An expensive publicist.
New business cards.
A fancy designer dress.
All fun but not at all necessary for rocking your first media interviews. Or for winning at business in general.
Most of these things are actually just distractions that we tell ourselves we need in order to accomplish something… and all it really does is give us an excuse from diving in and doing the real work that gets real results.
We do it all the time in business… think back to how many times you told yourself you would do something “once you had a nicer X and a more efficient Y or a better Z.”
“I’ll launch my online course once I have a new logo.”
“I’ll hire an employee once I find the time to post the job and interview people (meanwhile you’re buried in tasks you could delegate immediately).”
“I’ll pitch myself to do media interviews once I launch the new product (which is months and months away)… Or lose 10 pounds (you won’t)… or have my fancy new website rolled out (the one you have is more than enough).”
Time to own up & take charge!
I’m guilty of this too. As entrepreneurs, I think we all are to some extent. This is how it went down with a recent project:
I got an exciting opportunity to share my upcoming video series with Entrepreneur Online (yay!). I am obviously thrilled to share my work with this audience.
And, the best part is they just wanted to share basic videos that I am capable of making all the time: just me + a camera, sharing my expertise on a number of subjects. I could even interview successful entrepreneurs in my own city, since interviewing and sharing stories is something I have a lot of experience doing.
So, did I jump right in and make it happen?
Instead of just throwing on some make-up and getting one of my videographers to film me sitting in my office one afternoon, I made a big ole’ fuss over this project and decided I should launch really big.
Like, fly to NYC and interview very high profile entrepreneurs, kind of big.
And while I’m at it, why not have my best friend fly in from Miami to squeeze in a little fun + VIP tickets to Jimmy Fallon and line-up interviews with some of my own personal biz inspirations like Ramit Sethi?
Is it going to be awesome? Absolutely.
Was it necessary to the success of the project? Not. At. All.
If anything, the energy in booking these big interviews, hiring out-of-town crew, securing a filming location + the expense of travel and contractors fees, were all just big roadblocks that delayed my launch by a couple of months and has been a big distraction in the rest of my business.
This is just one way we upper limit ourselves in business by trying to make things more difficult than they need to be.
I see versions of this scenario with clients all the time.
A common limiting belief: Think big: I want to land the Today Show or nothing!
While thinking big isn’t bad at all, we all have to start somewhere.
Another limiting belief: I need to lose weight. Or roll-out a fancy new website. Or (insert other random tasks that will just keep you busy and keep you from action).
I have news for you… if you wait until you feel 100% ready, you’re going to be waiting forever.
So, let’s face reality… and yes, if it works out and you can do it by, like, tomorrow… then sure, get a fancy new dress, redecorate your office or lose a few pounds.
But I assure you, none of those things will have an impact on the results of your media coverage or your immediate business success as much as just showing up and doing real, consistent work, day in and day out.
But there are a few things that will make a difference and they’re probably none of those things you’re obsessing over.
So focus on what really matters and just launch!
Ready? Here are three things you really do need before doing a media interview (or before starting a business for that matter!):
1- An Audience
And not just any audience.
Obviously you’re going to have an audience on the other end of your media and it’s good to keep them in mind.
For instance, are you going to be on a local TV show that airs at 9 a.m. with a primary audience of stay-at-home moms or are you going to be writing for a blog that attracts retirees? You’ll want to know who watches/reads/listens to the specific media outlet you’re featured in, but the audience I’m referring to is your target audience.
You want to make sure that you’re really addressing your ideal client.
What would they want to know?
What kind of tips can you offer?
Remember that a big benefit to getting media coverage is that you’ll have a great piece of content to share on your website, your newsletter and social media. So speak to your audience!
Here’s a simple way to make sure you’re on the right track. Do your talking points and interview style match the style and tone of your website, sales copy and overall brand?
When you do this right, you’ll not only have a chance to introduce yourself or your product to a larger audience, you’ll also cut through the crowd and really resonate with your target client and reach the people that you need to walk through your door or click ‘buy’ on your website.
Like Marie Forleo says, “If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”
2- A place to send them
This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many people want to get in the media or want to be known as the go-to expert in their field, but they don’t have an active or updated website or physical location. At the very least, make sure you have a landing page that you can send the audience to for more information.
You only have a limited time to make an impression during an interview. But if you can get people to go to your website to learn more, you can sell them for hours with great content.
3- A clear call to action
What’s the purpose in being in the spotlight if you aren’t going to tell people what to do next or how to work with you?
An inviting CTA is a nice way to wrap-up your interview.
Some good examples include:
“Join us at our grand opening event on… (date and details).”
“Sign-up for our email newsletter to receive $10 off your first order.”
“Support this cause by making a donation… (how to donate).”
There you have it! Those are three things you definitely want to have in place before you get media coverage. If you have these main points down, you’ll be ready to handle the increased awareness + clients that come knocking’ on your door (or website).
So, lets just get this out of the way right now! Post in the comments below— (see, wrapping up with a call to action is great for blog posts too– accountability is effective!), these three simple bullet points:
- Who is your audience?
- Where are you going to send them?
- What is your call to action?