Customers On Demand: Working Your Public Relations “Hit List,” Part 1
In the first of this four-part series, columnist Daniel Faggella discusses two ways to generate massive amounts of exposure by reaching out to media sites.
Have you ever struggled to find that “sweet spot” in marketing your business?
You know the place — where new leads (and clients) are consistently seeking you out … asking for more information … signing up for your email list … and asking that coveted question all business owners love to hear: “How can I buy?”
Today I want to show you a scalable method for getting into that “sweet spot” and staying there. Trust me, once you start to experience the increase of lead flow that this method will produce for your business, you’ll wonder how you lived without it for so long.
There are plenty of articles around the Internet promising to teach you the “secret methods” for closing more business than you can handle, but when it comes to creating something sustainable — something you don’t have to constantly be worried about at night or on the weekends — well, this is about as sustainable as it gets. It’s single-handedly responsible for taking just one of my businesses from zero to $50k per month in just shy of five months in business.
This is a giant article (I’ve broken it up into two chunks, one of which will be featured next month), and I’ll be splitting it up into two parts (spread over this month and next). Set aside some time to go through here and apply it to your business, and you’ll see some massive lift. Let’s dive in.
Attraction On Demand
The strategy outlined on this page is what’s known as a “PR Hit List,” and the first thing you need to be aware of when putting your own PR Hit List together is the idea of “attraction.”
Which do you think will produce better clients or customers — the ones you have to ruthlessly chase down and convince to do business with you… or… the ones who come to you, already sold on you being the expert they need and willing to do whatever it takes to speak with you about the problem they need solved?
The second, bar none … But in order to create these kinds of leads, you must build a system that works on “attraction” (where they are drawn to come to you), rather than simply spending all of your time prospecting. A key question we get all the time is this: “How do I create attraction? Isn’t it something that has to happen naturally?”
Well, yes … and no. In truth, it’s actually quite possible to produce and manufacture attraction — done correctly, a well thought through (and well executed) PR Hit List will produce this attraction much faster than natural selection would and, over time, create a line out your front door of qualified prospects ready and waiting to do business with you.
Marketing & Real Estate
One of the fastest (and most efficient) ways to reverse-engineer market domination is to think of all your marketing pieces like little plots of land …
When you begin to view your marketing assets as real estate, the strategies I’m about to share with you make a whole lot more sense.
Ask yourself this: Do I want all of my marketing pieces to only be found on my blog (just one small piece of the Internet)? Or, do I want my marketing pieces to be found all over the Internet?
The concept here is to cast a very wide net and have a large area of real estate constantly working on your behalf — pulling and attracting people back to your site where the majority of your marketing pieces live and operate.
Now, while at times, putting together an effective PR strategy like this can require some grunt work, this blueprint is the most distilled (and simple) methodology that I know of for growing a massive “online real estate,” and executed properly you can be 100% certain you will see profitable results.
The Four Kinds of Real Estate
There are four main “buckets” to focus on when building and enlarging your real estate online:
- Media Sites
- Email Lists
- Social Media
Between my two posts in the series, we’ll tackle a bit of each, but perhaps the easiest to get into would be the first, Media Sites.
This includes anywhere on the Internet where you can either share content (that leads readers back to your site) or buy ads.
Media sites are a fantastic way to get started, because it’s relatively easy to secure content arrangements with folks who might have a larger following than you do. Savvy marketers and publishers are always looking for valuable content they can serve up to their readers.
An exchange of your content for publicity can often times be a very worthwhile (and profitable) arrangement if you are looking to get your name out there and increase your marketing real estate.
Alternatively, you can opt to purchase advertising from certain media sites. If the site owner or the publisher’s following is far ahead of you in terms of size and status, chances are good that many others just like you are also vying for the same type of arrangement in regards to content trades.
A way to slip in, if the budget allows, is to simply buy up advertising. This supports the site owner and will send their traffic back to your site. (Remember, building these relationships is all about enlarging your marketing real estate — if it doesn’t draw or attract people back onto your turf, don’t do it.)
