Pitching The Press: A Simple Strategy For Small Businesses To Grow With Media Coverage

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I wrote this article for Forbes, originally published here.

As a small business, getting the press coverage you need to support your company's growth can be frustrating and challenging — especially if you've put out press releases or emailed your favorite publications and heard nothing but radio silence in return. I have found a ton of success in getting press using the following method, which entrepreneurs can utilize to bypass all the noise and get straight to the source.

First, find your angle and what you'd like to talk about. Maybe it's a current event or trend, or something you've noticed about your customers or clients, or an observation about a shift or change in your industry. It could also be common mistakes people make when choosing your service or product, things people may not know about your field or a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day of your kind of business. The point of press is to bring traffic to your website, establish yourself as a professional in your industry and give you credibility with your customers. Plus, it provides you with something tangible to share on social media that clients can engage with and be excited about. To be written about, or even just to be quoted in an article, is a win-win all around.

But here's something not everyone knows: Reaching out to magazines directly can be a total waste of time.

Chances are, the people reading your emails to websites or magazines don't know — or perhaps don't care — who you are or what you do. Instead, seek out the writers who have written articles about the topic you're discussing, specifically in the publications or sites that interest you. Contacting writers is the key here because they always need sources and pitches, and they already have sold this topic or concept to the magazine or site before. You can find individual writers by searching for the topic by publication, in the News section of Google. This increases your chances of identifying a writer with a connection to the site or publication.

For example, if I want to establish myself online as a professional by being quoted in a particular newspaper, I might research who's written for that paper on a topic similar to the one I'd like to comment on. You might think that is redundant, but it's actually helpful to reach out regarding something similar because the writer has experience pitching or selling that type of story to their publisher. For massage therapists like me, these search terms might look like, "back pain, anxiety, [newspaper name]." For a gym owner, it could look like a recent fitness trend to comment on in a health magazine. A chiropractor might look for "weight lifting injuries" in the Times. A psychologist might search for who's written about stress or PTSD recently for an industry journal.

After you've identified a writer who has written for the desired publication or site within the last six months, reach out to them directly. Most journalists have a website, a Twitter account or other online presence with a contact form or public email address for tips. When you email them, be sure to mention that you enjoyed a recent article of theirs and that you've noticed this trend in your clients/this industry shift/this mistake people make, etc. Reference the topic that interests you that you'd like to discuss, and be brief and to the point. Your reach-out email should not be longer than four or five sentences. Authenticity is important — try not to be "salesy," as this is a very soft pitch. You don't need to write the article for them. Your goal is to offer your idea and ask if they are interested in researching it further.

If the writer is interested, they may respond to you with lots of questions. It will be helpful to also provide your new contact with other industry leaders they could interview as well. Reach out to different writers at several publications on the same or a similar topic until one bites. Make sure your email includes your name, contact info and website in the signature line, so that the writer can link to you or get in touch for follow-ups. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear back right away; it's a numbers game.

I have successfully used this method to get quotes published — and in turn, generate interest for my business — in various mainstream magazines and newspapers. It truly pays off when you become the go-to person for insider insights about your industry.

My article for Business Collective on The Rise of Workplace Wellness and How You Can Take Advantage


Your customers and clients may be experiencing more stress these days, giving your small business an opportunity to cater to their wellness needs.

Stress has always been a driving force in the wellness industry, but we seem to have moved past just personal stress to a collective, politically-induced stress. No longer are people simply seeking to remedy relationship or financial troubles; stress about politics and the security of the future is becoming more and more common. As a business consultant for wellness practices and the owner of two massage studios in New York City, I have seen this trend unfold firsthand.

Like many, I was exhausted by last year’s tumultuous election, so imagine my surprise when I learned that it was actually great for business. I first noticed an uptick in client bookings in the fall of 2016 and my sessions — which are typically pretty quiet — became more lively as clients voiced their worries and concerns about politics. Stress and anxiety commonly manifest themselves in physical ailments like muscle tension, TMJ (jaw tension from teeth clenching), headaches, insomnia and fatigue, which are problems we treat frequently.

