photographER + EDUCATOR

Hello friend, I'm Kelly and I am so happy you are here! I abandoned my career as an OT to pick up a camera and follow my heart. I love the east coast and am fuelled by coffee, pizza and red wine. I am a wife, a mom and a lover of rescue mutts. I go adventuring in the summer and I hibernate in the winter. I blog about photography, business and all things inspirational.





oh, hello there!



The thing you need do today to get your work published

Apr 25, 2018

kelly lawson photographerThese two amazing girl bosses inspire me every day. From the moment I met them, I knew they were dreamers and doers and that they were on track to accomplish big things. And that is just what they are doing, together and independently. Back in the fall, I was given the privilege of photographing them and today, they have an exciting announcement!

Me: You guyyyyysss!!! You are both such an inspiration to me. You move mountains together and separately. You’ve co-founded a successful PR firm, you’ve founded and continue to run startups independently and now you’ve published a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER book, I mean, NBD.

It’s honestly hard to believe that we all have the same 24 hours in a day sometimes! Tell me how you managed to accomplish all of this?

Renee:  It was something we picked away at. We wrote when we were inspired. That’s the luxury of self-publishing, you can do it on your own terms. But in having a co-author, it really forces you to move the needle, to GSD (get shit done)! We were constantly accountable to each other, which allowed us to actually get this thing out the door.

Crystal: You definitely have to block off time to make it happen. For me, it meant treating the book almost like I would a client. I designed my company around what I affectionately call the “block party!” Each client gets their blocks of dedicated time on my calendar and I treated the book no differently. If we knew we needed to get a round of edits or a chapter done – I’d block off that time on the calendar and stick to it! Things will always come up, but as Renee said, having a co-author (and one you adore, at that) means you can send the most loving nudges, nags, and GSD gifs when needed!

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

Me: OMG I have no idea how we even communicated before gifs. So, about your new book, tell me all about it!!

Renee: The idea behind the book was a simple one  — teach as many people as possible how to do their own PR. Over the years, Crystal and I have had the luxury of choosing who we wanted to work with, but that also meant we had to say no a lot. We didn’t necessarily want to, it was just that our bandwidth was stretched thin. The book came about out of a need to serve others, to teach, and to give away our best-kept PR secrets.

The idea behind the book was a simple one  — teach as many people as possible how to do their own PR.”

Crystal: One of the biggest misconceptions about PR is that you’re not media worthy. The reality is – if you have a pulse or own a business or you have done something in your life (spoiler: that is ALL of us) you have a story and that story is worth telling. You just need to know how to tell it or how to spin it. As much as I’d love to help every awesome human in the world share their story, I can’t, so I’m incredibly proud to be able to offer this book to anyone with a story to tell who needs the tips and tricks to get it the attention it deserves.

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

The reality is – if you have a pulse or own a business or you have done something in your life (spoiler: that is ALL of us) you have a story and that story is worth telling.”

Me: Amazing! If you could give any advice to a business owner who is in the early stages of building their brand and hasn’t ever been published before, what would it be?

Renee: Start with crafting your story. It’s the first thing we teach for a reason. You may think “I don’t have a story” or “the media won’t care” but you really don’t know until you try. You can create an incredible story angle from the least likely of places. Just look for it. Dig deep. And it’s often NOT about your product/ service.

Crystal: Start building relationships NOW. Relationships are everything when it comes to PR and getting media coverage. They are your lifeline. Even if you’re just thinking about starting your PR outreach in a month, two months, six months, a year – start making those connections now. Identify your dream outlets and writers and start following them on Twitter, find out what events or conferences they’re attending, get to know them. The time to make friends in the media is not when you need something – it’s long before that.

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

Me: What one thing can someone who is reading this post today do to move the needle in getting published?

Renee: Start with creating and nurturing relationships with journalists, writers, contributors, publishers. Look to Twitter or LinkedIn to see who’s publishing what and when. Start slow, make the connection, offer solutions to their problems, or suggestions, BEFORE you make a pitch.

Crystal: Write ideas down every single day. Visualize your story in the media. What is the headline? What is the hook? Think about this every day and write down what you see on sticky notes, a whiteboard or in your bullet journal. The more you think about it and see it come to life in your mind, the easier it’ll be to bring it to life once you start media outreach.

Me: And what advice do you have for small business entrepreneurs to tell their stories? Why is it important, what do you often see that can be done better.

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

Crystal: Be human and be vulnerable. As an entrepreneur, your time to get covered is now. I’m noticing a real trend where the media is covering people, not products. It’s the people behind a company and a product that bring it to life and those are the stories people want to read about it. Don’t be afraid to be real and raw and share your struggles and your victories. People don’t want to hear that you made it or your company was successful. They want to know how you got there too. Being able to share your story of success is an amazing privilege. Use it to help others 🙂

It’s the people behind a company and a product that bring it to life and those are the stories people want to read about it. Don’t be afraid to be real and raw and share your struggles and your victories.”

Me: I love that! And why is it important for, say, a budding creative entrepreneur to be vulnerable, tell their story and have their work published?

Renee: It establishes credibility. It puts your name out there. It proves that at least someone cares about your product/service. While it surely can get you traffic and sales, it also doubles as the ultimate credibility builder.

Crystal: I second Renee. It is ALL about credibility. Many outlets will Google you to see where else you have been covered or who else you write for (if you’re thinking of doing contributed content) so getting your name out there is important. And once you start seeding your story on the internet, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that come your way organically.

Me: You guys, you’ve founded and run an enormously successful PR firm, you both travel the world like woah, and now you have a published book under your belts. You both do crazy big inspiring things together and separately… I need to know, what is next for you?

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

Renee: I have walked away from the industry as of early last year to pursue something bigger – a life purpose that’s been growing ever since I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I launched the Family Academy to help entrepreneur families gain more freedom in their lives by teaching them how to have a better relationship with their partner and kids. The Family Academy offers coaching, incredible content, and live events today and this fall a major online program will be announced. I have a mission to help 1 million entrepreneur families gain more freedom in their lives!

The future — more books for sure!

Crystal: I’m really looking forward to working with more heart-centered entrepreneurs and lifestyle brands with a product their tribe LOVES. That’s my passion. Those feel-good companies that don’t feel like clients but instead feel like family to me. And that’s probably one of the best perks of being my own boss: I get to cherry-pick only the funnest companies to work with every day! This past year as an entrepreneur was one of the best years of my life, but the fun is just getting started. I’m now vetting and signing clients up for September / October 2018, booking more travel opportunities to work and see the world simultaneously, and definitely looking forward to growing my blog East Coast Mermaid and online/pop-up shop Sandy Toes this summer here on the East Coast.

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

Me: Gosh, thank you so much for sharing all of this. One last question, how do we get our hands on your book?

kelly lawson storytelling

kelly lawson new brunswick photographer

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *