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7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Get Successful Media Exposure

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7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Get Successful Media Exposure

Today more than ever it is important for entrepreneurs to differentiate themselves from others in their space. To get noticed, you will need to stand out.

The best way to do so is to create a strategic publicity plan consisting of several ways to get media exposure for your brands and products. Make sure each step of your plan works together to help you achieve your overall desired goal.

Here are 7 ways to get media exposure:

 

1. Building relationships with the media

Besides having a publicity plan, building relationships with a journalist, host, and producers are very important, and will be key to your success in getting exposure. This means Googling them, following them on social media, and determining what kind of content best suits their audience. This also means following their specific guidelines that they have laid out on their sites for submission and interview requests.

 

2. Get good at telling your story

The media and their audiences love a great story! Going on multiple interviews and speaking to groups provides you a way to practice your storytelling as well as increasing your exposure. The more you tell your story the better you get at delivering it. You create raving fans when you can eloquently tell your story in a way that captivates their attention.

“Stories grab us. They take us in, transport us, and allow us to live vicariously and visually through another’s experience.” – Kristi Hedges

3. Podcasts and traditional radio

In the last 3 years podcasting has become a conduit for people to connect to influencers in their field, and to successfully get the word out about their brands and products. You can start a podcast of your own or be a guest on one that talks about the field you are an expert in.

Podcasts are often pre-recorded, making it more convenient for listeners to go back and listen to a show when their time allows it.

Even though podcasts have become increasingly popular, being Interviewed on traditional. AM/FM radio is still a way to share your message. Podcasts and radio stations are now working together,  by using pre-recorded shows to share on the traditional syndicated airwaves.

 

4. Become a syndicated columnist

Being a contributing writer for a large platform will build your credibility, differentiate you from others in your field, give you access to millions of potential clients, and send traffic to your website. Which will help you build your subscriber list, and sell your products.

 

5. Social media

Social media is the place where you can get to know not only the people in the media but also the people who follow you and are a fan of your work. You can share your radio and podcast interviews on social media, as well as share the places you have been noted. This gives you the opportunity to engage with those following you and encourage them to share your work on platforms such as:

  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

“Technology and social media have brought power back to the people.” – Mark McKinnon

6. Align yourself with a cause

There is nothing more heart touching than showing people how much you care about a cause. Align your business services and products with a cause that means something to you, and offer a percentage of the proceeds to be donated to the cause. The organization will often place you on their website, and even in their newsletters.

 

7. Hire a publicist

Not every entrepreneur will hire a publicist, but for those who do, remember a publicist role is not to sell your books and products; their job is to get you in front of audiences so that you can. No one will ever be able to sell your audience on you better than you can!

When you hire a publicist, you hire them for their ability to position you in the media, coordinate your schedule with the media and their connections and likeability, and most importantly their time.

 

Getting media exposure takes a lot of work, but having a publicity plan in place will give you a roadmap to follow. Eventually, people will be calling you to learn more about what you do because your name will be everywhere.

Thank you for reading my article! Which one do you think is the most important to your success?

I am a 5 time stage 4 cancer survivor who founded a company called 2 Dream Productions,Inc. There was a time in my life I did not think I would get to live my own dreams so I created a company to help others live theirs. It was through their dreams I began to live my own. I am contributing writer for places such as the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and She Owns It. My goal is to inspire others to live their dreams and to leave a legacy for those who dare to believe that anything is possible. You can find me at www.michellecolonjohnson.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2DreamProductions?pnref=lhc.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Esther Mellar

    Sep 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Easy read, great advice. Thank you Michelle.

  2. Toby Nwazor

    Sep 8, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Hi Michelle,

    The second and fourth points are things I can relate to. Being good at telling your story and writing for a big audience. It has been working for me, seriously.

    I started writing for the second largest blog in my country and I must say I have gotten quite some exposure from it. It definitely does work

    • Michelle Colon-Johnsoni

      Oct 11, 2015 at 3:27 am

      Toby, I am glad you have found success! Everyone loves a good story and it is even better when they love the way you tell it and it inspires them to invest in you and your products! :O)

  3. Gordon Tredgold

    Aug 12, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Hiring a Publicist is important, hiring a great publicist is even more important.

    Great advice Michelle, love it.

