Using PR to Grow Your Speaking Business with Amanda Williams from Yellowpanda PR

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Amanda Williams is the founder (but also goes by the title of ringleader and professional attention seeker) at Yellowpanda PR. When we first met a Digital Markter event in 2015, she was responsible for building the public images of politicians through media relations, online marketing and personal branding. These days she manages the personal brands of trailblazing young entrepreneurs in addition to PR launches for startups through to iconic international brands like Disney Pixar.

Get in touch with Amanda Williams

Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Super excited to have you back. Uh, I’ve been off the mic for a little bit, uh, getting things done in the real, real world. But I am back with a whole bunch of awesome interviews with people who are designed to help you learn the secrets to getting your message onto stage and in front of more people. And I’ve got a good friend of mine today, Amanda Panda Williams, who is the chief cheerleader for and ringleader for Yellow Panda, which is a company that helps people who are looking to get their message out there. Do that with PR and personal branding. And she has done that and an extremely awesome way. So I’m looking forward to getting someone, you know, who’s often doing the behind the scenes for the amplification of the message rather than the person actually out on the stage. But she does that as well. So with all that being said, welcome to the show, Amanda.

Amanda Williams: Thanks it’s great to be a here.

Victor Ahipene: Okay. Now give us a bit of a quick background. Why, you know, what, what is it exactly that you do in regards to kind of the PR and personal branding and how did that all kind of come about?

Amanda Williams: I guess it comes from my background to start ways. I’m working in politics as a major advise us. So my role back then was essentially looking after the public image of politician. Um, so that was everything from, you know, that’s sort of digital footprint. So websites, social media, I’m dealing with the media, doing those video relations, I’m doing that sort of Stripe payoff stuff, but also working on local issue campaigns, writing this speeches, I’m basically doing everything I can to support them as you know, talent in politics. So, um, I guess it was sort of a natural sort of progression then to may once I left politics to start doing that. So entrepreneurs.

Victor Ahipene: Nice. And what’s, yeah, if we were to, to look at, I guess what PR kind of all entails, because I talk about this in different things that I’ve put out. As you know, I help people get onto stages and to me there’s online in this offline stages, but a stages just to me are way that you can amplify your message to have a bigger impact to people. So it’s not just you, what you, a lot of people think of as your traditional stage that you’re standing on your keynote presentation, your sales presentation, your workshop that you might run. It can be a stage like this, a podcast, it can be a webinar that you run an online summit. But then there’s, there’s also this other stage and I know you get help get people on to say, you know, a morning TV show or the news and things like that, like these digital and written print medias that are a massive stage that have huge authority. Um, so talk us through a little bit of that and why I guess it’s important that as a speaker we start looking at this as one of the stages we should be getting our message out into.

Amanda Williams: Yeah, I mean like you just rattled off such a long list already. All of the things that you need to be doing to stand out, to be building yourself as an authority. And then there’s all those extra things that, that we do as well. So, um, essentially like my role is to be like the pimp but the pimp of all of those things, a pimp of public images and that doesn’t just start with getting on the stage as you said, it’s about trying to get those opinion pieces full leadership paces. It’s about building your personal brand up through your own content, your own blog paces, you know, by dominating your own social media channels so that you get to the point where, um, you know, if the mayor are looking at, well someone to interview on a certain topic, they are reaching out to you. So essentially it’s about having, you know, eggs in all of the baskets so that, um, you know, like all of this work that you’re doing and sort of putting yourself out there publicly becomes sort of, um, your business card and it just opens doors.

Victor Ahipene: And so yeah, I mean what those, what those doors and, and you can use examples happy if you don’t use names and things for your clients. But uh, yeah, a lot of people will be like, Oh yeah, cool. I get in the newspaper or I get an a magazine or yeah. Onto the radio. But, yeah. That they might run workshops or do sales presentations or whatever it may be and they’re going to like, what that this doesn’t give me this tangible yeah. Money in my bank straight away.

Amanda Williams: Yeah. Funny. Yeah. Funny you mentioned that because I literally just uploaded a new blog to my website last night, which was talking about, um, you know, is, is PR any good for online stores? And it was talking about how difficult it is in PR a lot of the times to actually measure like ROI. Um, and you know, sometimes I’m lucky enough for my clients, let me have a bit of a peek behind the scenes. And in one case, you know, having a look at some of the metrics in a Shopify store and say how many sort of visitors came across as a result of a payoff. Puberty activity specifically was a TV segment on the today show. So that’s pretty premium. You know, it’s national TV. Um, we actually got inside the store and saw that we had around almost 10,000 visitors hit the website as a result of that.
Going to air, sorry. Um, in terms of our live run, a little bit of masculine this morning actually, cause I’ll put a post up on LinkedIn about it. The suppression by bright and I’m started up going to math. But if we look at a modest set of conversion right around 2%. So we say 2% of the 10,000 people that visited the website bought a product for 89, 95. Um, we’re looking at close to just over $17,000 in sales for being on TV. And um, you know, like that TV segment to buy, which is not the way you want to go because that’s advertising, you know, that’s definitely at people. And telling them how would you Bob, whereas it’s a metering bot, you want to actually be a guest. Um, it’s what will social proof, um, it would be tens of thousands of dollars to actually just have a segment that went to three to five minutes on a national television show. So when you’re looking at ROI there, when the average sort of, I mean the average industry retainer for PR is around 12,000. I don’t charge that much. But you know, definitely if you’re doing monthly activities where you’re getting that kind of traffic to a website, whether you’re selling a product or you are trying to get bumbling sate so you have a service that you’re trying to sell, um, it’s 100% worth it.

Victor Ahipene: Hmm. And I mean that’s, that’s the cool thing because I look at it from, again, this whole, it’s building this whole ecosystem of social proof because yeah, even if you’re trying to get onto a stage, they’re going all right, how can I de-risked the investment of hiring you or even just listing you in front of my protected audience, whether that be a company, whether that be an event. And they go, okay, you have been on a, on a nationwide TV show. Um, yeah that is going to put down one barrier of, you know, are you good at presenting or another TV show maybe going I you good when you are on TV. Yep. That’s cool. And then you look at the ad side of things, you can start using that as CNN or you, you grabbed that snippet and you put it in there. And so this is like secondary, it’s not even invisible ROI off the back of that cause you’re sitting there going, well we had an ad with a random picture of our product. Now we had a clip when we were showing it on national television and that is giving us a 10 times return on investment and that one’s giving a two times return on investment. So

Amanda Williams: yeah, like that, that particular, um, that segment, once it had been uploaded to Facebook and re-purpose as a Facebook video has gone in front of about 60,000 people, I think last count and it’s had over 6,000 engagements. Um, so yeah, like repurposing that content 100%. What you want to be doing with any of those media are chasing like coming back and you mentioned before too about um, you know, the credibility and people want to say hi present a lot of the time television wants to see how you present before that even put you on television. So it’s really important to actually have some examples of yourself. Um, public faking on camera at lace, like some kind of, you know, show real will go a long way in actually showing your presentation skills because I have very little reluctance to have fresh talent on, might have never been on TV before. Um, so I mean, as part of the sort of pitch kit and the media kitten, the way we build our clients up, they’re ready for that opportunity is that we would actually have some of that video footage to be able to pitch along to a producer beforehand, forehand as well.

Victor Ahipene: Cool. Well we’ve kind of got a bit of an understanding of like, Hey, this is how a PR can benefit our branding benefit our business. If we’re starting to look at, Hey, how do we go out and start getting that, uh, some of that PR attention or what are some of the ducks that we need to have lined up in a row? Obviously outside of say a going and getting someone awesome like yourself to manage that. But if someone’s looking to start getting some traction and there were even just lining up the things that they need before they go hire somebody, what should they be doing?

