How can I get my product on TV stations? Do I just start pitching them?

This is a question we at Hearsay get asked all too often.

The short answer is yes, you can. But it’s not the strategy we would necessarily advise.

Landing an interview on a local TV is an excellent — not to mention free — way to market your brand or small business.

Where do you start when you have #alltheideas, but not a clear, defined path on where (or how) to start?

Here are five ways to get airtime, no experience required. You can thank us for the roadmap later.

Know your unique selling points

What are your unique selling points? They are the differentiating factors that set your brand apart from every other brand, especially your competitors.

List out all your unique selling points. Then, narrow these points down to the top two or three that best describe your brand or business.

Once you’ve laid out your top two or three, draft those into a short, but informative, less-than-five-sentence email pitch.

Pitch the right shows and producers

Who you pitch is just as important as what you pitch.

If you own a mobile boutique or are a business coach, you want to target local lifestyle shows and not political or sports programs. That may sound obvious, but many enthusiastic business owners go on a blitz and pitch every possible show, regardless of its focus.

Nothing will get your pitch rejected faster than appealing to the wrong audience.

How do you avoid this? Put together a list of shows that are appropriate for your brand and area of expertise.

Google your local TV stations and search for the name of each show’s producer—these folks are the decision-makers—or the news desk.

Organize your media list so you know who you’re reaching out to, their contact information, what you’re pitching, and when.

Offer news the audience can use 

News is just that, it must be news-worthy.

There isn’t a credible news outlet that will merely profile your business, you need to approach them with a timely and topical story idea.

If you have a haircare line, for instance, offer to discuss a timely, helpful subject, such as “five holiday party hairstyles you can do yourself’ or “hair trends and gifts for the holidays.”

In other words, don’t focus on explicitly marketing your company during the TV segment. Be a trusted advisor and a resource for those watching at home.

If you come across as an infomercial, producers will never ask you back. Or worse, never air your segment.

By simply appearing on a TV or radio show as a competent professional and offering easy-to-follow and education advice, you’ll gain the trust of viewers are home to consider purchasing your products.

You also will win the favor of producers and could be asked back as a one of their go-to experts.

Mission accomplished!

Create a one-page tip sheet

Remember your unique selling points from earlier?

Compile these key messages into a succinct list of talking points to serve as a script for you to use during your TV appearance.

They will help keep you on track while you are on air, and make sure all of the key points you want the public to know about your brand get shared with viewers.

After you have confirmed with producers that you will appear on TV, offer to email them your one-page tip sheet as a follow-up.

This information will help producers envision whether you’ll be an informative guest and makes it easy for them to prepare the show’s hosts for your interview.

The bonus to being this prepared is that most TV hosts will ask you questions based on your tip sheet. Again, this makes your preparation easy and helps you sell your brand to the audience.

It’s TV, think visually. 

TV is a medium best made for viewing. Treat it as such.

Is your topic well-suited to props?

If you’re talking about hairstyles, offer to bring along a set of hair models you can work your magic on.

If you’re a chef, offer to prep a simple dish on camera and come prepared with all the necessary ingredients and tools.

These are great visual ways to draw the audience in. Always mention add-ons and props like these when making your initial pitch to the media.

Market your appearance.

You’re going to be on TV. Congratulations!

Now what?

Be sure to post news about your upcoming media appearance on social media, in your email newsletter, and on your website.

This way, you make sure all of your friends, family, fans, and followers will be able to tune in and support you.

After your appearance, find out whether the station archives shows. If so, share your segment’s link so customers who missed your appearance can watch or listen to it.

Add this appearance to your website’s press section, share the link on social media, and look for additional ways to PR this PR appearance.

This will help further spread your brand awareness, and makes it easy for others to share your segment with their networks—who could very well end up being potential customers of yours.  

Ready to get your brand or small business on TV? Get started today with It Girl!