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How To Say No To Promoting Others With Honesty & Class

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Not sure if you’ve dealt with this before, but if you’re a person who’s committed to achieving greatness and helping others (and I believe you are) eventually, you will.

Imagine this scenario.

You’ve worked your butt off and built a great reputation. People respect and listen to what you have to say because you’re honest, generous, and most importantly, you really care. And one of the things that gets you most excited is seeing others succeed.

Because you’re committed to living life to the fullest, you’ve become part of a vibrant community of go-getters who maintain a standard of supporting each other’s dreams.

One day, you get a request from a friend who’s also in this community. She asks you to endorse her and promote her to your network.

But here’s the rub.

She’s a lovely person, but her project is not something you want to get behind. While you don’t want to crush her dreams (maybe what she’s created is perfect for someone else), you also don’t want to promote anything you don’t believe in.

So what do you do? Situations like this can get awkward and uncomfortable fast, unless you know exactly what to say.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation like this, you’re going to love today’s episode of MarieTV.

You’ll learn a simple script that’ll help you say no to someone’s request with honesty and class. Click play to check it out.

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it. -Benjamin Franklin via @MarieForleo

I’d love to hear what YOU have to say on this topic. In the comments below, let me know:

How do you respond when friends ask you to promote them and you don’t want to? Do you have a go-to script you use?

On the other hand, has anyone ever turned you down in a way that was classy and honest?  What exactly did they say?

Be specific and tell me exactly what happened, what the communication was, and how you felt.

I’m a big believer that as a society, it’s important that we train ourselves to communicate in a way that is honest, clear and compassionate – especially in delicate situations.

Taking time to intentionally choose our words, and the energy with which we deliver them, can make a huge difference in another person’s life. So let’s take this opportunity to learn from and help each other, OK?

Share your genius in the comments below. I’m really excited to see what you have to say.

Thank you, as always, for tuning in, reading and contributing.

P.S.  Stay tuned for a special broadcast about RHH Live this Thursday. It’s a time sensitive email so stay on the look out :)!

Love,

Marie Forleo

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Read the comments or Add yours

Summer Alexander

Hi Marie!

Love the dress and necklace! Spot on advice as usual.

I hate to say it but I was actually shocked to learn how many entrepreneurs fail to do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it. This makes it extremely difficult to put your credibility on the line by recommending others you don’t know.

I am working hard to build a company that is known for being reliable and professional and I would be doing myself a disservice if I was willing to promote businessess who don’t return phone calls, respond to emails, meet deadlines etc.

On the other hand when I find a business that provides exceptional service, I am happy to shout their praises from the mountain tops!

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Summer Alexander

Nothing like ranting about being professional and then typing so fast you misspell a word lol! Should be: businesses.

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Suzie

Don’t worry Summer I read your comment and didn’t even pick it up! lol lol

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Summer

Thank you Suzie! =) I did at least give myself a good laugh to start the week off!

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Sherrill

I really appreciate it when someone who catches their mistakes and isn’t afraid to step up and bring it to light – and with the correction :D THAT to me falls in line with integrity :D

Elinor

Just checked out your website Summer – you are doing a fabulous job – such a professional look and so many resources. Great job.

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Summer

Thank you so much Elinor!

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Lauryn Doll

Hi Summer,

What you said is sad yet so true: Everyone wants to be a professional, but not everyone chooses to conduct themselves as professionals. For the past year, I have been very interested in helping others who are “building” with some positive attention and assistance – and even referrals, but I have not seen too many pick up the ball and stay dedicated, focused and persistent in delivering high value and high quality.

Over time, I’ve realized not too many people are clear on what’s necessary to build a brand or a business, and while it’s unfortunate, I have to love them where they are and keep focusing on what’s important for #1 (myself).

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Elise

Oh wow, this was incredible!

I have actually had this issue, except that it wasn’t my friends it was my dad and HIS friends!

I had an awesome craft blog that I LOVED and over time it got quite popular. My dad and his friends asked me about it and how I made money from it.

After hearing that, both my Dad and his friend decided to bombard me with proposals and “advice” on what I needed to start doing to maximize my profit.

My dads friend said that he was going to import craft supplies from China and that he wanted to promote the products on MY blog.

I immediately said that while it was a wonderful offer I do not promote just anything. I have a specific and clear vision for my blog and that those products don’t coincide with that vision.

That was HUGE for me to say at the time but I’m proud that I did. So I 100% endorse your script Marie. Thank you for the wonderful vid! ;)

Elise

P.S: That dress is HOTT!!!

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Chas

“I immediately said that while it was a wonderful offer I do not promote just anything. I have a specific and clear vision for my blog and that those products don’t coincide with that vision.”
Well said; classy and concise. I am sure that tempered their advances of future proposals. Good on you.

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Elise

Aw, thanks Chas! It sure did.

My inner self was like “YEAH YOU TELL EM’ ELISE!!! YOU TELL EM’ GOOD!!!”

:D

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Ameena Falchetto

It’s awesome that you stuck to your guns Elise. It can get quite complicated when it’s friends or family asking for a piece of the action on your platform.

We are who we surround ourselves with – and when it comes to biz we need to be hyper focused on our goal to make sure we get to where we want to be.

Also, where do you draw the line? Once you promote one person who’s not necessarily a fit you’ll get 5 others and the next thing you know these peeps have buried your brand and no one knows what you are about anymore.

No is a powerful word eh? :)

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Elise

Ameena, (awesome name btw! Got alotta hutzpah!)

I totally agree with you and there is something very empowering in claiming your ‘No’ especially if your values are behind it.

I think we’re hitting a ‘key to life’ recipe right here!

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Amethyst Mahoney

So true, Ameena. I try to only promote one or two people a month, which gets difficult because there are several people who I really love and have taken many of their programs.

However, if you’re promoting someone new every week or several times a week, it gets pretty…weird, don’t you think? :-)

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LC | Colored Girl Confidential

Elise, love your response to your dad’s friend and the guts that it took. It’s so much harder to say no to a friend or family member, so hard that I’ve been avoiding a few conversations myself! I started a blog a few months ago and ever since it’s gotten a bit popular, a lot of my friends want to guest post.

However, I’m really choosy about the content I send out to my readers! I have guest posting policies that my friends think they can completely ignore, oftentimes resulting in content that is not properly aligned with my brand! What gives me courage to say no is remembering that I’m speaking for my readers – they deserve the very, very best for me.

I love my awesome little community enough that I try never to forget that!

Aaaaaaand, Marie I second the fact that your dress (and your renegade necklace!) are hot!

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Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions

Word.

I’m REALLY choosy about the content I post on my blog too. You might not be willing to go where I went or maybe even say as much as I’ve said, but what I now have posted on my Guest Blogger page has been working beautifully for me. When I had the “standard” guest blogger information posted, I was getting hit up — left and right, by people who made it quite apparent that all they really wanted was a back link. Did they actually say that? No. But you know how you can tell; the quality of what they’ve submitted tells the true story.

I was receiving material so many dreadful submissions that it wasn’t even funny. I was getting at least 5 (sometimes more) a week. But now, since I’ve “flipped the script” — I’ve probably gotten two (pretty good ones too!). Hallelujah! There’s nothing worst than wasting time on things that aren’t worth it. I’ll leave the link… just case you (or anyone else) want to check it out.

http://blog.carloatyourservice.com/p/guest-blogging_16.html

No disrespect to you Marie (if you read this). I don’t usually add my stuff to someone else’s comments. Please know that in this instance, my primary reason for doing so is to show how I deal with telling Guest Bloggers, who only want back links, “No”.

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Marie Forleo

I read everything here :)

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Cathy

Thanks for sharing this Carlo. Trying to attract authentic guest posters myself and was just about to give up on the whole idea. Maybe I just need to flip my script as well.

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Elise

Hi LC,

I totes agree with you. When you take it away from being ‘about you’ and put it onto ‘what is valuable for your readers’ it really becomes a no-brainer.

You become like the over protective mother to your readers!

I think there’s a lotta value in that :)

Elise

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Kellie Brooks

Elise,
Wow. Sooo tricky with family. Thanks for the strong example of clarity and integrity. I notice there are some people I can be like that with, and with others it’s more challenging. Glad to share this space with you!

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Elise

Kellie, that is too true!

I was really proud of myself for what I said (that in the fact that it came out of nowhere without me thinking about it) and I do believe it can be more challenging with different people.

I guess I must have subconsciously decided to jump straight to the TOP of challenge!

Haha.

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MJ

So here’s the deal, Marie, No matter if you ‘believe’ someones product or service is up to ‘snuff’, or not, if your own marketing is up to ‘snuff’, your audience will be wide with every level of need within a particular market, or even some people from other markets through networking. So what you deem, not up to ‘snuff’, will be the perfect answer for someone at that level of that ‘snuff’. It’s a big mistake, closing the gaps in your marketing/referral circle, you restrict the energy flow coming back to you. Unless of course you’re still in the high-school cheerleader mentality(?). For instance, it is through you I found what I was looking for, although I did feel compelled/sold to buy from you. I continue to listen to you, to see if I find value here to refer to someone I know. It’s all in being mature in business savvy to understand different ‘styles’ in people and their way of doing business. What is right for one person will not be right for another and as long as its backed with an authentic service mentality, referrals promote growth for everyone. This is the way it all flows.

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Tom Dwyer

One day I hope to be up to snuff.

Not sure how I found you.. but glad I did!

(Oh.. wait! Someone offered me a $100 or something!)

Keep the long hair pretty lady! 25 years behind the lens, many pretty ladies!
“I knows some tings!”

Some day, get your butt over to Big Daddy’s site and say yo, ya hear?

I’m just starting video production. You make me feel like it’s a good thing to “be real” – as in my real self.

Have fun with it! (It shows in your video – You have tons of fun!)

Cheers!

Tom Big Daddy Dwyer

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Tom Dwyer

No pressure, take your time!

My photography coaching site ins’t going anywhere but up!

I pinned you! (No we are not going out… slow your roll..)

http://pinterest.com/pin/63543044713583692/

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Suzie

Yes I have been turned down in a very nice way, we were going to collaborate with her being the foodie and I was helping with how different foods affect the skin.
I know in hindsight she was way ahead of me in the professional stakes and she realized I had a way to go yet.

She wrote me a lovely email saying,

“At this point in time she believed we are on different paths and I (Suzie) needed to expand and experiment with my online presents and she would be happy to follow my progress and let’s talk again in 12months”

I do believe this helped me realize that someone who had a great reputation with a strong online presence was will to help me out.

Thanks for this question Kelly and I love “Personal Currency” I’ll be using that one. I haven’t been asked to endorse anything yet but this is a good lesson for me to learn now rather than after the bad endorsement.

Thanks Marie for the script you say it in such a professional friendly way.

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Clare J Fitzgerald

What a great response you got Suzy from someone who obviously took the time to look at your work and then came back to you with an offer to touch base again in a year.

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Suzie

I know Clare, I am grateful for her input and time, she was lovely to offer to come back to me and it’s now that I am realising how lucky I was to have a positive thanks but no thanks!

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Sandy

Suzie,
I too have not been asked to promote so I think its so valuable to get this information NOW.

Its nice that you were given positive, honest feedback. In the beginning there is a lot of hard work and “proving yourself.” Now we know thanks to Marie and Ben not to let one bad deed ruin it all.
:)

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Suzie

Absolutely Sandy this is valuable information. Looking good on your website too Sandy!

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Sandy

thanks Suzie :)

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Kellie Brooks

Suzie,
Thanks for sharing what it felt like to be on the other side of the ‘ask.’ I’m always concerned with how I may be received when I turn down a request to tweet or FB someone else’s product or service.

And – SO glad you like my ‘Personal Currency.’ I’m embarking on a new mission to reframe value…and that means defining alternate currencies, not just money – like our reputation, our creativity, our integrity. We are richer than we know, and have multiple revenue streams to discover, if we just expand our vision of Value. Marie’s community, I would say, is one of her most powerful currencies…and I’m so glad to share in it with you!

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Suzie

Your welcome Kellie, so glad my comment helped you. I do believe at the end of the day if your true with your self and who you’re dealing with it’s got to be beneficial in long run. Loving this community, I’m learning so much from you girls. Thanks!

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Udo, the girl

LOL If I were you, I’d be like “One day you’re gonna be BEGGING to work with me” in my brain lol. BTW, Suzie, if you ever want a lil extra help let me know. I am a fanatic for natural skincare. You and Goddess Hunter are the only ones in this community I know of who do that stuff. I follow you ladies.

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Suzie

Lol thanks Udo I may be calling on you!

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Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy

What a lovely and gracious way to say ‘not right now, maybe later’ without bursting your confidence.

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Suzie

Yes Sarah it was and I hope one day I can be as gracious!

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Amethyst Mahoney

That’s a really great script, Suzie. When I’ve gotten turned down it’s been a pretty rude, “So how many people do you have on your list? Because I don’t promote for anyone with less than 10,000 people.”

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Clare J Fitzgerald

Hi Marie

Love the new wallpaper – looks amazing as do you as always.

Not sure about the red mullet hairdo though ;)

I haven’t had this situation happen to me but I know that when I am on-line and looking at someone’s site, I look for two or three things that give me an idea about who the person is – are they professional, do the provide good products or advice and do they appear to have integrity?

The first thing I look for is how they present themselves in writing or videos, another is the quality of their own products and finally, the types of people and products that they recommend.

These things give me clues about who they are, what their message is and how professional and serious they are about what they do.

I guess what I am quickly scanning for is – are they interesting and professional, and are they worthy of my time.

I use these things to work out if I’m interested in reading and interacting more.

So, as you say Marie, recommendations of others products or businesses is an important one to pay attention to in your business.

I guess I always knew this, but you have really clarified the importance of this as a key issue in regards to nurturing the trust of your customers and readers.

Thanks Marie

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Sandy

Clare,
I do that too! I like to scan for clues to get a feel for the person behind the program/book/service. Its become a habit! I even look up the story behind a new restaurant and let that decide where I go to.

this also reminds me of Marie’s early videos. I recently spoke to someone about how it was just Marie with a camera in her living room. Looking back you can still see that genuine, honest, and trustworthy woman. It was the followers who saw that in her then that have helped build her up, but more importantly it was Marie being Marie back then and now. great lesson for anyone starting out…cause we call start out at the bottom (for the most part)

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Kellie Brooks

I totally agree, Sandy. Marie’s integrity always shines through, which is why I have trusted her when she DOES recommend someone else’s work. I discovered Eben Pagan through her, which led me to Jennifer Russell and her amazing community. Each of these links has carried an incredible amount of value for me, and has lifted me up and allowed me to develop myself in ways I wouldn’t have if trust had not been there at each step. Word of mouth referrals carry more weight than anything else, don’t you think? And our ability to maintain authenticity is crucial. Here’s to being our beautiful, powerful selves!

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Sandy

Yes Kellie. Word of mouth is HUGE, both in promotion as well as steering clear from some. Just like Marie’s bad hair cut recommendation :) haha I love how she illustrates a point like that.

Cheers to that! Beautiful, powerful selves!

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Robyn Keet

That is so true Clare. It’s important to show your personality in a creative space online and offline as its the impression that sets the tone of the relationships you will have with your clients. Only recommend other products that enhance your personal offerings.

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Stephenie Zamora

YES, I love this. It’s such an important topic. Whenever I reach out to potential affiliates or promotors for my program, or ask for support from a group in tweeting messages, I always say “if this resonates with you and your audience.” I totally respect that my work is not the right fit for everyone and that some people may not resonate with my work.

It’s so awesome when people support what you’re doing, but I really don’t think it should be expected just because you’re in a group or community together. I’m very careful to promote only things that I KNOW will benefit my audience or messages that are in line with mine.

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Sandy

Stephenie,
totally agree with you. I too promote only the things my audience wants. And I think its great how you talk about support in such a positive way because we each have different interests and passions.

For example, I’m raising money for girls ages 8-11 to build their self esteem and confidence through training for 5ks. (I like to run) Although I don’t have kids its a passion of mine. So I think you are right when you offer something and ask for support only if the message resonates.

OR I may be more inclined to adopt a polar bear than a highway :)

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Kellie Brooks

Stephenie,
Love your “…if it resonates!” It really IS about finding and connecting with those who are on the same vibrational level that we’re at, isn’t it? Whether we’re helping others, or they’re helping us…our network IS one of our most valuable currencies. Tuning in to where we resonate with someone (thinking out loud right now…), so that we CAN support them…(ah, yes!), thank you, thank you! It’s just dawning on me as I write that there are many ways to help a sister out, not just by promotion. I wonder how many times I’ve asked someone for help in a particular way, and heard ‘no,’ but not their ‘yes.’ Hmmm.

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Denise Duffield-Thomas, author of Lucky Bitch

Wow Marie – I swear you read my thought sometimes.

This has started to happen to me more regularly, probably about 3 in the past week. SO great to have a script to follow.

I’ve used quite a few of your videos recently for various situations – searched for your one about client boundaries recently too!

Off to respond to a few of my most recent messages!

Thank you!

xx Denise

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Sandy

Hi Marie,

Great topic! I have a story on promoting others, supporting others, and a woman who refused to promote me when I paid her $500 to.

1-I promote what I know, just like how I write what I know. That being said, I haven’t had requests to promote others.

2-There is a difference between promoting someone and supporting someone. If those who have more experience don’t support those less experienced then we all begin to make the same mistakes (and waste time doing it).
What you do Marie is a great example of support through MarieTV because you provide knowledge and offer information others are afraid to share. You clearly believe in abundance for all. It gives entrepreneurs a place to go to for quality, trustworthy and FREE stuff. And this is why so many keep coming back to you. You help build us up so that all our hard work begins to pay off.

3-About a year ago I paid for a program from a woman who said she was going to help promote and market, write brochures/worksheets/letters, and offer support via group coaching calls… so I went for it. She wouldn’t respond to my emails, told me I could prepare documents better than she can, and she didn’t notify me of coaching calls. In the end I politely asked for a refund due to her lack of providing her end of the written agreement. Thats when she finally did respond, but with threats and F bombs. She treated me as if I was trying to take her money. It was a terrible experience for which I kept calm until it was resolved. This experience taught me to go where the trust is even if it costs a little bit more.

Love this community!

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Victoria

Omg Sandy, that’s awful! I guess that’s why knowing, liking and trusting people is so important in business and life. Always go where the trust is, so true!

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Sandy

Yes, Victoria. You are SO right.

I learned a great lesson not just about being a client but also about myself as a business. I want someone to get to know me and how I am. Free stuff is key because it lets a person shine their light (like Q&A Tuesdays) to prospects.

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Ameena Falchetto

Awesome stuffs as always Marie!

Many think a little Facebook share or a tweet is harmless but it can make a huge difference online as to how your brand is perceived. There’s no difference between online and offline when we are labelled depending on who we surround ourselves with.

I had someone ask me promote something which had NOTHING to do with my business so I used a script very similar to yours but what I made clear was that I only share and recommend something that will be of extreme value to my community and clients- nips it in the bud straight away because no one can argue with that!

Friends should be able to understand this and at the day it’s your personal brand + your business = YOUR RULES!

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Vanessa Grace

Wish you had posted this video 6 months ago ! I made the wrong decision but I believe all will be well. Still dealing with the repercussions now :0/

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Peter Vince

A great idea to post about Marie.

When I ever have to say no to someone, it’s only because I need to stay true to myself and my ideals. If you stay with these then in my experience you are very unlikely to go wrong.

Kind Regards

Peter

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Natalie Sisson

I have definitely experienced this from both sides. When I was starting out I had a few people say no to me as I just had no history or anything to show them yet, and I was aiming high, so I kind of expected it.

Later as I’ve developed a great following, credibility and a reputation for creating great stuff, it’s way easier to align with people and get joint venture partners on board.

Now I get so many requests to support and promote other people’s work. I almost always attempt to do this in some way, so long as I believe in it, trust them, know that they deliver great quality. And yes recently I’ve turned a few people down and told them why in as honest a way as possible, but also with constructive feedback.

Sometimes it’s just been the timing. Too many things on at one time and I’m not prepared to overload my peeps.

Great topic though. Comes back to the whole `saying no’ thing too.

Natalie

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Kellie Brooks

Natalie,
I love your reminder that It DOES come back to saying “no.” I asked this Q of Marie because even though I know saying NO to what I don’t want to do means saying yes to the experiences I do want, it’s always been hard for me – being in service to others sometimes makes it hard to not over-commit or be discerning. Congrats on building your own brand and following!

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Lisa | Practically Intuitive

Love it!

Yes, I am also in the camp of promoting only what I know and what I think would be of benefit to my audience.

It comes down to the integrity of your word, as Kelly mentions.

Thank you, Marie and everyone in your community, for sharing your wisdom and humor! I look forward to Q&A Tuesday!

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Marie Forleo

Awesome Lisa – glad to have you here ;)

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Kellie Brooks

Lisa,
I can’t wait to check out your site! Love the name – I believe our intuition and our integrity are actually the same thing. Would love to chat with you sometime…

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Amethyst Mahoney

This is like the third time in the past 2 weeks I’ve seen your name and website, Lisa. What does it mean? :-)

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Lisa | Practically Intuitive

Hi Amethyst,
One of my passions is to teach others how to use their intuition in every day situations and not just use it but RELY on it. Your inner GPS is pretty darn accurate! :) Thanks for asking! (I’m on your list, btw.)

Hi Kellie, nice to meet you! I’d love to have you come on over to PI and visit! :)

And Marie, thanks for the reply! You’re awesome, woman!

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Ilona Reynolds

I haven’t actually watched the video yet (at my day job and internet connection is too slow to watch videos) but I will watch it when I get home.

I run a website that sells the Best of British made products, and am often contacted by people looking to sell through my site. If they’re not what I’m looking for, I try to be completely honest with them. They tend to fall into one of a few categories:

- the quality isn’t up to my standard – in this case they tend to be people just starting out, in which case I try to give them constructive feedback, highlight the positive points and give them encouragement, and I always tell them to get back in touch in a few months time when they feel they have developed their products a bit more.
- their products don’t fit my target audience – this is quite an easy one as it’s quite simple to explain. Again I will tell them to get back in touch if they expand their product range, as quite often I will take some of their collection but not all.
- they compromise my ethical standards – again this is quite simple to explain.
- I have lots of similar items already – most people will understand the need for a diverse range of products.
- It’s just not my cup of tea – to be honest I will inevitably end up stocking things that I wouldn’t wear or have in my house, but that I think others will like. I don’t believe I speak for everyone’s tastes and have to consider this when looking at suppliers.

The other thing I am doing is compiling a database of companies and people that make things in Britain, even if I don’t stock them myself. I will blog about them and talk about my experiences with them. Just because they don’t fit my product range doesn’t mean I’ll ignore them all together. I am looking at launching an arm to my business that does product sourcing / personal shopping for British made items, so this database will also be invaluable to me for that, and hopefully drive some business to everyone at some point.

I agree that there is a difference between promoting someone and supporting someone. I don’t like being asked to blog about things. Approach me in a nice way, introduce yourself and your products and the likelihood is I’ll talk about you anyway. I’ll go off topic sometimes, but only if I think it will appeal to my audience.

Great to read about everyone’s experiences, and if any British makers are on here and want to get in touch then please do! I promise I’ll be honest.

xx

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Marie Forleo

Love all of this Ilona – thank you for sharing in such great detail. It’s instructive for us all :)

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Steve Szubert

If someone puts you in this position in the first place, then they have not done their homework and checked that their offering is fully in tune with what you do.

As well as protecting your own patch and saying “No” politely, it would be good to still help them grow their patch, and at least hint that they will be more effective if they learn to be more realistic in their focus. They need to learn that their best strategy is to shift their attitude from “Please gimme what you got” (i.e. the list of followers you have worked so hard to build) to “How can I help you and your tribe in some way?” That’s the way they become someone difficult to resist and say “No” to.

A topic for another MarieTV video?.I love your stuf!

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Sonya

Thanks Marie
I only just realized that all my Facebook shares and likes from new acquaintances truly reflect upon myself. It’s a form of recommendation but in reverse. I’ve befriended people who I thought were aligned with my brand and beliefs but often disagree with the things they share and post later on.
Think I’ll have to watch carefully what they post a bit more before I eagerly like, like,like everything.
Great content, Thanks so much.

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humera

hi Marie,
marieeeeee u caught me right i do it a lot and especially if my close friends ask me out , i know its a bad thing to do but the moment i saw your video i am sure i will never do it again , Marie you look stunning in that dress and hair love you the way you are and yea the hairdo was funny thanks marie your such a great inspiration .

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Johanna

Morning Marie + tribe,

One of the things I love so much about what you do, is how you do everything with such class! What a great script to use if you aren’t in a position to promote something when someone asks you to do so.

I haven’t yet been in this position, but I for sure would use the script if/when applicable.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress!

xo Johanna

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Kate Lamontagne

I own an eclectic gift shop and I am known to be a heart driven business owner, very supportive of community and very connected to my customers. I often am ambushed, as I call it, by crafters who want me to sell their creations in my store. I used to have a really difficult time with this and in the beginning would take in merchandise to consign when it did not feel right because I did not know how to say no, even though I have never run my business as a handmade craft outlet. Every single time, after a few months, I would have to face a very disappointed crafter (never an artisan, they had not reached this stage yet) and give her back her goods because they did not sell. I hated this!
So I adopted a rule. I take no consignment merchandise into my shop. I have figured out what to say to her also. “Your work is lovely and I thank you for your coming in at the recommendation of a friend who meant well. At this time, my shop does not fit the way you are marketing. What I would suggest to you is to get yourself really solid in the business world and sell directly to your consumer for a while so that you get to know who that is and you can tweak your creations even more. Then the next time you go to a shop, you will have more history behind you.”
This sends her away with a better sense of self and I have just saved my store from bringing in granny square cell phone holders.

thank you for your videos Marie! I need to go back into the archives now and find out how to generate capital really fast to save my store. It’s been a tough year.
~kate

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Marie Forleo

Great example Kate and you’re welcome!

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wac

You need to generate capital really fast? Maybe you should get some of those “granny-square cell-phone holders” back into stock… promo them all-out as the latest hipster craze… you may have missed a good bet there… Remember, support local “crafters” and they will support you.

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Turndog Millionaire

Very sound advice. It’s always nice to promote others, but it has to be something you can honestly say “yes, get this right now”

If you don’t know this, used it, or experienced the product in question, you’re letting yourself in for a big fall (potentially).

Loving the script by the way. Very classy way to turn someone down :)

Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)

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Emma

Only ask others to promote your work if they genuinely know your work and usually from working with you. They are only too happy to if you already have an authentic mutual respect. I was turned down in a very graceful way by someone who didn’t know my recent work who was protecting her word and I found it entirely reasonable.

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Marie Forleo

Awesome to hear that Emma!

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Emma

Also if I am constantly spamming my twitter followers and facebook friends with quantity over quality I don’t feel good for one, and I am likely to lose interest of my ‘audience’ by not being discerning about the value of the content I am putting out there.

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Michelle Greene

Hi Marie, great tips for an awkward situation. As you start becoming more influential with your community, I can imagine how many people will see your endorsement as a way to move their business forward.

Thanks for sharing a script that we can use or slightly modify that can help us to say no in an elegant and authentic way.

p.s. Love the necklace

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Sue Ann Gleason

Spot on advice, Marie and so very gracious. I get many requests from amazing colleagues who are doing great work in the world as well as some who are not on the same page. I love this script and will use this as a guide in crafting a thoughtful response the next time I am asked.

I have found the best way to promote someone whose work I have experienced AND believe to be a good fit for my audience is to interview that person on one of my teleclasses. That way people can decide for themselves if they might benefit from his/her special brand of transformation. I also learned, the hard way that I have to be absolutely sure that person is a good candidate for an interview and that takes time.

A follow-up question for me would be, what do you think of “sponsorship” badges on a website? Do we want to send people off our site to check out various programs we endorse? Is this a viable revenue stream? My chocolate for breakfast site is getting a lot of traffic and I’m wondering if I should add a sponsorship feature or if my time would be better spent monetizing my own programs and services. Thank you for another “amazeballs” Q & A.

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Tiziana

Hi Marie, I would love to see script part 2. What do you do when that person then says…. “I completely understand, come experience my product (or use my services), you’ll see how great it is first hand! ” and you still would prefer not to extend the recommendation because that person has made it clear that the product/service is considered “final” (i.e. they are done with the development phase, it is already on the market etc.)? At this point, how do you tell that person that her/his product just does not cut it and you don’t want to endorse it?

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Robin Hallett

thanks, Marie!
this is an important topic and something I’ve struggled with too.
I’ve learned to have a personal policy that I can refer to. Its especially helpful when guilty feelings start creeping in.

I just ask myself, “what’s my policy on this?” And If I don’t have one on that particular issue, just asking myself the question gives me clarity.

Thanks, and thanks to eventrying here too :-)
Robin

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Tiziana

ooohps…. I neglected to say “Thank you!” first! I do enjoy your Q&A a lot and find you inspiring. :)

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Liane Carter

Thank you so much for the great script. Watching this has made me so appreciate the wonderful endorsements I’ve received from two people I admire so much. And, yes, I’ve been asked to endorse a book and didn’t feel I could and so instead gave a gift of some free editing and a feedback sandwich: saying at first something I loved, then what I didn’t and then something else I liked to finish up. It was as near a win win as I could get. The person in question received some editing as a gift and I kept my integrity by not lying about something I couldn’t fully commit to. x

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Claudia

Hi Marie,

Thank you for picking Kelly’s question – I am often approached and do provide honest supportive feedback and sort of tell them that I am keen to try it out when they are ready.

Also I have received the no-reply, the ‘being ignored’ response which is utterly rude considering the amount of courage it takes to approach someone you know.

Great script, it is so professional and dignified -thank you.

Love the way you do, what you love to do!

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Candice

Hi Marie,
I think that’s a great script for saying “no” to promotion of brands you don’t believe in. I’m just starting out with my online publishing brand so right now I find myself on the other end, looking for who I should affiliate myself with. I think the same rules apply. However, it’s really important to work with people who are aligned with your business values. I think that someone who is prospectively looking for promotion is also responsible for finding good fits.

As I’m working to build my own reputation, I realize that good recommendations are gold.

Part of my online publishing brand is my self-created comic strip called ‘Nistas. I don’t mean to plug shamelessly, however I just so happened to write a strip a few weeks ago that kinda speaks to this topic. Please forgive me if adding a link to it is presumptuous. http://candysez.com/2012/07/26/nistas-50/ It just seems to fit.
Love you lots!! That purple dress and necklace are BANGIN’!!!!

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Kimberly Houston

Great video and spot-on advice as always, Marie!

I haven’t been approached yet to promote anyone in my current biz b/c it’s fairly new and I’m not that high on the food chain just yet, but I still treat my online domain like it’s my castle, even for small things. For example, just this morning as I was reviewing blog comments, I read and re-read one particular comment over and over again. Yes, it was legit and not spam. Yes, it came from a real person with a real website (I checked this out), but I decided not to approve the comment, because it didn’t add anything to the post being commented on, it was two short lines with no real value, and the grammar was poor. Sure, comments on a blog are great, but I believe that even comments must pass the quality control test when it comes to standing in integrity and building your online
empire. ; )

Now with my food and wine blog, which I’m not really active on anymore, I used to get requests to review wine often. I said yes about half the time, and a few days later UPS would deliver 2-3 bottles of wine to my house from a promoter/wine PR person. Free wine, yay! You think this is a good thing until you have a few dozen bottles of wine queued up to be reviewed but you don’t feel much like drinking. : )

I was always upfront with my policy, which was, I’ll only write a review and publish it to my blog if I have mostly positive things to say, otherwise, I won’t post a review at all. Still, receiving the free wine made me more apt to feel positively about the wine, and I questioned how “objective” I could really be about it. Lucky for me there was never any truly awful wine. ; )

I love what Stephenie Z says above about using the phrase, “if this resonates with you and your audience” when approaching someone to spread the word about your offerings — that one’s going right into the swipe file!

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Lana

Great advice and at the right time Marie. I have yet to encounter this sticky scenario but I see the time is coming in the near future where I will so this information will come in handy. I like to be prepared. Thank you

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Natalie MacNeil

Learning how to say no with love has been one of the toughest lessons I’ve learned while building my company over the last few years. In some situations it was easy to say no, for example, this one time this man came up to me after one of my speaking engagements and asked me to promote a product that had nothing to do with my niche. I had no problem saying no to him.

What I find to be a lot more difficult is saying no to people I have relationships with already or people I’ve worked with in my programs, private consulting, etc.

It may sound a little crazy but this is one of the subjects I spent the most time working through when I went to an ashram and worked with a spiritual guide! I just hated saying no to people and I worried what they would think about me after… Following that experience at the ashram I kept a journal for awhile of all the decisions I made, whether I said yes to someone or something or whether I said no, and how it made me feel after the fact.

Saying yes to someone I knew personally knowing it was the answer they wanted to hear made me feel good in that split second but left me feeling really shitty after. Saying no -with love -made me feel great knowing I was 100% honest and honoring the reputation and community I had built.

Now I use a script very similar to the one you used as an example Marie. The general template looks like this:

Dear whoever,

1. Start with saying something positive like “It sounds like it will be a great program and congrats on getting this far” or “I’m honored that you’re part of my community and think you’re doing great work.”

2. I outline my policy on affiliate marketing and promoting things which goes something like “Due to the number of requests I get to promote products and programs I can no longer promote products unless I have had success using a particular product to grow my own business.” *I’m actually going to put this policy up on my site so I can just insert the link to my policy which shows the policy applies to everyone*

3. End it on a positive note!

Thanks for understanding,

Natalie

So that’s been my journey learning to say no with love :) I still struggle with it once in awhile when it’s someone I have a personal relationship with but I know saying no allows me to serve my community in the best possible way.

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Janet Hilts

Oh perfect, Marie! Thanks for that juicy qualifier “unless I seek them out”. I’ve been comfortable turning down requests to promote and/or do joint ventures, saying I don’t do that unless I’ve personally experienced their gift. But then I felt awkward if they offer me a sample – espesh if the reason I haven’t tried it is that I know it’s not up to snuff. Your script eliminates that whole “try me and THEN turn me down” scenario. Thanks for making it easy to stay direct and real with heart, Marie.

