Episode #20: How To Go From Hidden Gem to Impacting Millions with Selena Soo

The Fast-Track Woman Podcast: Episode #20
How to Go From Hidden Gem to Impacting Millions with Selena Soo

 Click the Play Button + Listen Below.

 Meet Podcast Guest, Selena Soo.

"I've always been shy. But I haven't let that stop me from building a 7-figure business and connecting with some of today's biggest thought leaders.

By my mid-20s, I had my dream job (working at a women’s nonprofit), lived in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and had a tall, handsome boyfriend. But why wasn’t I happy? I couldn’t figure it out.

So I started going to a women's life coaching group. During that time, I got exposed to thought leaders like Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra, whose empowering messages helped other people live better lives.

As time went on, I learned about people like Marie Forleo, Ramit Sethi, Danielle LaPorte, and more – newer icons who were helping people find a dream job, start a business, find their purpose, improve their health, or let go of toxic relationships. It was like discovering a new world.

I would read every blog post and watch every video from these experts, dreaming of one day starting my own lifestyle business. These people had no idea who I was, but I felt like they were my friends. Because I followed their work so closely, I began to see ways and opportunities to support them. So I started to reach out, saying things like, “I know someone you should connect with.” Or, “This would be a great opportunity for you — can I put you in touch?”

Even though I'd always been a shy introvert, this wasn't about me. It was about making connections that could help people I truly admired. Before I knew it, I became a valued, trusted person in their networks. And today, I’m able to count the most amazing people as my friends, mentors, and clients."

 About this Podcast Episode.

In this episode, Terra interviews Selena Soo, publicity and marketing strategist. Terra and Selena talk about what it takes to go from the world’s biggest secret to getting opportunities like being featured in media like magazines, blogs, online publications, stages, and podcasts.

As an introverted entrepreneur, Selena not only struggled with once being visible and now owns a multi-seven figure media company where she and her team help others get media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to get media in her signature program, Impacting Millions.

You won’t want to miss this episode and get all the tips and strategies that will allow you to from “hidden gem” to household name.

 Resources, Tools, and Links Mentioned in this Episode.

  • To learn more about Selena, visit www.selenasoo.com.
  • Apply for your complimentary Fast-Track Session with Terra HERE.

 Read and Download the Transcript for this Episode.

Intro (00:02): Welcome to The Fast-Track Entrepreneur Podcast with your host Terra Bohlmann. You are about to get filled with business strategies, advice, and motivation to get you prepared to fast track your five year plan in less than one year. So buckle up and let's create your first class business with clarity and confidence.

Terra (00:27): Hello. Hello. Welcome back to The Fast-Track Entrepreneur Podcast. I am Terra Bohlmann and I am so excited to bring you today's guest. Not only have she has she been a mentor of mine recently, I'm also in her year long mastermind and I have participated and worked with her and her team and they're brilliant. So let me introduce you to Selena Soo. So she is a publicity and marketing strategists for visionary entrepreneurs, experts and authors who want to reach millions with their message through her online publicity program impacting millions. She has helped clients and students across the globe get featured in places like O, the Oprah magazine, Forbes, and inc. After getting her degree from Columbia university and her MBA from NYU stern school of business, Selena really was inspired to begin building a publicity empire. Her signature approach really comes down to forming powerful and long lasting relationships with influencers and media in a thoughtful, authentic way.

Terra (01:34): Many of Selena's clients have become industry leaders with seven figure businesses, raving fans, and hundreds of thousands of followers. She divides her time between Puerto Rico and New York city. So please join me in welcoming Selena Soo. Hi Selena!

Selena (01:52): Hey Terra, I'm so happy to be here.

Terra (01:54): I'm happy to have you here as well. I'm like so excited for you to serve the fast-track entrepreneurs that are listening to this today and you have such amazing insight and I just can't wait to start digging in around your expertise of publicity. So as I mentioned before, we got connected through, I think it was John Lee Dumas actually, and you had reached out and I thought it was the most authentic amazing thing that you're just said, Hey, I just want to get to know you. Like let's talk. And then by the end I was like, I want to be in your mastermind. So you know, sign me up and I've never looked back. And it's, you really do attract amazing entrepreneurs that are doing awesome things. So thank you for that. Oh yeah, for sure. For sure. So tell us, how did you get into the work of publicity?

Selena (02:46): Absolutely. So when I was in my mid twenties, I went through a quarter life crisis. I was working at a nonprofit in New York city making $42,000 a year, which is not a lot in New York city. And I was in a bad relationship. I had low self esteem and was just at like an all time low. I've become clinically depressed. And so I asked a friend, you know, who do you know anyone that I could see because I can't feel this way every day I was having trouble eating, I was having trouble getting out of bed in the morning and I learned about this women's life coaching group and they would meet every Wednesday and they would sit in a circle. And through that group I got exposed to all these incredible experts and authors and entrepreneurs and people that had cause we'd be reading their books and had these great ideas. And I realized that when people are suffering and struggling, they're not just looking for more information, but they're really looking for inspiration as well. And I felt like, wow, you know, there are people out there who are goal models that can show people a better way of living their life.

Selena (03:48): Whether it is how to find their purpose, start a business, leave that bad relationship or heal their health. Like we all need these role models. And so I just become really passionate about elevating the voices of people that have powerful ideas, that can really help people improve the quality of their lives. So that's why I do what I do and I just love every minute of it.

Terra (04:08): That is so cool and I love that. I love that you are so similar to even myself and so many women that I work with around, you know, having that corporate job, right? Like you go and you're doing the grind and you're in the routine and you can't help but wonder if there's, is there something bigger or there's something different? Right. And so that's so cool. Thank you for sharing. Like how you got inspired to just take that little step. Like sometimes it's just taking those little steps that get you that huge transformation. So super cool. So from a publicity standpoint, tell us about, you know, how you went from the circle, you know, and, and meeting these people to like actually building your company.

Selena (04:49): Yeah, absolutely. So it's been a great journey working with amazing clients and students and one of the most interesting things about that has been my own fears around visibility. And I think that your audience can probably relate because I find that it's really easy to promote other people, but promoting ourselves as the harder thing and deep dad, I realize that. And I also wanted to go beyond just helping a handful of clients and you know, eventually myself helping hundreds, thousands, millions of people. I ended up putting myself out there. So early on one of my clients had invited me to do a video interview that she would share with her audience.

Selena (05:26): She was like, I really believe in your work. I think more people need to know about you. And I was really uncomfortable because I just, you know, felt safe behind the scenes. But ultimately I decided, you know what, I'm going to give this a try. And so I said yes, let's do the interview. And I remember feeling really nervous leading up to the interview and during the interview and after it was a very emotional experience. And when I listened to the recording or actually a watch the recording, I like covered my hat, my face with my hands. Like I was watching a horror movie and I was like, wow, like Selena, you're talking way too fast. We've got terrible eye contact, you don't look very confident. And on the side I had my interns like counting my filler words cause I was in Toastmasters, I was looking to improve my speaking and they were counted up to like 137 filler words and I was like, you can just stop counting.

Selena (06:16): Clearly this was a total disaster. Totally screwed up this interview. We can't, no one can see this. And one of my interns said, Selena, I don't think it's as bad as you think it is. I actually think that people would really like it. And I was stunned, but then I thought, well what if that's true? And so I decided to release that interview and I was nervous to see what responses I would get back. But hours later, you know, I had a handful of responses and people were like, wow, this is so exciting. I've never seen you on video. I love the stories you share. I love the advice. That was helpful. And so I took four things away from that and I want to share that with your audience because they all sent around mindset and that's really step one towards getting visibility is getting your mind right.

Selena (07:00): So number one is that we are always our own worst critic. And so, you know, we always look at, you know, what we could have done better. You know, I was basically having my interns like know all the places where, you know, I felt like I screwed up, but it's usually much better than we think. So that's number one. Number two is unfair to compare ourselves to people who are so far ahead of us. And so I think all of us, we've got our favorite, you know, speakers, writers, personalities, and we see them on video or maybe even gracing like the Ted talk stage or doing what they do. And we're like, we have that vision of excellence of as being at that level. The thing is we cannot compare someone who's basically done the work, right? They probably have hired coaches, maybe even a speech writer and you know, team to help them get to that level.

