We really shouldn’t be telling you this because this is what we do as a business; exposing some of our patented techniques on how to get press for your startup. But, we don’t mind sharing some of our knowledge and expertise with you so you can get the kind of publicity and attention your brand deserves. Our foolproof process is simplified and insanely effective, getting you premium results in the timeliest possible manner without compromising quality or your brand message.
Science or art form – either way, it’s a process that requires using the right tools with a finessed touch, and we are going to tell you exactly how we do it.
So if we are going to shoot ourselves in the foot, let’s make it quick and painless for everyone.
It’s All About Making Connections!
Making connections opens doors for your brand, both within your niche and in the mainstream. Networking elevates your brand’s stocks and formulates bonds with the right people who will get your content seen by a wider audience while scoring you some encouraging metrics.
Let’s pull back the curtain a little bit and show you why press is important.
Press is Word of Mouth Advertising
Most customers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when seeking services, 86% of them, in fact. And around 85% of small businesses attract local customers thanks to word-of-mouth referrals. Businesses and their consumer base heavily rely on this form of marketing to formulate relationships with each other, thus enhancing brand reputation. There is nothing more valuable to a business than a solid referral, and good press coverage for your business is like giving a referral to thousands of people at once. It means people are talking, and it means that they are talking about you.
Incredible Boosts to SEO Rankings
If your business gets featured somewhere online, this typically means that the publication sharing it will link back to your company’s website. This is incredibly important for boosting your SEO rankings. In fact, a study by Moz showed that 99.2% of the top 50 search engine results had at least one external link leading back to the page. This means that if no one is talking about your business, your website will never make it to the front page.
Swarms of Traffic to Your Website
In addition to boosting your SEO rank, press coverage drives considerable traffic to your website by connecting your business with untapped audiences. Statistics show that 32% of all clicks go to the first position in Google, while brands that consistently blog on their website get 97% of backlinks compared to those that don’t. This is the kind of boost to traffic that can pull any business out of the red.
Establish Industry Expertise
Statistics show that 94% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase. This means that buyers are looking for the best and most effective choice that they can find. People choose to buy from trustworthy sources, so if you can’t prove that you’re an expert in your industry, then people will probably go with the competition. There is no better way to establish your expertise than by having others refer to you for advice.
How To Get Press For Your Startup
We started from the bottom, too, so we know that not everyone has money to dedicate to getting press and that some brands have to do it themselves. The right kind of exposure can bring phenomenal growth to a business, but it must be done right.
If you have the time and dedication to boost your outreach, here are the best practices to go by to garner you the best results.
Tell an Extraordinary Story
This is the foundation of everything to do with exposure. So many people who seek press to promote their business assume that their existence is enough to constitute a compelling story. Unfortunately, you and your company are just not that interesting. Companies need to dig deep when they approach their quest for some good press.
What does your business do differently? Where can you provide insight as an industry expert? Why should anyone pay even a moment’s worth of attention to you?
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t think of anything at first. It’s hard to look at your own life and business from an outsider’s perspective, but everyone has a story to tell. The important part is telling that story in an extraordinary way.
Respond To Source Requests
Once you have a solid understanding of the story you want to share and the value you can offer to readers, then it’s time for business.
Journalists are constantly looking for sources and evidence to support the stories that they are working on. As someone with particular insight into an industry or niche business, you have everything that you need to be that perfect source for a journalist’s inquiry.
To be a trusted source, you have to be in the right place at the right time ahead of everyone else who is clambering to be there. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by signing up for online tools that connect journalists and sources on a daily basis.
There is a huge range of tools like this, but two of the most popular are:
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) – HARO sends out journalist requests 3 times daily and provides a great opportunity to throw in your 2 cents as a source.
Source Bottle – Source Bottle is another free service that gives anyone the chance to be the right source for a journalist’s next story.
Once you are in tune with these tools, you will learn how to properly respond to requests and tailor your pitch to be appealing to journalists. You will learn how to respect their deadlines, respond precisely to their requirements, and share your story in a way that gets journalists drooling for an interview with you.
