Archive for July, 2012
Buying a full-page ad in your local newspaper would cost more than most small businesses could afford. However, if you got your local newspaper to cover you for free, that’s exactly what you’d get: an entire page dedicated to you.
Here’s how to leverage the power of the press to get massive free publicity in your local area.
Pay Attention to Subsections
People often make the mistake of only trying to make “The Big News.” When you’re trying to get attention locally, often times it’s better to focus on smaller sections.
For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, you might try to get a story in the “Food” section. If you’re opening a new co-working space, you might try to get a story going in the “Business” or “What’s Going On” sections.
Different papers have different sections. Look through the various local papers and pick the sections you want to try to get stories in.
Don’t Forget Local Magazines
Large cities often have magazines as well as newspapers. For example, San Francisco has the “7×7″ magazine, dedicated just to San Francisco. New York, Chicago, Boston and many big cities also have similar circulations.
Getting in Touch with Journalists
The best way to get in touch with journalists is to go direct. Avoid press releases and don’t fax in your story.
Instead, find the editor or journalist who’s responsible for the specific section you’re targeting. Try to pick people who’ve written about similar stories in the past.
Then send them an email pitching your story. Wait about 24 hours, then contact them by phone to follow up.
Remember that newspaper editors need to fill pages. If you have a fantastic story, there’s a very good chance you’ll get picked up.
What Kind of Story Should You Pitch?
Of course, if you’re going to get in the press, you need a fantastic story. You can’t just talk about your business – you need an angle.
One great angle is to leverage famous people. If someone famous frequents your restaurant for example, ask if they’d be willing to do an event for your restaurant. Let them know you’ll give them all the profits for the night; you just want the publicity.
Another idea is to leverage recent stories. For example, right after Pepsi did their famous Pepsi challenges, you could host a Pepsi challenge every night at your establishment.
Let your imagination run wild. The most important thing is that you come up with a story that’s truly noteworthy. Then find the right journalist and get in touch.
You might not land the story your very first try. Keep coming up with interesting angles and soon enough you’ll get your first mention in the newspapers. Keep it up and you’ll quickly build a rolodex of reporters who can’t wait to talk about your next move – provided it’s interesting. This is a fantastic way to build up a business for next to nothing.
Ask any successful business owner how they achieved their glory and they’ll likely give all the credit to their business coach. Business coaches can be the difference between reaching and surpassing your goals and building a business you never imagined, and struggling to get by.
Why Hire a Business Coach?
Business coaches come in all shapes and sizes. They each have their own unique system and approach to business. When you find the right business coach for your needs and personality, they can push you out of your comfort zone a touch and help you achieve success.
A business coach also does something that you just can’t do on your own – they provide unbiased insight into your business goals, model, and practices. They can often see strengths and weaknesses that you are unable to simply because you’re too close to the business.
In addition, a business coach is often aware of cutting edge technologies and practices that you may be too busy to have heard about yet. Capitalizing on trends and technology can put you years ahead of your competition.
Finally, a business coach can help you stay accountable. You probably know how it goes…you have a nice long list of goals and plans to achieve them. Yet with no one to hold you accountable those deadlines are easily pushed back – sometimes motivation and inspiration, along with opportunity, are completely lost. A business coach is like a personal trainer – they hold you accountable to reach your goals on time.
So How Do You Find a Business Coach?
Best advice, and certainly the first step, is to start asking people you know, trust, and respect. Chances are many of your online marketing associates have worked with or know of reputable coaches. Make a list of coaches to consider.
The next step is to begin researching those coaches and comparing their ideologies, methodologies and also the industries that they’re most familiar with. For example, some business coaches specialize in helping service providers. Narrow your possibilities by the coaches that best seem to fit your needs.
Pick up the phone or send an email! The next step is to start talking with a few of these coaches. You don’t need to love your coach but you do need to be able to communicate effectively with them. You also want to make sure you like them and respect them. Ask if there is an initial free session. During this time you can get a feel for how they coach and what will be expected of you. It’s a perfect way to find your dream business coach.
It’s important to choose someone whom you feel will challenge you and help you step outside of your comfort zone. You want someone who will motivate you, inspire you and help you take your business to a whole new level.