Booking Appearances For Your Blog or Podcast

Due to the nature of my company and job, I tend to get asked for interviews or guest blog posts from time to time. In fact, today I just responded to four requests, and turned down two others. What makes me (or anyone else) accept or decline an opportunity for “exposure” in front of another audience? It depends on the person you are looking to interview of course!

Interestingly, ProBlogger just published a post on nearly the same questions I’ve been contemplating “How to Convince Someone to be Interviewed on Your Blog.” What I loved about the article was the suggestion to not chase A-List bloggers all the time, as their story has been told (and told again) but to get creative and find hidden gems in the industry.

Speaking for myself, and in order of preference:

  1. It is much easier for me to appear on a podcast or video than any other form of interview
  2. Answering a set of questions via email is easier than doing it over the phone if you plan on writing an article (this was I know I’m getting ‘quoted’ correctly since I wrote up the answers!)
  3. I do NOT write guest posts or articles. I’ve tried.

The two rejections that went out this morning were for guest blog posts. I’m not saying it isn’t a great content marketing tactic, it just isn’t for ME. I’m not able to take the hours out of my schedule for writing and research if it isn’t directly connected to my media properties or company/clients. I am envious of writer friends of mine that can be handed a “350 word article, one rights-cleared photo or graphic, on XYZ topic by this date” and they kick out an article in 30 minutes.

To augment the ProBlogger article I have to say I love getting a list of questions or at least a general outline of the podcast/video interview ahead of time. I’m not asking to be nosey or judgemental but to make sure I’m getting myself into something I’m comfortable with. In the past I’ve been on a live radio show and had the interviewer ask me the completely WRONG set of questions on a topic I had less than zero knowledge about. I didn’t want to embarrass the interviewer ON LIVE RADIO but asking ME questions about a car purchasing and maintenance blog for women is SOOOOO not my area of expertise.

Two podcasts I have to say I absolutely love are The BeanCast (I’ve been a guest about six times now) and Social Media Examiner. The BeanCast host Bob Knorpp always sends topics over ahead of time and follows a consistent format which is great for listeners as well as guests. (One day some of The BeanCast’s regular guest may mutiny and take over the show for an episode. We are still plotting…) Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner not only talked with me on the phone to discuss topics that he knew his listeners would love and find value with – and make sure I was the right fit for his show – he sent over unique questions that did a deep-dive into the topic.

I have a few additions to the suggestions in the article:

  1. Keep your audience’s needs above that of your guest’s promotional needs. Yes, you finally landed that ‘hot’ web celebrity for your podcast but if you let them steamroll you into making an infomercial for their latest book at the “cost” of your audience – who are you really producing an interview for?
  2. Ask interesting questions. I’ve seen interviews (and appeared on podcasts) where the host asks everyone the same exact set of questions. This has the very real possibility of looking stale, lazy or un-researched if you execute it improperly. Asking questions where nearly all of your guests will answer the same is BORING for your audience. If the questions are open-ended enough to produce interesting answers it can be a great way to quickly interview.
  3. If it is not immediately apparent what the connection between your audience and your guest is – make it clear. I’ve been invited on shows that (to me) seemed they weren’t a fit, but after talking to the host and getting the angle they were trying to get across, I understood why I was being interviewed. More importantly, I understood the direction I should be taking the conversation. Ask me to appear on your car mechanic podcast and you’ll get a rejection unless you TELL me why I’m relevant to your audience and the types of things you’d like to cover with me and the specific value you feel I bring to your audience.

Any other tips or suggestions? I’m getting ready to start up Media Chit Chat again and would welcome any ideas I’ve missed!

I Blog But I’m NOT a “Blogger”

I’m sure there are people already freaking out because of the title of this post. Here’s the thing, I blog as a matter of method of communication and business strategy. NOT because I’m a “blogger.” Sadly, the idea of being a blogger comes with a lot of negative associations. More specifically, I’m a woman with kids who blogs — therefore the assumption to some is that I’m a mom blogger.