Amanda Williams: Yeah. So I think, again, just going back to what I just said about sort of having some of that, um, you know, information available to producers or anyone that you’re pitching to. Let’s say, well let’s start with like a, a media profile, like an interview, talent sort of shape. Uh, we do those for, of clients. So we’ll have, you know who they are, a short title about what it is that they do, a really short bio. It’ll have a bunch of talking points, the different things that they can actually speak on to from experience. Um, and then we’ll have some like key milestones and sort of a bit of a brag section about things that you can brag about. Um, we also throw in a few quirky things too. Like I’m with a client who actually had been in an MMA fight. Somebody actually spoke about the similarities between getting the crop bait. Now if you want an MNI fund selling multimillion dollar business that actually got picked up by business news Australia, I’m sorry, it’s about getting really creative about, you know, how do you present yourself as a stock essentially? Like, how do you present yourself as a talent and making sure that you’ve got all of those things generally on like a two page brief. And then I generally make sure that that’s in a Dropbox folder along with complimentary sort of assets, like images in case they want to use a head all I want some photos or they want, like I said before, some video footage, I’ll be presenting a bit of a show reel any previous media that you’ve been in before, all that sort of thing. The first thing is to really get like your pitch kit in order. And I guess like that talent interview profile shape, uh, because as you know in the podcast, well first thing they want is to know like what things can you speak about, what sort of questions should we ask you? Um, yeah, before you can even answer those things. Like you really have to think about, you know, it’s not a bad dude personal branding and um, and becoming an authority is about how you help other people. It’s got nothing to do with you. It’s that how do you serve other people? What are they interested in? Those are the things that you need to make sure that you’re actually pointing to with your talking points and your topic. You’ve actually had happened in your life. You know, like you’ve got to have those, those real life anecdotes to go with it.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. It’s definitely the, what’s in it for me situation. Yeah. Whether it’s a night. Okay, I’m awesome at all of this, which can benefit whoever you’re putting my message out to. Uh, rather than it’s exactly the same when you go and give us a presentation. The person who just talks about themselves and isn’t relatable, it just goes down like a, like a lead balloon. Um, when from say a a person who, you know, that they’ve put some of that stuff together, when are the times, I mean obviously it’s every time is a good time, but what sort of things would you be going to the media about, say from a press release side of things? Um, yeah,

Amanda Williams: a couple of things to look out for. Yeah. Like what time of year it is. I guess anything specific around this time of year. The other thing is just like watching to news Jack. Something like a car in a fire or something that’s happening, but you can like just jump on the back haul. We’ll piggyback essentially. I’ll give you an example of that. We actually just helped, um, mulch a new food and beverage app. Oh, on the gold coast. And um, it’s a, you know, a, an ordering app, so it’s called Y queue. You skip the queue, you auto, you turn up, um, and collected coffee or food or whatever it may be. So, um, at the time, um, there’s a lot of negativity and Escalades around the eight to deliver and you know, the delivery app industry and the issue that it’s causing for food and beverage businesses in terms of being profit, destroy, destroying, et cetera, et cetera. And that had been a national story break on the today show on this particular day about it. The first thing I do is contact a local gold coast channel nine, um, well my contact channel line. And so this national story about on a local level, including the fact that this new app had been developed and that over a hundred GoldQuest businesses had already jumped on board because I was so fed up and frustrated with the 18th Liberty and wanted to basically give it a go. Sorry, we’ve got some great coverage to have. We got television coverage and you set the coverage. We’ve got magazines coming out, food bloggers, like a bunch of people. Like it was just really clever to be up to jump on that national story. But let me talk about, I’m not just jumping on and piggybacking national stories, but also, yeah, yeah. Specific times. And VA at the time of this podcast right now we are actually, you know, we’ve just come into some of this week and we’re going Christmas holidays. Um, a lot of publications, especially online, even television, uh, looking at the filetype articles, um, that do relate to this this time of year, but they are hungry for content so we can actually, you know, write a decent up ad or a decent article or a blog even and pitch it out. You’ve got a pretty good chance they’re getting kicked off.

