If you’re wondering how to create your own opportunities to get in front of the media, even if they are not calling you, then this episode of the 7 Days to Amazing podcast is for you!
I’ve been getting asked a lot lately about creating media opportunities and being not only ready but media friendly, so I created this solo podcast episode for you.
Through my career, I have had the unique vantage point of being on multiple sides and angels of the media from behind the scenes on photo shoots, to upfront and center starring in my own commercial, spokesperson, contributing writer, syndicated columnist, guest on radio and tv, influencer, and expert source… a lot of different ways that tally up to nearly 1,000 occasions.
I’ve also created my own media opportunities.
In this modern age of technology, anyone can create their own media “empire” as their platform to spread their message. It can start out as your only alternative to something, or be supports your press, or as a dream come true. The why doesn’t matter as much as that you’re showing up as authentically and professionally as you can to be seen as a relevant, credible source.
In this episode, you will learn the three key ways to being media friendly:
1) Why showing up as a success matters
2) What is niching your expertise
3) How to create your own media opportunities
It’s time to tune in…
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Raw Episode Transcription…
Welcome to the Seven Days to Amazing Podcast where you learn how to make your life, business and style even more amazing in the next week! Now your host, Sharon Haver of FocusOnStyle.com.
[00:00:04] Hello chicsters, I am Sharon Haver and I promise to amaze you today. We’re doing a very special episode of 7 Days To Amazing today.
[00:00:12] It’s a solo episode, no guest just me. My guests have shared so much valuable information helping you and your business get out there based on their personal stories and achievements to help you accelerate your growth, and to help you be the best at being you and even more amazing in the next week.
[00:00:35] But I get a lot of questions on how I’ve done something, how I started out and I thought this would be a really great time to help you with my beginnings. The topic we’re going to talk today about is how to be media friendly, how to create your own opportunities to get in front of the media when they’re just not calling you.
[00:01:02] Now, don’t get me wrong. Not everyone’s phone is ringing and has the media calling all the time. But if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re a business person, if you’re an expert or guru, or someone who’s positioning yourself to be a leader with your expertise being media friendly is something that you should do.
[00:01:23] We’re going to learn more about pitching the media in the coming weeks in another episode of How to be amazing but right now what I want to teach you to do is how to prepare yourself so that you can show up a success and need your expertise and create your own opportunities. So. I started out with my degrees in marketing actually and my first job out of school was in PR in a kind of wanted to be in PR and back in the day I used to love that old slogan that day. David Ogilvy used to say something to the effect of, “P.R. you pray for, advertising you pay for.” And he thought it was so cool to be able to get a client a brand or something and be able to take their message and put it in front of the media and then have the media come and cover them.read more
[00:02:18] I Actually met one of my first jobs who was writing a press release for manhole cover epoxy glamorous. And I did some stuff with rock and rollers and realized I didn’t like how they wanted to pay me and I had a job in a PR media company for a while. And. Then I left and I became a stylist pretty young man and I kind of. Sort of.
[00:02:39] Got my background in my training. But it’s always with me and it’s always a part of me. So when I was a stylist for really long time about 10 14 years maybe at that point or I was just over 15 or so and that that 14:15 towards the end towards the end of my photo shoot days. I was realizing that women everyday women like you like me were not really being best served in the fashion media at the time that they weren’t. They were understanding the stuff that was presented to them in magazines and I know that because they would come up to me all the time and say I could never be like. Her I could never be like that. I’m not a model. I’m not an actress and I’d be like no one can do that you know. Danny DeVito in a dress can look good. And that shows you how long ago was with Danny Devito as a reference. But Danny DeVito in a dress could look good with the right glam squad.
[00:03:34] And from that I decided I needed a way to reach everyday women. That was why I started in style. That’s what kept me going. That’s what made me feel confident about myself. I was never really sucked into that designer wardrobe of the season even though I loved designer clothes. I love getting the discounts even though I love clothes and fashion. But I wasn’t a fashion person per se I was more a real person who knew how my self worth my feeling everything about me elevated when I felt great about myself and how I was presenting myself by way of my style. So I decided I wanted to be a syndicated columnist.
