You never know who is following you on social media.
For example, my friend Cassandra Sethi, a personal stylist, has an awesome Instagram for her business Next Level Wardrobe. She’s full of outfit ideas and tips for looking more polished.
It turns out that a producer was following her and loved her content.
The producer reached out to her and booked her on the PIX11 Morning Show in New York City (where I worked back in the day!).
It all happened so fast — and some people would have said no to the opportunity. I have media-training clients tell me all the time that they turned down opportunities because they didn’t feel ready.
But Cass said yes. She hired me to media train her before the media hit and did an amazing job!
Now she has that clip and a relationship with that producer. When WPIX needs someone to comment on fashion trends, they’re going to call Cass, not an expert they don’t know.
So how can you make this happen for yourself?
First, say yes to every opportunity. Even if you think it’s not your style or you don’t feel ready, you need to get your feet wet. You have to learn by doing.
Once you’ve booked a segment, here’s five foolproof ways to make the most of the opportunity.
1. Brainstorm questions you think you’ll be asked.
Cass knew she’d be asked about why style is important for working from home. I coached her to have answers down for all the questions we could think of related to her expertise in fashion and WFH style.
You have to do the same thing — think of the most likely questions based on your expertise and the audience of the show, podcast, newspaper, or magazine.
2. Speak in soundbites.
Once you think of the questions you’ll probably be asked, draft answers that produce soundbites. Every answer should have headline potential.
3. Say the most important thing first.
You don’t want to take your audience on a long trip to get to the point — say the most important thing first and then elaborate. Cass did a great job with this, since the segment is short but she gets a lot of information across.
4. Use the “Accordion Method.”
I teach all my media-training clients a technique I created called “The Accordion Method.” For every question, have a short, medium, and long answer. You need to be able to meet time requirements, so don’t rely on having a long time to finish explaining yourself. But if you do have time, you also need to have enough prepared to keep your audience’s attention.
5. Be ready to speak on the day’s news.
When Cass was on WPIX, the very first question the host asked her was “Do I need to buy $1400 Gucci jeans to be stylish?” This was in response to these jeans blowing up on social media. So while you do want to be prepared with answers, you should also be able to roll with the punches.
And, of course, practice, practice, practice! If I can be helpful please fill out this form and I’ll be in touch if it’s a fit. Think of it like getting in shape: just because you’re not ready to run a marathon right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start working out.
BONUS FREEBIE: Do you want to know what the media is looking for and how to give it to them? Check out my free three-part video course How to Be a Media Magnet for my expert tips on how to become a pro at pitching and getting booked.