How to Be a Media Expert
According to actual media experts from our April 7th event
By Kate Johnson
From TikToks and Facebook Stories to TV segments and editorials, diving into the expansive media landscape can be daunting. Although this space is dynamic and evolving, the guidelines for operating and succeeding remain clear and constant. Those new to this space need to be willing to miss the bullseye and keep going, be authentic, and tell the story rather than recount a series of events or facts.
Willingness to Try Something New
When thinking of advertising and brand building, it’s more about finding what works than finding what’s perfect. Corbett Drummey from Popular Pays talks about having an “agile approach to advertising, testing and learning constantly.” Paying for content creation and ads is more effective than trying to beat the algorithm and allows founders to focus on the business while building a group of ambassadors for the long term. Start with a variety of content and use paid advertising to estimate CPA.
Additionally, tracking email sign ups, rather than users who go through the entire funnel, will be a faster way to understand what content is most engaging.
Pitches, Partnerships & Great Impressions
Short and sweet is a great mantra for writing emails, but it’s also key in the pitch process. Ashley Bernardi, founder of Nardi Media, recommends highlighting your expertise, accomplishments, and former media placements when pitching journalists. Be clear and specific about the expertise you’re offering and the story you want to tell.
Media people are people too. Do not be afraid to ask what a reporter needs help with or if there is a better person for you to talk to.
In the world of finance blogging, relationships between businesses and bloggers can bolster popularity and provide insightful information, but it’s incumbent on the founder to keep the information flowing. J Money, a Personal Finance Blogger, recounted the confusion that erupted when a popular product decided to charge customers a monthly fee without warning. Many users turned to J Money for answers when he didn’t have any. Had the founder been more proactive with his former boosters, it would have been an opportunity to leverage these influencers to lessen the blow and explain the change.
Another tip from J Money is to think beyond financial incentives when working with bloggers or creators. Early access to a beta can be worth as much as money with the right person. Down the road, these individuals can become ambassadors and gatekeepers to the space you’re trying to enter.
Share their materials on your own social media and thank them for their time. Relationships with media matter; you never know where someone will end up down the road.
Telling Your Story: Passion, Uniqueness, & Authenticity
Mary Wisniewski from Bankrate says it simply: “No one wants to hear what everyone else is already talking about.” Think about a different opinion you can present, a data-centric story, or even a customer of yours who can be interviewed. Whatever you do, do not pitch your product. Focus on telling your story and how you encountered and solved your problem; let the third party talk about your product for you.
Joe Saul-Sehy, Host of Stacking Benjamins, said “stories aren’t as important as how you tell your story.” Invest time in crafting your story and making sure you have a connection to it. That energy radiates towards everyone that story touches.
Invest an equal amount of time in researching who your audience is and with whom you are sharing your story. Bobbi Rebell, certified financial planner and host of Financial Grownup podcast, said that the best guests are those who have something to say, are familiar with her podcast, and can connect the two.
Don’t Skimp on the Details
Hardware matters. For podcasts, at a minimum, purchase a high-quality external microphone. Headshots and brand photos help represent you, your business, and even your host in a professional light.
Do your research on media targets, trending news stories, and know your audience. Take the time to tailor your pitch, bio, and any other relevant background so the recipients know that they weren’t 1 of 100 emails sent.