Today we are going to talk about how to get press for your business or how to get press for your projects or your designs. Do it yourself exposure. I’ve seen many people spending a lot of money on PR firms because they think that’s how to get press for your business the best way. The reality is that, it takes a huge chunk of budget to really get that kind of press at that kind of level. We’ve done it before, even back when we had our T-tools days, we used to spend a lot of money on PR firms. The reality is that it didn’t really pay off. There wasn’t a big conversion factor to the press. You need to have press because you need to have a bunch of “as featured” in this publication all over the place. But that’s a lot easier to get nowadays doing it by yourself. You don’t really need a big firm to do at the level which it can bring you enough. Let’s talk about how you approach that and those of us who write for the press appreciate being approached for it. So it will be more likely to be taken seriously.
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How to Get Press for Your Business or Designs
Tracy writes for Inc. Magazine, she has a column called By Design in their Innovate section which is a great way get press for your business. She has a sort of a quota in which she needs to write a minimum of six articles a month, right?
Yes. I have to write six articles a month from my column.
It takes a lot of work. This isn’t a main source of income, it is a more prestigious kind of marketing.
We would be starving if this was our main source of income!
You can’t make enough money because this is marketing exposure for us but Tracy really has cracked a code on how to do this. You let others submit things to write about to you, right?
Yes. I mean you have to screen them out and do it smartly. As a writer with a column, and a columnist is different in a contributing writer. A contributing writer is basically someone submits on behalf of their clients. PR firms submit on behalf of their clients all the time and basically have to pre-write an article.They need to submit it to someone in editorial staff of the publication. You can do that but you need to write an article on that. First thing, you want to contribute to a publication. You can be featured on Huffington Post or any major magazine really and any industry magazine. All you have to do is submit an article but you must pre-write it and you must write it in an editorial style that they approve and like.
You really need to take time reading the articles on their website. It shouldn’t sound like a commercial, it needs to be a story. Tell a story about in which your product or business is an example of something you’ve done really well. A lot of time people submit articles to me like “Hey I have a company you should know about”. I don’t like to do it without interviewing someone. I, personally, that’s my thing on it. A lot of people will just accept basic language and then write the article themselves from press releases or from submissions. I don’t like to do that. I’d like quote, to meet them. I like to find my story, my angle because my column is very specific. My column is in the innovate section of the magazine. It has to do with an invention, start-up set, how to do things very innovatively and my particular angle is more on the product side of innovation or software side of innovation.
You also do cover about innovative business strategy, right?
I do, if it relates in getting your product to market or understanding it. I just recently wrote an article about Bryan Smith the founder of Uggs and the reality is that he almost lost his business four times. He really had to re-focus his business four times and thinking about the perseverance that it takes to do that. In that case, he is writing about adopting a mindset or adopting a strategy in which it can make you innovative or make you successful, those things I write about as well. If you find a columnist you like or has the right angle or type of article, and 3D printing tends to be covered in the tech section for most magazines. I cover it on occasion, but for most magazines, it is in the tech section. I don’t think if you really want to bring exposure to your business that you want it to be in the tech section. Unless what you have is really techy. I think if you want to make your design to your business visible, you need to try to be in other areas of the magazine, other areas of the publications and other blog posts. The reason for doing this is there is less competition for writing 3D print articles and is a great way to get press for your business.
It actually reminds me when I search on iTunes to just survey all the 3D printing podcasts and I came up the shows that are really focused on 3D printing. It has a whole lot more episodes that have been done and it happens to be that there’s one episode on a show that has really nothing to do about 3D printing. There’s also an episode where they interviewed someone from 3D printing industry.
Right. It is much easier to write about something when it is not well covered territory especially if you’re not a major authority in some particular area. When you have something unique and different to say and finding it at a different angle really helps. If you are doing something in 3D printing that improves health and wellness, go to the health and wellness writers and talk to them about it. You need to really think of your topic and what you really want to write and then look for a columnist. You can go to the most of publications and they have an author section there, then you will be able to find a columnist there. You can see because they have named columns. My column is called By Design. Everyone else can be a contributing writer and we usually say that in the titles of various publications.
There are also sections in the old versions of magazines. They call it the mast head. You can see the columnist listed in the mast head. That is a way to look at it. You need to study every section of the magazine, target some specific authors or writers and send them a well prepared story. Study the articles that they have written. Understand what their writing style is. Understand whether they like interviews with quotes in it or italicized, articles that are all made up of list, tips and tricks. Well, some columnists do this. This is kind of understanding the formatting they like and providing them the information. Don’t completely write it; just give them a sense of what it might be and the angle it might be written in. So you’re helping to make them think of why you are relevant. They don’t have the time to research it. Personally, I don’t have the time to research all the people that send me messages and links to other places. But if they presented in a way that I like, they pre-give me the angle that I know will work in my column then I am more likely to investigate further and go the next step.