I had a feeling that trying to deduce electoral math and being glued to Facebook, cable news and Twitter were physically impacting my clients and the demand for my business. The numbers proved me right: We saw a 20% increase in new clients in Q4 of last year and in the week after the inauguration, we saw an additional 50% surge in bookings — and there’s no sign of it slowing down. The demand has been so high that we’re adding additional employees to our roster.

At the same time, I saw a growing trend in the corporate world as blue chip companies like Aetna and Facebook adopted progressive workplace wellness programs, and media mogul Arianna Huffington launched Thrive Global, a wellness company dedicated to helping companies and employees reduce burnout. At a time when people were dealing with a new kind of post-election stress, I felt wellness was reaching an audience that hadn’t previously been tuned in.

Growing a business isn’t without trial and error, and there are specific challenges that small practices should keep in mind when catering to stressed out clients. Keep these tips in mind to capitalize on the latest wellness trend:

Don’t Be Afraid of the Big Fish

Just because your business is small, that doesn’t mean you can’t work with a large company or corporation. Small businesses can reach new audiences and build partnerships by offering services to large companies and coordinating office wellness events. We have partnered with Red Bull, WeWork and Whole Foods to offer chair massages to employees for on-site stress relief.

Companies are interested in the benefits of having wellness services at work, which can keep insurance costs down and boost employee productivity. With just a few practitioners, your business can reach a new customer base that wouldn’t otherwise discover your practice. When approaching a new partner, make sure to tailor your approach and market the specific benefits that they can expect from working with you.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

At a time when customers are becoming savvier in the wellness space, it’s important to diversify your services. Consider including massage, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reiki and alternative wellness treatments. Before seeking new talent, look at the expertise you already have in house: Many practitioners are trained in multiple disciplines but don’t always promote all of their areas of expertise.

You Absolutely Cannot Skimp on Talent

This is imperative. For small businesses to stand out in the wellness space, it’s critical to hire excellent staff members who can provide high-quality care. This is important for all service-based industries, but even more so for practitioners who have close relationships with their clients. This is the easiest way to keep retention rates up and your clients coming back.

To make sure that your guests are getting the most out of their experience, consider using client feedback software or post-treatment surveys. A great practitioner will have a consistently high client retention rate.

Focus on Consistency

One of the biggest challenges small businesses will face as they grow in the wellness space is maintaining consistency and a high caliber of customer service. Our clients know exactly what to expect from each visit, so we are confident they will want to return. Having a clear manual of operations goes a long way in helping keep things running smoothly, and I always encourage clients to speak up if they are unhappy with their service.

Aim to Exceed Client Expectations

When your goal is to help your clients cope with pain and stress, I encourage my team to aim to exceed a client’s expectations. Just because you provide excellent service, that doesn’t mean their ailment will vanish, so we provide clients with additional information and therapy for self-care at home. I’ll frequently recommend specific stretches or strengthening exercises that become integral to a client’s daily routine. We also collaborate with other practitioners, such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, physical therapists and pilates instructors. It’s important to create an atmosphere where practitioners feel like they can and should go the extra mile for their clients.

Though there is uncertainty about the future, it appears that the trend toward wellness is here to stay.

Published on 9/6 in Business Collective

Rachel Beider in Forbes Magazine: When to Open a Second Location

When To Open A Second Location To Grow Your Small Business 

Article by: Marcia Layton Turner for Forbes

“When you are completely booked solid, you have only two options: raise your rates or expand (or both!)” says Rachel Beider, licensed massage therapist and owner of Massage Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, NY. Beider’s solution to growing a small business was to add a second location in Brooklyn, named Massage Greenpoint.

“After raising our prices, we still had long waitlists of clients,” she explains, “and I knew that many were coming from the neighborhood just north of ours.” So Beider found real estate a little farther north from her original studio and opened her doors. Massage Greenpoint has been open now for six months and is continuing to grow. “It is the best investment that I’ve made,” she says.

