As a successful business owner - most of us have tried the standard ways of getting attention- online and offline.
Blogging? When you feel inspired.
Social media? Posting motivational quotes really makes you feel like you are working right?
Going Live? The pressure of trying to be authentic while being perfect.
If there’s marketing to be done in any form, small and local business owners are well aware and are doing their best to get the word out. But there comes a point of diminishing returns
Your website has all the traffic you feel you’re going to attract through organic (and even paid) methods. Your mailing list growth has slowed- besides does, your e-mail even makes it to peoples inboxes before the spam filter grabs it?
Maybe your income has leveled off.
It might be time to bring in a pro - a PR expert or even a publicist to help you get some much-needed world domination based attention. But before you do, be sure you have a good foundation in place, or all your time (and money) will be a waste. Here are 3 things you can do to set yourself up for success.
1. Solid, Consistent Branding
This goes a lot deeper than just your fonts, logos, and colors. This is your message, your ideal client, your unique area of expertise, and even how you speak about it. It’s everything that makes you instantly recognizable to those that know you. It's what people say about you when you aren't there- and more importantly, it is what can help a media outlets know that you are exactly the person they need, right when they need you.
While you’re updating your branding, be sure to include your:
Website & blog
Facebook profile, business page, and groups
Business Business or Speaking websites
Pinterest boards if applicable
Anything else you control online about your self.
2. Media-Ready Kit
Imagine for a minute that your local news - or let's just say someone from Good Morning America called you to ask your opinion about important news happening in your particular industry. How quickly could you respond with a bio and headshot? In fact- stop reading right now - and find your bio and headshot. If this has taken you longer than 5 minutes - I guarantee you’re not ready.
A key component of every PR campaign or push is having an accessible, easy-to-find media page from which you can instantly pull the information any journalist or producer needs. Unless you have this page in place, you’re not yet ready to hire a PR. Don't be the bottleneck on your own project- plan ahead.
3. Clear Messaging Can help you get noticed and get clients - you can't be all things to all people.
While it might seem more marketable (or profitable) to have a wide area of expertise and varied clientele, the opposite can be true if you don't work up different messaging points. Leaders are tightly focused. As one content marketing strategist puts it, they delve “an inch wide and a mile deep.” By focusing your efforts, you are able to dig deeper than simple surface issues and serve your clients better. The same is true of your ideal client. When you try to help working moms, new dads, college students, and empty nesters, you wind up serving none of them very well. Instead, you should have a very specific client you strive to attract and venture outside of that mold only rarely or quietly as needed.
Once you have these 3 pieces in place, you’ll have a solid foundation that will support you in your media outreach efforts. More importantly, you’ll be able to make the most of every opportunity a PR professional can bring your way.