Christina Lenkowski is a seasoned publicity professional who works with entrepreneurs to help them increase their visibility and build their expert status through podcast guesting. In this episode, Christina talks about her j...
Christina Lenkowski is a seasoned publicity professional who works with entrepreneurs to help them increase their visibility and build their expert status through podcast guesting.
In this episode, Christina talks about her journey as a business owner, starting in an agency where she delivered publicity services, to creating an online course, and finally pivoting to delivering high-touch one-on-one services, following the desires of her ideal clients.
Christina shares lots of valuable insight into how to make podcast guesting work for you as a marketing strategy, where to look for perfectly aligned shows that help you shine in your expertise, how to show up for a guest opportunity, and how to create a pitch that a show host can’t resist.
As a business owner, Christina has consciously disrupted the status quo, evolving her business “backwards” from passive income to high-touch, and by offering a guarantee that she is passionate about delivering.
And finally, Christina shares some important advice for business owners who are confused or overwhelmed with all of the opportunities and strategies for marketing your business.
Take a listen and join me in this delightful conversation with Christina!
Find Christina at…
Quiet Rebels Podcast: https://maikeetsang.com/podcast/
Visit Stephanie at https://stephaniehayes.biz/
Did you love the content in this episode and would like to continue the conversation?
I'd love to get to know you better!
Book a free call with Stephanie to chat about your strategy and what's next for you in your business.
Learn more about Stephanie here.
Welcome to the Real People, Real Business Show, where we're talking with business owners who are in the trenches. Everyday people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively building and growing their business and is here to share their experiences, lessons, wisdom, and guidance. So you can be inspired to take action towards your own goals Today, I'm so excited to welcome Christina Lenkowski. Christina is a forward-thinking publicity, strategist and educator for entrepreneurs, speakers, and authors, looking to expand their credibility and go from best kept secret to go-to expert in their industries. After 13 years working in the PR realm, Christina discovered what being a guest on podcasts did for her online based business. Since then she's dedicated her work to helping other business owners see the same kind of results. I love this because I love podcasting. Welcome to the show, Christina, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today.Christina Lenkowski:
Thank you, Stephanie. I'm so, so excited to be on here, talking to your audience, talking about my story. Just helping them learn all about what podcasts have done for me and my business and what maybe they can do in their business toStephanie Hayes:
yeah. I'm with you on that. I have I discovered podcasting and discovered my, you know, being expert on podcasts and how much I love it. And honestly, if that was my marketing strategy, I would be super, super happy. So tell me a little bit about kind of your journey. Tell us how we gotChristina Lenkowski:
here. How did we get to this magical place of where I am right now? Yes, I would basically how I like to start my story is that my mom was right. What I mean by that is. When I was growing up, my mom was the director of this big nonprofit in Oregon, which is where, where I'm from. And she said I really think that you're going to work in PR one day. And I was like, mom, you don't even know me. Like you don't get it. Like I'm going to work in journalism. Like I'm going to be a journalist. Everyone knows it. Like I'm a writer, blah, blah, blah, blah. Went to school for journalism was editor of the paper, all this stuff. And as you may already know, just even from hearing me already, I am an extrovert. I love, love, love to talk to people, be around people. That's where I definitely get a lot of energy from like COVID was like my nightmare, like having to be in my house all by myself, not well, I mean, I guess I had my family, but whatever, you know, but besides them, you know, all by myself and not able to be around other folks. And so when I was on with college, I went and traveled around the world for a little over a year and I came back home and I was offered to, I was lucky enough to be offered to. And one was as a copy editor for a paper in Oregon. And the other one was as in the publicity department for a large comics publisher in Portland. And I've thought about it and I thought about it and I really thought about me and what I would want. And I ended up taking the publicity jobs so that I could be around other people, go to events. Like I got to go work at comic con and do all these really cool things. And that's really what set me on that PR journey. And my mom was absolutely right because PR was the perfect mix for me of being able to write, but then also being able to be social and be out at events and be just out in front of people. And so I started that out with my mom was right, because she absolutely was. And that was the journey that I took. And so that's why I'm like, huh. Okay. Well, I guess we'll just see how this goes. All right. Well, I will continue on about my journey.Stephanie Hayes:
All right. So I love you. I love this story. The mom thing,Christina Lenkowski:
the, the, the real message at the end is that moms are always right. What I did is after working for PR agencies for about 13 years. After I had my daughter, I was like, all right, I'm ready to go off on my own. I don't want to be a senior account exec and an agency anymore. And so I did, I went off on my own to freelance and I did what probably some of your listeners did. And that is I decided to create my own online course. And so I was like, perfect. I'm going to create a course on tourism, public relations, tourism PR. That's what my area of expertise is. And so I did that. I spent all this time, previous course did all this. And even though my course was about publicity, you guys, my course was about publicity. When it came to launching, I did no publicity because, and I'll tell you my reason why is because all the people that I was learning, how to do courses from didn't talk about publicity as a way to market their course, or a way to market their business or anything like that. So I was. Oh, well, this must, you know, these people know what they're doing. Like, you know, they made seven figures from doing this. Like they obviously know what they're doing. And so I was like, all right, I'm not going