As speakers and small business owners, we sometimes need to do some serious bootstrapping to grow our brand, our business, and our careers. I have listed 12 ideas below for you to use in building your own buzz to create more business. I have tried all with great results. If you have others, please feel free to comment on the post & leave your recommendations!
- Conduct an online survey, or a live survey within one of your next speeches. You can also conduct a survey online within one of your posts or articles, or even within LinkedIn or Quora. Use the results for a future speech, future posts, a new product, a new book, OR….local papers and reporters love good data, representing an interesting twist or opinion. You can also use this as an ‘in’ to some associations for speaking or writing (read 7 Awesome Resources to find out how to find associations). Some tools I’ve used to assist with this are:
- Blogstampede.com (see this in action here in Review of Ed Tate’s visit, and in Victor’s currently open, & for you to contribute to as well, Networking Collaboration post)
- Surveymonkey.com or Zoomerang.com
2. Rotary & Lions clubs, library, local service organizations, churches – volunteer to speak at these places for free in exchange for testimonials on the topic, to build your lists, to start selling some product, to create content for your website, to start making videos of your speaking…and in addition, to invite the local press, especially for items of human interest.
3. Add your own news clippings & press releases to your own site. This is often overlooked.
4. Adopt a local nonprofit, or one that matches your background / values etc. Find one that is perhaps overlooked because of bigger nonprofits in the area. Get to know them – use your public speaking skills to create a Public Service announcement or viral video. This option allows you to use your speaking talents for a good cause, to gain exposure, and for access to media. Another option would be to create an event on your topic but to partner or sponsor this group – donate proceeds, a portion of, or donations from guests….inform / invite media.
5. Do something ‘giving’, related to your business but for those out of work, home from the war, down on their luck. Or run a contest offering services. Create a human interest story. Share with local media.
6. Create a media room on your website with your e-media kit. Include the following information:
- Tips & advice columns
- Topics you are an expert in
- Video & podcast clips
- Places you’ve spoken or other media clips
- Press releases
- Contact form specifically for media
7. Build relationships with bloggers, local reporters that write on your topic. Establish yourself as the go-to person offering unique takes on hot topics, or on your specific (related) topic.
8. Find hooks in current events: for example, local unemployment figures were reported: offer tips on eating out on a budget (if you own a restaurant) or how to eat healthy on budget or how to get fit without a gym (if you speak about health & fitness) etc.
9. Find (through google alerts, technorati, stumble upon or those you sites already follow), follow, & comment on other blogs, others LinkedIn posts, other social media posts.
10. When you are presented somewhere in print – whether quoted, pictured, or reported on – send a Thank You note to the reporter or organization. Do the same thing after you’ve given a speech somewhere. It’s rarely done anymore.
11. Use these (or other) press release sites to get the word out about what you are doing:
12. Create consistency with your coverage. Meaning, have each build on each other. Be in print one week, and follow that up with an interview. Follow that up with a blog post. Follow that up with a networking event. Follow that up with a seminar…..etc. Hopefully you catch my drift. The key is to stay top of mind.
You will rarely create positive, long lasting change without persistent, consistent follow-up. Take this from me. The successes I have achieved are from following this 1 piece of advice. The bulk of my problems have come from not taking that advice. Most successful people already know this….I hope you are in that group.
With a little elbow grease, creative thinking, and follow through, you can create some buzz about your topics and your products; give it a try and let me know how it works for you!