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Kellie Brooks

Janet,
Brilliant, I agree. “Unless I seek them out.” It’s really that tightwire we walk as marketers – wanting to share our work with the world, while not being pushy. Trusting AND taking action – lessons I’m learning, too…

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Eleanor

Great video – love that flower arrangement! My business is project and policy oriented and, thanks to years of hard work, I’ve earned a good reputation.
One example is a friend who’s struggling & wants to do a “project”, but has an approach and attitude that aren’t a good match. I’ve listened kindly, but have avoided actually giving advice/inputting. In this example I wish her well and do not assist, period.
Another example was being pressured to write a letter of recommendation to the extent that it was bullying. Because of the specific situation at the time, I did draft the vague letter about how X was always trying hard, but I also reached out personally to the person to whom the letter was addressed to give her the heads-up that I was being bullied into doing it. The result was a great lesson learned that a) I will never let a situation get to the point where I’m being bullied again (disengage earlier) & b) the letter was swiftly dropped into the trash.
Thanks Marie for a great video on how important a reputation is!

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Debbie

Marie,
The script you shared is very helpful, and the comments above have added a lot to the conversation. I’m not at the point where people are knocking down my door to promote their work (yet), but I am creating networks in my community, making referrals and just starting to take guest posts on my blog.

I know that the key to not feeling indecision or guilt about who to promote or not is being crystal clear about what it is I offer. This is what I’m working on now. I’m an acupuncturist, so I help people feel better. But my focus is always more on personal responsibility, integrity, lifestyle choices, and getting healthy for the sake of being of service and reaching our full potential. I often find myself at odds with a sort-of touchy-feely, if it feels good do it approach to healing. And yet I just accepted a guest post that was about self-care because “YOU deserve it”. It’s not a complete 180 from what I do, I mean it’s not like the post was about funny cat videos. I do think self-care is important. I’m just noticing that subtle things matter in the message that I’m sharing, and I’m being called to spend more time getting clear about what exactly that message is.

Thanks,
Debbie

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Thomas Warner

This just happened to me. Awesome advice.

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Claudia

Great video, great advice. This is something I have struggled with in the past as integrity is the most important thing to me, personal and in business. I always want to support and it’s easy for me to get guilted into favours of promoting others. Having a little tool like this and also getting clear on intention is great. And helps me to be myself and keep it pure.
Thank you!

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Kellie Brooks

Thank you HEAPS, Marie, for answering my Q today!

Not until I heard you read it aloud did I realize that saying no, or being more discerning and obeying my gut feeling, was what I was really asking help with. Not only is your script helpful with this particular situation, it’s also empowering in general. And as it’s said – Teach what you want to learn – my work concerns empowerment, alternate currencies (reputation, integrity, community/network, purpose-led life…), and freedom. I can’t wait to finish my website (kelliebrooks.com) and, with all I’ve learned here from you and your peers, get on with the business of supporting others, through my mission and by those with whom I resonate. Thank you for your generosity and your courage to be EXACTLY who you are, for all of us to witness. An inspiration!

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Michelle

This certainly hit home! I’m always loyal but it hurts when I can’t promote. I usually avoid the situation because I don’t know how to handle it or what to say. This gave me a really great base, starting point for the conversation. Thank you so much! Love your vids. Keep up the great work!

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Rosvita Rauch

Dear Marie,
Good topic. Oh, how I wish I\d had your script a year ago…. but I’ve learned my lesson. My answer, similar, though not as effective as your own, still got me the dreaded “sample, then you can see first hand” response! Your video made me get to grips with this problem and, adapting your elegant framework, my script would now look something this:

Thanks for thinking of me. It sounds like a fantastic program, and I’ll be cheering you on, but I’m not able to promote.

Since my unique group of followers have learned to trust my word, I have adopted a policy of only promoting those things whose special characteristics alone have motivated me to write.

I am, however, grateful for you drawing my attention to your product. If I do choose to write about it in the future, you – and my audience – can thus be assured I do so only because of the inherent quality of the product itself.

Wishing you every success….

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Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy

Sounds like a great script Rosvita.

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Rosvita Rauch

Thanks, Sarah. Experience does make a good teacher…(sigh)

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sigmundo

when i don’t really burn for the projects of a person i’d like to promote, i love putting it out in an exaggerated, satiric and cocky way. i found that many of them appreciate it nonetheless. some even love me for that. there’s no bad reputation, there’s only reputation. when i’m fine with myself i don’t give a dime on others call.

and it’s proven that attraction doesn’t care if we get angry or happy about an action of another person, as long as we get stimulated. getting paid attention from others and paying attention on others is a benefit for itself.

marie, your style is absolut crackerjack!

love°sig

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Udo, the girl

Heh… When I get turned down, I just think “Whatevah, one day you’ll be beggin’ to work with me”

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Kaneisha

Loved this video! I recently asked a friend to promote a class I was teaching. Instead of turning me down outright, he just didn’t send out a mass email; he recommended my class to specific people he thought could benefit from it instead. He avoided the mass email he didn’t want to send out, and I got some warm leads. It was a win-win for both of us.

Today’s video is very similar to one I created a few weeks ago: “How Not to Hire Your Friends.” In it, I give a script for what you can say when you don’t hire a friend for a project. It works for me every time!

Here’s the video if you’re interested:
http://kaneisha.com/2012/08/what-to-say-when-you-dont-hire-your-friend-for-a-job/

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Klara Bow Piechocki

I’ve had that recently- I’ve got a business that’s just launching called Plume Storytellers, and I make beautiful blankets safety blankets for people who have suffered trauma and it’s after affects called Mildreds. Some people have really got behind what I’m up to, but I’ve been trying to partner with similar organizations to promote myself (offering to give free blankets to competitions, etc), and the lack of response has been so disheartening I’ve had to really take care of myself emotionally and try to remind myself my business is worthwhile. I’d adore the sort of kind replies that I’ve read so far in the comments.
What’s quite nice about a business that helps people is that it gives you motivation outside yourself to toughen up and carry on.
Great advice as always, thanks Marie!

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Klara Bow Piechocki

@.@ I just spotted typos in my post- embarrassing!

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Dawn

Hi Marie,

Thank you so much for this video and the awesome script!

I remember several years ago when I was working for a very large insurance company, I was trying to raise money for a charity event and was graciously turned down by a co-worker. My stepmother was losing her battle with breast cancer and I was doing a 3-day walk in her honor. I wrote a nice letter explaining what I was doing and why, and asking for donations. I went in to work early and put a copy of the letter on everyone’s desks. I was overwhelmed by the positive responses I received.

One coworker however, came over to my desk with the letter and said “Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate, but I don’t think it’s something that I’m interested in at this time. “ She said it with such sincerity and grace that although I was disappointed, I appreciated that she took the time to come over and talk to me and did it with such class. I remember thinking it had to take courage to do that; she could have easily just ignored the request and “filed” the letter.

As far as having to turn someone down, I find myself in that situation right now. I’m a body worker (massage, reiki, cranisacral therapy) and after making many mistakes over the past 5 years, I feel like I finally have the direction I want to go in with my business and am working to get there. My best friends sister who is also my friend and a client, recently launched her own personal chef business. She has asked me several times to collaborate with her on marketing events that are outside my demographic area that I haven’t felt comfortable with. In those instances it was easy for me to explain why I felt it wasn’t right for my business (usually the events required me to give away my services in an area that was already flooded with other therapists).

Because she is my friend and I want to support her, I told her we could do some sort of event at my business where she could give a cooking demonstration and explain her services. That has turned into an evening of appetizers and wine with presentations from both of us, discounted package offerings and give always. She recently sent me her presentation and it reads like a lecture – not something I want to do to people. At our last meeting she decided I would write the press release about it the event. I’m having a tough time. I want to help support her but I am regretting putting the offer out there. I don’t feel like I believe in her product/service (or at least the connection between our businesses) but feel obligated because she has been a HUGE supporter of me and my business and has been from the time I graduated from massage school. I want to cancel the event, but am thinking at this point it may be better to ask her to tweak the presentation, go through with it and learn from it. The event is planned for November but I the deadline for the advertising write-up is this week. Any thoughts?

BTW, LOVE the dress & necklace!

Warm regards,
Dawn

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Gloria Ownes

Hi Marie,
Thanks for addressing this sticky situation and looking fine (as always) while doing it!

I run a yoga studio and take pride in a community and email list that my team has built with a lot of love and integrity for a decade. We are constantly being asked to promote events, products and services to our clients.

Many of these are wonderful and aligned with our clients needs, but even so, we’ve made it a flat out policy to say “Sorry, we don’t ACTIVELY promote things that we are not hosting or selling directly at YogaSpace.” This maintains our reputation and doesn’t muddle our message with things that may be unrelated to our own classes and events.

On the other hand, if we believe the event, product or service would be of benefit to our clients, we offer PASSIVE promotion, by inviting guests to post their flyers, leave business cards, etc. in our free resource area. We still manage and edit these as necessary if items aren’t in sync with our overall mission.