to focus on that. I'm just going to focus on the ads and I'm going to focus on, you know, getting out on social media and stuff like that. And while I did all. And it was an absolute failure. Like I spent so much money so much time. Only had a couple people join my course. And so the next time that I went to launch it, I was like, okay, this time I'm doing it my way. And so I started getting myself, booked on podcasts, started getting myself out there. And the difference in my launch was night and day. I had people actually seeking me out. People asking if they could hire me. One-on-one it just was a completely different ball game because people were hearing me on podcasts and they were connecting. Right. They were connecting with what I had to say. They like to, I was, they liked my personality. So they were reaching out to me to ask about how they could work with me or better yet. They were just going to buy. Like, I would just suddenly have, you know, a sale and I would be like, wait, what, and who was that person? You know, where are they even come from and realize that they'd come from a podcast that I had been on. And so this was all happening. And I kind of started to think. All right. I feel like people need to understand what publicity is, what they can be doing in their business with it, et cetera, et cetera. And COVID hit. So when COVID hit, I was still working in that tourism PR industry. And as you can imagine, tourism went away when COVID hit tourism was, was gone. And so I had already been thinking I was going to do this pivot, but that just absolutely pushed me right into being like, all right, now I'm going to start talking about podcasting and how other people, particularly women can get out there on podcasts and spread the word about their own businesses. And so I started teaching how to do that. I had live masterclasses. Those were great. They were really fun. I loved doing that, but eventually I had enough people just ask me, so could you just do it that I started to provide as a service to do the pitching. And that's where our business has grown to where it is now and the agency that we have now. Pitching all kinds of clients out to get on aligned podcasts. And we absolutely love it, but really my goal is to help what I call traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs. So that's women, LGBTQIA and members of the BiPOC community, get their voices out onto the airwaves because people need to hear their stories.Stephanie Hayes:
I love this because one of the, when I teach my, my, my clients in my courses, how to do marketing, that feels much better for them. We kind of look at marketing with two sides, right? There's kind of like your creative work, your content that you create. The, you know, that that's where a lot of people stay because it's safe, right? This is, this is the Instagram posts and the, if I just keep making blog posts and there's this, there's a strategy around that, for sure. But that is, that is more brand strengthening, right? Like that is, what's gonna get people to know you once they find you, but they have to find you. And so the other side of that is what I call visibility, which is really. The same thing, right? Like it's the, it's the, all the different places that you can show up and borrow other people's audiences to bring them into your sphere where they then can get to know you even better. And, and what I love about what your kind of preaching is that you start with. With a medium where someone is going to have the best chance of getting to know you. And I think podcasts are really that because you get to be dynamic and active and have a conversation and, you know, imagine a client sort of checking you out and hearing you speak, and they already have a sense of what it's going to be like to work with you. Right. I love that this is your focus because it's the, it is the challenge for a lot of entrepreneurs because it feels scary. It feels uncomfortable. It's the side of marketing that people don'tChristina Lenkowski:
want to do. They don't, they don't, they just want it to happen. They just want it to happen naturally. You know, they're like, no, I think if I just do all this other stuff enough, something will go viral or whatever, and it'll just happen. But that's, that's, you know, not really the way that it works. Just like you said, you, you have to put yourself out there and. You know, my kind of advice to people that are in that mindset is, you know, a lot of times they think they're thinking about the worst thing that could happen. Right? Like I stumble over my words or, you know someone's someone sees something and they don't like what they see or who am I to be doing whatever. And the thing that I always like to say to that is truly in my mind, the worst that can happen is you don't put yourself out there. Because you will not get in front of new people. You will not get that voice out there and make that connection with a new potential customer. I don'tStephanie Hayes:
know if you've ever read the power of moments, but it's a really great book and no I haven't. And what they talk about is. That the best opportunity to create connection with your clients is when you fuck up, right? When you have something that's a little off to the point where some of these CEOs were looking at the data and they were saying, let's intentionally fuck up, because then we're creating opportunities for us to delight our customers. So it's kind of the same thing. Like, I don't care if I get, if I show up on a podcast and then I say something funny, or my hair is off or whatever, I'm human, I'm human. And that makes me relatable. So it's almost. To be a little off, right?Christina Lenkowski:
Yes. That's true. That is exactly true. I mean, I, I'm going to stumble over words on this interview. I'm going to ramble for too long on something guaranteed. You know, there's, there's no question aboutStephanie Hayes:
it. I probably offended eightChristina Lenkowski:
people already. So yeah, I mean, between the two of us, there's 10 people that have ripped their air pods out and discussed already. You know, it, it absolutely is going to happen, but that is what is real. That is what people relate to. And that is why I get DMS from people that hear me on a podcast or my clients, you know, when someone hears them on a podcast because they related to something that they had to sayStephanie Hayes:
and some people won't and that's fine. Right. So how do we break down this. This resistance to doing the public, like you're in a good position because I think a lot of people want to just pay someone and say, just do it for me because this is hard. Right? What have I have rejected? What if I'm rejected? Or what if someone doesn't, what have I put out all these pitches and I hear nothing back, so puts you in a good position, but how do we get people past the resistance that they have to these visibility activities to the publicityChristina Lenkowski:
and PR? Sure. It's a great question. And I think that the first thing you need to realize is you are going to get rejected. And I think that it's important to. To recognize that that will happen and understand that it has nothing to do with you. And I think that that's, that's really, really, really a big thing for people to understand. Like, look, I wish that all the pitches I sent out for my clients got accepted, that would be fricking amazing. But unfortunately that is not the way that it works. And we might hear a no, or we might not hear anything at all, but that's, we can't take that personally. And the reason for that is because we don't know what's going on behind the scenes. There are a lot of podcast hosts out there that they're booked six months out. They're booked nine months out. They're not, they don't have the. To have someone else come on their show. So it's not that they don't like what you had to say. It's just that they really don't quite frankly have the room and beyond that, they might've also, if you're like, well, yeah, that's true. But they haven't spoken about this really important topic yet that I think their audience would find super valuable. That's great to pitch them on something like that. But here's the thing you don't know if they just had Sam whomever come on and talk about that same thing. It just has an air. So there are things out there that you just don't know. And so you can't take everything to heart or feel like it's a rejection or they ghosted me because I didn't like what I had to say. Something like that podcast hosts are human too. They're just trying to do this work, trying to get the best content that they possibly can out to their audience. And so I think a huge part of getting over that mind block of worrying about rejection is knowing you will get rejected, but along with getting rejected, you will get yeses and you will get the opportunity to get out in front of your audience.Stephanie Hayes:
The first name, right. We have to, we have to remember that. I think a lot of people go into marketing activities and they think. I need to track my ROI on all of these things. I actually tell them not to,Christina Lenkowski:
because I'm glad. ThankStephanie Hayes:
you. Because they like, it's more about how consistent have you been. And that is the key is like divorcing yourself from judging the value of your marketing activities on how many results you got right away, because we scared and we want to, and then that those numbers give us an excuse to back away. Oh, it's not a good business decision. But the thing is, is, is most of, most of our clients come from our communities where we're known, right. We come known and borrowing someone else's audience, whether it's a podcast or whether it's a webinar that you do together, or whether it's something else you're automatically going in with credit.Christina Lenkowski:
And it's, you know, every time I do it, my list increases by, you know, a number that I couldn't get just from, you know, putting out a piece of content. Right.Christina Lenkowski:
And, and they're better leads. They're they're warmer leads. Yeah,Stephanie Hayes:
for sure. And they usually convertChristina Lenkowski:
and they're yeah, go ahead. Sorry.Stephanie Hayes:
Well, I was going to say, so there's a, there's a perception that only extrovert. Are going to be good at PR. And I also call bullshit onChristina Lenkowski:
that. Yes, that's absolute bullshit. Yes. Before I get into why that's bullshit though, I wanted to mention, or just hop on one thing that you just said, which had to do with the kind of the ROI or that being such like a big thing that people like to track or things like that. That's one thing that's notoriously hard to track with publicity work. You know, we don't necessarily have a specific dollar amount that you can necessarily say was attributed to, you know, you being on X podcast episode or this or that. But how I like to look at publicity is have you ever read atomic habits by James? You know, it's such a great book, such a good book, but you know how he talks about how ice, right? Freezes it, 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero Celsius based on where you are in the world. You know, but before ice freezes, all this stuff is happening under the surface. And that is absolutely how I look at publicity. So before you kind of hit this tipping point of like you are the expert in your industry on X, Y, Z, or you're one of the experts in your industry on XYZ, you are doing all these things underneath where people are finding you, they're opening up new opportunities, asking you to guest in summits, asking you to co-host a workshop. Like you said, other things that are coming in there, and then you hit this kind of tipping point where suddenly you are the expert in that. And that's all through consistent visibility work. So it's not necessarily that you can say, oh, I was on this podcast and that brought me in a thousand dollars. That's not necessarily how publicity works. It's much more along the lines of, okay. That helped me build my credibility. Now I'm going to make sure I have this on my website. I have this over here so that people can see, and these are just going to be those building blocks up to helping me become that expert.Stephanie Hayes:
Absolutely. So talk to me aboutChristina Lenkowski:
extroverts now. Let's talk about extroverts and introverts. I would say that. Half of our clients, I'm sure would fall into the introvert realm. There's no question about it. You do not have to be an extrovert to be a guest on podcasts. People just think that extroverts like myself are more naturally inclined and Stephanie are more naturally inclined to it because quite frankly, we like to talk you know, we like to chat with people. We like to, you know, have those types of conversations, but Andrew loves to have conversations too, right? They just need to be comfortable. They just need to feel more comfortable in that environment, but they absolutely want to have those conversations be out there. And the big thing that I tell my introverts that, that, you know, they're usually so, so, so introspective too, they know themselves really, really well, which is amazing, amazing quality of introverts. But the thing that I like to say to them is like what you need to focus on. It's not about you. It is not about. It is about the value that you're bringing to this audience and what I always say and what I always preach to any of my clients is when you go into an interview, it is service over self promotion. And that helps a lot of people in any phase. It doesn't matter if they're an extroverted introvert. It really helps them to remember that they are bringing value to the audience and that this is for the audience. And it is not about sellingStephanie Hayes:
