How to Use Media Appearances Successfully to Promote Your Book—Anna David with Susan Harrow

How to Use Media Appearances Successfully to Promote Your Book

Anna David: I’m so happy we’re doing this. You’re my favorite.

Susan Harrow: You’re mine.

Anna David: Well, I should have told you I do the intro afterward. So, listeners you already know how impressive Susan is. What you don’t know is that she’s my fun new friend. We met on this very fabulous mastermind. I call it a mastermind; would you call it a mastermind?

Susan Harrow: I would it was a mastermind retreat.

Anna David: We got flown to Tulum and we got to talk with these incredibly impressive group of women. It was just absolutely fabulous. Susan is somebody who lives in my hometown, which is just so random. She is, as I told you in the intro, one of the leading experts in how to talk in and on the media about books. We had this conversation when we first met and I said, “Oh, yeah, I go on TV, it doesn’t sell books.” She said well, “It’s just that you’re not talking about it in a way that sells books.” So that’s what I want to focus on. Hi, Susan.

Susan Harrow: Hi, I can’t believe that you haven’t sold books, because you are so animated and lively. And so, I know you are selling books. There are people that are not or who could sell more books, in an organic way that’s not salesy.

How To Sell Books Organically

Anna David: I think so. What I find when I have gone on any TV show in an effort to sell books, the last thing they are interested is the person using it as a medium to sell a book. Unless it’s like fresh air.

I always tell people, no one cares about your book. They care about what your book can do for them. And that’s what the media wants. No one’s asking unless it’s a podcast. Anyway, I should just stop talking and let you do the talk. Okay, tell us about your business.

Susan Harrow: So I just want to adjust what you said first, because it isn’t about your book, it’s about the contents of your book and how your book meets the needs of the audience. They want you to be entertaining, lively, and non-promotional. But what do you want? You want to sell your book and your business. If you have programs, products, consulting and contracts. You want to sell those. So those have to be woven seamlessly into the conversation and give benefit to the audience at the same time. That’s the thing. They want you to be entertaining and lively. That’s all they care about. I think that you can set it up. I kind of want to talk about behind the scenes, what to do, as well as in front. Let’s go behind the scenes.

Optimize Your Chyron For Media Success

First, you can set up a great interview by number one getting your chyron, which is the little name and title that’s put on TV, established ahead of time. They won’t typically put it up your website. But they’ll put up your expertise, like Susan Harrow, media trainer, and marketing strategist. They would put that up there. Then the other thing is behind the scenes that you want to do. You want to give people a reason to go to their website, in order to get something of yours. Because they don’t want people going to your website.

They’re not going to promote that. But if you give them like a little download, or clip of something, whatever that is. Whether it’s a meditation, a special report or a little something that they can put on their website. You give a teaser of it. You don’t put the whole thing on their website. It’s like you can get five tips here and they go and will promote that. What happens next is when people go to their website, for them to download the whole thing. They will now go to your website from their website.

Anna David: What about on TV shows? They’re not going to do that with the Today Show or whatever. Or will they on a huge TV show?

Susan Harrow: Sometimes they will. Yes, sometimes they will. Because if they say, “We’ve only covered five tips today. Anna has way more. She’s got 20.” And we’ve got them on our website because they want people going to their website.

Anna David: That’s amazing. I’ve never, with hundreds of TV appearances it’s never occurred to me to do that. So yeah. Okay, so fascinating. They don’t care if you use their highly trafficked website as a sort of lead magnet. That’s fantastic. Okay, more.

Susan Harrow: So that’s behind the scenes. So, your chyron, your bio, your special report.

Prepare Your Chyron And Bio for Every Media Interview

Anna David: I have a question about chyron. One thing that I learned the hard way is that they do a few. When I was the editor of a recovery website, it would say like “Editor in Chief”. Then suddenly the next chyron on my next clip, it’s going like a “Former Drug Addict”. I think you have to know that they’re going to be switching them or do they always switch them?

Susan Harrow: Sometimes you don’t have any control of that, but if you give them a juicy one. Like instead of former drug addict, you could have written former party girl author of “(title of the book)”. If you gave them that “Former, Hot Party Girl”, you give them something juicy, they can use that. But if you just leave it up to them, you’re not controlling your bio or your chyron. The key is to do as much work for them as possible. But it’s got to be juicy. It’s got to be juicier than former drug addict.

Anna David: You give them two or three chyrons?

Susan Harrow: That’s a great question. I’d rather that they didn’t have a choice, but it also depends on the angle of the program. If the angle of the program is about drug recovery, it’s got to be more tightly link to that. So just by saying the author of this “…..” it’s not as good as a recovering a drug addict. Right? Because people are going to go, gosh, she doesn’t look like a drug addict. So that’s hot! Recovering party girl? It’s nicer.

Find Ways To Talk About Your Business That Are Quick + Engaging

Anna David: Always got to be promoting. Of course, not everybody has a book title that could fit into a chyron. But if you do, that’s a really great tip. Okay, what else can you do behind the scenes.

Susan Harrow: Behind the scenes, you also want to get the jpeg of your book or any kind of B-roll. B-roll is background footage, that could be video, photos, those kinds of things. You always want to give that to them. They can pop up on the cover of your book. You want to give that to them ahead of time. It’s natural when they’re talking about the book or afterward, they just pop up a cover and do that. They will do that for you. You want to plan that. The other thing you want to plan is any kind of props, anything that will further the conversation. Because TV is so fast, you want to have something that can explain what you’re going to say in less words than you can use by a visual.

For example, one of my clients wrote a book on peak performance. She was talking about different parts of the brain. So we had a dummy of a brain on there. She could point to the brain’s neocortex. This is what happens, this is where you do peak performance versus blabbering on in a scientific way. She taps onto this part of the prop and shows to people how the brain works.

This is how she promotes her business, when I have people in my office, before they go out to golf, I hook them up with electrodes to this part of their brain to measure how they visualize to the audience how the brain works in peak performance. She’s already got in, we’re already talking about her business. Oh, I can hire her and go to her office for peak performance for my golfing because that was one of her niches, like professional golfers. You mentioned the kinds of people that you want to work with, in the context that is entertaining and educational.

That shows and moves the conversation forward, so she doesn’t have to go into all that scientific stuff. What it looks like, and all that. It’s really super quick. Next would be, well, how does that work? And then, the next question would be, what’s the next step for the person? Then she would talk about the results. Once they tap into this part of the brain, they only need to practice five hours instead of 10 hours and their golfing moves by this number of points. You get in the whole story really quickly, in terms of peak performance.

How To Use Props To Get Your Point Across During a TV Interview

Anna David: Obviously, COVID has changed a lot because a lot of these interviews are now happening in the home. It’s a lot easier to have a prop like that at home. Is that something that before the pandemic, when they were all in studio, you would have people bring things?

Susan Harrow: Absolutely, I had Debbie Ford, who worked with Deepak Chopra. Sadly, she passed away. She had a number of New York Times bestselling books. This is what I suggested. I’m like, you got to bring a beach ball. She flew to New York from LA, and she brought this beach ball. Deflated, obviously, on the plane. And she said this is the baggage that we’re all carrying around for ourselves that we need to let go of in order to progress spiritually, physically. She just brought that beach ball.

You get it you’re like, yeah, could we have had a backpack. Like a gigantic backpack filled with stuff? This is what you’re all walking around with? Do you want to let it go? And have it dropped on the floor. So those are the kinds of things that I brainstorm with clients, what kind of props are in sync and in complete alignment with your business, brand, and your book? You feel integrity, and you’re making it fun, lively, entertaining, and educational for the audience.

Shape The Media Interview By Creating The Questions For the Producer or Podcaster

Anna David: Is there anything else behind the scenes that you should be doing?

Susan Harrow: Oh, gosh, there’s so much and then we want to talk about the front scene. Before you get behind the scenes, you really want to shape that interview by creating the questions. And first, you have your answers. It’s the content engagement sequence, which is your key messages. Before you even contact the media, you want to have all of your messaging down. That means what are the key points that you want to talk about that relate to a particular topic. It’s not just like the subject is not your book, the subject is what’s going on in the culture today. Trend-wise, hot, what’s in the news that you’re going to be zooming in? Oh, by the way, with Debbie Ford, what happened was the Eliot Spitzer story broke.

We just shifted her soundbites to talking about Eliot Spitzer and what he was carrying. So that made it super topical. That happened in the middle of her media tour and we talked about Eliot Spitzer, and the dark side of being a politician. And when you’re holding in and keeping all of these traits that you have and your desires are tamped down. If there’s something that happens in the middle of your book tour that’s topical, you bring it right in. That makes it more hot, for the topic.

Do The Work For The Producer

We plan that ahead of time. We plan the general engagement first, like what’s going to really connect with your audience that you’re saying that’s about a specific topic. Then we back end it and create the questions that are going to lead you into that topic. We share those with the producer because that way, you control your content, and they’re super happy because you’ve done their job for them. You’re super happy because you’ve got the order of the content, how do you want to lead into it and shape it. I really think about that, what’s the whole story that you want to tell, from beginning to end. Does it always go exactly in that order? No. But you’re trying to keep as much control as possible.

So, the more work you do for the producer and yourself in that content the better it is for both of you. And then you got to time it down because typically, you have to have four minutes. So, if they’re the more talky hosts, you have less time, you might have one and a half minutes. You’ve got to really have your content. It’s like taking war and peace and turning it into haiku. It’s a whole different language.

Don’t Let The TV Host Steal Your Best Lines

Anna David: Now question, because a lot of I would say almost all the TV I’ve done, they gave me the questions. Sometimes they do pre-interviews and sometimes they don’t. I think what used to happen is they would send me the questions and then I would write out my answers and send them back. But I never knew I could take any control of that. There are a lot of times when they know what they’re going to ask and they don’t allow you.

Susan Harrow: They do and if you are writing the answers, do not give them your best lines, because they will take them.

Anna David: And put them in the question, you mean?

Susan Harrow: They will put them in the question.

One of my clients best lines was, “Astrology as a guide, not a god.” Okay, well, in an interview that’s not live, that’s edited, she said it, they cut that out, and they took the line.

Anna David: Okay, so you can’t say that you can’t even say it?

Susan Harrow: If it’s edited. If it’s live you can, but if it’s an edited interview don’t put it in because they’ll take that, they’ll take it. Or they’ll say, Anna, you say that to not be a party girl you have to do these three steps. 1. 2. 3. And they’ve just taken your content.

Post Media Appearance Book Sale Success Stories

Anna David: So I know it’s very hard to tell, but what’s a crazy success that you’ve seen in terms of book sales. I hear Fresh Air is really the thing. And there’s no way of saying, oh, this person went on this show and it sold 1000 books because they don’t tell us that stuff. But what are some of the most successful things you’ve seen with clients?

Susan Harrow: Yeah, so a lot of my clients have been on Fresh Air, Marketplace, and Bloomberg and all of those kinds of things. It’s really interesting, I think the most this was a long time ago when I was a publicist first, before I started doing media training. But one of the most successful campaigns was with Larry Magid and The Little PC Book. I booked him on a Christian radio show. His book went on to be a best seller. This is a strategy that you can use because the today’s strategy are influencers. So that Christian radio station was an influencer and that person said, “I love this book, go buy it,” so all of his people did.

There’s a real difference between being on major TV and being with an influencer because an influencer is a kind of person who’s going to promote your book and say to their followers. Of course Oprah does this all the time, “I love this book.” And people run out and do it. So when you have influencers versus TV hosts and they love your book, that’s a way to skyrocket it.

Get Your Key Messages Down Before Your Media Interview

Here is the other way. A publisher hired me to media train one of their New York Times bestselling authors. He was already a New York Times best seller, but he was kind of a rambler. So they said, “Can you media train him?” He had been already on Terry Gross once and he told me that she kept saying, “Can you condense your answer? Can we do another take?” You don’t want that! His book was really important so he was going to be on there anyway, but they don’t want to have to do all that editing.

My goal was to have him on Terry Gross and not have her say once, “Can we do another take?, or, can you condense that?” And that absolutely happened. Did his book become a bestseller? Yes! He was on Terry Gross and he was on other TV shows too. Again, his topic was super topical. I can’t tell you what it is because you would know who he is, but it was really important to get his messaging down really tight. So we used all of that kind of training in his speaking as well as to get him to the next level and make his speaking more powerful.

Really getting those key messages down super tight makes it available to more people to understand the issues or the content to want to buy the book and to want to be apart of the movement. Or if it’s a cause or philanthropic or just something that you feel is important that you’ve written about, to get more people involved and into it. The other thing I wanted to address, because you said, “When you do get questions that are already pre-done,” you can tweak them. You don’t have to just obey what they do. You can say, I love these questions, I’m going to answer them. And here are some other questions that I might ask myself, or you propose an alternative, that would be more interesting.

