The vast majority of small businesses that I come into contact with do not have a solid marketing strategy or publicity plan.
About 90% of those I meet use what I call the “hope and pray” marketing strategy. Actually, If I’m honest, that number may be significantly higher.
For those who do have some kind of strategy in place, I often find that it is one or more of the following:
â–¡ Hap-hazzard. I don’t get the unsystematic method some small business owners use to promote and market their stuff. They’ll send a generic eblast out now and then and hope for a miracle. Well, in today’s crowded marketplace–where choices are many–to those folks I say, keep hoping.
â–¡ Outdated. Why are people still advertising in the yellow pages (or any other “pages”) thinking that’s going to get them tons of business? This is not 1974!
â–¡ Untargeted. I long for the day when entrepreneurs stop trying to market to EVERYBODY and start marketing to the people they can best serve. Everybody does NOT need to like you. The only people who need to like you are the specific ones whose problems you solve. Period. Focus on them and you’ll uncover a goldmine.
â–¡ Unprofessional. If one more person hands me a business card they made at home with computer paper from the local office store I swear I’m going to scream! If I get one more eBlast from someone I don’t know blatantly saying buy this, that and the other thing, I promise you, the West Englewood girl in me will come out!!
â–¡ Unleveraged. There’s a ton of free publicity opportunities in local media that go untapped because entrepreneurs don’t know how easy it is to leverage the media. Why not try to get a slot on ABC7’s midday newscast if it means thousands of your potential clients will see you? Is there no value in that?
So here are 3 easy ways to turn this dismal situation around. They all have to do with positioning yourself for media visibility. With these simple media VISIBILITY strategies, you can catapult your business to a new level within 30 — 60 days.
1.) Start showing yourself wise by writing simple how-to articles. If you’re not a writer, don’t flee in panic. How-to articles are not the research papers you dreaded in high school. All they require is that you share what you know in simple steps. If you downloaded my Publicity Virgins e-book, you’ll see how I take my media and publicity knowledge and just break it down into steps to help you apply the strategies. BENEFIT: Articles position you as an expert. As you do more articles, your audience will come to like and trust you and potentially even hire you. Because of an article I wrote and posted on EzineArticles.com a few years ago, a client hired me for a small $3,000 contract. It wasn’t much but it certainly helps the bottomline. Also, as you put yourself out there, the media will come to respect you and eventually seek you out for your expertise.
2.) Start studying the media outlets you want to be in so you can “fit in.” I can’t tell you how many people claim they want to be on my shows but have never heard or watched me in their life. WTH? If you want to be featured in MONEY magazine, you better know what the writers in MONEY are talking, writing and blogging about. In fact, as you get to know their angle, start communicating with them. Start building a relationship with them. Compliment their brilliant work. Then offer your own expert angle. Pick your outlet and start doing that today. Do it well and it could lead to a regular feature = free publicity = more valuable visibility for you.
3.) Get to the point! Crystalize your message with a call to action. Whether on your blog, facebook, twitter, YouTube or on successfully leveraging traditional media, your message should always be crystal clear and always have a specific call to action. I show people how to do this in a manner that is gracious without being salesy, slimy or overly promotional.
I once heard marketing genius Dan Kennedy say “people are like sheep and need to be herded.” Once I got over being slightly offended by that statement, I said, “you know, he’s right.” Most people need clear, specific direction. Give them one specific thing to do to connect to you. Invite them into your world elegantly and in the spirit of giving and the long-term benefits of that relationship will be mutual.
Eventually, your audience will become as eager to invest in your products and services as you are to invest in them by sharing high-quality knowledge and solutions to their problems.
I’ll be teaching these strategies AND handing you my signature 5-step VISIBILITY Blueprint at the upcoming 2-day VISIBILITY Bootcamp. 10 spaces are available only for the most visionary, action-oriented entrepreneurs. Grab your space at http://VisibilityBootcamp.com
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