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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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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 work with lots of experts and authors on media training and strategy, and a lot of them struggle with self promotion but want people to know about their books. 

Like many of us, they don’t want to seem “salesy” or as if they have a huge ego. 

For example, I worked with Brandi Doming, author of “Vegan 8,” to train her for media while she was promoting her book. She initially didn’t want to do video and struggled a bit with self promotion. 

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It’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re celebrating singlehood or blissfully coupled, romance is on the brain today. And there’s no better time to consider your relationship with the media.

If you find yourself singing Adele’s “Hello” to producers and editors, and all you hear back is Beyonce’s “Sorry,” it might be time to step up your seduction. Here are three tips to woo the media this year.

Don’t Be Desperate: Swipe Right AND Left

Don’t be that person who swipes right on anything with a pulse. A quick perusal of someone’s profile may not tell you whether someone is your soulmate, but it can certainly help you find a real connection—and rule out the red flags.

The same goes for your match with the media: Know the person receiving your pitch and their work. What kinds of stories do they love? Do they tend to gravitate toward a certain style? They will know when you haven’t done your homework—and it will make them want to “ghost” on you fast.

Get to know the person receiving your pitch by checking out their social media presence. Do they engage their followers? See if you can strike up a light conversation over a tweet or post. Are they attending networking events? Try to meet them in person. (Warning: Coming on too strong is disastrous in love and in media. Definitely keep it light).

But also ask yourself: Are they a good match for ME? While it may be tempting to throw yourself at every reporter, producer, booker or editor who comes your way, that plan can backfire in the long run. If all goes according to plan, this is the start of something ongoing—better to be single than entangled in a bad romance.

Make Yourself Irresistible

If you want to get rejected by the hot girl, ramble on about her looks while you ask her out. Likewise, the media knows it’s sexy—and it doesn’t want you to use it for its body.

Another surefire way to get rejected? Toot your own horn so much, you compose a symphony to your greatness. Confidence is hot, but narcissism is a real turn-off.

The key to being irresistible is simple: Be a giver, not a taker. If you want to woo the media, you’ve got to sell yourself as an attentive partner. Always link your pitch back to the audience: Why should those people care? How can you help them? How will your expertise transform their life? Show the editor or producer that you get what they do and you’re here to offer your help—not to use their platform, love ‘em and leave ‘em.

Sweep Them Off Their Feet

Picture this: You’ve just cancelled a date because you caught a monster flu. You’re a little bummed, but you were only lukewarm about the date in the first place. Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rings. You open the door and find a care package of chicken noodle soup, emergenc-C, tea, and a “Get Well Soon” card from your date. And just like that, things start heating up.

If you want to sweep the media off its feet, be the producer or editor’s hero. Don’t just figure out what they need—give it to them when they need it most.

The media needs pieces that link back to the top trending hashtags. If you’re a parenting expert, the Grammys would be the perfect moment to pitch a story on how celebrity feminists like Beyonce are changing the way our culture views motherhood.  If you’re a constitutional lawyer, start drafting that pitch on what will happen next with Trump’s travel ban. Do the producer or editor’s work for them—they’ll thank you for it. 

 

You know that getting the attention of a producer or editor is key to raising the profile of your message and your brand.

It’s just as important, however, to hold your own in front of a crowd. The ability to speak on camera and on stage are absolutely linked; they just require different applications of the same skill. And the better you get at one, the better you get at the other.

In his (fantastic) book, The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, TED curator Chris Anderson says that as a “leader—or as an advocate—public speaking is the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, sharing knowledge and insights, and promoting a shared dream.”

Oratory, as transformative as it can be, is not magic. You can learn the skills for being a better presenter on TV and elsewhere—and public speaking is a great way to flex that muscle often.

Here’s what great speakers have in common with go-to media experts.

  1. They know why they’re there—and why you’re there.
    A great speaker, like a go-to media pro, is attuned to both. The way you think about the different audiences on television or in magazines is precisely how you should think about event attendees. Know exactly why they’re there.

    I always ask the event organizer not just what the event is for (“women’s networking” or “stress relief for our employees”), but literally why they are there. In the room. Meaning: did they pay $200 a plate to attend, or did the boss say, “You have to go to this.” When you know this, you can shape your talk and expertise to serve that need first.
  2. They work hard to keep your attention.
    Believe it or not, I think public speaking can make presenters lazy—because they have a captive audience who claps when they’re done (which they do no matter what they think). The strongest, most effective speakers treat that audience the way they would a media viewer, whose finger is poised to change channels in a heartbeat.

    Realize that just because your audience is sitting there doesn’t mean they’re “there.” The best speakers work hard to keep you engaged—by being entertaining, piquing your curiosity, making you laugh, inviting you to participate.

    You have seen speakers fail to do this (when they take the stage, you start scrolling through your email). Make it your goal not just to dispense information to your audience, but realize that everyone is a half second away from tuning out. Everything you choose to say should connect with a reason why they should care.
  3. They stick to the point.
    In media, you’ve got seconds, not minutes. And with such a tight window in which to deliver key talking points on air, you know you’ve got to stay on topic.

    Same goes for speaking. Thirty minutes flies, too (trust me on that). Don’t assume you can squeeze all you’ve got into a 30-minute sized bag. Instead, think of every talk as a carry-on suitcase: You only have enough space to pack what they can take with them that day. You can’t pack everything, and shouldn’t try.

    You should be able to make a case for why you’re including every point, every paragraph (as I do when I’m packing three pairs of shoes for a weekend trip). Beware the temptation to go on and on because they’re sitting there. Be sure that your goal first and foremost is to solve the problem you’re there to solve—and do it efficiently.

(Want to be a better speaker? Have dreams of giving a TEDx talk? Register for my FREE online training, “5 Steps to a Killer TEDx Talk—Even If You Don’t Have a Topic.” It’s happening live this Wednesday, February 1st and Thursday, February 2nd 2017. Hold your seat!)

 

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.

 

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.

If you want media attention for your book, brand, or business, you need to know what your “thing” is.

And by that I don’t mean your topic or your subject matter or your industry. Because that’s broad, and while it’s part of what you do and who you are, it’s hardly specific to you.

What I mean by ‘thing’ is that place where your personality, your expertise, your business, and your mission overlap to create that one unique fingerprint of a brand that is yours and no one else’s. Your special gift.

And yes, you do have it. I know you do because this is what I do—and I’ve never worked with someone who doesn’t have one! They just have trouble finding, or committing, to it. But most times, they can’t see the forest for the trees.

Let’s take an example.

If you’re a meditation teacher, your thing is going to have something to do with helping people access peace and stillness in a churning, distracting world. That’s great—but that’s what meditation does, and you are more than the tool you share. You might speak to a range of topics (yoga, mindfulness, stress, resilience, and so on).

But you are more than that. You are not just the technique or tools you teach, but the person who believes in it–and you have your own reasons why that is. THAT is your thing. THe key to get that into words.

Everyone I work with resists the idea of having “one thing.” Even I resist this idea sometimes. We don’t want to think of ourselves as two-dimensional, as similar to everyone else or unoriginal. But. When it comes to media, the broader your pitch, the less interesting you are.

I also know lots of people who throw EVERYTHING at a producer or editor (“I’m a this, and a that, and I do some of this and that”) and it’s confusing to them. And if a producer is confused, it’s a no.

A producer or editor or other member of the media can’t tell you what you are—so don’t leave it up to them to help you figure it out. They may have their opinions, and they may even suggest some things, if the spirit moves them. But it’s not their job to know; it’s yours.

Sure, there are a lot of people who might describe themselves in a way similar to you; i.e., help women invest their money, help millennials negotiate better salaries, offer men insights into how women think so they can win the right one over.

There are no new ideas under the sun—but there’s no one exactly like you. That’s the difference.

Think of your brand positioning as the thing that gets you up the mountain to where you’ll be more visible (a metaphor for media, you with me?). You may think, “oh I’m going to wear the most comfortable, softest shoes so I can wear them as I work my way up the mountain.”

