A unique aspect of the TV hosting business is that it’s one of very few industries that can honestly say, “It’s all about us.” Let’s be honest, being recognized on the street and getting facial recognition is something that many of you who wanna be hosts are seeking. But let me assure you, if that’s the No. 1 driving force behind why you want to do this, you will have a very difficult road ahead of you. Let me explain why.
Marketing yourself in TV is a combination of things; it’s not just one thing. A large and VERY IMPORTANT part of marketing yourself is learning to understand the perspective of your fans and followers. When you understand how they think and the lingo they use to describe things, then you can better communicate with them using THEIR language; not yours. If you want to become good at marketing yourself, you need to listen for what’s behind the words your fans and followers use. You’re listening for their emotional drives, fears, frustrations and what it is they want. ALL people seek to be understood; if you can communicate to them in such a way that they feel understood, you’re going to have a TON of success attracting fans and followers. As an example, you could be posting content like weekly webisodes that speak to them personally, make them laugh or cover a topic that’s interesting to them. You could be posting links to helpful information they didn’t know was out there. For instance, why are you reading this book right now? It’s likely because I’m giving you information that you’ve been looking for and couldn’t find elsewhere. That means I’m catering to your needs. Remember, it’s not about getting others to do what you want them to do; it’s about giving them what they’re looking for.
If you go to Ty Pennington’s website or Facebook fan page, you’ll see that he is always interacting with his fans. He frequently posts relevant content associated with his brand, which is home design. At least once a week, you’ll see a video done by him describing how he designs a room or home and the thought process that goes into it. These are the types of things his fans see as valuable because they can take it and use it in their everyday lives.
Robert B. Cialdini, author of “The Psychology of Persuasion,” says, “One of the most potent weapons of influence around us is the rule for reciprocation. The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” This alone should help you understand why helping other people get what they want will help you get what you want.
The fundamental mistake most hosts make when marketing themselves is they try to talk to people into “liking” them instead of communicating “I understand what you want and what you’re trying to achieve and I’m here to help.”
Hear me loud and clear when I say this, “You must stop talking about how great you are!” You must start talking to your fans about THEIR needs and what THEY hope to get out of watching and paying attention to you. If you don’t, you’re going to be banging your head against a wall as you try to increase your following. It isn’t enough to be talented and entertaining; you have to connect with the audience on their terms. Check your ego at the door and learn from the people that matter most: your fans and followers. This is the path to success.
Even if you’re already an established host with a good following, there are only two things that really matter in marketing yourself as a TV host:
1. How You Market Yourself – Connect with other people and show them that you have something that helps them. Social networking has been a tremendously successful way for hosts to promote themselves, but be smart about what you’re putting out there. If you’re a fashion expert, blog about fashion, give some great tips, post helpful and interesting articles about fashion; don’t talk about your commute to work or what you had for dinner. When you talk about stupid crap, you lose followers. If you don’t have a personal brand just yet, don’t be afraid to have a point of view about what you’re passionate about. Shoot videos. Put them on YouTube. Use your Facebook posts to let people know what you have going on and how it relates to them. But DON’T get reckless with any strong opinions you might have on any particular subject! This will certainly turn people off to your page and even cause them to stop following you.
2. Creativity and Innovation – You need to be creating new stuff that people want to see all the time. For the professional host, this includes new videos, blogs, webisodes, podcasts, articles and the many other forms of content. Look for content that can teach, entertain, inspire or evoke emotions like laughter or excitement. Also, don’t be afraid to create your own projects. Write, direct and star in your own material and get it out there. This is what will drive the viral reach of your social media pages. By developing new and fresh content on a regular basis you’re providing new reasons for your fans to pay attention to and interact with you. Send postcards or email flyers to casting directors to alert them about your upcoming appearances. Casting directors, producers and directors all want to work with people who are working. If you are busy, you are more appealing to them.
Stick with mastering these two things and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be a household name entertaining all of us.