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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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I’ve noticed a trend among my clients. A lot of them sound like robots when they’re recording video. 

Haha I know that sounds like a joke but it’s not. 

They’re using what I call “phone voice.”

This is the voice you use when you’re recording voicemails or dictating text messages. 

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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. 

Think you’re ready to be a media star?

Take the ultimate media-readiness challenge. It’s the one thing that you absolutely, no exceptions, must be able to do in order to kill it on TV or in print.

Be able to explain what you do and why it matters — to a fifth grader.

Yup.

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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. 

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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. 

We’ve all seen the news recently — the media is reporting on coronavirus (COVID-19) 24/7.

I worked in newsrooms for almost 20 years — I know how this works. Journalists are eager to find coronavirus stories, since it’s what everyone wants to know about. 

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MEDIA-READY AUTHOR: Go From Uncomfortable to Confident and Sell More Books with my Media-Training Class for Authors on Tuesday, October 18th! Reserve your spot now!

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Fresh content is great, and you can turn any podcast, blog post, video or thought you have into a media pitch!

The trick is knowing what (from your content) is most interesting to viewers.

This is especially important for authors who want to sell more books. A book is a piece of content and knowing how to leverage that content in the media is integral to sales!

(In fact, I’m hosting a quick and easy-to-implement live online training called Media-Ready Author: Speak in Soundbites, Set Up Your Virtual Studio and Sell More Books to help you learn those skills.)

 

I spoke with my friend Kate Hanley on her local news station about how to repurpose our content to create a media pitch. Kate is a journalist, podcaster, author of How to Be a Better Person, and has written for publications including Real Simple, Parents, and Martha Stewart’s Whole Living.

Here are three tips from Kate about how to turn your content into a successful media pitch.

1) Making the Connection..

In the beginning, the media probably isn’t going to come to you. You have to go to the media. You have to initiate contact.

Kate lives in Providence, RI, and she heard of a new morning show that 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 — because they want you to pitch them.

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

Especially if you…

2) 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 just Googled ‘crazy national holidays’,” Kate explained. “There were all these wacky days like Flip-Flop Day and Hotdog Day. I noticed 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 need to act on it because that day’s coming up,” Kate added.

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3) 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.

Tailor your ideas for each outlet, but use the ideas you already have.

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 to organize her ideas and realized she already had lots of great material. She just needed to update and adapt what she already created.

“I found old pitches and blog posts that I had written and stuff I thought might be useful in a lot of different ways,” Kate said.

That doesn’t mean you should use the same posts and pitches over and over.

It’s important to refresh and customize your content and pitches to the outlet you’re pitching.

Check out Kate’s podcast “How to Be a Better Person” and watch our entire conversation here.

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MEDIA-READY AUTHOR: Go From Uncomfortable to Confident and Sell More Books with my Media-Training Class for Authors on Tuesday, October 18th! Reserve your spot now!

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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.”

When I was on vacation in Mexico a few weeks ago, I unexpectedly got an interview request from Aditi Shrikant, a writer at CNBC.com. She was working on an article about making more effective to-do lists. 

Of course I said yes to the opportunity. 

I put down my margarita and did the interview in my bathing suit poolside. 

Why? 

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Excuses are sneaky things. Sure, some of them are loud and whiny.  But there are plenty of others whom you might mistake for good reasons, simply because they appear that way: They report for duty in fitted suits and fine shoes, freshly shaved and coiffed. Their job? To provide perfectly sound and logical responses to the question you keep thinking about: “Why haven’t I”—written my blog, pitched that editor, made a bigger effort to get in front of people.

Your excuses, disguised as “reasons,” have responses ready: The time isn’t right. You’re not ready. You should wait until you have more money or whiter teeth or more information.

These guys work hard—on the wrong things. It’s time to lay them all off.

Why? Because the reasons that you pay a lot of time and attention to are actually keeping you from your real goals: To stand out, step up, to speak out and get yourself heard.

I happen to know a few of these by name—I’ve caught them wasting my time too. It’s time to  purge them from your mental workforce so you can recruit more effort for the things you want to achieve. Let’s tear the masks off these three in particular, Scooby Doo style.

Excuse #1: “I’m not an expert.”

In fact, you are an expert—not on everything, and probably not the only expert in the world or in your industry. But you absolutely are an expert in what you do. You likely assume other people know what you do. You would be wrong.

You underestimate what you know and how valuable it can be to others. If you spend your life keeping the books or planning parties or training dogs, you have an opinion about how to do it well.  That means that you’re in a position to not just run your business, but to speak, write or contribute in the media as an expert on that topic. It’s true! You’re pretty driven by what you do and whom you help. Wouldn’t it be amazing to reach more people that way? Of course it would.

Excuse #2: I’m just a small business. No one’s looking for me.

You could run a brand-less business (see: the corner deli on my street) where you just take money and provide a service and keep it purely transactional.

But the reason you’re even reading this is because you want your brand, your work, to mean something. And for your brand to mean something, you need to stand for something, but also, have a reason why you do it, and communicate it to the people who need it most.

Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you should think small. But bigger does not mean “broader”—bigger means seeing the many other ways in which what you do matters to someone else. Find it and lean into it. (Here’s a post I did on how you know you’re having a brand crisis.)

Excuse #3: I need to do more research on the right software/platform/etc.

You might think a fear of tech and learning new tools would stop you cold. And it can. I knew an incredibly bright woman who wanted to start a podcast but was completely hung up over the tech. Paula and I showed her exactly what mic to get and we physically plugged it in for her and walked her through it. She couldn’t believe how easy it was.

But a love of tech can slow you up, too, because then you spend all this time researching instead of doing. One guy on FB was dithering over the right email platform because he hadn’t written to his list and wanted to.

I called him out on it, and said that he needed to just go with the one that seemed simplest and most appealing, the subtleties of functionality didn’t matter. He could always switch as his needs changed, but if he was already behind on his goal to connect with his readers in a meaningful way, it actually doesn’t matter which one he used right now. One lady disagreed with me and I called her out, too. Because I can get feisty on Facebook, and I also thought she was adding fuel to his perfectionist fire.

So whether you love tech and research, or loathe it all, do not let it stand between you and the people you want to reach.

Seth Godin says that perfectionism is a way of hiding.

Rather than waste time shopping for the right platform or tool, he says, you should shop for commitment, because that’s what you need right now. Boom.

It’s time for you to be committed less to your excuses and more to the brand you want to build. The world is waiting.

Terri Trespicio is the co-creator of Lights Camera Expert, a six-week program that teaches experts, authors, entrepreneurs how to get, and keep, media attention. Visit her at territrespicio.com.