If You Stopped Sharing Your Voice Tomorrow What Would the World Be Missing?


My friends play a game with their young children at the dinner table every evening called: High / Low. Everyone takes turns going through the day and explains what the highlight was and what the low point was of the day. It’s a great way to find out things about your kids that you may never have known. And I highly recommend you try it at your next family dinner, or even at a dinner party.

I Want to Share My Summer High / Low With You

My Highs Involved Powerful Women From 3 Generations:

I taught a family best friend in her 80s (and more vital and active than most women my age) who is dying of brain cancer how to leave her legacy behind on the Internet.

I had weekly strategy calls with a fabulous client in her 60’s around showing herself as the powerful woman that she is. She was so paralyzed with fear because she didn’t want to look like she was “bragging”. She was completely stopping herself from sharing her gifts.

I helped launch an amazing arts festival involving 140 artists from around the world in all disciplines, feeling proud because I coached the founder, age 40 through her crowdfunding campaign where she raised over 100K to make her dream a reality.

My Lows Involved Feeling Stopped and Scared

I spent weeks feeling frozen and scared and then I got really angry at myself because I wasn’t blogging enough and I wasn’t sending my newsletter regularly.

The reason: I have been focused on musicians for so many years that transitioning away from this comfort zone felt so uncomfortable I couldn’t fully get out from under the fear.

And there Was Also My Thought Leadership Quandary

Last summer I decided to explore a new topic: thought leadership. In my mind it was a key element that many need to get an edge. I started interviewing great thought leaders, and presented what I was learning at Creativelive, in London at Campus Party at the O2 Area, and at 85 Broads / Ellevate. It was really taking off.

It didn’t take long for me to realize people hate the term thought leader. I started to see this during interviews. People would physically recoil or dispute the term or try to deflect it away from them.

But this wasn’t the only thing that happened. The crew I hired to film forgot to turn the microphones on, they didn’t find quiet places to shoot, and there were weird lights flashing all over the O2, (and they never mentioned shirt was bizarrely not fitting and my hair was sticking up). I hired my favorite editor to try to salvage the footage… and even with her magic I didn’t love the way it looked and that’s when my little “not good enough” monster started to take over.

And then David Brooks came along with his New York Times Op Ed

That op-ed blew up and I NEVER wanted to see the term again.

Here’s what he said: “The Thought Leader is sort of a highflying, good-doing yacht-to-yacht concept peddler. Each year, he gets to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative, where successful people gather to express compassion for those not invited. Month after month, he gets to be a discussion facilitator at think tank dinners where guests talk about what it’s like to live in poverty while the wait staff glides through the room thinking bitter thoughts.”

When The Intelligencer reached out to Brooks for a comment. He responded, “I was just trying to be amusing about the life people like me lead… Nothing more”.

But the damage had been done it was picked up in NY Mag, Salon, Esquire and on thousands of blogs.

I lost All of My Courage to Continue

So… the footage sat on my desktop – until now.

As I agonized about what I wanted to share, this dawned on me:

I taught my dear family friend with brain cancer, my client who was stuck, and the woman who raised $100,000 this:

(choose the one you like)

effect (or effectiveness)

thought leadership

What I’ve realized is after almost 20 years of being a successful entrepreneur is:

If you want to get ahead in any desired field for any reason you must have some influence.

People used to believe that influence came from someone else, perhaps by getting an article written about you or being interviewed on TV or radio. We now know that the new model proves that when you create a sphere of influence you can dictate your own success.

However there’s a lot of noise out these and there’s plenty of fear around showing yourself because to be a great influencer you have to show yourself.

To show yourself you have to be brave enough to fight some inner demons, and possibly some external haters who may not agree with or like what you are saying, or they might not love the words that you choose (like thought leader), or they may not like your shoes (its’ the internet after all). These demons can sabotage you just as you are about to do something big.

I’m gonna get back to doing something big… by rolling out this series.

Amelia Torode has got some fascinating things to say about how your business impacts the people you choose to share it with and the world at large.

My favorite parts are where she gives a killer definition of thought leader and she asks a really important question:

If you stopped sharing your voice tomorrow what would the world be missing?

This my friends, lies at the center of influence.

Follow Amelia Torode on Twitter at @Amelia_Torode

I’m done beating myself up now, I’m back and I look forward to a fabulous fall with all of you.

Want to book a strategy session or a VIP day with me to expand your influence?
I’d love to talk to you.


Where it says: Additional Notes Regarding Your Project write – call / day with Ariel.

9 Critical Things You Should Know About Publicity Before You Make Your First Move

You have your vision and you’re eager to make that first move in the world of PR. But before I jump into what you’re here for, the nine critical things you should now about PR, we need to be sure that your ready to begin such a relationship with the media. It’s not a matter of feeling ready, it’s a matter of being ready.

Before you even begin thinking about PR, you need to have what I refer to as your social media house in order. This is your foundation. It is vital for your PR success that you have a presence sufficiently fleshed out on the internet from your website to your blog to your Twitter page. You won’t get the results you want from your PR campaign if you don’t have a strong internet presence.

With the unbelievable number of publicists flooding the inboxes of the media, you can count on the fact that these editors and writers will be checking each submission’s social media presence as a means to weed out who not to cover. As always, you want to have the edge. Having a presence doesn’t mean having more Facebook likes than everyone else. It means having consistent activity online and engaging with your fans.