Victor Ahipene: Mm. And I think that’s part of everything that you should be planning, I guess. And the seasons of your business is like, all right, when do I want to be, you know, when am I releasing a certain thing and what, what sort of, what sort of PR can I have to, to build into that to get, you know, those, you know, hundreds or thousands of people coming to my website to, to either sell my product or build anticipation and, and all of these things really built in because I give the like I really love, I talk about like the different authority strands is kind of, I call it the star, but it’s, it’s, you can be speaking that build your authority. You can use the press or the media, like the T of it. You can be an author and you can be, I guess doing your own media or it can be your, you know, your results or your experience that you’ve got and all of them feed into one another. Because if you’re about to get interviewed, I introduced onto onstage, it’s like, yeah, and we’ve got Amanda who’s been in the, yeah, wall street journal, the New York times or the this and the that. As soon as you walk on stage, you’re already held at a higher credibility or efforts. You’re going into the media and it’s like Ted speaker, well, okay, going to take this person on because they’ve got their credibility and all of these things. You don’t need all of them to be successful in your business or in your speaking. But what you got to realize, you talked about it earlier is the opportunities they all open another opportunity for the other. You might write a book or, or a viral blog piece and then the media pick it up. Or uh, an event organizer picks it up and then they reach out to you and then you speak there and then, yeah, it just flows on from, from there. Um, what other things that you would do to, I guess, leverage or what would be the best things to be able to leverage off to either get more publicity off, you know, if it’s a local piece to try and leverage that up, um, or what you can, things you can potentially do with leveraging that or utilizing that, um, media into your business or into your, you know, your brand.

Amanda Williams: Yeah. So I’m going back to um, what you said about, you know, having a bit of a plan and having sort of a bit of a goal as to, you know, what you’re setting out to achieve. I just want to quickly mention cause we competitive and this is me if I didn’t that um, so many people are too late when they think it’s, Oh we’re going to get payout. Wade watching like next next week. Like we’re going to do this now. Like generally I said everyone, like it takes three months. Sometimes they can take three months. It might, the strategy, the coming up with a pitch, you know, waiting for something that is going to come along in the media that you can actually Jack on onto. And then, you know, speaking to journalists, doing the follow up and then actually saying adventure ends with story, like it’s generally around three months. So people need to be thinking like at least three months of events. That’s my warning you there. Um, and, and in regards to, um, the content that you’re putting out, as you said, like you can be found as well, so it’s not just about pitching but making sure that you’re riding regular paces though as you said, you know, going and speaking on stage and, um, really putting yourself out there so that you can actually be found by journalists as well. That’s really important. And then, um, another thing I might add as well is that, um, and you already know this, but you know, speaking scares the shit out of people and so few, too many people are actually doing it. So if you’re willing to actually get up on a stage and talk, like you’re going to stand out again. So I’m going to other people who are basically just chicken. Sorry. I mean they say that the sooner you can get used to like just putting yourself out there and being comfortable in whatever public situation UI in, um, the better around talent you ought to be getting like full of big media opportunities. Um, and the more you will stand out and that’s what it’s all about is about trying to stand out. But then finally what you saying about, you know, um, seeing that content and putting it out there as well. Um, definitely pushing everything out through social channels is really important. Um, a lot people to even go back and um, like older content and new spaces like on anniversaries, like, Oh my God, a year ago we’re on television, I might check these out, that sort of thing. Um, well, it’s about the experience and sharing it up through that way as well, you know?Yeah. Asking friends to share it. I’m offering complimentary businesses too to share it with their audience as well. Like it really is such a golden opportunity once you have it in your hands. Like once you’ve built this really cool article that’s printed on, um, a legitimate, um, new thought or website or blow or authority or um, this video footage from this TV segment, um, you really liked, you can put it anyway, you know, like you can kind of go to town with the spam thing cause that sort of thing is quite rare and unique. So yeah, 100% goes to that and yeah, make sure that you let people know that that’s what you think saying. So a lot of people will put the logos as seen on their website. I’ve had of PayPal too recently making sure that they’re um, trading Beck Hava images on my Facebook and on their LinkedIn as you know, right.
Opportunities to also say as seen in and actually designing cover banners that actually, you know, push out some social proof as well. Um, you know, generally speaking, Australia have an issue with whole poppy syndrome and whenever we always get picked on for it, you know, you guys have a problem with tooting your own horn, whereas a lot of people in the rest of the world don’t. And we really should be doing it more. Especially we’ve earned it. We’ve actually genuinely, um, we’ve worked really hard towards thing. A person that can cite something, have it printed in media, then you should be really proud of that and you should definitely be putting it out there, especially when it’s becoming like everything’s so easy to like fake it to make it these days, especially social media. Um, you know, like when you have that rare opportunity to actually um, you know, drive social proof home, then drive it like, sorry, look a gift horse in the mouth.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And that’s the big thing as well that not even just speaking, but like, yeah, if you write a book or you get published in the media or whatever it is, you have separated yourself from the crowd. Like, I know that’s a scary thing for a lot of people is not having that tribal mentality and being, I don’t want to be the one that sticks out, which is the Australian and New Zealand way. But what you’ve also got to understand is if you’ve got competitors or whatever you want to call it, if you’ve got other businesses in your industry, which you likely do, they, if they’re not doing that, it means that you’ve got an anterior advantage over them because you’ve got the social proof or you’ve gone to the lengths to get yourself into the media with that, you know, that paying for an ad in the newspaper and you’re getting a free column written about you or you’re writing that column or you know, they’re paying for that five minute spot on TV and spending $20,000 and instead you’re getting it for free and you can spend 20,000 on promoting that. Um, so your own following and all those sorts of things. So, yeah. Yes, yeah. A lot of people say, I’ve written a book and you know, I have, and it’s, I was speaking to someone I like, but look, you actually went to the effort of doing that. Yeah. Whether it’s an amazing book or a crappy book, like you’ve done something that a lot of people won’t ever do. So yes, senior owned praises. Um, because a lot of people were too scared to put themselves out there for fear of not even failure for fear of sticking out and um, and, and yeah.

