Is Your Publicity a Success or a Hot Mess?
Do you feel like you're drowning in a pool of media pitching, Facebook updates, Tweets, blogging, list building ….?
Yup, I've been there.
There was a time when I seriously did everything wrong. My first website was built on some weird platform that a developer controlled, which meant that every time I needed to update something I had to pay a minimum of $ 50. One time I paid that just to have him erase an external "the" from my website copy.
Even worse, it had this horrible flash picture of a boardroom that took up almost the whole homepage. The rotating photo would start with a wide view of a boardroom with a shiny wooden table, white walls, and black chairs. There was not even anything on the actual table. Not a pen, piece of paper, or projector in site. Then the photo would change from the wide view to a close up of a chair and the corner of the desk.
And that was just one of the many, many things I did that made my marketing + publicity a steaming hot mess.
Then, after lots of blood, sweat and tears (ok – really, after lots of really good coaching, testing, and trying) I changed my marketing + publicity efforts from hot mess to totally amaze-balls.
Here are four ways you can do the same.
I know I keep hammering this home, but it's absolutely essential to have a plan. Otherwise you'll be throwing spaghetti at the wall, and I guarantee nothing will stick. Commit to trying three things to publicize your business for the next three months. I do not care what they are (traditional press, blog tours, Facebook campaign, Twitter campaign, speaking engagements, networking events, Google AdWords). I'll leave that part completely up to you. Now commit to doing JUST those three activities and evaluate them after 90 days.
Ideally you will get in the habit of doing this every quarter for your business.
For all of the other great ideas you have to publicize your business during that time, add them to a list for the future. After the 90 days, eliminate the strategies that are not working for you and substitute in one of your hot new ideas. Rinse and repeat.
Have you ever thought: "I'm not going to contact that person to partner, guest blog, carry my products, associate with me, or give me media coverage – because I'm not good enough?"
Idolizing is the worst thing you can do.
Hey, we all have people we admire and respect, that are absolutely killing it in business. But when we idolize them, we immediately institute the "F" word – FEAR. We immediately start to say "oh I'm not good enough to contact them." "They'll never like my product or want my advice." We put them on a pedestal, ensuring we'll always lack self confidence when we even think about contacting them.
Take a note from a reformed idolizer. View everyone as an equal – a peer – rather than a rabid fan.
Focus on Relationships
Think about any relationship in your life and how it started. When I first went into business for myself, my interactions with professionals would go something like this:
"Hi, my name is Melissa. I have an idea that I think you'll like – here it is. What do you think."
Business person would churn out a hesitant "yeah, I'll call you." And conveniently forget to call me, and send my calls to voicemail.
A simple introduction can go a long way. Instead of shooting right out and asking for something, I started approaching business relationships as I would personal relationships. Simple, laid back, without expectations of what they would do for me.
I recommend my clients do this with the media especially. The media are so used to being barraged by pitches and 'when are you going to cover me' syndrome.
Relationships are the name of the game.
And if you do not think you have enough time to create these relationships, or plan, or do any publicity, then …
Do not let budget and time constraints stop you from carrying out a public campaign. There is plenty of amazing talent out there ready and willing to help you grow. These folks are anyone from virtual assistants, to college interns, to your stay-at-home-parent neighbor looking for a part-time gig. I had an assistant from day one of my business (probably the only thing I did right from the beginning).
If you're wondering when you would even find the time to train an assistant to do any publicity for you, I even offer private coaching packages where I can teach you and your staff (assistants, interns, anyone) how to implement an effective publicity plan in just 30 days. Feel free to contact me for more details!