Rise in your field of expertise, be expected to give advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps. Two decades in and suddenly you have your stock answers at the ready. Mine turned into this regarding broadcasting: 1) Learn how to write, crisply, concisely and effectively. 2) Find your voice. The words on the page have to be expressed in a way that hits the right pitch of tone and force. 3) Be persistent. You’ll hear no a ton. Don’t listen to it.
Now while I say that these tenets have gone unchanged, a fourth has emerged that I never would have imagined: Be open minded to opportunity and collaboration.
The path for me and those who I followed was tried and tested: Get on the air any way you can. Move up in the field by finding new positions in bigger markets. Work hard to find the assignments you are passionate about. Get Better. Grow and hope you run into suits who can actually see and want to cultivate talent. Now? Now is different. Now doesn’t look anything like the path I took.
The world of broadcasting is so remarkably specialized that platform has been marginalized. Stars of the entertainment world are home grown creations via You Tube. I firmly believe that reporters can be mined this way as well. What’s stopping you from trying to cover stories for your own site, blog, or You Tube/Periscope channel? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
So it is time to rewrite those canned answers when young aspiring broadcasters want advice about how to grow a career in broadcasting.
1) Become social media savvy in every forum. Learn how to present “your story” in an effective manner on Facebook/Snapchat/Twitter/
2) Utilize this forum to present the most positive version of yourself or the story you are telling. Those suits that I don’t clearly care for played an integral role in the growth of my career, they said No to a few things I did or was going to do and saved me from myself. The platforms have a brand to protect, think of it the same way. Find people in your life you trust (mentors, people older then you, know more then you, have done this for a lot longer then you) and field advice. If you feel like posting something could be taking a risk not in line with the image you want to present, then trust your gut. Content providers can edit you. You need to edit yourself and don’t pretend you have all the answers.
3) Write Write Write. I don’t care what it is about. You love cauliflower? Great, start the cauliflower blog and write about it. It doesn’t matter what exactly you want to focus on, but find a focus. I love beer and I started recently writing about the craft explosion. Is this out of my realm of perceived expertise? Yes. But it might end up being a side project for me because the doors are wide open for experimentation in all areas of interest.
4) Watch broadcasters you like closely. You’
I see that you are not capable of emulating their linguistics easily. Why? Because we paid well to make that part look easy when in fact it is a craft that takes a Malcolm Gladwell approach to succeed at. This is art, a performance art. You wouldn’t envision it would be simple to play a role opposite Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible Series. Look at Sportscenter the same way. You aren’t just going to be able to do that and not look foolish. You must learn the art of public speaking, tone and storytelling. The latter is an imperative facet that even most broadcasters fail to grasp. I’ll be writing about this at a later date and plan on talking to my partners at Reel Media about how we can and should incorporate this into our community. I believe strongly that performed storytelling not only can help a budding broadcasters career but can help young people with confidence and self esteem and professionals to become better salesmen. It’s transformational.
5) Be Persistent. But this is easier then ever. So some digital outlet isn’t interested in your commentary videos? Who cares? The universe is more vast then any of us can imagine. Make your own way. Keep getting better. Keep pushing your stuff. Cream rises to the top. Get clicks, get interest, get viral and trust me, those same content providers will come looking for you.
6) Collaboration. Broadcasting has largely been a me me me game. Sure you hope to be paired with people you have chemistry with but the climb is often about your own self interests. I humbly suggest that this paradigm has shifted. Collaboration with like minded content makers especially from different social media realms can help jump start your own career. Are you a travel video blogger? Why try to compete with all those travel video bloggers when you can see if the two of you would share a trip and post each other’s work. Exposure is key to growth so find your own partnerships and see where it takes you.
Now, what do you have for me? Email me at Bram@reelmediagroup.tv Follow me on Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram: @RealBramW
Contact me directly for information on speaking engagements or collaboration. This has been a liberating change in my career to see the merits in that and am actively seeking partners to work with on a variety of cool projects coming to platforms.