Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Ways of Pissing off Producers and Ruining Your Chances of Getting on TV

One way of growing your brand and expanding your influence as an industry expert is to become a much sought after contributor to television news programs. That means creating relationships with the producers of those news programs and giving them what they need to do their job… content. All it takes is a little humility, professionalism, patience, and persistence to make it happen.

But all too often I’ve met people who don’t get it and instantly ruin their chances of ever getting on those programs. They’re also the ones who tend to complain as to why they aren’t getting the business they expect. To give something for the rest of us to learn from, here are 12 ways of never getting on TV, courtesy of those who've burned their bridges before us.

Don’t Watch Local TV Programming: Major network affiliates offer local news programming to feature both local and national stories to inform and educate their viewers. Ignore your local stations and don’t take the time to find out if they offer a morning, midday, or early evening local news magazine shows that features local experts.

Don’t Contact Your Local Stations: Most major affiliate network stations have local offices and studios that are staffed by receptionists. Don’t waste your time, trying to find their contact phone numbers, or asking for the names and email addresses of the news magazine show's producers.

Don’t Bother Introducing Yourself: Because you’re far too busy and have so much to get done, don’t reach out to the local producers with an introductory email explaining briefly who you are and what information you can provide them with, to help them beef up their segments.

Don’t Send them Leads: As an industry expert, you’re probably constantly watching for the latest trends and producing content such as books, eBooks, articles, blog posts, and more. Don’t bother to help a producer out by sending an email containing a 3 – 5 bulleted story lead each week that you can comment on. You have way more important things to do.

Take Your Sweet Time Replying: If, by chance, a TV news program producer does respond to one of your leads, wait a few days or even weeks to reply. Better yet, have your assistant reply instead or ignore the email all together. You can’t possibly be expected to fit in one more thing into your day.

Make Your Existing Appointments More Important: When a producer needs an on-air contributor, they may ask an expert to come in at a moment’s notice, or very early in the morning, or even very late at night. Decline the producer’s request by being too busy or unwilling to move existing appointments. This way they are sure not to contact you in the future.

Let Them Know How You Were Inconvenienced: If by chance you get invited into the studio for an on-camera interview and it is cancelled or postponed, place a call or send an email to the producer letting them know how inconvenient that unexpected change was. I’m sure they will apologize and make it up to you.

Demand to Speak with Their Boss: If you have gotten all the way into the studio and your segment is suddenly preempted for breaking news and you’re dismissed, let the producer know how angry you are and demand to speak to her boss about being inconvenienced.

Call and Voice Your Disappointment: If the segment in which you were interviewed did not air on the date and at the time you were told, call or write the producer to let him know how unfair it was for you to have invested your time and effort for no reason. I’m sure they’ll make sure it never happens again.

Do Not Send a Thank You Note: Save your money and don’t buy a box of thank you cards. Forget about sending off a short note of thanks to the news program producer. You can use that valuable five minutes for other more important matters.

Let Them Find Their Own Expert: Once you establish a relationship with a TV show producer, they may contact you out of the blue, when they are seeking commentary on a topic that is close to, but not exactly within your area of expertise. Let them know that you can’t help them or just ignore their request all together. Do not recommend to them, any other experts in your network that may be more skilled at providing what they’re seeking. Why bother helping them if you’re not going to benefit from the opportunity.

Send a “Nasty Gram” Letter to the Studio: Without notice, your emails to the producer are coming back undeliverable, stating that the producer is no longer working there. TV producers experience lots of stress and are under great pressure, which means the person in that position may change frequently. But that’s not your problem. Send an email or letter to the studio describing your inconvenience of having to start the process of finding the contact information for the new producer, all over again.

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As ridiculous as some or all of these points might sound to you, I’ve seen or heard unconscious professionals making these exact mistakes. I coach experts in growing their speaking business. I help my clients understand how busy producers are and what it takes to grow yourself as an industry expert that producers call first. I welcome comments on how you’ve seen others make these mistakes, or new ones that I did not include in this piece.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Remove Toxic People from Your Circle

One night my wife and I were leaving a business social event. We couldn’t help but share with each other what lingering feeling we had after listening to this other couple bicker with each other and complain to the rest of us. Neither of them had anything encouraging to say and the presence made us want to leave. That’s the night several years ago, that together, we decided on two very important things going forward.

Our first important decision, as entrepreneurs, was that we needed to surround ourselves with only encouraging and supportive people. Over the next few days we began ‘cleaning house’ by listing all the adults in our lives who we felt were toxic, and removing them from our guest list. These are the people who complained and berated others, bickered with each other in front of others, and the ‘doubting Thomas’ who usually tell you every reason why your new idea won’t work.

The second thing we did was to promise each other to always speak respectfully and kind to each other and about each other if the other was absent. We promised never to air any issues we have with each other in public and to address them with each other privately. This also includes not making each other the butt of a joke or busting on each other in a humiliating way.

To cultivate an effective relationship and life as entrepreneurs, it’s critical to remain positive, encouraging and to always focus on gratitude for all of the gifts that appear in our lives each day. Steer clear of the ‘crabs’ that will always try and pull you down to join them in their bucket of misery or misfortune.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Don't Be A No Show

Have you ever done a FREE public event, such as a workshop or a lecture, and then have people who registered, not show up? What were your thoughts when you looked at the sign-in sheet and saw so many registered people not checked off?

I held a FREE lecture earlier this year. It was a joint event with a fellow speaker and we held it at a Marriott hotel. It was a 2-hour event offering cutting edge marketing advice and an opportunity for my partner and I to get noticed by potential prospects.

When our event was over and the hotel staff was stacking chairs, I noticed that there were over 20 names on the registration list that did not check in. Our event tracking system easily allowed those who registered to cancel their seat, as we sent out reminder emails the day before. If any of these NO SHOWs engaged me for business, I'm not sure I'd be willing to move forward.

Why do some professional not follow through on their intentions. I’m sure a few could have had extenuating circumstances that kept them from attending, but 20? We did have 2 or 3 who sent emails after the fact, apologizing for not attending, but what about the other 17?

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Maybe it was the fact that we did not charge for this event, making some feel as if it had no value. Then all it would have taken was for something in their morning to fight for their attention and win out over the FREE workshop on their calendar, to keep them from following through.

What about networking meetings in which you made plans to meet someone for a cup of coffee or for lunch, and they don’t show. Don’t be a NO SHOW. Savvy business professionals don’t want to work with NO SHOWs. There will be instances of missing something on your calendar or getting the location wrong, but aside from human mistakes, SHOW UP for what you agree to.

Any stories of NO SHOWS you’d like to add in the comments section below?