for Your Brand & Biz
From Rebecca Ives Rubin
Do you have a powerful message to share with the world and big dreams for your business…but find yourself wishing you could impact more people faster?
As an online marketing coach and former publicist, I’m a big believer in the power of PR. Landing the right media exposure can make all the difference for a new (or not so new) entrepreneur, attracting targeted leads to your email list (without dropping a penny on Facebook ads) and positioning you as an expert in front of your ideal clients.
Once you start thinking like a publicist, you’ll realize that the current media landscape is full of opportunities for women like us to amplify our voices and get our brands out there. Online publications are always in need of guest posts and there are tons of podcasts seeking experts for interviews.
And the best part? You don’t have to have already been in business for years or have a major following to get these types of opportunities. Using the five steps outlined below and the accompanying cheat sheet, you can start getting publicity now. (I used these strategies to become a contributor for entrepreneur.com and many others before I had even landed my first paid client in my marketing coaching business!)
Realize that publicity is within your grasp—and go after it!
The BIGGEST reason more online service providers (particularly women) don’t land coveted media opportunities is that they simply don’t put themselves in the running for them. They hold themselves back with thoughts like, “I don’t want to seem pushy or egotistical,” “if my stuff was that good these opportunities would be coming to me,” and, “I’m not big/important/knowledgable enough yet to be in (insert name of fancy-pants outlet).”
These are total myths. It’s actually YOUR job to pitch yourself to the media (the days of being “discovered” are over). Additionally, the media is constantly looking for high quality content to put out, and if you pitch the right outlet in the right way, you’d be shocked at the opportunities that become available to you. The first step in getting the publicity that can take your business to the next level is to DECIDE you and your business are worthy of it—and that your unique voice needs to be heard.
Find out what makes you irresistible.
The second step to landing the media attention you desire is to reflect on what is newsworthy about your business (i.e. why the media should care about you—and remember, they should!). Have you made a big transformation in your life or business that you could write into an inspiring story? Do you have a unique take on a hot trend or news item? Do you have valuable knowledge about a particular topic that you could write as a “how-to” article? Create a list of topics you could cover that are pertinent to your ideal client and the service you provide. If it’s a guest post you’re after, you’ll also want to come up with a few catchy titles (if you’re stuck, try re-working fashion magazine article titles to your particular topic as they tend to be extra eye-catching).
Select the right outlet & identify the gatekeeper.
The most important thing here is to be strategic, do some research, and make sure that the outlet or podcast you target makes sense based on what you do and your business goals, and has an audience that includes your ideal clients (nothing annoys a busy editor more than a pitch that has nothing to do with what the outlet covers). Start by listing the publications you would like to write for, podcasts you want to be interviewed on, etc. and then identify the corresponding contact person you need to reach out to. Some outlets will make it super obvious (ie. filling out a “contact us” form or contributor page) but others may require a bit more digging.
If you’re just starting out on your publicity journey, don’t ignore smaller outlets and local outlets here, as starting small a great way to get your foot in the door and build up some credibility as someone who is a great contributor, podcast guest, etc. Also avoid pitching writers and editors on social media. Do your best to go through the proper channels (READ: email or submission form).
Select the right outlet & identify the gatekeeper.
A personalized pitch letter that is customized to a particular outlet is typically the fastest and most effective way to get a guest posting opportunity or podcast interview. Be sure to include the following items in your pitch letter:
• Who are you are. (No more than one sentence.)
• Why you’re the go-to expert for your field/industry. (If you’re just starting out simply write who your ideal clients are and what you help them do. If you’re going for bigger-name outlets, a brief sentence or two about your credentials is helpful.)
• How you’d like to contribute. (Guest article, podcast interview, profile, byline— if there is a specific section/segment you’d be great for, mention it.)
• A few timely + relevant topics you can discuss in bulleted format (from your brainstorm in Step 2).
• A Brief bio that emphasizes your expertise and credibility along with contact info and alink to your website.
If you don’t hear back after a 2 weeks—send a polite follow up email, but give it time as most editors are extremely busy.
Make the most of your exposure!
There are a few key items to have in place to ensure your media attention converts into actual leads. First, when you submit your bio to go along with the article or interview, be sure to include a link to a landing page that captures your reader’s name and email in exchange for a free gift that’s in sync with your article (rather than sending readers to the homepage of your website).
If you’re doing a podcast interview, be sure to stay on-message. You never have to directly answer a question if you don’t want to (just ask a politician!). Also whenever possible request the questions you will be asked ahead of time so you can prepare and filter your answers for YOUR audience. Imagine you are talking directly to your ideal clients (rather than responding to the interviewer) and answer questions in a way that will most resonate for them.
Once your interview or post goes live, be sure to share your media attention on social media and to your email list (your existing clients and followers will like to know you’re up to big things). Then keep the momentum going by showcasing the logos of your PR mentions on your website, sales pages and even social media banners to build instant-credibility. Consider including a few of your top media hits in your email opt-in sequence to help build your “know like and trust” factor!
Here’s to seeing your name in lights and making a MAJOR impact on the world!
P.S. Could the women of the Divine Living community benefit from your message? We’d love to hear your best story pitches. Use the downloadable cheat sheet to craft a compelling letter telling us why your ideas would be a great fit for DLM. Send all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
connect with top editors
Help a Reporter Out is a publicist’s best friend – this daily email is where
reporters/writers look for guests and experts to feature in upcoming articles and TV segments.
This women’s community allows their entrepreneur-level members to submit articles through them to websites like The Huffington Post and Forbes.
Another online women’s community with many editors and writers who are members. They often post about opportunities to be featured as an expert.
Subscription service that allows you to perform a keyword search to find journalists who write about your industry and get their contact info.
Publicity Cheat Sheet
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