As a national publicist and visibility Strategist, I get a LOT of questions from very diverse business owners, authors, speakers and coaches. One of the most frequent questions is this: “I’m very good at what I do and I have an important message to get out into the world, so why am I having so much trouble getting publicity?”
Is this happening to you?
If so, I am going to share with you three of the biggest mistakes people make when they are trying to get more visible, secure more media, and get better known.
Hesitation. They hesitate to really go for it because they’re not sure they’re doing it right, or they worry their message isn’t worthy enough, or they’re in overwhelm, or they just don’t know what to do next, all of which usually stem from fear. Sometimes I believe in my clients more than they do, at least initially. My belief is that you can do this. It isn’t life or death, it isn’t brain surgery. We can do this.
Case in point: I recently worked with Suzanne Falter who has a new book coming out two years after the death of her 22-year-old daughter. Her work has always been about creating joy, but would her new message — that it is possible to find joy again after suffering such a horrendous loss — resonate with others? She was nervous about it. Through doing what I call a Publicity WAVE, we landed numerous exciting opportunities including Marie Claire Magazine, AARP, New Woman Magazine, and many others. We can take your message, craft it in such a way that it will find its audience, and then approach top tier, secondary tier, and sometimes tertiary tier media for coverage.
They attend lots of free webinars and teleseminars, they read books and blogs about social media, they spend money on all kinds of events and masterminds that really aren’t specifically for them. They listen to lots of different advice from many different people, yet at the end of the day, they’re still not sure what the next best step for them is personally. They have lots of shiny objects to play with but no plan or system in place to make it all work together. They don’t know what they can ignore and what they need to pay attention to. Every person’s project, campaign, and cause is different and requires different thinking and action.
Case in point: I know someone who has spent well over $10,000 dollars trying to learn what she needs to know about platform, social media, and marketing, but none of it applied directly to what she is trying to launch. She found me after doing all of this only to discover that she could have helped herself a great deal more (and spent a lot less money) if we’d worked together sooner. Point being, I like to reach people on the front end, before this kind of thing happens.
They look for cheerleaders when what is really need is someone to help them improve. It’s one thing to ask for input from friends and family, and quite another to get feedback from an expert — someone who is busy working in the areas you need help in. Friends and family can cheer you on, give you support, and tell you how wonderful you are (You ARE wonderful). To help you improve, however, to give you ideas and strategies that have been shown to work, you need a seasoned pro. Someone who has been there, done that, and can give you advice on how you can do it too.
Case in point: I saw a marketing coach send out a video of one of her clients who clearly was not ready to be doing video. In this case, the “pro” was the cheerleader. I’m sure her heart was in the right place. Her client got over her fears and actually recorded a video. Yet, it wasn’t good enough yet to have so many others view it. It would have been much more helpful to this person if someone had said, “You’re coming along. Here is what would make this even better,” and not post anything until the individual really had improved. Point being, you need both: A cheerleader and a truth-teller.
Summary: So there you have it – three of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make when trying to get visible. I hope that by highlighting them, you’ll be able to have a breakthrough in your ability to get publicity and attention for your business, product or book.
If you want to know where you stand right now, click here to take my How Media Savvy are You Quiz, and find out.
If you’re interested in learning more about The WAVE and how we can get more publicity for your business, book or project, send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.