This week, we’re focusing on one of the most powerful ways to market your small business: publicity.
As Phil explained in his recent post, there are several benefits of publicity, including:
1. You’ll generate more leads, as people learn about you in the media.
2. You’ll convert more leads into customers, because you’ll have more credibility.
3. You can also leverage this credibility to land partnerships and attract investors.
So how can you get started?
Here’s my advice…
Start by positioning yourself as an expert.
Reporters love to interview experts, so it’s a good idea to start positioning yourself as an expert in your industry beginning today.
And one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert is to create “thought leadership” content.
In case you’re thinking, “But I’m not an expert…” – let me stop you right there. Yes, you are! If you’re a small business owner, you’re absolutely an expert because you know more than 99% of the population about your field of business. You just need to organize and clarify your expertise, so that it’s accessible to the general public.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor, you’re undoubtedly an expert on the topic of natural pain relief, including headaches, back pain, neck pain, and so on. Without a doubt, you know a ton about pain relief.
Chances are, you know enough that you could easily write a book about your field of business. But I don’t recommend you start with a book (although you may want to consider that at some point). Writing a book is too big of a commitment.
Instead, start small.
I recommend you start by publishing articles on a blog.
One of your first questions might be, “Where should I host my blog?”
If you’re ready to commit to posting regularly on a blog, then I recommend you install a WordPress blog on a sub-directory of your website such (domain.com/blog) because this has nice SEO benefits for your website. If you don’t want to commit to that quite yet, then just grab a free blog on Blogger (owned by Google).
Next, create a list of topics you want to write about. I recommend you generate at least 10 topics for articles. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Answer frequently asked questions
- Address common mistakes or misconceptions
- Clarify and simplify topics that are seen as complex or confusing
- Organize your methodology into a series of easy-to-follow steps
In terms of the articles themselves, I recommend you write articles that are 500-800 words in length. Create a good, catchy title for each one. Aim to communicate one big idea and a few supporting points. And try to make your articles actionable, so that people feel like they got something useful out of reading your article.
(If you don’t like to write, then you can record yourself talking about these topics, and then get that recording transcribed, and then edit the transcription into articles.)
I recommend you post at least 10 articles on your blog, for two reasons. For one, you’ll get a sense for whether you actually like producing content. By that time, you’ll also start to clarify your knowledge… and chances are, you’ll get excited about how much you really do know about your topic.
And here’s where all this blogging transitions into getting free publicity…
After you’ve gotten into a rhythm of posting content onto your blog, the next step is to contact relevant media outlets and ask if you can contribute an article to their publication. You might contact your local newspaper, a relevant magazine, or perhaps an industry trade journal. You can also start by contacting other blogs, and offering to provide a guest blog post.
Essentially, you’re offering free content in exchange for publicity. When reaching out to these organizations, you can point to the articles on your blog as examples of your writing. I recommend you contact at least 10 organizations. And if you don’t hear back after a week, you might want to send a friendly follow-up email.
Once you get published in one of these venues, you’ll generate valuable exposure for your business. You’ll likely generate some leads and website traffic from that exposure. In addition, you can leverage the credibility by putting the logos of those media outlets on your website.
Plus, be sure to leverage any guest articles into more contributor opportunities… Once you’ve been featured on a publication or website, be sure to reference that when reaching out to other organizations.
Ready to get started?
Here are your action items…
1. Setup a blog
2. Create your list of topics
3. Publish content on your blog
Then, start contributing content to other organizations.
And if you want more publicity tips, watch this video.