Those who know me or have heard me speak probably have been waiting for this Cherry Bomb about Oprah for some time.
It’s not that I hate Oprah Winfrey. I think she has done great things for the women’s movement. (Although I do hate how she’s helped put Autism research back about 20 years… but that’s another story!) But I am glad to finally see that show of hers get off the air once and for all.
That’s because, once people hear I’ve gotten a few people on her show, I am bombarded with books to take a look at and people who think that if they get on her show they will make millions and be famous.
The Oprah Effect, they call it. I call it hooey.
But let me back up a bit. When I first started Cherry Communications, early in the last decade, I pitched my first two clients to the Oprah Show. I bet you can’t guess what happened, next.
Firstly, I got them both on Oprah (yes, I’m good at publicity). OK, you may have guessed that since I hinted about it earlier.
But the surprise was what happened next. Neither client paid me! Can you believe it?! I made their biggest publicity dream come true, and in return they screwed me over. I was only charging them a few hundred bucks, even though advertisers pay six figures to run a commercial during the Oprah Show. But they wouldn’t pay up because they were disappointed with their results after appearing with Oprah.
That’s right. I delivered what they wanted, but it turns out their goal was not the winning lottery ticket they had hoped. One failed to make the profits she expected after promoting her product on the show. The other one actually got sued by a business that saw her on Oprah and accused her of stealing their product idea!
So what did I learn from this? First of all, I learned to charge my clients more and to ensure payment up front! But more importantly for this Cherry Bomb, I learned that most clients don’t know what is good for their business. Specifically, they don’t know their target market.
The Oprah Winfrey Show catered to an audience of just over 7 million. The majority of those who watched are female, white, and over the age of 55. They have 2 kids in their teens and normally stay at home to ‘take care’ of them. And the household income? Less than $50,000. They are not big spenders.
Sure, Oprah has help make some things popular like Spanx and some books. But the majority of products featured on the show aren’t household names, or worse, get sued, like my former client did. So even though giving away a car to audience members got a big boost for Oprah, it did nothing for car sales.
But here’s the thing: you, too, can have the Oprah Effect, any day of the week, by following one simple rule: know your target market and cater your media pitches and press releases to outlets that focus on your target market.
Want to learn more about focusing in on your target market, get the media’s attention and learn how to market yourself without the hype? Join Felicia Slattery and me for our Accelerated Business Building VIP Intensive that starts next week! Go to http://VIPwithShannonandFelicia.com