Published:
November 23, 2022
Last Updated:
November 27, 2022

Getting Press as a Health Coach: Tips from Media Trainer and Award-Winning Journalist Jessica Abo

Jessica Abo is a media trainer, a storytelling coach, and an award-winning journalist who uses her 20-plus years working as a television news anchor and reporter to help physicians, experts, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, authors, and celebrities share their stories with the world.

As an IIN student herself, Abo knows the value of having confidence when it comes to getting clients and growing your audience. She wants to help all IIN graduates learn how to improve their public speaking skills – whether they’re pitching to a new coaching client, preparing for an on-air interview, or planning to give a keynote for their industry.

The idea of putting yourself out there can be really overwhelming. If a Health Coach wants to pitch to the media, where should they begin?

If you want to get press, the first thing to do is identify why you want press at this moment in time and what you want this exposure to do for you and your business. This will help you better understand what you want to pitch (the topic) and where you want to pitch (the news outlet, podcast, blog, etc.).

One exercise I do with my clients is, I have them make a list of what they like talking about. For example, if you’re a fertility Health Coach, your list might look like this:

Things I Can Talk About

  • Balancing Hormones
  • Diet
  • IVF
  • Mindset
  • Stress

Then we make a list of where they’d like to talk about these subjects (on TV, on the radio, in print, on podcasts, in blogs, etc.). From there, we play around with headlines. So staying with our fertility Health Coach for a minute, if they wanted to focus on diet, they might consider pitching:

  • 5 Foods to Eat If You’re Trying to Conceive
  • What to Eat Before and After Embryo Transfer

Something to keep in mind is that there are a lot of awareness days and months that can help get your pitch attention. In this case, the fertility Health Coach would want to keep track of the following dates and reach out to the press in advance.

  • National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23–29, 2023.
  • World Infertility Awareness Month is in June.
  • National IVF Day is July 25, 2023.

What makes a good pitch?

I get anywhere from 400 to 500 pitches every month for one of my slots on Entrepreneur.com. In my opinion, short emails are best. Let’s keep working with our fertility Health Coach as an example. A pitch to me could look like this:

Dear Jessica,

I recently saw your piece on the CEO of Flo Living and appreciate you focusing on how women can biohack their hormones. I am a fertility Health Coach who can talk about a wide range of topics. With National IVF Day coming up next month, on July 25, I wanted to put the following segment ideas on your radar. [Include ideas here.]

live a life you love as a health coach guide opt in banner

Sincerely,

[Your name here]

It seems like the pitching process can take a lot of time. What does a publicist do, and at what point should someone consider hiring a publicist?

A publicist is someone you can hire to manage your public relations. This person is responsible for contacting the media on your behalf. Some publicists like to send a long, formal pitch. Others prefer sending a shorter blurb about a client along with some bullet points that they can talk about. A good publicist will have a lot of contacts, have strong relationships with the media, know how to pitch well, and be able to follow up with a reporter without burning bridges.

Given how easy it is to contact reporters on social media, are there any dos and don’ts?

Do follow people who cover health and wellness. Do like, comment, and share their work. Don’t bombard them on every platform or be rude. Someone once sent me a pitch (but I hadn’t checked my email yet) and then went online and wrote comments on every wall and feed, asking why I hadn’t replied. Don’t do that.

What are a few best practices Health Coaches can implement on their social media channels and websites to stand out and get noticed?

Videos, testimonials, and blogs are great. Oftentimes, broadcast producers and bookers are going to want to know what you look like and sound like on camera before they book you for a segment, so if you’re posting your own videos on Instagram, that’s a great way for a producer to see that you know how to show up camera ready. Testimonials and blogs are great in terms of credibility.

If you’re not very tech or social media savvy, another great way to get your services out there is by speaking in person. Consider offering your services through a workshop at your local place of worship, at universities in the area, or to different charity groups that have galas and luncheons. These places would greatly benefit from having someone like you come and share your expertise.

Let’s say someone gets booked to be on a broadcast or podcast. How can they prepare?

Mastering the art of talking in sound bites is key. Most of the clients I work with struggle with one (if not all) of the following problems:

  • They don’t know what to say when asked a question.
  • They don’t know when to stop talking, so they go on and on.
  • They don’t know how to phrase their talking points in everyday terms, so they use too much industry jargon.

What I recommend is coming up with three to five questions you might be asked. Then write out your answers in full. Highlight the key phrases and words that stand out for you and build short answers around those. It’s much easier to practice for an on-air appearance when you’re thinking about your bullet points as opposed to trying to regurgitate a long answer you’ve memorized.

Once a Health Coach has their sound bites down, what can they do to be camera ready in the virtual world?

Check your framing and make sure you’re sitting in the middle of your screen. Check your lighting to make sure your shot isn’t too dark (a ring light can help). And make sure you’re looking at the camera.

Finally, what do you want to say to our coaches who might be facing imposter syndrome?

It can be nerve-racking to put yourself out there, but if you don’t show up and share your knowledge, then people will miss out on learning from you. Keep a binder or a folder on your computer/phone with client testimonials, emails, and texts. Remind yourself of the incredible impact you’re making every day and remember all the hours you’ve put into your IIN training. You’ve got this!

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