themselves. It's about becoming known right. And own known because you spoke about something. That was different or that was inspirational, or you told these stories. So I agree. Most of my clients are introverts, which is really funny when I envisioned building this coaching business, I envisioned all people like me who were just like, but as it turns out, a lot of introverts are attracted to me because they are seeking someone who has that command. Type of personality, right? Who's going to tell them what to do. Not because they're not super smart and can figure it out on their own, but it's just that piece of their right. And so they are quite resistant to the, to the visibility work, but once they realize how comfortable it can be and how they, they don't have to talk about themselves, I think that's part of it. Right. It's the idea of talking. It's the idea of talking about themselvesChristina Lenkowski:
a hundred percent? Yes. A hundred percent. And I will say for anyone that's an introvert, that's, you know, visibility work-wise or really great podcasts to listen to as well. That will kind of help you with that as called quiet rebels by make a saying. And that is a great, great show. She is an introvert. She talks like specifically about introverts getting visible. So that's a really, really cool show that I'll recommend outStephanie Hayes:
there. Great. We'll put that in the show notes. I'd love to it myself. Yeah. Awesome. So what can make, what, what makes. This kind of work successful. Like what, what can people do to be more successful with the interviews that they land over with? You know, some of the opportunities they get to be visible.Christina Lenkowski:
Absolutely. I think there's a couple things. The first is be strategic about who shows you go on. And, and I think that that's really important because when, when we start this work, a lot of times people just think they need to get on a bunch of podcasts. Like I just need to get out another pocket so I can get on, you know, whoever will have me. Like that's, you know, that's what I want to do. And that's not to say like, look, if your buddy has a podcast and you want to be on their podcast, be on their pocket, like, you know, do, do what you want to do. But when it comes down to where you're spending your time, make sure that you're getting in front of your ideal customers. So make sure that you're getting in front of people that want to hear what you have to say. Don't get hung up on the size of the podcast. A truly does not matter. It really is who is listening to this podcast. I would every single time rather get in front of a podcast that has a hundred downloads of my ideal customers than some show with 10,000 downloads of people that don't give a shit about what I have to say. So I think that this is a very, very important thing is to think strategically about where you are pitching, where you're putting yourself out there and who you're getting in front of so that you are making as much conversion as possible. The other thing that I really think is important is building that relationship with the host. So it is a lot of work to put on a podcast. Now if you don't have your own podcasts, I understand that you don't really know that, or, you know, you, you might think it just seems kind of like, oh, what, I don't know what you mean. I just, they turn on the mic and they talk and the, and then they turn it off and it's done. And it is not that there is a lot, a lot of stuff that goes into it. So first and foremost, I want to come to a podcast interview in a space of grads. I am grateful that Stephanie is letting me get in front of her audience so that I can give them some knowledge and some value over for me. I'm grateful for her, for taking this opportunity all the time, the work that she's going to put into it. And one of the best things that I can do is, and I will do this. Once we hit end on our interview is I will thank her, but then I will also ask her, how can I support you? What can I do that? That is going to help. Do you want me to come in and do a training for your clients? Do you want to do an Instagram live the day that this goes live? What is it that that can help you and, and get in front, you know, provide more value to your audience. And I think that that's also a really, really great way to be getting the most out of the interviews that you do. Our clients have seen such amazing results from doing this at the end of their interviews, from coming from a space of gratitude and how can they genuinely support the host. They've gotten clients that way. They've taught a master classes that way they've had all these experiences that have come from that. So I think that's a really simple thing that a lot of people miss is not, not taking the host and that relationship into account.Stephanie Hayes:
I love that. And I love the idea of coming from a place of service. I find that in all of your marketing activities, that. Infinitely more successful than coming from. And actually it makes, it makes marketing activities feel a lot more approachable and doable for people who are already uncomfortable with the idea of like jazz hands. And they're, they're like, well, I can do that. And it feels good. And by the way, that's one of the best ways for you to find clients is to be a helpful human and in the world.Christina Lenkowski:
So if I'm out there, I'm looking and I want to start, you know, building a podcast strategy for myself. What, where do I start? Like where do I find the right shows to stop?Christina Lenkowski:
