“Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!” P.T Barnum
I may be preaching to the choir here, but with the New Year’s business planning in full swing, I feel it’s a perfect time to recap the importance of publicity and promotion. Like that memorable quote from the ever-colorful P.T Barnum, you can have the most amazing widget in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if no one’s heard of it. Don’t think your business is ready for publicity or promotion? Effective publicity happens the minute you land your first client or sign your first contract. If your business is “open for business,” you are ready for publicity.
The beauty of publicity is that the best strategies are often built on basic knowledge you probably already have; you just need to identify your story and your message. In reality, your publicity and promotion is about your message, not so much about your business. People, potential clients and customers, want to know the story of who you are, what you do, and why they should be interested in you or what you have to offer.
So, instead of sharing dry, repeated marketing facts about your business, share the story of how your business began, what strong beliefs drive your business, and what about you and your business is authentic and unique. Your business may offer stress relief coaching for women, but the more effective angle would be to share a story about a stressful period in your life and how your skills as a stress coach got you through it.
The downside to publicity is that it can be expensive at times. However, you don’t have to go broke to integrate a little PR into your business. There are plenty of useful ways to get free publicity, and many won’t cost you an arm-and-a-leg either.
Here are a few:
- Press Releases
- Article writing or guest posting on blogs
- Just Saying “YES!” to The Media: If you are approached by any media outlet, open your mind, set aside your fears, and rise to the challenge.
- Have a Contest: Contests are ideal for gaining public attention and most, especially those created on social media, don’t have huge price tags. They also can have a far reach, and are valuable for spreading the word about your business or your message.
Ever heard the old saying, “if you don’t toot your own horn…?” The number rule of publicity and promotion is to learn how to “toot your own horn” and contribute a message that has value to others.