For example, this past weekend I took a trip with my family to a gaming conference (PAX East). No less than nine people contacted me and asked 1) who my sponsor was and 2) why I wasn’t “disclosing”. WHAT? I went to PAX so my kids (and husband, let’s not forget the King Gamer in the house) could geek out over new games and I could get some ideas on new tabletop games to buy. I bought full price tickets to get in, stayed at a hotel we paid for, drove ourselves there and back, and stood in line like everyone else to play video game demos. When I disclosed this, I was met with outrage on why I wasn’t given special treatment as a “BLOGGER.” Uh, because everyone can blog, it’s not a big of a deal as some make it out to be.

The real stars of the conference were the Minecraft YouTubers that my daughter idolizes. Kids – yes, kids – who have millions of active (and monetized) YT subscribers. I’m pretty sure they make more money in a month than I make in a year. Minecraft Let’s Play celebrities literally have girls crying and screaming in the hallway. I promise you no amount of notoriety as a blogger (or working professional for that matter) has lead me to having screaming fans following me into the bathroom. (THANK GOODNESS. That’s creepy.)

Being a “blogger” to some degree has become synonymous with being entitled and unprofessional. I am an advisor over at iBlogMagazine with the hopes that professional education can help fix some of the gaps when bloggers want to turn online publishing into a legit business. I joined (and paid for) a New Media Professional Association membership targeted to parents that blog. I speak at parent/women blogger conferences to try to help expand their technical skills and become better media producers. In the end I don’t see blogging as a career, profession, or business. It is a TOOL. JUST. A. TOOL. Not a lifestyle. Not a means to get free shit or cut in lines.

Honestly I have no issue with parent blogging at ALL. I read a fair number of them. The problem is that I’m just not “one of them” and it seems disappointing to some that I choose not to align myself in the profession. For me, I find that my professional abilities and my company are often undervalued or dismissed because of this association of being a mom blogger stereotype.

I’m not a writer. I’m not a journalist. I’m not a mom blogger. I’m not an accountant. I’m not an attorney. I’m NOT a lot of things.

But what I AM has also been horribly bastardized to the point that every few years I have to re-label myself to separate out from the garbage. Search on my old LinkedIn profile or my professional website and I’m sure it said I was a social media professional (some account may still have this listed). People that had no right calling themselves that have now muddied the water for the great number of us that do know what we are doing. If you claim to be a social media guru, have 42 Twitter followers, and sell services to gain others thousands of followers for $23 — I don’t even need to explain how this has hurt the industry.

This past week I went to a business mastermind event (which I paid for – weird how I feel the need to disclose every penny I spend on my business advancement). When I introduced myself, others told me their impression of what I did (that was part of the exercises). Responses ranged from “can you send Tweets for my company?” and “can you get me more Facebook followers?” to “the agency I hired can’t show me how I’m making more money after buying more Facebook fans.”

A year from now I’m sure I’ll label myself something else. Evolve or die. In the end it doesn’t matter what we call ourselves, but by what others refer to us as. What we offer to help others succeed at is what really matters professionally. Be a mom blogger. Be a YouTuber. Be an accountant. But whatever you do, be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. I know what my reasons for EVERYTHING are, and it’s not fame or notoriety. It’s to take care of my family and pay for trips to gaming conventions so that my daughter can have the time of her life…

Half of the reason I do everything I do (the other half is her brother)

Social Media Marketing World 2014

There is something magical about meeting people in person that you see all the time online. I'm in San Diego again (and brought the cold weather sorry!) to spend a few days with some of the top social marketers & exchange ideas. I am offically overwhelmed at how amazing and excited all the attendees and speakers are to help each other. Meeting people like +martin shervington has been a total 'fangirl' moment as well! (He's brilliant.)

As I walked around the various networking events, attended a few sessions, and chatted in hallways and over drinks… it dawned on me that other industries do not always 'enjoy' the same level of friendship between strangers as digital marketing folks do. I genuinely love what I do and love helping others be better at their own 9-to-5.

For me, the only pitfall is having to narrow the scope of the types of clients I work with (I focus on woman-forward companies/brands, tech & lifestyle brands — and the agencies or in-house that serve them). Seeing the diversity of careers, brands and people at #SMMW14 really does make me want to help everyone succeed! I want to reach for the stars and DO EVERYTHING, and it becomes really hard to stay focused. Concentrate Lynette, concentrate!

I'm going to be growing my team really soon and I had hoped to use Social Media Marketing World to help find talent & a few more clients, but it has just been too much of a whirlwind to meet everyone I'd like to. So if you are at the conference and want to chat, come find me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/LynetteRadio or after my talk!

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Happy 8th Birthday Twitter

Here's my #FirstTweet from my second Twitter account. My first account was handmade by the folks at Twitter back when I was working on a project with them in Second Life and they worked at Odeo. Since you couldn't change your Twitter handle back then, I had to create a new one. Currently I'm Twitter User #768,579 (http://www.idfromuser.com/ to find out yours)

Find your first Tweet at https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet

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Happy 8th Birthday Twitter

Here’s my #FirstTweet from my second Twitter account. My first account was handmade by the folks at Twitter back when I was working on a project with them in Second Life and they worked at Odeo. Since you couldn’t change your Twitter handle back then, I had to create a new one. Currently I’m Twitter User #768,579 (http://www.idfromuser.com/ to find out yours)

Find your first Tweet at https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet

#blog  

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What I’m Listening To: The Owners Mind with Chris Brogan

Owners Mind Chris BroganToday while working I’ve got something different in my speakers… the new(ish) podcast show from Chris Brogan Owners Mind (iTunes link). To be truthful, it is normally very difficult for me to listen to music with lyrics or shows with conversations while I work because my mind ‘sticks’ to the words/conversations and not to my work.

Why I like it: I get to hear insights from other business owners and the ideas they have found that work for them to keep moving their business forward regardless of what gets thrown at them. I also like discovering new people and businesses outside my niche that inspire thoughts and processes within my own business.

 

What I’m Reading: Out of Office by Simon Salt

OutOfOfficeToday I received my copy of Out of Office: How to Work from Home, Telecommute, or Workshift Successfully (Que Biz-Tech) by Simon Salt. I fully intend on reading it TONIGHT. While I’ve been working sans-office for 14 years it doesn’t mean I don’t have an office. It just means I have to learn to work productively wherever I happen to be at the time!

Like most freelancers, startups and consultants I know, my work time is not spent in an office. Well, I have an office but I don’t always GO there. It’s a nice office and full of nice people, but my work schedule doesn’t force me to work 9-to-5 and clock my time during the day in a gray cube farm.

This picture I took after opening my Amazon package was taken from my kitchen table. I work via my laptop in the kitchen after my kid(s) come home from school. In the hours before that I’m either in my “office-office” or my home-office. My home office is specifically set up as a video and audio recording studio and all my equipment lives there. My office-office is great to be able to talk to actual PEOPLE but has an off-the-charts echo due to the fact it’s an old 1900s bank complete with 2.5 story ceilings and no walls. I’ve been known to work on planes, in airports, in hotel lobbies, in Starbucks, in Panera’s and in my car waiting for my daughter to finish voice lessons. If I can get to power and possibly WiFi, I can work.

Welcome to the face of GTD no matter where or when you are!

 

(I will come back to this post and write a review once I’m done reading the book.)

Help Choose My New Book Cover!

I need your help choosing a book cover! It took quite awhile for me to narrow down the finalists (THAT was overwhelming!) on +99designs but I'd love your opinion!

Help vote for my cover? What cover pops? What cover conveys the contents of the book the best? What would make you want to spend $2.99?! The description of the book is at http://lynetteyoung.com/books if that helps!

Thanks G+friends!

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Help Lynette Young choose a design!
Lynette Young is running a book or magazine design design contest. So far, designers have submitted 187 entries and Lynette Young would love your feedback on these 7 entries.

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