I’ve been talking to quite a few clients lately about the publicity strategy: Will it help me grow my business? How do I know if it’s the right strategy for me? How do I choose a good publicist?
Publicity (we call it a “Stacking Strategy” because it super-charges a solid core marketing strategy [Visibility, Networking, Grassroots Marketing] – discussed thoroughly in How Should I Market Myself?) is typically implemented by hiring either a press release writer, a publicist, or an article submissions coordinator to generate media coverage (broadcast media interviews or publication in online / print media) for your platform (book, consulting, expert status, etc).
There are so many factors that determine your success with the publicity strategy. First, say you are interviewed by a high-profile news program like the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Can you expect your phone to ring with new business? How do you leverage this exposure? What can you expect if the Wall Street Journal prints one of your articles?
Media coverage rarely causes your phone to ring with people wanting to hire you. If you get a couple of calls, you’re lucky. If you’ve hired a publicist on a monthly retainer, it can cost you thousands of dollars for your 2 minutes of fame, with virtually nothing to show for it in the end.
Print media, especially the reprint of your articles, tend to be more effective at generating traffic for your website. It’s important to note that print media is typically better at selling books than services (speeches, consulting, etc). Very few independent professionals get their money’s worth (ie making back the money they invested) from hiring publicists (sorry, my sweet publicity friends). You’re better off hiring a reputable expert to write or edit your article for print / internet media and to submit it. Expect to pay between $250 to $500 per article. Want to triple or quadruple the number of publications that print your article? Follow up your email / fax blitz with a phone call to the top 50 editors on the list.
Getting an article printed is kind of like getting your bachelor’s degree: it’s nice to hang the certificate on your wall, but your phone isn’t going to start ringing with high-paying job offers. It’s up to you to leverage the degree when you’re applying for jobs. The same with a print article: you can leverage the fact that you’ve been published by USA Today or appeared on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric to build your credibility as you actively market your services.
I don’t recommend that any of my clients implement the publicity strategy unless they have a strong attraction strategy coupled with a strong Marketing Gameplan that is generating interested, qualified prospects. The publicity strategy will not save your business! It’s a great accomplice to a growing business that is getting some good traction in the marketplace, but it will not initiate new traction or momentum by itself.
When I started writing, How Should I Market Myself?, I had to “get in the zone” by locking myself in my basement for two weeks to cull over everything I’d ever learned about marketing, both through study, observation and my work with clients.
There was one area that I think is so crucial to this emerging philosophy that I developed an information-packed report just for you. Here’s a sneak peek …
Manipulation-free Marketing: What you need to know to book new business *almost* effortlessly!
I’ve been looking for a new dining room table, and I’ve discovered that I dread walking into furniture stores. It’s like walking onto a used car lot. Eyes following your every move, people waiting to catch your attention so they can “introduce themselves” and “help you find something.” If you’re like me, you just want to look around. If I see something I like, I’m not shy about asking for help.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just peek in the window, see if there’s a dining room table that piques your interest, and if nothing’s a fit, you could save everyone some hassle? I’m really not interested in looking at the office furniture, even though they’ve got some “great new styles,” and I don’t need someone talking me into a table I don’t like. When I don’t think I’m interested and feel coerced, alarm bells go off in my head. I don’t trust that person.
And God knows that I don’t want to be that salesperson when I’m talking to people about my business. For many speakers, consultants and coaches, they started their business because they wanted the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and they wanted to enjoy more independence, contribution, or financial freedom. All noble goals, right? The problem is no one cares why you went into business or why you’re good at what you do, and if you’re not careful, you end up sounding like a furniture or used car salesman who is trying to trick someone into buying his stuff.
Frank Rumbauskas, author of Never Cold Call Again!, says, “One of the greatest challenges facing independent professionals today is how to generate new business. Professionals are not salespeople, nor do they want to be; in addition, actively attempting to sell oneself can easily tarnish one’s professional image. How, then, to attract new clients, without the sales pitch? Establish yourself as the recognized expert and authority figure in your field. By doing so, you gain the immediate respect and trust of your prospects.”
I was going through some miscellaneous folders on my desktop today and I came across a great blurb that I want to share with you!
Publicity can be a useful marketing strategy if you have a well-developed platform that is getting some traction in the marketplace (see my last blog entry for more on the publicity strategy). If you have your troops mobilized to capitalize on your publicity efforts, consider that the first step toward being a guest on these shows is coming up with your angle or pitch.
Here are three hooks guaranteed to grab a producer’s attention:
- 1. Be controversial or talk about a controversial topic. Producers LOVE anything that gets their phone lines going. And nothing does the trick like a good argument.
2. Be entertaining. If you can make people laugh and tell them fascinating stories, you’ll always be in demand as a radio guest.
3. Be informative. Give people useful, timely information. Give them stuff that makes them say, Wow! That’s amazing! I didn’t know that!
Remember this: Radio producers and hosts don’t care about what you’re promoting. They only care about what you’re going to tell their audience.
So ask yourself: What do I have to say or share that is so riveting that no one would even think of changing the station?
When you figure out what this is … radio producers will be begging to have you on their shows.
Ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your business? It can be both an exciting and scary endeavor, even for those of us that have been doing it for a while. A few wrong moves can hinder your best efforts. I’ve written a new article called “The Seven Most Common Marketing Mistakes Speakers Make” and thought I’d give you a little tease:
The Seven Most Common Marketing Mistakes Speakers Make
- Spending time and money on marketing tools before establishing a business development strategy
- Speaking on multiple topics–targeting a broad audience
- Approaching key decision-makers before it’s time
- Undervaluing or overvaluing your products services or programs
- Getting an assistant or administrator to do your “dirty work” (ie misdiagnosing your marketing problem)
- Spending investment dollars in the wrong places
- Losing the game in your mind