Everyone wants it. Few people get it. No, I’m not talking about the latest iPhone. Because give it a year and everyone will have one. No, I’m talking about media attention for your small business.
Word of mouth is hands down one of the best ways to bring new customers into your business. However, when you are ready to take things to the next level, you can’t beat good media attention.
The media reaches potential customers in ways that word of mouth simply cannot. Your reach will be wider and your return on investment can pay dividends long into the future.
So, if it is so great, then why don’t more small businesses do it? Mainly because it is not easy! Journalists and others in the media business are busy people. They get pitched all the time.
Today, I’m going to provide you with what you need to break through the noise and get the right kind of media attention, the kind that will grow your business! Here are several tips to make it happen:
Seven Ways To Get Media Attention
#1 Start a List
These days, we are constantly bombarded with media from every direction. Things come at us so hard and fast, we seldom slow down to really observe what is happening. The first step toward getting media coverage for your small business is to find out what your customers are consuming and where they are getting it from.
This can be as easy as seeing which magazines are the most dog-eared in the waiting room, or which channel the TV is always flipped to. Another option is just to ask! People are typically very willing to share their favorite ways of consuming media.
Once you begin to have a good idea regarding your current customers, do some digging to find out where your potential customers are getting their media. Compile all this into a list. And then…read Tip #2!
#2 Find the Author
Once you know where customers are getting their information and you have a nice list of sources, look a little deeper into who exactly is behind that media. If it is a newspaper, magazine, or blog, chances are the author’s name will be listed.
If it is a website or YouTube channel, a little digging should reveal some sort of contact info. Armed with that, a polite inquiry should reveal the brains behind the operation (typically, people are proud of things they have created!).
With your list of publications expanded with author names, you now have a basic contact list to work with. Which leads us to Tip #3:
#3 Start the Conversation
Many books have been written about the art of pitching. And there is a very good reason for that – pitching can be tough. Very tough.
Think about it – how do you like it when somebody starts selling hard to you? Exactly. Nobody likes to be sold to. What people do like, however, is to feel like they are interesting, like they are valuable. So, when you reach out and begin a conversation, do not start pitching. Let me repeat – DO NOT START PITCHING! Instead, try to start a relationship.
That may seem like a tall order, but you will find it very effective if done right. I recommend a short email briefly introducing yourself and giving a sincere compliment on something specific from the author. This will get the ball rolling.
#4 Find Your Value
Remember, by getting media to cover your small business, you are not selling or pitching. Instead, you are trying to provide value to new potential customers. You are trying to spread the word about how you can help make people’s lives better.
The question becomes, how exactly do you do that?
Generally, business people do not think of their work in these terms. Take some time and figure out your business’s value. Try to distill it down into a few short sentences (or even one sentence). Knowing your value will give you a huge advantage when trying to spread the word to the world.
Regardless of what your business does, there are news events that tie in directly with your product or service. For instance, if there is severe rainstorms and you do flood restorations, contact the local paper or TV station and offer to present some helpful tips on what to do to prevent flooding or what to do afterward.
This has many benefits. First, it presents you to a larger audience. Second, it establishes you as an expert. Third, it demonstrates a desire to be involved in helping the community. And fourth, when somebody who saw your segment needs help with water restoration, your name will be the first one that comes to mind.
#6 Press Release
This one is straightforward. Timely, well-written, complete press releases that offer good information to the public have a high chance of getting into the media and increasing awareness around your business.
#7 Give to Get
Small business owners are some of the most generous people around. While you obviously don’t do it for the glory, philanthropy is a great way to spread the word about your small business.
Local media loves running with “feel good” stories. This has a double benefit because it will allow you to invest in the community while allowing people to learn about your business.
Getting more media attention for your small business isn’t as hard as most people think. With these media coaching tips, you’ll be able to expand your audience and increase your customer base. Putting the effort in now will result in many long-term benefits down the road.
Author: Danielle Peffers