Before we dive into this week’s topic, I wanted to remind you of the live workshop I’ll be hosting TOMORROW, January 15 @ 12 pm CT.
This workshop will help you get crystal clear on how you can incorporate a PR strategy into your 2020 planning.
If you’re a service-based or product-based entrepreneur looking to:
You’ll definitely want to sign up!
The cost is only $49. There will be a recording if you can’t make it live.
Now you may be thinking….why should I even have a PR strategy? Will PR work for me? Why is it the best way to grow your business in 2020?
Well that’s what this episode is about so let’s get to it!
In today’s episode, you’ll find out:
Like the show? There are several ways you can help!
Be the first to know when there is a new episode out and get the inside scoop on all of the guests.
Thanks so much for tuning in. See ya next week!
Hey hey there Human Connection listeners! We are deep into November which means the holidays are almost here which means a new year is coming up SOON!
You may have already started thinking about your 2020 goals for your business and I want to walk you through creating your 2020 publicity plan.
Now first, let me dismiss some common myths and explain to why you need a publicity plan for 2020.
Let me ask you this: is one of your 2020 goals any of the following?
Then you NEED a publicity plan!
In today’s episode, you’ll find out how to create your 2020 publicity plan that will help you in increasing your reach, revenue and impact.
Like the show? There are several ways you can help!
Be the first to know when there is a new episode out and get the inside scoop on all of the guests.
Thanks so much for tuning in. See ya next week!
For any of you fellow entrepreneurs out there, I know the struggle of knowing the right things to invest in for your business.
Should I invest in that paid mastermind?
Can I hire a Virtual Assistant to help me?
Is it time for me to go that conference?
And while I obviously have a bias to investing in PR (I am a PR strategist ya know 😉) I realize that not every entrepreneur out there is at a point in their business where it makes sense to invest in done-for-you PR services.
In today’s blog post I’d like to share all the ways you can do PR on a budget.
Everything mentioned in this post is either 1) completely free to do or 2) very minimal cost compared to investing in a done-for-you PR strategist.
I think everyone can benefit from using PR as a strategy to grow their business so you have no excuse to not implement these tips!
Despite it being totally worth it to invest in a publicist for your business, you can in fact, put together your PR strategy with a little help from yours truly 🙂
Here’s how to start putting together your own strategy:
I help you grow through all of this in my free beginner’s guide workbook. Click the box below to download a copy for yourself!
HARO, stands for Help a Reporter Out, is a great free resource everyone should be signed up for, especially if you’re focusing on landing press opportunities.
HARO is an online service that connects journalists and bloggers with sources for the articles and stories they are writing about. Anyone can sign up and pitch themselves (or pitch clients like I do). It’s awesome because these are stories that are already being written.
HARO sends three emails per weekday (morning, afternoon, evening – yes, it’s a lot!) filled with journalists looking for sources for upcoming stories they are writing.
The categories that HARO covers are:
You can check out this blog post I did about how to start using it!
Almost no matter what industries you’re in there is one PR platform that I recommend to nearly everyone I’ve ever worked with.
It takes the least amount of effort, it has the quickest turnaround and turns brand new people into raving fans…what is it?
There is a podcast out there for just about every niche topic known to mankind.
There are more than 700,000 active podcasts out there and they need excellent guests like you.
You can check out this blog post for more on how to pitch yourself to podcasts.
PR is all about building authentic relationships (more on that here!) and is something that every business owner should really focus on as their building their empire.
For one, building relationships with others is free, and we are talking about PR on a budget, aren’t we?!
You can find people on Instagram or Twitter to connect with (I’m partial to Instagram!) if you want to find people online.
Or you can connect locally by going to free local Meetups in your area.
And for two, relationships will always serve you. It’s rare that I’ve met someone in my life that I’ve said “dang, I wish I never would have met them.”
You should go into building relationships with other people not trying to “get something out of it.” People know when you’re being sleazy and self-serving. It’s not a good look and you shouldn’t do it.
My freelance writer friend Alli and I did a workshop all about how to cultivate authentic relationships with journalists, check it out if you’re interested!
Boomerang is a free Google Chrome extension that you can install that allows you to schedule emails in advance. This helps remove some of the “fear” of pitching as you can schedule the email to go out in the future.
You can always unschedule them before they go out, but I find most of the time when I schedule an email I forget about it and promptly move on. It’s almost like having an assistant do the emailing for you, except it’s free!
It also allows you to “boomerang” emails back to you so you can know if a pitch hasn’t been replied to. Pretty neat, right? And perfect for PR on a budget!
Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO, is a great tool to use when you want to start pitching yourself for press opportunities.
Through using HARO, I’ve landed clients on:
Whether you’re just starting to pitch yourself or you’re an experienced pro, HARO is an awesome (free!) tool to help you start landing media mentions. This beginner’s guide to using HARO will set you up for success when you’re pitching!
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and is freemium email subscription service that connects you with journalists who are looking for sources for stories they are writing.
There is a free version and a paid version of the service. I prefer using the free version.
HARO sends three emails per week day (morning, afternoon, evening – yes, it’s a lot!) filled with journalists looking for sources for upcoming stories they are writing.
The categories that HARO covers are:
Each journalist request has:
Here is an example:
Once you find one that is a fit for your expertise, follow all of the requirements needed to submit.
They are pretty strict about this, so make sure to double-check yourself before sending off.
They are also pretty strict about the deadlines (you will receive a bounce-back email if you submit after the deadline) so try to answer promptly to increase your chances of getting featured!
One of the questions I ask is “What are the topics you can speak on and what do you want to become known for?” and I use this as a guiding principle when I’m creating their topics of discussion.
For each client, we have at least 5-7 topics outlined that
1) they want to be known for and
2) is in line with one of their products or services (some of my clients have 20-30 topics, but let’s start small!).
This allows me to pick and choose the topic that makes the most sense for where I’m pitching, which leads to a much higher probability that a journalist or podcast host will select that topic to interview about.
But how do you figure out what topics YOU can pitch yourself on?
That’s what I’ll be helping you do in this post!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1. What products or services do you want to lead people into?
This is KEY to figuring out before you start pitching yourself, otherwise your press opportunities won’t lead to actual conversions.
What product, service, or free opt-in do you want to lead people to the most right now? What is going to move the needle the most for your business?
Once you have that decided you can move to question 2.
2. What are topics that are related to your products or services that you can speak confidently on?
I’ll give you some examples of my clients:
Client #1 – Productivity expert: She can speak on productivity in the workplace, time management, goal setting, prioritizing, etc.
Client #2 – Financial coach: She can speak on getting out of debt, budgeting, talking to your kids about money, etc.
Client #3 – Student loan expert: He can speak on refinancing your student loans, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, high-borrower student loan debt pay off strategies, etc.
Each of these topics they speak on lead directly into products or services they offer.
3. What makes your brand different from your competitors?
Here’s where we can get really specific on why someone should choose to interview you over another person offering a similar product or service.
What is it about your background/story that makes you unique?
How are your products or services different from your competitors?
What life experiences have you had that led you to offer this product or service?
Answering these three questions will give you a great start on narrowing in on the topics of discussion you can pitch yourself for.
You can use these topics to pitch yourself for podcast interviews, getting quoted as an expert, landing editorial features and more!
I want to know: what topics do you want to become known for? I’d love to hear from you!
Note: This is a guest post from influencer marketing extraordinaire Zoe Linda! This gal is all about helping you create meaningful connections with brands and customers. She loves a good pun (a girl after my own heart) and I’m so excited she’s on the blog sharing her tips on influencer marketing!
You’re ready to get started on a PR strategy for your business! You’ve got your ideal audience avatar, you know what magazines they’re reading, what TV shows they’re watching, what radio stations they listen to – but do you know what blogs they read and which influencers they turn to for recommendations?
PR isn’t just about reaching out to journalists and getting yourself on a podcast. It’s also about connecting with bloggers + tastemakers within your niche to build more brand awareness and reach a targeted audience ready to buy your products and invest in your services! Keep reading to learn four key reasons influencer marketing should play a part in your PR strategy.
Before I get started, let’s make sure we’re both on the same page! Here’s the scoop:
Influencers are authorities within your niche that have a measurable* influence over your ideal audience. These could be bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, people with a large Twitter following, etc.
Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships with said influencers and collaborating with them to get your brand in front of their audience.
*Don’t just take their word for it! You should be able to measure their influence by looking at their engagement rates, asking for past campaign experience, and monitoring their comments to see if your ideal audience are influenced by them.
My influencer marketing mantra is all about engagement – ‘Count the impressed, not the impressions.’
Well, the two are very closely linked. I would say that PR often encompasses influencer marketing but not the other way around.
Let’s say you’re starting a new organic skincare range. Your PR strategy would likely focus on building brand awareness – so you might be appearing on beauty + wellness podcasts, emailing out press releases around your launch, and sending products to journalists for review – often focusing on the story behind your brand and products. You usually have little to no creative control over how the journalist or platform features your brand.
Your influencer marketing strategy would be about forming meaningful relationships with influencers within the beauty + wellness niche to get your brand in front of a targeted audience and sell more products. You would likely collaborate with bloggers + Instagrammers to feature your brand in return for a fee or gifted products. You will have agreed beforehand if you are giving the influencer free reign to write about your brand or if you have any elements the influencer would need to include in their content (i.e. link to your website, unique discount code, etc)
There can be quite a bit of crossover here, though. For example, some influencers within your niche may have a blog or podcast they’d like you to appear on, which crosses into the realm of PR.
1) Individual recommendation vs. branded feature
As part of your PR strategy, you’ll likely be pitching to online + printed magazines, local TV stations, and podcasts, which is great! However, consumers are much more likely to trust an individual who recommends your product over a magazine feature.
Let’s look at the stats:
By working influencers into your strategy, you’re dramatically increasing the chance that a potential customer will actually trust the source’s recommendation of your brand.
2) Increasing contact with your audience
You’ve heard that, on average, a consumer has to see a brand or product 7 times before they decide to invest. By incorporating influencer marketing into your PR strategy, you’re increasing the probability that they will see your brand more and more times.
For example, an ideal customer could first see your new skincare products in your Cosmopolitan feature but they don’t take much notice. Then they hear their favourite beauty YouTuber mention the same brand – they recognise the product from Cosmo but now someone they know, like, and trust is recommending them? Time to learn more!
Sometimes a consumer could have seen your brand around a fair few times but they just need that one recommendation from someone they trust to take the leap!
3) Reaching a dedicated community
Sure, you’ve got your own social media following and mailing list subscribers but what about expanding your reach beyond your current tribe?
Forming relationships with influencers in your niche means that you will be exposing your brand to their dedicated and loyal communities. If you collaborate with the RIGHT influencers, your ideal audience and their actual audience should align, which makes for a perfect fit.
I don’t mean that you’ll necessarily be reaching 100k Instagram followers – quality over quantity, folks! Sometimes micro-influencers with around 10k followers provide much better results (and are less likely to have fake followings)!
If your business is especially niche, influencer marketing will work even better for you. Working with bloggers within a small niche means you’re directly targeting your ideal customers + clients through someone they already know, like, and trust!
4) Become a trusted brand
Because they’re learning about you through someone they already trust, your ideal audience will see your brand as trusted and recommended instead of ‘just another product placement’.
It’s important to note that influencer marketing is, what I like to call, ‘welcomed advertising’. Audiences are actively seeking new content from their favourite audiences and, organic or sponsored, they are usually happy to read/watch/view any new content from them. This makes influencer marketing already more engaging than a regular ol’ news article that many consumers may be likely to scroll past.
Next time to sit down and have a strategy session for your business, take a moment to think about how influencer marketing can work for you!
Zoe Linda helps mindfulpreneurs make meaningful connections online. Zoe wants to change the way influencers and brands work together and is ALL about creating authentic + long-term relationships. As well as being an influencer marketing wizard, Zoe is a coffee drinking, lasagne-loving, Netflix binging, film buff who loves quoting Harry Potter in everyday conversation. To keep up with Zoe, follow her blog and social media profiles below!
Welcome back to my beginner’s guide to PR series! If you’re just joining us around here, I’m doing a 3-part blog post series all on how small businesses can begin to use PR for their business. Today, I’m going to share how you can get featured on popular websites and podcasts.
Here’s what I’ve covered so far in the series:
Why should you want to get featured on popular websites and podcasts? Here are just a few reasons:
After reading this post, you’ll have a clear idea how you can start approaching popular websites and podcasts. Don’t forget to download the free podcast pitch template!
Before we get to pitching, we need to do a little exercise. And this exercise is the most important, so don’t skip it!
In the first post of the series, we briefly talked about coming up with topics you could pitch. If you didn’t already do that exercise, we’re going to do it now.
Whatever industry you’re in, whether you run an online shop selling knitting supplies or you’re an author that writes about golf, there are certain topics that you can easily write about or discuss on a podcast.
Need help figuring out exactly what topics you can talk about? Here are some questions to answer to help you gain clarity:
Now once you have your topics, write a brief paragraph on each. 4-6 sentences are plenty.
Now let’s get to the good stuff, finding those sites & podcasts that you can get featured on!
As they say, the riches are in the niches. This is especially important if you’re just starting out, as you will have a harder time getting onto major websites in the beginning.
Here are some tips on finding relevant sites for whatever business you’re in:
Here are additional tips on finding relevant podcasts:
Knowing the right person to contact can make or break getting a feature on a popular site or a podcast. Below are my tips for finding exactly the right person.
As you can see, he has an application for potential guests to fill out.
For this particular podcast, I would not try and email him because he clearly states this is how he would like potential guests to be submitted.
Other sites don’t list any application process, so for those, I find their email address (or at worst their contact page) and submit that way.
Preferably you find an email address, but some people don’t list their email addresses on their site.
Tips on finding the right person to pitch for a popular website:
This can vary greatly, as each website has its own process for selecting people to interview, people to write a feature article or people to mention within an article. Here are my general tips:
If you’re just starting your business (aka you have almost no content on your site and haven’t sold a thing), you probably aren’t going to get accepted onto high-profile podcasts & websites. The key to get featured on popular websites and podcasts is to start small and work your way up.
How can you tell if a podcast has a smaller following? Well, for one, you should have at least listened to a few episodes of the potential podcasts you’re pitching. Once listening you can have an idea of how large they are.
Another way of telling is how many reviews they have on iTunes. Podcasts with hundreds of reviews are probably pretty popular.
Times to not pitch:
Times to pitch:
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Nobody wants to read a boring, irrelevant pitch email. And if you’re pitching major websites and podcasts, they especially don’t want to see a boring pitch email because they receive a ton of emails every day.
But! With that said, there are a few things you will want to include in every email, so you should using a pitch template to save time.
What are the elements of a great pitch?
I don’t follow up with every pitch I send for my clients.
But it’s the truth.
Not every pitch warrants a follow-up, but sometimes me following up is what gets my clients onto a podcast or a website, so it is important.
When to follow up:
When to not follow up:
Share the heck out of it
Would you believe that sometimes people get featured on popular websites and podcasts….and they don’t share it with their audience?
It’s true, I swear! My friend Jess has a podcast and she realized half of her guests did not share when they were on her podcast. Uh, what? That’s whack!
Getting featured and then not sharing it is like getting a box of chocolates to share and then you eat all of them yourself. No fun!
As they say, sharing is caring. Your audience wants to know of places you’re mentioned because, hello they love you!
The podcast or website you’ve been featured on also will appreciate you sharing it because it’s a two-way street.
Know that it sometimes takes time
When you first start pitching yourself, it can be super intimidating. You might have imposter syndrome feelings, such as:
“Who am I to pitch this huge website or podcast?”
“They’ll never pick me. Why would anyone want to feature me?”
“I don’t have any value to add.”
You need to stop these thoughts and get out of your own head. You must put yourself out there to get featured on a popular website or podcast.
