Just the sound of the word “publicity” can make some of us want to run for cover. It brings to mind uncomfortable and awkward times in the spotlight, and while many of us want our businesses to succeed, it may take a while to adjust to the idea of being center stage.
I recently spoke with Nancy Juetten of Main Street Media Savvy about how to overcome the fear of publicity. The great thing about the tips that she offered is that many of them are things you might already be doing to some extent, which makes the whole idea of publicity a little less daunting. By becoming comfortable with these tactics, you’ll start inching your way into the limelight, and you’ll gain more attention for your business in the process.
Create a Compelling Bio
When someone takes the time to visit your web site, “About” page or social network profile, you have an opportunity to connect with that person and say something memorable that will help you stand out in his or her mind. By sharing what Nancy calls “succinct stories, stunning results, sassy soundbites and social information to help ideal clients connect,” you’ll attract more of the right kind of clients to your business.
Start and Maintain a Web Site, Blog and Newsletter.
While there are tons of new social media and networking opportunities online, it’s important not to neglect your hub, your primary home online, where you have control over the message you put out there. You want to shine the best light possible on your business, and consistently maintaining a high quality web site, blog and newsletter provides a sound foundation to establish you as the “go-to” expert in your field.
Contribute to Online Networks, Forums and Blogs.
With the base of your content covered by your web site and blog, you can branch out and find new prospects and connections online through a variety of social networking platforms, as well as other blogs that serve your ideal client or customer. Find ways to regularly contribute in meaningful ways, and you’ll start to capture the attention of people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Explore Audio and Video
Perhaps writing is not your forte. Maybe you prefer communicating vocally or visually, in which case, a regular podcast or videocast might be right for you. For search engine optimization purposes, it’s important to continue to write relevant content, but a podcast or videocast can help you connect with a broader market by appealing to those who prefer formats other than the written word.
Write e-Books and Special Reports
There’s no better way to position yourself as an expert than to offer a variety of helpful content on your site, and e-books, special reports and white papers are great resources to add to the mix. The best part is, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch. Once per quarter or even once per year, go through your blog and collect articles that relate to specific themes. Then put that collection of articles into e-book format. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring a virtual assistant to put it together for you.
Host Tele-seminars and Workshops
Everyone has something to teach and unique experiences to share. Why not use this as an opportunity to reach out to more customers and clients? By providing occasional workshops and tele-seminars, you can highlight your expertise and perhaps prompt prospects who have been sitting on the fence to take action. Connect with other professionals who provide services that complement your own, and you’ll benefit from shared marketing and promotion of the events.
Write for Others
Opportunities abound for writing content, whether it’s for the local media, business journals, or other blogs. Regularly post to free services like Blogger Linkup with the types of articles you can contribute, or subscribe to services like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and watch for opportunities that apply to you or your business. You’ll soon find that you have more opportunities to write than you can handle. By contributing to other blogs that focus on the same audience, you can grow your own readership and potentially find new customers and clients.
Publicity doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In most cases, it involves doing things that you’ve already considered that don’t seem like publicity at all. Nancy suggests starting with five things you’re comfortable doing and then form a habit out of them. Once you establish well-formed habits with those tactics, consider adding a few more to the mix.
How do you consistently promote your business? What tactics have you found to be most successful?
Flickr image by codepo8