How to Use Publicity to Grow and Expand Your Business
Publicity is one fabulous way to put your business in front of your target market. A business owner’s biggest challenge is getting the word out there. You most likely know and understand the needs of your ideal customers but how are you going to reach them? Without busting your shoestring budget with advertising?
Here is the simple theory:
- Find the publications and media outlets that are delivering news and contents to your target market.
- Appeal to the journalists, bloggers, and reporters working at those outlets.
- Work with them to publish articles and inspire stories that highlight your business.
- Prepare to receive phone calls from potential customers!
Of course, that’s all a little easier said than done; however, if you have an effective strategy for making connections and building long-term relationships with journalists and media publicity, it could end up being your ticket to further success!
Publicity has lots of benefits, in fact. When your business gets good press, investors would take notice; so do those who might be in the market to buy your business someday. Your customers and employees feel proud to be associated with your business and people who have never heard of your business are suddenly curious about it.
This differs from exposure on your own social media accounts and paid advertising because it’s coming from a third party that has chosen to broadcast news about your business. It reaches a broader audience and acts as social proof, rather than just another sales pitch.
When the media publishes or airs something about your business, it’s news—and that automatically comes with more authority than anything your business produces or pays for on its own.
Publicity Builds Trust
We all know that trust is a huge part of building a brand. Trust is a prerequisite to professional relationships and to sales. Building trust can take years, but only moments to destroy.
What you may not realise is just how far targeted publicity can go in building that trust.
Look at it this way: Your dream client trusts a journalist because she delivers timely, relevant and helpful stories. In the past, the journalist’s publications have proven to be true, and now, whenever your dream client needs to know the truth, or get new information, she turns to that journalist or blogger.
Now, can you imagine if that journalist or blogger wrote a piece about your business? Do you think your dream client would spend much time wondering if she can trust your business? Or if it’s legitimate? Or if it delivers what it says it will? Mostly likely not because trust plays an important factor.
The trust she feels for that journalist’s work is very likely going to have a positive effect on you and your business.
After all, if that journalist trusts you enough to put her career on the line with an article, then your dream client can trust you, too.
That is the power of publicity. I’ve seen it happen time and time again: for years, a small business owner struggles to gain the visibility and build the trust she needs to compete…until the day she’s published by a reputable media outlet.
The rest is history. She never again has to work as hard as she did before that article. And there’s a snowball effect: one piece of publicity leads to another, and another, and another. Until it’s difficult to find anyone who hasn’t heard of her business.
They might not all be her ideal clients, but they’re talking about her business to those who are.
Publicity Manages Reputation
Targeted publicity also helps to combat any negative comments and reviews that might be circulating about your business.
Have you ever noticed how people are more likely to post a bad business review than a good one? That’s because they’re angry, or they feel like they didn’t get the benefit they expected. Satisfied customers aren’t as vocal, because they got exactly what they expected to get.
You can strive to go beyond expectations every time you deliver a service, so that people are more likely to post glowing testimonials about your business. That’s one way to combat negativity.
The other way is to score some “impressive press” so those negative comments are utterly delegitimised. They’ll be buried under good news that simply can’t be ignored.
Does all this sound great?
Are you already thinking about which media outlets and audience would be most receptive to your story?
That’s the first step: recognising your small or micro business’s need for publicity.
Now it’s time to put together an irresistible story, find the reporters who will be interested, determine which publications your target market is reading… and so much more.