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Opinion: Eight smart strategies to gain the spotlight

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Is there a star in you?

For some of us, there is an unshakable desire to be the one on stage singing, dancing or speaking. Is that you?

Or would you rather die or get bitten by a snake before you would step into the spotlight?
If there is a star in you, there is a wonderful opportunity ahead to realize your ambitions for fame and build your business. It’s called publicity.

Publicity is similar to marketing, except publicity involves other people singing your praises. And it is generally free.

People tend to put greater stock in publicity, even if they discount or distrust marketing. The endorsement of a magazine, newspaper, or TV or radio host adds heft to the message.

Consider what it would cost you to get the media exposure Capt. C.B. Sully got for landing a damaged plane safely on the Hudson River. I would expect that you do noteworthy, heroic things every day. Should one of those things be as dramatic as Capt. Sully’s landing, you, too, would find yourself on the cover of People magazine. I guarantee your customer list would grow as a result. In the meantime, you might want to blow your own horn a little.

Here are a few tips for generating publicity for your company.

• Deliver five elevator speeches a day. If you don’t have one, create a short introduction telling who you are, what you do and why. Always state your first and last name, as well as your company name.

• Write letters to the editors of local publications.

• Create simple, single-page press releases and send them to the local media when breaking news dovetails with what you know and do. Be of service to your community. Is a big storm heading your way? Send a press release with the headline, “Wild weather to wreak havoc on local homes – five things you can do to save lives and property.”

• Blog, baby, blog. Write relevant content about what you know and who you are. Check out DailyGrape.com and EverydayBright.com for good examples.

• Make a list of 25 influencers, and commit to starting a mutually beneficial relationship with each person on the list. As Zig Ziglar says, “You can have anything you want, if you help enough people get what they want.” Learn about these folks, and see what you can do to help them. When the time comes that one of them is asked to recommend someone, they might mention you.

• Host your own radio show. Check out BlogTalkRadio.com for ideas. You can solve problems, share funny stories, support good causes and invite fun guests to join you.

• Have fun with Facebook.

• Be a fun, helpful radio and TV show guest. Become “the guy” in your industry and the expert in your field.

The best place to start is to learn from a pro. A must-have book is “Guerilla Publicity” by Jay Conrad Levinson. He’s got hundreds of low-cost, high-profile ways to attract attention. Even if you have no money to market, you can still get the word out with publicity. And, it gives you a chance to shine if you like being the star.

If the spotlight is not for you, there may be a star waiting to be born at your company. Let the light shine. When the seed is there, add encouragement and opportunity. You know the staff member I am talking about. Share this column and related information with them.

You can help further by planning a strategy for them to gain publicity for themselves and your business.

The world is well served when we share our gifts – from behind the scenes or on center stage.

Ellen Rohr is an author and business consultant who offers systems for getting focused and organized, making money and having fun in business. Her latest book is “The Bare Bones Biz Plan.” She can be reached at ellen@barebonesbiz.com.[[In-content Ad]]

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