Six Essentials to Make Your Business Appealing to Media and Customers

Six Essentials to Make Your Business Appealing to Media and Customers

When you are busy running your business, it can be challenging to take a step back and assess it as a total stranger would do. People often develop their marketing and publicity initiatives from the position of what they want to communicate or accomplish. This is only half of the equation if you want to be successful.

As a media trainer, presentation trainer and pitch coach, my work with every client begins with gaining an understanding of who they are, what they represent, what they want to communicate and where they want to go. Then, we look at what people (such as customers, investors, employees and media) will want from them, which enables me to help them shape their messages and refine their delivery.

Six Essentials to Make Your Business Appealing to Media and Customers

1. Novelty: Be Fresh and Original

People are generally more protective of their dollars and hours than they had been years ago: what captures attention are products, services and ideas that are inspired, not knock-offs or very slightly modified versions of someone else’s creation. Develop products, services and messages that feel like they’re bubbling out of you. The world is waiting for your inspired inventions and ideas.

2. Invigoration: Bonus if You make it Fun

As a society, we have daily many reminders of how serious life can be, so we gravitate toward people who seem to truly enjoy giving us the products or services we want or need. We like to watch people who seem to light up when they talk about their creations or ideas, and we often like them even more when they provide us with an experience that’s invigorating or fun. Feeling motivated, challenged, awakened and enlightened can be fun for a lot of people. How can you create a fun or invigorating experience for the people whose lives your business touches?

3. Direction: Provide Road Maps

People don’t want to feel that they’re falling short or not doing enough, or that they’re being challenged to arrive at a destination without knowing how to get there. They want you to help them get from where they are to where they want to go: they want road maps. This is true of the solutions you provide as well as the messages you delivery.

4. Inclusion: Something for Everyone

Although you have a primary target audience and you’re not trying to be all things to all people, you can provide something for everyone who wants what you have to offer. Even people who can’t afford your products or services can take a piece of your brand with them in the form of a free sample, a captivating photo or inspiring words that you might use in a tagline. Think of how Nike’s “Just Do It” has motivated people and encouraged people to move forward with challenging projects or business launches that have nothing to do with athletic shoes. What can you give to everyone who comes into contact with you or your business?

5. Authenticity: No Wizard behind the Curtain

While you can outsource some things, if you outsource your blogging and social media posting, or you hire someone to write your website text, make sure the message truly reflects your thoughts and your tone. What you don’t want to have happen is for someone to pull back the curtain to reveal the fraudulent little old man at the controls, like Toto did in “The Wizard of Oz”. People want to know who you really are, especially if they’re going to do business with you or refer others to you. The more authentic you are in all your communications, the more people will want to spend their valuable time with you or reading your e-mails, social media posts or watching your videos.

6. Integrity: Stand behind Everything

While you may have heard this over and over again for years, integrity is imperative. Build your business on a solid foundation and stand behind not only your products and services, but also your staff. Do everything you can to live up to your mission statement, customer service guarantees and other messages you disseminate. It will pay off in more good word-of-mouth mentions than you could pay for.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Ethics in Business: How Spying on and Copying Competitors can Backfire and Harm Your Brand

Ethics in Business: How Spying on and Copying Competitors can Backfire and Harm Your Brand

People sometimes become so fixated on what their competitors are doing that they get desperate and resort to unethical, and even fraudulent, practices to get the inside scoop on them.

While it’s good to know who your competitors are and what they offer so you can differentiate yourself, it’s not a great idea to copy what they do. What you need to know about competitors to differentiate yourself is usually available online.

Don’t try to extract confidential information from competitors by posing as a potential client.

This is what NOT to do to conduct research on your competitors. Don’t call them pretending to be a client, or the representative of a client, in order to attain information about their pricing and to access materials they would not share with a competitor. It’s dishonest, fraudulent and, in many cases, against the law.

Cornell University Law School’s website contains easy-to-read information on this law:

Here is an example from my own recent experience: a woman who used to be a TV producer called and asked me about media training for her “client”. We’ll call her Ms. Shady. Under the guise of looking to hire a media trainer for her client, Ms. Shady asked about my prices and dug for details about my training process. A few weeks later, I noticed that she and her business partner had created a website and are offering media training services. Several  sentences on her website look as if she copied them from the quote I had sent her and then simply rearranged the wording. I highly doubt all of this was a coincidence, especially because when I checked her domain name registration, it showed that she had purchased her domain name a few months previous, so it seems that her plans for her firm were in place before she called me.

Using the example of Ms. Shady, here are several reasons why this deceptive practice is a bad idea:

  1. If you work in an advisory capacity with clients, your ethics will matter to those who have ethics.

Would your clients be impressed if they found out that you lie to get what you want? Probably not.

Could your clients find out that you lie to get what you want? Probably.

Lying to get what you want is generally not a great idea. People whose creativity does not lift them above lying probably shouldn’t be advising anyone on anything.

  1. You want your competitors to respect you.

Sometimes people will ask your competitors what they know about you. Referencing Ms. Shady once again, if anyone asked me about her, I would feel compelled to share the truth: she told me she was interested in my services in order to gain confidential information. It appears that she was doing so deceptively/fraudulently to gather competitive information.

Competitors can sometimes be a source of referrals.

There are times when your competitors will be too busy to take on a client or they come across someone who is not the right fit for them, and they may want to refer this person to a competitor. I happen to do this quite often. Using the example of Ms. Shady, do you think I would ever refer her business? I definitely would not.

  1. Don’t waste your competitors’ time and income potential.

Respect people’s time on earth and the value of their time at work. Every minute of your competitor’s time that you waste having him or her believe there is a potential deal in motion is time you take away from that person to do something productive in business, with family or for the world. There is an opportunity cost to everything.

To build a strong, ethical brand, focus on what you have to offer and how you want to conduct business.

  1. Differentiate yourself.

Instead of trying to copy competitors, think about what you have to offer that is unique and special and authentically your creation. This is especially true if you are a service provider. Trying to replicate the way another person provides a service will often backfire because you will probably not have the same education, life experience, personality and sensibilities as the competitor you are trying to copy.

People who feel so insecure about their level of knowledge on their subject matter or processes that they need to replicate others should re-think their readiness to enter the market.

  1. Make business ethics a part of your brand.

Most large corporations and many small companies have standards of behavior and codes of ethics. Your code of ethics becomes a part of your brand, internally and externally, whether you intend it to or not.

  1. Use your personal experiences and life influences to create your own brand.

The most creative and useful services and products are often created by combining elements from several influences. Your influences will not be exactly the same as those of your competitors.

Instead of closely copying competitors, be the best version of yourself. Create your own processes and products. Focus on serving the people who want to work with you because of who you are and what you have to offer. The more you do this, the more distinct and powerful your brand will become.

To your personal brand and success!


Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Commit to Your Word and Yourself – Advice from a Media Trainer and Communication Expert

Committing to Your Word and Yourself - blog post by Media Trainer and Communication Expert Lisa Elia

Much is said about committing to your word in business. It’s always been important and has become increasingly so in today’s transparent world.

While most of want to keep our word every day, we sometimes set ourselves up for failure by promising too much, too soon. When working with the media or clients, your word is everything!

Committing to your word:

If a new project or opportunity comes along, think about whether or not you really want to do it. If you don’t, you’ll have trouble sticking with it and honoring your commitments. If you don’t light up at the thought of taking on a project, let it go and leave room and time for the things that will. My experience in my PR firm has been that when we pass on what’s not right for us and refer those people to other PR firms, great new clients appear.

Once you’ve taken on a project, commit to it 100%. (Obvious, yes, but does it always happen?)

Anticipate that there may be some unforeseen delays when estimating delivery times on your projects so you can provide a realistic timeframe to your clients. This is especially true when you’re relying on others to deliver video footage, photos and other elements you might need when promoting yourself.

Things happen–natural disasters, power outages, flight delays. If you can’t keep your word to someone, explain why you can’t do so, preferably before they expect you to deliver on your promise. People are usually more understanding when they’re told what’s going on.

If you’re thinking that you just don’t feel like doing something you’ve committed to, consider this:

Would the other party be happy to change the commitment? Sometimes that person you’re supposed to meet for dinner is just as tired as you and is hoping you’ll cancel. Call and discuss it.

Why don’t you want to keep your commitment? Have you changed your goals? Are there other changes in your life that make it impossible to do so? Or, are you just taking the easy way out?

What happens if you don’t keep your commitment? Will you disappoint someone? Will you disappoint yourself?

How will you feel if you commit to something and really go for it full on? What if you do whatever it takes to meet your commitments to others and yourself? How powerful and confident would you feel then?