And you make them sound smart by saying something, maybe that you don’t need to say like, recovery stats like this: many people in recovery relapse, so these three things are important to shorten the relapse cycle, or just shorten the recidivism. It’s not that sexy to say stats, except for you want to say stats, in terms of an entire context. When you do stats, you could give them some of the stats and connect the rest. So, you want to put meaning to these stats.

Create an Understandable Context During as a TV Show Guest Or Risk Losing The Audience

My sweetie, the other day when we were talking, we were hearing on the news, that it took Trump a 100 and something minutes to react. And my sweetie said, “Why are they talking in minutes? Why don’t they say more than an hour and a half?” Creating that context that makes it understandable for people, we don’t know what 100 minutes is, but we know an hour and a half seems like a long time. And they were saying in the meantime his daughter was rushing in and Fox News was calling in every 15 minutes.

Anna David: So the way that..

Susan Harrow: Does that makes sense to you?

Anna David: 112 minutes sounds longer or shorter than more than an hour? Longer.

Susan Harrow: No, it’s an hour and a half, longer than an hour and a half. Because an hour and a half is 90 minutes. People are not used to thinking in minutes. How many minutes are 112 minutes? I don’t know. You’re trying to put it in the context. So, by saying longer than an hour and a half and then putting in the context: and his daughter, Ivanka was running in and saying, “ey, we need to do something about it.” Fox News was calling and saying, “Hey, you need to act now.” You’re creating the time expanse and putting it like within this hour and a half this was happening every 15 minutes or whatever it was. Does that make sense?

Anna David: Yes, absolutely. So, statistics should have context or numbers.

Susan Harrow: Thank you for putting that into a simple soundbite.

Top Three Tips For Successful Media Appearances

Anna David: So, we talked behind the scenes. What about when you get the cameras going? And obviously, it is different for live and taped. Let’s talk live first. What are your top three tips?

Tip 1: Open With Sizzle

Susan Harrow: Open with a huge sizzle. Say something just like Wow! That’s just going to wow them and make sure that nobody changes the channel. So that’s your headline. Start with some dramatic headline and then follow it up. Even after they introduce you, it could even be before the first question. Sometimes this is rude, you have to gauge it. But if they say, welcome we’re here today to talk about being a party girl. You could say something like, “Even though I’m a former party girl, I gave up up trying to be a party girl five times, this is how hard it is to stay sober in LA.”

Anna David: Okay, or you could be even crazier and just be like, “I was like a drug addict to chase down my dealer once downtown, anyway…” Too much? Not relevant to the viewer.

Susan Harrow: Well, I would put it in the context of other people. … “And you might think that this is an uncommon phenomenon, but it’s not, because when you get addicted, that’s the only thing you think about.”

Anna David: Yeah, okay, so you care about other people.

Susan Harrow: Yeah, because it’s not just about you.

Tip 2: Know Your Tips

Anna David: So, okay, number one tip: open with a bang. Number two tip?

Susan Harrow: Number two is, I would really say that you want to have your tips down. Especially for TV, three to five, five is max, three sometimes you can cover. And then also, that’s another thing that you can give them ahead of time because if you can give them the B-roll to have those tips up there and you have five, they’re going to roll through those five. You’re going to get more airtime. But you need to be able to move through those five really quickly. If you can’t, you need to put up the number that you can, but you can get the airtime. They’re not going to cut your airtime short if they say, “Anna David has five tips for staying sober no matter how hard of a partier you are.”

Anna David: And so, when you say have your tips down. You don’t mean memorize word for word, or do you?

Plan, Prepare and Practice BEFORE You Guest on a TV Show Or Any Media Appearance

Susan Harrow: Yes, and no, you want to plan, prepare and practice so you can be free to be spontaneous. You want to have practiced those in roleplay because it’s really hard to have that back and forth super-fast. You want to be able to be used to it in a context. So no, I don’t want you to memorize it but I want you to have the same content that you can say in a little bit different ways, because if you’re on a lot of different shows, you have to vary it. You can bring in something that’s happening in the culture today, something that happened to you on the way to the studio. You’ve got to make it fresh. You can have the same tip but make it fresh each time. That’s what I would say.

Then the other thing is to watch how people react. If the people’s eyes go, wow, that’s really great. You know you want to keep it. If they’re like – dullsville – you need to revise it. Media is a great feedback loop.

Anna David: Well, I think that’s a good third tip. So open with a bang, have your tips down, and respond. React to what the host does or hosts do.

