8 Steps to Gain It Girl Status By Using PR and Media
It's incredible what a little bit of PR and media exposure can do for your business. Whether it's a feature, blog post, interview or podcast, getting more time in front of a wider audience can elevate you and your business to all new heights.
In the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of being featured in Marie Claire, Women’s Health & Fitness and Divine Living magazine, to name a few. I even graced the cover on Australian Content Magazine in 2015, which was super exciting!
And here's the best part...
It’s totally possible for you to be featured in the media, no matter how new you are as a coach or business owner.
But an editor probably isn't just going to knock on your door out of the blue. So how do you get seen?
In this post, I'll cover exactly what it takes to get media interested in your business and your story. I'll also explain how to position yourself as the It Girl or expert in your industry.
Get clear on your message
Magazines and reporters want to find experts on certain subjects to interview and feature. The best way to establish yourself as an expert is to be very clear on what you do, who you help, and how you help them. You have to sing this song consistently across everything you do, from your website to social media.
If a magazine is running an article on how to make the best green smoothies, they are going to want to feature someone who is a master green smoothie maker. If you happen to be a green smoothie wiz or health coach that just happens to rock at making them, you need to write blog posts that feature green smoothie recipes.
Another example would be a publication looking for an expert on Pinterest to give their top tips on how small businesses can use this platform to skyrocket their brand. If you’re a social media expert that has experience with Pinterest, make it known on your site – especially on your About page and in your blog posts, as well as on all of your social media profiles. It will send a clear message!
According to AJ Agrawal in a post for Inc., reporters want great businesses to write about: “Talk about what makes your company different. Do you have a huge competitive advantage? Is one of your advisers a celebrity or tech mogul? The more you can separate yourself from the hundreds of other pitches, the higher your chances are at getting the article.”
Find personal stories that relate to your message
People don't connect emotionally with sales tactics, advertising, or self-promotion. But what they connect with is a personal story. These stories have the power to captivate an audience and pull them. This is because the subject shares a part of them self, usually that others can relate to, engage with, or reflect upon.
The media loves to feature the personal stories of coaches and experts. Especially those who genuinely share their stories of triumph and failure, and that give lessons as to how others undergoing similar struggles can overcome them. Use genuine stories that relate to the topic you are being interviewed on or that you are writing about.
In a blog post for The Entourage, Jess Wilson – creator of the Stashd app – has a great take on getting into the mindset of a journalist: “PR in my opinion is taking yourself out of entrepreneur selling mode and putting yourself into the mindset of the journalist. Think: Why is this relevant to their readers? This isn’t about you or your business. This is about content for their publication.” So keep that in mind when approaching a publication.
Build a brand that the media would want to connect with
There is a reason the first tip I gave in today’s post pertains to being clear in what you do and whose problems you solve. It’s a sign of how professional you are and helps you attract not only the right PR and media opportunities but also the right clients.
Another way to get crystal clear is to create an overall brand that is professional and consistent with what you do and who you are. From your blog post images to your social media profiles and even your newsletters, your design and message needs to be super clear and consistent.
Commit to growing a strong brand – both online and offline – and you will be in a perfect spot to grow your business and presence in your field, both locally and internationally. This will make you and your business even more attractive to editors on the lookout for a great story.
Create a media page
If you want to attract media attention, it’s integral to create a media page on your site This page should list where you have been featured, as well as your professional bio and if you are available for interviews, speaking engagements, and the like. You should also be specific in what your area of expertise is and what topics you can cover.
Why is this so important?
It lets the potential writer or interviewer know that you're available and willing to give comments, be featured or share a point of view. If a reporter finds it hard to contact you because your details are hidden or they have to use a contact form, you can be sure that they will most certainly move on to a more approachable source.
Also, if you've been approached, it's important to respond quickly. Remember, reporters work with deadlines, therefore you need to be prompt in your reply if you want them to use your comment or quote. Also, make sure you have at least one professional portrait photo of yourself available to supply the journalist.
Take a look at my media page here for an idea of what a media page looks like and how to present it on your website.
Let reporters know you share features
Make it clear when you get in touch with any publication you are pitching for a guest post or feature that you share your interviews and posts through your network. Include how many followers you have.
Also, let the publication know you are familiar with their magazine or website and that your audience will love being introduced to them. This lets the editor know that you are committed to helping them spread the word. And it's win/win, right!
Join HARO, Journo Requests or SourceBottle
The challenging aspect of getting media attention that most new coaches and other experts seem to avoid is pitching relevant news sources. But instead of staying on your blog and within your network, you need to expand your contacts and get in touch directly with new people, such as reporters or editors that may be interested in your story or tips.
I was featured in Cleo, an Australian women's magazine, because I responded quickly to a media request for experts in my niche, plus I had a unique and interesting take on the topic. I also made myself available for the photo shoot they needed for the feature.
My advice is to apply to call outs ASAP and share your interview or feature on social media and through your blog and newsletter to show your gratitude to the publication. This could inspire them to get back in touch with you and feature you yet again in their publication.
Stay in touch with the editor or assistant
Keep in touch with the editor, assistant, or reporter who interviewed you and periodically ask if they need quotes for their current issue or any future publications.
This is key to maintaining a relationship with the publication so that you become the go-to person they contact when they need an expert in your field.
Share the story on your media page and put logos on your homepage
Make sure to add the publication’s logo to your website (media page, sidebar, etc.) so that new readers to your site see where you have been featured, and to let other publications know you do interviews and expert commentary.
This is basically social proof and tells people that come to your website that you and your business are legitimate and credible.
- Research the publication or website and address your pitch to the right editor.
- Don't appear spammy. Make sure you use the name of the editor you're contacting and tailor the email pitch to their exact publication. Do not do a copy and paste job.
- Keep your email short and to-the-point.
- Share your story – use an angle that mixes success and failure while showing you're genuine and authentic.
- Stay in touch. Build a database of editors, writers and bloggers that value your opinion and offer your comment on matters that are close to your area of expertise.
- Be persistent –it may take a while to get some traction, but don’t give up!