Will you be turned down? Yes
Will you be turned down by everyone? Most likely no, unless you’re being unrealistic with who you first pitch.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get all of the features you pitch, but that’s part of the process.
You definitely won’t get a feature without trying, so what’s the harm?
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
I think this is my longest post yet! There’s nothing I could leave out though. It’s all important!
You should now feel confident in pitching popular websites and podcasts and that you’re prepared to start putting yourself out there.
Don’t forget to check out my other two posts in the series and grab your free pitch template!
Welcome back to my beginner’s guide to PR series! If you’re just joining, I’m doing a 3-part blog post series all on how small businesses can begin to use PR for their business.
Here’s what I’ll be covering throughout the series:
Today, you’ll learn how to make authentic connections with media and influencers and how to build these relationships over time.
You know how important and business-changing getting media hits can be, but how do you get started?
How can you grow and cultivate an actual relationship with the media and get your stories featured?
How can you get media features when you’re just starting your business?
We’ll be covering all of this and more in today’s post!
Be sure to download the free workbook to help you along the way by clicking the button below.
Yup, we’re talking about goals again. Making authentic connections with the media and influencers is important, but you first have to have a game plan and a purpose.
Getting featured on Pat Flynn’s podcast is cool and awesome, but if you don’t have a goal you’re trying to achieve by being on his podcast you won’t see much return.
This is a big misconception about PR because often people think if they are featured on a major site like Entrepreneur.com or popular podcast like The School of Greatness that their business will finally “take off.”
The fact of the matter is, it takes a lot of work to get on these major sites and more times than not you don’t see a long-term increase in revenue just because you were featured once.
People consume so much content these days, and if you don’t have a specific plan for what to do after you get these media mentions, you will be forgotten in about 3 seconds. That’s an exact scientific answer, by the way. 😂
Laying out your goals ahead of time will help you achieve greater success than if you go about it with zero plan.
Here are questions to consider when deciding on your goals:
There are people already in your life that have connections to places you want to be featured. Yes, you. Stop shaking your head like you don’t, because you do. You just don’t know it yet.
Here’s the thing, to create authentic connections with the media and influencers, you need to build a relationship with them. Relationships take time so a great place to start is with people you already have a relationship with.
You know the theory of 6 degrees of separation (or maybe better known as 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon 😜)? Yeah, that’s like, a real thing.
Schedule calls with these people, hop on Skype, let them know of your goals.
I grew my business entirely through making authentic connections with people I followed online or met in person. My family and IRL friends still have no clue what I do and I imagine they think I do this every day:
Don’t give me the excuse that you no one in your circle knows what you do and they don’t understand and it’s pointless to reach out.
Questions to ask yourself while identifying people you may know:
My biggest suggestion is to remember you’re connecting with other human beings. Treat people like people, not robots or people on pedestals.
Do you want to how much time I spend researching for my PR clients? Do you really want to know? Okay fine, I’ll break it down for you:
30% of the time I am sending emails. Lots and lots of carefully written & targeted emails.
The offer 70% of the time? Research.
Okay, so it’s not all about research. It’s also about the pitch. But making authentic connections all starts with research.
Here’s just a handful of things I’m constantly researching for my PR clients:
Here are a few tips on making research a little easier for you:
Did you know that you can find out what magazines will be writing about well in advance? Yup, it’s true. Most print magazines publish their editorial calendars online for anyone to view.
Some will require you to sign up for it, others are just open online.
Print magazines are looking for content about 2-4 months prior to the release date, so you need to plan ahead.
Here’s what happens when I Google “Cosmopolitan Editorial Calendar”:
Often a magazine’s editorial calendar is included on their media kit page, so let’s click on media kit.
It then leads you to a page that has this header. We want to click on calendar.
Bam! The entire year of Cosmo’s print editorial calendar right there.
Now not every magazine publishes their editorial calendars, but most do. Sometimes you have to do a little digging, but you can most likely find it.
You can also sign up for a paid service like Media Bistro to get extra tips on how to pitch certain magazines. Right now it’s only a one-time fee!
