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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.”

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Now that many states have ordered residents to stay inside to stop the spread of coronavirus, lots of meetings and interviews are happening remotely.

Even Jimmy Fallon is recording The Tonight Show from his house!

This means that you’re connecting with people from your home rather than face-to-face. 

While Jimmy Fallon can get away with recording from his kitchen table with his kids, you’ll probably want to make sure your videos are a little more pulled-together and professional. 

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.”

One of the questions I’m asked the most when people find out I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a television producer is “How do I get on TV?” 

It’s not a simple answer. 

But one of the things I always ask is “what are you producing yourself?”  

You have to be your own producer and create content the media cares about. That’s step one! 

I recently saw my friend Kate Hanley on her local news station talking all about her podcast, “How to Be a Better Person” so I had to talk to her about how she got booked. 

We shot this video of our conversation where she talks all about how it happened. 

Kate has a background in media as a journalist who has written for national magazines including Real Simple, Parents, and Martha Stewart’s Whole Living.

Now as an author and podcast host she’s tasked with getting the word out about her expertise. Here’s how she did it: 

Making the Connection..

Kate lives in Providence, RI, and she heard of a new morning show that she thought might be looking for pitches. She posted in a local networking group to see if anyone had a contact, and a connection suggested reaching out to a producer over social media.

People who work in media often have their email address in their bio — and that’s because they want you to pitch them.

“That’s one thing that we have to just tell ourselves is that we’re actually helping people do their jobs by pitching them,” Kate says. 

 

Make your pitch timely.

One of the elements of a well-written pitch is the “hook.” Why is this relevant right now? 

Kate took this into consideration when she planned out her pitch. When Kate thinks of a pitch, she connects her ideas to current events or holidays.

“I think I just Googled ‘crazy national holidays’,” Kate says of one pitch. “There were all these wacky days like Flip Flop Day and Hotdog Day. I noticed that there was Make a Difference Day was coming up, which perfectly aligned with How to Be a Better Person.”

By connecting your pitch to an upcoming event, producers feel more urgency when considering your idea. “Not only might they like that idea, but they’re going to need to act on it because that day’s coming up,” Kate says. 

 

Reuse and recycle.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they start to pitch media is that they think they have to create completely new or different material for a pitch. Nope! Use all your content to feed your blog, your book, your podcast, your pitches. They all go hand in hand. You will taylor the ideas for each outlet but your ideas are your ideas. 

Kate’s lightbulb moment happened when she realized she didn’t need to be creating totally separate blog posts and pitches. She made a Google Drive account for organizing her ideas and realized that she had lots of great material that could be adapted and updated. 

“I found old pitches that I had written and blog posts that I had written and just stuff that I thought might be useful in a lot of different ways,” Kate says. “And I can go in there and really slice and dice.”

That doesn’t mean you should use the same posts and pitches over and over. Like Kate says, it’s important to customize your content and pitches to the outlet you’re pitching. 

You can watch the whole video here to hear all of Kate’s tips — including why writing thank you notes is the small gesture that an leaves an impression. 

And be sure to check out Kate’s podcast “How to Be a Better Person.” 

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.”

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Photo by Gavin Whitner.

 

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.”

 

Figure out your niche. 

Before you become an expert, you have to decide what you’re going to be an expert in. How can you figure that out? 

Ask yourself these two questions:  

  1. What are you always telling clients? 
  2. What are you always answering questions about? 

These are two good ways to tell where your expertise lies. 

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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.”

On the flight from NYC to San Francisco I watched Won’t You Be My Neighbor? You know, the documentary about Mister Rogers? 

As a kid I loved that show. 

But I also loved this documentary and one of the unexpected lessons was about video and television!

When Mister Rogers said “television is community,” I thought yes, that’s it!  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.”

Teleprompters – they keep coming up again and again with my media-training clients. Questions like: 

  • Should I use a teleprompter? 
  • When do I not need a teleprompter?
  • How do I use a teleprompter? 
  • Which teleprompters are the best for entrepreneurs? 

Those are just some of the questions that have come up over the years. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of anchors and reporters who have mastered the skill of using a teleprompter. 

If you’re unfamiliar with them though it can be a bit daunting at first. So let me break it down for you.

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, Hubspot.com 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.”

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!