I Google myself daily.
I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes. I just never know where my name is showing up in the media, and I find that to be exhilarating! So to stay on top of where my name is being mentioned or where my two cents are popping up, I make this research part of my daily routine.
Thanks to my Google habit, I was able to figure out that an article I contributed my advice to was picked up by TIME, Forbes, Business Insider and Fox Business!
So how did I make this happen?
As you know, I write for some major sites, but in addition to my writing, I am also proactive with offering my opinions and advice to large news outlets, magazines and blogs. This is how I work towards establishing myself as an expert in my field and also, let’s be honest, it’s free advertising!
Are you interested in having your name and wisdom shared with the world? Here is the exact process I took, plus my email template [which you can totally steal], to be quoted in the LearnVest article that would later be shared across the interwebs.
I signed up for Help A Reporter Out (HARO) emails a long time ago. I receive these three times a day at 5:30am, 12:30pm, and 5:30pm approximately. The emails are full of journalist queries, looking for experts or opinions on certain questions or topics.
I go through these emails in detail right when they arrive or within an hour after they arrive. It’s important to be timely because journalists are on DEADLINES!
I only answer queries that meet the following criteria: 1) They are on brand (meaning for me they are career, leadership, workplace, or LinkedIn, etc. focused), 2) They are NOT from anonymous outlets (I don’t waste my time with being anonymous, I want exposure!) 3) The media outlet is named and I recognize it (ie. Forbes, Huffington Post, etc.)
Here’s a query I replied to the other day. As you can see it’s perfectly on brand for me. The outlet is high profile enough that there was value in responding:
Journalists get TONS of email responses to these queries. So I use a very specific email template that has been proven to work. It’s not guaranteed, but it did land me the LearnVest article, and several before it.
The key things to take note of in the HARO query before replying are:
1) The name of the person who entered the query
2) Exactly what they need answered
So for the LinkedIn example above, this is how I composed my email:
Subject Line: “Hi John! 4 LinkedIn Rookie Mistakes That Need to be Fixed!”
Then in the body, I wrote:
1) Greeting: “Hi John!”
2) Who I am and why I’m equipped to answer the query: “My name is Kamara Toffolo and I’m a Career and Leadership Coach for Corporate Misfits! I help working professionals either love or leave their corporate jobs and find or create work that WORKS for them! LinkedIn is a big part of my practice and something that I’m expert in.”
3) Provided my advice as briefly as I could (keeping in mind my email was probably one of 100)
4) Indicated how John could learn about me or reach me: “If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to email me at email@example.com. If you’d like to see more about me, my website is here.”
So the key is keeping the answer concise, but with enough back up to prove you know what you’re talking about.
If you’d ever like help in formulating a HARO or media pitch, give me a shout. It’s a lot easier than it may seem. All it takes is some courage, writing skills, and enthusiasm to get your name and ideas out in the media.
Trump photo courtesy of The Independent