When you think about the commitments you make, and whether or not you keep them and how you honor them, remember that your word is really all you have. When people trust you because you’ve demonstrated that you keep your word, they will be more likely to give you money, business, referrals, friendship and love.

Your word is like spiritual currency. Spend it wisely.

Here are a few other useful links:

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You

Media Training Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

Learn about my recorded communication program at

Present yourself as vital and ever evolving.

LE-quote-Present-yourself-as-vital“Present yourself as vital and ever evolving, and people will be magnetized to you.”

When I wrote these words, I was in deep thought about the qualities and actions that attract people, in preparation for the free teleseminar that I held last year.

When people show that they are continuously evolving, they capture the attention of others. Businesses are the same because, after all, businesses are the creations of people.

Vital. Here’s why you want to be vital. These definitions came from

  1. “of or pertaining to life.
  2. having remarkable energy, liveliness, or force of personality.
  3. being the seat or source of life.
  4. necessary to life.
  5. necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something; indispensable; essential.”

Who wouldn’t want even one of these descriptions to suit them?

Here’s some quick “thinkwork” you can do.

Think of at least one way that you — or your business, or your music or art or books — can be seen as “vital” to your customers, clients or fans.

Consider how you can continue to evolve and to let others know about it. People want to see what’s coming next. Entice them, lead them, excite them.


Free Teleseminar: From Mission to Magnetizing

Free Teleseminar: From Mission to Magnetizing

From Mission to Magnetizing: Free Teleseminar

At one point or another, most people who strive to achieve great success in business, the entertainment industry, philanthropy, or almost any field, want to the point where they magnetize all that they want to attract.


In my work with heads of major companies and very wealthy entrepreneurs, and when studying people and companies that have thrived, I found that there are specific actions and philosophies that they have in common, and they build their fortunes on a strong foundation, but there are 3 very important steps that they take once they have the mission is set.


I created From Mission to Magnetizing: the 5 M’s of Business Success, a model that reveals the 3 crucial steps that you must take after clarifying and focusing on your MISSION, so you can MAGNETIZE everything that you want (clients, publicity, opportunities to speak on ses, book deal offers and more).


From Mission to Magnetizing: the 5 M’s of Business Success is partly inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — (remember that from psychology class?) — but I translated each level to business. For example, the first and foundational level is Mission and Money. Staying tied to your mission while you keep money coming in is the key, and often the challenge, to getting to the next level in business. The day-to-day work that keeps the bills paid and lights on isn’t always as fun and appealing as the lofty mission you want to think about and talk about, but having the bills paid will keep you sane and clearheaded so you can work toward that mission.

This teleseminar is no longer available. For more tips, visit our blog.


Business Strategist and Media Trainer Lisa Elia Shares 3 Bust-Out Business Growth Tactics


If you want to change your business quickly, quickly change some of the things you’re doing.

Business growth tip # 1:

Look for the hidden gems — products or services you can create easily or re-purpose.

  • Most business owners and executives overlook some of the very valuable services they could provide because they take their own knowledge for granted and, possibly, assume that “everyone knows that.”
  • Product-based companies can usually find new uses for their products or they can tweak them slightly to re-position them.
  • If you look at your current offerings and listen to what your customers/clients ask you for or praise you for, you will probably get some ideas for new products or services to add to your offering.
  • Don’t be afraid of a product that has a short shelf life if you can flood the market and achieve a high ROI. Not everything is meant to last forever.

Business growth tip # 2:

Conduct a monthly “awareness audit,” and amplify your presence.

Business Strategist and Media Trainer Lisa Elia shares 3 Bust-Out Growth Strategies

Look at all of the places where you could easily let people know more about your products and services, add-ons and more. See if you could do more with:

  • Your email signature
  • The signature on your invoices
  • Every page of your web site (Is there a call to action on each?)
  • Your social media profiles and posts
  • Your business card
  • Videos you create
  • If you have a physical location, your signage and waiting area
  • Your outgoing voice mail message or hold music/message

Business growth tip # 3:

Create specific plans of action to meet the following groups of people and to make them aware of you:

  • Opinion Leaders: these are the people others look to as trendsetters, style leaders and authorities.
  • Key Influencers: these are the people who are close to your target customers and who have the power to influence their buying decisions.
  • Members of the media who could interview you.
  • Speaking bookers or event organizers who could invite you to speak to members of your target audience.

If you focus on getting to know as few as 10 members of each of these groups each month, imagine how much more widely known you would be and how much potential new business you could be getting.