Now it’s time for one of the most important steps: perfecting the pitch. Having the correct contact information for editors is great, but if your pitch stinks it won’t matter.
People get intimidated when they hear the word “pitch” because it gives the impression you only have one chance. While that’s partially true (you obviously don’t want to say something rude that insults an editor), crafting your pitch takes time. This is why we want to start with smaller publications and websites before working up to the big guys.
The fortune is in the follow-up
You have to follow up. No seriously, you have to follow up.
People don’t like following up because they feel rejected from not getting an initial response. I know this because I used to feel this way.
Now that I have over 7 PR clients that’s not the case.
The fact of the matter is, people are busy and their inboxes are full to the brim. Sometimes emails fall through the cracks. Emails get accidentally deleted or lost. People thought they responded but didn’t. And sometimes people are intentionally ignoring you.
Here are general ground rules you should follow when following up:
Hope you’re having a great week! I wanted to follow up on an email I sent a couple of weeks ago. I know you’re a busy gal/guy and that sometimes emails can fall through the cracks! Anyways, just wanted to touch base and see if you were open to my proposed partnership/feature story/whatever you’re pitching.
Thanks so much for your time!
I sent you an email last week and I still haven’t heard back. What gives?”
I seriously hope no one would ever send an email like this, but I no joke got something very similar. Uh, chill out dude.
Once again we covered a lot in this post but I couldn’t leave anything out! Building solid relationships with media and influencers can take some time, but it is well worth the initial investment.
Don’t forget to grab the workbook that accompanies this post. I’d love to hear of any additional questions you may have, leave them below!
Congrats! If you are reading this new post on the blog, then you have likely started a successful small business and you are looking to grow.
But first, let me guess. You’ve created a strong email list, you dedicate hours to creating blog posts, and you are constantly scheduling out social media posts… but you realize there is probably more out there you can do to cultivate your business.If this sounds familiar and you are ready to improve, then grab a pen and start taking notes on these proven tactics I’ve used to get my clients featured on Brit & Co, Glamour, USA Weekly, The Washington Post and more.
You may be thinking ‘sure, PR is great, but I am a small business. How can PR help me?’
As my PR services have exploded over the last 6 months, I realized that not a lot of business owners like yourself, truly understand the power of PR for small businesses and I immediately wanted to share my knowledge on the subject.
Many business owners out there assume that PR can only be used by companies with big followers or celebrities when they’re going through a crisis (we all remember Britney’s breakdown of 2007, right?)
The fact of the matter is, PR is far more credible than any other type of advertising out there.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes social media is important, email marketing can transform your business, and paid advertising can increase your bottom line but it’s always more powerful for someone else to recommend you, and that’s exactly what PR is.
This series will consist of three blog posts:
You can download the free workbook that helps you along below.
We’re going to start at the very beginning, in case you aren’t familiar with PR whatsoever.
PR stands for public relations and is defined as, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Public relations can also be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.” from Wikipedia.
So in laymen’s terms, this means …
PR can, in fact, be the way that you drastically improve your business. One media mention can catapult your business and can absolutely change the trajectory of where your business is headed.
I’m a believer that a small business like yours benefit more from using PR than bigger businesses.
And the best part is? It’s usually free.
Here are three reasons why you will want to consider using PR to improve your business.
So now you’re probably thinking … okay, great, but what are the different types of PR and how can they be used for me?
These are the primary types of PR for small business that are most influential right now. Just like with online marketing, PR is always changing so naturally these will update from time to time, but in general, these are types that are here to stay.
Now, before you get started, remember that there is not a one size fits all PR plan for each business. Every business should have a unique PR plan.
Before you can craft your pitch, you need to define your purpose for pitching. It’s amazing to be featured on huge websites like Entrepreneur or Oprah’s Favorites, but if you aren’t strategic with your pitches you won’t see the return you desire.
To define your purpose for pitching, you’ll need to answer the following questions:
The whole reason for even getting PR for your small business is to help you achieve your business goals, right? So you need to make sure to define those before you start pitching like crazy.
