Why You Need a “To Be” List with Rebecca CafieroFeb 07, 2023
Does success depend on your social media presence?
As we all know, our Facebook followings, Instagram mentions, and TikTok presences have been major focus points in the past few years when it comes to gaining visibility for our businesses.
But here’s a secret: Social media is not the only way to amplify your impact, scale your business, and, importantly, get results. You can’t rely solely on social media (though plenty of people try). You need to master your PR strategy to really be effective, build stability, and grow at a pace that makes you feel pumped to be doing what you’re doing.
Now, you know that I’m all about mastering the social media game in new, innovative ways to drive results. That’s why I teach entrepreneurs to absolutely kill it on LinkedIn. But I was so thrilled to hear my guest’s insights into how a killer PR strategy that focuses on your zone of genius can get some pretty amazing results.
Rebecca Cafiero is a PR expert, badass entrepreneur, and great friend, so it was an honor to have her on my show. Rebecca and I talked about being boss businesswomen, what it means to be a trailblazer, and how amazing, talented entrepreneurs sometimes struggle unnecessarily because they don’t have the right approach. Most importantly, she and I talked about how to build credibility so you can establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field.
Gang, you’ll want to put this article on your favorites list because it’s just got so much great information for you to take in. Let’s dive in!
Who Is Rebecca Cafiero?
I met Rebecca at a mastermind years ago, and we’ve been sort of following each other to masterminds ever since. I must say it’s a pleasure because she’s insanely talented. She’s a best-selling author, marketing mentor, PR strategist, podcast host, certified coach, and passionate entrepreneur. She’s all about serving women through online courses, masterminds, mentoring, events, and book tours.
As a business expert and visibility strategist, Rebecca has been featured on TED and regularly at Forbes. She was previously an award-winning journalist before diving into corporate America for a decade and now into coaching and business strategy. Plus, she’s a busy mom who knows a thing or two about work-life balance and the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Become a Trusted Authority in Your Area of Genius
One thing I love about being an entrepreneur is that I get to help my clients solve the exact issues I faced, mastered, and learned from.
I see this story with so many entrepreneurs. We become the solution. We are the trailblazers. We see something, realize it won’t work for us, find a new way, and then show others how to do it. It feels so good to know that our businesses are built on creativity and ingenuity, not on following in other people’s footsteps and following the rules.
The system as it is now isn’t necessarily designed for you to win. So, as changemakers and entrepreneurs, we have to do things a little differently. That’s probably why Rebecca and I hit it off so well. Rebecca’s PR mastery arose from her own decision to take charge of her own public presence — and to do it without spending a fortune.
“I was looking for myself to be more credible. I thought, ‘How can I become more credible in marketing? How do I become more credible so that I have more opportunities in recruiting?’ And the thing that just popped up for me was ‘Get published now.’” - Rebecca Cafiero
Rebecca knew that getting quoted in major news outlets and publications was a way to build trust and credibility in ways that aren’t available on social media. Her background in journalism (she’s previously been a reporter) gave her an edge in that she realized the power of a well-placed quote. But when she sought out help from PR professionals, she was quoted thousands of dollars per month, a price she wasn’t willing to pay.
So, she learned the ropes herself. She learned how to approach, pitch, and get placed in publications and saw for herself the power of back-to-back placements. Meanwhile, Rebecca was working another job and business coaching on the side when her clients started asking her how she did what she did.
Why You Need a PR Strategy
The little voice inside Rebecca’s head is what told her that media placements — as in being interviewed and quoted as an expert in articles — were the way to go, and now she tells it to her clients. Why? Because she knows it works.
So many entrepreneurs are investing time, energy, and money into becoming an influencer. But to establish yourself as different from the countless other influencers in your industry, you need other ways to build credibility.
Beyond Social Media
Let’s start with the fact that your visibility on social media depends on an algorithm that you don’t control. By default, you’re playing by someone else’s rules, which will, of course, force you to shift your strategy and even your message. On top of that, you have to contend with the possibility of identity theft, hacking, or some other nonsense that could seriously cripple your business and leave you without your subscribers. (That’s why it’s best to rely on an email list in addition to a social following.)
But the biggest point Rebecca made about social media versus PR is that getting media placements builds your authority and credibility. If you’ve been asking how you can build authority as a business, you’ll want to really pay attention here.
“Just because you have visibility, as in having a big audience, doesn't mean you have credibility or authority. There are so many Instagram influencers out there, and you might look at their reel and go to their Amazon page and buy their workout pants or whatever they're selling at the time, but you're not gonna invest thousands of dollars in them unless you're maybe buying a program about how to become an Instagram influencer. There's a difference between being entertained by someone and then wanting to invest in them” - Rebecca Cafiero
Just think about what drives your decisions. Imagine you’ve got to choose between two nutrition coaches who seem to be equally talented and qualified. However, one of them has been quoted in several of your favorite wellness websites and magazines. It’s only natural that you’re most likely to go with that nutritionist.
You could be totally wrong about them. The one with the press mentions may not be the better nutritionist, but if they’ve been featured in several articles, you are more likely to view them as an expert.
Keep this top of mind as you develop your strategy and learn the power of great PR. With the right media placements, you can go beyond social media influencers to become trusted authority. Consider your zone of genius and which outlets would benefit from your expertise the most. Then, up your pitching game and learn how to win over journalists whose readers are hungry for the expertise you have to offer.
