Starting your own organizing business is an exciting adventure, but before you can become successful, you need to let as many people as possible know that you exist. Until you have money coming in, you may be reluctant to invest in advertising, but that’s probably a good thing, as paid ads are rarely cost-effective for service businesses. You can reach a larger audience in a much more powerful way by getting your business mentioned on TV or radio, or in newspapers, magazines, or other publications. And the best part is, it won’t cost you a small fortune!
Being quoted as an expert in your field has a lot more impact on readers than merely purchasing an ad, because it shows that someone other than you values your knowledge, thereby building your reputation and growing your business brand. Furthermore, people often skip over advertisements, unless they are truly creative. Honestly, when you’re reading a magazine or newspaper, how many ads do you pay attention to?
So how can you get the media to notice YOU?
The traditional method is to send out a press release whenever you have something newsworthy to share. Perhaps you’ve won an award, or maybe you’re the first professional organizer in your small town. Media contacts are inundated with releases every day, so if your story offers something unique, you have a much better chance of getting noticed.
When I was a new professional organizer, I decided to take part in National Organizing Week. That particular year, Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) had selected Big Brothers and Big Sisters as the national charity who would receive free organizing services from members across Canada. After contacting my local organization to make arrangements, I customized the press release template I’d received from POC and sent it out to the local media. The people at the local TV station were so surprised to learn that there was such a thing as National Organizing Week that they decided to come and interview me for the evening news! I’m not going to lie to you and say that I was inundated with phone calls and emails from potential clients after that, but people did mention for several months that they’d seen my interview, and to this day I’m able to say that I’ve been featured as an organizing expert on CH News, which enhances my credibility.
Keep in mind that reporters and journalists do not rely on press releases for their story lines. Topics are often assigned to them by editors, or they may have their own ideas to pursue. For this reason, a strong online presence can be very beneficial. I’ve been approached by media contacts on a number of occasions just because my website or my blog came up when they conducted an online search on the topic they were researching! If you’re not doing as well in the search engines as you should be, I’d love to help you. I can’t promise to get you on the first page of search results (although I’ve achieved that for many of my clients) because there are just too many factors involved, and you should beware of anyone who makes that claim, but I’d be happy to create and implement a search engine optimization strategy for you. Feel free to contact me any time!
Because searching the web can be such a daunting and time-consuming task, many reporters in search of experts to interview submit their requests to Peter Shankman, who compiles the requests and emails them to subscribers three times per day. As I scan each email, I let my clients know of any inquiries that might be of interest to them. Of course they – and you – can also become a subscriber by signing up at http://helpareporter.com/. Urgent requests are also posted on Twitter, at http://twitter.com/helpareporter.
I’d love to hear about your media success stories too!Photo Credit: Chris Schuepp