The key here is the difference between passive and active marketing. We’re not claiming any endorsement by passively marketing, and we save the active marketing for our own products & services, clearly taking a stand to protect our email list and the nature of the stuff in our recipients’ inboxes!

This was particularly put the the test recently, since the Dalai Lama is coming to our area in October! How could we not share info about the Dalai Lama’s visit? Now there’s a guy with integrity, lol! The truth is, he doesn’t need any promotion, and we can still share our enthusiasm about his proximity is more casual ways; Facebook posts, reading his quotes in our classes, and engaging our students 1-on-1 in conversations. :-))

So here’s to believing we can say “We Love You” and “No Thank You” simultaneously!

Rock on! Namaste! – Gloria

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Marie Forleo

Great examples Gloria and thank you for sharing them!!!

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Sarah Steele | Managing You Academy

I nearly fell into this trap without even having been asked. I wrote a blog last week that I could easily have linked to a program that an acquaintance is running – I love helping others up the ladder and will always help in any way I can. Thankfully just as I was about to type the link I stopped and asked myself if this really was the quality of product I wanted my peeps to associate with me – and the answer was no. I remember when I purchased her program at being slightly disappointed at the quality of handouts etc. A useful reminder.

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Tamisha

Hi Marie ~

Love this video today. Thank you for the script too!

I had a situation recently where I was asked to help someone out with a teleseminar I wasn’t all too familiar with, and I agreed to a little too hastily. However, when that person launched their new website, it quickly became evident and was totally out of integrity for me to continue forward with the commitment. I came from a place of love & integrity and even tried to create a space for changes to be made so I could feel right about going forward with the teleseminar (I didn’t break the agreement quickly). However, the situation really didn’t change and it was obvious it wasn’t going to, and I had to make the difficult decision to change my mind about moving forward and step away. This is a bit of a twist on what you’re talking with us about today however, what I’ve learned from you is that I probably should have waited to make the commitment until after I saw what the re-branding was going to look like and to make sure this person’s new site and messaging would still resonate and align from a branding standpoint.

I like what you said about never aligning yourself with someone or something you haven’t experienced first-hand. I also think it’s important that people know if you have gotten yourself into a situation (obviously before today’s video :-)) that all of a sudden changes or you need to get out of, you CAN change your mind and still come from a place of love & integrity. I think you referenced never doing something just because you feel bad.

I believe my script was something to the tune of “Hi_____. You know that I love your business and what you’re trying to accomplish and I wish you continued success in your endeavors. However, from a branding standpoint & because of recent decisions you have made, I am unable to move forward with prior discussions & the possibility of holding a teleseminar together. I highly respect your work and wish you the very best in the future of your business.”

I really appreciate this video and that you continue to show us how to come from a place of class and honesty.

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Kate

Wow! Saying no to people is definitely weakness of mine, so I really appreciate this script! I haven’t had this exact experience myself, but oftentimes I am faced with potential clients whose projects are not 100% in line with where I see my business going, and I struggle with telling them no OR taking on a project that I might not use in my portfolio later down the road. I think I can definitely glean some inspiration from this video! Thanks Marie!

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Karin Pinter

This is awesome, thanks! I’m in the middle of writing a marketing outreach email to engage people in my network to participate in some fun marketing strategies for my upcoming book, and wanted to include a well-formed option for those who are not in tune with the idea to tell me it’s not their cup of tea… in a nice way :)

(or maybe I can just send them a simple note with a photo of a cup of tea, and a tick box for Yes or No… keep it simple!)

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Marie Forleo

Karin, this is great. Love the creativity and simplicity of the cup of tea ;)

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Amanda Genther

This couldn’t have come at a better time! I just recently had a client email me asking if I could promote a few products with my usual case study that I post after a client’s project has launched!

I had to kindly tell her that I choose not to actually promote specific products, only the benefits of us working together. She completely understood, and I didn’t leave her feeling sad or upset with our experience together.

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Insiya Hussain

Hey Marie, great post — love the original topic. Have been following your work since your Mixergy interview and love the gorgeous site, your panache, the subject matter, and all the craziness around how you present things.

So, thanks!

I really liked your response on this toughie. Totally usable.

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Amethyst Mahoney

Great advice! I have a problem with new people asking me to promote them, so I made several forms that I can send them based on what I need. The first is an, “I’m sorry, but your website needs to include certain information” type form.

It explains to people (and these are all new people) why they need to choose a focus (“niche)” and that they need to have a great free offer on their website, not just a “sign up for my newsletter” box.

Depending on what their site looks like and what I’m feeling from it, I send them an opportunity to sign up for a free training on how to do it. So, if I can’t promote a new person, about 95% of the time I get them signed up to my list, get them in my groups, and they often become a client as well. It’s pretty freakin’ convenient!

Love the script for your more advanced groups. One of my favorite quotes (and I can’t remember who said it off the top of my head) is that “The degree of our success is directly proportional to the number of tough conversations we have.”

Amethyst Mahoney
http://bit.ly/getyourclients

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Nige

Hi Marie,

Great post.

Recently, I was in a computer shop during a sale, and almost bought a £600 laptop because I felt pressured – and with that came guilt. As always in my life, when I catch myself having these fear-based thoughts I quickly see them for what they are, turn them around into something more positive and then act from that new place. This way, saying no feels much easier.

The beauty of taking action from this clear place means that I can say no with confidence and hold both my heart and the heart of the person I am saying no to at the same time.

Keep up the great work – my wife and I were saying earlier how much we look forward to Tuesdays.

Nige

(P.S. Love your dress. Could I possibly borrow it at the weekend? Just kiddin’!)

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Nige

Hi Marie,

Great post.

Recently, I was in a computer shop during a sale, and almost bought a £600 laptop because I felt pressured – and with that came guilt. As always in my life, when I catch myself having these fear-based thoughts I quickly see them for what they are, turn them around into something more positive and then act from that new place. This way, saying no feels much easier.

The beauty of taking action from this clear place means that I can say no with confidence and hold both my heart and the heart of the person I am saying no to at the same time.

Keep up the great work – my wife and I were saying earlier how much we look forward to Tuesdays.

Nige

(P.S. Love your dress. Could I possibly borrow it at the weekend? Just kiddin’!)

Read more: http://www.marieforleo.com/2012/09/promoting-others/#ixzz25WqqAFQw

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Dodie Jacobi

Totally Agree Marie! Not only is a referral a reflection of our reputation, we may have legal responsibility for a recommendation gone bad. (I’m not an attorney, and there may not be legal precedence for this accountability, but a lawsuit can still ensue – puns always intended.) Integrity about referrals makes the ones we’re willing to make more valuable. I’m most often asked to make introductions for my clients with whom I already have a basis for respectful candor. So it’s easy to say, “I’ll be happy to make that introduction after you’ve [fillintheblank with whatever it is I need to be comfortable making an introduction.]” The other circumstance I see often is vendors with whom I have no relationship that want me to introduce them to my portfolio of business owners. I explain that I already have a long list of [fillintheblank with whatever service or product they're pitching.]

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Kate Courageous

Oh, this video was a long time coming–thank you for producing it. I get approximately 3-6 requests every week for cross-promotions.

Everyone here has added some really lovely sample scripts, so I’ll add something else that’s food for thought: When someone sends you a request, DON’T IGNORE THEIR EMAILS because it feels awkward to respond with a “no”!

I say this because of how many “no” emails I’ve sent out–only to get a “thank you” from the person, saying that of the people they contacted, I was the only one kind enough to actually respond with a “no” instead of just ignoring them, and they appreciated this.

I make a point of always responding with my answer, because of course I know–I bet we ALL know–how it feels to make a request and then someone just ignores it, rather than responding.

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Sean D'Souza

We been online for the last 10 years — that’s a long time in Internet marketing. And yet we very rarely get involved with other alliances.

The primary reason is just the lack of quality. So many people start off with seemingly great promise but then failed to deliver on the goods.

In the very early days of Psychotactics.com, we did some stuff together with some other folks (no names here) and it was not up to our expectation. In fact, they just failed to deliver.

Because we had the goodwill of our clients, we got off without too much drama, but now I “check ten times and cut once”. If I’m going to work with someone, they’d better have a solid track record. And of course, consistency.

The other problem that arises from such joint ventures is that the work might start out reasonably well, but the other joint venture partner runs out of steam. Because they have promoted your product, you almost are obliged to promote their product. But often, their product is shoddy, crappy product—and put together only because they want to earn some quick money.

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alexandra greenawalt

Hi Marie,
Great topic and spot on!
I ran into this issue when I tried out BNI and realized it would have been challenging to recommend most everyone in the group. It didn’t sit right with me and my aesthetic. We have to be conscious about who we have in our circle.
Thanks again for your take.

