March 29, 2022

Your Ultimate Guide to Building Brand Awareness with Lisa Richards

Your Ultimate Guide to Building Brand Awareness with Lisa Richards

Today’s guest, Lisa Richards, knows the insider marketing tips you need to grow a business and get seen everywhere online WITHOUT wasting your time on constant social media content. Plus, she’s sharing the surprising thing you need to be aware of before saying yes to media opportunities!

Why has your current marketing fallen short in landing you the media attention and buzz you hoped for?

Imagine if you could grow a business AND your following with more ease by borrowing from other people’s audiences.

Today’s guest, Lisa Simone Richards knows how to help you get seen everywhere online (without spinning your wheels on social media content) and she’s here to share her secrets.


  • The step-by-step framework to build awareness, buzz, and credibility as you grow a business and increase your following
  • The surprising marketing insight you need to be aware of before saying yes to any media opportunity
  • What the “ladder of publicity” is and how it will help you grow your audience faster (without endless social media content!)

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.

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© Copyright 2022 | The EffortLESS Life®


Courtney Elmer 0:00  

Welcome back to another episode of the System's Made Simple™ Podcast. This is episode 115.


Now I've invited our special guest on the show today because she knows how to help you get seen online, everywhere without spinning your wheels on social media. Lisa Simone Richards is her name and you are going to absolutely love this episode because it is value packed. And when you walk away from this conversation, you are going to have the exact tools in hand to help you learn how to borrow other people's audiences to grow your own and grow a business.

Courtney Elmer 3:37  

Lisa, I am so excited for our conversation today.

Lisa Richards 3:43  

It is such a pleasure to be speaking with you today, Courtney Elmer. Yes.

Courtney Elmer 3:50  

I would love to start by having you connect the dots for us in terms of how can publicity can directly grow a business. I feel like it's of one of those nebulous things that many business owners are wondering. So can you unpack that for us?

Lisa Richards 4:27  

Courtney Elmer, I'd love to even tell a story about a company that I worked for many moons ago. For four years, I worked at Canada's largest women's only boot camp. We were able to use publicity to grow a business. I came on board to do publicity and we started getting featured on television, on magazines, on radio... You would see an entire television audience in our pink camo. You would always see us running together at like breast cancer runs in October. So we were able to get massive amounts of publicity. 

You would see us at least three times a month somewhere huge. Even though there were other people doing the same thing as us, even though people were selling at a lower cost than ours were, we had the reputation that people wanted to be a part of people wanted to come hang with us because we were the brand that was talked about, we were the band that was seen everywhere, we had that it factor. So really getting that third party endorsement, that credibility building that nod from other people saying, Hey, this is a talk want to be a part of, you can see that everyday in our bootcamp. So that's a little bit of a background as to how publicity really visually showed up. And fun story Courtney Elmer, that company when I started in 2009, we were making 400,000 a year. And by the time I left in 2013, we're Grossing over 4 million a year.

Courtney Elmer 6:36  

There's one word there that you said, and it encapsulates all of this. And it's the word reputation. And of course, that ties into that to brand awareness, and exposure and visibility, and all these other kind of buzzwords that we hear that helps grow a business. So for small business owners, for someone who might be a solopreneur, that's listening today, or someone that maybe isn't a big brand, right? They have visions and dreams and goals to growa business and be a household name brand but they're not yet. Where should they start when it comes to even going about getting publicity to grow a business?

Lisa Richards 7:24  

I always recommend to begin with the intention Courtney Elmer. What is the purpose of getting visibility in the first place. I call this the ABCs of visibility. So typically, owners wanting to grow a business are either looking for A, which stands for awareness, if you're the best kept secret, and your clients don't know about you, they simply can't work with you. So maybe you're in a stage where you're like, I need my ideal client to know that I actually exist and that this business exists to solve their so their problems. 

B stands for buzz Courtney Elmer. Think about if you have a product launch, you're about to open doors to a membership or a course, it's similar to a movie. Recently, my husband and I went to go see the Batman, we hadn't heard about the movie, once there were ads on YouTube, the actors are on television, they're on podcasts, or on the cover of magazines, somebody in a relationship, somebody is breaking up, it's kind of all over the place, and you can't escape it, you hear it enough times that you're intrigued to see what it is. So that's creating buzz. And again, as owners looking to grow a business, we can be doing this if we're opening a new store or launching a new product, we want people talking about it.

