PR doesn’t have to mean forking out a fortune to find somebody to take on this role for you. Have you ever thought about doing it yourself? It can seem like a daunting task but if you are just starting out and don’t have the funds behind you to pay an expert you can cover the basics with a little time, research and persistence.
Plan to get results
You need to start with a plan. You can’t go into this blindly, you need to set out several things. What does PR success mean to you? What is the end result you want to see? What are your timescales?
This is your starting point. You need to know where you come in a search engine, how much competition there is and what actions need to happen to increase your visibility.Ask yourself these questions: Can you be found? Are the right things coming up about yourself/business/blog? What will people see?
Be media ready
Make sure your product/business is media ready, starting with your website. Check that your social media links work on your here, make sure your vision is clear to those who are stopping by and remove anything that may be outdated or irrelevant.
Following on from the above point, you need to ensure that you are visible across all social media platforms. Most businesses will use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin but if you also blog or offer products don’t overlook or underestimate Pinterest. This is becoming more of a search engine site than a social media site and can lead to further traffic to your website. Check that each of these sites tells the same story. You want to be consistent and professional.
Use online presentations
Online presentations are another great way to get yourself seen. Once your presentation is created you can allow this to do a lot of the work and hopefully draw clients into you. These can also be shared across your social media sites and on your website. It is about being clever about how you get your company out there and known.
Engage with your followers
Be that person who does reply to comments and who does answer messages quickly and effectively. Also, acknowledge any negative comments and resolve issues immediately.
Shout out your successes
If you have taken part in interviews/articles/radio shows add these to your website using a drop-down menu at the top of the page. Make it easy for somebody to see how well you have done and be proud of what you have achieved.
Be an expert
Become the go-to person in that field. Prove to those who are reading your website or blog that you are the person they need. This means that you will have to learn to talk yourself up on your about page, you will need to share your reviews and testimonies and not shy away from any of this.
You need to get over this! All self-doubt will have a negative knock-on effect on your business. You need to position yourself as an expert in your field and OWN IT!!
Invite people in
Make sure your website/blog site is inviting. Take another look at it with fresh eyes or get a friend or colleague to give you constructive feedback. It needs to be easily used, easy to navigate and keep people staying on here for as long as possible.
Get yourself seen
By this I mean take part in guest blogs, get yourself interviewed, get into articles, get in the paper, get on the radio, join multiple business groups and so on. Any media coverage will benefit you and your business.
Email the right person
Use ‘email hunter’ to directly contact the right person to cover the lists in the above point. Quite often email addresses on websites, for example an editor of a magazine, are answered by another person on a team and you may be overlooked. Go straight to the important person. Linkedin can be a great resource for this.
Get on film
This follows on nicely from the get yourself seen pointer. Even if you don’t feel as though you have the confidence to appear on film/youtube it can actually help you no end. If you know you have to speak in public or promote yourself verbally you can use filming as a practise run and critique yourself and work on your composure. Get your pitch and confidence spot on.
Don’t be an Ostrich!
Don’t become overwhelmed by PR or your workload and put things off. Putting your head in the sand won’t help your business grow. Make time to promote yourself, schedule this into your daily tasks. We often put things off by saying we don’t have time which usually means it is something you don’t actually want to do! PR can be boring and you may think your priorities lie elsewhere BUT if no one knows about you, you cannot drive your business forward.
Be proud of who you are and what you do and make sure you nominate yourself for awards. Use social media to then gain votes and momentum.
This is such an important point- make sure you stay true to who you are and what you do. Remember why you started up in the first place and do not compare yourself to others; you are an individual.
Once people know about your business the opportunities will start to come your way.
**WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER**