Media And Publicity Strategies Everyone Should Be Using For Long Term Business Growth
Getting media attention and publicity for your business is one of those things that can take you from zero to a hundred rather quickly.
While posting amazing content and keeping up-to-date with social media is the long game of online business- and a solid one at that- getting publicity is the short game.
Simply put, the media has enormous influence and power. They have thousands if not millions of regular readers on the daily, and their readers look to their work as a source of credibility and insight.
Landing a mention or feature in a major publication can put your business in front of millions of new eyes, potentially growing your traffic exponentially in just a short time. On top of that, being featured by the media also gives you credibility.
Readers and customers see these relationships as almost an endorsement of sorts. The line of thinking goes, “Well if Forbes or Time Magazine thought her story was interesting and valuable, then it must be! I want to check her out.”
Publicity doesn't necessarily have to come from traditional media outlets like Huffington Post or The New York Times. It can also come from people in a position of fame or authority. Think of people like Oprah, Tony Robbins, Ellen, or the leaders in your particular industry.
It might also come from people who aren't within your industry, but who still have an element of fame or social credibility. They might be an entertainer, a musician, an author, or a speaker.
My guess is you know how important getting publicity is, but you probably have no idea where to start. Don’t worry!
The following three publicity strategies will help you start to gain attention from the media and other influencers, especially if you don't already have any connections at your disposal.
Because let's be real for a moment, there aren't a ton of us who already live in New York City and regularly rub elbows with people like Marie Forleo and Deepak Chopra.
And if you’re not sure how to start incorporating publicity into your business, make sure you download my free Profitable Blogging Blueprint below!
How To Get Started With A Publicity Schedule
Don't make the mistake of thinking that publicity is a one-and-done deal. In reality, you should have a publicity schedule that has you reaching out to people of influence each workday.
The good news is, a solid publicity strategy is not something that most small businesses take on. If you're looking for a competitive advantage, this is it.
Strategy #1: Get The Attention Of Journalists In Your Niche
Here's a strategy that just about anyone in any business can start doing right now.
Here’s something to keep in mind. Journalists are super busy people, and they're used to people constantly pitching them and trying to get something from them. I can't imagine that that's a very good feeling.
In response to that, journalists tend to get their story ideas and recommendations from people who are their friends. In order to stay afloat in their work, they need people they can trust and who have their best interests at heart.
The strategy here is to become someone that journalists in your industry can trust. Here's how you do it.
First, start by searching for words related to what your business does on news sites and other forms of online media.
Then choose 8 to 10 articles that are relevant to your knowledge and expertise. Open up a spreadsheet, and write down the name of each journalist who published those articles.
Another way to find journalists who are writing about your topics is to setup a Google Alert for words related to what you do. Google Alerts is a very useful feature for online business owners. It’s free, and once you sign up it will send you an e-mail every time something is published in regards to the word you set it up for.
Given this, I would highly recommend choosing more specific terms and phrases. If you put in something like “blogging” or “baking” you will get an insane number of alerts sent back to you.
Instead, put in something specific to your niche like, “vegetable gardening for beginners” or “minimalist makeup tutorials”.
The next step is to do a little bit of research on each of these journalists. What do they like writing about? What angle do they tend to take in their stories? Is there a specific flow to a story they tend to use often? These are all questions that will help you down the road when you offer a story idea to them.
The third step is to start slowly building a relationship with them. The key here is SLOWLY. You aren't their best friend, so don't pretend to be.
Start by emailing them a compliment. Tell them about an article they posted that you liked and why. Be sincere!
Another tip? Don't ask them for anything. Exchange a few short, natural emails with them to start building the relationship. Sometimes they won't get back to you, and that's okay. Wait a week or so, and email them again. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
Once you've exchanged a 5 or 6 emails with them, let them know what industry you're in and what exciting work you're working on right now. The key here is to keep it casual, and don't pitch them.
Choose an exciting topic or project that you know will interest them (based on your research of their past stories), and simply let them know that that's what you're working on and if they ever need an expert quote or a story on that topic that you would be glad to help.
This person may or may not be looking to run a story like yours right away, but it's highly likely they will keep you in mind for the future.
Top tips for this strategy: be gracious, helpful, and uninvested in the outcome.
Strategy #2: Build Relationships Early And Often With Other Bloggers And Podcasters In Your Industry.
This strategy is similar to the first one, except you will be starting to build long-term relationships with other content marketers in your niche.
The first step is to create a list of 5-10 people you would like to connect with. These can be people who are technically your competitors, as well as people who are in different but related niches.
It's important to choose people who you feel a sense of connection with. Could you be friends with that person in real life? Does it feel like you have some things in common? If so, add them to your list.
The next step is to grab a blank calendar and fill it out so that you're contacting one person per day. Remember, publicity and relationship-building is something you continue to do over the long term so you'll need to invest some time and thought into it.
So what exactly do you say to these people? How do you approach them?
Like most things in life, the answer is to be a friend to them. Help them out. Compliment their work. Leave them a nice review. Help someone in their Facebook group. Make them look good, because everybody wants to look good.
In the first few weeks you probably won't see much in the way of results from this. Be patient. In time, you will be able to naturally strike up a conversation with many of the people you've reached out to.
If your work is high quality and you are reasonably personable, you'll likely find that many of these people are very appreciative of what you've done for them.
Naturally, you may receive some invites to speak on their podcast or contribute as a guest poster on their blog. That's great! Make sure you are a gracious guest and thank them well for the opportunity afterwards.
Strategy #3: Offer To Interview Other Movers and Shakers In Your Industry First
Now that you've built some good relationships, it's time to take it a step further and help them even more. How do you do that?
You interview them!
Think about it from their perspective. Getting interviews is great because it lands you and your business in front of other people's audiences. Some members of those audiences will go on to join your tribe and become your customers.
Landing an interview is publicity on their end as well, and you can help them by offering to do a short and succinct interview and then sharing it with all of your readers and social media followers.
This is a win-win as well, because your readers will love reading or listening to interviews with other cool people in your world.
When you make an offer to interview them, give them a few sample questions that you’d like to ask them. Try to make these unique. People who do lots of interviews often face the same repetitive questions over and over, and that can get rather boring.
Give them a chance to talk about their latest product that they've just released towards the end of the interview. Whether that's a book, a course, a seminar, or just a freebie that they want new people to get their hands on, this is a super beneficial way for your interviewee to capture some of your audience and bring them back to their site.
My last tip is to keep the interview on time. If you say it's going to be a 40-minute interview, don't go on for an hour. Everyone's time is valuable and most of us don't have a lot of it. Be gracious and cognizant of their needs and you can rest assured they will be very grateful and think of you in the future.
After the interview is over, you can take a moment to chat a bit with them about what you thought went well and how you think they will benefit from the ideas that were presented.
Make sure you thank them for taking the time to work with you and let them know that you are happy to return the favor in the future as well.
In all likelihood, the majority of your guests will be happy to interview you as well in the future.
And there you have it! These are my top three strategies for the unconnected to connect with the media and other influencers in a real way. If you found this post helpful, please feel free to share it on Pinterest and comment below on what you found was the most helpful!
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