Finally, you have C which stands for credibility. And this is where we're you we're talking about reputation and this fits in Courtney Elmer. When we're getting started, maybe we're more in that a stage where we're looking to get clients, but you'll hit a certain level when you're starting to grow a business where you're doing okay, you have clients coming in, it's going steadily. But now you want to build your expert authority, you want to create a reputation, you want to have status, you want to have that seat credibility, you want to think about whose courses have I bought, whose conferences have I attended?

I want my name to be sitting there the same sentences, I want to be on the same stages as them. So I really recommend with beginning with Are you looking for a awareness, B buzz or seat credibility because based on that business goal that's going to change where you show up. Really brief example I can share with you Courtney Elmer, is I remember being on a sales call with a copywriter last year she was starting to grow a business. She works with online business owners who are looking to get that first funnel written that first sales page done and she was sharing with me Lisa, I would love to be featured on this one podcast. And she's like this is where all the top copywriters have been featured the people whose courses I bought, they've been featured here. If I could get interviewed on that show, I'll really know that I've made it. 

To me, Courtney Elmer, looking for people who are in a stage to hire you, and brand new coaches who are getting their first funnel done, chances are, they're probably listening to shows about how to grow a business in general, they're probably not so deep into copy that they're listening to such a specific show. So it would actually make more sense for you to get on a generic show about how to growa business than it would be to copy specific one, so that you can satisfy that actual intention that you set forward.

Courtney Elmer 10:24  

In the beginning of my own journey and learning how to grow a business, I knew that I needed to generate awareness, I would say that was my initial intention with trying to grow and get more visible, and seeking out publicity opportunities. What I quickly learned was that you have to build credibility to get credibility.

Lisa Richards 11:24  

So for sure Courtney Elmer, a lot of people always come to me, they're like, I want to be on Forbes, I want to be on Oprah. And I'm like, Okay, well, that the producer or the editor, they're going to search your name, because they're not putting anyone on Forbes and Oprah, they need to know, does this person have a reputation? Can they perform well on camera or in print, or whatever the situation may be? And if they're not finding that background to vet, yes, this is the right person, they're not going to use you. So while it is really nice to get started all the way at the top, we have to remember we have to build that foundation, we have to do that groundwork whe we grow a business to be able to earn those top tier publications. There's a reason they're the top tier, they feed for everybody they be watered down.

Courtney Elmer 12:00  

Circling back to this idea of something that I call audience alignment. I talk about this a lot with podcasting, because as many of our listeners know, I teach podcasting as a business strategy for lead generation and revenue growth. And so one of the things we talk about, from a podcasting perspective is audience alignment. If you're going to go be a guest on other people's podcasts, you don't want to go out there willy nilly, you want that targeted approach, that's going to get you in front of the people who are most likely going to want to follow you engage with you learn from you. your ideal audience. That will help grow a business. 

In terms of publicity, and we're looking to grow our exposure and get visibility. Can you speak to that a bit? And what what are the best ways to go about that, from a strategy perspective to know that the work that you're putting in is actually going to put you in front of an audience who is aligned with the type of ideal client you're looking for to grow a business?

Lisa Richards 13:08  

Chances are you have a handful of favorite clients that you have loved working with, and you want to work with more people like them. I always like to start by asking my ideal client first to understand. And then once I've talked to maybe three, four or five different people, I'm starting to hear some commonalities in the answers. And that's really going to help me understand where I'm probably going to get the most bang for my visibility book to grow a business.

Courtney Elmer 14:15  

I feel that many people often make the mistake of following trends. But simply asking the people who are already your most ideal clients I think gets overlooked because it is such a simple thing. Your ideal clients are going to tell you, Hey, this is where I found you. This is where I'm getting this kind of information.

Lisa Richards 15:10  

You're right Courtney Elmer. A lot of people are following the masses, people are on tick tock, then they're doing reels. The thing that I really want to hone in for everybody is what are the principles that work? What are the timeless principles that you can put into place over and over again, even though the platform is going to change, as entrepreneurs, we are busy enough. And of course, it makes sense to pay attention to where audiences paying attention. But if you're drunk driving from tick tock reels, to Instagram, to Pinterest, to whatever the next social media platform is, all the time, you're constantly going to be spinning, and the work that you're doing is constantly going to be getting outdated and thats not going to grow a business. 

Courtney Elmer 16:08  

When you try to be everywhere at once, you're actually watering down your message. So you can get so much farther by having a very targeted strategy with very specific platforms that are more timeless in nature, as opposed to trying to show up everywhere at once, which dilutes what you're trying to do, which is get in front of more people, because like you said, we're busy entrepreneurs, working to grow a business and when we spread ourselves so thin like that, we really create a vicious cycle of being on what I call a content creation hamster wheel, that once we're on, it feels very difficult to step off.

Lisa Richards 16:52  

I couldn't agree with you more Courtney Elmer. Yeah, totally. Right.

Courtney Elmer 16:55  

So in terms of more timeless mediums that you might have another name for thim. But timeless mediums where we should be looking to put our attention places where we would want to put down roots, essentially, when it comes to visibility, right, and not talking about like these Fly By Night kind of trends and things like that. But where should we be looking as owners that grow a business, from the strategy perspective of what's the best use of my time?

Lisa Richards 17:20  

Yeah Courtney Elmer, here's how I like to think about framing that question, I like to think about having what I call a healthy media mix. So one more time a healthy media mix. And what I mean by that is keeping in mind that our ideal client has a preferred way of consuming content. Typically, we all either prefer to watch it, to read it, or to listen to it. And I think it's important to make sure that we're doing one of each of the three, to make sure that no matter how our ideal client likes to consume conference content, we're providing it that way to them. That's what will grow a business.

Typically, with clients, I like to say let's start at the bottom rung of the ladder Courtney Elmer. And this is being read this is written media. This could be a newspaper, this could be a print magazine, this could be a website, it could be a digital magazine, it could be a guest blog post on somebody else's website, some way that your ideal client can either read an article you have written or an article that you have been interviewed in. I like getting started with this version of written content to grow a business

If somebody hasn't had visibility or it's big exposure opportunities before, you're not like under the gun of the camera, you have the opportunity to write an article, come back to 24 hours later send it to somebody else to read spell check Grammarly. This is one time your inner perfectionist can win. And you can make sure it's exactly as you want it to be before you go ahead and hit send on it. 

A top tip that I would recommend is you can even go into Google and type in the words right for your industry. No matter what terms you put in there, you're going to get some results of various websites are looking for contributors to send content over to their site. And this is a great way to now move off of your own platform and grow a business. writing an article for, let's say, your own blog that maybe has a few 100 or 1000 visitors per month. And now you can take that content, put it somewhere else, it's now getting on the site that's getting 10s of 1000s, maybe even hundreds of 1000s of hits every single month. So first level I love to start with Courtney Elmer, is written media at the bottom of the ladder to grow a business.

Courtney Elmer 20:31  

Awesome. That makes so much sense. When you are in the growth phase, learning to grow a business, your goal is to grow your audience, your reach your visibility, awareness... The fastest way to do that is by borrowing other people's audiences.

Lisa Richards 21:11  

The term that I've coined Courtney Elmer is leveraging opp other people's platform. 

Courtney Elmer 21:19  

100%. Okay, so take it to the next run.

Lisa Richards 21:23  

Okay, perfect Courtney Elmer. So we've done some written content to grow a business. We've maybe seen our name published in an article or interviewed, we're standing a little taller, we're seeing a little straighter because we're building our confidence. What we can move up to next is we're building our confidence to grow a business. And we're working on our messaging to grow a business, which you had a great episode on a few weeks ago, by the way, about working on our messaging. Now we can move up to audio media to grow a business. This could include being on a podcast like this one, it could include hosting or moderating a room in the clubhouse. Or maybe if you have a bricks-and-mortar business that could be being interviewed on the local radio station.

This is an opportunity now for you to have a conversation with one other person, which I know everybody listening to this show has successfully done before. So now we're doing it in a different way where we can practice our messaging, evolve it, see what feels comfortable with us, and really speak to the craft that we are good at. When you come on to a podcast interview or clubhouse room or on the radio, you're going to be highlighted for your skill. So this is an opportunity to now start practicing talking about what you do. And really focus on having a conversation and speaking out your message.

Courtney Elmer 23:01  

Yes, 100%. Getting comfortable and simply having the conversations first. I love that.

Lisa Richards 23:48  

Awesome Courtney Elmer. I'm glad that that landed. Okay, so the third level of the ladder of publicity at the very top, I'm sure you can guess the top level is now being seen various forms of visual media to grow a business. So what this could include, traditional things like television, or it could include doing a Facebook live in someone else's group. It could be doing an Instagram Live on somebody else's account. This could be doing a guest training inside of somebody else's mastermind. Maybe you're speaking at a conference, whether that's live or virtual, but these are all different ways of being seen as you communicate with your message to grow a business.

Now the reason that this is at the top of the ladder because this is the best way to build engagement people get to see you they get to experience you connect with you get a sense of your energy is this somebody that I like that I would like to continue doing business with in another way, shape, or form. So I love moving up to visual media because this is the fastest for building that like and trust factor.

For some people like me who have only child syndrome 100% for being on stage in front of 3000 people, I'll be like, Hey, everyone, put your phones down. I'm here now. And for some people that might be a little bit terrifying. Courtney Elmer, you can start with a visual form of media like doing a Facebook Live on screen. Nowhere, you're seeing the other person and it feels a lot more comfortable. So there are various different ways that you can grow into getting seen and having more people experience you, in person or virtually, but really getting a sense of your energy and who you are.

Courtney Elmer 25:12  

Sometimes in learning to grow a business, it can feel hard to know where to start. I think that's one of the biggest things that keeps us from taking action is that we don't know where to begin to grow a business. So for someone listening today, Lisa, who's like, Okay, I'm convinced I really need to up my visibility game here. I want to get started in getting more exposure to grow a business, where should they begin? And I guess a second question to that would be, do they begin at the bottom of the ladder? Or should they begin where they already are naturally the most comfortable or skilled?

Lisa Richards 26:10  

That's a great question, Courtney Elmer. I always believe the person in front of me is gonna have a different person than the person next to them. So it really does depend, I think the ladder of publicity is a great general strategy to pay attention to grow a business. But do I have clients who've done it out of order 100%, I really think it always comes down to what are number one, your business goals. And number two, who you are as a personality, I don't think it serves anybody to put a square, try and put a square peg in a round circle. So, someone tells me that they're absolutely terrified of public speaking, I'm probably not going to recommend a big North American Conference for them to grow a business. But maybe we can start off with a guest training in a mastermind group of 12 for them to grow a business.

Courtney Elmer 27:48  

Yes, that makes so much sense. Lisa, is there anything else that you would like to leave us with today? A first action step for someone walking away from this episode, in terms of getting their visibility strategy together to grow a business?

Lisa Richards 28:35  

Courtney Elmer, one thing I always like to say at the end of podcast episodes, is to not let this have been 25 minutes of cool information. Let's take this time you've invested in create transformation. Even if you take that one simple step, that is a great start to being able to get more visibility. So don't let this be great inspiration. Let it be transformation for you as well.

Courtney Elmer 29:03  

For those that are listening that are like, okay, Lisa, I want to work with you though it, tell me more about you, and how can I learn to grow a business from you? Where can they go online to connect with you?

Lisa Richards 29:22  

Yeah Courtney Elmer, I actually have an answer to that. If you're on board, and you're like, yes, I want to get more visibility. I'd love to get more exposure, I need to figure out where to start to grow a business. I have a quiz called How should I get more visibility as an online coach. We'll figure out your business goals and your personality. And based on that information, I'm going to share with you one of five ways it makes the most sense for you to start getting visibility. And I'm also going to send you a training video on how to put that first step into practice to start to grow a business. So to take that How should I get visibility as an online coach quiz? You can head to 

Courtney Elmer 30:35  

We will absolutely be sure to link to that in the show notes. Lisa, thank you so much for being here today.

Lisa Richards 31:05  

Thanks, Courtney Elmer

Courtney Elmer

I'll see you back here next Tuesday. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.

Lisa Simone Richards Profile Photo

Lisa Simone Richards

PR & Visibility Strategist

Lisa Simone Richards is a PR & Visibility Strategist for online coaches who want to get seen everywhere.

Through her free workshops, masterclasses and mentorship program, she gives you the insider secrets on how to get exposure and reach more people without spinning on social media or wasting more money on Facebook ads.

Her clients learn the lather-rinse-repeat formula for more visibility which makes them more sales. They go from invisible to in-demand getting interviewed on top podcasts, partnering with big names in their industry and building their authority expert status getting featured on major media like FOX, NBC, Forbes, Inc., and more.

On weekends you can find her playing in the kitchen with her husband, petting ALL the dogs in the park, and watching way too many fashion styling videos on YouTube.