How can you stand out as an expert and get promoted on purpose? Life coach Tara Bradford runs The Potentialista, a PR firm that helps connect influencers with the media so that they can be featured as experts in their industry and build this online reputation and in-person reputation that is authentic and helps them reach a larger audience. Tara says as she was doing high performance coaching for entrepreneurs who were thought leaders, authors, small business owners, and coaches, what she was really helping them with was the visibility and overcoming that fear of being seen. She was teaching them how to be vulnerable with themselves and with their audiences so that they are being seen authentically because whatever it is that scares you, whatever makes you feel vulnerable, when you take that first step, people do acknowledge that and want to turn around and help you do whatever it is that you’re walking towards.
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How To Get Promoted On Purpose with Tara Bradford
I just got off my interview with Tara Bradford from The Potentialista and we had such an amazing conversation about her journey, the opportunities that she seized, and what makes a good opportunity. What do I mean about what makes a good opportunity? We talked about some really important things for how to attract people to pay attention to you even if nobody’s heard of you, if you’re starting out in a new crowd. Her story is so fantastic because this is somebody who has traveled the world because when she was growing up, her parents traveled and so she was put into new schools every one or two years. She had to make new friends and this has translated into her ability to attract publicity to working side-by-side to Dr. Oz. This was such a fascinating interview. If you want to learn how to create opportunity for yourself, then you are going to love this episode.
Tara, welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.
As you know and as my audience knows, I jumped into stories about how people have been seizing opportunities, how you create, spot, and seize opportunities in your expert-based business. Tell us a little bit about what you do now with The Potentialista. It’s a publicity PR firm, tell us a little bit about what you do now and we’re going to discover the journey and take some different paths of what ultimately led you to where you are now.
I’m running The Potentialista, which is a PR firm that helps connect influencers with the media so that they can be featured as experts in their industry and build this online reputation and in-person reputation that is authentic to that expert and helps them reach a larger audience.
You have connected me with just tons of people for the show, so clearly you are very good at what you do. It takes a lot of skills. It takes a certain skill set of connecting and providing value to the media, to get featured, to get mentioned. Publicity is something that lots of us want. All experts are entrepreneurs want some form of publicity. This is going to be a developing theme. We just had our pre-podcasts interview, so I know a little bit about how this came about, but I want to rewind it back to your first entrepreneurial venture. What was the first idea that you had and you took action on for being an expert, being an entrepreneur?
I was working as a nurse and I started this side hustle passion project. At that time, I was calling it a hobby because I wasn’t making money, but I started doing makeup tutorials on the side on Facebook Live videos and on YouTube. I was teaching women how to do their makeup. It’s interesting because I was really shy at the time and I was a little mortified to be on video. My first year of videos, I didn’t speak, I just had subtitles. I would type in the directions and the instructions in the bottom and no one ever actually heard my voice. It was this creative outlet for me because my career path as a nurse was not very creative. It was very structured and scientific and that right brain side of me was not being used anymore. This became a way for me to feed that creativity.
Where did you come up with the idea for makeup tutorials? What sparked it?
People would ask me for advice about how to do my makeup or where I bought my makeup and then a friend reached out to me with a network marketing company and she said, “I want you to try this makeup.” I tried it and I sent her a picture just like, “Thank you for introducing me to this makeup and I’m wearing it and people are loving it.” She said, “You have to post this selfie on Facebook.” I thought, “I don’t really post selfies on Facebook or really anything on Facebook except for vacations a couple times a year.” I posted it and got a lot of really positive feedback which surprised me and she said, “You have to start doing this with me.” It started out as just sharing a product that I loved and teaching people how to do it because they asked me how.
[bctt tweet=”It started out as just sharing a product that I loved and teaching people how to do it because they asked me how.” via=”no”]
You said you’re working as a nurse fulltime. Talk about what was going on in your life. You’re like, “I’m going to start a makeup YouTube Channel.” Where did that come from?
