Three-time Emmy Award Winning Investigative Journalist, Wendy Saltzman, spent more than two decades working on-camera in television news. Most recently, she was the Investigative Reporter at Philadelphia’s #1 powerhouse station 6abc.
Wendy now runs her own media conglomerate, Philly Power Media. Named one of the top 50 business coaches to follow on Twitter in 2019, she prepares high level corporate management, business owners & individuals for media interviews. In addition, she is a marketing & social media specialist who uses her expertise as a storyteller to help individuals brand themselves & their businesses across media platforms.
Introduced by a mutual friend at a Power of Professional WoMen event in Philadelphia, Wendy and I immediately connected because we realized we had much in common. Wendy and I have spent time together connecting, getting to know one another, and supporting each other in the growth of our businesses since then.
Having worked in media for over 23 years, launching 3 investigative teams and traveling all over the country, Wendy is no stranger to being on camera. During her time as an investigative reporter, Wendy realized that she has the ability to truly help people. She shares that she had always had a dream about starting a business where she could help people and how her breast cancer was the impetus to launching Philly Power Media.
Running her own company give Wendy the opportunity to do something she is passionate about, helping people with public speaking, media interviews, and presentation skills training. Taking her 23 years of media experience telling stories, she helps companies put out videos to promote themselves across the internet, social media, and via email.
Wendy has some wonderful tips for all of us about getting comfortable on camera. Zoom does allow you to get comfortable in front of camera. It’s a good way to get you feet wet because it allows you to speak very conversationally. When she coaches people on video she encourage to remember that this is a conversation.
TIP!… Gesturing (using your hands) is important. It makes it easier to engage because it makes your speech pattern much more natural.
Some people struggle to connect on an energetic level when they first start out with video, they feel like they are confined to a box. There’s a mindset shift that needs to happen.
TIP!… One of the tricks of the trade, according to Wendy, is if you don’t have someone else on the other side of the camera, pretend as if you do. Pretend that a friend or family member is on the other side, she says this is particularly helpful if you are on a live TV interview or giving a presentation. Think about how you would talk to the person you are imagining, and the conversation will be much more natural.
A lot of people don’t look at the camera, they are busy looking at the other people in the Zoom conference room or at their notes on screen. Eye contact is very important when you are trying to connect with your audience.
TIP!… Put a sticky note with “Look here!” written on it near your camera to remind you where to look.
On Zoom, it’s much easier to connect because it’s usually 2 or more people and you can see one another. Wendy shares that being a webinar presenter offers a set of different challenges because presenters are too busy reading their notes.
TIP!… Presenters need to use bullet points. You are going to lose your audience if you don’t connect, and eye contact is critical to keeping your audience engaged.
When on camera, you still want to create engagement. People are energetic beings and they want to feel your emotions and get a sense of who you are. Again, this creates deeper connections with your audience.
Tip!… Be as natural as possible and let you shine through! It’s really just about the things you would naturally do and people can feel that.
Tip!… If you’re not smiling, your audience can actually hear that in your voice.
Video really does create a personal connection. This is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic because people are having to learn how to use video to do business. Video truly is a great way for people to get to know who you are. What they get to see is who you truly are and it helps them answer questions like…
- Is this someone I’d like to do business with?
- Do I like this personally?
- Do they share the same energy, drive, and personality as someone I like doing business with?
Video is the next best thing to in-person networking. You have to “walk into” a Zoom business meeting the same way you would for in-person networking, with a smile on your face, positive energy, and your message.
Being very professional is just as important. Show up as if you are in a room full of business people, because you are!
TIP!… Remember it’s still business. “Dress for the job you want.” Think about the professional message you are sending to people.
Wendy does an incredible job of staying connected with her audience on social media. When asked about her strategy for staying connected she shared that nothing can replace face to face connections with people, but the next best thing is social media and videos on social media. People really get a chance to get a feel for who you are.
Being very purposeful on social media, Wendy focuses sharing information people want. She shares that you want to increase people’s engagement with you. You can’t get on social media and sell, sell, sell all the time, because people aren’t going to follow you. With the way the algorithms work, if people aren’t interacting with your content, the social media platforms are going to share your content less and less. Make sure you are providing information to the people that follow you that they can use.
In Wendy’s “Tip of the Week” she provides valuable tips about things that are relevant right now. She is always looking for content to share that will be helpful to her followers. Useful information allows people to get to know you, learn more about what you are doing, and creates value and keeps you top of mind when a need for your services arise.
Wendy shares how a connection through Instagram led to working with her largest clients, a law firm in Philadelphia. When Wendy’s clients post their videos, she shares them on social media as another way to help her clients and to promote her services. One of the people she had worked with in the media, who is also a partner in the firm, saw her posts and told their marketing person to get in touch with Wendy to do video marketing for the firm. That resulted in her largest client for the past two years.
People who knew Wendy’s work from TV, now see her on social media and are reaching out for her services. She attributes this to the fact that she is constantly posting good relevant content on social media.
TIP!… You must be consistent about your posting. You can’t be random. Have a calendar and at a minimum post three times a week posting different content each time. That way different people get different things out of the various content you are posting.
Wendy gives a great example of why consistency matters. If some asks you to follow them and you go to Facebook and they haven’t posted anything in two months, why would you want to follow them? If they obviously are active, why would you follow them? How would that benefit you?
If there’s someone who is constantly posting and constantly posting interesting content, then you are going to be more apt to follow them. You’ve got to think about your business that way.
TIP!… Think about how to provide your followers with interesting content that’s going to continue to engage them.
You can’t just get on social media and continuously make a sales pitch. You’ve got to provide a variety of content that is interesting to people. It can still be within content within your area of expertise, but you have to provide content that is relevant to your audience.
The content you share can vary between the different social media platforms you use. Posting personal content, while acceptable on Facebook and Instagram where people want to get to know you on a more personal level, may not be relevant to the LinkedIn audience which is more professional. It’s really important to know who your audience is, what they want to see from you, and where they are showing up.
Networking in-person may be going by the wayside the longer we are quarantined. People are getting more comfortable with online networking and are thinking realistically that we may not return to in-person networking until next year. Wendy sees that it is just too risky until there is a vaccine. Wendy says, “People have to learn to network this way.” She sees this as beneficial because you can reach more people with a single post than you can at a networking event where you might be able to have two to three really good connecting conversations, not to mention the time it takes to get ready, drive there, find parking, then drive back to the office after.
One video that can reach upwards of 3000 people will take you less time to record than it would to go to a networking event where you’ll connect with a handful of people if you’re lucky.
One of the projects Wendy and her team are working on right now is remote editing. They can talk you through how to shoot a video on your cell phone or camera then they can do the editing for you. Wendy offers coaching on how to present webinars for people who want to get more comfortable in front of their audience. Helping them use the webinar medium successfully to make better connections.
Even when we start doing face to face networking again, we are going to see a continuation on this platform, so why not get good at.
As we begin shifting back networking learning how to get comfortable on camera and connecting with people online are great tools you will continue to use. These are transferable skills that you can use in multiple facets of your life.
“The bottom line is the better communicator you are, the more powerful you’re going to be, the better you are going to be able to sell yourself and your business.”
In this fascinating interview with Wendy we talked about the power of video, how to get more comfortable on camera for networking and presenting, and social media strategies that will put you on top and help you connect with your audience. Wendy is an expert at sharing insights and is one of my favorite people to follow on social media. Be sure to connect with Wendy for her “Tip of the Week” and more wonderful media advice.
Connect with Wendy Saltzman
- FB: https://facebook.com/wendysaltzmanphillypowermedia/
- LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/wendy-saltzman-08a23a29/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendySaltzman
- YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/wsaltzman1
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/wendy_saltzman/
Photography credit: Brenda Jankowski, BrenPhotography