Since quarantine began I’ve been asked to go live with some of my favorite folks: Entrepreneur Magazine, Gary Vee, John Lee— opportunities where I knew so many people would be tuned in! Not only would I have to be on my A game since we’re live, but because most of these asks came kinda last minute, I had to have my lighting and background game on point too!
This past week I shared with Forbes some of my tips for finding the very best place in your house to do lives & zoom calls. I love that Forbes writer Amanda featured all women for this article & am always so honored to be asked my tips and tricks.
But how did we get here?
Forbes first reached out to me in 2017, asking me to share my DIY at home face mask. I was so excited I almost didn’t believe it. Once I realized that you cannot both have an @forbes.com email address and be a scam, I was stoked. I didn’t even ask how she found me, but I imagine it had something to do with googling “DIY organic skincare expert”, because that’s what I was focused on putting out into the world at the time.
The deadline was reasonable. The whole thing needed to be invented, written, and submitted by… tomorrow. Could I include some professional photos of myself and the mask too, they asked?
Totally (she says, having absolutely no idea if or how that’s possible.)
I accepted that challenge, and added one for myself. Instead of getting it to them the next day, I was determined to do it sooner. I tried to bribe a friend to come over to take the photos. When that failed, I put it on a self-timed tripod in my bathroom, clicked away, and edited the photos myself. Then I sent the photos, the DIY and the article contents back to the editor who had reached out to me.
And I waited.
Just because you submit to a major publication – even one that reaches out to you – that doesn’t mean they will ever publish what you submit. There are 1,000 reasons it could get cut, and it often does. I’ve written pieces for The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and The New York Times, to name few major publications, that never saw the light of day. I had no reason to think this would be any different.
The other thing they don’t tell you is that you are rarely – if ever – actually informed if your piece does, indeed, get published. Instead, I searched my name in Forbes daily, facing a blank screen every day for weeks.
Until one day I refreshed… and there I was! My face, my name, my creation, right there on the screen!
Little did I know it wouldn’t be the last time.
Now, less than 3 years after my first feature, if you type my name in Forbes.com, a handful of articles come up. They range from my book recommendations to my office space to my favorite place to take meetings. I’m proud of each and every one of them.
And I get the question practically every day… how do you go from never being in a major publication at all to being in it four times?
Here are some takeaways from the last 3 years:
1. Do it for free first
I had been writing articles at The Organic Life since 2011 – and on my old, personal blog on LiveJournal for ten years before that – since 2001.
There is literally no such thing as an overnight success. The people you see on the cover of magazines or writing articles for major publications or being interviewed did a LOT of work for absolutely no money before anyone took notice. Consistency is key. If you do something for a week or a month or even a year, no one will think of you for it years later, because people need to constantly be reminded of what you do and who you are.
If I didn’t share my DIY skincare articles for free for years, how would anyone at Forbes have ever even known I did them? When they were looking for someone to feature, how would I ever have come to mind? I wouldn’t have.
Do it for free. People are paying attention, I promise.
I will never forget the fact that I got that entire article over to the editor the same day she asked for it… and I highly doubt she forgot that either.
It’s likely why someone reached out to me just a few months later for my second feature… and again for my third and my fourth.
ALWAYS over-deliver. Whether it’s submission date, word count or expertise, there is no such thing as too much. They can always cut out what they don’t need, but you never want to disappoint. This is how you stay top of mind without PR or a major marketing team.
3. Constant Content
This can’t be overstated… if you can, constantly produce content. When I first got asked to be in Forbes I was writing for and featured in other publications at the time as well like Readers Digest, Teen Vogue, Essence Magazine, Travel & Leisure and more. I was writing 5-10 articles a week (even knowing some of them may never see the light of day) plus doing campaigns for my blog, Instagram and Facebook.
Every piece of content you produce gives people an extra opportunity to see and notice you. If you have more than one expertise, even better. You never know what will really hit and stick! A few years ago everyone wanted my opinion on skincare and now it’s mostly business and entrepreneurship related because that is the content I am putting out into the world.
Also, if you create a course, book, e-book, or event, once you do get into the publication of your dreams, you’ll have something to offer the audience who finds you.
4. Treat Everyone the Same Way
To be honest, I didn’t even know this latest article was going to be published in Forbes. The editor reached out to me, asked if I could submit something for her, and once again I did it same-day. I never even asked her what it was for… because truthfully, it didn’t matter to me. Produce high quality content the same way for everyone, and eventually, you’ll get pleasantly surprised.
So, that’s how I did it. Years of hard work for no pay, consistency in my content, over delivery and treating the article LIKE it was going to be in Forbes (even though I didn’t actually know that it was!)
(P.S. Let me know if this was helpful for you and I’ll share more like it!)