now in society, or within your industry. Making it timely and relevant are two really big key factors.

Brittney:
Consume some media. Look to see what’s being reported on, on the news, on these different publications. Go to Entrepreneur.com and see what types of articles are being written about. See how they structure their articles. Look at the headlines. You’ll start to see some common ways in which they produce their content and how they structure it. Then you know that’s how you can use it within a pitch. I’ll give an example. Business Insider is a publication that a lot of times, they use storytelling within their headlines. An example would be like, “This couple paid off $162,000 of their student loan debt by moving to China. Here’s how.”

Brittney:
That structure is very unique to Business Insider, but it’s not as common to happen on Forbes. You’ll need to do the research on the places that you’re pitching to see how they structure, because then that can become your subject line. I know you’ve talked a lot about email marketing and subject lines in a different way and for your business. But email subject lines are so important for pitches too, because that’s your first introduction to someone. That’s someone making a quick decision of I’m going to open this, or no I’m not going to open this. Using the potential headline that could be used for that article or for that TV segment, that’s what’s going to catch people’s eyes. If you’re brand new to doing this and starting out, just consume some media. Look at it from that lens of, how are they structuring that TV interview segment?

Brittney:
A lot of times it’ll be how to’s, or hacks, or tips. Putting your messaging and your pitch into that type of formula, you will stand out above so many other people. Versus if you’re just like, “Hey, I’m an online entrepreneur that’s been in business for 12 years. I can talk about these 12 topics.”

Pat:
That’s not helpful.

Brittney:
Yeah. It’s like, what are specific things you can talk about? Making it timely, relevant. If you can have some storytelling in the example. That’s why in the pitch with you, as an example, of giving tips to people that were laid off worked so well, and got featured on so many different stations. Because it was very timely. So many people lost their jobs. It was very relevant. It was three tips or five tips, however many tips it was, I can’t remember, for what people can do. It was actionable. It proved to that producer, okay, this person is going to give these actionable tips that our viewers can take and actually implement. Just thinking about it from that perspective is super helpful and will help you stand out.

Pat:
I like that. I know we’re talking a lot about Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and Forbes. These are just, in my world, the publications that we’re looking to get into because that’s in our world. But if there’s a gardener listening to this right now…

Brittney:
Yeah.

Pat:
There’s versions of Entrepreneur, but for gardeners, like Home and Garden magazine or whatever.

Brittney:
Yeah, absolutely.

Pat:
Same approach, right?

Brittney:
Yeah, same exact approach. Again, that’s why it’s important to do your research of where your viewers are. There are publications, there’s podcasts, there’s all of these things out there for every type of niche. You just use these same types of tips. Go to the website. Go to the segments. Watch them, see how they’re phrased. Then you can use that same type of phrasing for whatever you’re pitching.

Pat:
Another thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes, when we get just one TV spot or one magazine spot, all of a sudden we get like four or five more inquiries for pushing that elsewhere. We got that one radio one.

Brittney:
Yeah.

Pat:
I don’t even remember where that was, but that came out of nowhere because they saw me on KTLA. I thought that was really cool how one can sort of lead to the next, because a lot of these news outlets also look at other news outlets to see what the breaking stories are. They take that as inspiration and motivation for their next story. Is that pretty common? Does that happen a lot?

Brittney:
Yeah, that is very common. Particularly with TV, if you’re wanting to have a national TV presence, one of the best ways to get started is doing local TV. Because national TV, a lot of times, they’re going to want to see that you’ve been interviewed before. They want to know how you’re going to do on camera. Having some examples of local TV interviews that you’ve done can help you land a bigger Today Show, Good Morning America. I will say, those ones are very big and very hard to get onto.

Pat:
We haven’t done that yet.

Brittney:
Keep it in your dreams. But hey, maybe by the time this episode comes out, it could’ve happened.

Pat:
Maybe, right?

Brittney:
That would be cool. That’ll be my goal. A lot of times what happens is, press builds upon press. For one of my clients, we started working together in 2018. We still work together now. Now, a lot of times, we will get an influx of journalists’ requests into our inbox. We aren’t even pitching. Well, we are pitching because that’s what he’s hired us to do. But there are a lot of times where about twice a week, once or twice a week, we will get a journalist that’s working on a particular story. Because he has had so much press in the past and he has established himself as an expert in his industry, then the media starts to come to you. That’s what you’re looking for. That’s what you want. That’s what any publicist is looking for. You’re going to come to me and ask for my client’s time. I’m not even having to pitch you because you know that we exist and that we’re an expert.

Pat:
Love it. Thank you. I’ve experienced that in the world of podcasting. I’m looking forward to it, and we’re starting to get that happening in the media sector as well. Can you speak to, for television specifically, in case people take this action, they reach out. They have a really good subject line to that email and it captures the person’s attention. Now all of a sudden, they’re going to be on the news. They’re going to be on the spot. What does that spot look like typically? How do we best prepare for when the camera is on and we’re getting interviewed, likely over Skype or Zoom or something for now? Or maybe one day in the studio in the future.

Brittney:
Right. In studio and at home are going to be a little bit different. I think most people are still going to be doing at-home interviews. I think that will happen in the future after we’re out of this pandemic as well.

Pat:
Okay, let’s focus there then.

Brittney:
At home, one, make sure to look at what your camera looks like whenever it’s on you and what the background looks like. You don’t want it to be too bright or too dark. You want to check the lighting. Make sure that it looks like a nice background. It was funny because on one of your local TV interviews, actually what was in the background started the conversation with the host. I don’t know if you remember this one.

Pat:
The Star Wars one?

Brittney:
Yeah. It broke the ice. She was a fun interviewer because she commented on something behind you, which I thought was funny. Check your camera. Make sure all of that looks great behind you. Make sure you have good audio of course. What it looks like, most times it’s going to happen either on Skype or on Zoom. Know how to use those tools, which I’m sure many of you do know how to use. A lot of times, they’ll give you a time of, this is when we’re going to record it. Sometimes they’ll do pre-recorded, and sometimes they’ll do live. We’ve had a mix with you where sometimes it was recorded, sometimes it’s live.

Brittney:
If it’s live, you’ll be waiting there. Then they’ll give you a time slot. A lot of times, the interview is only going to be up to five minutes. It’s very short. Be very succinct. I am not succinct, so I need to be more. I need to practice, because five minutes goes very quickly. You want to get through your tips as quick but as informative as possible. The producer will call you in. Each station is a little bit different. You can probably share your experiences because you’re the one that’s being interviewed. They’ll call you in and you’ll do your clip, and then you’re done. The Skype and Zoom and doing it remotely is awesome, because it’s so much less time than having to go into the studio. If you had to go into the studio, it would be probably a three hour ordeal because you have to drive there, get ready, all that kind of stuff.

Pat:
Makeup.

Brittney:
Makeup, yeah. All that kind of stuff. With the remote work and doing interviews remotely, it’s like I’m really trying to encourage people to do this now. Now is the opportunity because you can do it all from home, and you can do it in any city, because it doesn’t matter where you’re located.

Pat:
For sure. Just to speak on the experiences of these remote/live television interviews, some of them have been pre-recorded, like you said, which are just easy. They’re just regular Zoom calls and they record on their end. But typically the live ones, I’ll go on at the time they want me to go on. As soon as I go on, I’ll legit hear the news. I’m hearing the feed, the newsfeed. I’m hearing some story about whatever. Initially I’m just like, “What’s going on? Am I in the right spot?” Typically, that’ll duck down and somebody will start speaking and going, “Hey, hello. Thanks for being here. You’ll be on in about five minutes. You’ll be talking to our anchor Janice,” or something. Because that person is just the guy behind the scenes putting everything together, the guy or the girl.

Pat:
Eventually, you’ll hear the lead up. “Next, if you’ve been laid off from the pandemic, we have an expert in the house today. His name is Pat Flynn. He was laid off in 2008. He’s here to give us some tips on how we can bounce back from getting laid off. Pat, welcome to the studio. Thanks for being here.” “Hello, hey. Thanks.” It just picks up from there, blends right in. It’s not, “Okay, we’re going to start in 10, nine…” Usually, you’re about 30 seconds out. You just listen and that’s it. It’s very strange.

Brittney:
Yeah, and it happens very quickly. For listeners, just for knowledge sake, the person that is doing the background behind the scenes, that’s the producer. A lot of times, that is the person that you are pitching. The anchor or the reporter is the one that is doing the actual interview. When you’re sending a pitch, you’re going to want to pitch a producer. Now, occasionally at smaller stations, some people have two jobs where they are producer and they’re an anchor. That’s more so at smaller stations. If you’re pitching bigger mainstream cities, you’re going to want to look for a producer to pitch instead of an anchor or a reporter.

Pat:
In terms of getting their contact info, is that on their website? Is that on LinkedIn? Where? How do we know?

Brittney:
For us as an agency, we have a software that we subscribe to. If you are doing it on your own, I don’t recommend subscribing to a software, because it’s expensive and it really only makes sense if you’re running an agency and you’re constantly having to do that. I will say for the first two years of my business, running an agency, I didn’t have that software because I didn’t have the money to invest in that expensive software. You get a little scrappy. You can find the contact information in a variety of ways. One, going to their website. It’s an easy place to start. A lot of times, they won’t necessarily have, “Joe Smith is the morning producer.” You can use a combination of LinkedIn, of looking at the different stations, and looking at all the people that have that station in their profile.

Brittney:
One of my favorite tips is going on Twitter and searching the at. Let’s just use KTLA as an example. @KTLA, don’t click on that handle, but just search it. Then it will search everyone who has that in their bio. Twitter is a lot more popular with journalists and producers. These tips can be used for finding journalists and producers. It’s twofold. A lot of times, a producer or a journalist will have their emails in their bio. If you search different publications or the @KTLA, you can then figure out the name of the producer. If they maybe don’t have their email, then you can look on their website to see what the email structure is.

Brittney:
A lot of times, it’s first name, last name, @KTLA.com or whatever it is. It takes a little bit of digging and research. But again, once you have those relationships and once you get the email address, you can go back on to those segments. They do like to have time in between where it’s not necessarily, you’re going to come on and you’re going to be on every single week. Then the same with journalists too. It’s like you’re building these relationships with these journalists. Especially if you’re doing it for yourself. You don’t need hundreds of contacts with journalists. If you have a few really good relationships, they’re going to think about you for articles now and for the future as well. It’s a little bit of research in the beginning, but it’s worth it.

Pat:
Love it. These are golden tips. Thank you, Brittney. Now, we can keep going here. But I also know you have some resources that are likely going to help people even more here. The first one being, you said there are these free templates that you wanted to provide. Tell us what these templates are for and where people can get them.

Brittney:
Yeah. I have free pitch templates to help get people started if you’re like, “Okay, I’m sold. I want to pitch myself, but how do I start this?” You can go to BrittneyLLynn.com/SPI to download those. There is a podcast pitch template, a TV pitch template, a publication. There’s a couple more. Then they also have examples. It’ll have real examples of when we have pitched our clients. They are examples that received a yes and ended up getting featured, so that you can see. You see the template, but then you can also see how we structured and edited the template for our different clients. You can get an example of how to tell your story within that pitch template.

Pat:
That’s BrittneyLLynn.com/SPI.

Brittney:
Yes.

Pat:
Okay. B-R-I-T-T-N-E-Y-L-L-Y-N-N.com/SPI.

Brittney:
Yes. Do we tell the people about my name, or…

Pat:
What do you mean?

Brittney:
What the other L stands for.

Pat:
Tell me what the other L stands for.

Brittney:
You don’t know what the other L stands for? It’s Lynn.