It came from those videos and the feedback that I was getting and the women who are watching my videos started sending me messages. This is when it turned. It was about six months in when I got a message from someone who said, “I’ve been married for fifteen years. I have three kids and I’ve been watching your tutorials and taking your advice and I feel so much more confident. My husband is looking at me like we’re 21 again, like we just met. It’s really helping our relationship.” I thought, “If I can do that without speaking and just giving instructions in the footnotes of a video, then what else can I do to help women be more confident?” This was an amazing feeling for me to know that I’m reaching people on this level.
You’ve had followers, you had people who were watching your tutorials, and you’ve got this feedback.
I decided to keep doing it and I wasn’t sure where it was going to go. I got into the personal development world a little bit. I had never known anything about it before. I started reading some books and during that time, I moved to New York City. When I got to New York, I met my first coach and I didn’t know that coaching was an industry. I didn’t know that people are making money doing this. I didn’t really understand what these coaches were doing. I thought I had found a hidden gem. I found one coach and he offered to work with me and I thought, “This is amazing. Do I tell people about this coach or not?” He’s completely changing my life, but also I have never talked to friends about coaches or anything. I don’t know anyone who’s hired a coach, so I don’t know if people will even really understand what I’m talking about.
What was this coach doing? What was his or her specialty?
I went to him for sales. I thought people are monetizing their YouTube channels and I want to figure out how to turn this into a business, but I’m not really sure how. I have the following and I’m selling some products through this company because I’m just using their products, but I don’t really know how that’s working. It’s just happening. I wanted more control over the sales part of it. I started working with him on sales and what it ended up really being was mindset. Then three weeks in, I thought, “I feel invincible. I feel like I could do anything.” The shift in me was so powerful that my friends on social media started noticing based on what I was posting and they started reaching out and asking me, “What are you doing differently because you’re different?”
One friend actually called me crying, it was 11:00 PM. The phone rang and I thought something was wrong.” She calls me crying and she goes, “I’m just so happy that you finally see yourself the way that everyone else has already seen you.” That was a really powerful moment for me in my own personal journey that people were noticing and people were paying attention to this because I felt the shift, but I didn’t know that other people did. She told me, “You have to start teaching people how to do this because it’s so powerful.” That was how I got into coaching.
You went from building this YouTube channel. Did you ever learn how to monetize it? You said there was a shift there. You said, “I hired this coach to learn how to do sales, but what I really got was mindset.” Did you ever figure out how to how to monetize?
When I met this coach and I was working with him, I thought I could monetize my YouTube channel because I’m going to grad school at the time. I thought, “If I’m going to be in grad school, I have to quit my job and I need a little bit of income on the side. If I can monetize this YouTube channel, then I can pay for things while I’m in school and it’ll all be great.” He started talking to me about my purpose and my why and what I really wanted to get out of life. I met a couple of other entrepreneurs after that who talked to me about similar things. I realized I did not want to go to grad school. It was for another healthcare position and just feeling like I’m climbing that ladder. I realized that what I wanted to do was make this bigger impact, like I was with the women who were saying they felt more confident.
I thought, “How can I do that and build more confidence in more people?” At the end of working with that coach, I decided I wanted to be a coach as well, rather than continue with the makeup tutorials and the YouTube channel. Any entrepreneur can relate to this where you get a million ideas, all of the sudden here like, “I could do this or I could do that,” and your problem solver part of your mind turns on. You start seeing problems to solve everywhere and you think, “That could be a business and this could be a business and I can do all of these things.”
At this point you said you’re either in grad school or just about considering going into grad school, in the healthcare field as a nurse practitioner. You discovered this opportunity with coaching. You have a coach in your life that made a huge impact. It’s funny because when somebody comes to me in the Webinar Agency, they’re like, “I’m a mindset coach.” I said, “Number one, you can’t sell mindset as mindset and nobody’s going to buy.” You’re a perfect example of how mindset is really sold. Sell somebody what they want, give them what they need. Everybody needs mindset. In your mind leading up to this point, you’re in school, you want to pursue this career in nursing or what have you. Did you ever have any aspirations for being an entrepreneur up until this point, before the coaching peace?
I had actually moved to New York. I was going to be here for six months and I made a bucket list and I just thought I’ve always wanted to live in New York. I’ll start crossing things off my bucket list like I have six months to live because after six months, I already got accepted to grad school and I’m going to go and leave New York. I already have all of that setup where I had an apartment lease signed. I had applied for financial aid, I got accepted. I told them I was coming, and so my six months in New York was just fun. It was the first time in my life that I had given myself permission to stop burning the candle at both ends and just enjoy myself because it was for a short timeframe. I let my guard down and I just started doing whatever I wanted to do. It was like, “Take a class on learning Spanish,” because I used to live in Venezuela and I feel like I lost my Spanish, or just little random touristy things.
I made this list and started crossing things off. I’m doing all of this in preparation for going to grad school where I assumed my life will be very rigid, structured, and normal. I realized that I was having fun first. I was like, “I’m really enjoying myself.” Now all of the sudden climbing that mountain and getting to that next level in my career doesn’t sound as fulfilling as what I’m doing. I started meeting people. My very first mentor, I met a New York City. He was a serial entrepreneur. We had gone to the same university.
Is this your coach?
No. This was just a friend. I started going to different Meetups with different groups of likeminded people just to meet friends because I didn’t have very many friends when I moved to New York. I met this friend and I met him under the pretense of we went to the same university. I found out later that he has owned three companies. He was on his third and it was a multimillion dollar company. He travels all over the world and has this lifestyle that I had never heard of. He’s the first person who told me that I could monetize my YouTube channel. I thought, “I can make money doing that?” Then he started inviting me to events like YPO and Entrepreneurs’ Organization and things like that. I said, “No. I have nothing in common with entrepreneurs and business owners and CEOs and executives. I would have nothing to talk to these people about.”
I got really shy and freaked out about being in a room with people like him, even though we got along. I thought, “This is really scary. I’m just a nurse.” I was working night shift at the time and just doing these makeup tutorials and had never thought about starting a business. He kept inviting me and I kept saying, “No.” Then there was one thing he said to me that completely changed everything. I had told him I was thinking of maybe staying in New York just because I was having fun and going to grad school sounded great for my education and my career path that I didn’t really have to do that. It was more of, “I thought I needed to make my parents proud and do the next thing.” At the time I thought, “I really don’t want to do that anymore.” I changed my mind.
He said something about people like us and I don’t remember the exact conversation. He said, “That’s what people like us do.” It was the first time he had compared himself to me or compared me to him. I thought, “What do you mean people like us?” He said, “Visionary entrepreneurs,” and I was thinking, “I have never referred to myself as a visionary or an entrepreneur or puts those two words together ever.” I asked him to explain it in a little bit more detail, like, “What do you see in me that makes you want to describe me that way?” We had a conversation about it and it was really interesting to me to start seeing myself through other people’s eyes. That’s where I started learning more about personal branding and solving problems for your target audience rather than solving problems for yourself and trying to sell something that you think is a great idea. It was a way for me to put myself in that situation of maybe I don’t have as much self-awareness as I thought.
It sounds like it just completely opened your eyes to a whole new world.
That too and I had never put myself in that world before either. That’s where I decided, “I can start a company.”
Where are we in the timeline here? Are you a coach? Have you become a coach yet at this point?
I had started working with a coach. The coach had told me, “You’d be really great at this. You should get certified.” I said I would sign up for certification, not really knowing if that was the job or the business that I was going to start. I was just deciding how to let the grad school know that I wasn’t coming and how was I going to stay in New York. I had a temporary job. They were paying for my housing. My job and my housing at this point were ending in two weeks. I had a lot of student loan money sitting in my bank account and I had an apartment lease. I had movers booked to move all of my stuff to somewhere else and I had two weeks to figure it out. I did.
I figured out how to get an apartment in New York, which at a whole thing in itself. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It’s pretty hard to get an apartment in New York. I found a job and it was a job doing something I had never necessarily done before. It was an administrative job in a hospital administration. I had always worked as a bedside nurse or in a smaller clinic and I had never done anything like that before, but I needed a job and I wanted to live by myself without roommates. I figured out what job I needed in order to be able to afford the apartment I wanted and I went and got it. That was August, and then October I started my coaching practice.