[00:04:13] And I loved dear abby growing up and I went into like a cool dictionary.com. So nobody was calling me and saying hey Sharon I want you to write a column even though I was doing freelance writing work at the time too but no one was offering me my own column. So I decided to pitch.
[00:04:32] Syndicators and picked wire services and one of them stock it was the Scripps Howard News Service and my managing editor e-mailed me back my managing editor to be at that time and said I want to put candles on your catwalk. Thank you. Peter Copeland for that and I started this the focus on style syndicated. Fashion advice column on the Scripps Howard News Wire. So that was all right. Media didn’t come to me on that one. I call the media. I pitched myself. It was actually one of the very few times in my career that I ever pitched myself what I learned had to do was to position myself in a way that the media came to me because it was so much easier. It was so much easier having myself as the expert as the product that they wanted rather than knocking on doors. Now there’s nothing wrong with knocking on doors. It’s totally necessary. But I was also a little lazy on to be honest and. Having.
[00:05:35] The platform being in 400 papers a week or being my column sent out to 400 papers a week on The Wire and each week it would depend on you know how many pick them up or didn’t pick it up. So the reach was different every week depending on you know hard news I’d be cut out or some people wouldn’t pick me up at all and other people would shorten it to a blurb whatever it was.
[00:05:56] But that was my distribution. So from that I actually get it got known in a different way. I was already known as a stylist. People are already calling me to interview me but now they were thinking of me as an expert. And from that when I left the news wire and I created focus on style dot com I inadvertently meant it was quite. Quite. Serendipitous. I became number one for fashion expert for 10 years. So that was my as CEO. It happened and then I figured out how to keep it until Google changed its algorithm but I had a good 10 year run on that. And what happened was I created.
[00:06:39] Or it was sort of by a small business created and then I continued to manifest and to do the work to keep it going. The SC for being number one for fashion expert so therefore media was calling me and they were coming to me they were finding me right now I think I’m top in the top few for style expert but not the fashion page if you google it or the algorithms are funky and it’s some strange.
[00:07:05] Game or something. But anyway I created that opportunity I sustain that opportunity through SEO and then through being online through having a brand in the early days I was one of the first people to start an independently owned Web site it was back in 99 before there was even such a word as blogger.
[00:07:25] I was in a Neech of my expertise for helping the everyday woman make the most of what she’s got so people would call me and I’ve been in the media in one shape or form almost a thousand times.
[00:07:38] It’s nearly a thousand years maybe it’s in the 900 ish range. It’s hard to exactly tell because a lot of times I was interviewed on newswires So that would be a much bigger reach. A lot of time and care and I didn’t even count it when you’re talking about the times I was in the media or my work when I was a stylist as I was also a freelance writer from here and there for a few things worked a little bit in a what to wear column. And then I had a newspaper column with a bigger distribution and then being called on as an expert even starring in my own Macy’s commercial. Being a spokesperson being multisided with the media and always having focus on styles com as my home my home base. So I’ve seen the media in so many different ways and I realize too that it’s very easy to.
[00:08:31] Get attention and sometimes it’s really hard. And. One of the things is when you get attention when the media calls you you need to be ready and in the sense of being ready. Not only do you need to be ready and be an expert know your stuff and can talk and soundbites and all that good stuff but you need to look like look the part. For them to call you. So if somebody is calling you and you have a website and let’s say you or someone who helps small business owners. Know. Get out of the read in 12 days or less. Right. So we’re like OK I’ve got 100 clients I got out of the read in 12 days or less blah blah blah. And then the media says I need to do this story we need an expert who really works with these small business owners. And they find you or someone says hey go call Joe Schmo right now like I’m going to call Joe Schmo and they call. They look Google her and Joan shmo looks. Kind of dated kind of. Timid kind of.
[00:09:35] Not quite tough of it not relevant. They’re not going to call you for the interview they’re going to pass you by to the next person who really has that look of someone who can make it on line. It’s so important when you want to be in the media to look the part to look believable to look believable to the producer to the editor to the audience to the readers of the publication so that somebody believes your expertise. After a while you know they can doll you up. I always love to use the story of her name Susan Boyle from. Great Britain’s Got Talent.
