There is no ‘hidden secret’ to becoming a television expert. Becoming a sought-after expert takes a little PR work, and a bit of branding
- What Are You An Expert About? Make a list of all of the topics you can talk about as an expert. An industry expert will be able to provide insight that other people are not talking about – that’s exclusive content for smaller media outlets, and exclusive content creates value for them.
- Talking Points: Try to have about five points for each of your expert topics listed above. These are statements in sentence format that convey concepts or commentaries. A video game expert would talk about handheld devices vs. mobile gaming. For each talking point create several lines of discussion or commentary so the host, producer or journalist knows your opinions on the issue.
- Create a Bio: This is your introduction for many people, and it has to count. Media will look for credentials, education, experience that qualifies you as a subject matter expert. If you do not have direct experience, write an academic article or two, or make yourself a regular at events pertaining to your subject matter. Having accomplishments will cement your qualifications, and make you a more selectable candidate for TV.
- Develop Contacts: Know whom you are going to contact in advance. Don’t wait for breaking news to start figuring this out. Make these connections ahead of time, and the expert they contact might just be you. Let them know you are standing by for the next time they need someone of your expertise. The media moves at a rapid pace, so if they cannot find an expert, they will move on quickly.
- Stay Ahead: Experts are experts because they know plenty. People who come off as unknowledgeable have a hard time being a contact. Stay abreast of new trends and industry information, so you remain a hot commodity to the media.
- Invest in Yourself: The media loves an expert who is well-prepared for the camera. Staying on point to convey information quickly and accurately are invaluable to producers. Having a media trainer will also assist you with talking points.
- Practice! Tape yourself at home with someone reading you questions off-camera. Watch this video and look at the little mannerisms you do. People often have little quirks we do not see until we watch ourselves. Taking the time to practice will give you a more polished media presence.
- Tape Yourself: These are important for your marketing strategy! Many shows do not offer a taping service. Bring a blank tape with you to the studio and ask the producer if you can have your segment recorded – do not count on this, though. Ask friends or family, or invest in high-quality recording equipment and program it to record your show.
Following these simple steps will help you identify, acquire, develop, and bolster media contacts. Like all things, this requires patience and persistence, but it pays off when you’re finally on television.