But no. Those shoes are too broad and soft and they can’t hold up to the rigor that’s required of them to climb a steep mountain. You need an edge—something that can cut into the mountain, through the ice and snow and whatever else, and give you some steadier footing. You need the brand equivalent of hiking cleats!

If I am sitting down with the meditation teacher one on one, I’ll ask her why she got into meditation and what she thinks is important for people to understand about meditation, why they might resist it, and why they might want it and not realize it yet.

But I also want to know what she struggles with, and what she has in common with those who would benefit (and the answer can’t be “everyone” and if it is, she’s not being focused enough. Maybe it’s that she’s always been a wildly distracted and distractable person, and liked to move from one thing to the other, but realized she couldn’t finish anything. Maybe meditation gave her the freedom to be more creative without letting silly things detract from meaningful efforts. A distracted meditation teacher who applies the solution to her life? Now I’m interested.

And remember, you don’t have to be the only one doing what you do. If you were literally the only one, chances are that means no one’s interested in it.

It’s fine that there are scores of other meditation teachers or nutritionists or dermatologists. Doesn’t matter.

What matters is that when the media goes looking for one to interview or feature, that you give them a clear picture of who you are and what you think or do that’s specific to you. Find that thing, and go big with it.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I trying to do, specifically?
  • Why is this a problem for the people I’m speaking to?
  • What misunderstandings do they have about “x” and how will I change their minds?
  • What personal story do I bring to bear? What key insights?

And give your ideas the cliche test: If you’ve heard it a zillion times before, if everyone already agrees with it, keep digging.

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.

How do you know you’re ready for TV (or media in general)? You probably have your own made-up ideas about it. Everyone does. You think you need: a bestselling book; a regular column; a PhD; a TED talk. Perhaps you think you need to have worked somewhere special or worked for yourself or started your own company, or earned your first million.

Nope.

Fact is, you don’t need all or even one of these things to get media attention. It’s true. These things help, for sure—and the more you create and demonstrate your expertise, well, the easier it is to get media. But how do you know you’re ready to start doing media?

I’ll tell you. Here are five signs that tell me you’re ready:

  1. You know a thing or two. In other words, you have a specific area of expertise, based on years of practice, study, reading, doing, what have you.Don’t get thrown by the word “expert”; all it means, by definition, is “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” You don’t have to be THE expert or the world’s best known expert. You’re an expert. And whether that means you’re an expert in parenting, gardening, or underwater basket weaving, it doesn’t matter.
  2. You are burning to share a specific message. In short, you’re on a mission. And I don’t just mean “to make the world a better place” or “empower women.” I mean, a specific thing you are going to share and teach. You know what people get wrong about whatever it is you’re passionate about, and what’s more, you have the tools and insights to help us change our minds about it, and improve some aspect of our lives as a result.
  3. You’re able to explain what you do and why it matters. More importantly, you’re able to do this for people who may not actually be sure they care—which includes producers, editor, their readers and their viewers. Because while you believe in what you do and why, no one else necessarily does. They’re not mean or willfully ignorant; they’re just busy. The people who catch the media’s eye know how to make what they care about compelling to other people.  
  4. You want to create content. I don’t mean you have to be a writer or a journalist, or spend all day blogging. But in order to teach people and to write pitches, you do have to love the idea of coming up with content to share.Because even if you never blogged once, you still have to be able to flesh out an idea for a producer and that means you need to know how to turn your expertise into content. You have to be ready to tell them what they should be thinking, trying, or doing differently, and that means being able to can offer a smart, counterintuitive take on what you do.
  5. You’ve been watching long enough. You’ve been reading interviews in magazines and in blogs, watching experts chat it up on morning shows, evening news. And you think, “I could do that. I know I could.”You’re ready to stop watching from the sidelines as experts in your industry take up all the airtime sharing the kinds of insights you could be sharing. Why not you? That very tug you feel, to get in the game, to raise your hand, to step up? That’s probably the most important sign of all.

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.