You launched your coaching business. You became certified so you could coach other people on what you just went through.
It was high performance coaching that I got certified in.
No, it wasn’t his program. I love his book and everything and if I had known that coaching was such a big industry at the time, I would have done more research about which program to get into. That is something I would recommend to people when they’re looking at certification. I thought I found this hidden gem and there were no other programs out there and didn’t think to Google it or anything. Google has lots of resources.
At this point, you’ve gone down the path. You’ve gone through quite a few shifts. You didn’t even realize that the coaching industry was as big as it was. You didn’t realize there were coaches out there. You start by wanting to monetize your YouTube channel because you’re going to school and use that to help pay off your expenses. You searched out a coach for some help. That opened your eyes to a whole new opportunity, at the same time, you’ve got your one friend who keeps inviting you to these entrepreneur conferences. Looking back on it, you’re getting pelted with this world of entrepreneurship even though you might not have realized it at the time, then finally, it broke through. Tell me a little bit about the certification in coaching. Are you still doing that now?
It was a ten-week program and it was all about coaching people with supervision. I had to do a certain number of hours of supervised coaching where my coach was mentoring me through some of the challenges of coaching that I was coming up against with my first few clients, just to make sure that I was delivering the coaching content or curriculum the way that it was intended to be delivered. Also, seeing results and getting those first few testimonials under my belt and building my confidence in my ability to coach people.
You’re not coaching anybody in the high performance stuff?
I am. I still have a few clients who I coach more around visibility and publicity. For people who are just starting out with their business and they’re not quite ready for PR but they want the strategy and they want to learn how to do it themselves, I’m coaching them through some of their blocks and also building a brand and their reputation and things like that.
What led to the pivot from where you are now from high performance coaching? Tell me what happened in between there.
I started getting featured in the media. I wasn’t really sure how to market myself. I started my business in October, I got my first client at the beginning of December. That happened pretty quickly. Then I thought, “What do I need to do next?” In January, I met one of the producers at the Dr. Oz Show and I ended up going to do a segment there in January. It was complicated. It was my first experience with television and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or why I was there. I thought I was getting on Dr. Oz. What happened was Oprah was there that morning and I really wanted to meet Oprah. I thought, I can do anything to meet Oprah, but I was really nervous about being on TV. My business was three months old. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing being on TV. I got there, I didn’t meet Oprah. I did get her cookbook, but they ended up being so busy and having so many other things going on and my segment was the last one that it ended up getting pushed because they ran out of time.
That was my first experience with television and meeting producers and even just getting to the shell and behind the scenes and getting mic’d up and all of the things that go into being on TV. I thought, “This is cool.” I was also thinking, “I don’t know how I did this.” I don’t know how I got to this point where I’m almost on TV. I started looking more into PR and how to get featured on purpose because that was an accident. I was featured in podcasts and digital publications. I had my own column in Huffington Post as a contributor and I just started getting these features about every two weeks for the entire year where I was always being interviewed by somebody or writing something or being a guest blogger somewhere. People started asking me, “How are you doing this?” My friends and family were like, “You’re rich and famous.” I thought, “Publicity isn’t really paid.” You don’t get paid to be on podcasts or for people to interview you. That was an interesting misconception that I thought, “That’s something I didn’t think about before I started doing this.”
[bctt tweet=”You sell people what they want and give them what they need.” via=”no”]
Then when people ask me how I did it, I started teaching people and realize that the thing that had gotten me all of the publicity was how I’m able to build relationships with people and really understand what they need help with and then help them do it. I thought, “That’s really a fun thing for me. It doesn’t feel like work and I enjoy it and I’m getting results for people who I’m teaching how to do this. Maybe it’s all connected.” Like you said earlier, you sell people what they want and give them what they need. This is my ‘what people want’.
It’s what people are coming to me for, asking me to help them with publicity, their reputation, their brand, and how to reach a larger audience confidently. I got to marry coaching and publicity together, both the things that I was really good at for that year. Then I decided to start doing it for people. A year into my entrepreneurial journey of really having a business, I decided to do PR for people and then I got clients. I had clients before I decided I was doing that who were just telling me, “Whenever you decide to do this, I’m in. Just call me. I want you to do it for me.” I started doing that and figuring it out.