Many business owners question whether it's time to open another location, wondering if they're creating new opportunities or spreading themselves too thin. While you can never know for certain before taking the leap, these entrepreneurs found that certain conditions were signs that the timing could be right.

Increasing Capacity

For Beider, capacity was the factor that most impacted her decision to open another location – her first was fully booked. She was confident that opening a second location would in no way cannibalize her first, and would allow the business to continue to grow.

Opening a second location improved customer service, by making it possible for more clients to book appointments. Since many clients were traveling south to Williamsburg, opening a location closer to their homes and offices also improved customer satisfaction.

Establishing Growth Criteria

While Beider used the fact that her business was consistently full as a sign that it was time to expand, Jeff Shapiro, owner of Spindle Fitness, set specific milestones that his business needed to hit before the company would consider opening additional locations. While the company’s goal was to become a multi-location business, Shapiro first wanted to achieve a positive cash flow and have trained staff in place, ready to train others.

Reducing Shipping Times and Expenses

In contrast, wasn’t having capacity issues – the company could produce labels quickly - the impediment to growth was shipping cost and speed, explains CEO Dave Carmany. “To ensure people all across the country received our labels on a timely basis without having to pay premium shipping rates, we looked into opening a second location.” Its original space in Florida yields quick shipping to East Coast customers but slower delivery to the West Coast.

Evaluating the Cost of Expansion

“When we calculated what it would take to create a second manufacturing facility, hire a new set of employees, and cover the additional overhead that comes with having two locations, the benefits didn’t offset the costs. While our volume was increasing, it wasn’t at a quick enough pace to justify such a substantial business move.” Instead, OnlineLabels turned to its shipping carriers to negotiate deals that would speed delivery at reduced costs. Carmany admits it’s not a permanent solution, but it “bought our company time.”

Attracting New Business

Once you’ve decided the time is right to open another location, begin to communicate frequently with your current and potential customer base to prime the pump for future sales. Beider kept her community informed about the build-out of the second location via social media. She also emailed current clients and prospects with an offer to try out the second location. Finally, she had postcards printed up with a new client discount that she left at local stores, yoga studios, gyms, and other complementary businesses to help attract more clients. And they did.

Marcia Layton Turner writes frequently for and about small business. She is the author of The Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business and many others.

Rachel Beider on Small Business Trends: Best Job Perks to Keep Staff

"Keeping employees happy and healthy is good for business: You get more tasks completed (and with more creativity) if the people doing the work aren’t ill or tired. Some people love having a company-funded chance for personal development, while others prefer the options for flexible hours or 401(k)s. To narrow down what job perks resonate the strongest, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council:

“What company perk (bus pass, outside learning opportunities, etc.) do your employees find most helpful/useful and why?”

Best Employee Perks

Here’s what they have to say:

1. Continuing Education

“I will happily pay for my employees to develop new skills on their own time and bill me for the hours if it’s something they can bring to their role at the business. If you like to hire self-starters in the first place, you want to keep them at the top of their game by encouraging them to learn as much as they can.” ~ Adam SteeleThe Magistrate

2. Working Remotely With Flexible Hours

“Empowering our employees with the ability to manage their own schedule and work remotely has been a huge advantage for us. By allowing them to self-manage, they feel more invested in getting the work done as efficiently as possible, something we weren’t achieving by making sure they were in their chairs by 9 a.m. For us, it’s about the work getting done on time, not about where or when it’s completed.” ~ Kim KaupeZinePak

3. Team-Led Exercise

“Most teams seem to have a yoga enthusiast, a couple of runners, a cycling guy, couple ballers, and so on. We’ve had a ton of fun as a team allowing different employees to “lead” workouts during, or right before or after work. Not only does it empower the teacher and allow them to show off their passion, but it promotes a healthy work environment and usually involves a few laughs after the fact.” ~ Matt MurphyKids in the Game LLC

