Because of this, increasing your marketing and promotion efforts needs to be at the top of your to-do list. Here’s how to get mentioned in the media, promote your business and make more sales—all without paying for a dedicated PR agent.
Sign Up for Help A Reporter Out
There’s no shortage of journalists and reporters looking for stories, sources and businesses to write about. And the best part is that many are open and willing to feature your small business. It’s true! A free website called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) connects people in the media to sources, and vice-versa.
Once you sign up, you’ll get real-time media opportunities in your inbox three times a day. They’re divided into categories like Entertainment, Business, Health and Politics, so you can scroll down to your preferred category and see if there are any opportunities that fit your brand or business.
Follow the instructions of the inquiry (usually by replying to the HARO email address) and the journalist may use your story for a specific media outlet. It may take a few weeks to see your content get published, but keep at it.
Signing up for HARO is how I was able to land media mentions in Inc. Magazine, Refinery29 and Business Insider.
Land Interviews and Podcasts
Reach out to your network and let them know you want to be interviewed or featured in podcasts. There are hundreds of podcasts with individuals who are looking for guests and stories to feature. Doing a quick Google search of “finance podcasts” yields a treasure trove of opportunities.
Type in the industry you’re interested in, along with the word “podcast” behind it, and you should get a good list of prospects. Make a list of the top three to four podcasts or shows you want to be interviewed on, and then research the contact info of the person who books interviews for each show.
Reach out to them and share your story, your brand and a proposed idea of what the show could be about. Personally, I have yet to be told “no” using this strategy. Another way to get in contact with podcast owners is to reach out to other guests they’ve featured. They may have interviewed your friends or colleagues, who may be able to make an introduction for you.
Sometimes journalists looking for interviewees for their podcasts will come through HARO as well, so be on the lookout for that.
Add Mentions to Your Portfolio or Homepage
Now that you know how to get mentioned in the media, how do you turn these into more business and sales? The best place to start is with a site like LinkedIn, where you can display the places you’ve been featured in your professional portfolio. Don’t forget to add the list of mentions to your website’s homepage or “About” page.
You can also use these mentions as a “hook” in your pitch emails to potential clients. Being published in popular media outlets lends to your credibility as a business owner. Some clients will instantly want to work with you simply because you are a Huffington Post blogger.
Because of my media mention efforts, I was offered one of my first paid speaking gigs. A financial startup reached out to me about representing their brand, flew me to San Francisco and paid me to speak at a local workshop for them. The main thing that landed me the gig was because I was a Huffington Post blogger.
That being said, don’t clutter up your portfolio with every single media mention and interview you’ve participated in. Only focus on the ones that are the most appropriate for your industry and that carry the most weight for your reputation. This will allow you to have the most leverage when you’re negotiating a new client deal or trying to make more sales.
Getting published in big-name media sites and landing podcast interviews has helped me find better quality and higher-paying clients. I’ve been able to collaborate with other awesome business owners, which has helped me build a solid reputation for my business. All of this has led to more sales, more customers and more exposure for my online business.
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