How Credibility Shifts Your Business
So what happens when you start building that credibility through media placements? Well, all of a sudden, many of those doubts you may have had about your business that you had because you weren’t seeing results can start to fade away. If done right, you can make headway quickly. You’re not just reaching more people, you’re upleveling your authority, and that means better results.
“Once you’ve got that credibility (and that credibility typically also adds visibility), then a few things happen. One is you can typically raise rates because you are now setting your prices [based on being] a go-to expert in your space. The second thing that happens is that it shortens the sales cycle.” - Rebecca Cafiero
It makes total sense because once you’ve built your reputation, you’ll deal with a lot less hesitation from other people. A great PR strategy can truly take some of the hard work out of sales. When your reputation precedes you, you don’t have to focus so much on proving yourself and your value in every sales opportunity. People come to you, and when they do, they already trust you and want to pay you like they trust you.
“I joke that I don't do sales calls, I do fitting calls because by the time someone is on a call with me, they already know that I'm credible. They've seen results, testimonials, case studies, they've seen where I'm at, and they're super excited about the opportunity to work with me.” - Rebecca Cafiero
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to do business this way? What could you do if you could charge more and struggle less? Would you feel more empowered, hopeful, confident? I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a pretty awesome way to run a venture.
Staying Productive Without Burnout
Given her reputation for insane levels of productivity, I couldn’t resist picking Rebecca’s brain a bit about how she manages it all. I don’t think there’s an entrepreneur alive who doesn’t know what it feels like to get overwhelmed. It’s the nature of the beast, really, but when overwhelm becomes chronic, it can be seriously harmful. So how does someone as busy and productive as Rebecca avoid crashing and burning?
First off, it’s important to pause when you find yourself getting overwhelmed.
“When we get to the point when we’re like, I’m frazzled. There's a million things to do, we usually end up spinning out for the next few hours and getting nothing done that actually creates calm. We just keep in that spin cycle. What I do is take a breath first and just walk away from the situation because the brain that got me there is not gonna get me out of it. So calm the body down.” - Rebecca Cafiero
When you’ve got a million things to do, rushing and panicking may seem like the natural reaction, but it rarely gets you the results you want. So, even if you think you don’t have time to rest, do it anyway. It’s amazing what the power of a few breaths can do to really slow you down and get you thinking clearly, so you can make decisions from a place of strategy and calm.
Another way to prevent or combat overwhelm is to do a brain dump to get everything that’s on your mind out. Once it’s safely on paper, your mind can relax.
“I'm a big fan of brain dumping with something called a parking lot. The parking lot is all of the things that we would love to do or maybe need to do that aren't actually important or urgent, but they're open taps. So, it’s things like I need to learn to braid my hair. Not important or urgent, but I'm still thinking about it.” - Rebecca Cafiero
Of course, prioritizing is also essential. There are so many demands on our time, and no matter how many items you cross off of your to-do list, there are always new tasks being added. So try to do it all, but create solid priorities.
“Pick the top five things, but what's the absolute number one? This is not the one that you feel If I cross it off I'll feel like I accomplished something. It's more the because I haven't done this, I’m not where I need to be or people are either relying on me or I'm letting it down or it's costing me money. It's that thing that really moves us forward. It's also typically the thing we want to do the least. “ - Rebecca Cafiero
It’s interesting, isn’t it? Even us entrepreneurial types can still end up unconsciously avoiding the things that will help us the most. Have you found that? Usually, when we avoid something, it’s because some aspect of it is overwhelming or leaves us feeling unprepared. I encourage you to identify a few of those things yourself. Break them down into manageable chunks. Make the steps so easy that you don’t have an excuse not to do them.
Why You Should Listen to This Podcast Episode Right Now
Friends, Rebecca is a true professional (not to mention an awesome friend), and I know you will get so much out of our conversation. Tune into the full episode to learn more about how media placements can uplevel your business quickly. Start charging more and make your sales cycle easier and faster with her tips.
You can also work with her directly through her offerings like The Pitch Club, a group coaching program that will give you strategies, support, and resources to grow your media presence in print, digital, and audio journalism, including podcasts. Join other go-getters in industries as varied as tech, fashion, and wellness who are also learning the ropes of pitching the media.
If you know you’ve got talent yet you find yourself working way too hard for too little, it’s time to start strategizing. You know I’m all about working smarter, not harder, so check out Burnout to All Out for more tips.
Links & Resources:
The Authority Accelerator: https://www.thepitchclub.online/masterclass
Becoming You Podcast: https://pod.link/1459804875
Becoming You: A Guide To Designing A Life You Love by Rebecca Cafiero - https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-You-Guide-Designing-Life/dp/B08BQYV3SD
Living a Legacy – Melissa Henault, Rebecca Cafiero, & 8 others - https://a.co/d/c4XbgTe
Connect with Rebecca Cafiero:
Rebecca Cafiero Website: https://www.rebeccacafiero.com/
Free Visibility Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thepitchclubgoalgetters
Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccacafiero
Connect on Instagram: http://instagram.com/rebeccacafiero
Connect with Melissa:
Burnout to All Out Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/burnouttoallout
For free resources and information on Melissa’s current offerings: www.livethefreelife.co
Free LinkedIn Productivity Checklist: https://www.livethefreelife.co/checklist
“Her energy is always refreshing. I love being able to apply her strategies to whatever my project is at the moment.”
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