Tip 3: Know How To Respond And React

Susan Harrow: That’s so important because it is the connection between you and the host that people feel. You really want to listen. I was media training a high-level executive and I watched him on media. He had his great points down, but he paid no attention to the reaction of the host. There was no energetic connection between them. I’m like, well, you got your points out there, super great, but she was giving you cues that you needed to respond to. You can respond to the cue and still go into your sound bite.

But you want to connect it in to whatever they say. You don’t want to just ignore. I’ve seen a lot of people do this. They just ignore what the host says and then they just blurt out their sound bite or what they want. We don’t want that either. If you connect to the host, you connect to the audience.

Anna David: So that’s fantastic. Now, I know you’re not a publicist anymore, but if someone listening is like, well cool, how the hell do I get on those TV shows? What would you say?

Connect Your Topic To What Is Trending Today

Susan Harrow: You have to have your hooks, you have to have a hot hook. You have to have something that ties into the culture or something today. Something that is really interesting and that is super tight. These are formats that you can use: you know the three tips to write something, but it has to be the three things you don’t know. What I mean, is something that’s current right now. Like, the three tips of we need to be prepared for to have an upturn to an election that’s in chaos, right. So think about it in terms of what’s going on in the culture today.

If you have some kind of, even if you’re like a psychologist with a mindset, do mindset tips. Or whatever you can connect that is in. You want to have a hot book, which is something super relevant, super quick to understand. So numbers, things that are dangerous, because people respond more to danger than positive. Anything that you’re preventing versus giving, and then you can flip it when you do your pitch. It’s how you solve that problem. Think in terms like danger. Great tips things that people don’t know that you know, that you can share misconceptions.

A Smart Way To Promote Your Book

Anna David: Yeah, I mean, I would say when I did GMA for my book on writing, we pitched it as here are some writing tips for getting through the pandemic. Here’s how writing about your feelings can help ease your anxiety which was not in my book. The host had not read my book and it was the best publicity for my book.

Susan Harrow: Because you did two things. You tied it into the pandemic, and you tied it into the zeitgeist of what’s happening today. Which is people are stressed and anxious. Most people are suddenly reading poetry now, during the pandemic, so that was just an emphasis on why people should write.

Anna David: That’s exactly it.

Susan Harrow: Yeah, so that was brilliant because it’s tied into what’s going on in the zeitgeist. A problem and a solution that people are not used to doing.

Anna David: Okay, but so they’re like, great, I make my tips. I’m in the zeitgeist, how should they just blindly pitch the emails? Should they call, do they need a publicist?

When Do You Need A Publicist?

Susan Harrow: That is the million-dollar question. Do you need a publicist? You need a publicist if you don’t know how to pitch to them because there’s the pitch. There are the three aspects, there’s the creating the messaging, so you have to have the messaging down. Actually, there’s another piece to that. You have to have the messaging down. You need to have your system set up behind the scenes before you pitch. This means that you need to have to take people on a journey from free to fee somewhere. So maybe an excerpt of your book, maybe they’re not ready to buy your book or engage with you. You have to have that sequence down because you’re driving people to your website or to a phone call.

You need to have that sales system set up and then the last thing is that you need to be able to, particularly for TV. I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but oftentimes, it’s a back-and-forth process. It’s like, it’s not just it’s shaping the show together. So that’s where a lot of the work comes in, is that is sometimes, they’re talking to the publicist. They’re talking to you. I’m often working behind the scenes with the publicist, and with the person to shape the show. And to say, that’s when we say, what about this? Or what about this angle? Let’s tweak the angle a little bit. I think this would be more relevant to your audience. What do you think of this, that’s when we can sort of pitch and shape the idea.

How To Expertly Shape The Media Appearance

And then we shape the show, when the B-roll is coming in and when we’re going to use the props, the questions and all of that. And you need to be able to be fluid in that conversation. There’s the email pitch, it’s usually by email, you’re not calling, it’s email today. It’s got to be super short. And it’s the headline, which is the hot hook, and then you got to have the pitch down, which makes it totally relevant to them. Then when they pick up the phone to call you, you’ve got to be fluid in that. I think it’s really hard for most people, and they’ve got to track it all. If you’re that kind of person who’s really fluid and all of those things and do it and you can keep track of things in an organized manner.

But if not, this is what you pay a publicist for because they’re constantly and oftentimes the first idea might not land, it might just need to be tweaked a little bit. Or it might be the wrong time. It’s the consistency of pitching as well. People might go, “Oh, I pitched once and it didn’t work.” I’m working with a friend of mine who’s got a really hot topic, pitching O Magazine, and the first one hasn’t gotten any traction. I’m like, well, you need to follow up. You need to follow up with an extra something else, another news story. And you’re not just saying, “Did you get my pitch?” You’re giving them the next thing to entice them to do that piece about you, whether it’s a story or for an interview.

How To Get Media Placements Without A Publicist

So that that can be a long process. When I was a publicist, sometimes I’d been done with my contract, my contract might be six months. Somebody calls me up at month seven or eight. Can I book? I’m like, Yeah, you sound like light anymore. But yeah, so that happens. We all want things to happen right away, but they don’t necessarily.

Anna David: Do you know of people without a publicist who have been able to book and get huge hits?

Susan Harrow: One of my former clients who was also in my mastermind class booked herself on Dr. Oz several times. I think she’s been on three times now. She’s the one who calls herself, the wine coach Laurie Forster, she’s great. So she was on Dr. Oz to talk. I think she was on there to talk about healthy wines, or why is it doesn’t give you a hangover. Do you know what I mean? So, she pitched that topic, but she’s very good. She’s someone who’s super experienced. She’s always giving classes to people and things like that. She’s very fluid. And she’s really good at pitching. Then once she was in there and did a good job, then they wanted her back. They have another line of questioning.

And they’re in conversation. If you do a good job, then you want to have several other ideas to pitch on the spot. They love you on this. They’re like, oh, this is really great. And you go, oh, well, you know what, I have a couple of other ideas for shows in case you want to hear.

Turn One Media Appearance Into More

And then they’re like, yeah, and you go, then they go, you know what we need to book you on another segment, it was just going to be six months down the road. But let’s, let’s circle back in six months, and let’s talk about that topic.

Anna David: Oh, that’s so interesting. Because I mean, my experience was very different in the mid-2000s. I did a couple of shows, and I was constantly doing TV after that because they knew that I wouldn’t freeze.

Susan Harrow: You’re very fluid. You’re a super fluid talker. And you know how to dress, you know how to speak, you know how to interact. Most people don’t know that in a super tight context.

Anna David: You know, I was good at it and then I turned to get bitter because I wasn’t getting paid. It was all the time and it wasn’t selling books. Had I known you that would have been different. But I think I really had an attitude towards the end. I would say things like, we’ll all come on if there’s no other guests because they would put me on these panels, with five other people and I would, plan my day around it and I wouldn’t even get a word in edgewise. So I made that deal with CNN and then they this is just such a no, don’t ever do this. I said, “Look, I kind of just don’t want to come back. I don’t want to do any of those panels. Can I just do it alone?” And they said yes.

And they called me and they said, okay, we booked you, you’re alone. And then they called me again and said, oh, we’ve added three people to this segment. And I said, look, the deal I made with you was that I was only going to come on alone. I’m not going to come on. And I got the most brutal email from the boss of this person. And he was right. At the same time. I was like, I had a boundary and you didn’t listen to it. They never call me again.

The Art of Skillful Interruptions During Media Appearances

Susan Harrow: Yeah, I love that you brought this up. I mean, I love that you had a boundary. And that’s really great. And I say never turned down the opportunity because you could have parlayed that. And one of the ways that you parlay it is: You to have to learn to get a word in edgewise. And that’s part of the training. When I work with my clients, course participants, and people in the mastermind, what we do is roleplay. And we play panels because if somebody is really fluid, it’s hard to jump in. And the way that I’m not sure how this is working exactly in TV today. And I’ll tell you why.

“During media training, 1 thing you will learn is how to jump in skillfully when guesting on a media appearance panel.”]

But first, I want to tell you, one of my clients was a lawyer and she was going to be on a panel in Fox News. And she was no shrinking violet so we practice the whole panel thing. And when she got on she got like this much airtime because she didn’t know how to interrupt. And she said that is never going to happen again. And we will play it again. The next time she was on there, she was not just interrupting it’s about tagging on to something that’s really relevant, that you have something to say that you want to tack on but you have to be quick. And women are really super polite.

This takes a lot of practice to be able to hop on to the last thing. Now because most people are home and the host is calling on individual people, it’s a little bit trickier. But if you start to speak up, because if your mic isn’t turned off, then they will hop on to you, or somebody can, you can raise your finger or your hand like this. They know you have something to say. Then they’ll say, “Anna, you know it sounds like you want to add to this.” And you’re like yes, blah blah blah. There are ways to finger the hand or you know actually just speaking, saying, and complimenting. Or saying something relevant about that person like, “Oh my god, that’s such an important point.” And then you add on whatever you want. You’re interrupting the person really, but you’re still engaging in a conversation.

