Case Study: Becoming a Go-to Expert With Chris Kilham

Paula Rizzo (author of Listful Living) looks to Chris Kilham for expert advice on how to establish yourself and build confidence.


BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”


If you’re an author or expert, you probably dream of being a producer’s first call — that expert they know they can go to for high-quality content. 

But how can you get there? One of the best ways to plot out your career goals is to look at others who have done it before you. 

That’s why I want to introduce you to Chris Kilham, also known as the Medicine Hunter. His speciality is alternative medicine, and he’s traveled the world looking for healing plants. Chris has written fourteen books during his long (and colorful!) career!

I got to know Chris back when I was a Senior Health Producer at Fox News. He was a go-to expert for me. 

Whenever I worked with Chris, I knew he would deliver important information in an engaging way. So I kept calling him up, and he was always game to come work together. We did that for over a decade!  

Do you know how we built that relationship? Video.

That’s right — Chris is a master of video. He knows how to use video to his advantage — getting the audience’s attention and keeping them interested, so he can deliver key messages about how plants from around the world can be used to heal all sorts of illnesses. 

I spoke with Chris on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop about his tips for using video to become a go-to expert.

1. Don’t be a snob.

Chris says that when you’re first starting out, it’s important to say yes to every opportunity — even ones that seem small. Like I always say, media begets media!

Back in 1978, for example, Chris got over 160 media interviews after an article he was interviewed for in the Brookline Beacon got picked up by the Associated Press.

This can happen to anyone in any specialty — check out this story about my friend Ilise Benun – she got ten years of media from a single mention! So you just never know. 

2. Know your narrative — and document it.

Chris travels the world looking for plant-based medicines. And whenever he goes on a trip — to find a healing tea in Sichuan, China, for instance — he knows that the story of his journey will have a beginning, middle, and end. 

Knowing your narrative is key for pitching your story to the media — and for creating engaging content documenting your expertise. Chris takes notes and consistently shoots video and photographs. 

Having that footage is key, because no producer wants to rely on stock footage. Having exciting video content of healing herbs in their natural habitat makes for a much better story. Think about how your area of expertise can translate to visual storytelling, and then start shooting that video yourself.

You want producers to know that you understand the power of video. You can make their job easier by showing them how your expertise translates into a visual story. 

3. Have authority + grace. 

Some experts feel nervous about giving their opinions — they don’t want to be shut out if someone disagrees. I get that fear, but as an expert, you should have opinions and be able to articulate them. This is something Chris does well. He can explain his position and defend it — but he’s not a hothead. He’s always respectful. That’s a combination of traits that you need to nail as an expert.

For example, Chris often butted heads with our go-to traditional medicine expert at Fox News Channel, Dr. Manny Alvarez. They had different perspectives and didn’t always see eye-to-eye. But Chris says that the key to making that work was openness — he always brought a sense of curiosity, confidence, and respect to the set, and so did Dr. Manny. 

If you want to become a go-to media expert, take a look at my full conversation with Chris here. He’s full of ideas for establishing yourself and building your confidence in your own ability to succeed. 


BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”


Listful Living by Paula Rizzo

Listful Living

A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You

A best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television producer for nearly 20 years, Paula Rizzo produced health, wellness, and lifestyle segments with a range of top experts, including JJ Virgin, Jillian Michaels, and Deepak Chopra. Rizzo brings her experience to this new project. Readers will learn their stress style and strategies for shaping their days in more productive ways. With self-assessments and exercises, this guide will bring readers to better patterns and better, more organized lives.

Get Our Latest News

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter