You’d think with all the communication going on these days that we’d be getting tired of reading more material – but it seems in this “information era” we can’t get enough knowledge whether it’s through online sites such as the one you are currently logged into or through books and magazines. So how can we tap into this valuable resource? Learn how you can build some buzz for your business through the Power of the Press.
Recently a colleague had an article about her appear in a magazine and wondered how she could maximise this opportunity for some publicity. A participant at a recent seminar of mine wondered if writing articles and submitting them to magazines was a good publicity idea. Yes! Anytime you have something written about you it creates awareness of you and your product or service.
The media is such a powerful tool and when used well can really help profile you and your brand. Two ways you can use the media to profile your business and brand is through a media publicity campaign or writing articles for magazines. They can help position you as the expert and authority in your area. The first person people contact when it comes to that subject. People notice. Okay they might not immediately pick up the phone and buy from you, but consistently being seen says, “you’re in business, you mean business and I’m here when you’re ready to buy”.
The main thing you need to be aware of when writing an article or media release is that you need to have something interesting to say. You need to be unique, differentiate yourself from the others in your field. What is you point of difference? What sets you apart? Once you work that out, that can be your “hook” to gain media attention.
What does it mean to others? Will this information be of benefit or help people in any way? Great to be different but what relevance does it have? Will it have an impact on my customers or general public? Can that point of difference help them?
Do I walk my talk? Am I believable? Do I have the history or skills to back up my claims? Can I give real life examples in my stories? What research or statistics have I discovered? Am I a leader in my field?
Do other people back up those claims? Do I have testimonials or awards or the $$ to say I’m successful at what I do? Can you include quotes from others endorsing what you do? Will they say great things about you?
Am I truly an expert? Have I invested in gaining knowledge about my industry, my customers and the competition? Do I have articles on my website on my subject, white papers, special reports or written a book that demonstrates my expertise?
You need to be consistent with your media efforts. Keep in touch with your contacts whether journalists or magazine editors and build personal relationships. Once you’re known as the expert and your personal brand shines through the media will come knocking on your door.
By the way I do write a number of regular articles for online websites and other consumer publications and find it to be great PR. As an example, I wrote an article for a business magazine a while ago. Someone from an industry association saw the piece I wrote, ran it in their online magazine and from that I secured speaking and consulting work and just presented at their annual seminar this year.
Now it might seem like a lot of hard work writing articles particularly if you don’t think you have the expertise. But it’s like anything, once you start it does get easier as you go along. Why not start with just one article and submit it to as many publications or online sites as possible.
Begin to develop the habit of writing a regular newsletter with content you can develop further into articles. Post articles on your website also as search engines love that content. The more awareness you create inevitably it will create more business.
Now that you have all these articles what else can you do with them? Well apart from posting them on your website – keep hard copies. Keep a portfolio of your work that you can show potential clients. Laminate the articles and display them in your office. Send out copies to potential clients. Print out the articles and have them bound into a booklet that you can give away as a prize or raffle.
If your article is in a magazine, another thing you can do is ask the publisher of the magazine for extra copies. If you know well in advance maybe they can do an extra print run for you and you can give away complete copies of the magazine to prospects.
As a result of creating some “buzz” for myself as a writer I was asked to be a regular contributor to Flying Solo a small business website. And…there’s more… I have also just published my first book a co-authored publication called Apprentice to Business Ace – your inside-out guide to personal branding.