BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

The media isn’t some secret secluded club as most people seem to imagine. In fact getting on TV as an expert isn’t all that difficult once you know how.

A perfect example is Juliet Murphy, executive career coach & resume writer. I recently had the chance to interview her on how CBS came to her to feature her for a story. You can check out the video here. Read more

[Want to create videos that get attention? Check out my free webinar: Produce Like A Pro: How to Create Compelling Video and Handle Any On-Camera Interview]

Small Biz Trends says this year, 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. 80% is a lot of eyeballs – are you engaging them to know, like and trust you?

A lot of experts THINK they are doing just that but there are some trends in video production you should avoid like the plague.

Here’s some of the biggest mistakes people are making when producing their own videos:


MISTAKE #1: Using Video ONLY to Sell

In the Internet marketing world videos are used, and for good reason, to sell products, coaching packages and more. There’s a good reason for that – when a potential customer sees you and hears you they connect with you. Hopefully they like you and eventually buy your product. To be clear – using video to sell a product will boost your chances. In fact, says adding a video on a landing page can increase  conversion rates by 80%.

However, the biggest issue happening with entrepreneurs is that you’re using video ONLY when you want to sell some big ticket item.

All of a sudden our newsfeeds get flooded with your Facebook Lives and your YouTube account has tons and tons of pre-launch content leading the viewer into your funnel. It starts to become a little disingenuous.


WHAT DO TO INSTEAD: Consistently be of service with high-quality content

Think about it. If you only hear from a friend when she’s in the middle of a breakup and needs something from you that will get old fast. Right? When I was a senior producer at Fox News Channel I received hundreds of pitches a day. I only heard from those experts when they wanted to be on TV. That’s it. The ones who made a real effort to connect with me and have a relationship were the ones who got my attention – and in the end – a segment. They reached out to me even when they weren’t trying to get on TV, but to see what they could do to make my job easier.

In fact, I presented a webinar recently called, “Produce Like A Pro: How to Create Compelling Video and Handle Any On-Camera Interview“ and in it I talk all about how to connect with the audience through the content that you share. To check it out click here for the recording.

Use whatever example you like but no one likes to be used. And your potential clients are exactly the same. Consistently share high-quality content with them to be helpful and change their lives. That’s what this is all about. You should be using your expertise to change people – not just fill your pockets with cash. (Although let’s be serious – that’s nice too!)


MISTAKE #2: Stop Looking At Yourself!

This drives me insane. Whenever I media train a client it’s one of the first points I go over. Stop looking at yourself in selfie mode when you’re recording a video! What you’re doing is showing the audience that you aren’t connected with them. You are only looking at yourself. It’s like they don’t even matter. If you are looking down or off to the side it’s easy to lose interest and click to a different video where the expert is ore engaged.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Look Directly Into the Camera

Whether you’re recording a video on your iPhone or on your computer look directly into the CAMERA. It feels awkward to not be looking at the person on the other end of the Zoom or Skype connection if you’re doing an in interview but trust me – it looks so much better if you’re looking into the camera. And that goes for any time you’re producing videos on your own and not interviewing someone too.


MISTAKE #3: You Go On and On and On and On and On

If I had a dollar for every wasted minute of video I’d be a billionaire. Many of the videos I watch online simply go on too long. Do you know how many makeup tutorials are out there which feature 10+ minutes of talking before they even start showing you how to apply anything?

Without true intention and planning your video will just seem like a video diary. This might be fun for you but for the viewer it gets tired fast. Your videos should be showcasing your expertise in a fun and engaging way.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Be Concise, Clear and Compelling

Practice and plan out your videos before you push record. I know a lot of you are thinking, “Oh I’m great off the cuff.” Great. Except everyone thanks that and very few people actually are.

Trust me I’ve worked with seasoned anchors and reporters for nearly two decades and it took them lots and lots of consistent practice to be great “off the cuff.” Plus, unless it’s breaking news, those reporters and anchors have rehearsed what they’re going to say and are most likely reading off a TelePrompTer.

Intension is key when producing videos. Make sure you know why you’re doing it and what the audience will take away from investing a few minutes with you.

How long should a video be? Well that depends. The short answer is short. Like under two minutes. The longer answer is sometimes you have to break that rule to get the message across and teach something. For instance, if you’re doing a cooking demo or showing how to use a piece of software it might take more than two minutes and that’s OK.