You had tons of demand built up. If we go back when you decided to do high performance coaching, at that point, you realize there was a big market for it. There’s a big demand. You pursued it, you got certified, and you started getting some clients, then why the shift in markets? Why shift from high performance coaching to publicity and PR? Personal branding to publicity and PR, is that the right timeline?
My audience hasn’t changed. I was doing high performance coaching for entrepreneurs who were thought leaders, authors, small business owners, and coaches. I was working with them. I guess I realized what I was helping them with was the visibility and overcoming that fear of being seen and being seen authentically and teaching them how to be vulnerable with themselves and with their audiences. The high performance coaching never really was just performance. It wasn’t time management or goal setting or anything like that. It was always behind that storefront of branding or visibility.
You were getting clearer on your own personal message of what you really wanted to serve for your clients. That’s why we’ve shifted from the high performance coaching to where we are now.
I was putting my marketing and my blogs and my writing and everything out there and that was what attracted people to me. All of my clients came to me through social media or my website or guest blogs. I never actually had to sell anything. People just came to me and said, “I want to work with you. Can you help me with this problem?” It was because of my marketing that attracted them and then they wanted to be able to market themselves in a similar way. That’s how that was born.
They’re seeing exactly what you do and they want more of it, which is the absolute pinnacle of what we are as experts. People want what you do, people want you, and that’s essentially what it is. What you told me earlier, you wanted to shift to get PR on purpose. In our pre-podcast interview, you talked about throughout your entire life, you’ve lived all over the world. When you were growing up, you moved into new situations and you always threw yourself into the fire.
You’ve always come out successfully and you’ve had to push yourself to the edge and meet new people and connect with new people, which is very similar to what you’re doing now, only getting paid to. I want to connect those dots. With the potential you have seen in how to get PR on purpose, how have you been able to retroactively see what your previous experiences was in your life and throughout your professional career to what you’re able to do now for yourself and for your clients to get PR?
I feel like I’ve been doing this my entire life, building a reputation, putting myself in a situation with likeminded people where I’m the outsider. As a kid, I did travel a lot. My dad is an engineer and we moved around every six months to two years and I lived in Scotland, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela growing up and then moved back to the United States for high school. I was always the new kid. I felt like I was always new and different and as a younger child, people were really interested in that and they would come up to you and say, “Where are you from? Where’s your accent from? Tell me what it’s like to live there and your favorite place in the world.”
It was always really interesting. I had gotten used to being the person who was different and for that to be a strength because it meant I didn’t have to go up to anybody and start a conversation. They came to me and started the conversation and then I already knew what they wanted to talk about and I could talk about that, rather than talking about things that they didn’t really care about.
I moved to Texas for high school and I was the new kid for the first time in my life and I wasn’t received very well. I wouldn’t say that people necessarily didn’t like me, but I moved to a smaller town where people had lived their entire lives there with the same people doing the same things and they already had their groups of friends established long before I arrived. Here I was trying to figure out which group I would fit into. High school was really a struggle and I became really shy. I’m an introvert as well. I didn’t really put myself out there or try to get invited to anything.
I would say through high school, I was in survival mode. I was like, “I just need to get through the next four years and then I can go do something else.” Almost fifteen years later I moved to New York City and I knew two people who lived here and we were Facebook friends. It wasn’t like we were best friends forever. I thought I’m in that situation again where I have to go and meet people and the easiest way for me to do that is to put myself in a situation where I can get people to talk to me, be a magnet for those conversations that I’m afraid to start.
What I loved during that story was you said something when you were in high school because you’re moving around. You said, “When you were looking at the groups of friends and try to figure out where you fit in, you talked about the same breaking into well-established groups and that’s a big fear for anybody who’s starting out. Whether you were starting out in business and moved to a new city, a new country, whatever, from the outside looking in, you’re looking in and you’re saying, “These people are already established.”
It looks like a barrier and it’s a hard barrier to break into. Even with Dr. Oz or like a big publicity, you look at it as like, “I’m not going to be able to get on Oprah. I’m not going to be able to get featured on Dr. Oz. I’m not going to be able to get on all these big TV spots.” These are the well-established groups. Can you give me an example of how you’ve been able to put yourself out there and become a magnet versus trying to force yourself in? It’s very fascinating.
Initially, it was just to make friends, which is actually huge. I don’t want to say, “Just to make friends.” I had realized that I got really comfortable ordering Chinese takeout from the restaurant down the street from where I was living and they had my phone number and my order memorized after living in New York for about three weeks. I thought, “I can keep doing this, or I can go make friends and leave my safe, secure apartment,” where I can hide behind my camera and my YouTube channel and not actually have to talk to anybody. That was the push where I thought, “I’m not going to waste my time here not doing anything.” I started volunteering first. I built my network that way where as a nurse, I wanted to get out of the healthcare circles and go meet people who are doing other things. I volunteered at the Javits Center which is an expo center in New York City.
They had a fashion event with buyers and designers and I thought, maybe I want to be a fashion designer. I’ll just go meet some designers and ask them questions about what they do and if they like it and how long they’ve been doing it and how they got started. I went and volunteered for three days at that and I got to talk to buyers and designers and learned more about what their lifestyle is like and how they felt about that and what went into becoming a designer, which was really interesting. Then I decided to volunteer to teach high school students about personal finance. I got in a room full of investment bankers and you sit at a boardroom table and they’re onboarding you to this program and you go around the room and you introduce yourself. Everybody worked for a bank in some capacity and they get to me and I said I’m a nurse. Everyone looks at you like, “Why are you here?”
At the end of the event, people come up to you and they start asking you what made you decide to do this and how did you get to this point, and they start asking you your story. I just did that in different established groups and environments where people were very similar to one another. I made myself the odd woman out, where at the end they would come and talk to me. When you put yourself out there and make yourself different on purpose, people want to help you achieve your goals, which was an interesting thing for me to experience.
I wasn’t expecting that part of it, where you start talking to people and they ask you, “What are you trying to do?” I was there trying to figure out what to do. Then they would say, “I’ll introduce you to this person or that person and you might and you should totally meet this other person.” The Dr. Oz show came from one of those connections where a new friend was saying, “I know the producer for the Dr. Oz show and they’re looking for someone to do a segment on X, Y, and Z. I’m going to text you and introduction to her and that was how that happened. I thought, “How can I get better at asking for exactly what I want once I figure it out and how can I teach other people to do the same thing?”
You wanted to be different on purpose. When you’re different on purpose and joined these oddball groups, you stand out on purpose and people are naturally attracted to you, opposites attract. You go into a room of investment bankers, 99% are investment bankers, and you’re a nurse. People are going to be asking you exactly what you do. It’s completely operating like a magnet, if opposites attract. Then they naturally want to help you. I think that’s super key in terms of just people in general. People love relationships and we crave relationships. Deep down, we do want to help people and you’re leveraging that.
Now, you’ve connected it with this business aspect where there are entrepreneurs and their businesses who want to get publicity and you’ve become the expert at getting them to stand out, so the publicity comes to them and the opportunities come to them. You said you started getting featured every two weeks. How did you systemize this? Did that mean you had to go to all these different groups or was it one group and then you leverage those connections to get new connections? How did that work?
I feel like every relationship I felt since I moved to New York has built upon each other. Six degrees of separation is totally real. It came from someone connecting you to somebody that they know and really this pay it forward mentality, which is why I felt really strange monetizing it initially. I didn’t have a background in public relations. I didn’t study communications in college. I hadn’t worked in a corporate environment where you are paying for this thing. I was doing it for free at first where I would meet a podcast host and they would offer to interview me. I would do the interview. At the end of the interview, I would ask them, “What can I help you with? Thank you for having me on and I’d love to help you and give you something in return,” and they would say, “Introduce me to somebody who fits this description and I want to interview someone like that.” I would make the introduction and they would then meet someone and say, “You have to meet my friend Tara,” and they would introduce someone to me later.