4. Personal Development

“We are planning on bringing our leadership team of 12 to the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland three times this year for intense personal development. In addition to learning new communication tools for their roles at work, they are working on marriage issues, identity issues, parenting issues and more. Supporting our staff in their lives impacts their work, while deepening loyalty to the company and one other.” ~ Corey BlakeRound Table Companies

5. Access to Entertainment

“Our company sits at the intersection of entertainment, technology, and the ultimate fan experience, so we stay at the forefront of new trends. Our employees get to try all the latest gadgets (such as Snapchat Spectacles and hover boards), go to the hottest shows, and enjoy exclusive experiences as part of their job. This ultimately helps them stay in touch with trends and excel at their position.” ~ Justin LefkovitchMirrored Media

6. Free Monthly Massages

“My front desk staff love getting the perk of free monthly massages at my massage studio. Sitting at a desk can take its physical toll, and regular massage therapy can make a huge difference in lowering blood pressure, alleviating headaches, reducing stress and tension, and decreasing anxiety. By providing them with regular massage therapy, they feel valued, and are happier and more productive.” ~ Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint

7. Health and Wellness

“My team takes advantage of a health and wellness perk that subsidizes things like gym memberships. Obvious benefits include a healthier, happier and consequently more productive work environment. Providing ample space and resources for employees to take great care of themselves is also a good way to illustrate the extent to which the company values them beyond their ability to drive revenue.” ~ Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

8. Annual Trip

“We do an annual, three-day trip that acts as several different things. It is a reward for another great year of work; an amazing team-building experience, as our entire team gets out of the office to hang together; exposure to something new, as we always pick a new place; and a recruiting tool. The trip has consistently proven to be one of the most valuable things that we do.” ~ Erik HubermanHawke Media

9. 401(k)

“I’m biased, but we hear over and over from employees at all types of companies that a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement is a valuable perk that gets both the employer and the employee a lot of “bang for your buck.” It also shows a strong sense of thoughtfulness and fiscal responsibility in a way that a bonus or a ping pong table does not.” ~ Roger LeeCaptain401
Bus Pass Photo via Shutterstock"


As seen in Small Business Trends

Rachel Beider in Huffington Post: 17 Small Businesses Confess Their Tiny But Mighty💪 Social Media Strategy

"You can brag about follower counts but likes alone —don’t translate into purchases.

These 17 small businesses have figured out a Social Media strategy. Minus the marketing Oz behind the emerald curtain. (Wizard of Oz reference, FYI). Social Media is one of those “the best things in life are free“ for small businesses. It doesn’t cost much but time & creativity to start seeing results. And captivating your ideal clients like Dorothy’s ruby red shoes. 

You can create an online presence, locally, globally or even worldwide in a few clicks. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We first, must draw in the people who need your service. And that takes more than hopping on an app and posting, “I’m open for business”


How do you sell an intangible product online?


These service-based businesses have uncovered a strategy that works for their brand and sanity. In return, they’ve closed more deals and exploded their online/offline influence. Pay attention to what’s said here, they’ve given up their best-kept Social Media secret to help more businesses (like you) score the same results. 


They’ve discovered how to promote, grow the brand and engage with their audience because another FYI profits happen more often when you’re NOT selling at all. 


You won’t be hearing from me until the end, I’ll let these 17 service-based businesses tell you for themselves. 

“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into salespeople.”— Seth Godin





“Social media can be tricky, if you’re just going to post random pictures and the same ole-same ole do not waste your time there’s too much noise out there.” - Bryan Clayton




“Social media can be tricky, if you’re just going to post random pictures and the same ole-same ole do not waste your time there’s too much noise out there. However, if you’re going to invest time to make something new, funny, or informative people will pay attention to it. We created a meme account specifically focused for the lawn care industry on our Instagram. It’s one of the only accounts dedicated to poking fun at the lawn care industry and the nuances that go along with it. We have grown our following base to over 10,000 and people love the funny memes we make related to the lawn care industry. It’s a good way to build awareness about GreenPal and our community of lawn care services that are ready to hire at the touch of a button.” Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal the Uber for Lawn Care




“Instagram has been such a useful marketing tool for us. We’ve been using high-end photographers with thousands of followers and tagging them in our posts and have seen results with more followers and likes on certain photos. Instagram is one powerful, free tool. All you need is the manpower behind it to make it succeed!” Carly Moore, PR Manager, Bond Collective

“A huge part of my brand revolves around promoting my versatile personality, energy, and style.” - Jam Gamble




Be Y.O.U. All Of The Time:

“A huge part of my brand revolves around promoting my versatile personality, energy, and style. Being a self proclaimed #S layerofTheMic it’s imperative that I use Twitter and Instagram to post videos of me in action: public speaking, performing at events, and connecting with my audience/potential clients.  I’m getting BOOKED! The amount of booking requests I’ve received when my potential client says, “Honestly, your energy is off the charts! I’ve heard you’re the woman for the job —just from what I’ve seen via social media.” They’ve even started to use my hashtag! #SlayerofTheMic. Now that’s success. “ - Jam Gamble #SlayerofTheMic and Connector of People, Ideas, and Energy




“Currently, Twitter is the number one platform I’m using. Not only is it great for reaching new audiences, but it has also proven useful for building relationships with media and influencers, which has helped get my site’s name out there more. As for growing my audience, I’ve recently found offering relevant giveaways to be a great means of reaching new followers. Last month, we did a gift card giveaway that ran a month long. One of the ways to enter was to follow us on Twitter (@CutCableToday), which netted us 200 new followers. I plan on continuing our giveaway strategy and eventually expanding to Facebook.” - Chris Brantner, founder of




Find Your Place In The Social World:

“I find podcasting on BlogTalkRadio, and putting out an e-newsletter through Constant Contact are the most powerful social media tools for my business. LinkedIn gives me the chance to connect with my target audience and position myself as a thought leader. Podcasting allows me a greater reach and connects me to leaders around the world. It also helps me build relationships with other gurus around the world. These relationships have led to my inclusion in online webinars, summits, and programs.” - Diane Helbig, Growth Accelerator





“Many friends and colleagues told me I shouldn’t bother using paid advertising and I should just ‘hustle’ in online forums, groups and communities to find paying clients. But I made the decision early on that I didn’t have time for that.” - Amanda Davies




“Facebook is without doubt the most powerful marketing tool around. I have grown my business as a solopreneur to multiple 6-figures in just over 12 months by using Facebook advertising alone. Many friends and colleagues told me I shouldn’t bother using paid advertising and I should just ‘hustle’ in online forums, groups and communities to find paying clients. But I made the decision early on that I didn’t have time for that (I was still working in my 9-5 job at that stage) and it’s unsustainable if you want to grow and scale your business to mighty levels. Using highly targeted ads that are put in front of the right people at the right time, has grown my list by thousands of customers and sold out my programs. The financial results speak for themselves. You also have the ability to re-target potential customers who have already shown an interest in your business, which puts you ahead of the game to an even greater scale. The power is in the targeting.” - Amanda Davies, Psychologist + Coach at

“There are 40 million active small business pages but only 2 million of those businesses pay for advertising.” 




Give The People What They Want:

“Facebook is successful for us because of the visual nature of photos and videos. It allows us to engage with a target audience of Disney and travel lovers across the country. Our main Facebook page has 120,000 organic likes and well over 1,000,000 post likes. The interaction that occurs helps us build a relationship with our “fans” thus creating a virtual bond. One of the things we do that is showing results is being relevant. We’re one of the first on the web to announce any BIG Disney theme park news. It gives us credibility and our Facebook page becomes the place to be to find out the latest and greatest news. Additionally, we ask our fans what they want more of. Catering to them is important as opposed to merely guessing what they want.” Greg Antonelle, Mickey Travels LLC

“A high click-through rate is often more valuable than “likes” or comments. Tips, FAQs, and informational articles that are of incredible value to families everywhere are posted on our Facebook fan page.” - Simplify Experts