  4. Nicholas Boothman

    Aug 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Hiring a publicist is #1. Publicists are persistent and will stop at nothing to get your book to the public.
    A publicist, whether from a publishing house or freelance, is your connection to broadcast, print and online media, which is essentially how the public will hear about you and your book. Your publicist is familiar with what each reporter, anchor, newspaper/magazine editor, producer and blogger across the country wants to share with their audience. And he or she will help you shape your message and story accordingly.
    Let your publicist be the pushy advocate that lands you interviews. That way, when you have your interview, it will be the first time the reporter hears from you about what you have to share with their audience.
    Publicists have wonderful ideas, loud voices and the connections you need to get your books into the hands of readers. Trust them and use them; it’s well worth it.

    • Michelle Colon-Johnson

      Aug 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Thank you for your words! I would love to have my company use your reply in a project we are currently working on. When we read something like you so eloquently wrote it makes us smile that an author gets how publicity works.

      My company parted ways with a client in July. The client kept reaching out to the media requesting that the media interview them. As you know, a book publicist has relationships with the media, and they understand all the rules on each platform. When a client hires a publicity company they have to let the company do the job they were hired to do.

      When the media was pitched recently by my team they said they would love to interview our current client, but asked us to try to make sure the same thing did not happen again.

      We appreciate you!

      -Michelle

  5. Lawrence Berry

    Aug 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Getting major media coverage can be expensive, but if you can find a way to really add value to any media platform, you will increase your chances of getting exposure. You can also look in the history of any social media or media platform and get an idea of what works through the highly rated or talked about exposing stories. You are absolutely right that people love a great story. If you can tell you story in an exiting way, you will be sure to gain more exposure.

    • Michelle Colon-Johnsoni

      Aug 10, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Lawrence,

      Major media coverage can be expensive if you are paying for the advertising. And you are correct about adding value to media platforms. They have a saying in publicity– Advertisng is something you pay for but publicity is something you earn. Good or bad. :O)

      Thanks for you great feedback! Hope you had a Magical Monday! -Michelle

  6. Michelle Colon-Johnson

    Aug 10, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Thank you for all your kind words and support! Your What’s The Word Podcast seems to be growing leaps and bounds! Thank you for taking care of our authors when they come on your show. We appreciate you and the voice you give publicity.

  7. Cheval John

    Aug 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Podcasts is one of the best ways to gain exposure if you are an entrepreneur. Thank you Michelle for sharing this article.

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Startups

How to Create a Winning Startup Culture

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Some time back, in my infographic on 51 Business Mistakes that most Entrepreneurs Make, I had outlined that one of the biggest mistakes is that you do not give any thought as to what you consider would be a great startup culture. And, without good policies or HR to keep things in check, the startup begins to develop a toxic business culture. (more…)

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51 Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Dream Startup

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So you’ve got an idea. You know it will work. And, it means the world to you.

You are an entrepreneur and you think you can rock the world with this one idea that matters to you the most. And, you set out to form the idea into a startup that you are going to nurture and develop into a blooming business in the upcoming years.

However, I don’t want to throw water over your dreams but, I do need to bring this “optimist” you into the hard and cold reality…….. the reality which says that 90% of all startups fail.

Of course, this can bring a great deal of uncertainty into your life and you got to be prepared to deal with it. You are also going to face a ton of challenges in your life which will force you to grow as an entrepreneur. But, the important thing is that you stick with it.

Of course, as Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s friend) once said, “All I Want to Know is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There”. No entrepreneurs want their startups to fail after putting in days and weeks of effort into it.

So, a lot of research has been put forward into knowing what does actually sabotage a startup?

Fortune reported that the single biggest reason startups fail was because they do not identify what the market wants before setting up their startup.

However, it isn’t as simple as that. An entrepreneur needs to perform a comprehensive business plan before he sets out with his business idea. Also, you have to know whether your business idea actually suits you or not. If it doesn’t then, you either you need to fine-tune yourself with your business idea or you need to change the business plan so that it suits you.

And, it is only after that, should you venture upon your startup.
Now, is that all? Of course not. The problem most entrepreneurs face when they first begin their entrepreneurial journey is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

That’s where they tend to make a series of mistakes that may cause great harm to their startup.

That’s why I scoured for successful entrepreneurs to provide me with information on what they think were the most common mistakes that startups do. Plus, I also got tips on how to avoid these mistakes.

You can check out the original article here: 70 Mistakes Startups Make And Tips On How You Can Avoid Them

Now, it’s your turn to do some work. Let me know what you thought of these mistakes and tips that entrepreneurs commit. Do you know of any other mistakes that entrepreneurs do? Comment below!

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8 Key Factors That Discourage Investors From Putting Money Into Your Startup

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Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s winning businesses. Ideas executed brilliantly and with proper investment bring your business success. That is how the world of business got the likes of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon and so on.

But why in spite of the brilliant and promising ideas at the core of their business, many startups fail to attract investors? Why do investors hesitate to put their money into some startups? Well, investors have reasons and only by deciphering these reasons we could get hold of some deterrent factors that hold them back.

Let us explain some of the vital factors that prevent investors from putting their money in the startups below:

1. Inefficiency or Absence of Leadership Qualities

Inefficiency is the most significant deterrent factor for pulling the success of most startups. This can also be referred to as the lack of leadership qualities. Investors always want to make sure that they don’t lose their money through a company that has an extraordinary business model but no efficient and skilled business leader to make it successful. When fetching investment from investors, you need to offer a clear prospect and detailed plan of how you are going to achieve the goals.

2. Lack of Trustworthiness

An investor puts his money on a venture purely on the basis of the credibility and trustworthiness of the business. This is why besides having a sound business plan with clear objectives, you need to establish the integrity in terms of the security of the investor’s money and how the fund is going to be invested to give results as per business plan.

If an investor has a feeling that the startup may not have enough customers to fulfil its financial liabilities or if it finds that the business is hiding some information, it may further push the trust of the investors down. Total transparency and establishing the faith of the business brand are crucial for finding investors in favor.

3. Lacking Experience in Business Management

You have a great business idea backed up by a sound business plan and solid trustworthiness based on your background, but you have zero experience in managing a business. This is a serious reason for an investor to deny making any investment in your business. An investor cannot put his money just to allow you trying and learning your management skills the harder and riskier way. Uncertainty is the single biggest turn-off factor for any investor and lack of managerial experience is synonymous to that.

4. Business Model is Not Sound Enough

You have a business idea, some efficient, competent and experienced professionals as leaders, the great stamp of trust and pretty much everything that make a company look promising. But what about your business strategy and business model? Are they sound enough to take on the market competition and challenges for business growth? Well, this is what investors are most interested in.

In most cases, a business model is what makes an investor think twice and even take a backward step from investing in a startup. After all, your business model and strategy will decide how your business and products will be able to withstand competition and become victorious.

5. Taking Investors for Granted

This is a big mistake on the part of many startups. Just by becoming confident in the potential and the soundness of the business model and prospect, a business can consider getting investors on board requires just a little effort and time. But in reality, getting investors on board is the toughest thing a business can think of.

This is why without proper and meticulous preparation, it would be foolish to approach investors for your business. Most investors receive hundreds of such emails and a similar number of approaches through other means and they coldly just let them pass. This is why you need to send them very detailed proposals backed by strong recommendations and referrals.

6. Targeting the Wrong Investor

Every business has a target customer base, right? Not all customers are interested in every product in the market. Similarly, not all investors are interested in your business. Investors based on their prior experience and industry exposure, put their money in businesses that they know like their own palm of their hand.

So, targeting an investor who has no interest in your business will only drain your energy and bring you unnecessary frustration. When you are seeking investors for your software startup, don’t approach someone investing in real estate business.

7. Non-Realistic Proposal for Funds

Investors normally come with huge experience of your industry and so they have a clear idea about the fund requirements for your business startup. Moreover, they already have invested in other ventures or have gone through many proposals. Naturally, they have every bit of estimate already in their mind. So, any proposal claiming a lofty and unrealistic amount will only face rejection.

This is why it would be wise to become meticulous about your estimation of the required fund and calculation of various cost factors. Have meticulous details about every facet of investment backed up by breakup of the costs. Only when you can convince them with correct estimation, investors can take interest in discussing the matter further.

8. Make Sure Your Product Solves a Customer Problem

Will any investor put money in building a simple calendar app now? No, simply because such an app idea has no value for the end users now. Will an investor put money in a product that has already been outdated and has no use? No, no investor has to even go through such a proposal for dismissing them.

Well, to fetch investment, your product must be thoroughly customer-centric. It not only has to solve a problem but has to deliver some competitive value in comparison to similar products in the market.

Obviously, finding an investor for a new business is not an easy task, considering the huge competition that businesses need to deal with. But, if your business idea is unique and you fill all those requirements correctly as mentioned above, finding investors may not be as tough as it sounds.

