Friday, May 4, 2018

How to Pitch Yourself to the Media by Pam Perry

You want to get on major television shows or featured in magazines but how do you cut through the clutter? How do you find the right media contacts? How do you attract media attention over and over again?

Here are three tips to help you get the PR you desire:

1. Connect with people. Yes, journalists, producers, and editors are just people. They are people that want to do a good job for their media outlets. So, make them a hero. Offer help even when you don’t want something. It’s good old-fashioned networking. One way to make yourself stand out is to provide useful tips and information when you aren’t trying to push for coverage. Give them some “scoop” or new trending information about your industry or introduce them to someone you know might be useful for their beat or show. Be a resource. People don’t like people who only call them when they need something. Also, most media are on Twitter. Try retweeting their stories; this helps their numbers. Remember, their bosses are watching the responses they’re getting from their stories or segments. Help them out!

2. Be a good storyteller. Don’t just pitch stuff so you can be “famous.” Be a person that has stories that will connect with their audience. Be as visual as possible with your words. Be funny; be interesting and practical. Hire a media coach or join something like Toast Masters or the Black Speakers Network if you need help getting your public speaking skills upgraded. Those who tell the best stories, win. Hands down.

3. Write short pitches. When you find a reporter or producer you’d like to pitch (I suggest reading the publication or listening/watching their shows first) and address them by their name. Tell them in bullet points why you think your story would interest their audience. Don’t write too much in an email. Make it a: 30 seconds read and offer to send additional information if they’re interested. They’ll appreciate your brevity and will reach out if it’s something they can use. If not, don’t take it personally. Follow up in 48 hours to see if they’ve read it and try CALLING and leaving the same pitch but only in a voice mail. If they don’t respond, again, don’t take it personally. Keep it moving.

The key to pitching any media is about fit and following. If you match the right media with your message and the timing is right. You have a hit. Next time, I’ll talk about what to give the media in a press kit. About Pam Perry: An award-winning PR Coach who can help you build your platform, package your expertise, pitch you to media, put you on stages, produce your podcast and promote you so you can get PAID! 

Visit Twitter: @pamperry

You are the CEO of a Company called Me Inc. By Arika Pierce

At this year’s Boss on Campus event, I presented a workshop on each of us is the CEO of a company called ME, INC. This is one of the first topics I discuss in my new book, The Millennial’s Playbook to Adulting because I believe it’s critical to maximize your potential and take control of your life, simply by behaving like a C-suite executive.

There are five key ways to do this.

1. BUILD A POWERHOUSE BRAND. Every great company has a brand. This is the perception customers have about a product or service. As CEO’s of ME, INC you also need a strong personal brand, which is how people describe you when you are not around. Think about the characteristics and qualities you want to be known for, and work towards aligning them with everything you do.

2. CREATE A PERSONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS. Most companies have a board of directors or advisors who are not involved in the day-to-day running of the business, but who have a vested interest in the business doing well. You need the same type of board for ME, INC. A group of people who can offer you different types of advice and counsel. Mentors are a part of your board, but a strong board should include a mix of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, etc.

. A dream without a plan is just a dream. As CEO of ME, INC you will need a plan to help you reach your goals. The plan can take a variety of shapes or form. For example, for many creating a vision board is the best way to see your goals and track the progress you are making towards your goals.

4. BE YOUR MOST LOYAL CUSTOMER. Customer loyalty is the key to success of almost every company, and it is also key for ME, INC. This means you must have confidence in yourself, promote yourself and be your own best advocate, at all times.

5. ALWAYS EVOLVE. In business, there is a phrase often used called adapt or die. What this means is that for a company to thrive you have to constantly evolve. As CEO of ME, INC. you have to make sure you are always growing, changing, and transforming. Staying within your comfort zones could mean personal bankruptcy. So get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Find out more about Arika at

Twitter: themillennialPBso get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Dorinda Walker

Dorinda Walker is an Inspirational Warrior, Survivor, Community Advocate and Award Winning Corporate Executive. What is most compelling about her corporate position is the path she took to arrive there. In her first book “Protected by Purpose” Walker dives into her life story and provides the success secrets that allowed her to transition from a path to prison as a teenager to becoming one of the fastest rising brands in corporate America. 

1. What were some obstacles that you faced in balancing your corporate career and entrepreneurship?   I’m fortunate to have a successful career in Corporate America.  However, I knew that I didn’t want my career to be solely defined by what I do in the corporate world. I had a desire to advocate for those whose voices are suppressed, i.e., victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, physical and sexual abuse, etc. I want my legacy to be one of service and substance. The only obstacle I faced was having the courage to do it without knowing how it would impact my corporate career. I’m happy to report that it’s been widely embraced by my peers in Corporate America.   