By reaching out in the right way, you could also secure press coverage and speaking engagements, which can bring you more business and visibility.

Here’s one way you can challenge yourself. Choose one of these strategies to focus on each week, over the next three weeks. Then, track any changes that occur in your business during that time and over the next three weeks.

Feel free to share your experience below or on my Facebook page:

I’d love to hear from you.

Now that you have some business growth tactics, do you need tips and advice on media training and presentation training? Check out these links:

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Media Interviews

Top 10 Media Relations Tips – Media Training Tips from a Media Trainer

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love

Media Training Tips on The Language of Your Brand in Media Interviews

Prepare for TV Interviews BEFORE You Book One


Ten Great Things You Can Do with Press Placements, Once You Get Them

Eric Clapton sang, “It’s in the way that you use it.” While this applies to many things, it certainly applies to what you do with press placements.

InStyle press clip on Ten Great Things You Can Do with Press Placements, Once You Get Them, blog post by Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa EliaOne of the best things about getting press coverage is that you can use it to help your business in a multitude of ways. Certainly, good press placements can help new clients and buyers find you, so you can experience an immediate burst in sales. However, there’s so much more that you can do to maximize every placement you get.

Being featured in respected media outlets raises your esteem in the eyes of most people because they know that most reputable TV shows, radio shows, newspapers, magazines and web sites will conduct some research before interviewing someone. So, if you’re featured as an expert or your product is selected for inclusion in a magazine, you’re getting a third-party endorsement from the media, who are thought to be “in the know.”

To learn how to use press placements, once you get them, read on.

Ten Great Things To Do with Press Placements

1. Post a scan of the print article or a video or audio clip in your online press room. If you don’t have an online press room yet, I highly recommend creating one, especially if you want more press.

2. You can also post impressive press clippings on the home page of your web site so anyone who visits your site can see them.

3. Share links to them with your sales team or use it for your own sales calls. If you take care of sales yourself, send links to great press placements to potential clients and existing clients who can benefit from the information or who will enjoy seeing you or your products featured in the media.

4. If you sell products and you have a sales team or sales reps, share your press clippings with them immediately so they can present them to potential clients who may want to buy more of your product to meet the anticipated increased demand it due to the media exposure. You can also make them aware of upcoming media coverage so they can prepare for increased demand for your product by purchasing more of your product.

5. Engage people you email by sharing a link to the article or broadcast clip that you host on your web site in the signature of your e-mail. Be sure to tell people why they should click on the link (e.g., “Click here to read what the NY Times said about us.”)

Lisa Elia's client on San Antonio Living TV on Ten Great Things You Can Do with Press Placements, Once You Get Them, blog post on Expert Media Training™ site

6. Use your press to get more press. Use your press placements as fuel for other articles and interviews by including links to articles and appearances in emails you send to pitch the media. Just be sure to NOT pitch a similar idea that’s covered in the piece you’re sharing with a competitive outlet. They really don’t like that.

7. Get your social media friends excited about your good news. In addition to you sharing links to your press clippings on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media, ask friends to tweet and share on Facebook about your press placements.

8. Include press clippings and TV and radio segment clips in sponsorship packages, if you’re seeking sponsors. Companies who are considering spending their marketing dollars on you will want to see that you’re highly visible and that you’re media savvy enough to garner press coverage (or have a PR rep who is) so you can potentially get press coverage for them, if they sponsor you.

9. If you’re a public speaker and you’re trying to attract more speaking engagements, post your clippings on your web page/area devoted to you as a speaker. This will raise your credibility greatly and it will impress people who are considering booking you to speak at their events.

10. Display copies of your press clippings at events where you’re hosting a table. Here’s a great way one of our clients, photographer Kerry Kara, used her press clippings. She took the double-page spread of her photos that we had secured for her in Modern Bride and had it blown up and mounted on display boards to grace her table at a bridal show. The display attracted people to the booth and helped her book thousands of dollars in business.

Press placements are an asset. Use them to your greatest advantage with this list of 10 things to do with press placements.

Now that you know how to use press placements, once you get them, do you need additional media training resources and tips?

If so, visit these links on our site:

Videos with Tips to Improve Communication, Presentations, Speeches and Media Interviews:

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

Media Training Tips for Actors, Music Artists and Performers

Media Interview Checklist from a Los Angeles Media Trainer

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love

Prepare for TV Interviews BEFORE You Book One – Tips from an LA Media Trainer and Spokesperson




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