At some point, pretty much every business owner dreams of getting featured in the media.
From a quick one-line mention in a local blog…
to a glamorous booking on The Today Show…
media attention feels amazing!
But in my experience, many people jump the gun and try to get booked in the media before they’re truly ready.
They spend countless hours writing pitches and press releases (or guest posts for online magazines and blogs)… when they don’t even have the basic business essentials (like a website, a mailing list, or enticing product descriptions) in place.
That’s kind of like inviting 500 people to the grand opening of your cake shop… except, oops. You don’t actually have anything to feed them. It’s a huge waste of time and energy for you — and a big disappointment for the people that you want to serve. (“Wait, I thought there was going to be cake!”)
If you’re taking action to get yourself booked in the media… terrific.
But I’d recommend pressing PAUSE until you’ve completed the following checklist — which will help you to determine if you’re actually ready for media exposure or not.
Before you pitch yourself to the media, whether it’s a local blog, a national radio show, an international trade journal, or anything in between…
Make sure that…
1. You have a website.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but even in this day and age, many business owners… don’t! You don’t have to be a computer genius to put together a simple site using About.Me or Squarespace. Both are designed for tech-phobic people. If you can handle Facebook, you can handle these tools, too.
2. Your website clearly states who you are, what you do, and what people should do next… if they want to learn more about you.
You wouldn’t invite people to your home and then slam the door in their face. You’d usher them inside, show them where to hang their coats, and then guide them into the living room and give them snacks. Your website needs to make people feel welcome and show them where to go, first, whether that’s your About page, your Blog, your Shop, or your mailing list. Speaking of which, make sure that…
3. You have a mailing list.
If you made an amazing new friend at a dinner party, you’d ask for their phone number, or email address, right? You wouldn’t want them to slip away… you’d want to stay in touch!
You want to stay in touch with new clients and customers, too. Use a simple platform like MailChimp to put a mailing list sign-up form on your website. Feeling overwhelmed by the technical stuff? Hire a geek on Fiverr or Elance to do it for you. It’s well worth the (minimal) cost.
4. You have a FREE offering, a treat, a surprise, or something for people to enjoy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a psychologist, a dog trainer, a painter or a politician. Give your new website visitors SOMETHING to read, watch, listen to, think about, or peruse. Give them a reason to stay, explore, and get to know you and your work a bit better. If you don’t have anything for people to dig into to, they won’t stick around for long.
Again, to use the cake shop metaphor, that’s like throwing a grand opening party… and then forgetting to serve up the treats.
5. You have a PAID offering, product, service or book for people to enjoy. (And it’s easy to find.)
The whole point of getting featured in the media is to inspire your audience, make an impact… and, of course, make some money!
If your current products and services are completely confusing, tricky to purchase, poorly described, or buried deep in the belly of your website where they’re nearly impossible to find, that’s a problem.
6. You have a bio — or About page — that shows your credentials — but also reflects your natural voice and personality.
Many business owners agonize over writing a bio, but it doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. To take some of the pressure off, remember that your bio doesn’t have to say EVERYTHING about you. It just has to share enough information to make your reader feel intrigued and excited about your work. Think: “Coming Attractions.” Not: “Feature Presentation.”
So… how’d you do?
If you passed this pre-media checklist with flying colors, congratulations! Pitching the media will be a smart use of your time, because you’ve already laid the groundwork in advance.
You’re ready to welcome new, curious customers into your website, or blog, or wherever you do business. You’re ready to entertain them, inspire them, and of course… sell your work!
If you didn’t do so hot on this checklist, don’t despair.
Help is on the way. 🙂
Starting in January 2015, I’m swinging open the doors to The Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ Membership Club.
Inside this club, you’ll learn how to get booked in the media, but also — and more importantly — how to prepare for your time in the media so that your hard work pays off.
Everything listed in the checklist, above? We’re covering that. And so much more.
The club is just $25 a month.
Because learning how to bring your products, your services and your message to a bigger audience shouldn’t come with a 5-digit price tag.
You can register now and stay as long as you like.
The club is ongoing, and there is absolutely no penalty if you choose to end your membership.
And be sure to check out the charter membership as that will go away before we start.
Learn more and sign up here.
See you in the clubhouse.