Julie Solomon: How to Grow Your Personal Brand | E174
Julie Solomon: How to Grow Your Personal Brand | E174
Are you ready to start pitching yourself and monetizing your personal brand but don’t know where to start? Speaker, author, and top-charting podcast host, Julie Solomon wants to help you turn your passions into profit. With her background in publicity, Julie Solomon is the queen of securing brand partnerships and turning your influence into a paycheck. In this episode, Hala and Julie talk about how to pitch your personal brand with what Julie calls a “signature pitch,” her new book, Get What You Want, fears and misconceptions when it comes to PR and publicity, her best tips for negotiation and pricing yourself as an influencer, and how she became one of the top leaders in influencer marketing.
– Julie’s come-up story
– Leaving Harper Collins to become a freelance publicist
– The start of her blog and content monetization
– Her feature in People Magazine and her free home renovation
– Her course, “Pitch it Perfect”
– The Spotlight Method
– Fears and misconceptions when it comes to PR and publicity
– What is a Signature Pitch?
– Three elements of the Signature Pitch
– On writing her book, Get What You Want
– Best tips for negotiation and pricing yourself as an influencer
– Julie’s transformational story of money and success
– Why do you need to be your own publicist (BYOP)
– Julie’s actionable advice
– Julie’s secret to profiting
– And other topics…
Julie Solomon is a speaker, business coach, host of the top-rated podcast The Influencer Podcast, and author of the upcoming book, Get What You Want: How to Go From Unseen to Unstoppable.
Julie has launched several successful online programs including Pitch It Perfect, The Influencer Academy, and SHINE Mastermind, which teach clients how to master the important skill sets needed to take a personal brand idea and turn it into a profitable, sustainable business.
Julie’s work has been featured in top-tier outlets including, FORBES, Entrepreneur, Business Weekly, SUCCESS, and People Magazine. And she was recently named one of the Top 100 leaders in Influencer Marketing by Influence.Co.
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Julie’s Website: https://juliesolomon.net/
Julie’s Book: https://join.juliesolomon.net/getwhatyouwant/
Julie’s Podcast: https://juliesolomon.net/podcast
Free 5-Step Guide to Gaining Clarity: https://join.juliesolomon.net/clarity/
Pitch it Perfect: https://pitchitperfect.net/bonfire-sale/
Julie’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-solomon-375127133/
Julie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/JulsSolomon/
Julie’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulsSolomon
Julie’s Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxq78Bz1s7MHVZvyBIQWygQ
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[00:00:00] Hala: Hey, Julie, welcome to young and profiting podcast.
[00:00:02] Julie: Thank you for having me Hala. It's great to be with
[00:00:05] Hala: you. I think this is going to be an awesome conversation. I think you're going to share things that my listeners are just going to love. And so for those who don't know you, you're a former publicist blogger marketing expert podcasts.
[00:00:16] Hala: And now most recently you are going to be the author of a new book. Get what you want. That's coming out in June. And I can't wait to get into your pitching strategies, but first I wanted to talk about your journey. You grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, you had blue collar parents. They taught you the value of hard work.
[00:00:32] Hala: You graduated with a degree in marketing and PR, and then you went straight for the goals. You wanted to go to New York and get a job in PR, which is really hard to do straight out of college, but you did it. So talk to us about that and how you managed to do.
[00:00:46] Julie: Yeah. As you mentioned, I'm from Nashville, Tennessee, actually originally from a really smart, small town in Tennessee and come from just a very blue collar working family.
[00:00:56] Julie: Didn't have a lot growing up. My parents divorced when I was young [00:01:00] and I moved to Nashville and so went to school there and then went to college. And then, like you said, it was two months before I graduated college. I'd never been to New York city and I go to New York on a journalism trip with my college.
[00:01:13] Julie: And I get there and I'm like, I'm moving here. Like this is where I'm supposed to be. And so I come home and I had thought that I was going to go to LA or maybe go back to Nashville. Like New York was not in my XY Geist at all, but I come back home and I'm like, I'm going to New York. And so I. Taking meetings.
[00:01:36] Julie: And as you know, if you don't really live there, no one's going to take you seriously. So I had a friend of a friend that lived there and let me fake use her address. So I put on my resume that I was there when I wasn't there. I remember one time I was doing some calls on the phone and I didn't want to admit that I wasn't there yet.
[00:01:58] Julie: So I was like, oh, I'm out of town. [00:02:00] I'll be there in a couple of weeks. Just totally faking it until I made it. And I remember one time, cause I worked all through college. And so there was this PR company that wanted me to interview like the next day. So I bought a ticket that was. $400 flew up there in the morning, took the meeting and flew home that night.
[00:02:19] Julie: Like I was determined to get a job and I still didn't get a job. So this was like may. So I graduate college and I had three weeks later, I moved there and I had no place to live. I had no job. I had no friends. I had some friends of a friend. So I started like surfing on people's couches and like doing the thing and spent that summer just trying to get a job and.
[00:02:41] Julie: I didn't know anybody. I didn't have any kind of connection. So I had to start getting kind of scrappy. And one of the things I knew that I wanted to get into music PR and at this time this was 2007. So this is still kind of that traditional PR landscape. And it's back. It was before Facebook was around and [00:03:00] Twitter wasn't even around yet.
[00:03:00] Julie: It was just Facebook and there was no way to get content. There used to be this huge database called Cision. And that was like the only way you could get contacts. And it was like 30 grand a year to subscribe to, I think it's still around, but it was really hard to get contacts. So the one thing that I took from college holla was that I knew in one of my PR classes, I had to learn how to write a press release and on every single press release, there is a PR contact.
[00:03:26] Julie: Yeah. And always at the bottom. And the other thing that a press release always has is this saying at the top that says for immediate release, and this basically allows the media, know that what you are sharing with them is for immediate release and you don't have to hold the information. So I started Googling in parentheses for immediate release, and then I pulled up the billboard hot 100 list and I just started going down every single music act.
[00:03:53] Julie: So I would do for immediate. Pink for immediate release Lenny Kravitz for immediate release, [00:04:00] and just started going down. Just hoping that like maybe their publicist contact would pop up on Google and luckily some of them did. And so I sent out like 35 pitches, like, Hey, I don't know if you're hiring, but if you are I'm here.