MISTAKE #4: Don’t Hold Your Phone Vertically

Ok before all the social media gurus freak out here – yes there are exceptions to this rule. When you’re shooting videos for InstagramTV and Facebook Live using your iPhone you should hold the camera vertically. But that’s it! Otherwise your video has black bars on the side and you aren’t filling up the whole screen as you should be. It’s distracting and looks like poor quality.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Hold the Phone Horizontally

Whenever you’re producing a video for YouTube or to upload to LinkedIn, etc. you should hold your iPhone horizontally with the home button to the right if you have the front of the phone pointing at you. This will allow your image to fill up the entire screen and look best when people view this video on their phone horizontally. It also gives your audience a better view if your trying to demonstrate something.


MISTAKE #5: Use the Camera’s Built-In Microphone

Sure, in a pinch using the camera’s microphone is fine. But I wouldn’t make a habit of it.  When you skip using a microphone to amplify your message you lose intimacy with an audience. There’s a richness and closeness to audio that is projected correctly. It’s the same concept I mentioned before with looking into the camera directly so look at your audience. If you do this correctly you’ll have a connection with them that will be hard to resist.


WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Invest In a Quality Microphone to Amplify Your Message

Always use a microphone whenever possible If you’re recording videos or podcasts on your computer, this is the microphone that I use and it works really well. It’s moderately priced and is easy to set up. I’d also probably add what’s called a pop-filter to the top of it incase you pop your p’s like I do! It will help to soften the harsh sounds.

If you’re producing videos using your iPhone you can use a clip-on lav microphone. This is the one that I have and use for most of my videos. If you use audio correctly you’ll have a connection with your audience that will be hard to resist.

[Want to create videos that get attention? Check out my free webinar: Produce Like A Pro: How to Create Compelling Video and Handle Any On-Camera Interview]

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

“How do I get on TV?”

It’s one of the questions I’m asked most often!

And actually I put together a free three-part video series called “How to Be a Media Magnet” that you can get access to right now here.

I’ve spent my entire career working in the television news industry and I’ve seen which guests get booked and which ones don’t.

So that’s what I share in this interview with Joe Polish. Read more

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

You might not know this about me, but I used to be a total perfectionist. I spent hours agonizing over the content I produced, all because I wanted it to be perfect.  

That quickly changed when I started producing live television news. There just wasn’t time for perfect. Done is better than perfect when you’re in a time crunch.

You know what that experience of having to produce content under a deadline taught me? How to think quickly and churn out content no matter what.

If you follow Seth Godin, he calls it shipping. And he says that we’re afraid of it because as soon as you put content into the world it’s open for criticism.

He’s right – it’s scary. Read more

SIGN UP HERE for my “Become a Video Star Virtual Workshop” to learn how to create stunning video that will connect with your audience. I’ll walk you through every step, from content strategy to rehearsal to post production. You can click here to secure your spot! 

Recently I held my first “Become A Video Star Virtual Workshop” designed to help experts produce better videos. It was a one-day event held over Zoom video conferencing and we dug into my method for producing videos that I’ve developed over the years.

After nearly 20 years of producing television news I have a system down! I call it the SCRIPT METHOD™ and here are the elements that you can use too.

Strategy: Your video is only as good as your plan for execution. Identify your niche, plan out your offer and what you want your audience to do once they’ve seen your videos. Plus, identify what types of videos you’ll be producing ahead of time.

Calendar: Consistency will help you build an audience of followers who will know, like and trust you. Pull together your editorial calendar so you’ll be held accountable and have a roadmap to continually create compelling content.

Rehearsal: Even the pros spend time rehearsing and getting comfortable on camera. Getting media training to deliver your message succinctly and powerfully is key. Plus, write out bullet points for what you want to say ahead of time and practice. That will help you deal with any fears you have.

Intro to Video Production: Get prepped for shoot day! Know the best practices for  shooting video yourself, which equipment to use and even what to wear! Plus, know  what to consider if you do want to hire a crew.

Post Production: You have great videos, so now what? Know the best practices for editing and graphics and making your videos stand out.

Tools to Take Your Videos to Market: How do you make your videos really work for you? By promoting them of course! Know all the places you should be sharing your videos for maximum exposure. Plus, you can use your videos to gain credibility and intrigue with traditional media.