Once your social media house is built and stable you can begin thinking about amassing the publicity you’re looking for.

Let’s get started!

1. What Is Publicity Exactly?

Before we delve into specifics, let’s make sure we have the basics covered. Her are some definitions of what publicity is exactly, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Publicity – “An act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support. Also: The dissemination of information or promotional material.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Publicity is precisely all of these things.

A publicist is hired as a member of your team to represent you to the media. Media is traditionally defined as editors and writers of newspapers, magazines, and television. More and more publicists are covering Internet PR, like my company. However, not all traditional publicists do this, so make sure to ask before you hire.

A publicist’s job is to liaise with the press. In other words, a publicist establishes working relationships between you and those in the media. You should not expect them to get you any type of specific marketing deal. Publicists don’t make sales. A savvy and well-connected publicist may be able to hook you up with above-mentioned, but it is not in his or her job description.

2.  You Are the Visionary Here

Remember, as the entrepreneur, you are the buyer, and you are shopping for PR. You’re in the driver’s seat. It’s your money and your vision that enables publicists to stay in business. You have to choose someone you like, who jives with your vision and your short-term and long-term goals. You know that everyone on your team has to be on the same page for you to advance. All too many times I’ve heard that a publicist was hired in spite of the hiring individual’s personal opinions. You should like your publicist, and they should be the right fit for you.

3.  With Publicity, You Pay for Effort – Never for Results

I’ve had many disgruntled individuals call me and say, “I hired a publicist and I only got six articles. That cost me $1,000 per article!” Unfortunately, this is not how you quantify a PR campaign. How you quantify a PR campaign is by how much buzz (i.e. Facebook activity) and feedback you are receiving during and post your PR campaign. You pay for the amount of time, effort, and consideration the publicist makes on your behalf. Now, of course, you should get some and even many results. Getting nothing is totally unacceptable. But you never know when your publicist’s efforts will show up months, and sometimes even years, after your campaign is complete. Not everyone who is going to see your Youtube video is going to view it the day you post it.

4. A PR Campaign Needs to Be Planned Well in Advance

For long-lead press (meaning, for example, magazines with national distribution like Rolling Stone), the editors put their publications to bed three full months before they are published. So, for example, if you’re launching a product in October, you must have it ready to go in July. Of course, not every PR campaign focuses on national press, but no publicist will take you on with zero lead-time, so you definitely need to prepare lead-time for every scenario.

Recommended Publicity Campaign Lead Times:

  • National Campaign – 3-4 months before the release
  • Tour Press Campaign – 4-6 weeks before the shows
  • Local Campaign – 4-6 weeks before placement
  • Online Campaign – 2-3 weeks before placement (minimum)
    • (Placement = blog article, review, podcast/radio interview, etc.)

5.  The 4 Components of a Press Kit

In today’s digital world, a thorough one page press kit consists of three parts: the bio; the photo; the articles, quotes & reviews; a downloadable or physical sample.

The Bio – Create a one-page bio that is succinct and intriguing. You have an original story; tell it! I strongly advise hiring a bio writer (this should cost between $200-$500). If you are not ready to pony up the cash, consider enlisting an outside source to help you. I find that people who are great storytellers make great bio writers.

The Photo – Arrange a photo shoot; if you take this seriously, you will benefit tremendously. Create a photo that is clear, well-shot, and attention-grabbing. If you have a friend who knows how to use PhotoShop, enlist him or her to help you do some creative and fun editing. Always utilize your resources!

The Articles, Quotes & Reviews – Getting that first article written about you can feel daunting. Two great places to start are your local hometown papers (assuming you don’t live in NYC or LA), and any relevant websites or blogs you like.

A downloadable or physical sample – if you have a producer example like an eBook or a PDF send a link so the journalists can download it! Or if you have physical examples pay close attention to the way you pack it and present it through the mail

6.  Publicity is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

There is no top 40 publicity chart. With the number of stimuli consistently coming out into the marketplace, it could take months longer than your publicity campaign runs to see results.

7.  Online Publicity Is Just as (If Not More) Important as Offline Publicity

I would argue that online PR is more important, because today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s recycling (and that’s if you even get today’s newspaper). Most articles you find in printed newspapers and magazines are just as easily accessible online. Online publicity goes up fast, and it can be around for months and sometimes for years. The internet also provides a platform for you to discuss articles in a public arena (i.e. comment sections, Twitter). More people rely on the Internet as their main source for news, so Internet placements are absolutely wonderful and totally legit, and they can help your Google rankings as well.

8.  Publicity Does Not Make Sales

If you are hiring a publicist to see a spike in your sales, I have news for you: There is absolutely no correlation between getting great PR and making sales.

PR is designed to raise awareness of you in the press, to help build and share a story, as well as build up critical acclaim. Of course, a great article can lead to sales, but this is not it’s direct and immediate purpose.

9.  All Publicity is Good Publicity

I know we have all heard the phrase “all publicity is good publicity”, but it’s beneficial to truly understand this. If one of your goals for PR is to get your name or brand out there (and this should be a goal), the truth is that the average person remembers very little of what they read. People only retain a tiny percentage of what they read. Readers and internet scrollers are not going to remember a lukewarm or mediocre review. I mean when was the last time you remembered the subject of a tepid review?

And never ever take your own PR too seriously. As my favorite artist Andy Warhol once said, “Don’t read your press; weigh it.”