When I’m meeting with a new client or fielding questions at one of my speeches, I always get asked about national television. Perhaps it’s CNN. Maybe it’s NBC’s Today Show or Good Morning America. It could even be CNBC. Regardless, the question always comes up: how do I get on these shows and networks?
The answer is simple: start out by not trying to get on these shows.
Here’s how you get on Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC or any other national television network or show:
- Start doing local TV first. If you manage to get the interest of a national TV producer, the first question she is going to ask is: have you ever been on television before? If you say no, the interview probably won’t happen. She wants to make sure you can perform on camera and she’s not interested in a rookie. That’s why you should always start building your confidence and your skills on local TV first. Once you have a few good clips under your belt, pitch away and provide these links in your pitch.
- Start doing other media interviews besides television. If you manage to get a national TV producer interested in booking you, one of the first things he’s going to do is visit your website or Google you to learn more about you. National TV producers like guests with strong profiles and large followings. You want to have a solid profile so when he types your name in Google, he sees newspapers articles, online stories, articles you’ve authored, books you’ve written and so on. Building a strong presence is key.
- Keep trying. The reality is, getting on national television can be very challenging. Your emails will go unanswered at times, while other times you will be told ‘no.’ Keep your eyes open for breaking news around your expertise and offer to provide analysis and insights when these stories break. Continue to pitch your own ideas and story segments. TV producers love visuals, so let them know the visuals/props you can use. Persistence pays off. Don’t take it personally if you don’t break through right away because many times the reason why you can’t has nothing to do with you.
When your day in the national spotlight comes, nail the interview. If you do a good job, they’ll hopefully call you back for more the next time the topic comes up.