But in my experience, many people jump the gun and try to get booked in the media before they’re truly ready.
They spend countless hours writing pitches and press releases (or guest posts for online magazines and blogs)… when they don’t even have the basic business essentials (like a website, a mailing list, or enticing product descriptions) in place.
That’s kind of like inviting 500 people to the grand opening of your cake shop… except, oops. You don’t actually have anything to feed them. It’s a huge waste of time and energy for you — and a big disappointment for the people that you want to serve. (“Wait, I thought there was going to be cake!”)
If you’re taking action to get yourself booked in the media… terrific.
But I’d recommend pressing PAUSE until you’ve completed the following checklist — which will help you to determine if you’re actually ready for media exposure or not.
Before you pitch yourself to the media, whether it’s a local blog, a national radio show, an international trade journal, or anything in between…
Make sure that…
1. You have a website.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but even in this day and age, many business owners… don’t! You don’t have to be a computer genius to put together a simple site using About.Me or Squarespace. Both are designed for tech-phobic people. If you can handle Facebook, you can handle these tools, too.
2. Your website clearly states who you are, what you do, and what people should do next… if they want to learn more about you.
You wouldn’t invite people to your home and then slam the door in their face. You’d usher them inside, show them where to hang their coats, and then guide them into the living room and give them snacks. Your website needs to make people feel welcome and show them where to go, first, whether that’s your About page, your Blog, your Shop, or your mailing list. Speaking of which, make sure that…
If you made an amazing new friend at a dinner party, you’d ask for their phone number, or email address, right? You wouldn’t want them to slip away… you’d want to stay in touch!
You want to stay in touch with new clients and customers, too. Use a simple platform like MailChimp to put a mailing list sign-up form on your website. Feeling overwhelmed by the technical stuff? Hire a geek on Fiverr or Elance to do it for you. It’s well worth the (minimal) cost.
4. You have a FREE offering, a treat, a surprise, or something for people to enjoy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a psychologist, a dog trainer, a painter or a politician. Give your new website visitors SOMETHING to read, watch, listen to, think about, or peruse. Give them a reason to stay, explore, and get to know you and your work a bit better. If you don’t have anything for people to dig into to, they won’t stick around for long.
Again, to use the cake shop metaphor, that’s like throwing a grand opening party… and then forgetting to serve up the treats.
5. You have a PAID offering, product, service or book for people to enjoy. (And it’s easy to find.)
The whole point of getting featured in the media is to inspire your audience, make an impact… and, of course, make some money!
If your current products and services are completely confusing, tricky to purchase, poorly described, or buried deep in the belly of your website where they’re nearly impossible to find, that’s a problem.
6. You have a bio — or About page — that shows your credentials — but also reflects your natural voice and personality.
Many business owners agonize over writing a bio, but it doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. To take some of the pressure off, remember that your bio doesn’t have to say EVERYTHING about you. It just has to share enough information to make your reader feel intrigued and excited about your work. Think: “Coming Attractions.” Not: “Feature Presentation.”
When you respond to a media request, how will the journalist or producer decide whether to interview you or some other expert? It often depends on who provides the best sound bite.
I’ve been amazed at how many people take ten sentences to say what could be said in one or two. Developing the ability to speak in sound bites is easy if you know a few key techniques.
Steve’s commandments on speaking in sound bites:
1. Keep it short. Say what you have to say in one to two sentences, no more.
2. Be specific and vivid. In an interview with Business Week, Donald Broughton, an analyst for Avondale Partners, LLC, was talking about the stocks of two railroad companies: Union Pacific and Burlington Northern. Notice the language he used to make what would otherwise be a boring statistical trend truly memorable for the journalist interviewing him:
“It’s one thing if you steal dirt from my front yard, and it’s another if you break into my house and take my sterling silver,” Broughton said in an interview. “For six quarters, Union Pacific’s been walking around Burlington Northern’s house and taking as much silver, jewels and flat-screen TVs they can get their hands on.”
That’s speaking very specifically, and (this is another hint) vividly. It’s no surprise that of all the different analysts that journalists could quote, they quoted Broughton. He knows how to speak in sound bites.