[00:04:16] Julie: And I started to interview with a lot of people and ended up snagging and interview with a company called 4,200. They represent like really top film and TV stars, and then interviewed with a company called press here, publicity. And they rep some of the top music acts at the time. And that is who I ended up getting my first job with.
[00:04:37] Julie: I went into press here and one of the top publicists there, Carlene Donovan was looking for an assistant and she repped Lenny Kravitz, the Bob Marley estate MCI Pfeiffer. Most. Pink maroon five Def Leppard stone, temple pilots. I mean, she repped so many big names back then. And so I was just this young 21 year olds girl that had [00:05:00] never been to the city that now had this opportunity after a couple of months of just like sending out my resume.
[00:05:05] Julie: I finally got the job. I was making $20,000 a year with, with, you know, about $35,000 in student loans. I found an apartment. I found this random person that I'd never met to live with me. It was a one bedroom that we converted into a two bedroom, so we could actually afford it. And I just started going to work and kind of similar to you, holla, like I got to do some really amazing things.
[00:05:29] Julie: I mean, I was front row at fashion week. I was going to the Grammys. I was flying across the country for tour press and tour me. I got to experience and be a part of some really incredible things. And I got to work with some really powerful women doing really big things, but I wasn't making any money. And I had to pay my bills.
[00:05:48] Julie: I had, I kept deferring my student loans because I couldn't afford to pay them. And my business, the work that I got to do would warrant me to be able to get like free dinners and stuff. Cause some [00:06:00] nights we would have like a show we would have to go to and we would go and do a dinner. But after about a year or so of doing that, I got to a place.
[00:06:07] Julie: I couldn't sustain it anymore. My parents helped me as much as they could, but they told me they were like, look after a year, like we're out, you've got to figure this out on your own. And so I left, I got scared. I didn't know how to figure it out on my own. And so I came home and I went into like a massive depression because that was my dream job.
[00:06:29] Julie: And it was this weird, I'm sure you've been through it where it's like, you're like in the. Different world in this different vortex. And then it's like, then I was like living with my parents and like my old childhood bedroom, like, it was just so bizarre. But the gift of that moment hollow was that I just said to myself, I was like, I will never freaking feel this way again.
[00:06:51] Julie: And I will never give up on a dream ever again. So clearly that wasn't for me and a lot more happened from that, um, that we can talk about, but [00:07:00] the gift of New York, it showed me. The grit that I had the ability to think outside the box, my resilience, I learned more in one year than some people learn in a decade working in that environment.
[00:07:13] Julie: And it really kicked off the confidence that I needed to then go to the next stages that really ended up creating the business that I have to do.
[00:07:23] Hala: Yeah, this is such an inspiring story. First of all, I want to call out like, wow, do we have it easy in 2022, in terms of getting contacts, like you just plug in an extension, you're downloading emails off LinkedIn.
[00:07:35] Hala: It's so much easier now. And so kudos to you for doing it when you were just a kid in 2007, when the resources weren't there. And to everybody out there listening, when you were talking, I was like, I think your strategy could still work. Honestly,
[00:07:49] Julie: it does still work. I teach it to students and clients all the time.
[00:07:52] Julie: I mean, press releases still go out.
[00:07:55] Hala: Yeah. So I'm about to tell my guests outreach leads. Like here's a hot tip from Julie. So, [00:08:00] but from my, I didn't know that you actually had this whole blip in your career where you moved back to your parents' house. I thought it was just straight to Harper Collins. And how did you move up in the corporate world?
[00:08:11] Hala: Because I know you eventually did that and then started basically a side hustle. So talk to us about that.
[00:08:16] Julie: Yeah. So I went back home. It was in the summer and again, I found myself like no job back at home where I did not want to be. Just kind of fell into this quarter-life crisis of like, who am I, what am I doing?
[00:08:29] Julie: I broke up with my boyfriend at the time. You know, there was this other guy that I had started to see in New York that I had left. You know, it was just like, I didn't have any. And so I had to just to kind of take this inventory that summer. And I remember it being like me just kind of running away from things and just trying to kind of figure out what I wanted to do, but I knew that I needed something stable.
[00:08:51] Julie: I needed to have some kind of stable job. I needed to start paying off my student loans. Cause I had been deferring them for over a year. And so that's where the corporate mindset came in. [00:09:00] So. Kind of back to the drawing board of applying to different positions. And in Nashville, there was a subsidiary to Harper Collins that is based in Nashville, I think just through indeed and doing some searching and people that I knew, I like reached out to apply for a job.
[00:09:18] Julie: And I even worked with the film commission with the state of Tennessee for a little while. It kind of went through like a couple of years of trying to navigate and figure out what I wanted to do. And then. I got the corporate gig, but I always had this. I was never quite satisfied. Like I would get done with my work at, in the.
[00:09:37] Julie: In my cubicle really quickly. And then like on the side I started working with, because at the time EDM music started to become a thing. And I had a friend who was an agent who worked with a lot of DJs. And so I started to do some side hustle, publicity music, publicists. For these DJs that we're going to all of these music festivals.
[00:09:58] Julie: And this is before, [00:10:00] I mean, this was back when ultra Fest in Miami was called winter music conference. Like it was right when that whole world of like the DJ festival stuff started to blow up. So I was doing that on the side and then I got into the book PR thing, and then I did that for about two years and then like that itch that itch to really go out on my own, kind of came back in.
[00:10:22] Julie: And so. I left Harper columns. And me and another woman that used to work there joined forces. And we just started basically being freelance publicists. And so we started working then Harper Collins hired us. And so we started doing the book campaigns and I knew that was possible. Cause when I was in house at the publishing house, I was the one hiring these publicists.
[00:10:46] Julie: And I would say, I was like, oh my gosh, they're making like 5, 6, 7 grand a month. Like, and I'm sitting in this cubicle, like, and they have freedom and they don't have. Where this Ann Taylor suit and come into this office. [00:11:00] I kept seeing what was possible. And I think that even if I didn't truly have the confidence to even know what that was at the time, if it was possible for them, I knew it had to be possible for me because it's possible for other people.
[00:11:13] Julie: So that gave me the courage to just kind of like roll the dice again and be like, I quit I'm going out on my own. And then that was kind of the corporate gift. And then what brought me into doing my own freelance work.
[00:11:26] Hala: And so I'd love to understand how you became an influencer, because from my understanding you have a blog and you at least had a blog at some point.
[00:11:33] Hala: So how did you dabble into being an influencer? Because at that time there was no such thing really, as an influencer, that wasn't really a thing. Yeah.
[00:11:41] Julie: So about this time, it is like 2011, 2012. And I have left it's 2012. I've left corporate. I'm now a con publicity consultant. And they're hiring me to basically do what I was doing in house.
[00:11:56] Julie: And it was good, but I was just like [00:12:00] always kind of wanting something more. It was fun, but this was also around the time holler that I could start to see that the landscape of publicity was changing and it was changing fast. And just that traditional landscape was, it was getting skewed. And now at this time, Twitter exists, Instagram exists.
[00:12:19] Julie: These people called bloggers started to kind of come out of the woodwork. And then personally, what was happening in my life at the time is that I had met my now husband and he lived in Los Angeles. And so we were doing this back and forth thing and we kinda got to this point where it was like, What are we doing?
[00:12:36] Julie: Yeah. And so since I had been freelancing and I wasn't working in corporate America anymore, it gave me this freedom to move. So I pack up my bags and I moved to LA and move in with him. And it was the beginning of 2013. And I find myself in LA barefoot and pregnant. Cause we got pregnant very quickly with my first child.
[00:12:59] Julie: And [00:13:00] again, it's kind of like New York, like don't know many people here knew some from my connections, but don't know many people here. My husband work requires him to like travel a lot. Cause he's an actor. So he's always gone on set. So I'm home alone. I don't know many people. And it was at the time that this idea of blogging was becoming a thing in influencer marketing was becoming a thing and LA has always been the top 1% of the top.
[00:13:26] Julie: 1% of those people, like all of the content, creators and bloggers that were really doing big things were coming out of LA. And so it was the timing of being there and seeing like this new way of marketing, that was interesting to me. And I was like, well, maybe. Dabble in this, it gives me a different creative outlet.
[00:13:47] Julie: I've been doing this consulting book PR thing for a couple of years now. I'm kind of getting tired of it. And so I started doing that and I started to reach out to some people that I knew for my New [00:14:00] York days, just to be like, Hey, I live in LA now. I don't know anybody here. Do you know anyone that you can connect me with?
[00:14:06] Julie: And, and I did. I had some friends connect me with some of their friends. And another good friend of mine. Angela had started a YouTube channel at the time. She was a glam YouTuber and she was like, you should get into blogging. I think that it will allow you to be able to network. And I'll take you to some of these events that I'm going to.
[00:14:24] Julie: And so I started blogging on the side and I started to kind of notice when we would go to these events. It was like, all of these influencers and bloggers would just be like sitting in the corner of this event, just like doing this, but then like all of the brand reps. Who made the deals and had the money we're like over here.
[00:14:42] Julie: And I'm thinking to myself, and this is just my publicist hat. I'm like, why are these content creators talking to these brands? They want to work with brands. They want to collaborate with brands and they're not. They're in there at this event. They have this great opportunity. To connect and network and to meet these brands and they're not talking to [00:15:00] them.
[00:15:00] Julie: So I just started going up and talking to them and what I found because of my background and understanding marketing and PR not only was I able to build these relationships with these brands by going to these events, but I was able to actually to start monetizing my blog really quickly. I had not even 5,000 followers at the time.
[00:15:20] Julie: And I started out earning what I was making in PR. Through my blog and content monetization. And that's when I was like, okay, this is interesting. And at the time I just, I told myself, I was like, if I can just make like $6,000 a month, like that will give me breathing room. Like I can pay my. I can pay my credit card debt or my, my college debt.
[00:15:42] Julie: I can keep the lights on, I can do what I need to do, and it will also give me some breathing room. So I don't have to take on certain book clients that I don't want to take on anymore because I'm able to facilitate that money over here. And so I started doing that and then about six months into it, I started to have these friends of [00:16:00] mine or these women that I would meet at these events who were big content creators at the time.
[00:16:04] Julie: And, you know, at the time they had hundreds of thousands of followers, which is like having millions now. They were sitting front row at fashion week and they were doing those things and they said, Julie, I don't mean to come off rude, but how is it that you have no followers and you're making money. And I have hundreds of thousands of followers and I'm making $10 off of a t-shirt.
[00:16:24] Julie: And then that's what gave me the idea that instead of really being a blogger, I need to start. Kind of being the coach and being the consultant and being a resource of information and support for these content creators, because that's really where my expertise was. It wasn't an people didn't care what outfit I had on.
[00:16:44] Julie: They wanted to know how it was making money. Yeah. So I listened to that and that's really how all of that kind of transitioned and where the blogging piece of that came in.
[00:16:54] Hala: This is so interesting to me and I resonate with it so much. I was a blogger [00:17:00] too, around that time. Right. Blogging was so hot.
[00:17:02] Hala: Blogging is like what? Having a podcast is like now I feel like it's, it's the equivalent or like having a Tik TOK channel or something like that, because social media, like you said, People who didn't have millions of followers. Like the big social you'd have 5,000 people and you were an influencer. Like people thought you were hot shit.
[00:17:18] Hala: I used to have like 7,000 people on Twitter and everybody thought I was famous, but yeah, it was a whole different world back then. Right. So it was just a different world. And I look at myself now and like, I make so much money off of my podcasts and I'm punching way above my weight, but it's because I understand the business.
[00:17:35] Hala: I understand how to make money off of every single download and squeeze it. And the thing is that there's a lot of influencers out there. They have no idea how to capture the money that they deserve. And I think that this is really needed right now because there's not that many people teaching influencers, how they can actually make money.
[00:17:53] Hala: And a lot of people think they need hundreds of thousands, millions of followers, millions of views. In order to get sponsored, but that's [00:18:00] definitely not the case, especially now when micro-influencers are so hot, so bright. I love this. Let's dig into how you came up with some of your first creative strategies to get placements.
[00:18:12] Hala: So I found out that you got into people magazine very early on and you were somehow able to, fanangle getting your whole house remodeled and you got featured in people magazine. So talk to us about how you did that and how we can do similar
[00:18:27] Julie: Yeah. So this was 20, probably 14, 20, 15, something like that.
[00:18:31] Julie: And again, I never was the content creator or the girl that had all the followers. I was never the person that. Had the perfectly curated Instagram feed. I was never the one that just the fashion sense, like naturally came to her. I was never the one that was being invited on the front row of fashion week.
[00:18:50] Julie: So I really had to work with what I had and what I had was an understanding of marketing and PR strategy and really an understanding of serving other [00:19:00] people, because it's not about me. It's about how can I give them what they want, because if they get what they want, then I can get what I want. And then everybody get what's gets what they want.
[00:19:08] Julie: Everybody's had. So, what I wanted at the time was my son was two years old at the time. And we were turning his baby room into like a big boy room. And I wanted to try to figure out a way to partner with a brand really. So like I didn't to offset the cost so I didn't have to pay for it. And I knew it would be a good opportunity for me to.
[00:19:31] Julie: Work with brands, and this is what I was trying to do and monetize my platform. But when I started pitching it out to all of these different companies and they just kept being like, what's in it for us, like you have two followers, like why should we care? And so instead of just feeling bad about myself and giving up, I was like, okay, well, I can't change the fact that I don't have a lot of followers.
[00:19:54] Julie: But what can I work with? And so I was like, well, why do they want me to have a lot of [00:20:00] followers? Why is that important to a brand? Because they see that as them being able to get in front of more people to get more eyes. So following is really just a viewership. So I started to think, well, if I don't have a platform that has a viewership, what are other platforms that have a viewership?
[00:20:18] Julie: And I go well, meeting. Media have platforms that have viewerships, what relationships do I have? I have media relationships. So again, I don't have the following. I don't have people aren't just knocking at my door begging to work with me. But what I did have was an understanding of how to pitch myself and how to get those relationships.
[00:20:40] Julie: And if I didn't have those relationships, I knew that I could figure out how to find those relationships because here's the, the other thing that I want to mention, because I think that it's probably easy for someone to hear this. Oh, well, easy for Julie to do it because she was a publicist and she had relationships.
[00:20:54] Julie: Book contacts are completely different than lifestyle and fashion and brand contacts. Like the [00:21:00] book contacts that I had, they couldn't help me with any of them. They covered books, the music contacts that I had, they couldn't help me with this. And really by this stage and you know, this holla, I had lost a lot of those relationships.
[00:21:12] Julie: And as you know, in the media landscape, those relationships, I mean, those people are changing jobs every single day. So somebody that I might've known at people magazine five years ago, they're not even there anymore. So I really was starting. From the bottom. But what I knew was ha if I didn't know that relationship, I knew that I could figure out how to get to that relationship.
[00:21:34] Julie: So I just started thinking, I was like, well, if they're wanting to get in front of people, if that's really the goal for them, the goal is not that I have followers. The goal is that they get new eyes on what they want. So maybe I could get them media. And if I could basically act as their publicist and get the media, then maybe they would want to work with me.
[00:21:53] Julie: So then I started to switch gears and instead of pitching the brands, I started pitching the media [00:22:00] companies. And at the time because of blogging, I had been just trying to get my name out there. So I would always offer to do like contributing posts and editorials and op-eds and stuff like that, just to get tagged and get my name out there.
[00:22:12] Julie: So I went to modern mom and mom.me and just all of these moms sites, pop sugar moms, and these mom blogger sites at the time that covered a lot of mom content, because again, I was working on my son's room and this was a mom related piece of. And then I noticed during my research that people magazine was coming out with their own blog, they were going to have a blog on people.com and they were going to have like a parenting section.
[00:22:39] Julie: So I got scrappy figured, you know, found a bunch of different contacts, just reached out to all of them. And I was just asking, would you guys be interested in a piece of this kind of home? Make-over stay at home work from home mom, home makeover. If I were to partner with. And so they were like, cool, [00:23:00] like, sure, we need content.
[00:23:01] Julie: That's the thing. Media always needs content. So they were like, awesome. No big deal. They're like for starting this new thing, we would love content. So I was like, awesome. Now I can go back to the brand and say, Hey, people magazine is interested in covering the story. Are you in? Or are you in. And so I went back to the brands and after 15,000 different brands, I went to, I was able to narrow it down.
[00:23:24] Julie: And then finally, one, all you need is one, one brand got back to me and that was world market. And they said, we would love to do this. If you can guarantee that we're going to get media, we would love to do this. So then I paused and I put my PR hat back on and I was like, okay. So how can I make this as big as freaking possible?
[00:23:42] Julie: Because this is my only chance. So like, how can I make this big? So I went back to people magazine and I said, world market is in, but they're wondering, is there any possibility that we could also get a print opportunity? And they were like, well, if we're going to do [00:24:00] print, we need to have this be just more than like one word.
[00:24:02] Julie: We need to see like a make-over transformation. So then I was like, okay. So then I went back to world market and I said, okay. So guys, the only way that people magazine is going to be able to do this is if you redo my entire house, Because they need to see a full home renovation. And if you can do that, then we'll be able to not only get the blog coverage with links clicked.
[00:24:22] Julie: So then world markets making money, cause people can click on those links, but then we're also getting a.com feature and you're getting an imprint feature, which is just good for wearing. And they were like, cool, let's do it. And so I was able to then get like over $250,000 worth of furniture and interior design services and photography services all included in this deal.
[00:24:44] Julie: And that was really like the first that was at the very beginning of all of this and one of the first things that I ever did. And so from that, when friends and people kind of caught when to this, cause this was back when like people, girls like me that were doing this, they weren't thinking like. [00:25:00] They weren't thinking like that you, that was possible.
[00:25:03] Julie: And so then just so many women and girls that were in that content creation space just started coming to me and they were like, how do I do help me do this? I want to do that. And that's when I created my first course, which is still around today called pitch it. Perfect. And it helps content creators learn how to pitch and land brand deals.
[00:25:21] Hala: This is amazing. I love the way that you think. I feel like we think really similar. And so I kind of want to like piece this apart at a high level, because. It's just so interesting. So basically what you're doing is you're finding an opportunity. You're like matching two people together and then inserting yourself basically.