The other tip is that to do it towards the end of the month. If you do it third week of the month, we sometimes realize in a panic that we don’t have a lot of time to get a story out. Then if there’s a partially written article and the author is available to take a phone call and do an interview right then and there, you’re helping a reporter out, which brings to me to the next step that you can do. It is H-A-R-O. Help a reporter out. It’s a website. You can go in there and you can get particular topics. You can get a feed and dial it in and say you want to know something about 3D printing. If I want to write an article on 3D printing specifically sporting goods, I might put out a HARO request to see anyone who gets submissions. The thing is you need to be on top of it, it must be timely. If it happened that I requested for it in the morning and it is 24 hours later, you’re probably too late. More than 24 hours and 48 hours is a way too late; don’t bother to do it because you’re just wasting your time. But if you get it in the first 24 hours and you send the message, make sure you’re very clear.
You need to tell me why I should talk to you and what the deal is. Give me your website links, make sure your website is updated and make sure you have a good social media following. If you don’t have any social media account and your website is really bad, I don’t want to write to you because I don’t want to make my article look like nobody. I want my article to be of people who are authorities which have a good ideas and good stories to tell. Make sure those things are up and running as well if you want to get press for your business.
My next suggestion for you guys is to make sure you have pictures, videos and other things that you can provide to them, especially if they haven’t been published anywhere else. That’s a key there if you got a special image that you can share. I was really lucky to have a connection to Herman Miller. I was able to actually get a photograph that had just been released for use in the press when I write an article about Bill Stump, the creator of Aeron chairs. I was really excited because it is a great picture of Bill Stump and Don Chadwick. That’s true too if you have videos, especially if it is original. It is okay to put it up afterwards or published it in your YouTube page but give it to them exclusively first. That would be great.
They like things that other people don’t have, if it’s an exclusive and first in the market or in the scoop, right?
Yes. Another thing is, if you then now perform and you’ve got an article and I already agreed to take it on my column, how will you follow-up and push it out for me? You make sure that everyone you know in social media knows about this article. You go and share it from my page on the magazine and share directly from them. When you do this, you help to increase the author equity of us columnists. There’s a great reward on that because when we see that you made our article successful, we actually want to write about you again on the future. We have to market our own column and our own articles. If you help us do that, then that increases your value to the press and increases your value to the columnist. We will write about you again or refer you to other columnist to write about. Even if you presented another story on the same year, that’s not right for me but I’ll be sure to forward you into health and wellness columnist because I know that you’ll do well with them. That’s just another tip that I have. So, I wrote this article on Send out Cards which we just love.
Send out Cards is such a fantastic service – anybody who’s in business that is relying on customers or especially on clients. This is a really good inexpensive tool to use to have more touch points with your clients to help build positive relationships.
Kody Bateman is the CEO of the company, and his story of how he started is really amazing. But the great part is that we happen to know a couple of those MLM organizations. It is a multilevel network marketing company. There are a lot of people who want to sign you up to send out cards. He was struggling, and the article is really about having innovation to shift from a typical sales-based network marketing company to shifting to being a tech-based company. They have their apps and tools.
Everything is still there and the organizational mindset of shifting that had happened and was occurring in the company is critically important for them. But now being a technology based company, all of the expenses and mindset difference is in the changes that occur. It is what the article is all about. It fit perfectly. You could not just write about Send out Cards, and that you should have this for your business. That would be a cheesy article that will never work. But shifting and talking about how the business shifts at any stage of business, it is a really an interesting story.
The fun part was because of the great network, mentioning their company and this great profile of the owner, the guy who runs their company; they all couldn’t wait to talk about it. It blew up to be my best article shares because there is huge network marketing underneath them who all wanted to share. It is a reminder to you guys that you should sign up with us. Totally backwards I didn’t expect the company to just put out of a press release of “hey we were featured in this magazine” or to broadcast in their social media, it got even bigger. So if you can provide that kind of value back, that is huge help to a columnist. It worked out to be a great way for them to get press for your business.
That story reminds me of something and I think it is worth mentioning here in this podcast. Send out Cards obviously is about sending a snail mail greeting cards and how you can use that in your business. Well, we can’t talk about that right now you can just read the article about that. You can learn about Send out Cards. The fact that it is all about images in this modern social media, digital world, every cellphone is a camera that can take pictures. Send out Cards is a company that sends out physical paper, printed full colored photograph on a card using technology.