3. Express a solid opinion. Many people are afraid to voice their opinions because they fear that others will disagree with them. But people who are good at giving sound bites know that the media are looking for clearly expressed opinions. If some people don’t disagree with what you’re saying, you’re probably not saying much.
When Warren Buffett was interviewed about the tax that President Obama wants to levy on financial companies, he said, “Look at the damage Fannie (Mae) and Freddie (Mac) caused, and they were run by the Congress. Should they have a special tax on Congressmen because they let this thing happen to Freddie and Fannie? I don’t think so.”
His willingness to express a solid opinion got him quoted. But did you also notice how he made a comparison? We’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Now I want to share with you some secrets I’ve learned by studying two sound bite masters. One is Warren Buffett, as I’ve already mentioned. The other is Robert Thompson, arguably the most quoted university professor in the world.
Thompson is a professor of television and pop culture at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the author of six books, including Television in the Antenna Age: A Concise History.
I discovered him by reading an article in the Associated Press by Jocelyn Noveck (dated May 14, 2007) which referred to him as “the most quoted man in America,” next to the president.
He is so good at giving sound bites that he’ll sometimes get 60, 70 or even 80 media calls in one day. If you just Google his name, you will see that he has been quoted virtually everywhere. He has been quoted in the New YorkTimes more than 40 times in the last four years. In fact, he’s been quoted so much that some newspapers even have a moratorium on quoting him.
“Unlike many people in his position, he almost always finds an angle or perspective that I haven’t thought about,” says AP television writer David Bauder.
4. Repeat the same word. In describing Paris Hilton, Thompson said, “She’s the non-story that keeps on being a non-story.”
When giving advice about investing, Warren Buffett said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
You can see how in both examples repeating one or two words gives the statement a memorable sound and makes the point succinctly.
5. Compare something to something else that everyone knows about. In describing Katie Couric’s debut on CBS Evening News, Robert Thompson said that her first broadcast would be “some of the most scrutinized frame-by-frame video images since the Zapruder film” (of John F. Kennedy’s assassination).
By using a comparison to an example that nearly everyone is familiar with, he was able to make his point in a memorable way.
Thompson uses this technique often. When speaking about the Grammy Awards, he commented, “With the extreme fragmentation of music, the fact that you can still put on a mainstream award show, like the Grammys, as opposed to a funky, niche show like the VMAs (the Video Music Awards), is really kind of amazing.”
6. Speak in metaphors. When talking about Fox News, Robert Thompson says, “They want to be the David of David and Goliath, but they are the Goliath.”
When speaking in this type of short metaphor, Thompson makes his point in a way that gets the media to pay attention and quote him, rather than another communications expert.
It’s critically important to use sound bites when you’re being interviewed by the media, when you’re responding to media and whenever you’re writing a press release.
I learned this firsthand as a painful lesson. I once sent out a press release that got picked up by a newspaper, but they didn’t quote me in the story. They quoted somebody else. Why? Because I forgot to include a really good sound bite.
Don’t make the same mistake. Make sure that every press release or pitch letter you send out includes at least one memorable sound bite that is so good, so pithy and so memorable that they feel their story won’t be nearly as good without it. They’ll be grateful. And you’ll be thrilled with all the media coverage you receive.
Want to meet over 100 top media face to face? You’ll get some media training there to help get your sound bites down. Apply now to reserve your spot.
Attend the National Publicity Summit in New York. Previous attendees have been featured on Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Fox News, O the Oprah magazine, Entrepreneur, Time and many others.
When I was preparing for my media tour for my book, Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, I thought that I’d love being on radio and despise being on TV. I’m kinda shy and don’t really relish being in the spotlight. Radio, you can be in your fuzzies, sip your tea, and snuggle in with a cat on your lap.
But it turned out I loved TV. The fast pace, the thinking on your feet, the excitement of the cameras, suited my style and temperament. What I didn’t love was sitting back stage in the make-up chair for an hour while a stranger fussed with my face and hair slathering on grody make-up and misting me with hairspray. I don’t even like to put mascara on myself let alone have someone else that close to my eyes. It’s pretty darn personal.
So when Matthew Kimberley asked me to do a masterclass for his website,daily success deals via Skype split screen video, my first thought was…oh no there goes an hour out of my already hectic morning doing make-up.
But, then I remembered how much I loved doing TV. And since I would be talking all about getting on TV I just decided that I’d reward myself with delicious smoked salmon and cream cheese on a toasted gluten free bagel to start the morning right. Our cat Lucky is always at the ready as soon as I take the cream cheese out of the fridge so he can get his dab.
There’s no opt-in you can just see it as soon as you get to the website. But it only stays up until Monday April 29 so mosey on by.
Confession. It took me longer to do my make-up than it did to make this video. And no, that’s not a bullet hole in the art piece you see behind me in my office. It’s a vintage Purina Dog Chow Tin. I think the holes add to its charm.
The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to getting on TV that can ruin everything.
How to get chosen over your competitors-and still play nice.
How to make yourself irresistible to TV producers.
What you need to think about BEFORE you get booked on TV. (This can make the difference between making a fortune and not making a dime.)
What to wear on TV. (Hint: we talk about socks).
How a flash-drive can be save your skin and your show.
Plus, you’ll get to see something in Matthew’s hotel room that will surprise – and we hope – delight you.
Yesterday I mentioned how you could apply the lessons of media appearances to more everyday communications.
Here’s the surprising corollary: you can apply the lessons of everyday communications to media appearances.
Before I explain what I mean, here’s a story from magician John Lenahan I heard from him at a conference a few years ago.
John was describing being at FISM (the “world championship of magic”) where a whole room of magicians were being entertained by the legendary Juan Tamariz. John watched as everyone had a great time. They laughed, they gasped, they clapped.
But John could also feel that he had a special connection with Tamariz. Like he was his favourite audience member. It was subtle. Just a smile, a look, a laugh every now and then. But John knew he was the favourite.
After the performance John spoke to some of his buddies in the bar. Surprise surprise, they all said the exact same thing. They’d seen everyone else enjoying the show, but they knew that secretly, they were Tamariz’s favourite audience member.
After arguing for a while over just who was the special favourite, John realised that he’d come across the secret of a truly great performer. They make everyone feel like they’re performing just for them. That they’re the special one.
Turns out it’s the same with media appearances. You’re not speaking to an “audience”. You’re speaking to everyone individually. You and them. One to one.
The way to make a media appearance successful is to use the same skills you would in everyday communication. Be authentic. Talk person to person. Share your truth. One to one.
We often get overwhelmed when we think about speaking to a big audience – especially if it’s on video or radio. I know I certainly did and still do. But if you just focus on speaking as if you’re talking to one person…
…making that individual connection. Then that’s how people will hear you.
They’ll hear you talking to them personally. And you’ll have impact.
Join Susan and me on the webinar next Wednesday 24th to learn more techniques for making your communication effective (and profitable).
So many people call themselves thought leaders now – but they aren’t. To be a thought leader takes some doing. It’s not so much about being original as it is about putting things together in an original way. Thought leadership marketing comes down to packaging your knowledge, skills, abilities, experiences, and yes, your thoughts in a way that makes you media worthy and worth listening to by your audience — a huge audience.
Follow these nine steps to get going on the path to be respected, heard and reverberated out into the world to become the very definition of thought leadership.
1. Cultivate an opinion.
Thought leaders have opinions. They shape a story. They position facts in a context. They make statistics come alive by interpreting them. We value people who give us perspective on things that matter most in our culture today.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and their first woman to sit on their board, said of the differences about how men and women respond to taking credit for their success, “If you ask men why they did a good job, they’ll say, ‘I’m awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?’ If you ask women why they did a good job, what they’ll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard.”
To follow her lead take a look at your field or industry and find something that irks or inspires you and start to formulate some opinions about it. Folk singer Joan Baez said, “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?” Thought leaders aren’t afraid to voice a strong opinion. The media seek guests who have opinions that help us ponder what’s important.