What are your goals for pitching that are in line with your business goals? More brand exposure? Increase email subscribers? Land speaking gigs? Drive more traffic to your site to increase sales?
For example, if your primary business goal is to increase sales by 25% this year, then your goals for pitching should be to drive more traffic to your site and get more exposure.
If your primary business goal is to grow your speaking platform, then that’s what we’ll focus on pitching you for, ya see how it all aligns?
Yes, it’d be awesome to be featured on the Today show, but if your ideal audience doesn’t watch the Today show it won’t move the needle much for your bottom line.
Brainstorm relevant places that make sense for your brand and your goals, not just super cool features that aren’t aligned with your purpose.
Now let’s start crafting your pitch! You’ll first want to do some brainstorming. This is a step that is often skipped because many see it as a “waste of time” but you couldn’t be more wrong.
You need to start writing down potential pitches for your business before you can go out there and expect to be featured on the Today show. Media often move fast and you don’t want to be caught like a deer in headlights not knowing what the heck to say when they ask you follow up questions.
Journalists and media can sniff through the fluff, they want to see the real story of your business, so don’t hold back.
Here are questions to ask yourself while you are crafting your businesses pitch:
Let’s say for example you’re the CEO of a web design agency (ahem…actually one of my clients, hi Andrew!). The questionnaire I had him fill out asked this exact question, and after a conversation, we decided to focus on the following:
Answering these questions will help you when you’re looking at places to pitch. You don’t want to get sidetracked and read about all of the places you could pitch in the world, because not all of those will be relevant to you and your business. For example, I won’t be pitching Andrew for any story that is pet related because pets aren’t a part of his story.
You may say, “Nobody will care about my story,” “My story doesn’t matter.” Not true. You just haven’t found the right angle for your story yet.
Everyone has unique story angle because we’re all unique individuals with different strengths. You just may have a hard time crafting your story because you haven’t been taught how. You’re in luck because I’m here to help you!
When you’re thinking about your story, think of your entire life. Think of all the trials and tribulations you’ve had to go through to get where you are now. Think of how your experiences led you to your business. Physically write down (or type out, whatever you prefer!) all of these stories that come to mind.
Or maybe you’re going through a trying time right at this very moment. Write out the feelings that you’re feeling. The self-doubt, the fear, the unknown. All of this can be a part of your story.
Once you have rough drafts of these stories, it’s time to start crafting them into the categories of topics you listed above.
Write a paragraph for each category related to the stories you just wrote down. Weave those stories into the description of each of these categories.
You’ll most likely write more than a paragraph because you won’t have room to fit it all in 4-6 sentences. That’s okay.
I say start with a paragraph because some people feel like they aren’t the best at writing and saying to write a full page would scare the bejeesus out of them. Start small and you can always edit, change, remove, and update your pitches later. We’re just working to get something on paper to start with.
While everyone’s story is unique and interesting in its own way, we must remember that we have to put it into the context of what journalists are writing about now. You will have much better success if you submit to journalists or media if you’re pitching something that they are already looking for. That’s why we have you create your pitch stories first before submitting, so you can know what to be on the lookout for.
Okay, now that we have our stories, let’s find some places to pitch!
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great free resource to check out. Everybody likes free, right? Right!
HARO is an online service that connects journalists and bloggers with sources for the articles and stories they are writing about. Anyone can sign up and pitch themselves (or pitch clients like I do). It’s awesome because these are stories that are already being written. You don’t want to blindly pitch yourself, you want to be targeted and timely when you pitch.
Here’s how to sign up for HARO:
Go to their website & click on “I’m a Source”
Click on “Subscribe now” & select the free option
Fill out the information & receive confirmation email
Confirm your subscription and start pitching!
Here are a few tips on using HARO:
Now you’re ready to send your pitch! Here are a few nuggets of advice I have:
Whew, this is probably the longest blog post I’ve ever written but I felt like I needed all 2,000+ words to really educate you on what I know when it comes to PR for small businesses.
In the next post, I’ll be sharing how to authentically connect with media and influencers. Don’t forget to download the free workbook!
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them below!