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5 Reasons Media Exposure Isn’t Growing Your Business


Too many small business owners spend way too much time and money on PR and forget it connect it correctly to their sales funnel. Here are some simple tips that don’t require a fancy PR agency or mad writing skills.

1. Get crystal clear on your ideal client and what media they consume

If cashflow (as opposed to credibility) is your short term objective, you want to make sure that you create a story that will speak directly to your ideal client’s needs. And then pitch that story to a media outlet that he or she is likely to consume. Go niche with trade publications instead of wide with morning talk shows.

Small, targeted blogs, podcasts and trade magazines often have smaller numbers but very engaged audiences, so although folks outside your niche might not recognize their logo, they tend to convert to sales better. (more…)

How I landed my column with Inc.com

Inc sequence FB ad

Are you scratching your head trying to figure out how to turn those famous Facebook “likes” into actual cashflow? Yeah, me too!

It’s what small business owners are told to do, right?

“There’s 1.3 billion people on Facebook!” the stats scream. 

Sure. But if only 103 of them like my Facebook business page and most of them are friends and family, how does that help me connect with paying clients? Right?


The #1 crucial question every journalist asks when reading your press release

#1 crucial question copy


Get the answer to this one wrong and you get the delete finger. Get it right and you get your message out to millions (without having to build the audience first)

One of my party tricks as a professional speaker is to ask the audience, “If you were pitching the press and a producer asked you why is this a story right now, what would you say?”

One after the other, hands will go up and small business owners will call out, “Because I have a new product launch” or “I’m opening a factory” or “We’re expanding into a whole new facet of the industry” or “we’re having an event”. Or even worse, “we just hired a new CEO”.

These answers are the correct answer if you’re a Kardashian or a brand like Apple or Facebook, each of which have such a huge footprint in the media’s consciousness that Zuckerberg or Kim endorsing a new kind of breakfast sandwich is automatically news.

For the rest of us mere mortals, not so much.

Too many entrepreneurs and experts make the mistake of assuming that just because their product or service is one that’s useful throughout the year, it’s automatically interesting as a story at any time.

It isn’t. Here’s why.


3 Reasons Why No Small Business Should Hire a PR Agency

sm_ad_pr_agency_raspOriginally published on Entrepreneur.com

Sir Richard Branson once famously remarked, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a frontpage ad.” The problem is, with PR agencies charging retainers of $3,000 to $10,000 per month, few entrepreneurs can even let themselves imagine what a full-page article or TV appearance could do for their growth.
But here’s the deal: As a former journalist myself, with more than two decades of experience in TV, radio, print and web, I can assure you that pitching your story is not rocket science.

Journalists and producers need fresh, interesting and topical content. All you have to do is learn to package your brand’s message in a way that’s mediagenic, then get organized about following up. Because the benefits of doing it yourself extend past the cash savings.

The 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Pitch the Press

Originally published on Entrepreneur.com

When I first had the idea to launch Baby Got Booked, an online course to teach entrepreneurs how to do their own PR, I did what every startup owner is supposed to do. I went around surveying my market to gauge interest. What I heard over and over was, “Sounds like a great idea, but press releases don’t work. I’ve tried.” And: “TV’s not really my thing.” And “I’m not ready for the media.”
It was maddening. Like, rip-my-eyelashes-out-and-set-them-on-fire maddening.

As a former journalist, with 22 years of experience interviewing thousands of people, I know that some of the best stories I’d written or presented over the years came from people who didn’t think they were ready for the media, either. Yet, too many think that media happens to “other people.” Meaning: other people with bigger, better businesses than they have. People with advanced degrees. Rich people. Beautiful people. And yada, yada, yada.
And, chances are that, as an entrepreneur, you have just such a story to tell. That is, after all, why you walked away from the security of corporate life and set out on your own.


How to stand out in a crowded market (and become mediagenic)

Yellow tulips and one red standing out of the crowd.

Yellow tulips and one red standing out of the crowd.

I’m going to say something a little controversial now, but stay with me okay?

No one cares whether you’re a “good human being”.

Because being a “good human being” or a “nice person” is not very useful. Unless, that is, you’re out there helping people. In other words, your worth as a person (or at least as a media expert) is measured by what you can do for others. What problems you solve and how much value you bring to other people’s lives.

Grasping this and making it the central focus of all your communications is key. Whether you’re posting on Facebook or presenting to shareholders or appearing on a talk show, it’s all about what you can do for your audience.

So let’s take that a step further in a media context: In order to help a wider audience of people, you have to make your message RELEVANT to them.

There are 3 steps to this process:
1. Pick a niche/ find a gap
2. Flex your message
3. Look for context
Let’s unpack this by using concrete examples…