What To Do When You Freeze During A Media Interview

Anna David: What happens if you freeze?

Susan Harrow: Yeah, so that happens a lot. So, freak out and freeze. The first thing to know is that if you don’t have your points ingrained, cortisol blocks your short-term memory. So that is one reason why you should practice. When you do freeze, you still have literally chemical access to that part of your brain. The first thing to do is to relax your shoulders and breathe and feel your feet on the floor. This really just takes about a second. And because you can’t think if you can’t read, and then you want to just take that rat. And if you need to buy some time, you can say. I only recommend that you say this once and it does waste a lot of airtime if you’re on TV. “That’s such a fascinating question.”

Anna David: I know. I have relied on that so much and it’s a waste of time. It feels good if gives you a second.

Susan Harrow: It gives you one second, it gives you one second to recoup. You want to breathe, and you want to relax your tummy because the key thing is that you want to put yourself in that situation and practice it over and over again. You don’t freeze. And to know that if you do freeze you know that you have a strategy to get out of physical strategy on the spot. The more that you practice that, the more that you do that role-play, the easier it will be. Are you still going to get caught? Yes. Maybe? Somebody’s going to say something that’s like shocking and sometimes you can even comment on it. Like if they ask you a shocking question, you go, “That is a question I’d rather not answer” and move into…

Anna David: That’s what you taught us in Mexico. You say something when you don’t want to answer. You say something, and you don’t say but.

Susan Harrow: No and then you move right into that point because really, they don’t care. They only care about giving a great show. If you don’t answer the question they’re not going to, unless it’s politics, they don’t care. They want to have a great show. If you say something lively and interesting, or do something, even if you go like “Oh my God, that question is so hard.” You’ve already done something that’s lively. Like, I can’t believe you, as you know what I mean? And then you would transition.

Anna David: So, what about what…

Susan Harrow: And the transition was something that’s relevant. Like if they said, I’m trying to think of a question that somebody had asked one of my clients that was shocking. But anyway, the point is, you want to transition to the information that you want someone to know. That’s the key, no matter what somebody says, even if they ask you something that’s off-topic.

Podcast Book Promotion

Anna David: Now, what about podcasts? Because I think most people listening are like, okay, well, podcasts are way more approachable. What are the rules for talking about your book? What are your suggestions for talking about your book on podcasts?

Susan Harrow: It’s all the same exact information, you want to create the questions with great answers. You typically have a conversation ahead of time about how you’re going to promote, whatever it is. You and I didn’t talk about that. But you will mention that I have like a go to prsecrets.com for the 100-word email so you can be succinct and you can get it there. We have that set up ahead of time. And usually, they let you promote something that you want to weave into the conversation. Something that is relevant that somebody would want if you’re teasing your book, because we would let them know that there’s an excerpt. But you would, let’s say if there’s three points, or three points out of 10, you would say I’m going to share three of my 10 points about such and such. They know that they have to get your book or your special report to get the other 10.

Why Teasing The Audience Works So Well To Promote Your Book

There’s a tease, so you want to tease the content of this, and you can so that’s for point. But you also might want to say, this is such a big topic, I can address one part of it and the rest I address in… And you say the title of your book. The rest I address in Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul® published by HarperCollins because this is such a big topic. Media training is such a big topic. This is why I would say the media training is such a big topic, I have a gigantic chapter in there about how to handle any kind of media interview from the Aggressive, the Rambler, the Interrupter, the Nice. And I said, so we’ve talked about, we just talked about a nice way to interrupt.

Anna David: Right, so is it better to refer to your book or if you have a newsletter list? Is it better to send them to some sort of a lead magnet where you’ll get them on your newsletter list and then you can promote your book to them?

Susan Harrow: Yeah, either way. I mean, if they opt-in for an excerpt or for that special report, you can also say you will automatically be enrolled in getting my newsletter and you can opt-out at any time.

Anna David: Yeah, is that better than saying like they should get the book? Or does it not matter?

