Successful startups and entrepreneurs are used to bootstrapping their business. They (and you) are good at it.
Podcasting? They’re on it.
Blogging? They get it done.
Social media? It’s not just a distraction (most of the time, anyway).
If there’s marketing to be done in any form, solo 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 to a crawl. Your income has leveled off.
It might be time to bring in a pro to help you get some much needed local and national media attention. But before you do, be sure you have a good foundation in place, or all your time (and money) will be wasted.
Solid, Consistent Branding
This goes a lot deeper than just your logo, colors and fonts. 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 your fans, and it’s what helps media outlets know you’re 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
- LinkedIn profiles of executives
- YouTube channel
Media-Ready Swipe Files and Photos
Imagine for a minute that CNN called you to ask your opinion about an important news happening. How quickly could you respond with a bio and headshot? If it would take you more than 5 minutes, you’re not ready.
A key component of every PR campaign 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 specialist.
A Crystal-Clear Message & Ideal Client
While it might seem more marketable to have a wide area of expertise and varied clientele, the opposite is actually true. Experts 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 server 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.
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.