Esther Kiss: Founder, Born To Influence

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Esther Kiss is the founder of Born To Influence, a boutique publicity firm specializing in helping experts and personal brands get more publicity, leads and sales. Her clients have been featured on TV, in newspapers, magazines and on some of the top podcasts in the world, resulting in millions of dollars in additional sales. Esther has worked on campaigns in a variety of industries from SaaS products, mobile apps and digital information products to New York Times and other national bestseller book launches to philanthropic projects. She is also the producer and host of Born To Influence: The Marketing Show, where she interviews highly successful entrepreneurs and New York Times bestselling about their publicity and marketing strategies.

What do I do best?

I really enjoy connecting with people on the heart level, and over time, turning them into friends. Even though I’m a huge introvert, I’ve gotten good at creating rapport and trust really quickly. The reason is, I’d moved around a lot and had to make new friends my whole life. I lived in six other countries (Hungary, Romania, Malta, France, Belgium and Holland) before moving to the US ten years ago.

Since adjusting to new customs, new circumstances and new people has always been such a big part of my life, I learned how to use my listening skills and empathy to connect with strangers energetically, and over time, turn them into friends.

What makes me the best version of myself?

The most important quality that helped me get where I am today is being highly adaptive. I am a curious person by nature, and the opportunity to explore and play allows me to take on new challenges and opportunities every day. I enjoy leading with the spirit of generosity and giving, and it makes me happy when I get to figure out how to surprise and delight others.

In fact, my publicity company, Born To Influence was created thanks to this approach. I’d interview highly successful entrepreneurs and New York Times bestselling authors on my podcast, Born To Influence: The Marketing Show.

My intention was to develop relationships and friendships with these A-players. Every time we finished the recording of an interview, I’d ask: “would you like to be on other shows as well?” – simply to help them and invest in the relationship.

They’d always say yes, so I’d introduce them, and book them on podcasts and other media outlets. Eventually, word got out that I’m able to help entrepreneurs with getting publicity and my little podcast turned into a successful business offering publicity services.

What are my aspirations?

My aspirations include living many more adventures! I’d love to get so good at dirt biking that I get to ride in the Globe of Death; and I definitely want to travel a lot more. I’ve been to twenty countries so far (and lived in seven of them for an extended period of time), but the world is so big and there’s so much more to explore!

I’m blessed that 90% of the work I do for my clients is online – I’m looking to scale this more so that I can travel more and work from remote locations around the world.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success and biggest blessing is the quality of relationships I’ve been able to develop with others. Becoming friends with some of the most amazing, kind and influential people has been invaluable, both in business and in my personal life.

There’s that old adage that “your network is your net worth” – I fully believe that in today’s over-digitized world, our relationships with other humans are the most important assets we can have.

Knowing the right people, and being known by them is critical. Having built a reputation because influencers trust us is what allows my agency to get the results (being featured on TV, radio, newspapers, some of the biggest podcasts in the world) for our clients, and for me personally as well.

My Most Challenging Moment?

One thing that was really difficult for me is to allow myself to talk about spirituality and personal development to my community online. I was terrified that if I let myself out of the “spiritual closet”, I’ll only attract people who think buying a couple of crystals is a marketing strategy.

I’m grateful that my friends and Mastermind partners talked this through with me. They helped me realize that as long as I also put emphasis on real world practicalities (such as taking action, running Facebook ads, and the like), spirituality, intention setting, personal development, the Law of Attraction and other “woo-woo” topics will be a welcome addition in my content and will attract the right audience.

And they were right! I love that I now get to talk about what’s meaningful to me, and my community appreciates the insights as well as the practical strategies and guidance I give them.

My Motto?

Lead with the spirit of generosity and giving.

I share more about my philosophy in this short video:

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Oprah Winfrey because of her wisdom, mindfulness and spiritual values. Justin Trudeau because of his compassion. My friend Danielle Lynn because of her insights and loving heart.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

One of my favorite places is Malta, which is a tiny island in the Mediterranean, just below Sicily. I lived there for nearly two years and visited for several weeks / month every year after that while I lived in Europe. The kindness, warmth and friendliness of the Maltese people is unparalleled. I love the island life – it’s the perfect blend of beach activities, summer fun, culture, art and business.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My favorite object is a small bronze sculpture I received as a gift. It’s a second original Rodin called Eternal Spring. It depicts a passionate couple and to me, it’s the representation of beauty, grace, fire and love. It’s on display in my bedroom and it’s something I’ll always treasure.

My Current Passions?

My current passions include traveling, speaking, connecting with others, creating videos, playing with baby animals, learning about emerging technologies such as blockchain and quantum science.