Month: July 2015

Tips for Your First TV Appearance

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Today I was on Talk of Alabama discussing our upcoming events The Bloganista Mixer presented by Collage Designer Consignment and The Bloganista Mini-Con presented by Laura Vincent Printing & Design.

I always encourage the writers and bloggers I coach to pitch a segment idea to local TV media. And, not to brag or anything but… after using the tips I give them on how to pitch their idea they usually email me saying “I’M GOING TO BE ON TV!” (Click here to check out those tips.)

But about five minutes after sending that email they send another that reads something like this: “OMG! I’M GOING TO BE ON TV! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’M FREAKING OUT!”

If you’re a few days away from your first TV appearance and you’re having similar anxious thoughts, here are a few tips to help things go smoothly:

Practice, but not too much. Write down five questions you think a reporter might ask based on the topics you presented in your pitch. Now write down your answers to these questions. (Some TV stations will actually request that you do this and ask that you send your questions and answers to their producers.) Read over what you wrote a few times. Now get your spouse, significant other, best friend or blogging or business buddy to interview you using the questions you wrote, but also get them to throw in a few questions that aren’t on your list so you’ll have practice responding to questions off the cuff. WARNING: Don’t try to memorize every word you’ll say. If you do that you’ll sound too rehearsed and come off as inauthentic.

Choose your outfit the night before. You don’t want to feel rushed and frazzled the morning of your big television debut because you couldn’t figure out what to wear. So be sure you have your entire outfit prepped and ready to go the night before your segment. Not sure what to wear? Bright colors are best, but avoid white. Wear something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident. And remember — you have to look the part to get the role. So if you’re going on TV to give tips to aspiring entrepreneurs because you want to be a business coach, you need to look like you run something! If you’re giving fashion tips, that should be obvious the moment you walk on set and you better be the most stylish person in the room.

Arrive early, but not too early. Leave your home and head to the station early enough that you will be on time even if there’s a wreck on the road and you get stuck in traffic. But don’t get there so early that you have 90 minutes to stew in your nervousness before your segment begins.

Make small talk… or not. I’m an extrovert so talking to other people at the station — whether folks who work there or other people waiting to be interviewed — calms me. But the idea of talking to even more strangers may make you want to puke. If that’s the case, head to the restroom for some alone time before your segment. Figure out what works best for you based on your personality. And if you’re a spiritual person be sure to wake up early enough that you can get in your daily spiritual practice. This will also help you feel more centered and calm.

Forget about the cameras. OK, stop laughing. I know this sounds impossible. But try your best to just pretend you’re having a conversation with the person interviewing you and forget that you’re on TV. Most likely your segment is on something that you’re very passionate about, something you probably talk to people about all the time. Just pretend this is another one of those times when someone has shown interest in this passion of yours and wants to know more because actually that’s exactly what this is!

What tips would you offer to folks preparing for their first TV appearance? 

PS – If you’d like to see my segment on today’s Talk of Alabama, the video will be available here for a limited time.

How to Land Your First TV Appearance


Set your DVRs! Tomorrow morning I’ll be making my fourth appearance on Talk of Alabama, a daytime talk show on ABC 33/40 that focuses on entertainment news and features local events, organizations and various businesses in and around the state. I’ll be on discussing See Jane Write’s upcoming event the Bloganista Mini-Con presented by Laura Vincent. This is See Jane Write’s annual one-day blogging conference for women and is set for August 1.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket visit to do so today.

Whenever I work with writers on building buzz for their blogs or books I always encourage them to pitch a segment idea to local TV media. It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and, obviously, a great way to spread the word about what you’re doing. The last time I was on Talk of Alabama to promote a See Jane Write event a viewer drove to Birmingham from a city more than an hour away to attend the event I discussed.

Here are a few tips on how to land a TV appearance of your own:

Be sure you’re pitching to the right person. Writing a great pitch for your segment idea is pointless if it ends up in someone’s email trash folder. So ask around and find out the name and email address of the person in charge of booking for the show that you’re interested in. Usually, it’s the show’s producer handling such decisions, not the folks you actually see on TV.

Remember it’s not all about you. Unless you’re Beyonce, don’t email a show’s producer saying they need you on the show because you’re awesome.  In your pitch stay focused on the value you’re bringing the show’s viewers. The last time I was on Talk of Alabama it was to promote my time management e-course. But in my pitch I didn’t write, “Hey, put me on your show so I can promote my awesome e-course.” Instead I discussed the importance of having good time management skills when trying to accomplish goals. I made this pitch in February, the time of year when people’s enthusiasm about their New Year’s resolutions is starting to wane. I presented four tips for good time management to help people make the time to work on their goals. And, of course, I mentioned my course as a way that they could get additional help.

Check your calendar. Always be mindful of what time of year it is just as I was when making my time management pitch. If you can tie your topic to a holiday — no matter how obscure that holiday  may be — do it! If you’re a food writer, for example, you need to have things National Hamburger Day or National Ice Cream Day on your radar.

Do cool stuff. Tomorrow’s Talk of Alabama appearance and an appearance I made in January were both unsolicited. In both cases the producer reached out to me. Last year I exercised every single day and wrote about it at One of Talk of Alabama‘s producers read my blog and asked me to come on the show to talk about how I managed to exercise 365 consecutive days.  Of course, whenever I’m on Talk of Alabama I want to promote See Jane Write so I found a way to tie this all back to writing and blogging by discussing how this fitness challenge of mine actually helped me become a better writer because it showed me that no matter what excuses I may have in mind, I do have time to write and blog. If I could find time to exercise every day, I can find time to work on my life’s great passion. For tomorrow’s appearance someone from the show actually reached out to me asking if I was working on anything I’d like to come on the show to discuss. At this point I’ve established a reputation as someone who’s always up to something!


And remember to tune in to ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be posting tips on how to make sure your first TV appearance is a success.

Member of the Month: Jennifer Dome King

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On July 18 I’m going for a run with Jennifer Dome King, no matter how hot it is — and since we live in Alabama I’m sure the day will be a scorcher. But on July 18 Jennifer is hosting her second Makeshift 5K, an event series she launched this spring to encourage readers of her blog Stellar Fashion and Fitness to get out and run and challenge themselves even if they don’t have the money for or access to an official race.

Jennifer’s Makeshift 5K is just one of the many reasons I’m happy to announce that Jennifer Dome King is the See Jane Write member of the month for July. I’m also excited to report that she will be a panelist at the upcoming Bloganista Mini-Con. (In honor of Jennifer and the start of a new month, a few tickets are on sale today for only $50!)

Jennifer’s blog is one of my favorite to read due to her focus on having a positive body image at any size.

In addition to being a “stellar” blogger, Jennifer is also a magazine editor and freelance writer and still finds time to exercise. Read on to get Jennifer’s tips on blogging, freelancing, and living a stellar life.

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How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? 

I started my first blog, which is now defunct, in 2006 when I was interning at W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily in London. I wanted a place to document my travels for my family and friends back home, but it turned into a fashion blog in 2008 because that’s always been my passion. I wanted to show how you can interpret what you see on the runways and incorporate it into your own wardrobe.

How would you describe the mission or purpose of your blog Stellar Fashion and Fitness

The current mission of my blog was solidified in 2010 when I started working on my own health and fitness. I decided then that while I still wanted to write about fashion, I was also interested in overall health — from working out to eating more healthfully to new experiences, I think all of these come together with fashion to express who you are and help you feel good about yourself. The message of having a healthy body image evolved naturally because I truly feel that leading a stellar life incorporates all of these pieces. I’m still working on that journey, on finding my healthiest self, my inner fashionista and my self-confidence, so my hope is to encourage others who are on similar paths.

You also do a lot of freelance writing. Tell us about some of your latest pieces. 

I’m lucky to work with an editor at who lets me pitch stories that interest me. So I recently interviewed Kelly Creel, another Jane, about the best yoga poses for runners. I challenge myself to walk and run, but because of some issues with my knee and feet, it can be a little rough. These yoga poses help keep me limber, so I knew they would help others as well. Right now I’m also copy editing the summer issue of Filmmaker magazine, which is published by the Independent Film Project out of Brooklyn. I’ve been editing that magazine since 2011, and it’s fun to get an inside scoop on movies I wouldn’t always hear about otherwise.

Jennifer running

How did you get the idea to start the Makeshift 5K? What is your hope for these events? 

Since 2010, when I ran my first 5k (the Rumpshaker), I have run at least a dozen 5ks, the Vulcan 10k a few times and two half marathons (Mercedes and Talladega). I decided I needed to start setting goals for myself to keep my running/walking going, but registering for a 5k every few months wasn’t in my budget. So this spring I picked a date, April 25, and decided I would run a 5k that day and invited others to join me. Thankfully you came, and so did Tanya Sylvan, and y’all pushed me to beat my previous 5k time! I decided then that I wanted to make this a regular thing, and I hoped others would join me because I think having a definite goal in mind when you want to walk or run regularly is so helpful. It’s great to challenge yourself and give yourself that feeling of accomplishment. I hope that it will grow to encourage people who maybe haven’t done an official race before to try it out in a casual, fun setting. There’s no time requirement, and I really do want people who walk to know that that is just as good as running. The distance — 3.1 miles — is the goal. That and having fun!

What advice would you give to people who want to start a fashion/fitness blog with a message, people trying to live a stellar life, and people who want to freelance for various publications? 

Finding your niche is key. I cover a lot of different topics, but I always try to talk to women of all shapes and sizes and keep building one’s self-confidence as my goal. Discover what that niche is and hone in on that, and then you can broaden your approach a little to be more inclusive.

The best advice I can give for living a stellar life is don’t hold yourself back. If you think you don’t have fashion sense, go out on a limb and try a print or a design you never have before. If there’s a workout you want to try, trust me, no one in the class is really paying that much attention to you — so try it! You’ll be surprised how welcoming people are no matter your size or how in shape you are. I don’t think anything should hold us back to do the things we want — our body shape or our past. You can work with all of that and take the steps toward living a full (stellar!) life!

Use your connections to help with freelance jobs. And use your blog! I got my freelance job at partly because I went to grad school with my editor and mostly because she read my blog and knew I could write about (and research) a number of different topics. I was a copy editor at Southern Living magazine when I got the job copy editing for Filmmaker, through another copy editor who didn’t want to do it anymore. So talk to other writers/editors. You never know when someone is looking to take a project off their plate, or if they heard about a job they can’t take.

Finally, tell us what you enjoy about being a member of See Jane Write?

I love the community of women that SJW has created. I love that we encourage one another and competition is the furthest thing from our minds. We all want to see each other succeed! And if you have writer’s block or a technical issue, there’s always someone you can call on. But the best thing about SJW is that we really do take each other’s work seriously. We know blogging has the potential to be a wonderful outlet creatively, but it can also be a big business opportunity. We take the business of blogging seriously, but we have a lot of fun doing it!

Would you like to be the next See Jane Write member of the month? Send your nominations to