Selena (07:48): So the thing is you can't compare yourself to other people. And number three, I sort of touched on this, but the only way to get better is to do the work. So there will be the gap and it will feel uncomfortable knowing that, okay, I'm not doing this perfectly, but you have to take imperfect action by showing up consistently. That is how you're going to close that gap. And then number four is, you know, oftentimes when we put ourselves out there, we end up like, well we criticize ourselves and we get into this self centered place about like, how do I look, how do I sound? But at the end of the day we're doing this because we want to serve people. We don't have our business, not because we want to make ourselves look good. We want to actually make an impact in someone's life and change things for the better.

Selena (08:29): And so I find that when I really keep my mindset focused on who I'm here to serve and just the message I'm getting across that takes the pressure off of the performance aspect. And after I do an interview, you know, I asked them, even if I tripped up, even if I think, like I said, something that made me look slightly stupid, but if I'm like you, did I show up fully and give it my all and really serve that audience? The answer is yes. That was a fantastic interview and I just move on to the next great opportunity serve. So those four things have really supported me and kind of exercising those courage muscles because at every level there's new things that are scary when it comes to putting yourself out there.

Terra (09:07): I resonated with all of that, including I was, I did Toastmasters too because that was like the GoTo system to learn how to speak. And I probably went home and cried around how many ah's and ums that they counted for me. So which is hard truth when you have, you're like me and you are, have some perfectionist ways. So but I learned a lot from it and I love that you're like, just put it out there anyway because I don't think people tend to count it as much as we stress about it. So that's so good. And I love your last point and that it just to reiterate how important it is to not make what you're doing about you and not worry about, you know, what you look like, you know, how you feel you're going to sound how this and this and that. And I got the best advice. Just to piggyback off of your fourth point and something to this day, whenever I go get invited to speak on a stage or do anything, which we know publicity will also help you be able to be an onstage speaker.

Terra (10:04): And that was the best advice from a woman named Lisa Nichols. And she said, you know, you take a deep breath and you, you say to yourself, this is not about me. It's about them. And then you kind of let go and you just go out there. And I think when you can use that, an exercise like that and to know that it's not about you, make it about them, cause that's what we want to do, right? We want to make that impact. That's super important to all of us. So, Oh, so good. Those tips were amazing. Okay. Just to clear up any confusion, publicity, public relations, PR exposure, people call things, a lot of different things. In your mind, what does publicity, like what exactly is it?

Selena (10:43): Right? So publicity is all about getting your message, your ideas, your products and services out to more people, specifically through media and influencer platforms. So we've got traditional media like magazines and TV and you know, websites. But then we also have new media like podcasts. And I often think of the new media as being like controlled by influencers.

Selena (11:06): So an influencer may have a great podcast or maybe they even have a membership site or a mastermind group or a stage where they would want to put someone on that to give them more exposure about publicity is about you being endorsed by, you know, media or influencers that people know, like, and trust and then getting your message spread to their audiences. And I think that everybody can benefit from publicity in their business. A lot of times people think of, you know, they kind of have this feeling that they need to go from zero to Oprah. Like, I know you would be all over me, but I'm not ready for that yet. So I'm not ready for publicity. But I think it's really important to build a body of work and have that foundation. So if someone were to Google you online, they see, Ooh, like you've written articles online, your name comes up, you've been interviewed so that if Oprah's producers were told about you and they looked you up, you would seem like the real deal versus someone who's invisible online. And so, yeah, with publicity, I think that, you know, it's important to take small and steady steps versus trying to go for the really large opportunities right away.

Terra (12:15): Yes. And, and that's something I even learned within just my own business is I, you know, I've had this strategy around the more publicity you have, the less you have to invest in marketing. Right? It's like, I don't ever see an Oprah like running Facebook ads unless she's not targeting me or something like that. But yeah. You know, so it's really such an important part of your overall marketing strategy that will just, you know, pay back in spades. One thing that I realized in my own business is I did okay with marketing, especially in a local market here in Houston, Texas.