Pat:
Oh, that’s right. Brittney Lynn Lynn.

Brittney:
Yes.

Pat:
I think the domain is better than if it was BrittneyLynnLynn.com. Did you stutter? What’s going on?

Brittney:
That literally happened to me with filling out paperwork. Wells Fargo called me and they were like, “You accidentally put your last name as your middle name.”

Pat:
Oh my gosh.

Brittney:
“We just wanted to call to clarify.” I was like, “Actually, it’s correct.”

Pat:
How could we forget you now?

Brittney:
It’s very memorable.

Pat:
BrittneyLLynn.com. That’s so cool. If it was for me, it’d be Pat Flynn Flynn, but that’s not… Philip is the middle name. Anyway, thank you for that. Finally, you have this thing called Pitchfest that you do every once in a while. I think it’s coming up. I think at the time of this recording going out, perhaps next week.

Brittney:
Yes.

Pat:
What is Pitchfest? Where can people get it? What’s it for?

Brittney:
Pitchfest is my five-day email challenge that you can sign up for at BrittneyLLynn.com/Pitchfest. I walk you through the foundation and the formula that we use for our clients to get them featured on podcasts, on publications, on TV. It’s really fun because everyone is working on their pitches together during that whole week. There’s a popup Facebook group. Then by the end of the week, the goal is to send out your first media pitch. I do have people that have participated over the years. Even if it’s your fifth pitch or your 500th pitch, whatever it is, we would love to have you join us.

Pat:
That’s very cool. If you want a little bit more access to Brittney, now would be the time to take advantage of Pitchfest. You can check it out. I’m sure there will be something there even if you are listening to this later. BrittneyLLynn, L-Y-N-N.com/Pitchfest, or /SPI for the free templates. Brittney, this was amazing. Other than your website, where else can people learn more about you or find you?

Brittney:
I am everywhere on the socials @BrittneyLLynn, on Instagram, Twitter. Instagram is my more preferred social media, so I’m most active there. I’m excited.

Pat:
Awesome. Thank you so much for the valuable and actionable information today. I’m sure everybody is going to love it. Thanks so much.

Brittney:
Thank you.

Pat:
All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Brittney Lynn. Again, you can find her at BrittneyLLynn.com. You can also find her on socials like Instagram at the same name. Of course, the two resources there for you. If you want to get those five pitch templates, all you have to do is go to BrittneyLLynn. That’s BrittneyL, and then L-Y-N-N.com/SPI for the five free templates. BrittneyLLynn.com/SPI. Or if you want to check out Pitchfest, BrittneyLLynn.com/Pitchfest, which is coming out very shortly here. Even if you’re listening to this in the future, you can check that out. There will likely be something that you can absorb, or take advantage of, or perhaps get notice of the next Pitchfest. That challenge to help you get started, and to have her walk you through that process with her looking over your shoulder is really great. Definitely check that out. Pitchfest, that’s coming up.

Pat:
Thank you so much for listening in today. I appreciate you. All the notes and everything are linked to at the page SmartPassiveIncome.com/session442. Once again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session442. Brittney, I know you listen to the show. Thank you so much for all the work that you’re doing and how you’ve been able to gain more exposure for me, and help me get onto more media and gain more authority. Be able to get in KTLA, to Washington, into Texas, into Portland. We’ve gone all over the world. Washington State, Washington DC. It’s just so incredible. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. To those of you listening, I appreciate you as well. This show wouldn’t be here without you, so thank you so much.

Pat:
I appreciate all the new reviews that have been coming in. If you haven’t yet checked out SPI Pro, go ahead and check it out. smartpassiveincome.com/pro. You can apply there. If you don’t know what that is, it’s our new-ish, it’s been out for a few months now and it’s awesome, our membership community for entrepreneurs like you. SmartPassiveIncome.com/Pro. Check it out. Thanks so much. Please subscribe if you haven’t already. As always, love you. #TeamFlynn for the win. Peace.

Announcer:
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com.


Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

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