Media Feast and How to Get on TV (Plus: Winner of the Endless Summer!)


There are three main paths to getting on TV:

1. Make so much noise elsewhere that TV has to pay attention (online is the best place to kick up a firestorm, IMHO)

2. Be a billionaire heiress or pop singer, then either shave your head or go to jail

3. Create and pitch a trend + segment instead of you and your product

Number three is the most neglected.

I once thought that pitching the person and story were the keys to the TV kingdom, but I’ve since learned that’s Minor League. Why? A single person, unless already a celebrity, doesn’t fill 30 minutes on the most popular shows.

The solution is to develop an entire segment based on a new trend or phenomenon.

This is how it looks: find statistics that indicate a new trend, tie yourself into the trend, add experts, case studies, PhDs, and other guests to help fill 30 entertaining and credible minutes about this topic. Give it a good headline and pitch it to producers at the top shows. It’s a simple concept and it works.

To become a quick study in pitching media and creating buzz, I highly recommend picking up Losing My Virginity by billionaire Richard Branson, and for a good tactical guide minus the autobiographical stories (which are awesome), see Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity, co-authored by one of the top experts in TV placement in NYC, Rick Frishman.

Find below a few recent examples of TV pieces I’ve done — Fox and Friends and Businessweek TV — that resulted from approach 1 above:

If those don’t work for you:

And approach #3? Keep an eye on this blog for more TV news coming soon… ;)


Grand Prize Winner of the Endless Summer Competition!

With 39.6%, the winner is… Roger! Congratulations to all for such amazing entries. Roger, I’ll be in touch so you can get that trip to Japan you’ve wanted, the coaching, as well as the donation for the causes of your choice. Well played!

Posted on: July 19, 2007.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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50 comments on “Media Feast and How to Get on TV (Plus: Winner of the Endless Summer!)

  1. Great post once again. I’ll have a look at the TV pitching for a marketing client of mine. I’ve always been really interested in getting mainstream publicity and you Sir, seem to have a good take.

    Your RSS feed has now migrated into my Firefox Live Toolbar, running a close second to “The Superficial“!


  2. Tim, I hardly watch any tv, so I’m probably the wrong person to be making suggestions, but I think you should skip the 3 shows you mention above and get a cameo spot on Entourage. Now that would be cool!


  3. CONGRATULATIONS, ROGER!! I voted for Colbert, Tim, but if Oprah airs in Japan and you guys are planning to meet up there to collaborate (and/or party) — maybe she’s the one to talk it up! In any case, HAVE A BLAST, Tomotachi!


  4. Hi All,

    Julien, I hear you, but I’ll tell you this much: I know one gent who was scheduled for Oprah and he decided to sell a book two days before the show aired. He received high 6 figures after a few phone calls.

    Being on a national show like Oprah gives you one thing: options. It doesn’t obligate you to anything, but it gives you some very powerful new doors to open, should you choose.

    As you know, I wouldn’t do anything that would tie me down for long ;)

    Have a killer weekend!



  5. It’s a great idea, but unfortunately, video of me sitting at my desk being more productive would not make good tv. My increased productivity hasn’t yet translated into any additional freedom or exciting adventures.

    But my mindset has changed, for sure, and I am now working on projects that will lead to my working less.


  6. Aaah I told you you’d be on Oprah soon! I need to go light a fire under my elancer’s butt :P Take me with you!!! I’ll be working on this this weekend ~ awesome!


  7. Hey Tim!

    How about this:
    Use me as a test case – we film the whole thing from our first meeting to our final goodbyes. We slice it together and make it a killer documentary. I’ll provide the crew, equipment, and pay for the expenses of making the film, you just show up and work your magic! Let me know if your interested.



  8. LOL… I mentioned no names! That said, here is my dream: challenging Colbert to a good ‘ol fashioned American breakdancing battle. He can run, but he can’t hide… ;)

    Anybody taking bets? He may have some footwork, but he’s never seen my air freezes or swipes.



  9. I don’t have a video camera, and I’m not sure what I would tape anyway. But, here is my version of a success story.

    When I was 19, and an exchange student, I wrote a set of life goals. I managed to get to most of them by the time I was 25, which, to me, counts as success.

