5 Tips: How to become a regular TV contributor

You're a professional. 

You love what you do, and you love working with people. You're ready for the next step. 

Whenever you see an expert commenting on a 24 hour news channel or lifestyle program, you think, "I could do that." Well, the question is, why not you? After spending several years as a morning TV Host, I can tell you exactly what producers are looking for in their next regular contributor. I hope you learn something new! 

1. Credibility:
Why should we trust YOU compared to the other guy? In today’s world, anyone can be a self-proclaimed “expert.” Producers want to be sure you’re truly credible. Credibility is based on:

  • Experience in your field- education, official credentials, and work experience.
  • Success in your field- Have you done well for yourself as a Finance consultant / Nutritionist / Fitness trainer / Chef / Fashion consultant etc.? Are your clients happy and satisfied? Do you have a track record of proven results?
  • Online branding- Do you have a good social media following? Often if you have a good following on social media, news organizations will hope to turn those followers into viewers and readers.
  • Someone who is informed- If you’re an expert, the media will turn to you for comment on the latest developments in your field on any given day.

2. NEW information:
News stations need content that is new and exciting not the same old. The topics will always be the same, but the CONTENT has to be WOW. For instance:

  • A segment/column about fitness should be about an emerging trend nobody has ever heard of before, not Zumba.
  • A segment/column about make-up should be about new techniques most people have never heard of before, not contouring and strobing. 
  • A segment/column about home trends should be about the latest green alternatives in baby room decor, not bathroom hardware options (unless they are amazing).

Also, all of the great TV contributors I had the pleasure of working with put plenty of hard work into every segment/column. They treated every segment as if it were the first.

3. Polished
The same way that News Anchors and Hosts are TV ready- you must be too.      

  • Dress well
  • Brush your hair
  • Put on some light make-up (light powder for men)
  • Are you ready for TV interviews?  It looks much easier than it is, until you’re under those bright lights. Some people are naturals and others are not. Seek professional training to understand how to effectively communicate for broadcast and print media. There is a formula for TV presentation. 

4. A stellar pitch:
Prepare a short document that outlines why you want to be a contributor. Briefly state who you are, and summarize your experience and success. Make a list of five hot segment ideas. Show that you’re credible and full of great ideas. There’s so much more to be said about what producers perceive to be “hot topics” and how to pitch segments/ columns effectively.  

5. It’s not about you…   
Be sure that the information you bring to the media helps the audience. It’s all about the audience. What’s in it for them? Tips, tricks, sound advice, and more. 

Good Luck!
Media Coach Cam