In 2005, the Orange County Register (circulation 300,000) did a full length feature on me, complete with color photos and lots of great client comments. It was a publicity dream come true.
As soon as that article published, my phone rang off the hook. Editors and producers started calling me with interview requests and I was enjoying the most amazing wave of visibility ever.
Not every invitation was an ideal match for my business. The audiences weren’t always a good match and one or two of the appearances were kind of schlocky. Also, my biggest fish was the largest Spanish language network in the US, but I don’t do any of my work in Spanish. So even if I got clients from that appearance, I wouldn’t feel confident serving them in their language.
Was this all a bust? A waste of time getting myself all dolled up with camera ready make up for a 5:15 am 3 minute segment half way across L.A.? (And I did this in Spanish nonetheless… for me, I can barely speak English at 5am, let alone Spanish. File this under the “dancing backwards in high heels” category)
None of it was a bust and every bleary eyed moment was worth it.
You can leverage any media appearance to your advantage. Here’s how:
1. Say YES
If you’ve never done traditional media before (TV, radio, print), then say YES even if you have to stretch your expertise around less than ideal topics. My first major TV spot was talking about mid-life crisis. That’s not my specialty, but they wanted someone good on camera, able to encapsulate 3 tips for women in midlife, and I promised them I’d deliver. (And yes, I did a great job and my Spanish passed the test!)
This is like working in the mailroom to get a foot in the door of a dream company. It’s kissing babies on the campaign trail. It’s paying your dues. What they want is a person who can fill a 3 minute segment. What you want is experience. See the win-win here? Suit up, show up and give it your best.
2. Add “As Seen On TV” to Your Profile
Once you’ve been featured somewhere, let the world know it. On your media page or on your website, list the names or logos of the media outlets you’ve appeared in.
Don’t add in The Wall Street Journal if all you did was write a letter to the editor and it got published… this is for any time your expertise was featured as a quote, a sidebar, or a full on interview.
You are doing this for credibility and to increase your perceived value. If you’ve been featured in the media it’s impressive and your audience deserves to know they’re working with a sought after pro.
3. Stay Connected to ALL Your Contacts
Media is pretty volatile and chances are the contact you made at a TV station may or may not be there in 6 months. Let’s say Carmen was the producer of the show when you first were invited to appear. You and Carmen hit it off beautifully. But after a few months, you learn that Carmen has moved on. Don’t lose touch with her! She’s advancing in her career and can continue to open doors for you. Also, be sure to find Carmen’s replacement and introduce yourself as a resource.
This is how you grow your network and become peas in a pod with your media chums.
Where do you go from here?
Traditional media is in transition as many print formats go entirely online. You can still toot your horn if you’re featured on a prominent website, so these tips apply whether you’re online or offline.
Going on a podcast that no one listens to isn’t really building your credibility. But going on a podcast with hundreds of thousands of subscribers is worthy of sharing.
The most important thing? Be smart, leverage, and let your visibility grow with each opportunity.© Copyright 2010 TextOnly'Admin