It was really about building those word of mouth referrals, but there was no money being exchanged. It was just referrals for common interests. That’s really how I built my networking and got featured in all of these different things. I’m also naturally a storyteller. I feel like I get into a story and I just run with it and that’s why this podcast interview has been so fun because it’s all about telling your story. When I meet people in person too, I start telling stories about what has happened and they start asking questions. They pick up on different words the same way that you have during this interview where they’ll say, “I know someone who’s doing something similar,” and they try to connect to you with likeminded people just because they’re interested in the story.
It’s a skill that everybody needs to work on, which is networking. You can’t even measure the ROI, because you have no idea when it’s going to be materialized and when it’s going to come in. What’s fascinating about seeing the connection and the transformation of where you started and I’m talking not even just professionally at where started. You were moving all over the place and being able to break through those well-established group so you could get friends and then realizing that skill applied professionally to accidentally get on Dr. Oz show. I’m going to say you were pretty much on it. You’re mic’d up and you were ready to go. You saw the opportunity. You were like, “How can I do this on purpose, because clearly everyone’s asking me about it. Everyone’s asking me about how I almost got on Dr. Oz or everyone’s asking about how I was able to get these features.”
The skill of spotting that opportunity is also a very critical skill to just maintain your business and your trajectory. As entrepreneurs and as experts, if we don’t see these and we don’t capitalize on them, it can fly by. Just connecting the dots of how you grew up and now how you’re applying that professionally as your expertise and you’ve been doing it your entire life, it’s natural that people are attracted to you as you’ve mentioned, to want to get publicity on their own. Now, you do it for other people. That’s what The Potentialista does. Are you now just a “super connector” leveraging your network to get featured because you’ve established these relationships, or are you teaching other people how to be different?
It’s a multiple different layers of that. I help people build their reputation so that they are different, so they can stand out as an expert. Once you get into entrepreneurship, once I realize there were all these coaches out there, I thought, “I’m in this sea of coaches and I don’t know how to stand out and be different because everyone’s a coach now.” You start following everyone and then your whole newsfeed on social media has all people who are the same as you and you get in your own head and you start thinking, “I’m not different than any of these people because they’re all doing amazing things.” I really help people get out of that environment where they think I look the same and talk the same and I’m teaching the same things as everyone else and help them see what makes them unique and special and as an expert, how they can stand out in the media?
It’s a personal branding strategy component to it and then building that reputation. If what people see and what you want them to see is not the same, how can we create reputation that you want before you get publicity? It’s reverse reputation management. You don’t want to wait for the bad things to happen. We just want to start out with this amazing reputation that you want people to be spreading about you. When they say, “Have you seen this person? They talk about X, Y, and Z and they’re amazing because their backstory is this crazy thing that happened.” How do you pull out all of those pieces that make it really easy for people to spread the word about your business and what you’re doing? We do that. Then we got the publicity. Either through me leveraging their connections and doing it for them, making the introduction, the pitch, crafting the stories, and then they just show up for the interview for the article.
[bctt tweet=”If you are on a podcast and nobody listens to it, then does anyone really know what you do?” via=”no”]
I also do some copy editing. If someone wants to write their own blog posts or guest blog for somebody, then I would edit that into a story which is interesting for me because as a storyteller, it comes totally naturally to me. Then seeing how other people have struggled with writing, that’s been a really fun part of it for me to help people with because I love the writing of it too. I still get to write and then teaching them what to do after they get the publicity. If you are on a podcast and nobody listens to it, then does anyone really know what you do? Not that there are, there are a lot of podcasts with no listeners, but if it’s just that person’s audience and you’re not leveraging the shares and the opportunity for that to potentially go viral and be seen across multiple audiences, then you’re missing a huge opportunity there.
Also, I’ve heard people say things like, “I already got featured in Forbes, so I’m not going to do that again. I have to do something else.” Eventually, you run out of places to get featured and so people think they can’t be featured in the same publication twice. That’s also holding people back from getting more media for themselves because you’re missing out on that relationship with that one writer or with that one publication, whoever your contact is there to be featured more than once over and over again. About all of the things that you feel comfortable talking about or being interviewed on as the expert in whatever industry you are representing.
Social media is a whole another thing. Just teaching people how to feel comfortable talking about these things on social media so they don’t feel like they’re bragging. That’s the most common thing I hear from people is that, “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging.” If they get featured somewhere else, then they’ll share it with their audience, but then I don’t really have to talk about myself in front of my own audience and fearing that your friends and family who follow you on social media are going to think that you’re full of yourself or something like that.
Rather than turning it into a supportive environment where they want to be a part of your journey and see you succeed. When you make that shift with your audience on social media, then they also start sending you things and you aren’t asking for them. They’ll start sending you articles. They’ll start asking you if they can introduce you to someone interesting who they just met and just creating more and more of those opportunities to connect with a larger audience.
Tara, this was a fantastic interview. I loved learning about your story and the connection of your background with breaking into those new groups when you were different and then leveraging that as a skill set of intentionally being different to attract people to just want to help you. Which is fascinating because we started a YouTube channel. You didn’t even want to be on camera and now you’re trying to help people blow up and you’re blowing up and it’s amazing. You’re leveraging this expertise and the skill set of breaking into these barriers, breaking into these groups by becoming attractive, becoming a personal brand that people want to help and doing that on purpose. Did we leave anything out that you want to mention that we just didn’t get to?
Build upon other people wanting to help you. It really comes from being vulnerable. That’s the missing thing we didn’t talk about and the key throughout all of it. When they see you doing something that they think is really brave or courageous or vulnerable, that’s what makes people want to help you because they think, “You’re really putting yourself out there in a way that I could never or have never done and I admire that and I want to be a part of it.” That was something for me that came from necessity.
I had to put myself out there because I didn’t have any friends and I didn’t really know what to ask for as a favor. Then people just turned around and started asking me how they could help me be successful because I had taken that first step. Whatever it is that scares you, that makes you feel vulnerable or that you think you’d have to be really brave in order to do, the most surprising thing is when you take that first step, how people do acknowledge that and want to turn around and help you do whatever it is that you’re walking towards.
I can’t agree with it more. It’s exactly the opposite of what most people were saying. Most people want you to fake it until you make it, look bigger than you actually are, but if you really want to leverage deep connections and build that personal brand, 100% believe that you got to be vulnerable in some aspect. Tara, where can people connect with you? Where can people reach out, follow you, be vulnerable? Where can they find you?
Tara, I had a blast. I know my listeners are going to absolutely love this story and this journey and how you’ve been able to pivot and leverage ultimately. You’ve built over the course of your life and turn that into what you do for other professionals right now. I’ve enjoyed this conversation. She’s already been super gracious to me, but I know that you can learn a lot from her. That’ll do it for this episode and we’ll see you all on the next one. Take care.
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About Tara Bradford
From startup founders to Inc 5000 CEOs, Tara Rae Bradford serves her clients as a trusted confidante and advisor.
She started her career as a Registered Nurse caring for people who were in critical condition after devastating accidents. During her time caring for these patients and their families she heard a lot of people’s regrets. The most common regret was, “I wish I had spent more time with the people I care about the most.” These stories of regret came from the ambitious attorney who was trying to make partner in the law firm, the ivy league graduate student studying to get her MBA while working a full-time career, and the breadwinning parent in a single income home, to name a few.
As a dedicated advocate and tireless problem solver, she realized she was helping people solve the “quantity of life” equation, but wondered if she was really improving the “quality of life” for her patients. Her heart pulled her to find a way to meet these people when they were thriving so she could teach them how to build more meaningful relationships with the people they care most about. After all, it wasn’t exactly “lack of time” that was causing this regret, it was the question: “Does this person know how much I care about them and will I ever have the opportunity to make sure they know how I feel?”
She bridged that gap between quantity and quality of life when she discovered coaching. Today, Tara works with these top performing leaders to help them gain clarity on their goals and objectives, break through their limitations to the next level of their legacy, and reignite their passion.