In 75 minutes, I increased my email subscriber list by 1,067%.
And after many, many months, that 75-minute project has continued to consistently build my email list, social media followers, and requests for services. Want to swipe my strategy? Keep reading.
That project was a podcast interview that took 68 minutes (plus the 7 minutes it took to write and send the pitch to the podcast producer).
If you’re thinking that’s a crazy increase that only a big brand could achieve, let me assure you: that kind of statistic isn’t abnormal, it isn’t unheard of or impossible. It’s the power of publicity, the underused, rarely-thought-of tactic in the small business’s arsenal.
So why don’t we hear more about publicity in the small-business world? What I see often is that most small businesses think publicity is for big brands—the billion-dollar players who have the money to throw at expensive agencies. And agencies can’t afford to work with small budgets, so small businesses end up leaving major growth opportunities on the table, never realizing how simple it is to get noticed by the media.
But when it comes to PR your small size can actually be your advantage. Why?
The bottom line: Being small means you can slip in and snag major media features that drive incredible growth (hello 1,067% increases!) while your competitors are still trying to figure out how to convert 1% from their Facebook ads.
I may have a Ph.D. in communications, not math, but I think we can all agree on the bigger number here.
Today I want to show you 6 publicity opportunities that get major results (and the kinds of brands, launches, or experts they’re perfect for) to get your creative marketing juices flowing. And the best part? Each of these uses the marketing efforts of a 3rd party so you can let their team, budget, and connections do the heavy lifting while you walk your dog, bake bread with your kiddos, or play Dutch Blitz with friends.
Perfect for: a product-based business of any price point
No matter what you sell (all-natural skincare, a sourdough-made-simple cookbook, subscription for fresh flowers, handpainted fishing lures) landing a highly-coveted spot in a quality product roundup will result in a swell of sales pretty much every time. Whether it’s a Southern Living Christmas Gift Guide for Gardeners, a Real Simple Favorite Products for Chai Tea Lovers roundup on Instagram, or your local TV station’s back to school snacks segment, there’s a roundup for every product.
While this is the gold medal for physical products, don’t rule out digital items like courses or downloads! With more people working, learning, and making (and shopping!) from home, online products are in higher demand. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more of these digital items in a variety of roundups.
Pro Tip: Timing is crucial. Make sure your pitch and any samples arrive in time to make the feature (for Christmas lists, this is often 6-7 months for print publications and 3-4 months for digital).
Perfect for: business owners who sell their expertise (consultant, course creator, coach, etc.); experts who haven’t moved into full-time entrepreneurship yet
If your experience and expert knowledge are the hallmarks of your next launch, there’s no better way to sell your concept. The long-form, conversational format of a podcast lets you discuss the need, your solution & process, and address objections in a way that builds trust and credibility. Don’t have your own business yet? Podcasts let you establish social proof before you ever build a business model. If you sell a high price-point service or want to be seen as a thought-leader, podcasts are a slam dunk.
Pro Tip: Make sure you craft a laser-sharp pitch and get your messaging (and storytelling) crystal clear.
Typically written with multiple interviews, stories, data, and lots of quotes, a profile shines a massive spotlight on the work of your organization.
Some examples include:
While a profile is typically about the impact of your work, not your business, products, or services themselves, the overall effect is greater brand awareness, thought leadership, and often, an increased sense of loyalty (especially amongst your existing clients, customers, and fans).
Pro Tip: Trust and credibility are key here, so take time to develop a relationship with the reporter, respond promptly, be super-duper helpful, and have data or examples to show off your business chops.
Perfect for: Launching a new business; In-person events; businesses that serve local audiences and have strong seasonal connections
If you’re opening a new business or hosting an event, a local news organization will likely have more interest in covering that launch (but see the pro tip below).
Likewise, if you are a business that serves a local clientele, you probably don’t need national media coverage. Focus on creating newsworthy stories will keep you in front of local audiences. For instance, if you’re a family photographer, pitch a piece to your local paper on taking better vacation photos (and include some of your photos). It builds brand awareness, proves your skills and knowledge, and shows mom and dad that you truly care about preserving their memories.
Another example: If own an organic farm, pitch a story to your local TV morning show that features creative takes on classic holiday sides (that happen to showcase produce you’ll be selling at the holidays).
Pro Tip: Simply existing isn’t newsworthy enough for a reporter to cover your business. Put careful thought into answering the age-old question of audiences: “Why should I care and what’s in it for me?”
Perfect for: Product brands and service providers ready to network and build strong relationships
Whether you’re associated with a media outlet, niche event, popular blogger, influencer, or as part of a collaboration with other like-minded business owners, giveaways hosted by a larger brand get yours noticed by more people, and create demand for your product or service. If you can incorporate the giveaway into a digital party or event, you have the makings of a mega launch moment.
Pro Tip: Whenever possible, make sure the audience for the giveaway is a pool of potential clients (not just freebie seekers who will ghost when the giveaway is over), and use some means of capturing data or measuring ROI for future use. This might be an email address or follow in exchange for an entry, or a special code for a percentage off that helps you determine the sales generated by your giveaway participation.
Perfect for: Product brands, educators, and hospitality-related businesses, with a little bit of cushion in the budget
“Influencer” may be a newish term or business model, but the concept is ancient. Think of that friend of yours who is super-smart, super-stylish, super-efficient, or super-in-the-know, the one you trust for book, restaurant, travel, or mascara recommendations. Now imagine that friend has hundreds of thousands (or millions) of other friends just waiting to buy what they recommend. It’s like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids, and love it or not, it works.
Pro Tip: Full-time influencers spend a lot of time and money to cultivate the kind of digital footprint that yields purchasing power from their followers. In addition to free products or services, be prepared to offer a fee in exchange for posts, stories, highlights, etc., and be specific in your expectations when you make the agreement. If your budget won’t stretch that far, focus on micro-influencers (under 100,000 followers) with a highly engaged community—you may discover even better results with a lower buy-in.
So there you go! Six ways to amplify your marketing strategy that few (maybe even none!) of your competitors have discovered yet that will get you new leads, increase your impact, and sell more.
And if you’ve already realized that publicity will be the game-changer for your business, but you want an insider to walk you through building your strategy, give you a proven pitch template, and help you land high-quality features, sign up to be the first to know when the doors to Publicity for Impact ™ open (and keep an eye out for a special opportunity reserved for those on the waitlist!).