Let’s face it: Most of us have a blog and a professional brand whether or not there’s a full-time job involved. And most of us have big dreams to cultivate our brand and launch it into a show, product…anything!
Nitika Chopra is one of us but here’s the difference: She’s been there, done that and sat down with us to dish.
Last night at the premiere of her show, Naturally Beautiful, in New York City we picked her brain to learn the secrets to her success. After all, she started her blog, Your Bella Life, with the sole purpose to become a talk show host!
In our exclusive interview, Chopra dishes:
“I was very, very clear [about what I wanted] and I was also very clear that no one knew who I was. So, I was like, ‘Okay, that’s nice that you want a talk show but no one knows you so you’re probably not going to get one tomorrow.’ Instead of giving up, I decided that I was going to figure out what are the elements of a show like the guests that you would have, the topics that you would have and me being on camera and put that on a website. And I literally meditated on it every day for the past four years and then I got a show.”
Wait, what? It happened that easily? Apparently, yes. Chopra admits, “I wish it was a different story but that was the truth.”
We should add it sounds like she worked very hard to pull it off. For four years while working on her site before and after office hours at a real estate agency from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., she landed an agent through a friend. “It is an obstacle in itself,” she admits. While literally working seven days a week (she left the day job last January), she networked her way to an agent.
“I got myself a hosting agent and I walked into his office the first day and said, ‘I want my own talk show.’ And he totally rolled his eyes at me like a typical New York agent and I was like, ‘I don’t care. It’s going to happen,’” she recalls.
Chopra created the site which was “like my resume” and posted weekly videos to build her brand. Even if someone wasn’t calling her for opportunities, she was “still putting content out there so somebody could see what I looked like.”
Ironically despite having an agent, Veria Living called her directly after finding her on Facebook! “They were looking for somebody like me, South Asian, young, influential in the industry and holistic lifestyle is what they do. They asked me to come in and I tested for the show. And it’s kind of all history!”
Having filmed 39 episodes within five weeks and calling it an “out of body experience,” the grateful Chopra advises aspiring bloggers, talk show hosts and entrepreneurs to keep your day job at first. “I’m really passionate about this because I feel like so many entrepreneurs out there feel like they should be able to make money off of their business right away and I feel like it’s unfair to do that.”
As for her tips about getting in front of the camera without any experience, you have to start somewhere by practicing, even if it’s in your own home. Chopra had been practicing Oprah Winfrey interviews for 10 years! “I asked my friends, ‘Doesn’t everyone practice Oprah interviews?’ I would watch the Lance Armstrong interview and pause it and think, ‘So, Lance…” I’m nuts but I thought everybody did that!”
Getting more serious, Chopra advises:
“Tap into what’s beautiful about you. What’s amazing or strong about you or beautiful about you and that’s an internal beauty. For me, I tapped into the fact that I really care about people. I’m not here to be a talking head. I’m not here to be a stick figure just putting on makeup or whatever, that’s not my mission. I really tried to tap into if we’re doing a makeover, what’s really going on for the other person.
People can feel that authenticity. For someone else, it may be bringing laughter into a situation and making things light. If they really connect to that in the conversations, viewers connect to that and they just see that.”
Naturally Beautiful airs on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. ET on Veria Living.