Who in business for themselves hasn't dreamt of it: a story about your business on national television, your creation plugged in front of millions of people? For Hudson Henry Granola and founder Hope Lawrence, that dream was a mention on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. They wanted it and believed in it so much that they didn't just make that wish in their head, they printed their intention on every single bag of the granola they produced:
But they didn't stop there...They made it happen. The dream and wish that they had for their business, that put their brand in front of millions of people came true! How did it come true? We'll tell you what, it wasn't thanks to magic. It was thanks to hope, a belief that they could, and strategic buzz building!
Want more details? Want to make that dream happen for yourself? We've got 'em it all right here!
BEFORE YOU EVEN BEGIN...
Before action, comes intention! Believe in that dream, set that intention, believe that you are going to make it happen. Don't leave space for doubt to creep in. Hope Lawrence made sure the world knew what she wanted to have happen, that everyone in the Tin Shingle universe knew, and when she became rooted in that intention, the dream began to grow and take on a life of its own.
STEP ONE: Do Your Research
Like any press dream, you need to be sure you're a good fit for the outlet you're pitching. Hope watched the Today Show, she knew where and how her granola could fit into the show, and she knew it was a good fit for them.
This is key in two ways: first, you want to be sure your product is a good match for the outlet you're pitching. Second, you want to be sure that the way you're presenting and offering it, from your tone to how you want to share it, matches the style of the show. All of this can be done with a little bit of research (watch the show, check out their site, etc.)
STEP TWO: Write That Pitch & Re-Write That Pitch
Hope knew that her email pitch was a bit of a make-it-or-break-it moment, and had to be in tip-top shape. So she wrote it, and after getting advice from the Tin Shingle community and experts, she edited it so that it was just right. What does "just right" mean? For starters it was short, to the point, engaging and magnetic. She brought in bullets! She offered to send samples! Want to know all about how to write a pitch that gets opened like Hope's did? Download this podcast ASAP - it even gives you a sample template you can model your pitch after! For even more pitch TLC, Tin Shingle members can chat in the member forum Pitch Workshop thread and get real time feedback from other business owners and pros!
Your pitch is one of the most important parts of this process, so you want to be sure to get it right. It's 100% worth investing the time into it. When editors and producers start replying to you you'll thank us!
STEP THREE: Email the Right Contact
Now that you have the perfect pitch you'll want to be sure you're sending it to the perfect recipient. Remember: just because you find the contacts of a producer who works at a show you want to be on doesn't mean that producer is the best person to receive your pitch. Different producers cover different topics, different hours and so forth. There are specific people who cover the 4th hour of the Today Show (Kathie Lee & Hoda's jam) and you want to target them if you want the same success Hope experienced. To be sure she was pitching the right people, Hope relied on the Tin Shingle media contacts to hunt down the best producer at the Today Show for her story. By doing that she increases her chances of getting a reply and knows that she's on the right track...and she was!
Shortly after writing the Today Show producers she received a request for samples of her product - and away they went to NBC studios!
STEP FIVE: Get Support & Advice While Waiting Patiently
Oh, the dance between producers and you, the person pitching them. It can be tough. You can experience long periods of silence, which can be tough. But don't think that silence means it's over! In fact, Hope did as well, so don't feel that all is lost when you're getting radio silence - even after you sent samples.
To help ride out the waiting game Hope reached out to entrepreneurs and experts in her community and realized that yes, this is normal, and doesn't mean she has to give up on her dream. She was also encouraged to follow up - touch base the right way with the producers to keep the email "tennis match" going...
STEP SIX: Follow Up
And follow up she did! Hope did this the right way by asking if they had any questions, asked if she could get them more samples, and so forth. The key was to "remind them" she existed and offer her help to them should they need it. The key to a successful relationship with TV producers is making their already busy lives simpler. Offering your help when you can will make this happen and keep you on their radar.
Following up can be tough, but remember: if you're patient, persistent, professional and polite with your follow up (and brief) you'll stay in their good books! Get help with your follow up via a Tin Shingle podcast - we'll tell you how to do it the right way!
STEP SEVEN: Get Surprised & Get On TV
I love this part of Hope's story because it's real and authentic. It helps you learn about what you can expect in the real world of the Today Show:
Hope's Good News Granola was featured on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda just as she dreamed it would be, but it happened without her even realizing it! The busy producers didn't even let her know - she was working away on her business when she began to get calls, emails and sales. Our own co-founder Katie watched it happening live on TV (and shrieked with glee) when it did!
If it's your product and not necessarily you on the television, you may not even know when it's going to air. Sure, usually they tell you, but as you can see from Hope's story, they don't always do it!
Hear about how this happened in her own words via this podcast: Hope shares her story of getting on the Today Show with us, which is in many ways an honest, authentic blueprint for others who may want to do the same thing!
STEP EIGHT: Continue Getting Orders Long After Your Segment Aired
BAM! You get on the Today Show, it was hard work, but it was worth it! Want one more reason putting all that time and energy into this outreach is valuable? It's a gift that keeps on giving! As Hope herself told us, she still gets orders from people who saw her on the Today Show! Possibly even more powerful is that the clout that landing a national morning show plug for your product gives you will help you in other areas of your business: retail, cross-marketing, growing business relationships and buzz.
Want to leverage every press opportunity you get into even bigger and better things? This podcast we recorded with two PR powerhouses will help you do that!