How to find media sites: It’s actually relatively easy these days to find media sites that will allow you (and even welcome you) to publish your content. Let’s say you’ve just written a book on alternative health methods for people under 30 who recently became parents.
A few permutations on the old Google (e.g., “new parents forum,” “alternative health new parents blog,” “how to be healthy new parents,” etc.) and you can easily curate a solid list of sites to start reaching out to for promotion. A good target size is between 12 and 15 sites to start working on simultaneously. (I’ll show you how to systematize this process in a moment.)
(Pro tip: Always attempt to get a login to the site. When you can publish content with a relatively low wait time or approval barrier, you are in a great position. The main goal is to reduce the friction in publishing your content.)
There are three main types of media site arrangements: content features, content trades, and paid advertising.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each, so here is a quick overview.
If you have a relatively low following and not a lot to bargain with (besides great content), this option is wide open and poses a relatively low friction opportunity. A simple byline that links back to your site (if their following is large enough) could make this arrangement more than profitable for you.
In some cases, because of the size of your following or perhaps the status you hold in your market, your content being featured may actually boost the status or the size of the media site you publish for.
If this is the case for you, a trade is in order, because you want to maximize your contribution (something the site wants and needs) for a sizable return. This can be in the form of a banner on the site that attracts leads back to your site, or it can be a featured article that is distributed and promoted through the site’s other channels (social media, email list, etc.) once or twice a month.
Either way, a content trade will often produce more traffic than a simple content feature with a byline.
Buying An Advertisement
If the media site is considerably large and you would like to benefit from the traffic without going through the hassle of producing and publishing content, you can simply buy advertising.
Like the previous example, perhaps you secure a banner that sends people back to your site, but rather than exchanging the banner for content, you buy the banner on a monthly or quarterly basis.
However, I would recommend that you do your research before acquiring too many paid banners (there are a lot of scary stats out there to make you really look closely before buying banner ads). It’s far better to start small and work your way up through these three types of arrangements than start with paid advertisement only to find the traffic quality is less than optimal.
Interviews make for a terrific way to manufacture “celebrity” or “expert” status quickly. Another nice thing about doing interviews, besides building up your clout, is what you can do with press releases after interviews.
Interviews are widely considered to be one of the easiest ways to get in front of very targeted prospects. The reason being is most interviews have a bit of flair to them, and they attract (usually) a more serious crowd than simple blog articles.
A featured piece of content is not necessarily an “event.” An interview — be it a live webinar, podcast, recorded video show, etc. — is an “event” and can be marketed as such (both to your audience and to the interviewee’s audience). It’s important to nail your copywriting fundamentals when you’re doing this kind of expert outreach — you’ll need to clearly convey “what’s in it for them” when it comes to getting someone on the other line for an interview. My previous article about 1-to-1 email marketing might be a useful start.
Here’s the nice thing about interviews: Many times they’ll act as a doorway into the host’s other media sites. Most interview hosts have a blog (media site), a decent social media following, and a great system of distribution.
The real juice behind getting onto an interview podcast is not necessarily the podcast. The real juice is the distribution.
You can maximize interviews by letting the host know you will be promoting the ever-loving heck out of the podcast and would be happy to distribute it to your following so long as he or she is open to doing the same. If they aren’t going to be distributing through their networks, it probably is not worth your time doing the interview.
Secondly, interviews tend to open the doors to other related hosts and even larger media sites. Simply being featured and distributed through a popular show’s network will catch the attention of several other interview hosts and, most likely, open up opportunities to leverage the exposure for more real estate in the future.
There are two other forms of media exposure that can be even more powerful than the two we’ve discussed today. In fact, one of them in particular is the sole method I used to grow one of my businesses over 500 times in less than five months.
Next month, be sure to check back for part two of this article. I’ll be sharing templates and a swipe file blueprint for you to download and implement in your own business.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.