[00:10:12] Remember she came on the show and she had this frumpy gold dress and this horrible hairdo and these caterpillar eyebrows and she was singing and she raised her arms and she had sweat stains and hairy armpits and everybody was rolling their eyes. And
[00:10:28] Simon Cowell crickey was going to vomit. And then all of a sudden she opened her mouth and she sang. And it was like wow. She’s awesome. And Simon looked like he was blown away. As he should because she’s incredibly talented. And then what happened. She came back. I get it. And they cleaned her up. She looked like someone you’d want to listen to. And she continued to look monor and they fixed her hair they plucked her eyebrows probably shaved her pit’s put her in more modern clothes not high fashion crazy clothes but more stylish clothes and she looked like someone worth listening to.
[00:11:07] So that’s what happened so unless you’re coming in your business at a point where you are one of these before and after shows you always need to look like the after. You always need to look believable. So.
[00:11:23] Let’s say the media is not calling you but you want to be media ready. Let’s say you are going to learn how to pitch the media.
[00:11:30] You don’t have any you really you’ve got to this point where they’re not knocking on her door but you know you’ve got something super to offer.
[00:11:39] You know you have expertise that the world should share and listen to that you can help other people with you know you’ve got some message that can help other people that’s valuable to society. And you want to share. Well how about if you create your own media.
[00:11:58] Because we now live in a day and age where you don’t have to rely on others.
[00:12:03] Sure it’s cool to be in quote unquote real media a lot and there is some prestige with it as authority there’s credibility when the national paper calls you are a national news show or even your local news and they’re doing something on the 4-H society and it’s your pumpkin that got picked what ever it is. There is some credibility to be in the news.
[00:12:26] There’s no denying it. But until that opportunity happens or why it’s happening and if you want to sustain it we now are in a time where you can create your own media and that’s what I’ve done as well so besides being called to the media so many times and if you go to the site to focus on style that come I can’t remember the name of the page and you go to the top of that Web site you can also look in the media or the about me and you’ll see where I’ve been in the news. And that’s great and that’s awesome. But you’ll also see opportunities I created. Focus on style dot com is one of them. I created my own web site. Where not only when it started out it was just my advice column from that I had a whole coterie of experts and gurus as contributors. But eventually it became me and my style advice to then putting on my business brain again which was what has kept it going my business side has been the motor the driving force that keeps everything together. Now I help other entrepreneurs build their business step into their star power and it’s not just the pretty dress. It’s a whole package so I created focus on style. As my platform for enhancing my opinion to get it out there to more people to create my own online business. I also created this podcast seven days to amazing. Right. So you were listening to me right now self-produced, well done.
[00:13:56] I’ve created my own radio show because as you know I grew up and my mother was a talk radio junkie. She read several newspapers a day and had talk radio on all day long. So I loved the feeling of a pod cast made that much more accessible to me and also easier because when you’re in the driver’s seat when you’re producing it. Yes of course has a lot of extra work as well. But you’re in control of having your message get out there the way you see fit. No one else is editing it. No one else is changing. It’s not being distilled in any way it’s your truthful message.
[00:14:32] Another thing that I created on my own which you could do on your own as well as a book. I I had two books. That I had a big agent once two that wrote that it really didn’t work too well. I had two books that both almost got to the gate almost got out there and for whatever reasons that be they never got published. So it was a lot of blood sweat and tears and. Kind of disheartening. And then I decided to create my own book or write my own book. And I was doing it and then I got an idea to do something else kind of stop that one. And my own book that’s coming out very soon which is called Style word is a quote book which I self-published on my own and I did that too. You can do that also. It’s at worst. A book is a really cool business card for people to get to know you more on the other hand it’s just no the way to get your message out. So that’s three ways that I’ve created my own media in addition to being in the media is many many times as I have and that’s with building an own Web site building my creating my podcast and a book. Now what about getting on the camera right. I see so many people so many entrepreneurs right now are taking these programs and courses and they’re doing all these live streams and people like connect with your audience get like get in front of YouTube to do this do that.
