Back in the 1960s, rule-breaking artist Andy Warhol coined the term “15 minutes of fame” to describe the “here today, gone tomorrow” celebrity-dom that more and more people were experiencing as a result of 20th century media. Now, over 40 years later (I say with a short intake of breath!), this term is even more applicable than ever, especially with the rise of YouTube, podcasting, social media and the seemingly endless parade of reality TV shows. But in spite of its fleeting nature, everybody who wants to be “anybody” still seems to be enamoured by the media. We like showing up in the press (or, these days, on blogs and online magazines). We like being on the radio (or, these days, on Internet radio). We like being on TV (or, these days, Internet TV and live streams). Today, we all can get our 15 minutes of fame.
Or CAN we?
Despite the fact that media platforms have become both more plentiful and more accessible than ever, getting gigs on media shows or getting an article in print media can tough, for the simple reason that everyone out there is trying to do the same thing. Getting noticed in the sea of wannabes can be a daunting challenge, especially when you are a new author or business owner. And then there’s the added challenge of not just getting booked, but getting booked into a media gig that’s actually good. There’s no point to landing a gig on a radio show that has no audience or where the host doesn’t know how to interview a guest (trust me; there are PLENTY of those out there).
Conversely, I’ve met many newbies who totally SNUB Internet radios shows because they have visions of Oprah in their eyes. If I had a dollar for every time a first-time, self-published author sent me an email asking me how they could get on the Oprah Winfrey Show, I could probably retire. I find it really tough to penetrate that kind of thinking, and I’m sure many of the people to whom I replied thought I was being negative, insulting or even blasphemous to the “Law of Attraction” when I told them to start building their portfolios with Internet radio gigs before thinking about contacting Harpo Productions.
A GOOD media gig can be a great boost for our business. It can increase book sales, attract people to your website or special project, and help grow your mailing list. I confess I have no expertise in getting TV gigs, but I’ve helped my clients get hundreds (maybe thousands) of Internet and terrestrial radio interviews, and I’ve been interviewed on so many radio shows over the past 5 years I’ve lost count. Many of those I have either found through Twitter, or the hosts found me through my Tweets. For example, one London radio host called me up today asking me to do a show in February where I’ll be talking about social media marketing to a target audience of 16-20 year olds. She found me through my #Tweepelicious Tweets on Twitter.
I’ve also been hosting my own Internet radio show on BlogTalkRadio for 4 years now (this week is our 4 year anniversary, in fact) and I’ve also hosted a ga-zillion webinars and telesummits, interviewing some of the top authors in the self-help, mind-body-spirit and ethical business genres. I’m continually on the lookout for great guests in my Twitter streams. Last week I saw someone Tweet about a new book by former Friends of the Earth chairman Tony Juniper. I immediately jumped on this and contacted Tony to be on my show (he was a guest in the past, which made the communication easier). Another example is from about a month ago when I was doing some research on a particular health condition. I came across a teenage girl name Grace Lynne Evans (@TigerLuver3000 on Twitter) whose chronic illness forced her to be home-schooled. Being homebound much of the time, Grace uses “vlogging” (video blogging) and social media to create a normal teenage social life. I immediately approached her to be a guest on my show, because I thought she had a great story.
If you’re wondering how Twitter can help you find media gigs, here are a few bullet points to help you begin your hunt:
- IDENTITY: Perhaps the most important thing you need to establish is your own identity on Twitter. If you aren’t expressing that clearly through your bio and your Tweets, the media (or anyone else) won’t know what you’re about. Avoid fluffy, flowery or hyped-up words and just say what you are, what you do and what you stand for. Media people tend to have very powerful “B.S. metres”, so don’t ever try to schmooze them. This is an example of the Graces of Invitation and Directness in action. I give a lot of guidance for creating effective profiles in Chapter 2 of Tweep-e-licious.
- RELEVANCE: The best way to cultivate relationships with people on Twitter is by communicating topics that are relevant to them, and vice versa. Be sure the media you are following are already speaking to YOUR ideal audience. This is an application of the Graces of Inspiration and Invitation. I cover the art of locating ideal followers in Chapters 4 and 5 of Tweep-e-licious.
- VALUE: Be sure the content you deliver on Twitter gives genuine VALUE to your followers, and isn’t just an endless stream of sales messages. This is an application of the Graces of Inspiration and Abundance. The art of creating valuable, effective content is covered in Chapter 6 of Tweep-e-licious.
- ENGAGEMENT: Show you’re a real person by engaging on Twitter. Have conversations. Share other people’s Tweets. Don’t just talk about business all the time. If you’re trying to build a relationship with a particular media outlet, ReTweet their Tweets and making comments. This is the practice of the Grace of Connection. The art of building Twitter relationships is covered in Chapter 11 of Tweep-e-licious.
- RESPECT: One of the BIGGEST turn-offs for me as a radio host is for guest wannabes to say the WRONG thing when they write to me the first time. It is just as bad to say too much as it is to say too little, and striking the balance is essential. Done incorrectly, it can be a horrid display of the “Deadly Sin” of Invasion! Done correctly, it can be a great demonstration of the Graces of Connection, Invitation, Directness and Collaboration. In Tip 122 of Tweep-e-licious, I give a DETAILED explanation of what you should and should not say when making first contact.
- SOCIAL CREDIBILITY: It’s one of the laws of celebrity-dom that the more people know you, the more people WANT to know you. What that means is, if you get too starry-eyed and try too soon to contact the media, you’re unlikely to get a favourable response. Building social credibility takes time and patience. Ultimately, this comes when all 7 of the Graces are in practice in everything you do. Really, the entire book Tweep-e-licious is a handbook for building that social credibility on Twitter.
Tweep-e-licious Tip #137 specifically addresses getting media gigs through Twitter, where I discuss establishing the “hook” of your brand, preparing a “media friendly” blog and other details. These practices used in conjunction with the other strategies in the book, as mentioned above, can go a long way to getting you started in making connection with the media and getting those great gigs you’re looking for.
If you cannot see the video on your screen, CLICK HERE to watch it on YouTube.
Meg’s video is the first of a YouTube playlist I’m compiling of my readers’ favourite Tweep-e-licious tips. You can find the playlist at http://bit.ly/TweepVideos. Be sure subscribe to the playlist so you can see the latest videos as they are uploaded, and get some ideas about how REAL business owners are using these tips to build their platforms, and market their businesses ethically.
To give you an idea of what you’ll learn from the book, you can also get instant access to a free 90-minute #Tweepelicious Twitter audio class from that page too. Just CLICK HERE to listen to this content-packed class.
I hope this article was useful to get you started on your media quest. Please drop me a line in the comments below to let me know!
23 January 2013
As always, please do share your comments and reflections below.
LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.
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