Amanda Williams: Oh yeah, 100% I spoke to, I talk to entrepreneurs absolutely crushing it. Like what about young entrepreneurs when we’re talking people under 40 who are turning up a millions of dollars eight year in that businesses who have legitimately said to me, Oh, I’m really like cautious about going out on social media or like talking about business and what I do. And you know, I’d really like to become more of a Holt later and baseload the next month. Boris is my industry. But every time I go out and stick my neck out and post about work, all my mates on there and rag on me and like pay me out. And I really don’t like that. And I think, Ooh, you know, I like, it’s almost lacking. You got to ruffle feathers and you know, like the mission is actually to find the height is the mission is actually to get people like annoyed, like actually get onto people’s skin. Because if you not doing that then you don’t have an opinion. You know, you don’t, you know, you know, you just not putting yourself out there. And it’s really interesting cause I actually thought of this the other day and I’m going to run a blog and it’s soon, but you know the old phrase like it’s not what you know. So you know, I feel like in 2020 we need to update that. I mean right now, 20 on a day when they don’t say that, but it’s not what you know. But who you know and who knows you because honestly like your influence and how you know, how many people are watching you and following you and know who you are. It opens up doors. I use it all the time to connect with people like all over the world now it’s, I’m not shy of reaching out to like massive influencers, celebrities, you know, very well known business leaders on Instagram. And because I actually grew my own following on Instagram too, I’m thinking 17,000 at the moment. Um, so I Instagram, what does it rank like your messages when they come through in order of who’s got the most followers and that sort of thing. But because as I say that they say that I’ve got, I’m in business, I see my content, like it’s all basically set up to be like this sort of online business card for them to sort of stuff me out. But everyone gets back to me and I’ve built some really good connections and I’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for next year. As a result, as a result of being able to create this partnership, um, through my Instagram account, through the authority that I’ve built there. And you think about like the amount of people in business who um, you know, beta base like, so important, so crucial. Um, sorry. Yeah, like that’s the big picture. That’s like AR is a long game because if you keep working on this over time, you know, as a combination of doing a PR as a combination of, you know, getting out there and getting on stages and standing out and doing all the shit that no one else would do, um, you’ve got that opportunity to build that influence to that level where basically, or if not doors you can get in front of people that you would never normally even expect back to you.

