Insider advice from a journalist on how to get your coaching business featured in the media
Updated: Mar 15
Over the years during my work as a journalist, I’ve spoken to countless coaches as experts for my features. Working on the features desk of a national newspaper and writing for women’s weekly magazines and websites, often to a very tight deadline, I came to rely on particular coaches and therapists as ‘go to’ people – those I knew I could turn to at a moment’s notice and get solid, informed and helpful advice.
In turn, they were able to say that they had been quoted in a magazine or newspaper, adding the article to the ‘as seen in’ part of their website, or perhaps sharing it on their social media.
It’s not just about visibility, or even ‘fame’ – coaches who have press coverage can reach clients through the readership of the publication. They can use their media portfolio of quotes and even speaking as a case study to showcase their expertise, something which then helps when they are approaching, say, a company they want to work with as a consultant, or a brand they’d like to collaborate with.
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Meanwhile, here's some key parts of becoming one of those reliable experts journalists just LOVE:
1) Get to know journalists personally. The one thing that I loved - and still do, when I’m writing a feature – about my ‘go to’ experts (I call them my ‘rent a quotes’) is that they knew me. We’d have conversations. One often called me to give her advice for the feature from her morning dog walk. Sometimes they’d email me with an idea, something that had come up during their day or that they were planning a workshop on a theme. They weren’t just experts, they were contacts, people I got to know as ‘them’ not just the ‘coach. So the first step is not to just think about being in ALL THE MEDIA but to think about the specific publications you want to appear in, and then trying to build meaningful relationships with the people who write for them. Not just the journalists on the staff, either – you could build a relationship with a journalist who writes for numerous publications, for extra wins. Follow them, see what they’re writing about, introduce yourself and then...
2) Be clear about your niche and what your ‘rent a quote’ subject is. As a writer, we like experts who have a niche, because we’re often asked to write on a niche. So, we are always keen to hear from experts and coaches who have something in particular to say, or can speak about something quite unusual. When it comes to being a case study (very different to ‘just being quoted’) having a niche might mean you have a personal story to tell, too. So, think clearly about what your niche is. If you reached out to a journalist and said you were keen to chat and offer yourself as a quotable expert, what is your ‘thing’?
3) Answer the call when it comes! So you’ve started the relationship, you made your niche clear. Then the journalist says ‘Great, I need some quotes… like, YESTERDAY’. (Sorry, we do that. We’re often given tight deadlines and we need you on board with that). If the call comes, be ready to answer it. That might mean composing the reply in the supermarket queue, or putting off your shower to answer the email that pings at 9am from a digital journalist. If you’re saying ‘I’m available’ to journalists, it’s then a race to be the most available. Wow, that sounds hectic.. well, when journalists are on deadlines things can be hectic. Replying quickly and clearly, saying something important and informative, and adding a photo of yourself so they don’t have to ask is the three-step plan to being asked the next time that writer needs some quotes, too.
So there you have it – some insider info from me! I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years, working with major publishing houses and agencies. You can read my work in Grazia, Stylist, Refinery29, The Guardian, Telegraph, Red, Metro, PA, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home and many others. You can check out some of my work at www.jennystallard.com (or google me!).
If you’re a coach and you want to learn more about how to get not just featured in the press but to build lasting relationships with journalists and editors, as well as all the ins and outs of what happens when you appear in an article and how to make sure it drives clients to your business, you can book a one on one call. We’ll go way deeper into all the things that are involved in being a media-friendly coach, and I’ll tell you what journalists really want, from the little things (have a hi res photo of yourself always to hand!) to the big (yes, people might troll you in the comments section).
Want to know more? Drop me a line at email@example.com and I can answer any questions.