Take Your Pitch To The Journalists
Another key tactic to getting press is directly connecting with journalists to tell your story. Journalists are always looking for their next angle, and your idea for an article might not be on their radar yet.
This means that if you have your hands on a great story, there is a huge opportunity for exposure if you can get it onto the right journalist’s desk. However, this type of outreach needs to be done with tact. Journalists are busy people with tight deadlines, and they don’t have time to listen to half-hearted or irrelevant ideas for stories.
How do you best connect with journalists? There are tools for that too!
Just Reach Out – This is one of our favorites. It’s a search engine specially designed to find journalists and content that is relevant to your pitch. It is also packed with a bunch of other features that are essential for getting your story to the right place. It also includes some killer pitch templates that will help you appeal to journalists in an effective way.
Dmitry Dragilev, the founder of Just Reach Out, shared some insight with us about getting journalists to listen to your pitch.
“Most people are trying to pitch a description of what they do as a story for journalists to cover – this is NOT a story for journalists haha! Please, please, please do everyone a favor and think about what your story truly is and why it is engaging and interesting to the journalist’s beat, their readers, and publication. “Hello, you write about bitcoin, we have a great bitcoin app, etc., etc.” is not a pitch! Haha. At JustReachOut we teach our customers to focus on the story angle first and test it before starting to do real outreach.”
Although tools like Just Reach Out are essential to finding the right journalists, it is just as important to use them in the right way. Cold pitches are always tough, but that doesn’t make them impossible if you know how to approach someone and demonstrate your value.
Become A Guest Author
Sometimes it is hard to get other people to tell your story for you. This is why telling it yourself is another fantastic strategy for getting some exposure.
Guest posting positions you as an industry expert and a thought leader, allowing you to share key insights within your field. People will look to you for advice within your field and instantly recognize you as the person who is right for their business.
However, looping back to telling an extraordinary story, simply tooting your own horn on a blog post is not enough. You need to give your readers something of value so that they realize that you are truly the guru that you claim to be.
Now, it’s ok to talk about yourself, but you need to position yourself within a story that teaches a lesson, gives actionable advice, or provides insight that would have otherwise been missed. Plus, it must give them value above all else. Don’t just claim to be incredible; show your audience why you are incredible and what it took to get there.
This will inspire people to emulate you and follow your lead. People want to work with the best of the best, so use your guest posts as an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
So how do you become a guest author?
It’s really quite simple:
- Write something amazing.
- Find a publication that accepts guest contributions.
- Try and try again until it gets published.
Prepare to Secure Paid Placements
There are two major challenges to becoming a guest author:
- Every article that you submit will not be accepted by an Editor.
- Some publications that accept guest contributions do not clout strong domain authority, heavy influence, or esteemed credibility.
If you want to get in with some of the major players, then you need to consider paid placements as a method of sharing your story. Not all of the biggest names have paid placement or sponsored post options, but many of them do.
However, this is not something that is always advertised. Sometimes, it takes a back door approach to achieve placement in a high-profile website or publication with major influence. The best way to get in is by reaching out to the editor in charge with a polite but direct request about what you are seeking and what you can offer their publication.
Some will allow you to submit a written piece (for a price) as long as it fits their theme, style, and guidelines. Others have authors who will do something based on your specifications in order to ensure that it fits in with the tone of their publication.
However, don’t be surprised when they come back to you with a short response and a high cost for placement. Paid placements can cost as little as $100 and up to thousands of dollars for placements at a publication with major influence.
You need to consider what your objectives are with creating a paid placement. If a placement costs $3,500, but you are reaching an audience of 3.5 million readers, then it may well be worth the cost. If you can get just 1% of those readers to convert, then that could mean 35,000 new customers or leads for your business. That’s a lot of potential business.
So What’s Next?
You’re next. We’ve given you all of the secrets. Now, you’re armed with the right tools to secure press and shoot for the outreach you want
In theory, it’s simple. In practice, you will learn that it takes the right tools with the right touch to really bring in the results that resonate across audiences. The big key here is persistence. We’ve learned over time that continuous effort and adaptation within your strategy will yield results.
Check out our thought leadership package, and let’s help you secure the press to make your brand a winner!