You’re all my close friends so I feel comfortable about sharing this secret with you. For a long time, I’d been scared about doing marketing and PR for people because I was so afraid that I wasn’t doing it right, that I was paralyzed from doing all the simple things it took for me to make it work. *Deep breaths and sighs*
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I wanted to ask you if you’ve ever felt that way? Have you ever been confused by what you hear about how to engage online or off, how to pitch, what branding decisions to make, the value of 16-pt card stock over a thinner paper, and what time to post to your blog that you’ve got lost in analysis paralysis? You’re not alone.
To be honest, that’s why people have decided to consult or work with me. It’s not that they don’t know. They know too much and it’s gotten confusing. It’s like having five sets of maps to get to the same place but not knowing which one to follow. You STILL might get lost, especially if you tried following a piece of direction from each of the maps (don’t ask me how I know…).
Marketing and PR isn’t rocket science. There are some super duper basics that you need to know in order to be effective. I mean, think about this. Jesus didn’t have a Guerilla Marketing Handbook in ancient times before PR Newswire and Aweber but look at how good he got his word out. Also, many non-experts have done what intrinsically FELT right and have landed huge interviews and have created empires without spending goo gobs on hiring a marketing or PR guru. So let’s get some gutta (read: down home, realer than Real Deal Holyfield) tools in your belt.
Know your product. You can’t tell anybody about anything if you don’t know what IT is or why it’s helpful to the marketplace. What’s your story?
Tell people about it. You’ll never guess how many people don’t verbally talk about their business, not to mention using email or social media to tell friends or others about it. Now, not only are people still taking out classified ads, but they are talking about their business, educating and engaging with potential customers online.
Figure out who needs your product most. They call this the target market. Don’t guess on this. You may have a general idea but test out the marketplace and figure you exactly who is buying your product or consuming your information the most. The more you know about them (age, income, likes and dislikes) and how you’re solving their problems, the better a job you’ll do at communicating with them.
Try reaching people where ever they are. If your audience is online, meet them online. If they read a special trade publication, try pitching an article to that trade publication. There’s no need to spam journalists whose readers don’t care about your product or or service. Go for those who do–and that takes us to our next point.
Do research. I might have needed to list this first, but in any case, research everything–your product, your target market, journalists and publications for your media list, and new tools to help make all this easier.
Test it out. After trying a few modes of communication, you will notice some things work better than others. But if you’re measuring your marketing and PR activities, you’ll know what to cut and what to keep and duplicate.
Budget. Ha! Another item that should be at the top. Plan in advance how much and when you will spend on marketing and PR.
Plan. Get a calendar and plan how much and when you will do each activity, promotion, event, launch or anything. Do this well in advance because outlets plan months in advance and you want to get your news or ads in at a time when it will be relevant.
Oh, there’s much more but this doesn’t seem hard, right? It may be a lot of work but it need not prevent you from getting a start on getting the word out about what you do. In fact, if I could be intimidated and this is my profession, I could imagine how it might be for someone who hasn’t studied or practiced. But take a clue, if marketers are testing all the time and trying to figure out how to do things better, you have to take the same chances and figure out what works for your business.
You’ll find it wasn’t rocket science, but rather strategic planning, outreach and measurement and trying new tools and methods that works for you. So are you ready to take this on? Sure you are, and if you’re not, shoot me a message!