Terra (12:51): Right? And it's like, but what I was really missing is the whole idea of more publicity. You know, what you had said one time really resonated with me around, you know, do you feel like a hidden secret, you know, or a hidden gem I think is what you say. And it's like, yeah, I kind of do. So, you know, and, and that's what even drew me to you was like this was a big chunk of what I was missing. I mean, I have had good PR and publicity and I've written for Forbes and other great things in the past. And what I've found is that will continue over time to continue to send you leads even though I did it five years ago and that it's like you can't buy that kind of SEO. So using your strategies is brilliant on top of the credibility markers that you help people get, you know, as CNN ABC and that's just social proof all day long.

Terra (13:42): So I love that. I really felt like I was missing so much on the, what do I need to do to get more exposure out there, which is why I, you know, not only my, in your mastermind, but I've worked with you and the team on the publicity side as well. And because of that, I'm like, everybody needs to know this. Every woman entrepreneurs needs to know and use your step by step system to get this as well. I mean, especially I tend to work with, you know, you talk often about being an introvert and you know, and sometimes, you know, I'm, I classify more as an, I think it's called ambivert. Like I'm in the middle. Some days I'm really extroverted and some days I'm, I just want to read my Kindle all day, you know? But a lot of the times, you know, I've felt too, and I know many people are so scared to put ourselves out there because we might be found out, right. Which isn't that the point of while we're in business, but just to make those little steps, what do you have to say, say to the woman who is just so scared, even take that little step to put herself out there?

Selena (14:42): Yeah. Oh, I mean, I get it. I mean, one thing that I will say is scary things get easier over time. And as human, we're actually very adaptable. So the thing that, you know, I remember the first time I did a media interview or you know, some of the earlier times when I did public speaking, leading up to the opportunity, I really thought like, I felt like I'm going to die. Like I'm gonna trip on stage. I will mess up my words, I will look like a fool, I'll humiliate myself just like this really intense negative dialogue and my train. But honestly, the only way for it to go away is to actually do it. Right. But we can take small steps, which is why when it comes to publicity, it's not about like on day one trying to get onto TV. You know, instead it would be something like, you know, what are the low hanging fruit opportunities? Do I have a friend that maybe has a website where I could, you know, contribute a guest post on their blog?

Selena (15:39): Is there, you know, a friend that has started a podcast or you know, have people even come to me and said like, I would love for you to speak to my local group of six people and you haven't said yes to that opportunity. I would think about what are some opportunities that more accessible to you. And then I would also like really prepare for those opportunities. I remember for my first several podcasts interviews, you know, I would get the questions, I would ask them if there's any questions they could send me and then I would practice my answers to those questions because you really do get better with practice and oftentimes we can't always see what's so interesting in our story. We all can benefit from feedbacks. I would say start with like the low hanging fruit opportunities, number one. And then number two is like actually prepare for that.

Selena (16:25): And that's, I mean, some people I know like prefer to be spontaneous, but I think that when you can put a little bit of preparation, then it takes a pressure off and then you can be so present and spontaneous in the moment of the interview. I love that. That's so good. So good. From a time perspective, like the woman I work with, the listener is probably like, you know, going, this all sounds amazing. Like how I'm, I'm struggling with what I have to do every single day to run my business. Like how much time do I need to dedicate and getting publicity? What would you say to her? Yeah. So for everyone it's different, right? So for some people it's like maybe they just want to get a handful of media hits because they want to use those media logos on their website. Because the cool thing is when you get a media hit, once you can use that for the lifetime of your business and you've been seen in all these places, that's how you're being introduced when you get on stage or your next podcast or your website.

Selena (17:18): So there's a huge return and I could go on and on about how you can leverage that. But I think it is actually valuable to get publicity consistently in your business. For me, I focus my publicity when I have a big annual launch. So I really want to make a splash in the marketplace and for others they're pursuing opportunities consistently. But I think for everyone over the course of the year, you should be getting some publicity and building some buzz for your business. And then from a time perspective, I mean, you know, think about as a business owner, we know how important it is to network and build relationships and for people to really get to know us. And you know, I think that everyone should be spending time getting on the phone, talking to people. Well you could spend an hour talking on the phone with someone or 45 minutes or you could spend that same 45 minutes doing an interview that you know gets 10,000 downloads or even 200 downloads.

