6 Months. That’s how long it took me to get on HuffPost. 2 years for my first podcast interview. 1 year until I became a guest in a WebTV show. You can guess, I didn’t know what I was doing. And most of the time I was too scared to get rejected. Rejection feels like physical pain.
Then I saw these people that are constantly getting featured. Like 100 times in 6 months. What are they doing differently from the rest? And what are the editors, producers and podcast hosts looking for in their guests? How can I make it as easy as possible for them to say “Yes!” to me?
These questions inspired me to seek out 20 high-profile entrepreneurs and DIY-PR experts to have them reveal their secrets to me. Here are 5 of them:
1. Build Your Personal Brand Now
Look at your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. What kind of person would post things like you do? How does this person see the world? How do you want to be seen by your target audience?
Add a relevant aspect of your story to that answer, and that’s your personal brand. Of course, there are many more elements to a personal brand, but to get started, this is all you need.
“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Jeff Bezos
2. Get Your Media Page Up Fast
The people who decide whether they will invite you to their show need to listen or watch you in action. They want to know what you sound like and how you appear on camera. It doesn’t matter so much what you say, but how you say it.
Usually, you put your past media features on your media page. If you don’t have any interviews, just record yourself talking about your favorite topic. And put your bio on this media page as well. Make it short (50 – 100 words) and keep it relevant.
3. Create a Pitch They Can’t Turn Down
There is only one question you need to answer with your pitch: How can I make it as easy as possible for them to say “Yes!” to me? All a producer wants is to provide value to their listeners and viewers. And, of course, look good to their higher-ups.
Tell them who you are and how you can help their audience. Avoid words such as “I”, “my”, “me” in your pitch and instead use as much “you”, “your” as possible. List the points you can help their audience with. Or, questions that you know their viewers want answered. Something like this:
“I know your listeners are people who [insert struggles/problems] so I know that this [insert what you can provide] will be valuable.” At the bottom of your pitch, put the link to your media page.
4. Be a Dream Guest
This is more a mindset thing rather than a performance issue. Being an amazing guest means respecting the other person’s time and effort. The media gatekeepers told me that they’d rather have someone fairly unknown who is a dream guest, than someone who is more high-profile, but a pain to work with.
This means showing up on time and having your sh** together. Let them know how much you loved the interview. Share your interview on social and give them public appreciation. And continue to add value to them and build the relationship, because that’s the most valuable thing you get – not the exposure – but the relationship with the host and their audience. This will get you ongoing media attention in the long term.
“Success to me is being a good person, treating people well.” – David LaChapelle
5. Leverage Your Features Into Bigger Opportunities
Add your features to your media page and go bigger with each pitch. Your first interview will not be perfect and just a few people will listen. The podcast listeners, TV viewers and magazine readers are craving for your story, service or product. It’s your job to get up and give it to them.