“Over the past year, over 15% of their web traffic has come from Facebook, where we post regularly. Although engagement and followership on Facebook isn’t huge, a lot of Facebook users that see the content click through to the website. A high click-through rate is often more valuable than “likes” or comments. Tips, FAQs, and informational articles that are of incredible value to families everywhere are posted on the fan page. So our general strategy is: write relevant, quality blog content, share that content through social media channels where your customers already live, and get them to want to visit your website to read on.” Simplify Experts, Professional Organizers

“We regularly ask our clients to post reviews and this practice has produced measurably results.” - Matthew Weiss




“Many prospective clients will use Google/Yelp/Facebook to find and vet our services. Having many positive reviews stationed there gives us a competitive advantage. The most powerful word in the English language is “ask? We regularly ask our clients to post reviews and this practice has produced measurably results. We “push” our reviews URL to prospective clients that are considering retaining us.” Matthew Weiss, President of Weiss & Associates, PC




Twitter is the only completely open platform where anyone can see my posts. To grow my reach, credibility, and mailing list, I use key hashtags on tweets of my blog articles and I run the weekly #PeopleSkills global Twitter chat which trends every Sunday. Hosting a Twitter chat has helped to show my expertise. I leverage the chat and all my Twitter activity for workshop announcements and for my upcoming book and associated workshops on leadership and morale. The open design of Twitter is the greatest no cost neon sign ever invented.“ - Kate Nasser, President, CAS, Inc., The People Skills Coach™

“Posting consistently has been key to engagement growth.” - Kunle Bristow




Instagram is by far my favorite platform. I create memes that relay news that will happen 5 years into the future or forecasts what will happen within 20 years. Instead of what’s in the news today. In addition to providing commentary on our human future —I also re-purpose these memes on Twitter and that has increased my engagement on both platforms. Posting consistently has been key to engagement growth and I have seen an increase in my (website) opt-ins as we continue to tape episodes of our web television series Futurism Weekly.” - Kunle Bristow, Managing Director / Anchor Futurism Weekly







Networking Social After-Party:

“We have a ruthless social media connection policy. As a busy networking professional attending daily real-life events, we insist on connecting with a new contact on ALL their social media platforms WITHIN TWELVE HOURS. Why? We’ve identified this as the ideal window for facial recognition leading to smooth professional connections. Using this approach, we’ve been able to massively boost our outreach, particularly on LinkedIn, with demonstrable and quantifiable successes coming out of this approach. Continuing the conversation on Social Media within this time span, we’ve struck while the iron is hot. So far, I can think of four deals that have come out of this. Sometimes, it’s difficult to come home from a networking event and have to spend time connecting - but I’ve seen the results. They’re real. This policy is bearing fruit.” Sarah Sajedi, Director of Research & Development at ERA Environmental Solutions

“Breaking the post length rules.” - Janis Isaman 




“On my Facebook page, I can post articles and lengthier opinions that accentuate a point of view and my voice. Breaking the post length rules as most of my posts are “too long”. But the longer they are, the more engagement improves.” - Janis Isaman, My Body Couture movement specialist & coach

“Rather than using the machine gun approach, spamming hundreds of people and hoping a small percentage reply, the one thing we do is contact directly, with a thoughtful and very personalized message.” - Steve Acho




“LinkedIn has by far been the best social platform for our B2B technology staffing company. Like all good social platforms, it allows one to get deep context for other professionals, including showing mutual connections. Rather than using the machine gun approach, spamming hundreds of people and hoping a small percentage reply, the one thing we do that has shown the best results is take the time to target specific people, and contact directly, with a thoughtful and very personalized message. It’s extremely time-consuming to do well, but last month I went from cold email to contract with a $4B company in 24 hours.” Steve Acho, Founder & CEO of a technology staffing tool company


Another LinkedIn Maneuver... 





“LinkedIn is the best means ever created to help OTHER people look good in the context of business. Instead of lauding my own accomplishments, I use LinkedIn to highlight those who book me to speak at their conferences or events, as well as friends and colleagues in business who are accomplishing great things. Start highlighting other people (be sure you tag them to let them know) via LinkedIn, and watch your likes, shares, and comments grow.” - Spencer X Smith, Speaker




“I primarily use Instagram to promote my massage therapy studios in Brooklyn. Instagram is awesome because you can geolocate new potential clients by searching for nearby images recently (publicly) posted. It has become a great place for us to look for clients including: local gyms, yoga studios, Pilates studios, etc. We know these are our ideal clients because they care about their health, active, local, and likely sore from working out so hard. We reach out by writing words of encouragement and support on their gym selfies or progress pics. Which feel personal and at the same time let them know that we are here for them if they need us! This has resulted in tons of new clients for my studios (we only opened a few months ago).” Rachel Beider, Massage Expert CEO of Massage Williamsburg

“I get new followers all the time that are actually organically interested in my brand.” - Luna Matatas




Organic Reach Is Not Dead:

“My brand is colourful and friendly - Instagram allows me to project these flavours through my photos on the platform. It keeps the visual attraction of my brand and content in tact. The followers on Instagram seem to be more responsive then other platforms, so I get new followers all the time that are actually organically interested in my brand. While my follower count is low, each of those followers are meaningful. I use the platform with customer service principles in mind. If someone sees a workshop they want to take and comments “omg I want to go to this”, I respond directly to their comment on the page and invite them to DM me to order. Instead of sending them to the registration form on my website. This interaction feels personal. The fact that I’m offering a service that is sensitive and shame-prone, building a personal connection encourages people to feel safer. The PR part of my marketing is more important to me at this stage than solely basing my marketing decisions on reach.” - Luna Matatas, Sexpert


Follow The Yellow Brick Road... 


After hearing from over 100 business owners (in the making of this article) confess their favorite platform of tried & true strategies, I am exhausted but most importantly —thankful for those who shared their online marketing secrets. THE RESULTS ARE IN Social Media is your best chance at reaching the people who need YOU, my precious." From Tennile Cooper for Huffington Post

Rachel Beider in Entrepreneur Magazine

Being a Trusted Leader: What You Need to Know As Your Company Grows

The first step is to avoid any "us. vs. them" mentality.

The family-like environment of a new business can be a powerful thing. It allows both employees and leaders to come into work each day feeling as though they’re there to make a difference. By being a team, employees feel the company is stronger.

“When I first started Overit, it was just a small marketing agency,” Dan Dinsmore, the founder and CEO of Overit, in Albany, N.Y., told me. “I was involved in everything and got to interact with employees on a daily basis.”

But, as startups begin to evolve, that relationship may be hard to maintain, as Dinsmore said he discovered. In order to take his company to the next level, he needed to hire middle managers to oversee operations. Doing that, however, created a distinct divide between him and his employees.

“It started to feel like an ‘us versus them’ environment,” Dinsmore pointed out. “That wasn't the kind of company I wanted to build.”

To get things back on track, Dinsmore said he needed to rethink his company and how he could once again be a trusted leader. It took a lot of work to rebuild a culture of transparency and honesty.

Luckily, it’s possible to avoid that “us versus them” mentality altogether. Here are four strategies for keeping your startup employees and leadership united:

1. Admit your mistakes.

One of the hardest things for a leader to do is to own up when he or she is wrong. The feeling is that any mistake will be viewed as weakness or incompetence. But, in order to be a trusted leader, being accountable for failure is a necessity.

“Right out of college, I was an assistant receptionist for a big-time entertainment executive in New York,” recalled Kirsten Helvey, now the chief operating officer of Cornerstone OnDemand in Santa Monica, Calif. “One day, I got his lunch order wrong.”

It wasn’t long before Helvey’s boss called her and screamed at her for the mistake. Despite the fact that any of his other assistants could have corrected the issue, he wanted to make sure she knew she’d messed up. “At that point," Helvey went on to say, “All trust was broken: his trust in my ability as his assistant and mine in his temperament as a manager.”

Related: What Employees Are Saying When They Say They Don't Trust Leaders

Luckily, her boss had a change of heart. About 30 minutes later, he called Helvey back. He apologized for his behavior and said there was no excuse to speak to her that way. The incident turned into a life lesson Helvey uses now that she’s part of the C-suite.

“It showed me that even if you’re at the top, you can still mess up and damage the trust between you and your employees. But, if you hold yourself accountable and make amends to the people your mistake has impacted, you can recover, grow and even strengthen that relationship.”

2. Delegate.

As a leader, you may find it difficult to let go of control of any aspect of your company. But, to be a trusted leader, being able to delegate is a must. Otherwise, employees may believe that leaders doubt their capabilities.

“When I first hired employees for my small business, I found that it was challenging for me to let go of certain tasks and trust that my employees could handle them,” said Rachel Beider, CEO and founder of Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint, in New York City. “I was used to doing everything myself and at a certain standard.”

However, it wasn’t long before her micromanaging began to take a toll. “I think it drove everyone a little crazy at first,” Beider said. “We weren't being as productive as we should have been at that time.”

Once she decided to take a step back, however, things began to run more smoothly,  she said. Her employees began to feel trusted, and she was able to concentrate on the company’s growth and long-term goals.

To make delegating easier, take a moment and think: Is there anyone else who can successfully do this task? If the answer is yes, pass it on to that person and focus on big-picture strategies.

3. Empower your employees to ask for feedback.

Things move fast at a growing startup. There is always something to do, and sometimes, providing employees with feedback gets overlooked. But that in turn causes them to feel forgotten by their leaders.

After working in a fast-paced company, following college, Steffen Maier soon learned this lesson firsthand. Whenever his manager actually did find time to give him feedback, months had typically passed since the project was completed. This time gap left him unsure of his own personal career progress.

“The interesting thing is that after I left my job to pursue a master’s degree in strategic entrepreneurship, I was surprised to find that many of my peers had faced a similar experience," said Maier, now the co-founder of Impraise in New York.

As a result, he and a few others teamed up to create Impraise, a platform designed to make it easy for employees to ask for and receive feedback. Using this or similar tools allows employees to continue to feel supported and connected with trusted leaders.

4. Put trust above all else.

Never forget that a huge part of organizational trust is communication and honesty -- without them, employees find it impossible to know where they stand. And that creates a division between those in the know and those who aren’t.

“For us, success begins with trust,” said Tom Morselli, senior vice-president of people operations at PulsePoint in New York. “Trust in our leadership, trust in our mission and trust amongst the team: It takes hard work and must be earned by ‘walking the walk,’ keeping promises, following through and aligning one’s leadership style with the company’s core values.”

All of that happens through clear and consistent communication at all levels of the company. Luckily, there are multiple, easy-to-use tools that help keep teams connect. One option is Simpplr. The platform offers organizations an intranet that promotes and maintains productive information-sharing. It gives employees access to company news and a way to formally and informally interact with one other.

Employees should also recognize, however, that all of that talk needs a follow-up.

“The most empathetic and best-intended talk is hollow if it isn’t followed by action,” Morselli pointedout “Trust erodes quickly if you consistently fail to meet your commitments.”



Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, a content-marketing and digital-PR consultancy for job-search and human-resources technologies. She is the...

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Rachel Beider in the Wall Street Journal

I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal regarding clients experiencing post-election stress issues. Quotes below:

"Brooklyn massage therapist Rachel Beider wasn’t surprised to see a 12% uptick in her business after the November election, but that was just the start.

The week after Donald Trump was inaugurated, sales at Massage Greenpoint popped 48% from pre-election levels, she says. And so far this month, the figure nearly has doubled.

Ms. Beider says clients are complaining of insomnia, tension and anxiety; Most cite the new administration.

“In our industry, stress is sort of a commodity,” she says. “In an odd way, it’s good for business.”

Yes, in left-leaning New York City, stress-relief specialists—from acupuncturists to barkeepers and therapists—say the fledgling Trump administration has triggered a surge in demand."

Original Article by Anne Kadet Here: New Yorkers Seek Ways to Cope with New World Order