2. What inspired you to become an author?   When I started sharing my story, I saw the positive impact it had on others. The first time I shared my story with a group of women, nearly 50 women stood in line and waited up to an hour to speak with me. The first woman stated, “no one knows this, but I’ve been contemplating suicide, but after hearing you speak, I know that’s not what God wants me to do.”  So many people are carrying shame and baggage from their past.  I now know that part of my purpose is to inspire individuals to let go, forgive and move on.

3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance? 
I don’t believe in work/life balance. It’s really about prioritization.  There will be times you have to sacrifice family time for career and times when you have to sacrifice your career for family.  The key is knowing and accepting this as part of the many obstacles that life is guaranteed to bring your way and having the faith to know that it will all work out because God will see you through.

4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by? 
“I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept” – Angela Davis  

5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? 
My husband first and foremost, he’s been my best friend and supporter for almost 30 years. I recently lost my grandmother. Although I was devastated by the loss, I am thankful to have spent 47 years of life with this phenomenal woman. She taught me the importance of love and kindness. No matter what difficulties she experienced, she always greeted others with a hug and a warm smile, she never hesitated to assist anyone in need or missed an opportunity to say, “I love you”. I will always be grateful to have known and loved her and will try my best to live by her example.

6. What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong? (1) Me time, I have to have at least 30 minutes per day to meditate and communicate with God. (2) A strong network of individuals who are doing big things, who I can learn from and inspire me to dream big. (3) Love and Laughter – Putting in the work is a given, but it’s meaningless if I don’t find the time to hug and love on the people who support me and take the time to laugh and enjoy life.

7. What is your definition of a BOSS? 
A woman who is unapologetic in owning her power and pursuing her dreams.

8. Provide us with two words that describe you?
Inspirational Warrior”

To learn more about Dorinda Walker: 

 Twitter @DorindaWalker

Thursday, May 3, 2018

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Bridgett McGowen

Bridgett McGowen is a published author and an international professional speaker.  Prior to launching her public speaking firm, BMcTALKS, LLC, she held positions as an educational technology thought leader and a faculty development consultant with an edtech company and a faculty member for the Texas A&M University System.

1.    What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
The number one obstacle I faced in the beginning process of starting my public speaking and presentation skills coaching firm, BMcTALKS, LLC, was knowing WHERE to start.  Do I need a website?  Should I speak for free?  Do I form an LLC?  The questions went on and on.  I resolved I would take it one step at a time; engage with others who were once similarly situated and who succeeded; and learn as much as possible about business ownership, networking, and marketing.  I quickly learned the following:  Do not wait for the perfect moment or for everything to be perfect.  Take one step, then another, and simply keep moving forward.

2.    What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
Since 2002, I have been a professional speaker and have made hundreds of presentations all across the country and around the globe, reaching thousands of professionals in corporate America and students, faculty, and administrators at four-year and two-year universities and colleges.  Prior to launching BMcTALKS, I was a faculty development consultant and, I made stops in over 30 states, one United States territory, and multiple countries where I facilitated professional presentations.  It was during this time I realized this was what I wanted to do on a full-time basis for myself.

In its years of operation since 2016, BMcTALKS is working hard to rival those numbers!  Thus far, as the owner of BMcTALKS, I have performed training and development for 28 different companies, educational institutions, and organizations and have presented workshops to more nearly 2,000 professionals and students.

3.    How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
While being self-employed means you do not have a day off, it simultaneously means if you want or need a day off, you are free to make that choice. However, it helps that I am an early riser, oftentimes starting my workday at the 2am or 3am hour, so by the time everyone else awakes, I have engaged in four or five hours of work.  Although I am very busy, I do not compromise when it comes to being there for my family.  And the same goes for friends when they need me.  One of my favorite ways to bring balance into my life is, when possible, my family travels with me on my business trips, extending our travel by a couple of days to enjoy each other and the city.  No matter how many workshops I conduct, webinars I present, or coaching sessions I facilitate, family birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, milestones, and accomplishments take top priority on my calendar. 

4.    What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
The Prayer of Serenity is one of my favorite reminders.  It clarifies for me that I should embrace all ideas, people, and challenges; make an impact when and where I can; and that I must understand when it is time for me to step back or to step up.

5.    Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
Three influential people who help and encourage me are husband and wife power team Damon and Kiala Givehand and my husband, Aaron Hawkins.  Damon and I were on a team together at an educational technology company, providing faculty and professional development to professors all over the country.  In 2013, Kiala saw me present at a conference in New Orleans where Damon and I were presenting along with our teammates, and she immediately told me I needed to start my own business.  I brushed it off, and we had a joke at the time about her surreptitiously purchasing my domain name then, when I came to my senses and decided to open the doors to my company, she would offer the URL to me for a ridiculously obscene amount!  Of course, being the amazing businesswoman and all-around incredibly friend that she is, she didn't do that, and we are friends to this day.  She and Damon are among my loudest cheerleaders.
In short, I could not do a tenth of what I do if it was not for my husband, Aaron.  If I want to do something, then he says, "Let's do it!"  If I want to change something, then he says, "Let's change it!"  If I'm wondering about something, he asks, "What are you thinking?"  No matter what plan, pondering, or consideration I take to him, he gives it plenty of thought, tells me what he thinks, and supports me 100%.  Period.  No matter what.  I am so very fortunate and could not ask for a more incredible sounding board, best friend, or partner in life.

6.    What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
My must-have is faith.  Holding strong to the knowledge everything will work out as it's supposed to work out is what keeps me strong and able to get up each day and do what I do, which is remaining honest, focused, and committed to helping others be better … helping others be seen, be heard, be great!  (Yes.  "Be seen.  Be heard.  Be great!"  Is my company's tagline.  I had to squeeze that in!)

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS is someone who is not afraid of hearing "no;" not afraid to take chances; not afraid of (or worried about!) the naysayers; not afraid of hard work; not afraid to ask "why;" not afraid to ask "why not;" not afraid to be vulnerable; not afraid to step out on faith; and not afraid to know she's fierce, bold, and talented and that there is absolutely no stopping her.

To find out more about Bridgett McGowen, visit her at:

Twitter: @1bmctalks


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Leadership that Blooms! By "BOSS Influencer" Yvette Gavin

“Leaders develop the ability to manage and lead themselves before they’re able to manage and lead others.” 

It’s spring! Barring the necessary pollen, it’s a welcome season for me because this is the time where I begin to re-calibrate; i.e., assess, adjust, and align. As I’m cleaning out the closet of old, worn out, or too small winter clothes and begin to fill my yard with blooming perennials, I go through a mental and emotional process that ultimately yield blooms in my personal and professional life.

Here’s how I do it:

 Assess – Evaluate how I'm doing with the goals I set in January. When I identify an area that lacks progress, I first ask: ‘Is this something I really want to accomplish?”  If the answer is no, then I remove it from my current goal list.  When it is something that I do want to achieve, I recommit myself to accomplishing the goal and move to the next step of adjusting.

Adjust –  This is the step where I plan behavioral changes that will allow me to make progress. Whether I am on track or off with any specific goal, I make adjustments. For instance, spring brings longer days, so even when I’m on track with a goal I often will increase efforts due to the fact that I have a little more daylight. When I’m off, I look for support; i.e., training, a book, or an accountability partner.

Align – This is the step where action is required. I strongly believe in dreams but I know they don’t turn into reality without action. My alignment step is where I align my mind and body and apply the plan I created during the adjustment step.
I am on a mission to help others achieve their personal and professional vision. I hope you’ll make the time this spring to assess, adjust and align. To help you in the process, we’re offering two webinars---The 15 Laws of Growth and Executive Presence for Women. These April courses will surely have you blossoming this year!   

To find out more about Yvette Gavin, visit her at:
Instagram: @yvette_gavin

Monday, April 30, 2018

How to Start a Hair Extension Business Online By "BOSS Influencer" Tamara Garrison-Thomas

Are you interested in starting a hair extension business but not sure where to start or if it will be profitable? Consider the following steps to get started.
  1. Educate yourself. Learn more about hair textures, styles and origins. You want to be an expert to your customer so make it your goal to learn more about hair extensions. For this you can check out my official Virgin Hair Guide. Learn more about wholesale and retail and your potential profit. The market is NOT saturated. Believe it or not there are not a lot of companies actually making money in this industry. So, prepare to position yourself to start right with a long term plan to be a part of the successful few.
  2. Find a vendor. Finding a vendor is one of the most important parts of starting a hair extension business. You want to make sure the vendor provides hair that your target market will love and want to buy again. Make sure the vendors wholesale pricing will allow you to price your hair high enough for profit! Avoid the headaches of going through vendor after vendor and check out our Little Black Book of Hair Vendors.
  3. Make a business plan. Remember, without a plan, plan to fail. A plan will help you map out your business for the first year or more. This will include your price list, expenses, your mission statement and how you will stand out in the industry! If you need a business plan specifically for the hair extension industry you can see our Business Plan for the Hairpreneur.
  4. Get to work! Now would be the time to get everything setup for your online business. From developing your brand to setting up a website and your social media accounts.
  5. Set a launch date! Set a date to officially launch and stick to this date! Decide if you will have a party of a virtual launch but make it a big deal! You’re an entrepreneur now. Time to get to work and start selling some hair!

For more Information and our free guide, Build Your Hair Brand in 7 Steps, visit The #1 Resource for HAIRpreneurs!

To find out more about Tamara Garrison-Thomas, visit her at:
Instagram: @maneelementz