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Mary

Awesome Video Marie- as always! I have a somewhat related problem, maybe someone has been in similar situation and has some advice: how to approach someone, who works in the same firm as you do and wants you to promote what he recently published in the company’s name, and your work Is to promote the company’s work, but this person made a clear statement weeks before, not to support your new idea in promoting the Company?
I hope this question Is not too confusing but i am lost with that right now, because i just started working there just some months ago.

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Tatiana Escalada

Hi Marie!

Sticky topic. So glad you bring it to light. Yes, one wants to be supportive of other entrepreneurs but never part with your honesty.

I’ve been an affiliate for years and always had my own simple honesty policy: I never promote anything that I haven’t purchased and loved.

Great script, this is a keeper for me since I tend to have less elegance when declining to promote products I’ve haven’t had an experience with, so now I’m going to take your kinder approach ;-) Thanks.

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Rosemary Breen

I havent had a script – until now.

Thanks Marie.

Rosemary

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Brynn

Great advice as usual. I love how much you emphasize honesty and humanity. “No” does not have to be a scary word even in business.

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Michaela

OOoOOh Marie that dress and Necklace is your best outfit ever!
And…. Holding your integrity is also fundamentally important.
Love your stuff.

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Kristen

So pertinent. My friend just called me up the other day, needing advice on how to reply to an email from someone that wanted some job opportunities out of her. This person said they had previously been involved with her organization but no longer.

We came up with a script that said something similar to yours:

“Congratulations on your new career path. It’s great to hear that you have been involved with our organization in the past. I would love to help promote you, but I’m sure you can understand that our members get first priority on any opportunities that come to us. If there is anything I can do to ensure your membership in the organization this year, please let me know.”

A genuinely compassionate opener and a firm “no” as a closer should do the trick. (And in my friend’s case, we put the ball in this person’s court to change that “no” into a “yes.”)

Hope this helps somebody!

-Kristen

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stephanie @ Baba Souk

A really great advice! That I am keeping in files!
Thanks Marie

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Stacy Harp

Another wonderful question and solid answer. When I was a practicing marriage and family therapist I would tell people who wanted my services at lower prices or they wanted to use me in some way to get something that they wanted, “Thanks for thinking of me. I’m honored that you consider my voice valuable to your cause, but we have limited resources and all of our quota has been filled already.” – This works great for when you work on a sliding scale and you know people want your lowest price. You just say, “Our rates are such and such and we only have a few spots for our clients who are in serious financial crisis and they have been filled already. Here’s another option.” Other times I like to challenge people and ask what they have invested financially themselves to promote the project and more often than not, it turns out they invest very little. In that case I tell them, if you haven’t invested this much money yet, why do you think I would want to invest my money…? – Sometimes that shuts ‘em up and other times you just have to walk away or honestly, just ignore them.

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Mastin

Love this and GREAT advice! Tell me about it! :o) Thanks Marie, u rock.

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Rebecca

Letting people off the hook always seems like such a nasty thing to do and I find even in dance auditions at the moment we’re all coming out so happy even though we got cut! I think its all about really honoring the person that is reaching out to you in their highest good. Honest open tell it like it is and be kind. Always be kind.

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E.G. Sebastian

Good one, Marie – This WAS biggie for me, and I’m one of those people who gets a stomach cramp when saying “No,” so I often avoid saying it. Though, I did get around these promos by saying “Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you…” then either didn’t get back, and hopefully they never follow up (I know, that’s not the right way to do it – that’s why I like your approach); or if they do follow up, I”d say that right now I’m swamped and the timing is just not good… Anywho, I like your approach better: straightforward, yet polite. I’ll use it probably word by word :)

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Cathy Sykora

I am going through this now. Vitamins- everyone has vitamins, meal replacements, beauty products they want me to endorse. Coconut oil…they see a blog on it and want you to push their product….I have a strong policy not to promote or sell things right now. The worst is when things sneak in…like in recipes and guest bloggers….then you have to pull them at the last minute. It can be pretty sneaky sometimes. You just have to be firm.

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Tanya Geisler

Oh such goodness here from you and your peeps, Marie!

This is top of mind for me and I’m in the process about writing about it as well.

I’m being asked to promote a lot of my beloved colleagues work…September is busy with back-to-school AND back-to-launch, it would seem. Like you, and like this gorgeous tribe here, generosity is a core value of mine. I’ve had incredible models of it and wish to be the same for others…annnnnnnnd, we only have so much bandwidth and capacity.

I’m working around the asks for promotion in a number of ways.
1) Being super clear about who I want to promote and WHAT I want to promote. For myself, and for my audience. In most cases, I’ll promote if it’s someone I love, trust and admire…because they’ve EARNED it, OR I’ve enjoyed the product firsthand.
2) If the request gets past #1, then I decide how I will help promote based on what I think my audience/readers will appreciate, using a variation on the following tier system.
3) For instance: Tier 1 promotion may include Facebook shares/Twitter scheduled for their launch date. Tier 2 might be a round-up post that captures all the fabulous stuff my colleagues are up to all in one fell swoop (a aim to do this a couple of times/year, but…). Tier 3 might be an interview for my semi-regular “Thing Finding Thursday” episodes, wherein I interview awesome people up to awesome things, under the banner of “how they found their thing”. For instance, this afternoon I’ll be interviewing Ophira Edut of Astro Twins. I have first hand knowledge of her excellence, having hired her AND I’m excited about her new product as well as a deep curiosity about how she found her thing (knowing well that many of my readers will love her story).

And if it doesn’t make it past #1, a kind-hearted and respectful “no, but thanks for asking” as you’ve scripted is perfection.

You’re the full goods, Marie.
Thank you.

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Sandy

Tanya,
Great comment! It makes sense to set up tiers.

I too will be a client before I promote anything. Marie’s hairdresser example is the best. With my long hair, I don’t anybody touching it that I don’t trust (have suffered the consequences).

Also, love that you mention YOURSELF and your AUDIENCE. They are two different things. For example, I meditate, run, eat healthy, travel, and write. I have an audience who read my books, another who follow my monthly meditations, and another who follow my plant based eating. I DO NOT mix my audiences because I know they like different things too. If they came to me for one specific thing then thats what they get. Its up to me to expand my services/products in such a way to stay true to who I am AND give the people what they want.

Can you imagine if Marie started doing videos just on cars, auto parts and repair? This whole audience would wonder why the change! Her website is not about cars.

Again, great comment!

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Tanya Geisler

Thanks, Love!
TG

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Sheila

Perfect timing! I watched the video yesterday and today I was approached to promote a person/program I’ve never even heard of. Used your script to say no nicely.

Thanks Marie!

Sheila

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jumpforjoyphotoproject

As always this video came at the perfect timing..

I just had someone contact me with a project with some similarities to mine but with a completely different angle and somewhat confusing business model.

They were very sweet and offered to link to my page in return for a link to theirs, stating: “I would love to post your website on my blog with a short explanation of your amazing project.”

Of course I was flattered and checked out their website but it was clear to me that it was not how I want my project to be represented and a link exchange would likely not be beneficial.

So, I used an altered version of your script.. and included, “I am not promoting the sale of products at this time as it is not part of my vision and plan for my project.”

Thanks for the advice, I was not entirely sure how to approach this situation and it really helped to have a script to work with.

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Lucy Ra

Very good advice that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
It follows the sandwich formula: compliment (feedback) compliment

Not long ago a friend asked me to join a program she was joining where I get to work with her. I didn’t connect with the program and did not want to sign up for it. After meeting up with her anyways and listening to everything she had to say I politely explained that I’m currently concentrating my efforts on other things (and told her what they were) and would not be singing up with her. She took it very well actually and was understanding.

Now, thanks to this vid, I know how to handle this situation in the future when it may be with someone other than an understanding friend!

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Amy

Good video but DAMN, Marie! you are ROCKIN’ that dress! that should be your go to/uniform. HOT MAMA.

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cherylsavala

As an educator former students ask for letters of recommendation quite frequently. It’s heartbreaking to say no because a little recognition and support can make such a difference in their confidence and my heart goes out to them. But the bottom line is Our Word is our “most valuable currency” and we must commit to always investing it wisely. Finding the ways and words to be supportive without compromising our own value is key. Thanks for sharing the “Script.” Its a great template to work with ;)

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Hilary Paris

This got me thinking about the concept of paid network marketing memberships, where you are forced to recommend a certain amount of people per week. The reason I have not joined one of those is that I would not want to be in a situation where I couldn’t get behind the person and what they do. It’s not moral. Just like you said, Marie, referring straight from the heart is the way to go. Thanks for sharing this.

