Think of how much it costs to buy a television ad to help you generate sales leads, and consider that, with a little tactical manoeuvring, you can get even better exposure on television without paying a dime.
Not only do you save loads of money on advertising, but a single TV appearance can lead to new business or a partnership. Plus, it’s great inbound marketing that could drive qualified sales leads, depending on the topic and your appearance. Most importantly, you are building expertise and authority in your subject matter and that can generate more appearances and a higher profile, for you and your B2B company.
While television producers have regular guests and columnists they rely on for news, business or health coverage, as a B2B business leader, you have very specific knowledge of something most people do not.
When breaking news happens in your industry you want to be the person ‘chase producers’ think of when they are madly trying to line up guest to provide commentary. You want to get on their radar before the news story happens, so they will think of you when it does. In this case, it helps to be a regular contributor to public discussions around topics you are expert in.
When a news story breaks, news producers do what they do: they google to see what hot takes there are on the topic, and they’ll check you out – on LinkedIn, Twitter, your company website or any other platform – to ensure you’re the ideal guest who will enliven and engage their audience. Because you are being vetted without your knowledge, it’s smart to Google yourself on a regular basis to see what comes up and how your expertise is showcased.
A more direct route is to find the producers at your favourite network shows, where you would love to be a guest, and send them a commentary on a breaking news item that you have special knowledge of. If you are writing a company blog, you’re in a great position to get noticed. Jump on any news opportunity to comment and draft a compelling piece that provides your learned perspective on the issue at hand. Think of this as auditioning for a spot on their show. The next time that topic is a hot issue, they will remember your expertise and call you in for comment.
Once you have a track record of posts on your company blog, seek out other publishing opportunities to spread your name and boost your credibility. If you come up frequently in searches on certain topics, and if you are published on widely read blogs or national websites, you stand a very good chance of being called up to the big leagues: a network TV show.
Becoming the go-to person on a given topic takes perseverance and patience. Her are a few pointers on how to do it slowly but strategically as part of an overall lead generation campaign:
- Cultivate trusted relationships with journalists and producers by showing an interest in their articles or shows.
- Give them exclusives once in awhile to build trust and rapport.
- Be persistent and patient. Set a goal each week, to post a blog, or be mentioned in another industry blog.
- Always send out your best work. If you need an editor or proof-reader, make sure everything you write gets read by at least one other person. If your style is drab, think about getting writing lessons.
With persistence, solid media relationships and ensuring your voice is “out there” where the important conversations are happening, you will stand a much better chance of getting on television. It’s a repeatable process since producers are ecstatic to have found an expert and will have you on repeatedly, and it has potentially great value for your business! What could be better. Go forth and put yourself out there as a ‘thought leader’ or ‘subject matter expert’, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Need some help, give us a shout.