You’ve been working hard implementing online tactics to establish your personal brand …
- Creating killer content – check
- Optimizing your website for SEO – of course
- Nurturing social media relationships – you bet
- Building your subscriber list – hellstotheyeah
- Converting sales – rockstar status, yo
Your’re generating interest and you know it’s time to get out from behind the computer screen and in front of the public. So you pitch yourself as a media resource and you’re finally booked for an on-air interview. Yay!
You’re calling your family…
posting on Facebook…
sending out client notices…
telling anyone and everyone that they must tune in to hear you speak.
You’re still doing your little happy dance when all of the sudden it hits:
What if I’m asked a question I don’t know?
What if someone tries to make me sound like an idiot?
What if I actually sound like an idiot?
Ahhhh, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Chin up, buttercup!
What you need is media training… and even if you don’t have the budget to hire a publicist, there are quite a few DIY strategies you can implement to keep your personal brand on the up and up.
The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Media Training
- Prepare Your Material. There are boneheads out there that just wing it. They seriously think that nobody notices they didn’t prepare- but the audience does. What does that say about your brand if you don’t respect your audience or the host enough to plan for them? At the very least, make a general outline of what the main points you want to communicate.
- Create Sound Bites. You’re a brand if you do and a brand if you don’t. That phrase, called a sound bite, has gotten me media coverage and speaker invitations. Sound bites are pithy phrases that help the audience understand and remember your messages. After you have prepared main speaking points, find opportunities to craft signature brand sound bites and incorporate them into your talk.
- Be Transparent. If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, resist the urge to act as if you do. Admit that you don’t have the answer. If you’re asked a question that is off-topic, politely explain that the question isn’t in your area of expertise.
- Take Control. If the host (or an audience member) digresses with a long story or explanation leading up to a question, your best option is to be polite and listen. When there is a pause in the conversation thank them for their story or comment, ask if they have a particular question, and move on quickly.
- Stay Positive. Haters gonna Hate, right? But you’re going to keep your cool and here’s how… listen, acknowledge their concern or issue, and rephrase the question so that it is more favorable for you. Remember, most people are going to think the person is a jerk for their negativity. Combat that with a positive message and you will come out the victor.
- Set it Up. If you decide to take questions and all you hear are crickets, take matters into your own hand and throw out some sample queries. You can simply say, “One question I am often asked is…”
- Don’t Ramble. Stick to the time frame you’ve been given. When it’s time to wrap up, thank the audience and your host and close with the best way to contact you. If appropriate, you can also indicate how to purchase your products but keep in mind that you may have to clear this with the host beforehand.
What should #8 be on this list? Share your insights and stories of being interviewed by the media in the comments below.