2. Make a prediction.
Can you see the future? Look into your private crystal ball and share it in a press release. Over twenty years ago I told my literary agent that getting on TV and grasping at fame was going to become a national obsession. I wrote up a book proposal about how to get on TV, supplied anecdotes from my own experience as a publicist and media coach, and gathered statistics to show that this was going to be a hot new trend. He pitched my idea to all the top New York publishing houses.
9 was you can be a thought leader
Alas, the traditional book industry didn’t buy it. It was too far ahead of its time. But guess what? Didn’t that prediction come true? Practically everyone is now scrabbling for his 15 seconds of fame. New reality TV shows are popping up every year. The Fishbowl Effect has become our current reality where your iPhone video can make national news.
Know that when you make a prediction you’re intrinsically ahead of your time – and most likely will get disapproval and pushback. No worries. Time will bear you out. The important thing is to stand by your word, continue to accumulate evidence and keep touting your prediction during your media appearances. Thought leadership marketing is a process, not a one time event.
3. Shape thinking.
Keep up on current events. Thought leaders can comment on national radio and TV and in print on events as they happen. They are the first people the media call to put a story in perspective, to help shape thinking. They are often the people who pose the questions to ponder. They don’t necessarily have all the answers.
What they have is a point of view that helps others to consider consequences, options, and directions to difficult or perplexing problems. This type of thought leadership definition is organic and evolves naturally as the thought leader continues to hone his thoughts and message.
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, often comments on political and social problems such as how public higher education is being starved which will result in a shrinking middle class. His clearly expressed and statistically well-supported opinions are regularly heard on MSNBC and NPR. He’s a great example of someone who is personal, energetic, and captivating. I’m particularly endeared by how he bounces up when he can’t contain his energy as he delivers his message.
Your delivery and demeanor is every bit as important as the words you speak and can influence people subconsciously. Thought leaders are aware of how they are being perceived and work on refining their inner consciousness and outer appearance.
How can you start to shape a conversation that’s at the heart of your business or industry and at the same time reflect who you are and what you think?
4. Have a philosophy.
Have you noticed how many people have written a manifesto? It’s kind of becoming de rigueur. But many aren’t worth reading. They are trite or light. Your audience wants to know not only what you believe, but what you believe in. They want a philosophy that dives into their deepest longings — things that they feel that haven’t been expressed directly in a way that they can understand.
Manifestos are a sort of formalized philosophy. Wikipedia defines philosophy as “In more casual speech, by extension, ‘philosophy’ can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.
Brene Brown thought leader in thoughts, words, action
During every media appearance you want to make sure that your philosophy comes through loud and clear in a story, vignette or example so your audience has a sense of who you are.
One of my favorite sayings is by Gandhi, “My life is my message.” And another one close to my heart: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
When everything you do, say, are and think from your words to your website is in alignment™ then you’re completely congruent and your life becomes your message. This is what I have my clients and sound bite course participants put into practice before ever sending a press release out to the media. Often publicity hopefuls want to rush their offer to the media before all the pieces are in place. And that’s a big mistake. A reputation is easy to ruin and hard to regain.
In her media appearance on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Brene Brown told a story about her daughter, Ellen. To my best recollection she said that Ellen’s teacher called her up to tell her she could tell whose daughter Ellen was by how she handled an incident in art class. As I remember it the teacher said, “You’re messy.” Ellen sat up straight and said, “No, I’m not messy. I’ve just made a mess.”
Brown told this story to illustrate a point about self-talk and not calling ourselves names or saying derogatory things about the core of us, but to focus on behavior instead of being. It shows you that Brown is walking her talk by transmitting her values and behaviors to her daughter and it gives you a sense of who she is. Your philosophy should shine through your stories in a natural way in every media appearance.
5. Spearhead a movement.
My client, journalist and author David Sheff who wrote the #1 New York Times best-selling book Beautiful Boy, (which later was turned into a movie) and wrote his second book called Clean, Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. The title itself is an opinion. Sheff thinks that addiction is the worst problem in the U.S. today. You can tell immediately that he’s serious about this topic and wants to make an impact on this epidemic.
On his website he has a link to sign a petition to send to President Obama to end the war on drugs and declare war on addiction. Right next to that he has a link to an organization called Brian’s Wish to pull people together into a national movement to end addiction.
Thought leaders start movements
Sheff believes that we’re fighting the wrong war and he is making his opinion known – backed with five years of research and facts. This is thought leader marketing at its best.
When I first wrote this piece he had just started his book tour and has already been on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition to discuss his views and to shift American opinion with the facts, stories and statistics in his book, speeches, and media appearances.
I media trained him to insure that he incorporated his most important points into every interview since he especially wanted to talk about this new movement.
We also wanted to make sure he could stand firm on his controversial beliefs when challenged. We practiced worst-case scenario questions and surprise ones too so he could maintain his equanimity and stay on point during each media appearance.
The media is interested in people who have inspired a movement. It shows that the topic has enduring value and interest if a substantial number of people have joined it. Spearheading a movement is so much more interesting than just claiming you have a big following. A movement shifts thought into action to create real and lasting change.
6. Be controversial.
Another client of mine, Dr. Sara Gottfried, a Harvard trained integrative physician, science nerd, yogini and author of the New York Times best-sellers The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Rest Diet, Younger and Brain Body Diet, peaks out on the overuse of pharmaceuticals for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. She says of women dealing with hormonal issues such as depression, lack of sleep, weight gain, mind fog, low sex drive, “You won’t find the answer in the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gottfried takes a stand against the practice many physicians have to medicate their patients to appease the problem without seeking the core issue or root cause that’s the source of the complaint. Instead she advocates lifestyle shifts: “How to think, eat, move and supplement.”
Thought leaders invite controversy
Once you take a strong stance you can expect to be pitted against someone with the opposite view during your radio or TV interviews – because friction makes for good TV. Audiences love to see people who have opposing views that might even provoke a tiff, because sparks fly and unexpected things happen — which equal good ratings.
If you want to be controversial you also need to be prepared to be challenged and able to stay on message with equanimity and grace no matter how forceful or hostile the host or other guests become.
7. Play both sides.
While you can choose to be controversial, you can also choose to appoint yourself the voice of reason and examine both sides of an issue. Susan Freinkel, a journalist who wrote the book, Plastic: a Toxic Love Story, began an experiment that turned into an investigation of how plastic affects our behavior, our environment and our lives. The premise: To go one day without touching anything plastic. What she discovered? It was impossible — starting with her toothbrush and toilet.
Instead of taking one side to the story – plastic is evil. She explored how plastic is both a boon and a bane to the way we live in a New York Times Op Ed piece. In one sentence she played both sides of the topic: “In other words, plastics aren’t necessarily bad for the environment; it’s the way we tend to make and use them that’s the problem.”
Op Ed pages thrive on people who take a strong stand on one side of an issue as well as those who can shed light on both sides in an intelligent, thoughtful or provocative way.
In our media coaching sessions together Freinkel and I focused on stories about how certain plastics are negatively effecting our health, children, land and seas, and also which plastics are safe and useful and help save lives.
Great thought leaders can mediate both sides of an issue
On Fresh Air, she discussed both sides of this fiery debate with a level head. In other media appearances she backed up her findings with solid statistics and also by moving fascinating facts into the conversation like: “The average person is never more than three feet from something made of plastic.” And, “In 1960, the average American consumed 30 pounds of plastics a year. Today, just 50 years later, Americans consume on average 300 pounds a year.” Here is something a bit startling: “Just because a plastic is made of plants doesn’t make it ‘green.’”
By moderating the positives and negatives, by sharing information not widely known and educating us, and by using stories and statistics, you can become a trusted neutral source for change.
8. Coin a term.
During her appearance on The Ricki Lake show Dr. Sara Gottfried reached into her prop basket and pulled out a gleaming diamond Tiara, put it on her head and offered it to Lake, who said she didn’t want to take it off. Gottfried called taking uninterrupted time for yourself, Tiara Time.™ It’s catchy and easy to remember. Can’t you just imagine saying to your BFF, “I need some Tiara Time™ right NOW.”
Your vision is how you see the world in the future. It’s what you’re aspiring to in the big picture. It incorporates how you are going to serve. For example, I’d like to see Aikido, a type of Japanese Martial Arts, which I’ve been training in for eight years, incorporated into every school in the world.
9 steps to become a thought leader is about self-mastery
The principles of Aikido, The Way of Harmony, work as a way to polish the spirit, to turn lead into gold. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba says, “True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly!”
I believe that, through this practice we can eradicate bullying and practice respect, compassion, and self-mastery on a daily basis in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities.
My dream is to combine physical self mastery with verbal and emotional mastery so every child in the world can: Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.
Declaring your vision during a media interview moves it out in a big way into the public eye. Not only have you taken a stand but you give thousands or millions of people a chance to take a stand with you. That in itself creates powerful change.
The point of being a thought leader isn’t just to get more media appearances, more sales, more followers, or more money. It’s an opportunity to make great shifts inside yourself and out in the world.
So if you aspire to taking yourself and your business forward in small or big ways, then focus on these nine things. And even if it isn’t in your nature to be on national TV or to gain an international platform, just pondering these points will give you clarity for your business as you grow and change.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Most people who are in a rush to get publicity dash off a press release and then expect instant fame. But what typically happens IF the media calls is they don’t have their sound bites ready. What follows is…disappointment.
They don’t get quoted, or if they do it does little or nothing for their business. Then they blame the media, saying that publicity doesn’t work. In order for publicity to work – you have to do the work first.
So BEFORE you ever contact the media watch this video to find out the three things you should do that set the foundation of your talking points or sound bites. Then craft your stories, statistics, facts, vignettes, one liners, aphorisms, anecdotes, analogies and acronyms that are the mainstay of your messages.
By Susan Harrow, Media Coach & Author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul
Get Your FREE Special Report from Susan Harrow, Author of
Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul (HarperCollins)
Get on The Today Show, Tomorrow
The producers from The Today Show and other top talk shows are always on the lookout for the latest new, new thing. You can be the next “It” girl or guy if you have what they’re seeking. Whether you are a new or burgeoning business you can be the right expert for any top talk show — once you know how to position, package and promote yourself properly.
In this FREE special report, you’ll learn the exact steps that position you correctly to be the “GO TO” guest for any national TV show.
You’ll learn how to:
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Be a guest on the Today show tomorrow. (Or any other national TV, radio show, print publication, or Internet news hub).
Thinking and acting outside the box can mean the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive publishing market. Today that’s definitely true when it comes to attracting the media, literary agents and publishers. However, one tool can help aspiring authors gain the attention of all these professionals—and do so while doing what they do best—write. That tool is a blog.
If you are a writer wanting to build an author’s platform with traditional media spots as well as with social media so you can, in fact, attract an agent or publisher and land a traditional publishing contract for your book, I suggest approaching your blog in a new manner. Don’t just blog. Blog your book.
That’s right. Compose your book from scratch, post by post, on your blog. While you will find this works really well if you are a nonfiction writer, if you write fiction you also can break your content down into post-sized bits and publish it regularly over time on your blog. By so doing you will make yourself and your blog—actually your forthcoming book—imminently findable on the internet.
And that’s the key. In this tough media environment, journalists prefer to find their own experts; they look at the press releases sent or emailed to them less and less often. Instead they watch their Twitter stream and conduct Google searches for the authorities they need on particular topics. In similar fashion, agents and publishers troll the internet looking for test marketed book ideas. They find these in highly successful blogs—blogs with lots of readers or fans who likely also will purchase a book based on the blog. In both cases, when they find what they are looking for, the journalists, agents and publishers contact the blogger.
Now, if that blogger happens to be an aspiring author blogging a book, you and your book not only managed to get great publicity for your book and build platform, you landed a book deal for a book you’ve already been writing. You may even have completed the first draft of the book on your blog. That means you are ready and able to give a publisher what he wants. And you can call yourself an author expert when the media calls because you have blogged a book.
How do you actually blog a book? Here are eight simple steps to get you going:
Evaluate the marketability of your idea. Make sure the book you want to write is viable. Is there a market for it? Does it add value for readers? Does it solve a problem or provide a unique benefit? Does it tell a story that must be told? Do a comparative study of other existing books already published and make sure yours is different. Look also at blogs currently written on your topic. Remember that your blogged book will exist in cyberspace prior to becoming a digital or print book. You will have competition in both markets. If necessary, re-angle your book to make sure it fills a need in the bookstore category in which it will be sold and in the blogosphere.
Create a content plan. Decide on the topics you might include in your book. Get as detailed as possible. Brainstorm every idea or subject you might possibly include. Then create a table of contents, or an outline.
Decide on content that will only appear in the digital or printed book. Look at your content plan and decide what pieces you might hold back or create especially for use in your printed book or ebook as an incentive to loyal blog readers to purchase the book. For nonfiction, this could be a few extra chapters. For fiction, your second draft might offer a bit longer or shorter version, a few more scenes, an epilogue, etc.
Break your content into blog-post sized pieces—250-500 word chunks. For nonfiction, create subheadings (blog titles) for each. For fiction, give each scene a title.
Create a blogging schedule. Decide how often you will write, two days a week or seven days a week. Commit to the schedule.
Write one blog post on each day of your blogging schedule. Compose these in a word processing program in sequence so you create a manuscript in the process.
Publish your posts. Copy and paste your blog post into your blogging program and publish them on the scheduled days.
Publicize your posts. Share your blog post via your social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest.
If you figure the average nonfiction manuscript contains at least 45,000 words and your posts will average 350 words in length, you will need to write about 128 posts to complete your manuscript. That will take you about six and half months if you write five posts a week. In that amount of time, you will likely drive your blog up in the search engine results pages simply by writing about your topic day in and day out. This will make you more discoverable. It will also make you an expert on your topic. And it will make you an author.
By thinking and acting outside the box, you will have made it much easier for the media, literary agents and publishers to find you. And you will have done so simply by blogging, or rather by blogging a book. You will have completed the first draft of a manuscript, too. If you didn’t get discovered by a publisher in the process, you can write a query letter and an attention-getting proposal and approach a publisher yourself. Include your great blog readership statistics in that proposal as part of your platform description, and you increase the chances of landing that book deal. Then, contact the media and tell them about your great accomplishment: You blogged your way to a book deal.
Books are making news. This time, it’s Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style and the 1960s, a book that will be released in the fall. A group of “Mad Men” fans with advanced degrees in culture, history, politics and business started a blog to offer their scholarly commentary on the show. The blog was so good that it got picked up by a publisher. News of the book already made the New York Times.
The media looks for popular culture angles and readers follow what interests them. What inspiration can you find in pop culture? Do you know of other Blog to books? Do you have a book in you you’re aching to write? If so, get started here with FREE Video Training Directly from Jack Canfield.
It’s his advice about how to become a bestselling author. Who better to learn from than someone who has 47 New York Times bestselling book that have sold 500 million copies?
Here’s just a few things you’ll learn on Thursday:
Advice from a former NBC producer who booked guests for the Today Show and Dateline NBC on how to become a regular guest on national TV and/or even get offered your own show (think Dr. Phil).
How to brand yourself for the media in a way that celebrates your uniqueness while also separating you from all the other experts in your field.
Three things Donald Trump does to speak in compelling sound bites.
How Jennifer became a regularly-featured lifestyle expert on Fox News Channel and the Early Show as well as scoring coverage in hundreds of print media outlets including O the Oprah Magazine, Redbook, US Weekly, Success and Entrepreneur.
Why most authors and experts fail to make the leap from just getting local publicity to scoring big-time national media coverage.
Why your credentials don’t matter as much as you might think, but what DOES matter when the media is deciding whether or not to feature you.
“The Book Plus Strategy” and how an unknown self-published author used it to become a regular on radio, making a six-figure income doing phone interviews.
The hook that helped a nutritionist claim so much media coverage it generated over $60 million in sales of his books and information products.