[00:25:38] Hala: Yeah. I'd love for you to like, just explain how you can do this over and over. Like you've done this dozens and dozens of times, right? So what is the formula to do that?
[00:25:49] Julie: Yeah. So what I call it, the spotlight method. So the biggest challenge that people face when they come into this and you, you actually already touched on some objectives.
[00:25:58] Julie: People think that they need to [00:26:00] have a million followers. People think that they need to look a different way or act a different way or anything. They just need to think a different way. That's it? And you can teach someone how to think a different way. So that's kind of the first objection, but we can get over that.
[00:26:12] Julie: The second issue that I have seen, and again, like. I had the first pitch course out of its kind ever. I mean, this was back in 2016 people weren't talking about this people weren't doing this. If content creators were working with brands, they were catching the deals. No one was pitching themselves. And so I have seen it all and I have been on all different facets of.
[00:26:35] Julie: And what I share in the course is what I call the spotlight method. So the biggest issue that I see people have is that when they go to work with a brand or to essentially pitch themselves, they make it about themselves. Instead of about the brand. It's all about like what I want, what can you do for me?
[00:26:54] Julie: How much money I want to make, how I want this to look, how's it going to help my following [00:27:00] instead of focusing on. It's not about me. It's about them. I am a solution provider for what it is that they want. So it's about taking the spotlight off of you and putting the spotlight on the brand and really remembering that at the end of the day, it's always about people.
[00:27:15] Julie: First on the other end of that email on the other end of that brand is an actual human being that has once that has needs, that has desires that has a. That is wanting to make sure that they hit their goals and their targets. So if you can make that person's life easier, if you can help that person do a good job for their company and their boss, they are going to want to work with you at time and time and time and time again, and happily pay you for.
[00:27:40] Julie: So I teach people this idea of the spotlight method and how to approach brands in a way that is not self-serving, but is solutions-based first and really making it about supporting the brand first. And it's, it's funny. I have a lot of relationships now in that brand space. And about two [00:28:00] years into this, I think it was like 2018.
[00:28:02] Julie: A friend of mine was like, Julie, it's so funny now because when a content creator pitches. If she pitches us a certain way, we know that she's come from your pitch perfect program because of the way that she knows. She knows how to talk to us because she's learned your formula. You've coached her. She knows how to do it.
[00:28:19] Julie: So they could always, they call them like the PIP girls. They could always tell if it was like a PIP girl, cause thousands of incredible women have gone through that course now. So they could always tell that. And so, and I think that. When, something like that becomes so proven in the marketplace, when you have brands that are able to identify that way of working, you know, that it works.
[00:28:39] Julie: That's when you know that something is proven and tried and true in a marketplace.
[00:28:43] Hala: Yeah. I'm very excited. Honestly. I think I'm going to put my whole sales team through your pivot course. Cause we, we do sales for influencers. We have a podcast network now, so I'm going to have them go through that. Now there's a lot of people out there.
[00:28:56] Hala: They've got expertise. They're very smart. They're very credentialed. They're [00:29:00] very talented, but they feel like they're not good enough to get PR they feel like they're not big enough. It will never happen. Talk to us about the fears and some of the misconceptions when it comes to PR and publicity.
[00:29:11] Julie: Yeah. I mean, so the first one is the following and I always say this it's people like I'm not big enough or I'm not, I don't have enough followers.
[00:29:19] Julie: And it's kind of that idea of like, what do you think gets you the follow-up. It's not just creating content. And then someone just bestowing a bunch of followers on you. It's brand awareness that gets you the followers. It's creating quality content that people want to see and actively engaged. Now Instagram today is way different than Instagram, you know, a few years ago.
[00:29:40] Julie: It's not really, I don't even really see Instagram as being a place where you can grow. It's more of a brand awareness tool. It's really hard to grow on Instagram. Now you can still on Tik TOK and other weaners. I 100%
[00:29:52] Hala: agree. There's no organic growth. Yeah. There's
[00:29:54] Julie: no organic growth. But at the time there was, and if you would align with the brand [00:30:00] who then is promoting you on their page, your likelihood of growing is going to be tenfold.
[00:30:05] Julie: And so that's what I always say to people is like, well, how do you, it's kind of like you're saying, I want to go major in chemistry, but I've never taken a class. So I can't major in chemical. It's like, well, what do you think gets you the major, taking the class, going to the classes, learning how to do it, actually testing things out.
[00:30:23] Julie: And so that's a big misconception. Another one I think is people will say, well, I've tried pitching and it didn't work. So it just, clearly it doesn't work. And my thought is like, yeah, but that's like saying, Hey, I, I tried to walk when I was two years old and I fell down. So walking doesn't work, I tried to swim.
[00:30:41] Julie: And once. Couldn't figure it out. So swimming doesn't work. Or I tried to drive when I was 16 years old and I didn't do it perfectly. So driving doesn't work. It's like, no, it's not that it doesn't work. You just haven't, nothing's going to work perfect. The first time you have to learn how to do something over and over and over again.
[00:30:59] Julie: So [00:31:00] that's another big misconception is people will, we'll try it once. And then they'll just like voted off the island. And then I think another really big misconception is the idea that they have to get all of these ducks in a row first before it's like, well, I need the followers and then I need to do this.
[00:31:18] Julie: And then I needed to do this and then I need to do this. And then the brands will be ready to work with me. And it's like, no, it's not the brand's job to come and find you. It's your job to go to the. And I think that that's the other thing that a lot of people just feel like they have to become a certain type of influencer.
[00:31:34] Julie: And then once they become that these brands just start knocking on your door and that may be the case for some of those influencers, but for most of them micro influencers who are actually making the majority of the money, that is not the case at all. And then another challenge that I see people go through and it kind of goes back to that idea of like pitching doesn't work.
[00:31:54] Julie: It's somebody that's never pitched before. And they'll try to go off and pitch. To Chanel. [00:32:00] They've got like 4,000 followers. They don't wear Chanel, but they're like pitching to Chanel and it's like, let's actually build out what a realistic plan for you is. And like, don't you think it's, you're going to be setting yourself up for success.