Selena (18:10): There are 200 people hearing your story versus just one person and then also the podcast or that you're interviewing with. I mean that's a powerful relationship in and of itself. So if you believe in the power of networking and getting your message out there, like publicity is just going to amplify what you're already doing on and giving you a stage where you're sharing your message with more people, but you're also being elevated and when you pursue the right kinds of media opportunities, you can really get in front of your target audience. I mean that's a lot less work than going to and networking event and not knowing who you're going to talk to. Right?

Terra (18:43): Absolutely. I mean, I'll never forget the first real interview that I had when I transitioned out of corporate, had the website, did whatever enough to attract attention to say, Hey, we'd like to interview you about this topic. And I really was like, I was nervous, I was excited and I didn't know to speak in sound bites. Like, I didn't know these things that I have now learned and I'm sure the techniques that you share on not just how to get publicity but how not to mess it up because it could be bad. And and they were interviewing me and I was doing, I was just talking and then I, they said, Oh, here's the article. And it was like, Ooh, like I was appalled cause like things that I would've never wanted on print. Like that's what they pulled for the story and I was just like, Oh boy, that wasn't good. So I definitely learned. So to me it's like if you can learn what not to do as well, that's just as important to not have those scary moments. Right? Yeah.

Selena (19:39): No, it's so funny you say that because that's why I created this framework called the publicity pyramid and it's like a step by step approach to getting publicity. So if I were just to explain it quickly, you know, imagine this triangle was pyramid at the bottom, your base, this is your home base and that's basically, it's your websites, your blog, it's your online visibility. Because if people Google you, you want something to come up where they're like, okay, this is the expert. But then after you know, level number one, which is your home base level number two is guest posts. And what I like about that is that you have control. And so as entrepreneurs, you know we have content on our websites, maybe we have a blog or at the minimum some kind of about page. And then like some of us may have a newsletter.

Selena (20:18): So writing a guest post is a natural extension of you know, writing for your website. It's like getting other audiences. And then from there we move into like the podcast interviews or other like long form interviews where we're just having a conversation. And then from there we moved to magazines and TV. Those are later because we need to practice sharing our message before we need to even clarify what our message is before we put it into soundbites. I find that when get to write your own guest post versus just have someone pull things out of you into an article, you have more control. So I, I mean, people can approach publicity here and wherever they, like some people might want to skip a level, they feel like they've mastered it or whatever. But I wouldn't recommend like starting top down, which is what I did, which is don't do that.

Selena (21:06): And you know, but had I known there was your strategy, like you know, it would have been a game changer and that was probably about nine years ago. So, and things have changed, like the publicity, you know, has just changed with podcast and everything. So I think it's a beautiful way to be able to, you know, have good relationships with people too and share and serve. And sometimes I'll get on somebody else's podcast and then I invite them on mine and the next thing you know, you have like a friend for life. And that really is to me one of the most important things, right? To be able to cultivate and create these relationships that you're going to have forever and ever. Like that's what makes business to me like so much more fun. So and publicity is a definite step to move you in that direction.

Terra (21:49): So. Perfect. Okay. So you created a program called impacting millions. Right? And so how many years have you been doing impacting millions?

Selena (21:58): So this is going to be the five year anniversary.

Terra (21:59): Five years. Wow. Congratulations. That's so cool. It's so cool. I'm such a believer in what you do and what you teach that I've even, I'm going to partner with you on it, this for this launch so that and give some like really amazing bonuses and you know, and just go all in with it to make sure that we get the right women that are supposed to be in impacting millions like, you know, this year. Right? So can you give us a little like, you know, sneak peek of what impacting millions is all about?