Susan Harrow: I never tell people to get the book. I mean, you can get an excerpt or you can get the book. So you’re teasing the smaller thing. Typically, if people want the book, they know that they can get it on your website. You would say to the author, where can people buy your book. And then they would give their website and say, the book is here. And I also offer the excerpt which touches on this point, because you want to get people on your list. And also, for authors like yours, the books are going to be on Amazon. If they buy the book, you’re not going to get their name. You want, you want to get their name. You want to give something.

To Organically Publicize Your Book Offer Your Audience New Information

And the other thing is you can give something that’s not in your book. So I have something in addition to my book and extra to my book that you can get. And then they know that they’re not even going to get that in their books, they have to get it from you. Then you get them on the list because it’s really important to get them on the list.

Anna David: So, speaking of that, we have to get close to wrapping up. Let’s say people want to get on your list, like where do you send people? What do you know, let’s do a live demonstration? How can people find you if they want to find out more about the work that you do? Maybe they want to work with you? When they want to get your book where should they go?

Interested in Publicizing Your Book to Make Your Book a Bestseller? Here are some Goodies:

Susan Harrow: They should go to prsecrets.com. I work one on one with authors and I’ve worked with a lot of everything from, self-published authors to New York Times bestsellers to people that you’ve heard of that are in your living room to work to make their books, household names and bestsellers. You can also join my mastermind, or just take a course called The Zen of Fame: Your Genius Gone Viral™. And there are plenty of things, I have a whole section in my website called free goodies. You can download anything that you like, one of my most popular offerings is for people who want to get a soft start and start with magazines because print interviewing is a little slower and easier, you still have to have your messaging down.

But it’s not the pressure cooker, that podcasts or, and that is 50 plus editorial calendars. So, you can yeah, and we update it. We’re just starting to update it for this year because people don’t publish their editorial calendars, usually some of them not until February. We’re just updating that, but you can get last year’s and then we’ll you’ll be on the list to get new year.

Anna David: You sell that?

Susan Harrow: No, I give it away.

Anna David: I’m going to go get that.

Susan Harrow: They give it away. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anna David: Everything’s up prsecrets.com

Susan Harrow: Everything is at the prsecrets.com. And the mastermind, will be in a group so if that’s something if you want to, if you love being in a group, and being with other like-minded people, I would welcome that as well. And…

Anna David: You have another and I was cutting you off.

Susan Harrow: I was just thinking about, I want to say that in today’s world. You really have to be prepared to be on a podcast or video podcast. Pretty much everybody is…I know a lot of people are nervous about being on camera. I am too. I still can’t eat anything before I do an interview. I’ve done hundreds, right like, it doesn’t end with turning that excitement into, turn that anxiety into excitement. And part of it is just practice and getting out to it. I do suggest that they start with print first and then they go to podcast because it is a little slower and easier.

But you do have to have your messaging down to have to sell your book to actually have an effect to sell your business, book, product, service or cause. I do encourage everybody to start that kind of roleplay whether it’s with a friend or me in that in that kind of training process. The only way that you can actually have the experience and do it and get better. You don’t get better by thinking it in your mind. Start with the smaller podcast. Do not go to the today show if you’ve never done an interview. You can’t run a marathon if you haven’t walked a mile.

Some Last Minute Advice on Podcasts To Promote Your Book With Integrity + Spirit

Walking the mile is doing easy friendly podcasts first and working your way up through that. And I know a lot of people don’t want to do that, they want to start at the top. But I suggest that you start with something that’s friendly and easy and comfortable. Or at least as comfortable as it can get. And then move your skill level up and move up within skill level.

Anna David: And of course, you’re more enticing to a bigger place. Once you have experienced, every single TV show you do, every single podcast you do, you have more social credibility.

Susan Harrow: Yes.

Anna David: Oh, so that, you know, this local TV show had them on and then you do a few local TV shows and then you can start thinking about national or whatever it is.

Susan Harrow: Absolutely. Great advice.

Anna David: Well, thank you so much, Susan. This was super fun. Thanks to you all for listening.

Susan Harrow: Thanks to you all. Thanks to you all for listening.

Listen to more fab podcasts about how to write, publish and promote your book with Anna David. She’s a lively and irreverent interviewer who brings out the sass and savvy in people.

Legacy Launch Pad Publishing is a woman-run, Hollywood-based, done-for-you publishing company that gives you the A-list celebrity experience: your ghostwriter, editor and publisher wrapped up in one elite package. Anna David is a NY Times bestselling author and founder of Legacy Launch Pad, a company that writes and publishes books for the world’s highest-level entrepreneurs.

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Hi, I'm Susan

Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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