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Amy

Hi Marie,

This was really helpful and loved the personal currency concept. I believe in paying it forward and acting from the heart. As a therapist, colleagues ask for recommendations, which are the equivalent to promotions in our field. My policy is also to only recommend helping professionals that I know to be genuine, have much personal integrity, and don’t rely on pathology as the cornerstone of the healing process. When I recommend someone, I know that I am supporting someone’s ability to live their best life through the connection and that both parties will be changed for the better by the exchange. Connecting people is powerful!

Thanks!

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Desha Peacock

Hi Marie,
Once again, awesome video. I get a lot of stuff in my inbox, but I gotta tell you I’m pretty hooked on you on Tuesdays!

I have a local TV show and blog and interview creative people who are doing what they love- I’m always looking for people who are in their “sweet spot”- a self-defined place of success. I’ve had lots of people contact me about being on my show b/c it’s like free promotion for them, and I gotta tell you I feel pretty honored by that, and it’s hard somtimes to say no- like this dude who emailed me and was so excited b/c he was a “perfect fit for my show” and then I learned “sweet spot” is a gold term and this guy is a gold pro… nothing against golf- but it’s not my thing.

So, I just told him “I feel honored that you contacted me, and I’d love to hear your story, but I’m really focused on telling stories of creative people who are doing what they love in the fields of art, design, writing, fashion…”

I think by making my niche clear, he had a better understanding without getting his feelings hurt.

Now MARIE, I have another QUESTION FOR YOU-
Let’s flip the scenario around and say that I would like an endorsement from someone I deeply admire and respect, yet do not know personally, but have had contact with online. Would asking someone for an endorsement disturb a budding relationship? In other words, how and when could you ask someone in your field to endorse you?

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Kyra Williams

As a fitness professional with a popular Facebook like page, a popular blog and a pretty large group on facebook, it is often that I am asked to promote / start selling supplements. From the very beginning I have responded to every inquiry by telling them that I am already affiliated with a supplement company, but I do appreciate the offer. I also thank them for following and supporting the Get in Shape Girl.

I also get asked if I will help someone promote their walk/ run/ etc for charity, which is even harder because there’s usually some kind of pathos involved in that request. To that I reply by telling them that it is my policy to not promote for others’, and wish the best of luck.

It can be tough, but if someone has a serious problem with it then there is nothing I can really do about it.

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Rowena List

Thank you for the great words of wisdom. I use a similar script. It is best to praise the other person and congratulate them. Just like you did.They do not notice as much when you are letting them down. I get asked for samples before anyone will endorse my products. I happily send them out and follow up.

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Dvora Schleffer

I sometimes struggle with this issue when I participate in community groups or even on Facebook. Many groups work on a “promote me and I’ll promote you basis” and though I basically love the idea, sometimes it presents this dilemma. I never participate in promotions that require you to promote EVERYONE on the list. I prefer to look at people’s work and only promote the ones who’s work I love. I find that this way I might lose a lot of promoting opportunities but I want to be honest and true.
Thank you Marie for this great video.

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Stephanie St.Claire

Marie! Spot on advice, as usual.
I really wanted to comment that you are looking more and MORE stunning by the second! Damn girl damn! Whatever you’re doing, keep it up! You are pure luminescence.

Love, Stephanie St.Claire xo

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Janise

Great topic!
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say NO without hurt some ones feeling (if its a close person). These examples are great, they are honest and straight to the point short and direct. I love them.

Thanks and continue the great job!

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Heidi Thorne

Great advice!

Where I run into this situation is when people want to “guest blog” on my site. Many of these requests are from people that are “writers,” not “experts” in the field. I don’t need writers! I need people with a following that I want. I’ve gotten backed into a corner a couple times and had to make good on my agreement to include them. Aargh!

What I finally ended up doing was preparing a “guest blogging guidelines” page to which I redirect these inquiries. The requirements are pretty stringent. It seems to have reduced the number of these inquiries that I’m getting.

Always look forward to Tuesday Q&A!

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Kristal

Dear Marie,
Thank you for the tips!

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Kine Fischler

This video popped up in my inbox just when I was confronted with this dilemma at my office. Often I am approached to endorse wellness or nutrition programs based on principal or personal connections and as I sat in a seminar of a close friend, I realized that I could not in confidence recommend her to my patients. I have worked hard to create a brand and build confidence in our community about our services. If I hire someone or promote a colleague’s services, then I need to have full confidence in their skills. For me, I would have to experience them personally to be able to give a referral. Without receiving personal benefits from another practitioner’s care, I risk that a negative experience would reflected poorly on my self personally and to the detriment of my business. I want to support other women’s practices in my community but I am now very selective that the referral must meet my personal high standards of care. Marie, your script will help me exit this situation with grace.

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Lameese

Getting my daily dose of Marie TV. My daily cup of inspiration, as oppose to coffee. Never dissapointed! Keep on keeping on Marie. Love your work! <3

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Miriam Ortiz y Pino

Great video. I usually use some version of “No, but thanks for thinking of me.” It is so much better to just say no. If you don’t the person is left wondering if you even got the message, if the timing was just bad and when they should try again.

Anyway, can I interest you all in a workshop or teleclass? :-)
http://www.morethanorganized.net/workshops/

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Aradia

Wow, I wish I had watched this sooner, but I have a sinking sensation of why I didn’t! In my market I deal with handmade and this is where this issue can get really sticky and uncomfortable! While I’ve been open as a store for a few years I’ve really stepped back and gotten gungho this year about solidifying my presence & making sure I offer value clearly & consistently. This has been a journey for me since about May this year when I put my foot down with myself and said, “Hey girl, you know you’ve got the goods but you’re presenting it ALL wrong! You can’t sell it if you don’t communicate it!” I found you after taking the plunge to do some personal work with someone else I’d developed a relationship with and I deeply trust. And I have to say this has been the #1 catalyst in my life for shaping up!

But now I’m facing this issue in a slightly more covert fashion and it’s been really bugging me about how to deal with it! In my situation I am part of a group on a social media site and every day there is “an opportunity to promote one another”. Now the trend seems to go that some people share everybody and their mama’s stuff. Because they want to be shared and feel the only way for others to share them is for them to reciprocate (rather than for them to strongly communicate their value & present themselves). But a lot of people, whether their work is good or not, DO NOT present themselves well. (And I find this comes down to a lack of knowledge about business in general.) I can say I was guilty of this too when I started out because I hadn’t done some of my homework (I didn’t wanna!) and it showed because I know now looking back I gave off a bad vibe of being inconsistent & unprofessional because I wasn’t managing my time or energy well. The problem circles right to the point Kellie makes that “her word is powerful and personal currency” (totally tweetable!) I admit that I often feel guilty when someone who is a friend of mine wants me to tweet them, but their copy is lacking or their photography is just not at a level that I would use to present myself. And while I’m working on releasing that thought form it is hard when it feels like I’m “slapping someone in the face” and I feel as though I’m coming off as “high & mighty, self-important”.

Furthermore I think that whole mentality of, “O let me promote you so you’ll promote me” desperation is endemic in my industry which lead me (while watching your B-school training I might add) to have this major epiphany…

That attitude and how I just do not support it is why I feel personally outcast in my own field.

So Marie thank you for your succinct & vivacious advice and thank you Kellie for stepping up to ask this question!

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Melodye Hunter

Da-yum…you saved my tookus today. I needed this.

I used it when someone asked me to promote them on FB and instead of the eye roll I was expecting I got an ‘Oh okay, thank you.’ with a smiley face. Boom. Awesome!

Thanks Marie, love you like a play cousin.
Melodye ❤

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Erica Duncan

This just happened to me! Someone is developing a business and has asked me to (i) promote one of his services, and (ii) post a survey to my followers and subscribers to get feedback for a service he’s developing. Here was my response to the latter which was well received (i.e., we’re still friends and everything is good). So cool to come here and see that my response would likely be “Marie approved!”

Hi [XXX] – It’s great hear from you and that you’re still developing your business ideas.

I definitely want to support you as much as I can, but I have a policy of not sending surveys from third parties to my subscribers and followers. One of the main principles of my business is that I only share information that I myself have personally experienced and vetted fully. This is the way I give value to those who are following me or have signed up to my mailing list and increases the chance of my leads converting into paying clients.

Perhaps you’ve done this already, but sending to friends and colleagues already in your circle is a great place to start. It’s also a great way to build your mailing list so that you can easily get information to them and follow up as you develop your business. Aweber and Mailchimp are amazing programs to build and maintain a mailing list (best of all, it’s FREE ). I use Aweber and am pretty happy with it.
Good luck on this project and keep me posted!

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Laura Wallis

Yes! When we think of how we can best support our clients, I can’t think of a better way to sabotage their trust in you as an advisor and mentor than selling them something you have never even tried out yourself. Vetting products and services is key to maintaining trust with your audience. Such terrific, sound advice, as always, Marie. Thank you! And love the dress!

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