Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Yay! Hey all my settlefree sisters and brothers, I'm stoked right now, I mean really stoked! Did you know ya girl was on HLN as a contributor the other day? Yesss I was contacted by a Producer from HLN which is CNN's's sister network, that's right I said CNN! They wanted me to come on a segment called "On the Story" with Anchor Lynn Smith, (Who was absolutely a joy to work with!) to share my views on a case about a single mom who lives in Florida, who was arrested for leaving her four year old in her car unattended while she went to a job fair. I'd been on HLN some years back as a singles moms contributor so it felt super awesome for them to remember me, reach out to me, and ask me to share my expert opinion as a single moms contributor! Many of you may not know but me being a single mom, I know all about the struggles that can many times come along with that! It felt amazing being asked to come on. (Mama I'm doing it!)
I remember six years ago, I had the honor of being on HLN with Dr. Drew's On Call. I was contacted by the producers then as well. (I must say, I've come a long way!) From being skyped in and displayed on a large screen, to appearing live from their actual studio , sitting next to a Nationally known Anchor and Journalist, to hair and make up from CNN's amazing glam squad.
My CNN MUA Stephanie hooked me up! It felt so good to walk in the door and be treated like the Queen I am. It felt so good for HLN Producers to value my opinion when it comes to a touchy subject like this one. It feels so good knowing that out of I'm sure thousands of people, experts and contributors they could have chosen, they chose me! This is Big! No This is HUGE! This is amazing! You know what this says??? It says never stop shining in your niche. Even though I do a lot of Media and red carpet interviews, I still remained true to my relationship and dating passion. I still remained true to being a subject matter expert in parenting as a single mom and everything that comes along with that. It took six years, but that's Gods plan. You see He was molding me and making me ten times better than I was the first time because He knows the plans that He has for me and at that time, I wasn't ready ready and He knew it! He allowed me to get a taste of what it will be like so that I can continue to do His work and so that He can bless me and reward me. He knew that I needed to be more sharpened so when they come back, I'd be sharp as a tack just like I was last Tuesday! Yeah I'm tooting my own horn, who else is going to do it if I don't so "Toot Toot!"You should learn to toot your own horn too!
Do yal know how many doors were shut on me, backs turned, judgments passed and lies told? LOTS! But I'm only human and I belong to God so it doesn't matter! You HAVE to remember that you are not perfect and as long as you know that, you will be fine! You have to continue to find the joy even through the pain and work on you. Take time to get it together and continue to work on you. If you have to remove some things and people from your life or let them remove you, then you must remember, sometimes you have to lose to WIN!! Take the "L" and move on with your imperfect awesome self!
I've had quite a few people reach out to me asking me how I got on HLN? Now lets get to the how and the tips you can use to get noticed by major producers and win in your niche!
Stay true to who you are and be consistent! I don't care if you don't get a lot of likes, comments or engagements on the content that you are sharing, Post it anyway and mean it! One of my very first television appearances came from a lady who had only 27 followers and just an image as her profile picture. Turns out she was an Executive Producer for 11 Alive News here in Georgia! Had I not shared my great content consistently, she would never have noticed me and had I judged her on the amount of followers she had I would have missed out on a great television opportunity! Never turn down an opportunity without at least making contact to learn more!
Make sure your website matches what you say you do and who you say you are! When I showed up at the CNN Center to do the HLN live segment, the producer who came out to greet me complimented my website. She said it was very nice, she said it was wonderful and was one of the many reasons they chose me, so yes your online presence is IMPORTANT! Invest those extra coins to make sure your website is together because producers, talent scouts, people looking for speakers and the list goes on and on are looking at your website before making their decision. Make sure it's popping!
Don't just talk about it, BE about it! Do you know how many people (So called journalists) I see out there on the red carpet doing interviews with celebrities and red carpet guests and attendees who just take photos with the talent and post them on Instagram and Facebook and call themselves a journalist? Trust me there are tons! For those of you who know me know that not only am I a Relationship Coach, Author and Single moms mentor, I'm a media correspondent as well. I've graced the red carpet doing interviews at some of the worlds largest awards ceremonies such as the Soul Train Music Awards, BET Gospel Celebration, the Trumpet Awards, media invite only exclusive screenings and so many local high level occasions. When I cover an event, I cover an event with clear photos, a complete recap, many times video footage of live interviews and I create tons of excitement about the event's I attend. If people want to see your coverage on an event and they don't see any write ups on your website, or better yet, you don't have a website then chances are, they will not choose you! If you call yourself a journalist, then stop just snapping selfies with celebrities and journal!
Be 100% confident in the value you know you bring! If you don't believe in yourself, then why would anyone else? Whenever I get a call or an email that someone wants to book me, I never say I think I can do that service, Imma try to, or let me see if I can, because serious people looking to book you as talent need a person who they believe can do the job, and are confident in their product. You need to be saying yes and here's what I offer. You should also assure you set that price expectation too upfront! This says to them, you ARE a professional! If you are out here selling yourself as one thing, keep that same energy when you start getting requests for your services!
Respond fast and professionally! Are you a person who never responds to emails right away when they come? How often do you check your emails? Do you have auto pop ups on your phone? if not, GET IT! You could be missing out on opportunities simply because you didn't see the email in time! I know you can't stop and read every single email that comes up right away, but most emails show the first one or two sentences in the body of the email, so at a glance you can see the who and the what! Answer that email, even if your answer is no. It looks more professional and chances are, they will reach out to you again in the future.
Don't let comparison cause you to quit! I see it all the time, people just stop chasing their dreams, they see others reaching mild stones faster than them, they feel the industry is already over populated with so many people doing the same thing so they just post their rants on social media about how "over saturated" it is, then next thing you know, they stop doing it completely! Don't be that person! If you are truly passionate about what you're doing then time will tell and it won't matter who else is doing it because when it's your turn, it's your turn and you will stand out, but you gotta show up to blow up! If you're not present, how will they reach you?
Don't expect to be paid for everything! Yeah I said it! When you are building your Brand yes there will be lots of Pr-Bono work specifically for Marketing and Brand building, where YOU are not only providing a service at no cost, but you're using that opportunity to build your own portfolio! People are very visual and if they can see it, then they will believe it and you will get the work! Then as you continue to grow as I mentioned above, then you can set that price but don't be trying to charge outrageous prices when you're clearly not able to prove your value via content and consistency. Question.....Would you pay me to cover your event if I didn't have one online write up showing proof of my work? Just checking!
Keep your email and contact the information the same! Nothing annoys people more than them reaching out to you and getting an undelivered email bounce back or an out of service voice message on your phone. My advice to you is if you ever decide to change or update your contact info, always make sure you have it linked to your new updated email address or a new current contact phone number. If not, you just might miss your ship! Also, remember the PRODUCERS are the key! If you find that you want to give contacting a local station a shot yourself, find the producers and email them directly. Make sure the topic you specialize in is what that producer over sees. Wishing you all the best!
I hope this post gave you many of the nuggets you need to help you thrive in your niche and reach your greater purpose! Please use this and apply it to your life! Enjoy the full clip via HLN and my photo gallery below and thanks for stopping by!