Getting Ready For Your “Shot”

When I walk my dog Jackson in the pre-dawn hours, it is rarely pretty. No make-up, bed hair tied back in a ponytail and—this time—wrapped in my husband’s bulky jacket since it was easiest to grab on my way out the door.

We live in Los Angeles, so it’s not unusual to see movie, TV and commercial shoots. I gave the crew setting up on the beach a passing glance and then heard “Come here Jackson”!

Sure enough, a good friend of mine was producing the shoot and came over with the director and some of her crew to say hello and of course we took the inevitable group photo.

Inwardly cringing—could I look any worse?—I smiled gamely for the camera.

Hello Facebook. Ugh.

That’s still probably not enough to make me run the dog out at 6AM in full make-up with my hair blown out. But I could have made myself more meet n’ greet ready simply by wearing my OWN jacket and actually combing my hair (next time for sure).

Which brings me to my real point: we never know exactly when or from where a “shot”— a chance to step up to a bigger stage—will present itself.

So it pays to be ready. Maybe your next shot will be a chance to speak at your industry conference. Or to be interviewed by your dream media. Or a podcast invite for just the right audience.

Being ready to go is so much better than frantically trying to produce insights, materials, speeches, etc. under a looming deadline.

What does being ready look like?

Well, it’s having a series of bios for various purposes—ones you can send off at a moment’s notice or simply tweak for its newest use.

It’s having media-ready headshots in various resolutions, including conventional print quality (you can plan ahead and have a compressed version ready to email).

It’s having a modular version of your core speech or workshop already prepared so you can add or subtract quickly and without angst. Plus, knowing your material intimately makes any impromptu pitch discussions a breeze.

It’s having a core “point of view” that you can articulate during any interviews no matter the format: podcast, media, video. Think about your expertise as though you’d written a book on the subject: what do you want to focus on? What key words, phrases and ideas do you want to sprinkle throughout your public interactions?

It’s using your website to streamline client and media requests. If you share bios or photos or field speech requests regularly, shouldn’t your website have downloadable versions of your frequently-shared files?

And finally, it’s making sure that your website exquisitely represents you and your work. Do your photos, copy and images fit your brand? Is your big idea clear and emotive? Can your sweet-spot client “feel” you and easily reach you?

So maybe you don’t need to be uber-spiffy when you’re walking the dog or working out at the gym. But could it hurt to have a few business cards in your back pocket?

You just never know when your next shot will appear.

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  • Such good advise! I learned early in my life as the owner’s daughter of a very popular restaurant that you can’t ever really be an anonymous person…even at times you want to be. So I wear makeup and decent clothes on airplanes, attend conferences dressed as if I was going to present because people do see you. A first impression is a one shot deal. The bios are ready to roll and so are the headshots. The elevator speech is set. What do you do? “I teach animal people how to communicate with humans.” I am a veterinary practice management consultant.
    But at home I do wind down…my husband says…”I get weekend Deb”. So I will try to look good for him too. Good thing the dog is just happy I am home. 🙂

    Thank you for your always excellent posts.

  • As I read through your “be prepared” commentary, I thought how I organized my website with a separate downloadable bio (and CV) since the on line bio reads in the first person (you know why on that). Most of my media remains available through the website or through links (found on my site) to other sites. Many of my presentations, I’ve also posted or turned into commentaries I posted.

  • Rochelle

    Excellent Corey!

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