Every Solopreneur consultant and business owner has an eye open for good publicity opportunities. Articles written about one’s business are far more effective than paid advertisements, because they are considered objective opinions. Other than word of mouth by satisfied clients who sing your praises, there is nothing better than good PR to help build the buzz that makes you look credible and successful and worthy of still more clients. So what are the best ways to get good publicity?
If you have the kind of organization that can potentially attract more than sporadic media attention, then building relationships with editors and writers whose publications and stories focus on your category is a good use of your time. Once you’ve identified good media prospects by reading their articles, send a press release that details an event that could interest their readers.
In your email, reference an article or two of theirs that you’ve read. Follow-up with a telephone call. Offer to take that person to lunch or coffee. Even if your press release doesn’t get you any editorial space, you may be called to provide comments as an expert when other stories are written. Check in periodically, to maintain the relationship. Meeting for coffee every once in a while can pay off.
Bloggers have lots of influence, but it is sometimes a challenge to reach them. I recently found Blog Dash, a site that helps you connect with bloggers whom you can hire to spread the good word about your organization.
Fifteen business categories are represented, from arts to travel, and numerous bloggers within each category can be reached.There is a free option, which will give you no real access to bloggers (but they will see your organization and may comment), or you can pay up to $50.00/month and be able to pitch bloggers directly and build relationships.
Write a good press release to encourage traditional journalists and bloggers to give your story some editorial space. They are considered old school in some quarters, but a press release is still the way to get the word out to journalists and bloggers, whether or not they know you. The downside is that 95% of the time what a Solopreneur or other business owner might say is not considered relevant by many journalists. However, even small advertisers typically receive editorial space.
It is obvious that the adage “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” was created before the dawn of social media. A negative customer review posted to an online ratings site can blow up out of proportion and do you some damage.
If an employee handles your organization’s social media accounts, resist the temptation to hand over that function to some 22-year-old. In theory, placing social media updates should be a great job for a young person who lives and breathes this stuff anyway, understands how to get the word out and works cheap. The problem is, that young person may not have the wherewithal to give the right answer when something challenging is written.
Creating good buzz about your business is part of the Solopreneur consultant’s or business owner’s job. How to get that done in the most effective manner requires a strategic approach, like all other management activities. If sporadic PR is what your organization attracts, it is best to engage in a variety of activities to ensure that you appear viable and relevant to clients and colleagues.
You may not get any press, but you will build a good reputation. If your business is the type that attracts the press, then spend the time and money to advertise in relevant publications and build relationships with journalists who cover your category. Reach out to bloggers and see what that does for you. Budget for a year and then evaluate. Learn to write a good press release (search online for free examples).
Thanks for reading,