Rich, you ask us why we are here on ActiveRain on your featured post of today. Of all the ways I can think of to answer this question, the one I never would have said is this: "For Free Publicity".
You see, while I see the value of free publicity, I didn't start blogging to get noticed by the media.
Here's the truth: I fight the irresistible urge to place a paper bag over my head when I am asked to be interviewed on camera. It is happening more and more often these days, thanks to my blogging.
When I had lunch with Brad Andersohn this week, I confessed to him that a local TV station had become interested in my blog, and wanted to interview me on camera (eek!) for their real estate segment of the nightly news.
I had turned down this offer before because I was petrified at the thought of being on camera. I told the reporter to interview my boss instead.
Do newly famous authors feel stage fright? Do they love writing the book, but don't want to go on the book tour? Do they want the fortune but not the fame? And heaven help them if they ever get famous enough....and need to sit down on some talk show.
Sheesh, maybe all they wanted to do was be a geeky writer!
I know because that's me.
But Brad gave me some advice that calmed my nerves enough to go on camera last night. He told me that I wouldn't be very good.
Because like anything else, being in front of a camera takes time, takes tweaking, and a level of comfort that only develops after practice and multiple times in front of the camera.
Brad asked me to remember how terrible my first blog must have been. Hmmm..... actually, it was pretty good and even got featured. But okay. I got his point.
I was wondering how I would ever measure up to Diane Sawyer my first time out of the gate. Brad helped me understand my expectations were just too high. (Ya think?)
So bravely, I went back to the office and told the boss I had decided to do the interview myself (eek! eek! eek!) And the cameras rolled.
Last night I appeared on KRON Channel 4 in San Francisco as a mortgage expert. It was the result of writing about the Fannie/Freddie situation earlier in the week. Sort of boring to most Rainers, and it didn't get much play. But the media loved it.
What I would like to leave you with is this: Clearly, reporters are searching for blogs written by experts who are willing to be interviewed and/or quoted. This exposure would cost thousands of dollars if you had to pay for it. But it comes free as a result of blogging. Please don't let your fear of being IN FRONT of the camera stop you from promoting yourself and your business.
These are the fruits of our blogging. Don't be like me and let your apples rot on the gound or be picked up by someone else. Get in front of that camera if you have the chance.
So Brad, thanks for the advice to JUST GET OVER IT. A star has not been born, as you will see when you watch the video. But a camera/video friendly blogger just may have been.
Here is the link to the news story last night if you would like to watch. ( And, please. Let me wake up and be Diane Sawyer next time someone asks me to do this).
Written by Janet Guilbault, Mortgage Lending Expert Based Out of the San Francisco Bay Area