Great question. So my first advice when people are just getting started with this, right, like they're like, okay. Yeah. I think I do want to be a guest on podcasts. That seems like, like, it makes sense. The first thing that I say is ask your audience what they're listening to. So put it in the bottom of your e-newsletter put it on social media, just have people hit you up with the shows that they're listening to. Now, of course, you're gonna get some shows that make no damn sense at all to what you do. You know, they're gonna tell you about their favorite crime drama. I mean, unless maybe you're a detective then, you know, perhaps that makes sense, but you know, otherwise they're going to tell you shows that they just enjoy listening to you. That's all good. It's always good to get suggestions on new shows anyways, to enjoy, but you're going to probably get some shows that, that you didn't know of that are going to be ones that your ideal customer is listening to. So that's a really great, like easy, low hanging fruit way to find out where your customers are already hanging out. The other way that I kind of start doing research or that I recommend. Is to go into apple podcast. Well, at least that's where I do my research and go into Spotify, stuff like that, to put in the name of someone in your industry that has a similar ideal customer. So we do this with, you know, when we have new clients, we ask them that like, Hey, who are a couple of people in your industry that are, you know, have that they're not competitors. You don't have to be like mad at them, you know, or anything like that. But they have a SIM they have a similar ideal customer to you and we can go into apple. We can take a look at the shows that that person has been on. And then we know that these hosts are interested in that topic. Now, with that being said, I want to make sure that I'm pitching the hosts of the show that they've been on a different time. Right. It's the, like, let's say there's a competitor in my industry that also does podcast pitching. I put her name in apple podcast, 10 shows pop up that she's been a guest on. I could go into one of those shows and I can find her episode and go like, oh, okay. She talked about how to do podcasts pitching. All right. So now I can go to this host. And I mentioned that episode, I'll say, Hey, I loved your episode was so-and-so really loved how you guys talk about how to do podcast pitching. What I love to do is come on and tell your audience how to become a great guest, right? Like I can do a, just a different angle on the same type of thing. And I already know that that host is interested in that topic. So that's a really great place to kind of get started and kind of build up that initial outreach.Stephanie Hayes:
That's awesome. And I think that the other, the other little trick there too, is finding people who are adjacent to you in the industry who serve the same client as you, but maybe have a different, like, you know, my good friend, Meg, she's an SEO strategist. And it just so happens that we have similar clients all the time and we kind of trade clients. Like I send people to her and she sends people to me and they, they like both kind of areas. So where has Meg been? Yes. Feature. And I can just go to her media page and see that, and she can even provide a recommendation to the podcast host if she has a relationship with fantastic talkChristina Lenkowski:
to Stephanie. Any kind of connection like that, that you can put in there. Like if your friend Meg can reach out to them and be like, Hey, I have so much fun. Like you set up a relationship, you know, blah, blah, blah. We'd love to introduce you to my friend, Stephanie. I think she'd be a great guest for your show. And then you go ahead and do the pitch. You then can come in and pitch yourself, right. With topic ideas and stuff like that. But absolutely having a personal relationship like that is going to be a huge plusStephanie Hayes:
talk about pitches because this is the part where people get really stuck, right? Yes. What are, what makes a good pitch?Christina Lenkowski:
The fact that you've already listened to their show. Guys, I cannot even tell you. Oh, I know that Stephanie can jump in here and, and talk about this too. I would say for most of the friends that I have that are podcasts. So the podcast hosts that we work with nine out of 10 pitchers, they get our absolute dumpster fire crap. So a lot of people go into it with a spray and pray method, which is what we call it, which is what they send out as a ton of pitches. They're not personalized. And they just kind of want to see what happens. Right. We kind of do the opposite of publicity by Christina and that worked really well for us. We listened to a show before we pitch it. We listened to that show. We listen to what that hosts. We look at the things that they'd like to talk about, and we specifically make some kind of connection there. So in our very first opening sentences, when we send a pitch, we are talking about a recent episode that they've done and something that we found a value out of that. And I cannot even tell you how many hosts write us back because they can actually tell that we've listened. To a part of their show or to their show. And I think you can probably attest that, just having some kind of personal connection and seeing that, that someone's actually put the time in makes a huge difference.Stephanie Hayes:
Absolutely. It does. And I think any sort of like any sort of pitch, no matter whether it's for a podcast interview or whatever, if you demonstrate that you are known or that you are, the host is known to you in some way, it just elevates that. Like, I can't tell you how many pitches I get, where, where the people like clearly have no idea who I am andChristina Lenkowski:
that I'm comma. Dear ma'am or sir,Stephanie Hayes:
the names evenChristina Lenkowski:
wrong. So I'll tell you the name. If actually, if I could give one thing, one thing I would say, take 30 freaking seconds and double check the name of the podcast. I will double check the spelling, make sure you got it right, because that happens all the time. And I do not understand. I do not understand why it's such a simple yes. The other thing that I'd say makes a really great pitch is great topic ideas. And I think some people think that they're making the host's life easier by just giving them kind of a few things that they could talk about. Right? Like, they're like, Hey, I'm an expert in branding, social media, you know, whatever. Like, Hey, so let me know what you want to talk about. And we'll. We can chat about that. But in reality, that is not making the host's life easier. That is making them then have to think about, okay, well, what are we actually going to talk about in relate to social media or to branding or whatever. And so you need to becoming correct with two to three solid topic ideas. And like, by that, I mean, a couple sentences that are a severely specific topic that, you know, their audience will be interested in. And that absolutely has made all the difference for us. That's how we've been able to get our clients on amazing shows like this one or big shows that they've gotten on from cold pitches is by having solid topic ideas.Stephanie Hayes:
And I, I would go one step further and say, be a little disruptive, right? Like I would love, I'd love to have someone come on here and say, I've got, I've got an idea. That's completely the antithesis of everything that we, I mean, I w I mean, that's all, I love thatChristina Lenkowski:
you hear it. You heard it here first picture on of these types of ideas. Yeah.Stephanie Hayes:
But I'm going to tell you something that's totally contrary because that's how I am, right. Like, I like to break down the status quo. I like to tell, I like to give people ideas that are totally different from what they're hearing out there. And oftentimes they're like, wait, I have permission to do that.Christina Lenkowski:
That was really good. Let's talk about my guarantee then in my business. Yes.Stephanie Hayes:
Yeah. So like be a little bit disruptive and, you know, take, take a risk for sure.Christina Lenkowski:
I'm not afraid to get on some soap boxes. So, you know, that's, that's absolutely a great thing. Hosts, like a lot of hosts are like, Stephanie, you know, they want you to come on and talk about the things that our audience is going to be really interested in hearing.Stephanie Hayes:
Okay. I want to change tack a little bit and talk about your business. So here to talk about your business and we're here to talk about your story, but I think what people, what people like and kind of get from these stories is that you're a human being and you're relatable. And you're somebody who has gone through the same things that a lot of these people are going through. So talk to me a little bit about the evolution of your offers. So you kind of started with a course and then, you know, what now what are youChristina Lenkowski:
offering? So our main product that we offer is called our podcast pitch, broker service. And so what that is, is. Entrepreneurs and kind of all areas that we work with and we handle all of their podcast booking. So we do the pitches, we do the followup and we do the actual scheduling for them so that what they really have to do is listen to the show beforehand and then what we call, show up and shine. So they come on, they drop their knowledge. And then, you know, they have this amazing piece of ongoing content. Of course, we ask them to do the, you know, when it airs to be sharing that on their channel and tagging the hosts and stuff like that. But it really eliminates the time that they have to spend doing pitching. So that's what we do. And that's kinda the main service. I also have a VIP day where I train up a team member on how to do pitching. So for some entrepreneurs, that's what they'd prefer to have someone in house take that over. So we have that as an option too. And then, like I said, we have a just an online training that people can take that are kind of looking to with.Stephanie Hayes:
Yep. I like it. And are you still running aChristina Lenkowski:
course? The training is the, it's just a a 90 minute training and it comes with some bonuses and stuff like that as well. But that's what we have right now. Yeah. I'm trying to keep it, keep it pretty simple.Stephanie Hayes:
And so you're kind of eating your own dog food, right? Like you are, you are your, your you're finding clients by doing exactly what you're teaching your clients to do.Christina Lenkowski:
Yes, absolutely. A hundred percent am you know, and the fact of the matter is. I can teach people how to write pitches all day long. It's a matter of most people just aren't going to go out and do it. So that's why we end up having, and that's for various reasons, time, mindset, all kinds of things, but that's why we will have people come to us that even take our course or even the do the VIP day. And that will come to us down the road and say like, Hey, I know this is important, but I just am not getting it done. So can you guys, can you guys do it, youStephanie Hayes:
went from kind of a passive business model to more high touch and that sort of the opposite of,Christina Lenkowski:
of the direction that everyone says.Stephanie Hayes:
Yes. Yes. Again, this is like this, this thing that I teach to that actually it's easier sometimes for you to do high touch services, as opposed to trying to build this passive income screenChristina Lenkowski:
right. Stream screen.Stephanie Hayes:
But if you follow the journey of your customer, it's actually really appropriate for you.Christina Lenkowski:
It is, you know, I kind of fought it for a while. I fought it for awhile. I was like, isn't the whole reason I went into this business, like, so that, you know, I was, I was able to just kind of scale like a digital product and have that be, you know, what I was doing and, and everything like. But that isn't what people necessarily need. You know, it, they, they, there are people that are going to be able to take the direction and run with it. There are people that are going to have that motivation. They're going to get it done. But particularly at the high level entrepreneur that I'm now servicing, they don't. And so what I've done is instead I just embraced it at a certain point and was like, okay, like, we're going to make an agency. Now we have contractors that, you know, I train how to pitch and they pitch up at the level that I need them to pitch at. They maintain relationships with our clients. This is our white glove service. We, it is a high touch service. It is, you know, customer service is very important to us. So I'm basically taking. Everything that I learned before and just applying it in the way that I want to apply it. Like my first job was at Nordstrom. So your girl is like customer service is number one. So I always want to make sure that that our clients are being serviced at this really high level. But when I build this business and when I started this business, there are things I did differently. So you were kind of talking about going against the status quo. And the thing that we do that is very controversial in our business is I have a guarantee, a booking. So for our clients that come to us, we will get them booked on a certain number of shows and in the PR world, that is very, very, very, very, very, very uncommon. But for me how I feel about it is that I am a small business owner as well. And if I am investing this amount of money, I want to know to a certain extent what I'm going to see on the backend. And I don't even necessarily mean an ROI. Like we talked about, I don't necessarily mean like, oh, I'm going to see this many sales or something like that. But at the end of our six months working together, I know that I'm going to have booked on, be booked on eight or 12 shows. I know that I'm going to have eight or 12 solid pieces of content that I'm going to be able to use in perpetuity. And so this is very, very important to me, you, me and my team, we bust our butts to make sure that we get our clients booked on. The number of shows that they sign up for and with being clear on that, they have to be what we call aligned shows. So shows that are full of their ideal customer, not just like the first eight shows I stumbled.Stephanie Hayes:
That was my question is like, I think, I think one of the common sort of pitfalls with some of the VR people I've worked with in the past is that not really putting you on shows that are, that are super aligned with who you are, it's like, who do I have a relationship where I can easily get you on a show? And some of the shows I would show up for I'd be like, yeah, I don't know what the value is ofChristina Lenkowski:
me being here. Right? Yeah. What is the time worth right here? And that's where that strategy really comes into play. Absolutely. We, we want to make sure that our clients are on. Are on the best shows for them. Now, sometimes, you know, out of those eight or 12, like there might be one or two that don't end up being like the conversation. Maybe didn't go the way that you were hoping it was going to go or things like that. We obviously don't necessarily have control over that. But what I do have control over is making sure that I get you on this certain amount of shows. And so for me, that has been something that is really important. I have never wavered on it and I will never waiver on it. You can put it right here, you can write it down. You know, it, it to me is what keeps us sane and it keeps everyone's expectations at the same level. And for me, that has been hugely important to the success of this business is that at the end of our six months working together, everyone knows what this is going to look. They know how many shows they're going to be on. They're not confused. They're not unsure because what I find from a lot of people that worked with other agencies, and I don't even mean, I just mean any agencies in general is that they, they feel like they were let down and I never ever want that to be the case with us. And so far so good. More than half of our clients continue on with us. And even the ones that don't almost all of them are huge referral partners for us. It'sStephanie Hayes:
one of the best indications of success is the, is the way you set expectations. I I've worked for a long time with a lady who holds like really strong boundaries and she has very, very, very, very clear instructions around how you're going to work with her. Yes, you can like it or not like it, but that's how it's going to be. She never waivers on that. And so you go into the work with her and it's extremely clear. Yes. How it's going to go. And this has nothing to do with PR right away, but it's like, it's such a great lesson, right? It's in any business, the more you can be clear about expectations, the higher your chance of your customer, having a goodChristina Lenkowski:
experiences. Hundred percent, 100%. And so that is why I am so steadfast on this. And I actually, in my own podcast, I just did an episode on this. Because again, it is controversial and the things that I've seen some now they have necessarily say that about my business, but I've seen, you know PR people posting things like huge red flag. If someone says they can guarantee you wherever. And for me, it's a huge red flag. If you can't tell me at least at all what this is going to look like at the end of our time together. And again, this comes from me working for agencies for well over a decade and having to say to people, oh, I don't know. And hating that feeling, hating that feeling. And so when I started this business, I was just like, Like, we're going to figure out what a realistic number is, what a realistic expectation is over this amount of time. And we've had to grow it over time. It's evolved over time to how long it takes and how many we offer and things like that. So it wasn't as though it came in at this one and it never shifted. That's not the case at all. But it's, it's very important to meStephanie Hayes:
and I, and I, what I love about being a business owner is you can decide exactly what your business look like. And it doesn't have to be like everyone else's business. It shouldn't be like everyone else's business. And that's important to you and you want to do it differently than do it. Right. You're going to, you're going to attract the right people who are in alignment with that.Christina Lenkowski:
Exactly. Exactly. And again, because we're so clear on that. You know, I think that for a lot of clients, they just prefer that over being told how many pitches are going to be sent out or something like that. They know again, at the end of the day, this is what this is going to look like.Stephanie Hayes:
That's right. So what does growth meant to you? Like what, what, what does growth look like for you? What are, what are you trying to achieve in terms of growth? And I don't even mean financially, like growth can be along a lot of different axesChristina Lenkowski:
in your life. Yeah. I think that for me, what growth means in this season is getting my business. I'm actually growing my business, bringing on more, you know, podcast publicists and growing this into a boutique agency that is still customer service focus really still at a high quality level. And figuring out like, what exactly that looks like, are we launching to, cause we do an open heart model for our, that service. So are we going to be launching two or three times a year? How many clients are we going to have as our max, you know, or what, what kind of does that all look like? And still keeping the customer service level that has, has been part of our hallmark and part of our signature and why so many people refer us and continue to work with us.Stephanie Hayes:
So your has been contingent on being able to maintain that that's valid. Yes. A hundredChristina Lenkowski:
percent. And it's very important to me, like. You know, the things that we, the, the relationships truly that we build with our clients is one of the most important, important aspects for me. And so I just want to figure out how we scale that in a way that that makes sense and where our clients are still very, very satisfied. Awesome. I loveStephanie Hayes:
it. So I have a question that I ask everyone, because this show is about being real and about, you know, being relatable. What is the one thing that we hear in the business world and online business? What's the difference between that? And what's real.Christina Lenkowski:
What is the difference between that? And what's real, I would say. That people saying that this is going to man, I was probably gonna ruffle some feathers, but that's fine. Ads are the only thing you need to grow your business and get in front of new people. I don't think that that is the only thing that is going to grow your business. What I think is real is a mix of different marketing techniques, which is doing some ads doing publicity work, doing social media and figuring out what that mix looks like for you. Ads are hard. Yeah. Yeah. Stephanie gave me a look when I said that when I said,Stephanie Hayes:
I know, but ads aren't live, listen, I'm just elbows deep in the ads world right now. And I'm like,Christina Lenkowski:
and I am for record. I'm not anti ad part of your marketing and not your only form of. But, butStephanie Hayes:
their heart and I think people hide behind them. Yes. And they think they, they use them as a hail Mary. Right. Like I'm getting really frustrated with my marketing activities. I'm really like, I don't want to go out and be visible and I'm just going to rely on ads except that can absolutely backfire.Christina Lenkowski:
Yes. And I think also to your point about the other marketing that can like publicity work. Absolutely. It takes time. And I think people think that about ads, they think, well, I can do this really fast. If I just pumps money into the ad machines, I can just do it really fast. And so I think for me, that's one thing that I'm, that I'm trying to make people more aware of is the reality is that you kind of have to have these different methods. And again, ads could very well and should very well be a part of your marketing, but they shouldn't be the only thing. And so I think that's why I say that. When people just say that that's all you really need to do. That's one thing that really ruffles my feathers because I also don't think publicity is all you really need to do. Or, you know, I, I just think that all these things kind of have to work together in order for you to be successful. And it doesn't mean you spend more time. It just means you divide that time between thoseStephanie Hayes:
and they all serve different purposes, right? Like I said, the creative work that you do, the content that you create, whatever that format is all about, strengthening your brand so that when you drag people in from all of your visibility activities, then they can get to know you. That has to be there. Right? You can't do that in isolation and neither strategy and isolation is going to really work for you. We do have to have this next. I love that. Okay. Thank you. Christina, we're getting to the end of our time. Tell me what's nextChristina Lenkowski:
for you grow in this, growing this business, growing it into, you know, the vision that I have for it and really excitement over getting more voices out there. I cannot tell you how exciting it is for me. When we bring on a new client that just has a message to share with the world. Us helping them do that is, is really an honor and really a big deal. And so being able to, to figure out how to do that for more people is definitely a big, big thing for me. And then just in general, you know, I, I work about 25 hours a week, so making sure that I stay within those boundaries and you know, I have a six year old and, you know, stuff like that. So I I'm trying to do all this while also maintaining, you know, and that's what, I'm, what I'd say is next for me is trying to figure out how to make this all work so that, you know, I can have my home life and my business life and be happy about. That's whyStephanie Hayes:
most people are in business. It's notChristina Lenkowski:
exactly, exactly.Stephanie Hayes:
It's for the life. It's for the quality of our lives, right? Yes. Yeah. I love it. And I love what you said about, about a message. Cause I think that's one of the other things that people have a really hard time with when they're getting into publicity is identifying what their message really is. And then if that's part of what you're helping them with, there's huge value. Like we talked about earlier, one of the things I've always talked about is slow business. Like that is the antithesis to everything that we hear out in the online world. But what I know from experience is that you have to let your business grow over time. You have to let these things take root or you're just shooting yourself in the foot, right? Yes.Christina Lenkowski:
Yeah. I mean, a great example of that is that your guests, you recently had on Liz Wilcox, but she's a great example of kind of this slow business and having that work into what you want it to be like before we started working. So we started working together January of 2020. Was when Liz and I started working together to start pitching her onto podcasts. And since then she has tripled her monthly recurring revenue and all these types of things. And the two things that she does is guests on podcasts. And she does the social media. Those are kind of the two areas that she focused on. She doesn't run any ads. But this has all been over the course of the year. You know, it wasn't something that just happened in two months. This is something that happened over the course of the year. And she's now to the point where she's retiring her one-on-one services and going strictly into just working on her membership and digital services. And that's, that's all, it wasn't something that happened super fast. It was something that happened because of consistent visibility.Stephanie Hayes:
And I wish more of my clients would hear that because it is a, a relief for them. Yes. And B just truth. Right? So it means that they can shift their focus from this urgency and this judgment to, you know, Sort of curiosity and consistency. Yeah. Okay. We're running out of time. So can you tell all of our listeners where they can.Christina Lenkowski:
Heck. Yeah, you can come find me by taking the podcast, publicity quiz at podcast, publicity quiz.com made it super easy for you there. That's a great way to find out what the next best step might be in your publicity journey. And it's a fun video quiz. You get to see this mug. I know you don't get to see this mug right now. You're just hearing to if hearing me, but it's a fun video ask quiz. It's really, really fun. So that's a great way to, to get on our list and figure out what's going on there. And then you can also find me on Instagram at publicity ex Christina, that's, Christina with a C H the X stands for by, because I thought I was really clever when I started this business and it has been the bane of my existence ever since then, but at publicity X Pristina is where you can find me on Instagram. I like to post fun stuff that goes on in my life. Tips on marketing. I just went off on people paying for podcasts. So you could always listen to stuff like that for me. And yeah, we just generally have a really good. Awesome.Stephanie Hayes:
I love it. Okay. So we are at a time. Thank you so much for this amazing conversation. We're going to wrap up this episode, make sure you go and check out. Christina. Chris, no publicity ex Christina, or we'll put all the links in the show notes. Thank you again for being here. If you've enjoyed today's content, I would love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on. This helps us share these stories with an even bigger audience until next time, keep building, keep dreaming and keeping real.