Many thanks, Rushion, for taking my question. I am an author, lifestyle consultant and founder of Plan A Enterprises in NYC. Whether I am leading a conversation on the spiritual progression of the self, supporting clients with closing the gap between their past and present or having a full service image/wellness conversation, it all points towards what I call one’s “Plan A.” I have been working hard to get my Plan A message out more and have secured an NPR radio spot starting in March, but now I am also working on pitching interesting stories for shows such as the Steve Harvey Show, Today Show, GMA, etc. What is the best approach in presenting an effective pitch? Are there any secrets to having a pitch that stands out? Thank you so very much for your feedback! -Klay from New York, New York
You should pitch in advance of a season. Right now you should be pitching ideas for the summer looks and they should have gimmicky titles. “How to get fit and eat what you want.” “Single mom motivations to getting fit.” “Work out with your kids and you both stay fit.” This will generate interest and make your idea marketable for TV. I hope you see that the pitch is all about marketing. Metro PCS, T Mobile, Verizon and Sprint are all selling the same phones and service. But they are all pitching it to us differently and that is what you have to do to get on TV. Life is good!
I know consistency is key when it comes to branding. What are some of the important rules that you recommend I do? I am a videographer/video editor. I film weddings, church anniversaries, and promotional videos. The bulk of my clientele are African-American churches. Lately, the most commonly asked question I get asked is, “do you only film for churches?” Even though I have a variety of films posted on my social media sites, I am currently working on my website. I don’t want to limit myself to just the church. What do you suggest? How can I better brand and market myself?
In order to expand you business opportunities, you just need to create sizzle reels of you producing and taping other events. These do not have to be events that you have been paid to do. You can videotape a football or basketball game. You can video tape a festival or a local play. You can videotape a backyard party or a kids birthday party. You do all of this free, so you can create your video inventory that will now display a wide variety of your work. You can set all of these videos up on Youtube.
Hi Rushion! Can you offer any advice on starting a business? How to or where to start? –Mandy
Before I can offer any advice, I need to know what type of business are you interested in starting? I have been in business and if it is not something that you really want to do, then you will not win long term. So you have to want to do something that will make you happy. That happiness will carry you through the lean times or the start up times of the business. I remember when I opened my comedy club in Houston. The Hip Hop Comedy Stop was very successful, but when I opened the doors, nobody showed up, but I was passionate about it and was determined to win in this business, because I was doing something that I wanted to do!
What is the best way to become a speaker on a national platform? -Cheryl from Raleigh, North Carolina
In order to become a successful speaker, you have to have a platform or motivational plan that will excite and inspire people when they hear it. Making money is the number #1 angle of motivation. So if you have been doing public speaking you need to start recording yourself, so you can create a sizzle reel for promotion.
Hi Mr. Rushion McDonald I’m interested in starting my own 24 hour daycare and I’m completely lost with where to start. And I’m struggling with info on how to start my business plans. If you can please help me, finding this information is a current short term goal to get the business plan done –Ericka, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Thank you for asking about daycare service and how to start your business. Every city has tremendous resources that you can use to start your business, but each city is different. So I went to Myrtle Beach, SC chamber website and found this link that I feel will be useful to you in educating you about your business plan.
Is it better to start out publishing through e-books and build up capital to publish my manuscript? –Rufus from Cleveland, Ohio
E-books are fantastic. But you have to have your promotional and marketing plan together. E-books don’t create overhead for your book start-up.
When is the best time to invest money and what should it be invested in? –Deloris from Los Angeles, California
In order to invest your money you have to do research. You have to focus in areas that you feel comfortable being a part of your brand for a period of time. Most importantly, you have to do research in where you want to spend most of your casual money. “What is the foot traffic when you go to those types of businesses?” “Are you willing to work in these types of businesses?”
I have two small businesses, both of which currently need utility patents. I had the good fortune of having one of the businesses featured on the Bethenny Frankel Show back in 2013. I wrote to the Steve Harvey Show about featuring inventors and several months later he did but I was not contacted! Do you know if they plan to feature inventors in the future, and also what advice can you give me for the “cheapest” way to patent my inventions? One of the inventions will revolutionize the black hair care industry and I’m interested in how to find angel investors for it. I am not a “young inventor,” but I will keep pitching to shows. I have a business plan, but am not wanting to take out a loan. I am doing a Kickstart campaign for 80K for an equipment upgrade so that I can manufacture my product. I presented my product to a friend who is retired from 3M, and he believes it has merit. Currently, I am marketing it as a hair styling product but I know there will be a much larger appeal in the general market.
-Deborah from Cleveland, Ohio
The Steve Harvey Show has done several shows featuring young entrepreneurs. But, do not let age stop you! Along with Steve Harvey, you should submit your ideas to Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray. The way you get an angel or any investor is through an accurate business plan. It should focus over a four year period and it should be very detailed and please do not leave out any expenses. Please visit your local small business administration office to assist in your business plan development. I like your aggressive nature, and because you have a business plan, I would advise for you to stay off TV. You do not want someone to create a knockoff of your product. Please start manufacturing your product first and then seek media attention. Deborah, please keep me updated! And please, remember to not be so quick to show your product to the world. Get it manufactured and have a solid marketing plan for success!
Hi Mr. Rushion McDonald – as always, thank you for lending yourself to us. I have a business that I am still in the infancy stages of building and normally I ask you questions about that. But I actually thought it would be a great show concept. Showing a few female entrepreneurs (possibly Christian women) who are in the infancy stages of their business and watch their journey as they develop it and succeed or attempt to develop it and fail. I have a lot of other thoughts about this show, but with that basis, I wanted to know how I could present this to a company that may be interested? I feel like we have a lot of reality shows that show pure negativity. It might be fun to watch these women on their journey and the ins and outs of that. And the battles/rejection that comes with that as well. I appreciate any insight that you have to offer. I was thinking it could be a few individuals (4 or 5) between the ages of 28-45. They would be from different cities (Houston, Atlanta, DC, Miami, etc.) and maybe there is a main person who is a successful mentor that can advise them. -Melodie
The key to this show is the host. I have pitched entrepreneur shows and it always comes back to who is going to be the host of the show. And the host should be a person in their 40’s or younger and they need to be charismatic and be financially successful. I have not found this person yet, so I wish you much success. Now if you find this person, please contact me so we can pitch this show together. You can call this person a main person or host. It will be the same type of individual that I am talking about, which is a successful mentor that will advise about the dos and don’ts of the business world. Life is good!