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5 Must Have Branding Tools for Your Startup

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Your brand is more than just the colors on your website. And for startups, it’s important to create a strong and memorable brand from the beginning if you want to stand out from the competition, scale your company, and find your ideal customers faster.

Here are 5 simple tools that will help your company avoid branding mistakes, take charge of your visual identity, and set a solid foundation for future growth:

1. Graphic Design Software

The word “design” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Before deciding on your startup’s logo, colors, designs, and overall tone, consider working with a brand strategist who can translate the core ingredients of your startup into a visual identity that speaks to your target market.

Brand strategists have expertise in the psychology of colors, shapes, textures, and words, and they will work with you to make sure that your branding appeals to your target audience. Once you have those basics of your brand established, there are several tools that can help your company refresh and maintain your visual identity.

The absolute best graphic design tool for non-designers is Canva. While the free version has a lot of functionality, the paid plans offer more customization such as the ability to import your exact brand fonts and colors.

But if your company handles all of your design in-house, you will need something more advanced than Canva. In that situation, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud to startups who work on their designs in-house, as it includes top-notch design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and more.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Jeff Bezos

2. Visuals & Creative Imagery

Have you ever wondered where your competitors get those beautiful branded photographs that end up on their website? While it’s possible that they worked with a photographer, it’s also likely that much of their imagery comes from stock photos.

Here are my recommendations on the exact places to purchase stock imagery to improve your company’s branding:

  • Creative Market – A treasure trove of quality visual imagery where you can buy anything from stock photos, to branding mockups, to social media templates (Facebook cover photo, anyone?), to custom fonts… the options are nearly endless.
  • Adobe Stock – Beloved by designers, and the platform offers tiered pricing plans based on your image needs and download quantity.
  • Pixels – If you’re on a tight budget and just need to grab an image or two for a blog post, you may be able to find what you need on Pixels – which is great because all of the photos and videos on Pixels are free!

3. Social Media Scheduler

You’re a leader. You’re an entrepreneur. Your staff, board, funders, and admirers depend on you to make big decisions, lead the ship, and plot the vision towards your company’s future. You don’t have time to stare at a blank screen every day wondering what to post on Facebook.

By using a social media scheduling tool, you can sit down for a few hours, schedule batches of content, and schedule the dates and times when it will post to your accounts over the next couple of months. Then, once the content is posted, you only need to worry about responding to comments and engaging with your customers. 21st century efficiency at its finest.

Popular social media schedulers include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which include free and paid plans. Not sure what exactly to post? Check out these social media ideas from influential businesses. And if the idea of writing and planning months of content still overwhelms you, our next tool will help you stay organized and on-brand.

4. Editorial Calendar

When it comes to your content, it’s time to step it up a notch and start thinking like a media outlet. Every piece of content that you put out as a company, whether it’s an e-mail blast, blog post, social media post, podcast, or video, needs to be aligned with your brand.

Each major magazine maintains an editorial calendar which outlines the overarching theme for each of the upcoming 12+ months. By establishing a monthly content theme in advance, they create a framework to generate and organize their ideas.

Consider creating an internal editorial calendar that will guide your startup’s content over the next 6-12 months. The software tool you use to maintain your editorial calendar isn’t that important — I like to use Trello, but you can also create a simple numbered list in Google Docs or Microsoft Excel. You may be surprised at how quickly the creative juices flow once you have an editorial calendar in place.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand

5. In-Person Networking

Offline efforts count towards your branding too! And if you run your entire startup from behind your laptop screen, you miss out on ample opportunities to build your business offline and gain local referral partners.

If you’re new to in-person networking, start by visiting Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com where you can browse for events in your area. Think outside the box when it comes to selecting events to attend. For example: If you’re a chiropractor, it makes sense to attend local holistic health meetups. But you could also attend a travel event and meet digital nomads who don’t yet realize that a chiropractor can help them recover after long plane rides.

Remember that you’re not at the networking event to make instant sales, you’re looking for referral partners and connections. Don’t be the person who tries to shove your sales pitch down everyone’s throat upon meeting them.

As you can see, there are many simple online and offline resources that can help you spruce up your branding, reach new customers, and pique the interest of your target market. If you take branding one step at a time and start with the tools above, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that your customers will cherish and remember.

Have you used any of these branding tools before? Are there any additional tools that have helped your startup’s branding shine? Share your thoughts below!

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