[00:32:16] Julie: If you actually pitch and land and monetize a lot of small brand deals. Before after, like, there's nothing wrong with having that pie in the sky goal, but let's actually work with where you are today and what it is that you
[00:32:29] Hala: have today. Yeah. And I imagine like, just matching yourself better with brands. I feel like brands would resonate if they feel like you're their target audience, then you actually use.
[00:32:38] Hala: There's stuff. Right? Absolutely.
[00:32:41] Hala: So something that I want to uncover, I thought it was really interesting in your book, you talk about something called a signature pitch and you have a very distinct definition. You say that a signature pitch is a specific opportunity that transfers a belief that a brand must have to say yes to you.
[00:32:57] Hala: So break that down for us. What does that actually mean? Cause it was [00:33:00] kind of hard for me to understand it fully.
[00:33:02] Julie: Yes. Okay. So everyone needs a signature pitch that is unique to. Their experiences, their expertise, their core beliefs, what they bring to the table. And so that's what I call it as a signature pitch.
[00:33:15] Julie: Your signature pitch hollow may be different from mine. Now, the foundations of a pitch and the foundations of selling, I think pretty much remained the same. Everyone has a unique distinction to what that is. And what makes a pitch signature to you is that you have to figure out a way to transfer a belief.
[00:33:34] Julie: Meaning most of the time, people are already psychologically out of the gate wanting to say no to you first. So how do we transfer the belief from the no into this is exactly who we need to work with. Where do we sign? And you do that with your signature. And so that's really what I teach of that model is your signature pitch, again, is not about you and what you want.
[00:33:58] Julie: It's how are you [00:34:00] transferring that belief that you are the solution provider for what it is that they need, want or desire that is going to get them to say yes to you? The other thing that I think is an, is an important element to the signature pitch. And I may not even share this in the book, but people want to say no because it makes us feel safe.
[00:34:17] Julie: So if a brand wants to say no, go ahead and get that out of the gate. First, let them say no. And what I say about this is that, like, if you have an ask, you want to make sure that you have other asks in your arsenal. So you're not just coming out the gate with only one option that you're pitching. You want to have these other ideas that you could potentially collaborate with a brand on that way.
[00:34:36] Julie: If they say no. Okay, great. We've got the no out of the way now let's get to the. And you can then follow up with these other ideas that you have. And so that's really where a signature pitch can come into play and really having these diff these different options. And so you're not really, it's like, you want to get the no, because we learned from our nose first off, but also a no is kind of it's guaranteed in any [00:35:00] kind of negotiating type of situation that's happening.
[00:35:04] Julie: So let's get the know out the gate. So then we can get to the good stuff and get them to say yes. And that even goes back to the story that I shared with my, my home renovation. I got a lot of notes I even got no from the two from people magazine and from world market before I got the, yes. So interesting.
[00:35:19] Julie: Does that answer your question?
[00:35:21] Hala: It does, but I'd love to get some examples of like what his signature pitch is like. What's your signature. Yeah.
[00:35:27] Julie: So my background is in education. So I'm usually going to be coming from this place of offering some type of solution to an educational based thing. So if I'm going to a brand and like, for example, right now I'm pitching a podcast.
[00:35:42] Julie: So I'm going to these brands and I'm using what my signature is, is the education piece to say, I'm going to be on this tour. I'm going to be teaching X, Y, and Z. We're going to have X, Y, and Z type of person that is there. That is your ideal avatar as well. And I'm going to be using [00:36:00] my expertise in that education forum to really kick off this event and to make that be what people are coming home with.
[00:36:08] Julie: So that would be the angle that I would say. Other angles that you could take for people. Sometimes it's beauty. Sometimes it's wellness. Sometimes it's health, sometimes it's fashion, it's entertainment, sometimes it's your own products and services. So it's about what is signature and unique to you that is going to be able to connect with the brand that the brand is actually going to see value in to get them to say yes to you.
[00:36:31] Hala: Yes. And you talk about three elements, connection, credibility, and promise. Is there anything you want to add to in regards to.
[00:36:39] Julie: Yeah. So I think connection, and we talked a lot about that, and this is really where that spotlight method comes into play. You want to be able to authentically connect to the brand and to also what it is that you're offering them.
[00:36:49] Julie: And that's why I always say like, it's always people first and coming from that, from that place. I think that that is huge and credibility. You want to be able to back up what it is that you're saying. [00:37:00] It doesn't mean that you need to be necessarily the biggest or best expert in whatever it is, but it's, it's about showcasing the things that really make you stand out and really make you shine.
[00:37:09] Julie: So what are those credible pieces? Maybe it's not your following, but maybe it's your newsletter list. Maybe it's not your email list, but maybe. The fact that you're a really good content creator. There's a student in my pitch perfect program right now. Her name is Erden and she has like no following, but she is this phenomenal content creator.
[00:37:29] Julie: And she creates these incredible tech talks and reels. So brands are actually hiring her, not for her to put content on her channel, but for her to actually create content for them. So that has become her signature pitch. They're not having to hire this ad agency anymore. They're hiring. And so it's about thinking, you know, what can I work with what I have to have that credit credibility piece shine to light?
[00:37:52] Julie: And then your promise, which is your Pitt promise, is am I actually going to be able to back up what it is that I'm [00:38:00] saying? Is this brand going to be able to see a return on investment with what it is that they are investing in? And that could be with conversion that could be with brand awareness. Again, this depends on.
[00:38:10] Julie: What's important for the brand. It's your job as the content creator, to be asking these questions, to figure that out, but making sure that you're executing on that promise that you're telling them,
[00:38:20] Hala: I love this so many great pitching tips and speaking of pitching. So assuming everybody does that take your course, they listen to this podcast, they start getting some offers, then they're going to have to negotiate.
[00:38:32] Hala: Right? That's the next. And in your book, you talk a lot about negotiation. It's called get what you want. It comes out in June. Why did you decide to write this book?
[00:38:41] Julie: This book was something that had been, I think in me for a while. I didn't know how I would do it or when I would do it or what I would necessarily say, but I always knew why.
[00:38:53] Julie: Obviously being a book, publicist books, I've always loved books. I've always loved working with authors in that way. And [00:39:00] I am a communicator at heart. That is my art form. It is the way that I connect with the world. I do that through speaking, just like you do on podcasts and on stages. And I do it through writing.
