For many of us, it seems like a near-impossible feat to get featured on television. Spots are reserved for experts with large followings, extensive networks (of people in the right places), and deep pockets. However, there are far more opportunities to share your expertise on network television than you may think. Christine Haas has 15 years of experience in broadcast journalism and has also won 17 Emmy awards for both writing and on-camera work. Now, she helps clients share their credibility via TV appearances.
Networks and their shows are looking for people just like you to share their experiences and expertise with their audiences, and with people at home more than ever, there’s never been a better time to capitalize on the opportunities. For example, if you have your own product, QVC is up by a reported 10 percent in viewership because of COVID-19.
Haas is a firm believer in landing TV appearance of your own — and just how much it could skyrocket your business and your credibility.
Why TV Can Be A Gamechanger
“I always tell people that TV is a gamechanger for two main reasons: credibility and exposure,” explained Haas. “Exposure is a given that most clients know. TV has the capacity to reach millions in a way that the audience can really get to know you — they tune into their favorite shows and learn about your stories and your expertise, and that is more valuable than any ad placement that money can buy.”
But beyond exposure, credibility is another advantage of TV appearances that can’t be overlooked. “With so many options available today for services or products like yours’, your target customer or client is looking for a reason to select you and it all comes down to the perceived endorsement of the media,” noted Haas. “TV appearances give that extra edge of credibility — even above and beyond appearing in news publications and articles. It shows to customers that you have something that stands out and the media helps qualify that for them.”
Haas says she always recommends to her clients to use the logos and tapes from their TV appearances long after their segment airs. It’s a way of continuing the credibility after the exposure has ‘expired.’
How to Land TV Appearances and Make the Most of Them
How to land these desired TV appearances? While Haas and her team specialize in landing them for clients through her personal relationships with producers and TV reporters, she does say that it’s not always necessary to hire a PR firm to help you, if you’d prefer to put in the grunt work to land them on your own.
“What you need to know is that TV networks are always looking to feature business owners and experts who can talk about something that pertains to their audiences and can pique interest,” said Haas. “It’s simply smart business. If you can educate or entertain, you’ll boost their ratings, which is exactly what they want. Think about it not from the standpoint of how the TV appearance can help you and your business (even though of course that’s in the back of your mind), but instead, how what you have to share can benefit the network and educate their audience.”
To start searching for these opportunities, Haas says to make a list of your top choices of dream TV segments and simply find their contact page. “Of course, we all want to be on the Today Show or Good Morning America!” Haas laughed. “But, there’s still credibility and exposure in landing a segment on a location-based TV network. Think of hotspot cities like Las Vegas, San Antonio, New York City, and more. The smaller networks are easier to land, and you can work up from there.”
An Angle that Stands Out: Story-Based
As for your angle in pitching to the networks and producers, take some advice from Dawoon Kang, the founder of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. She and her sisters pitched the app to Shark Tank on Season 6. While they didn’t snag a deal in the Tank, they got the exposure necessary to soar their user base into the stratosphere, as they recently reported their 50 Millionth match.
Kang advises Shark Tank appearance hopefuls to “think of creative ways to stand out…pick an angle that’s unique to your story and really double down on it.” Whether you’re applying to a major show like Shark Tank or for a smaller appearance, Haas echoes Kang’s advice.
“Stories always sell — networks know this and will ask for a story background to go alongside the expertise and advice you have to share,” Haas said. “So, pitch as a two-prong approach: be clear on what value you can offer their audience, while also being clear on the interesting story from your own life that will lend to good television.”
There is nothing stopping you from landing that TV appearance and seeing a corresponding rise in your credibility and exposure. Lean into your story and your expertise – audiences want to hear it!