As a solopreneur running your business, you juggle several rolesâ€”accountant, project manager, social media manager, publicist, and more. These duties can rob you of your time especially if you have no budget to outsource. Managing most of the duties could be an easy feat in a 12-hour day however when it comes to public relations (PR) you will need to put in serious time. PR is essential for your business to grow. And if you think you do not need it, think again.
Picture this. You finally start the business of your dreams but no one is soliciting your service. Eventually, you are at the point where your business may fold because well, you aren’t making any money. Don’t let it get to that point. While you’re working on launching your business you should be simultaneously thinking about how you are going to spread the word that your business exists. How your business will stand out from the rest. And how you plan to implement your plan. That plan is your PR plan. In a nutshell, PR is about earning your target audience’s trust and attention and gaining publicity as a result of that. It is an intricate and strategic job that requires time, resources, tools, and relationships.
If you aren’t able to hire a PR firm or an independent publicist, there are ways to get a jumpstart by doing it yourself. Remember, you chose to launch your baby so it’s only right that you feed it to help it grow.
Here are eight ways to get PR for your brand.
1. Social Media
Instagram is a great social media platform to interact with influencers and media outlets to increase your chance of gaining coverage. Share industry tips on social media. Create engaging posts (video and photos are best) and engage with people who you want to notice your brand. Share content that aligns with your brand. For example, if you own and operate a hair salon, make sure you are sharing relevant content like a video on how to effectively color your hair on a budget or the best growth serum for balding women.
2. Clubhouse (CH)
Clubhouse is an invite-only drop-in audio chat. A new type of social network based on voice in real-time. The perfect platform to promote your expertise. From personal experience, it works. Clubhouse is a great way to raise awareness for your company, gain social media followers, clients, and website traffic. Again, if you know your stuff, start a Clubhouse room or join a room and raise your hand to speak. The minute you open your mouth, the audience will be checking out your CH profile, your IG page, and possibly your website, so before you dive into Clubhouse, have your brand together and own the stage when it’s your time to speak. And don’t forget to follow back and adhere to the Clubhouse rules.
3. Thought Leadership
As the owner of a PR agency thought leadership is one of the strategies we incorporate in our client’s PR plan. We organically leverage them as a trusted and knowledgeable resource in their industry.
If you know your stuff and have the time to write a blog for your company website, you’re on your way. A blog will help gain traffic to your website, rank in search engines, and create awareness for your company.
One of our clients is a successful real estate broker. She is notorious for writing blogs and newsletters and distributing them to her industry and prospects in the areas she sells homes. So how did she develop her email list? Upon every open house, there is a sign-in book to keep track of visitors. By signing it, the person is aware that they will receive information from time to time thus building her list. By answering questions on her blog and sending out informative real estate tips in her newsletters, her company developed positive PR and growth and our client became the go-to person in real estate.
When writing blogs be consistent and write about your industry trends, your thoughts on the industry, and interesting observations. You know, things that make you go hmmm.
4. Be a source to the media
Here is where you being a thought leader comes into play. Being quoted by the media is a big boost for your company. Services like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists, bloggers, and TV producers to relevant sources who can help them with an article they are writing or to fill a guest spot on a talk show. If chosen, you are on your way to becoming the go-to person thus creating awareness for your business.
5. Know Your competitor
If you study your competitor’s PR moves you can make your PR efforts stand out. For example, you have a skincare salon and your competitor lands an interview on the local news show for giving tips on preparing skin for the summer. You can pitch the same news show from a different angle. The secret to clearing up adult acne caused by stress. But here’s the twist. You pitch your angle for Stress Awareness Month.
A free source to keep an eye on your competitor is TalkWalker social media monitoring tools. Social search monitors every conversation about your brand, hashtags, and competition on social media. Alerts follow the digital footprint across the internet and Twitter.
6. The Press Release Still Works
The trusted traditional press release is not as effective as it used to be, however, there are still online publications and reporters that may find your story interesting. The objective is to get the consumer to trust you and deem you credible. A press release can tell a compelling story about your service, product, or event. It doesn’t cost much to hire a writer to write the release and use a credible wire service (News Wire or PRWeb) to distribute and push your release to the masses. And a press release will live on the Internet indefinitely, depending on the distribution service you use, adding to online visibility. Don’t forget to embed social media links into your press release to promote social sharing and engagement.
7. Leverage your Media Placements
Once you get a story or an appearance in the media, take it a step further to extend the reach.
Media leveraging is using every piece of content in multiple ways to get the highest return on investment from each piece of content. It is a necessary strategy for all businesses to stay relevant, boost awareness, and assist in generating new business.
Here are a few ways to leverage your media placements:
â€¢Share on social media.
â€¢Blog about the coverage.
â€¢Post it on your website under your “News” or “Media” page.
â€¢Add the link of your interview below your email signature.
â€¢Shine the spotlight back on the media outlet that covered you or your company to help them gain more traffic.
8. Cultivate Relationships
Twitter is a great way to connect with journalists. They use it as a search engine. First, make sure your profile is current. “Follow” them, research their background, and engage. Get familiar with their articles, and their conversations. Share content that relates to your industry or area of expertise and use hashtags. Then, when the time is right, go in for the pitch.
PR is essential for a small business to grow, and today there are many resources and tools to help you get started. The objective is to get your audience to trust you. So, what are you waiting for?
About the author
Phyllis Caddell is the CEO and Founder of PCPR Communications (www.pcpr.co) located in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of Do-It-Yourself Publicity for Those Too Cheap or Too Broke to Hire A Publicist and an adjunct college instructor. She can be reached at pcpr.co.