Since the workshop went so well, I thought I would go over some of the highlights and a few “ahas” that can help you as you produce your own videos:

  1. It’s not as complicated as you think – When we first started the workshop a number of the attendees felt overwhelmed by the whole process of creating their own videos. But once we started talking about it and I broke down my process it all started to seem less daunting. Making your own videos means taking it step by step and focusing on one part at a time. You don’t have to be a technology whiz or a creative genius and best of all you don’t even have to have a fancy camera! I always say “use your iPhone!”
  2. Make friends with the lens – When you watch the news it’s easy to think that those poised newscasters have always had the innate ability to look natural on camera. But it’s not true – they had to learn and so can you!  The more you expose yourself to the camera, the more you start to feel at home with it. One of my clients Linda Ugelow is a presentation and speaking coach and she helps people who are fearful of being seen on camera and on the stage. She speaks all about “making friends with the lens” and conditioning yourself to enjoy being in front of the camera.
  3. Marco Polo – To help you feel more at home being in front of the camera you can try a video app. I suggested my students use Marco Polo, which allows you to send video messages – almost like a walkie-talkie. I think of it like sending a text but with video. Not only is the app tons of fun, but it helps you get used to making video on the fly and takes away some of the mystery of it. Plus, it’s good practice looking into the camera and not at yourself!
  4. Change your attitude – If you start out every video project thinking about how much you hate video, you will dread every minute you spend doing it!  One of the students from my virtual workshop said her next step after our day together is to “start liking video.” Sometimes a negative attitude can have a big effect on how  you feel about something. The more open you are to trying new ideas with video the closer you are to finding a style that works for you.

SIGN UP HERE for my “Become a Video Star Virtual Workshop” to learn how to create stunning video that will connect with your audience. I’ll walk you through every step, from content strategy to rehearsal to post production. You can click here to secure your spot! 

Can you catch a killer with a podcast?

The Newport Beach Police Department in California sure hopes so!

They’ve launched their own six-part podcast series called “Countdown to Capture” to find wealthy businessman turned killer Peter Chadwick. He is charged with murdering his wife in October 2012 and then disappearing.

He’s been missing since January 2015 and cops are offering $100,000 cash reward for help finding him.

What they’re doing here is brilliant because they aren’t waiting for media to cover the story – they’re creating their own media content and sharing it.

This Podcast Is a Great Example of How To Produce Compelling Content

It does many things right:

  1. Creates a new hook on an old news story. Major media outlets are covering the fact that this police department launched a podcast to catch a fugitive. NOT that a fugitive is still on the loose – that’s old news and they likely covered it way back when it was breaking news. There was no reason to revisit it but this podcast has breathed new life into it. And guess what now that people are intrigued about this story you better believe that traditional media will dig into the backstory and publicize it further.
  2. Leads the conversation. You can control the conversation and don’t have to wait for a big media outlet to give you a platform. You can create your own platform. Content is king and should always lead the conversation. Now things are much different than years ago because we all have the technology at our fingertips to broadcast our own messages.
  3. Uses real people. Could they have hired a professional host to host this podcast? Yes. Should they have? That’s debatable. But what is great about using real people to tell real stories is that it’s authentic and intimate. Jennifer Manzella is a spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department and acts as host for the series. She’s not the most polished and I do think with a few tweaks she could be a better host but she gets the job done! (P.S. In case you’re reading Jennifer – speak louder! Fill the room with your voice when you record and you’ll sound more authoritative and your voice quality will be richer.)
  4. It’s short and sweet. Each episode is about 15 minutes or fewer. Great, perfect. The big mistake many content creators make is to go on and on via video or audio. Our attention spans are short and you have to keep the listener and viewer engaged.

Tell Your Own Story

This should be a lesson to every expert, author and entrepreneur out there.

You have all the resources that you need to start your own show or series to bring awareness to whatever your cause is.

Just start talking about it now. Get out there. Be seen so you can make a difference.

I for one am very curious to see what you’ll create.

Not to mention if the NPPD’s podcast actually leads to an arrest. Hats off to them for using technology and creating their own mass media to get their message out in a bigger way.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention too. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

Think about one of the experts you see on TV over and over again.

Now think of someone you hear on the radio or on podcasts a lot.

Guess what they have in common?

They can hold their own on camera and give the audience information they can use.

Not to mention they also knew how to get a producer’s attention and become a go-to expert.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

I’ve spent nearly two decades as a television producer in New York City and even won an Emmy award. Most recently I was the senior health producer for Fox News Channel for over a decade. That means I’ve conducted a lot of interviews and booked a lot of guests throughout my career. Read more

President Trump recently tweeted that something he said to a Bloomberg reporter about a trade deal with Canada that was “off the record” was leaked.

The Toronto Star is the outlet that actually printed the remarks – not Bloomberg. The Toronto Star says they got their information from a source. Bloomberg says it respected the “off the record” comment and didn’t publish it.

Regardless of what went down – this is an important message for those of you who are going to be speaking in front of the media.

In all the years that I’ve spent as a journalist, nearly 20 now, I’ve been told in interviews “this is off the record “numerous times. And every single time I honored that request.

It’s something that true journalists take very seriously.

