Want to increase the awareness of your company’s products or services?
Want to boost your own credibility in the eyes of your potential clients or customers?
Want to increase sales and your chances of business survival?
Have no money for traditional advertising? Try publicity asap.
1. WHAT IS PUBLICITY?
Simply put, publicity is about publicizing a subject, creating attention and getting noticed.
It means getting free stories, news about you and the business in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, social media, and podcasts etc. The big difference between advertising and publicity?
Advertising is paid for, publicity is free.
2. WHY GO AFTER IT?
Getting free publicity has helped many new entrepreneurs (especially this one) get on the “radar screen,” especially with the media.
And in turn, getting my company’s entrepreneur services in front of potential sales prospects, new entrepreneurs.
Getting free publicity helps make the cash register ring. And improves the chances of new business survival and growth.
3. WHEN SHOULD I START?
ASAP. It is especially crucial for the new entrepreneurs. Right at day one, and beyond.
Most entrepreneurs have little or no money for traditional advertising. Yet, still need to let people know that their company exists. People need to know about you before they can buy from you.
However, getting free publicity is hard work, takes time, and requires effort, persistence, and flexibility.
But speaking from personal experience, is well worth the effort. Looking back, it was a mistake on my part not to exploit chances for free publicity.
4. A FEW BENEFITS?
- Builds your company identity.
- Creates credibility – people believe information reported as news.
- Establishes product or service benefits.
- More cost effective vs. paid advertising.
- Helps boost sales.
5. EFFECTIVE PUBLICITY STRATEGY?
Position yourself as an expert in your field.
Ever notice how the media, especially television and radio, uses the same experts for their segments, show stories?
This did not happen by accident. They successfully positioned themselves in the media as the “go to” expert in their field.
Then, given the chance, they shined. They shined so much that the media invited them back again, and again.
6. KEY PUBLICITY GOAL?
Once proven as an expert resource, the media comes to you. Rather than you chasing the media.
You now begin to establish and build a rewarding, win-win relationship with producers, editors. and others.
7. HOW TO DO IT?
- Get published. Write a book. Or a feature article for a newspaper, magazine, trade publication or online outlet/blog. People tend to believe and trust what they see in print. I was able to build my reputation as an entrepreneur/small business expert with the articles I wrote. Which have appeared in The Minneapolis StarTribune, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, ABCNews.coms.com CNNMoney.com, Fortune Small Business, USAToday.com, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) etc. When a potential client or customer reads your work, it gives you immediate credibility in their eyes. And in turn, helps close the sale or deal.
- Appear on television and radio. Despite the perception, it’s not impossible. Producers and reporters are always on the lookout for experts in many fields. That they can draw from for timely input on newsworthy stories. For example, although I had many competitors, I was able to appear regularly on WGN Radio, NBC 5 Chicago, Chicagoland Television, Fox9 News and KARE11 News.
- Start speaking. Devote time for speaking events. When you speak in public, people perceive you as an expert in your field. My first speaking gig was with The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. This event opened up new speaking doors and opportunities with other venues including; The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, The Chicago Bar Association, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Macy’s, Motorola, The University of Chicago/Graduate School of Business, several outplacement firms, libraries and bookstores.
- Use social media. Devote time for developing, interesting, helpful, and useful content for your target audience. Then frequently distribute it, easily and free.
8. QUICK MEDIA TIPS?
- When “pitching,” keep this in mind: It’s not about you. It’s about the story, period.
- Nail the subject line, or get your “pitch” deleted fast.
- Include samples of your previous publicity win(s) (Use bitly links)
- Don’t take it personal, if journalist don’t respond to you.
- Always be on the lookout for publicity opportunities in your local newspapers.
9. DO IT YOURSELF?
Yes. Learn how to do it. Then go out and get it yourself.
10. WORTH THE TIME?
Yes. Like many entrepreneurs before me, I discovered the power of getting free publicity early on. And was able to survive and grow my business.
Despite competing against much larger, more established competitors.
And despite having zero dollars for advertising. Getting free publicity is not easy.
But with effort, and a great story idea on your part, you and your business can win some nice free publicity!
BONUS TIP: Helpful Resource: Help Out a Reporter
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