[00:39:09] Julie: And so. In some ways, uh, it felt very natural to write a book because that is how I connect with people. And then in other ways it was incredibly terrifying and scary to put yourself out there. It's, in some ways, it's, it's a lot easier just to kind of be a strategist and a marketer and kind of have the vault up when it comes to everything else, but to peel back the layers and to really show people more of my story and more of a side of me.
[00:39:32] Julie: And most importantly, I, I felt like a lot of times when I would read books like this, they would do a really good job. Helping me align my goals with my purpose or my passion. But a lot of times they didn't leave me feeling good about myself. They actually left me feeling very overwhelmed, like I wasn't doing enough.
[00:39:51] Julie: And so I wanted just to bring a lot of worthiness into this book that you really are enough as you are just in this moment. And that [00:40:00] is enough to get what you want. There's just probably a couple of steps or some mindset stuff that we have to work through, which we share in the book, but it is.
[00:40:08] Hala: I love that.
[00:40:09] Hala: And I loved reading your book. what is your best tips in terms of setting a price when it comes to negotiation? And this is super interesting, especially when it comes to influencers, which I'd love for you to kind of take that angle, because I think a lot of influencers don't understand how to price themselves.
[00:40:25] Hala: Yes.
[00:40:26] Julie: So I had to do an entire chapter on negotiation in the book because it's such a core element of my program pitch. Perfect. And just as a core element in my method of pitching and, and how I pitch. And it's probably the biggest takeaway over the last, since 2016, however many years, the thousands of students that have gone through the program.
[00:40:47] Julie: The biggest feedback that I hear is Julie. You gave me the confidence to know my. And to ask for what I wanted and to get it. And that really does stem from this art of negotiation. And [00:41:00] for me, I think the most important piece when it comes to negotiating, especially for influencers, is to remember that it's, there's not a one size fits all the art of negotiation is super relative.
[00:41:10] Julie: There's a lot of factors that go into it that are super unique to the deal that you are talking about. The scope of work. The terms, the licensing, I mean, there's so much that goes into that. The key feedback that I can give anyone that's listening is that the biggest thing that I always tell people is never throw out a price because when you throw out a price, you immediately lose any opportunity that you have of negotiating because you just showed all your cards.
[00:41:38] Julie: So I always recommend asking the brand what their rate is first, seeing what they come back with. And a lot of times I've had students that are like, I asked the brand, what their rate was for this deal. And they're paying me five times more than what I was going to tell them that my rate was. It's fascinating.
[00:41:58] Julie: What can happen when [00:42:00] you throw that back on them? Because a lot of times we're undervaluing ourselves. I always say to my students, whatever, whatever you think you need to charge, double it. And then we'll start from there. I love that role. Yes. Because someone can always say no or not now to you. But the biggest key.
[00:42:15] Julie: And I'll get back to my solution to that. But I want to say this with negotiating. If you're throwing a number out and someone is immediately saying yes to you, you're undervaluing yourself and you're underpricing what it is. It should hurt them a little bit to say yes to the number that you're throwing out.
[00:42:30] Julie: You should be negotiating the price if they're just saying yeah, no. Like you're undervaluing yourself. And so you want to get to a place where you're actually negotiating not only the price, but the terms and the deliverables and, and everything that's included in that. So it's mutually beneficial. So instead of throwing out a number, you want to first ask them what they're charging, if they don't give you that, and they keep pushing back to you to give them a number, you don't give them a number.
[00:42:58] Julie: You give them a range. [00:43:00] So, okay. Based off of what we've talked about and everything that you want me to do, it's going to cost between X and X and then you leave it open. That's where you can start to negotiate because if they come back and they say, okay, we want to give you $500 for this. It's like, well, actually, if all you have is $500, then I need to take X, Y, and Z off of this because I can't do all of this for $500.
[00:43:22] Julie: I can do all of it for $1,500, but I can't do all of it for five. So you get to decide brand, what is it that you want? And again, it's the spotlight method. We're putting it back on them to have the opportunity to make their choice. And what happens when people feel like they're in charge and when they feel like they're making the choices, it makes them feel good about the decision that they're making.
[00:43:44] Julie: So it's really about letting them decide. And it's like, you're still getting what you want because you're protected by the range that you threw out to them, but you're letting them decide where they want to meet. You have.
[00:43:55] Hala: Yeah, these are some really, really great tips. I think the other thing that I would add, especially for these [00:44:00] niche, micro-influencers, don't forget if a brand is trying to specifically target the audience that you cater to.
[00:44:06] Hala: So let's say you're like an animal influencer and like, all you do is talk about cats and dogs and all of your fans are animal lovers. You can charge like 50 X to the cat and dog brands out there. Whereas like some general car company that wants to sponsor you, you're going to have to be like standard.
[00:44:24] Hala: But if it's like somebody who's actually trying to target your exact audience, you can charge a lot, lot more money because you have to think they're usually advertising to the 2% of the audience that might be interested in their brand. Not the a hundred percent of the audience that is interested in their brand.
[00:44:39] Hala: So that's the other thing. I think people forget off.
[00:44:42] Julie: Oh, there's so much power in the niche. And I think what you said, it's that it speaks volumes. It's so powerful. It's so important. And the data doesn't lie. It's like instead of targeting only 2% of your audience, you're going to be targeting 100% of your, of your ideal audience.
[00:44:57] Julie: And there's a lot of value in. [00:45:00]
[00:45:00] Hala: Yeah, 100%. Okay. So as we close out this interview, I'd love for you to share a transformational story of yours that I read in your book that I thought was really touching. And it was about you hiding $30,000 of credit card debt from your husband, and it unlocked a toxic origin story for you about money and success.
[00:45:17] Hala: Can you talk to us about.
[00:45:19] Julie: Yeah. So I actually kick off the book with this story that I thought it was important to share it and put it in the book because I think it's so easy to see someone online or on social media that you start to like make up this fantasy about their life, that like they make all this money and they have this and they have that.
[00:45:36] Julie: But sometimes you don't really know what's happening behind the scenes. And for me, what that looks like. Because of my origin story of just having a very scarce mindset around money, not understanding money, not thinking that I was worthy of money. I've always been really good at making money, but I haven't been really good at budgeting the money.
[00:45:55] Julie: And so what would happen for me is that I would get a bunch of money and then I would spend it as [00:46:00] fast as I could make. And this really just comes from this core belief that I had, that I wasn't worthy of the money. And I think that happens a lot of time with women. You'll either see women get it and spend it immediately, or you'll see them get it.
[00:46:13] Julie: And it's like, they kind of just stock pilot, like underneath the bed in a shoe box because they're so afraid to spend it at all. And there's really a balance to me. I really think now getting to the other side of all this money is really meant to be used. And so at the time what was happening was that I was overspending money that I did not have, I would make money.
[00:46:32] Julie: And then I would spend that plus and over the. I have about two-ish years, I amassed over $30,000 of credit card debt. And I kept it hidden from my husband and we were in the process of free financing, a house he found out. And I had to really sit with a lot of, just a lot of that stuff that was coming up.
[00:46:53] Julie: I couldn't deny it anymore. I couldn't be delusional about it anymore. I had to really face. Some hard truths [00:47:00] about me and my relationship with money and my relationship with being worthy of money and understanding money. And I couldn't use that excuse of my origin story of, oh, I grew up in my parents, didn't have a lot of money and I'm a financial toddler and I'm not good with math.
[00:47:16] Julie: You know, I couldn't use those excuses anymore. To keep me from learning at least conceptually about money if I wanted to have a business. And so what that looks like for me now is like, I have people on my team who I've learned a lot about money and I've learned where my strengths are with money and where my challenges are with money.
[00:47:36] Julie: And so I, now I have people on my team that support me to make sure. I do understand, and that I do budget. And then I do streamline and that I do keep a profit first mindset and that I do pay myself first because that's really the whole point of having a business that thrives in making impact is like, make sure that you pay yourself first, so you can have a life of abundance.
[00:47:58] Julie: And so you can give back and you [00:48:00] can keep this train running. That's kind of the gist of that and, and the origin story behind that and just all of my limiting beliefs around money. And it's still a work in progress. I think it was probably easy for me to feel like I had gotten really far from that. But even now that I'm promoting the book and I'm talking about it, like there's still things that come up that it's like, I don't think that we're ever done growing and learning.
[00:48:23] Julie: There's always going to be a next level. And so I think this is something that a lot of women I know, deal with and face. And I mean, Halloween we've talked about it. I mean, you had. You know, happened with you when you were first kind of starting out with figuring out how to make the money and how to balance the money and all of that.
[00:48:38] Julie: So I think it's a story that maybe not everyone's hiding credit cards from their husband, but I think that they can relate to that fear and that shame around money.
[00:48:49] Hala: Yeah. And I love how your book kind of walks everyone through a transformation they can make to become more successful in their lives and pitch themselves.
[00:48:57] Hala: And so I think a great way to kind of end. [00:49:00] Uh, before we go into the final questions of the show is talk to us about why you need to be your own main publicist. Why do you need to be your own publicist?
[00:49:08] Julie: Yeah. You know, I taught, I call it BYOP be your own publicist. And to me it's really simple. And this just kind of comes back to a confidence piece that if you're not going to teach toot your own horn, who is, it really does have to begin with you.
[00:49:22] Julie: It has to begin with. Advocating for yourself saying what you want saying what you need, meaning what you say with clarity, with confidence, with security, getting really clear about what is it that I want and being able to, to advocate for that. And I think that the. From my experience, not only just being a publicist, but just through my own journey, it has to begin with you most publicists that I know it's like they can't even really do much for somebody.
[00:49:49] Julie: If someone hasn't laid that foundation first for themselves and have really learned, especially in this day and age hollow, like how to brand themselves, how to speak for themselves, how to [00:50:00] be clear about their messaging, how to be clear about their marketing and how to promote themselves. That's really, I think the important piece.
[00:50:07] Julie: And if anyone's having any trouble with that, I would just encourage you to ask yourself, why are you so afraid to be seen you can't hide yourself and expect to be seen. So why are you so afraid to give yourself that gift of shining and see where that leads
[00:50:24] Hala: you? I love that. Well, this was such an awesome conversation.
[00:50:28] Hala: We always end the interview with a couple of questions that we ask all of our guests. The first one is. What is one actionable thing that our young and profits can do today to be more profiting tomorrow?
[00:50:39] Julie: I would say definitely keep a profit first mindset. So that means when you make money, you've got to pay yourself first.
[00:50:45] Julie: So getting clear on that, and that's going to keep that profit going. So remembering that paying yourself first is important.
[00:50:52] Hala: I love that. And what is your secret to profiting in life? And this could be anything. It could be financial, personal.
[00:50:58] Julie: I think profiting in [00:51:00] life is. The more ease that I have in my life.
[00:51:03] Julie: The more that I can just trust the process, the more that I can let go. And the more ease that I allow into situations to things to my business, I feel like the more abundant and the more profitable it becomes,
[00:51:18] Hala: um, ease. I like that. Well, thank you so much, Julie. This was such a great conversation and congratulations on your new book.
[00:51:25] Hala: I'm going to stick all your links in our show notes. Where can our listeners go learn more about you and everything that you do?
[00:51:31] Julie: They can go to Julie solomon.net. That is my website. And on that website, you will find everything on how you can work with me from just amazing free content that I have. I would love to share.
[00:51:43] Julie: I have a five step guide on gaining clarity, building confidence, and achieving your goals. If you want to start there, you can go to Julie solomon.net/clarity. It is a 45 minute audio guide with a downloadable worksheet that will kind of help you lay the foundation. Got a ton of free stuff. My podcast, the [00:52:00] influencer podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts, I know that you guys are obviously podcasts listeners, so definitely check out the influencer podcast and then Julie solomon.net.
[00:52:09] Julie: You'll also see the pitch program there. It's pitch it. Perfect is the name of the course. And then I'm on Instagram. That's where I tend to spend most of my time. So it's at Jules, J U L S Solomon S O L O M. Feel free to slide into my DMS. I'm in there a lot. My team's in there a lot. That's where we really love to communicate with people.
[00:52:31] Hala: Amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you.
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