[00:15:52] Well I will tell you that there is truth and there’s some not so truth in that. YouTube is a different ballgame. Honestly I kind of let it go dry for about five years. Not so easy to get the top breakings now wish you could have done but you’re still getting your message out there. So I also have created my quick tips videos and I do live streams here and there. But what the problem is and that’s another form of creating your own media. Right. So but the problem in that is what I see with so many entrepreneurs is that. They don’t know how to perform on camera. How to look on camera how to position this up on camera in their expertise.
[00:16:33] So you see them and they might have that valuable message but they’re kind of sitting in a dungeon is no light on them they look a little sloppy and dumpy.
[00:16:44] Their camera is not the right way of looking into their chin or their neck. They don’t have the pastor they don’t know how to put it on. So they’re not media trained so what’s happening is even though they were out there. Getting used to it getting their feet wet they’re actually hurting their brand by not looking the part and looking. Not as confident as they can and not seen in the right light because it takes less than seven seconds to make a first impression. I think that. That’s just a lie. I know. I see so it especially online. It’s like you just instantly look at them and you know if you want to listen to them and you know if you don’t. Right. And then it also takes about 55 percent of the time. People look at you as based on your appearance and your body language right. Also I think that people being polite and exaggerated a bit so if someone’s looking at you on a live stream or on a video you are doing for your business. And you are not positioning yourself to look like success or not. Don’t have the lights on you. You don’t have the clothes that the composition of the shot is kind of janky they’re not going to perceive you to be the expert you want them to unless you get that part together. And the other thing is creating maybe not exactly your own media but an extension of it is your headshot is your photo or your profile images. So that also needs to be in it.
[00:18:10] You are you’re in competition with celebrities with authorities in their field whenever you’re on Facebook because you’re going down the same field right you were you going down the same feet as people who are really up there. So you need to make sure that you’re perceived to be that same person or when the media calls you and they see you that you look like the person they want to listen to they want to put on camera. They want to interview because you’ve got that look. And with that that’s why I created my program. Simply amazing headshots because it’s simply amazing headshots. I teach everyone how to be able to create your own photos with whatever you have at home your phone your car your computer whatever you have that you can instantly create that look in that image of looking like someone who is standing in their expertise.
[00:19:01] So my point is is that right now if you want to get in front of the media and they’re not calling you and you’ve done everything else you’ve got the expertise you’ve listed yourself on a million things something is not really clicking they’re not coming to you. Maybe one of the things you need to realize is they’re not seeing you in the light you want to be seen and that you need to step up your game by creating your own pod cast creating your own website. Croot writing your own book what ever it is and in that positioning yourself.
[00:19:35] In the best light to look believable to look credible to look relevant to look what you’ve got.
[00:19:43] You’ve got it going on so you can start to do things simply and create your own podcast and even if no one is listening to you maybe something like a podcast can just be an audio message to your mailing list right. Maybe once a week you could send something like that out. Maybe you can create little audio.
[00:20:05] Pitches to the media and sent it to them and say hey I’d like to have a listen to it.
[00:20:10] Maybe you just want to be able to talk to your Facebook community or your social media community that way. And then eventually start building yourself up on iTunes or you know looking for sponsors if that’s something you want right now we’re not using sponsors because I really want it to be my platform. I don’t really want to be into weird with other sponsors and. You know it’s working out just fine for me this way. But there’s different ways because you say how can you make money when you have when you’re creating your own media. And when you do that there’s really there’s really a couple of ways. One is to get sponsors to support you. The other one is just to have to run ads on it which could also be sponsored. The third one is is basically to use that to bring in. People traffic people who are interested in your message to learn more for the other things that you might sell or serve through you or your business or on your Web site. So. You really also need to go in and Neech out your expertise and that’s something that I think is critical when people first came to me on line as a fashion expert. I was pretty much known as a fashion expert who helped the everyday woman make the most of what she’s got by. Having tanned do chic style advice and it was everyday woman style. It was deciphering the fashion code that any woman can go in her closet and figure it out.