My point here is about getting PR firms in your business for your designs. I think we have to mention Instagram, photographs and ways to get exposure for your designs to get press for your business. I want to relay a story that I learned from a colleague we’ve met in some business of marketing group. You mention about PR firms, marketing group that has high end CEO’s and great level of marketing. Marketing is very important. We still value marketing and branding as a way to get press for your business. She tells the story when she is in a business circuit and client of hers ended up getting picked up for a spot for the Today show. The point is they did a traditional PR effort. We think we made it here in modern times, 21st century. This is not years ago. This is pretty recent. From that, they were able to track 3,000 visitors to their website, until a few months later they get a Pinsterest post that got them even more visitors.
Yes, there was a Pinterest post. A Pinterest post by a blogger who had picked up and reposted one of their images and it went out to her circulation of people and that crashed their website, the response to that.
They were able to track it and able to found out from that Pinterest post that they got over 40,000 visitors to their website. How much money do you think they paid to get that Pinterest post up there? Zero. Thus, it really shows us how time has changed. The traditional PR is changed. It is not traditional anymore. Exposure in marketing business is a new business landscape in the internet. There are a lot of opportunities to get exposure press for your business of your designs without spending a lot of money.
Another way to do that is just what’s exactly we were doing here. Keep in mind that there are podcasts on YouTube channels. There are Video Shows. There are App TV shows. All kind of things that are new and upcoming that can still be managed and not be heavily or highly produced. But if you have a show like ours, we are still in management control of it and may have an assistant helping with our editorial calendar, but you are still only is one layer away from us in asking us to have an interview in our show. There are a lot of shows like that. If you could say “Hey I am a really good guest, you can hear me on this video or you can hear me here on this site, and here’s my social media following and here’s the other information about me and why I am such a great guest.” Well that sounds a little self-promoting, but I would share my one sheet. Feel free to copy my format because you are welcome to do it.
In fact, you hired a company to create this format for you, did you?
I actually provided all the content.
But they put it in the right order?
Exactly, that’s what they did. And to be honest with you, they put me in twelve different podcasts because of it. It helps me to expand and getting visibility outside different parts of the world. And getting visibility in other areas in which you want to target and you want to gain audiences from, viewers from, and whatever it is your business is for. Doing that and talking on the podcasts about the benefits of the 3D printing, what innovations is, or what exactly you are doing and 3D printing is a very cool topic. You should be able to talk about your stories on shows. It is not a commercial; it is education and entertainment. You can keep in that way, there are many people who look for good guests and it a great way to get press for your business.
I think that’s all the fantastic tips that are very practical that people can use for having good exposures for their business and to get press for your business or designs.
Just a little social media thing, LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups. I would suggest that you should join to those groups because people who run those groups are high influencers. Typically they are high influencers who are attending events and organizing other things. They may be a podcast host. They may be a speaker or an author. You don’t know who they really are. Do not post any commercials for your company. For your ads, do not place them like an advertisement. Participate on the conversations and sound as knowledgeable as possible and be a resource. Do not post ads on any of these groups because you will only get yourself banned and you will only waste their time. This is not the way to get press for your business.
If you do it right, people like you. They will research anything about you and get you real organic traffic and customers.
Yes. It’s the number one way I ended up seeking guests out. In LinkedIn groups it happens all the time, then someone will comment smartly on some article that I posted or some share that I made and link into the group. Then I will find more about them. That’s actually how and I met Tom Simon. He has been on the show before and they’re a great company. We met because we were commenting back and forth to some articles that we found on mindshare, that we have same mindset. It is one way to have connections that will eventually lead to some press for you.
It is a very good suggestion. I like that. We see people using social media in ways that are ineffective to get press for your business. You will not just jump on a band wagon if you are not used to that platform or the format or system. You should consult somebody who already knows it and learn the protocol, learn the right way to do it and you will be more successful in get press for your business.
Anyway, if you have other ideas or other questions about any ways to get press for your business, please send us a message in the comments below.
We love hearing from you and don’t be afraid to reach out.
- By Design column on Inc.
- Growing an Iconic Brand Requires Perseverance – Uggs
- 5 Design Tips Inspired by the Creators of the World’s Most Iconic Office Chair – Aeron Office Chairs
- How a Snail-Mail Business Gave Itself a Digital Makeover – Send Out Cards
- Help A Reporter Out
- Tracy Hazzard One Sheet
- tom3D Print Brand Licensing with Tom Simon of Source 3
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