Victor Ahipene: I want to just before I forget to ask about it, are there any photo pars with, you know, you said utilize this, these videos clippings as as much as you can or um, pieces from the, as a, as long as you’re giving credit, it’s all good, right? Tip back or

Amanda Williams: No, I generally resharing like, I mean, look, I’m in payoff, so it’s all about like, you know, do it now, the light off. So don’t wait off with permission cause it just won’t happen. But in my experience and you know, like between, you know, politics, I’m going to, I just see for almost three years now, you know, I’ve a 10 years in the game, I’ve never had a problem with that. Mmm. I mean, Hey Bay and Austin to send us the footage to you and they send it to us.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. So I mean, I can’t, I can’t imagine them being angry that they’re getting more publicity about this show. This is another show.

Amanda Williams: Yeah. Yeah. I mean like the pod, a lot of the poems is that we actually pitched to actually ask in the interview like, how can you help us push this out? You know, like how will you help advertise this? Like they want to know that you’ve got some, you know, like channels that you can be putting it out to and that you can help promote them. So, so it’s like a win win for everyone really.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. No. Well I think that gives us a pretty good, uh, insight. Yeah. If people are wanting to get their, get their ducks in a row to get started, and then you look at what’s topical, start planning three months in advance, you know, start looking at how PR fits into not just your speaking strategy but your business strategy. Because regardless of if you’re just trying to be a speaker, it’s still a business that, you know, for the majority of you out there, it’s another leg of your business. Um, so you choose what you’re going to attack, uh, attack it and then add on the next aspect of it. And then, you know, build, build that authority. And then you can start utilizing it. Appreciate your time as always. You always have good chats, whether the Mike’s recording or not. If people want to save on a find, you get in touch. Stoke. Yeah. What can they do? Where can they go?

Amanda Williams: Well I live mostly on Instagram, which is Amanda Panda Williams. Easy enough fun trying to lift my LinkedIn game as well. So I’m on there too. Um, but it, the websites, the agency is that I do. Um, I’ve got lots of helpful case studies on there that you might get some inspiration or ideas from pretty much spell out how we’ve managed to get success by client from this. So feel free to check out that and the blog and don’t ever be shy. I love baking people and making new contacts as you know. Um, that’s why I’m in this game.

Victor Ahipene: And so, but before we completely finish up, so I’ll will throw out all the links to their public Who are the people that you work with? Who’s your ideal person that you work with?

Amanda Williams: Um, so essentially it’s people who want to have all of this tons of them. Um, and predominantly I find that that is people who they didn’t, you know, business, there may be around five years. Um, they’ve got the budget to be able to afford to have sort of that management because what I offer is more of a personal brand management slash payoff service as opposed to just PR. So I actually work with entrepreneurs to get them nominated for awards, help land speaking gigs, do all of the traditional payoff stuff on the content creation. Basically all the stuff that they’re too busy for, which is keeping them in visible. I take care of that. I actually make a bit of a joke. It’s kind of like a weekend at Bernie’s package. They could literally be dead. They’ll be dragging them around, making them look alive everywhere. I’m sorry. Yeah. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to step up, um, your public image, you, your diamond builds some influence, you just don’t have the time or mrs skill set to do that yourself, then I am your best friend.

Victor Ahipene: Excellent. Well, I appreciate it. Again, we’ll link all of that public speaking and we’ll check in that, those, uh, a couple of blog posts that you mentioned as well, uh, to help everyone find that and get a bit more insight, but appreciate it and I’ll look forward to catching up, hopefully in person again soon.

Amanda Williams: Yes. Thanks so much for having me.