[00:21:34] So I was getting called I was doing a lot of covering a lot of fashion week as well. I was doing is inspirational. Yes that’s kind of cool. When I was covering it for the newspaper too that was a trend reporting. But.
[00:21:47] It was more. No I was more known for helping like the Martha Stewart of fashion per se you know. Helping the everyday woman feel great in her skin and that helped bring more types of newspaper service magazines features coming to me and asking my opinion in that niche of helping everyday women.
[00:22:10] The other thing you want to be able to do is say test touch on a little bit before is to show up as a success no matter what it is online. And good branding in a logo in your appearance in your head shots in your videos to show up as a success and I see so many people that I’ll just keep saying and again because I think this is crucial who. Do all this other stuff. They hire all the business coaches they hire the marketing coaches.
[00:22:36] They hire someone to help them self-publish a book. They hire someone to produce their podcast. They hire hire a hired take a course take a course take a course take a course get a business coach with the best coach can cook a little longer. When they go in this vicious circle until they’re basically bled dry I don’t have any money to actually put it into their business. And they’re forgetting about the most important commodity they have. And that’s then and they’re starpower. And unless you get your star power in check.
[00:23:10] It’s going to be really hard for someone to call you on a national basis just saying from being on other sides in the media.
[00:23:17] You need to look credible to be believable. You need to act now. I’m not saying you all need to go out there and look like J-Lo but you need to look like us. I certainly don’t.
[00:23:29] You know what my whole legs. You need to look like you’re you’re within your expertise if you are talking about finances you need to look like somebody someone would trust their money. If you’re telling you about yoga you can be wearing leotards. But whatever it is you need to be looking the part of the perceived expert in your field. Of course it’s fun to do your own style and put your freak flag on and go whatever you want but when you’re starting out you want to be credible and believable. You need to be the best of what someone in that industry would look like then you can kind of you know. And even Also think about this. Let’s say if you you’re a guy then you’ve got a long handlebar mustache and a long beard and you’re kind of like funky eyeglasses and you’re talking about finances right. Now. If you had that same funky hair and you were wearing some t shirt talking about finances maybe you wouldn’t get booked on a wall street today show. Right. But if you still have that funkiness but you’re wearing a beautifully cut suit.
[00:24:31] And you look like a guy who’s kind of a free spirit yet still has the air of success and the cut of your suit and the tailored fabric opposed to a T shirt. You might start looking like a more creative person in a more.
[00:24:47] corporate kind of environment so you can you know when you’re when you’re doing a video or you’re doing a background for your photo you always to keep him out of the set and setting.
[00:24:57] And I saw the same thing in your style that everyone one part of you was maybe a little more Woo-Woo are out there freak flag day that it’s balanced by something that’s a little bit more authoritative a little bit more relevant a little bit more classy or elegant whatever the word you want to use is but it’s grounded by something that looks like success. Then you can tweak it and turn it in your way and create your own mold. But one of the things that I teach everyone I focus on is really stepping on your star power because celebrities are really no different than you doing Nate. They just they just know how to put it on. I could go through that on what it was like working with celebrities and you know and they would walk in a room and you wouldn’t even know who they were and to you know somebody announced them and then you call them up and they look. Bigger than life. We’re all our own celebrities we’re all our own best celebrities. We just need to know how to turn it on and now to be ready for the media.
[00:25:53] So I hope you enjoyed this. Just keep in mind with the three things that if you want to get in front of the media and they’re not calling you the best way to be media friendly is to show up as a success. Neech your expertise and create your own opportunities in the best way you can. I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions don’t forget to e-mail us over it. Focus on style. And please I encourage all of you to download the free Starpower flash can’t focus on style that come forward slash insiders. You’ll hear my friendly announcer at the end tell you more about it but really you all deserve to step in your own star power. And you know Time waits for no one. If people are not knocking on your door make the opportunities happen for you. It’s your job to be the best at being you get yourself out there and shine the best light you can. And you talk to you soon. Take care. Bye bye.
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