    When I graduated from college, I took a job in what amounted to middle management with Special Olympics. I hated it. I was too far removed from the athletes, who I enjoyed coaching and mentoring. So, I quit the job, even though most would view a well-paying job and living in Monterey County as success.

    I have taken only two jobs since then: I coached a professional women’s basketball team in Sweden and a professional men’s basketball team in Ireland. Otherwise, I work for myself doing what I want.

    While I love the 4HWW, I am working on an article with a similar theme: people who skip the rat race, and manage to work in jobs where they feel like they don’t work.

    You see, while a 4-hour work week sounds ideal, if I were to be set-up financially as per the 4HWW model, I’d want to spend most of my time doing exactly what I do now: write and train basketball players.

    The 4HWW has inspired me to create financial independence so I can travel more, worry less and enjoy training and writing more, without the pressure of earning an income.

    The first step was self-publishing my book, and a subsequent Second Edition: Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development. It does not quite meet the product model in 4HWW, but it’s close.

    The goal, as described in this blog entry, is to become a voice in a movement. I have a web site geared toward that direction. The movement is changing the way we approach youth basketball and basketball player development.

    The next step, which I am in the process of creating, is to create a business around the model in the book. Thus far, the business is slow in developing, but it is in the process. My next project, the first step of the business, should be completed in September. If everything goes according to plan, this project should be the product that fits the 4HWW model and creates financial flexibility to do what I want.

    Once the finances are taken care of, and I do not need to live paycheck to paycheck, I want to travel more. I have been fortunate to direct clinics on China, South Africa, Greece and Macedonia. Through my web site and book, I have connected with people and organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya and the Philippines. I’d like to help these organizations and also learn from them. I’d also like to return with Hoops4Hope to South Africa.

    So, it’s not a perfect 4HWW success story, but it is a success story and I am using the 4HWW book as a model to finish off my life goals, create new ones and make it happen.

    Anyway, that’s my story.


  10. Hi Tim,

    Love your book and I think I am getting addicted to your blog. Now that’s not part of the 4 hour work week right :)

    Anyway, I got your book at the right time of my life but kind of on the fence to take that next step. I am 40 years old, no family and was recently laid off(not a bad thing). I’ve got some job options(some virtual) and I really want to live the life you talk about(travel muses. etc.) I’ve got so many ideas on places to go and muses that I want to start but my head is swimming with info overload. Any advice on how to take the next steps without analysis paralysis?

    I feel like this might be my last chance to lead the life you speak of.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.



  11. Hi Tim,

    I own 4 successful businesses, give lectures & speak when asked, was a candidate on The Apprentice, am a member of YPO and consult when an interesting gig crosses my path. My dirty little secret…I work about 10 -15 hours a week, before your book, only my closest friends knew this.

    I’ve always kept it really quiet (especially from clients), frankly with my companies the way they are I thought no one would believe me anyhow, but there you have it…your book is liberating me from this secrecy.

    I travel AT LEAST a minimum of 6 months out of the year, usually 9. Not sure I meet case studies for 4hww as I’ve been this way for a couple of years, and just read your book last week, but it’s the life.

    When I first started my businesses I thought I needed to work 100 hours a week, I would get up at 7AM and literally work until I went to bed around 1AM…for years. Didn’t take a day off for 6 years straight (started my first company at 18 in lieu of going to college & was terrified of failing). Then I set a goal to be able to travel at least 6 months out of the year, I pretty quickly realized I was the only person stopping myself from doing that.

    One of my company logos was just featured in Transformers the movie (totally boosted sales), and being on TV didn’t hurt any when I was on :). I think Oprah FOR SURE! Got to go back stage & front row when my friend was on, she’s amazing & the show is awesome, and what could be better than that kind of international exposure!

    On an extended road trip now, in Washington & Oregon this week, mountain biking in Whistler next week & then hiking and exploring all of Alaska w one of my dogs as co-pilot. Started training BJJ on this trip, very excited, just had my first lesson & got training requirements from my coach back in Santa Fe, my goal: blue belt by my b-day in January. Your book unblocked me on that goal, thanks :).

    If I sent in a video, seeing I’m on the road it would just be my road trip adventures, no business in site…hmmmm, actually I put together this uber-mastermind group a little while ago w/my uber-business friends, all adventure-seeking live life out loud types who are also brand icons & I do calls from the road. Maybe I will send something in. Live big…andrea


  12. Tim, like many others I’m sure, I work best with clear time constraints. Can you post a firm date that you’d like to receive final submissions by? It’ll help everyone gauge how much time can go into creating these.


    Hi Dave and All,

    Excellent point. The sooner you can upload the better — by Friday, July 27th would be ideal for the current shows — but these TV opportunities will be ongoing, so upload anytime. Please note that no editing is needed. Just say a bit about yourself and tell your story of before-and-afters. “Ummms” and so on are no problem, and be authentic. Think of them as like my videos from the road: au natural.

    If you have a recording device and have seen positive changes after 4HWW, take a few notes of 3-5 highlights (or fewer) you want to cover, and just shoot it a few times. Should take more than 20-30 minutes to get it right.

    Hope that helps!

    Have a killer weekend,



  13. Tim! I am training an “old” training partner of yours, David Ellis – last he trained with you he was about 85 lbs, now he is preparing for the US Open in Judo this Fall.

    I gave him your book, I might as well buy a box of them since I keep giving mine away!

    I have a question maybe you can address down the road in a later Blog.

    I have a muse; it’s a membership web site, as you know. But, I also opened a gym – I’d love to hear YOUR ideas on making this (a physical business, not an internet biz) into an automated biz allowing the 4 hr work week.

    My work hours are extreme, my first goal is a 4 hr work DAY, not work week

    When teaching begins, I am up at 7 AM, then from school I train clients from 5 – 8 PM, home, work on internet biz till 11 or midnight – a normal day then goes from 7 am – approx. midnight Not sure how I do it – there are a few, or shall I say, ONE thing, keeping me from leaving teaching.

    Anyway, since you opened a gym in Thailand, I wonder how you would have operated it to create the 4 hr work week with the physical business.

    I am assuming the key here is systematize and automate – e-myth style.

    I look forward to hearing back!

    Plus, I REALLY want to hear the story of how the Thai Mob shut you down!

    Come on bruddah, don’t make me choke you out!! haaaa




    Hi Zach,

    LOL… I don’t want anyone to choke me out this weekend ;) You’re right about what I would recommend — systematize and automate. How would you recreate yourself if you had to? What rules and routines do you follow that you could put on paper for someone?

    As for the Thai mafia, it was actually the Taiwanese mafia, but I’ll just give a teaser, as I’m on Long Island and need to hit the beach: they require “protection” money, which is often inflated for foreigners, if they can get building permits at all. In addition to that, swimming pools weren’t at the time legal, so they had to be classified as “water reservoirs” for fire emergencies! The list goes on and on…

    Hope that helps!



  14. Tim – I have been running a video of “outsourcing my life” – now in 5 episodes , on youtube, my blog and also have a group on Facebook with the same name. Will tag the videos with the above tag as well.

    BTW – I am planning to set up an Outsourcing my life – panel at Europes biggest web event – Le web 3 in Paris, Dec 11-12. Would love to have you on board!


  15. Hey Tim,

    Are you on LI, NY? I’m from the North Shore but all the nice beaches are South and East like Montauk and the Hamptons..

    I want to say that this last post about creating segments and stories is a great idea. I had started to do that on a smaller level by making connections between people I know that could provide the story and inexchange for making the connection they would mention my product. But with this I can create the story and still fit my product into it as a main element!!

    Some crazy things have been happening since I read 4HWW almost 3 months ago..

    Kind of off topic question, but are you an impatient person? There are times i’m incredibly impatient and I get frustrated if I’m not where I want to be… although given your jet-setting lifestyle I’m sure its hard but what about when you were first getting started?

    Oh by the way, I talked my gf into a mini-retirement next spring in europe!! We’re thinking about 6-8 months right now but if I get my business up and running ideally i wont have to come back to “work” after and can start planning other things i’ve always wanted to do, like going mountain climbing on mount rainier!!!

    Thanks Tim!!