We want to protect our sources and build trust with them. To violate that trust would be very foolish – which is why the idea behind going “off the record” should be sacred.

That said, nothing is ever a guarantee.

You can’t unsay something.

So simply stated – if you don’t want something you’ve said to leak….Don’t say it! It’s as easy as that.

I media train experts, entrepreneurs and authors every day to speak confidently in front of the media.

One of the first lessons I give is to ALWAYS assume you’re on camera. Look your best and act your best. Especially with television or video (which is mostly what I teach about) your microphone could be hot the second it’s put on you and recording everything you say.

As soon as you agree to that interview – everything is fair game.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

Remember what your mom told you all those years ago about how “if you didn’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”?

This goes with the media too.

If you don’t want it reported — don’t say it.

What if you do want to say something “off the record”?

Before you commit to saying something “off the record” ask yourself why you’re saying it.

Is it for shock value?

It is to show off?

Is it to seem more important?

Is it to be gossipy?

Truly think through what the purpose of going “off the record” would do for you.

The only reason you should ever say something “off the record” is to build a relationship with a reporter and give that information because it could truly make a difference.

I tell my clients all the time to reframe their mindset about why they’re commenting to the media – it should be to be of service to the audience. It should not be to seem self important or be self serving.

But if you do say something that you want to be “off the record” it’s very important that you reiterate that several times. If you’re on camera make sure to say it into the camera and look around at the crew and make sure everyone knows your request.

Never assume that anything you say will be tucked away or ignored.

As much as I stand behind journalistic integrity and I know what I have done in “off the record” situations – you can never account for what will happen once your interview ends.

Journalists share interviews with other colleagues at the same outlets and with affiliates. Whenever I shot an interview for a story on camera, the video would go into one central place where anyone in the company had access to it.

As a responsible producer if there was something that should not be used I would leave notes on the video about it.

This is common practice – journalists leaving notes to check with our legal department or to check with the producer who had produced the story originally before using it.

But guess what?

Sometimes those notes can be overlooked especially during the rush of a breaking news story.

Also understand that the media might not come back to you to ask you to fact check something especially in television news – it’s a very fast-paced medium and things get published quickly.

It is very hard to undo something that has already been done.

So use this as a word of caution when doing media interviews – if you don’t want something to get out – don’t say it!

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

Whenever I walk up to the counter to pay for a cup of tea or a t-shirt I always make a point to smile at the person at the register before saying anything. I make eye contact and have a moment.

That’s not something people often do. We just rush between transaction after transaction.

But what if you did pause and give a smile? What would that do?

I’ll tell you what it does on camera – it makes you likable and makes people want to pay you for stuff!

Isn’t that the point?

Think about it – how often do you buy something based on how likable the person selling it to you is?

Maybe you decided to see one acupuncturist over another one because the one you chose was kind and seemed to be generally interested in you?

Or how about the last book you bought?

Did you buy it because you saw the author on TV or at a book signing and he or she seemed fun and nice?

Take for instance my media training client,

Chef Todd Richards.

He’s the author of the new book Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes. 

I worked with him just prior to his book launch to get him prepped for any media opportunities that popped up.

We met like I do with all my clients via Zoom video conference.  He’s in Atlanta and I’m in New York City.

I had already seen a few media appearances of him and I will admit I thought I had him figured out.

But when I met him I was blown away by how personable and friendly he was.

You see I thought he was super serious because guess what he wasn’t doing in those media appearances?

Yep – Smiling!

So I had a different version of what he would be like in my mind given that one piece of video.

But I was dead wrong. And you’d be too if you saw that same segment.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. Grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

Practice makes perfect – even with smiling!

Our media training sessions were focused on getting the “real” Todd to be seen on camera.

He was a good sport with me when I would stop him mid sentence and say, “Why aren’t you smiling? We’re talking about bacon!”

Just like an athlete practices drills and plays – any expert who wants to be on camera has to practice the same way.

Many people think they’ll be “just fine” when it comes to an on camera interview. But I’ll tell you in my nearly 20 years of experience as a TV producer that is not the case at all.

Something strange happens to people when they get in front of a camera. And without the proper training you could blow your big chance.

I love a happy ending and thankfully all that practice with Todd paid off and I feel like a proud mama!

Todd was asked to appear on CBS This Morning and he knocked it out of the park.

He was smiling, storytelling (something we also worked on,) cracking jokes and being the life of the party.

THAT is the Todd I know and I was thrilled to help him feel comfortable enough on camera to be himself.

You don’t just snap your fingers and feel more like yourself on camera – it takes practice and work.

Todd put in the time and it paid off – oh and hopefully sold some books too!

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. Grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”