How To Get Interviewed In A National Glossy
This month I have a lovely two-page spread in Good Housekeeping Magazine – it’s a beautiful piece about my learnings from living in West Africa, but since I shared it on my Social Media the one thing so many people seem to want to know is how I got interviewed.
Like so many things in life, it was a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time. But there are also lots of things you can do to increase your chances of getting coverage in the National Press, and more importantly, good coverage that relates to your business offering – so here’s a bit more of my story around it, including my top tips for getting your own media coverage.
Get Some Practice
For the piece in Good Housekeeping there were 3 of us featured, I got a 2 page spread, and the other women one small page.
I believe a lot of this was to do with me knowing what I was doing on the day, just as much as my story being unusual. The photographer actually commented on the day how easy it was to photograph me as I seemed to know what I was doing. I did! I’ve done it half a dozen times before, but for smaller often online magazines that don’t give the
same level of exposure.
It was totally worth me doing those smaller articles to enable me to be confident and capable when put in front of the big league.
Walk Your Talk
The more interesting things you have going on in your life, the more topics you’ll have that a National Magazine might be interested in writing about. I wrote a post the other week about walking your talk and this is really relevant here. The more stuff you have going on in your day-to-day living, the more likely you are to find a National glossy looking for someone who has something to say on a topic you are involved in that will link nicely into your business and what you’re all about.
Some of the activities I offer such as Glass Walking, and Fire Walking, have been great for getting press coverage in the past – they alway love something a bit different, that stands out from the crowd.
I’m not going to lie to you, there are pages out there on Facebook where you can get National Media coverage in the tabloid press. It’s not hard. But it’s important to think about how the stories they can offer to feature you in may reflect on your business. My advice would be if you take a feature like this on is to ALWAYS request a readback before the feature goes out, and be prepared for taking some abuse, as readers of these type of publications tend to have a lot of negative opinions about thigs, and are generally not afraid to share them.
For myself, I decided that there were certain publications that I definitely didn’t want to be featured in. I tend to be quite opinionated about the hate press, and have, in more recent times, turned down interview opportunities because they were not a publication I would want to promote through my own Social Media and website.
Know What You Look Good In
For these photoshoots you will be given a rail of clothes to choose from. The stylist there will have an idea in mind
or what they want for you, but if you have a good idea of what looks good on you before you begin you will stand out as being helpful, and confident. As well as looking good in the photos!
From doing a couple of previous sessions with my stylist I know exactly what colours suit me, so knew exactly where to head on the rail for what would make me stand out, and make for a great photo.
The day will usually involve getting your make-up and hair done. Turning up with as little make-up and hair product will make you the Make-Up Artist’s new best friend for the day. They may ask you how you like to wear your make-up, but it’s great to sit back and relax, and let them do their stuff.
Think About What You Want To Say
The interview itself is often conducted separately over the phone, rather than on the photoshoot day. Take some time to allow yourself to focus on what you want to say. Give yourself a moment after every question, to think about how best to answer it. How can you get across your message, and not be thrown off at a
tangent by the question.
Even if the article isn’t directly connected with your work is there a way to tie it in without being spammy? Or is it better to focus on what the subject says about you as a person, knowing that this will appeal to the clients you already have, without actually mentioning your work at all.
Always ask for a read back for approval before the article is published.
Get Your Mindset Right
Although these kind of days can be really great fun, and a true adventure actually, they can also be pretty nerve-wracking too.
Take some time to focus and relax before you head off for the day. If you meditate then that will really help, otherwise you could try something things like listening to some relaxing music, a soak in the bath rather than a shower, and focussing on breathing calmly and deeply – make sure it stays calm though, you don’t want to deep breathe yourself into hyperventilation if it’s a practice you’re not used to!
If there’s something going on during the day that you’re not sure about, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s much better to be clear on what’s expected of you, than make a bit of a mess of things for fear of asking.
If you feel really nervous at any point during the day, just tell them. They are usually super chatty, friendly people. They won’t hesitate to get you a cup of tea, and put you at your ease.
When they’re taking the photos and directing how and where they want you, ask back if what you’re doing is ok. ‘Do you mean like this?’ ‘Does this work?’ ‘Would you like me to do that a bit more?’. Have confidence in the fact that not knowing exactly what you’re doing is ok, because you have the ability to find out, and to make it happen in an awesome way.
Let People Know
Once your article comes out, don’t forget to let your tribe of followers know about it. You can post pictures on Instagram, information on Facebook and Twitter, and, if it’s available online, you can share the link too.