Before viral videos and tweets became popular, media coverage was one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to gain exposure for themselves at little to no cost. Even though it feels like social media marketing is taking over, I’m sure most of us still dream about being on the cover of our favorite magazines or being interviewed by some of top talk show hosts of today. Having worked with some of the biggest media outlets around including the New York Times, Black Enterprise and Essence magazine, I can tell you one of the best ways to get their attention is to become the media that you seek. Journalists, bloggers and broadcasters alike are always looking for buzz worthy new stories to cover. If you want them to notice you, you’ve got to start thinking out of the box. While others spend thousands on PR agents in the hopes of getting featured, spend more of your time creating out-of-the box content that will get people talking.
Start by Showcasing Others
Successful Sista Profiles, the BBWO 50 list of Fabulous Entrepreneurs and HerSuccess Spotlight are three of several features that I’ve created over the years to showcase women entrepreneurs within my community. Follow my lead by shining a light on note-worthy people within your industry. You can set up interviews or create brand-specific honorable mention lists. Forbes, Inc. and even Oprah frequently create lists of their favorite people; you should too. This strategy works well because publicity out often leads to even more publicity in. Excited honorees are usually the first to share the news about where they’ve been featured. Plus if done correctly and consistently, your features can become sought after media opportunities. Think about all the brand awareness and buzz you can gain from people wanting to be featured by you.
Create a Team of Writers
Browsers tend to spend more time and money on websites that have more to see than buy-now buttons. Blogging is the best way to build up your content, but blogging can admittedly be overwhelming when you don’t have time to get it done. The best work around is to work on building a team of aspiring writers and seasoned experts willing to write engaging articles for your website. Whether it’s written by you or others, great content keeps customers coming back. And if your team creates amazing content you just might find some of your pieces being picked up by larger media publications impressed with what you’ve put together.
Produce Your Own Branded Series
Practically every successful coach or service professional online produces their own brand specific series to retain customers, showcase their credibility and attract media attention. As a matter of fact, launching SistaSense Jumpstart Your Business weekly calls helped me to create consistent interest in my online training program. Hosting an ongoing series of virtual calls and webinars works well to boost my business, but what will work best for you? Think about your skillset, target audience and interests. Consider producing your own videos series on YouTube like Marie Forleo or host a Twitter series like Melinda Emerson, creator of #SmallBizChat. You can start a podcast series, try out Blog Talk Radio, or write an ongoing column via your blog. But don’t do something like start a YouTube channel if you are not ready to sit in front of a camera. If this seems like the right solution for you, be sure to focus on content that you have a genuine interest in and use a platform that best fits your personality.
Self-Publish Your Own Magazine
When I combined five years of blog content with my personal desire be on cover the of a magazine “Oprah-Style”, SistaSense In Print was born. Using the MagCloud.com platform I’ve been self-publishing my own magazine for the last three years. MagCloud provides me with a low-cost print-on-demand solution to sharing my blog content with a larger audience. This has allowed me to create new products, increase sales, have tangible examples of my work to showcase at events, send personally branded magazine gifts to my clients and receive media recognition for annual events that I feature in the magazine like the BBWO50 list of Fabulous Women Entrepreneurs. Consider how you can expand your brand with your own self-published magazine. And keep in mind that you don’t have to create an issue every week or even every month. I publish SistaSense In Print on a bi-annual basis, just two issues a year, so you are free to produce and promote the number of issues that works best for you.
Be Your Best PR Agent
Every year I receive media requests for interviews on radio, television, magazines, books and digital publications. I’ve been asked to speak at events. I’ve even been asked to interview celebrities and cover well known events as media under the SistaSense and BBWO brands. Most of these opportunities are a direct result of my social media presence and the work I’ve put into building my brand content online. As you build your web business, work on becoming your best PR agent. Consistently share articles that highlight your media exposure, know how, activities and client testimonials. Don’t wish or wait for media to shed a light on you. The more you shed a light on what you do and how well it is received, the more others will become excited about working with you. Boosting your PR skills works and it can save you lots of money.
Go beyond your title of entrepreneur and start thinking like a media powerhouse. If you do this correctly and consistently, you will be surprised to see how quickly the media starts directing their eyes towards you. At the end of the day they are most interested in popular opinion; they want to shed light on the people most people are talking about. Get creative, try these strategies, become the media that you see and see if you can get more people talking about you.
This article was featured in the Fierce, Focused, Fired Up! Issue of SistaSense Magazine, get your print or digital copy today.