Selena (22:31): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So impacting millions is all about people who on some level feel like they're that best kept secret, that hidden gem. Get their message, their ideas or products and services in front of more people. Because maybe you're like, maybe you've got 10 clients or maybe you've got a hundred but you're like, in reality that thousands of people could benefit from doing what I'm doing. Millions of people do really amplify your message and really have you be seen as that go to, you know, recognize experts. And so with impacting millions, well, why don't we work on your mindset? Because you know the big difference between people who get the opportunities and those that don't are the ones that are getting them, are putting themselves out there. They're showing up. And a lot of people, you know, sometimes they know what to do but they don't actually do it. So we want to get like the mindset, right and also create a plan. So the publicity you get makes sense because you know, I know Terra, that your entrepreneurs are so busy, they don't have time to waste and so they're going to get publicity.

Selena (23:27): I want to make sure they're getting the right opportunities that really are moving the needle for their business. We create a whole publicity strategy. And then from there we look at, you know, what makes you media worthy, what makes you the expert? We go through 17 different credibility markers. Everyone has, you know, several of these if not, you know, well over a dozen but people often can't see what is it, what's in them that would make them, you know, the expert that will get the media's attention. So it's really about getting clear on the value you bring to the media and your personal story and what would really, and interest the media. And then we go into like the various mediums I like to discuss. So we talk about guest posting, we talk about podcasting, you talking about being a guest expert at other people's programs and connecting with influencers.

Selena (24:14): We talked about magazines and TV, so we cover all of these mediums. But for some people they joined for like one specific purpose. Like maybe it's, you know, I know that I want to get in front of my ideal clients and podcasts and guest opportunities are the way to go. So I'm going to dive in deep into that. Others are, I've got a buck and it's time to really go beyond my existing circle and reach thousands and millions and then they'll pursue some of the more mass media opportunities. But I just believe that every entrepreneur needs to have the skills to get publicity, needs to know how to create buzz around their work, needs to know how to get people, other people talking and sharing their work. Because the truth is if you're the only person saying, Hey, I'm great at what I do. It's only gonna go so far and he has it's power to have your clients see that as well.

Selena (25:00): But when we think about reach, if we can get, you know, the media and people with like these huge platforms that can very easily and quickly get you in front of a thousand, 10,000, a hundred thousand or a million people that is going to amplify and just speed everything up in your business. So I want entrepreneurs, I think every entrepreneur needs to have the skill, even if they outsource pieces of it, like someone's going to be developing their media list for them or you know, helping organize the information or they practice with someone, that's fine. But you need to know how to get opportunities for yourself and get about what you're doing.

Terra (25:34): Absolutely. Yeah. No more being the world's biggest hidden secret. So I love that. I thank you for sharing all this amazing stuff. So I know you have a resource for our listeners to download that'll really help them. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Selena (25:48): I do. Yeah. So I have a publicity checklist and these are seven must haves for people in order to get those opportunities they dream of whether it's podcasts, websites, magazines, TV, and once we download this checklist, it's really going to get your wheels turning. And I see the checklist as the first step to getting publicity so they can go to impactingmillions.com/terra T E R R A checklist. So Terra checklist is one word, impacting millions.com/terrachecklist to get our publicity checklist with the seven must haves.

Terra (26:21): That is awesome and thank you for creating that. That's so amazing. That link will also be in the show notes on terrabohlmann.com/podcast so if you're driving, don't feel like you have to like, you know, try to multitask or anything like that. So impactingmillions.com/terrachecklist. Perfect. Well thank you so much for sharing all your insight with us today. You really are a joy, you're an amazing example of how to run a business with such integrity and, and I'm just so grateful to have you in my own life.

Terra (26:51): And one thing that I've realized is all the people that I see out there getting tons of media, the common thread for me was they have all learned from Selena Soo. So if you want to, so if you want to be that next person that's out there and getting all that visibility and all those opportunities, I highly, highly recommend enrolling and impacting millions this year. So thank you so much, Selena. And I will chat soon.

Outro (27:18): There you have it. Another episode packed full of strategies and motivation that you can use every day to put your business on the fast track. For a podcast recap and more resources, visit TerraBohlmann.com. Don't forget, subscribe to the podcast and get what you need to help fast track your five year business plan.

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