4 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Get the Word Out About Their Small Businesses
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Getting the word out about your business can be tough, particularly if you don't know how to effectively reach out and then keep the momentum going once you get some coverage. So how can you make the most of the positive attention you do get and parlay it into more customers and sales?
This the question that Heather DeSantis frequently asks herself as she works with her clients. DeSantis is the 29-year-old founder of Publicity For Good, a PR firm that specializes in helping mission-driven companies make an impact.
DeSantis says that it's important for entrepreneurs to drill down on the three or four topics that they are most passionate and comfortable teaching others about.
When you're pitching members of the media, think of it exactly the way you would approach an investor. Stick with statistics and hard numbers. It isn't your product that is most intriguing to journalists and readers, but the solution that it provides.
For Small Business Week, DeSantis, who has connected her clients with more than 3,000 media outlets since launching her firm in 2016, shared her top strategies for making a publicity splash, starting with making yourself an indispensable voice in your field.
1. Be seen as an expert.
"It's really important to think beyond the product you sell and really understand the solution that you provide. Transition from being a business owner and someone selling a product to a thought leader, someone in the trenches sharing information," DeSantis says. "Any interview you do, you have to make sure that [the reader feels] that they're gaining value or they could take action. You have to have actionable tips that other small-business owners can take action on."
2. Make a social plan and stick to it
"You need a consistent plan to share on Twitter and Facebook," DeSantis says. "People get so stuck in not wanting to be annoying, but with the algorithm, even if you post it, it doesn't necessarily mean that people are going to see it. With Twitter you can share daily. Facebook share weekly. You can add press coverage to your website as a blog [as well]."
3. Have a multi-platform approach.
"Before clients do TV interviews, we'll have them pre-promote it," she says. "When they are at the station, they will do a Facebook Live. They'll take photos. Do as many touches as possible to get people excited to take them on the journey."
4. Stay on top of the news.
"[Business owners can be] so focused on their inner-workings that they are doing themselves a disservice by not getting up to date with industry news. Those things are how we've been able to really get timely pieces for our clients in the press," DeSantis says. "Simply by watching the news you can use that as leverage and reaching out to the media and saying, 'I'm an expert and I would love to give you my raw, honest, opinion about this.' By using breaking news and trending topics and awareness months, you make yourself timely and relevant."