Amy Scruggs is no stranger to giving her all on the stage, whether singing the national anthem at a sold-out major league baseball game or as an on-camera TV show host. During her life-long music career, Amy has bared her soul before audiences through her piano playing and singing jazz and country songs. Through her work as a media executive at a mortgage company, Amy was recognized for her communication abilities and was invited to host a CNBC real estate and finance TV show. After learning the ins and outs of hosting, Amy now helps other professionals harness the power of digital media to grow their businesses. And Amy founded Voice for Heroes, an organization that tells the stories of our military and veteran community, bringing them awareness and support.
Throughout your music career, what’s been one or two of the most amazing opportunities you’ve had so far to share your talent?
My first big opportunity came when I was selected as the opening act for country music legend and mega-star Clint Black. It was the break I needed to get my foot in the door, which allowed me to open for other country music stars like Phil Vassar, Trace Adkins, Gary Allan, Charlie Daniels and more. That first performance for Clint Black will always be a special moment for me.
The second was singing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 by request of the US Army, along with the hundreds of performances I’ve done for the military and veteran community.
What do you find most rewarding about being a music entertainer?
I started singing and playing the piano by ear at age three. Music is in my DNA. I would put on shows in the backyard as a child, and I always knew someday, I would make it to the national stage. Singing is the most personal part of me. I feel like I am giving my soul when I am on the stage. I still cry when I know I get to do a big performance and when I sing the national anthem. When I can make someone feel emotion through my performance, it is the greatest reward and fulfills the core of my spirit.
How did you become an on-air personality and TV show host, and what do you like most about being a host?
I was working as a media executive with a national mortgage company when I was asked to host a new TV show centered around real estate. The company felt my background as a recording artist, corporate spokesperson and my comfort speaking before live audiences, coupled with my knowledge in the real estate and mortgage industry, I would be a good fit for a national TV show highlighting the American dream of homeownership. They were right. Being in front of the camera was a natural fit for me. I’m still hosting the TV show I began hosting four years ago, “Financing the American Dream,” which airs on CNBC.
We’d love to hear a few of your insights about how business owners can grow their businesses by harnessing the media and digital marking platforms.
Today is all about digital communication, from TV to Podcast, to Radio to a Web-based platform. Most business is now conducted virtually through the power of digital media. You can reach a far greater audience today through digital and social media than you ever could before. Finding the right person or team to help guide and advise entrepreneurs, business owners or professionals through the various digital media platforms is critical. Once that’s done, develop the right market strategy and branding for you or your business, as you strategically utilize the power of digital and social media to grow your business. If a person doesn’t have this technical skillset, it’s imperative they outsource to someone who does. I have successfully taught numerous corporate clients, through my Media Communication Training, how to achieve on-camera confidence, effective communication, branding and strategic digital marketing techniques.
As a communication training coach, what do you find stops most people from communicating well on the public stage, and how do you help them through your coaching?
By far, it’s the fear and anxiety of doing something out of your comfort zone; in this case, it’s being in front of a camera or public speaking. Whether virtual or live, this is the greatest challenge I see most people have when I interview them. That’s when my media coaching tips I developed come into play. These techniques were so successful at putting my guests at ease before filming that my colleagues asked me to share them, so I created my “5 Tips Guide” to achieve on-camera confidence and skills to master today’s virtual world of communication. This was so successful I was asked to coach corporate executives and business sales teams on these same techniques. My Media Coaching Business has taken off and expanded to include training for any professional.
What do you enjoy most about helping entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level?
Seeing my 20 years of experience become strategic tools implemented into others’ success stories is completely rewarding. It keeps me driven and passionate to find others who are ready to create the same growth and outcomes.
Congrats on your upcoming book, Lights, Camera, Action. What inspired you to write the book and what do you most want readers to take away from it?
I saw that I could reach a far greater audience and help so many more professionals learn these essential skills by writing a book that encompassed all the same tips, techniques and lessons I teach my private clients. It allows anyone to learn how to grow and thrive in this new virtual world of digital communication. I also developed a corresponding online training course, “Media Training for Professionals,” with me coaching through each lesson. Both are excellent resources designed to help non-media trained professionals achieve the confidence and skills needed for today’s digital world. Both the book and the online course will be available in book stores or through my website, Amy Scruggs Media, by early summer.
Why was it important for you to found Voice For Heroes to tell the stories of US veterans, and what has been your proudest achievement with the organization?
After the life-changing work and experiences I’ve had with the military and veteran community as a recording artist and TV host, I wanted to create a platform that allowed me to tell the story of our heroes and create awareness and support. My proudest achievement with the organization Voice For Heroes is when we served the foundation “Saddles in Service” and gathered local San Diego support and press using my media relationships, which led to being included in a recent Hollywood documentary, “Wounded Heroes.”
By Eva Barrows