Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2015

#MoneyChat: Getting Media Attention For Your Business

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Hello #MoneyChatters!

So glad to have former Dove model, serial entrepreneur & my friend Kathy Zucker on #MoneyChat! A former marketing director, Kathy Zucker has founded four startups. From a product that went to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list to an international social media award, Kathy has delved into the depths of many industries. Here are her thoughts on how to get media attention for your business.

entrepreneur-593361_1280I’ve got an amazing product or service. How can I find the right people to send it to who will promote it?

First of all, there is no guarantee anyone will promote your offering. None. But a good way to find someone who will? Is to locate someone who is interested in that type of product. The same way it wouldn’t make sense to send a baby product to a sportscaster – unless he or she just had a baby! – you need to target people who are interested, vocal and influential. A great way to find journalists is through sites like Muckrack (@muckrack) or you can just google their name + Twitter to find their user name. Journalists LOVE Twitter, so that s a great place to start conversations and get to know them. Look to find chats where they are participating and make sure your tweets are memorable. I find new people on Twitter, and then I friend them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram to deepen the relationship.

It’s just like buying a gift for a kid birthday party – you need to find the toy that everyone their age/gender wants. Doesn’t matter if the person is a journalist or not, we are all living breathing human beings under the personae we put on each day. And every person has different preferences and interests. There is no such thing as a product that appeals to 100% of people. You need to find your market and build relationships there.

So how do I get to the point where someone wants my product or service?

Relationships are everything. If your best friend writes about how something changed her life, then you are going to pay attention. The best referrals? Are from people who have no financial stake in your business. Passion cannot be faked – if they really and truly love it, then others will take note. And when you have passionate people who love what you sell who are located in your target markets? Anything is possible. You never know who they will wind up talking to. It could be a buyer for a retailer, a journalist, or a blogger. And a friend of a friend? Is 90% of the way toward being a friend.

So should I start sending product to friends?

NO. Sara Hopkins (@sayhop) says that social media is the most intimate form of marketing, and I agree with that statement. Every single time you post on social media, you are marketing yourself, and by extension, your product. The beauty of public social media posts – and 100% of my posts are public – is that you never know who is going to see them. I have had people contact me about posts from years ago. And every single post? Goes toward establishing your credibility. Whatever your product is should fit with what you are all about. And when it does? Buying your product is a natural fit.

reporter-852096_1280So how do I create buzz around my product or service that will attract the media?

Invest in your relationships. It only takes one person to change your life. Never ever assume that people know things. The only way you can be sure somebody knows something is if you tell them, as explicitly as possible. Experiment with how to find your voice. Different modes of communication work for different people. Some people prefer the phone, others the fax. You can write, record podcasts and video with your smartphone. I find in-person meetings to be the hands down most powerful way to build relationships. But everyone is so busy that those are few and far between. So how do you sustain and nourish relationships? By posting on social media and making it as easy as possible for people to see your posts. And that means public posts. I am totally fine with anything I post going viral. Sometimes it does. And when the word gets out about your business? The media will come to you.

How can I meet journalists and bloggers in person? At conferences? Networking events?

Twitter is a terrific place to lurk and get to know people. Once you feel a spark in a Twitter chat or conversation, follow that person and pay attention to events he or she plans on attending. I try to aim for small gatherings e.g. 50 people or less because the odds are high that I will be able to spend a few minutes in private conversation. And if we have already been laughing on social media? The person will recognize me or even send me an invitation to a local event. Everybody knows I live near NYC, so when friends are planning a trip they always let me know so we can try to meet up.

How do I control the types of media coverage my product gets?

You can’t. The media is going to look at your message and decide what they want to cover. In my case, that is my family. Two weeks ago, my daughter had her birthday party televised to millions of viewers on the TruTV network show Impractical Jokers (@TruTVjokers). I did exactly nothing to pitch them – they came to Liberty Science Center (@libertyscictr), who contacted me. It was a tremendously positive experience, I am still seeing social media posts pop up on friends’ social media channels saying, I saw you on TV!!!! You cannot buy experiences like that. And when people see their friends talking about me? They click on my social media profile and then over to my company website. I have picked up more likes in the last month than in the last year, and I have done exactly nothing to promote it.

What is the most surefire way to attract the media?

Change people’s lives. Think about it. How often do you remember company names? But you remember people, especially ones you like. My daughter’s friend’s mother told me about an art class, and that is how I remember it. But the actual name of the program? Lost in the swamps of my memory. It all comes back to people. Every time you spend time with anyone, you are investing in that person. So choose your friends carefully. There are people who will repay everything you give them a thousand times. Those are the ones you want to be with online, in real life, however you can stay connected. Because when you change someone’s life? They are a walking, talking reference.

So do you post about your product or service nonstop on social media?

NO. There is no bigger turnoff than people spamming you. None. I blend my personal and professional lives on social media, and well, everywhere. My channels are a mix of family, personal development, and business. Your social media should reflect who you are as a person. That means no complaining, no TMI (Too Much Information). But at the same time? You have to be vulnerable to really draw people to you. And being vulnerable? Is incredibly scary. Yes, people are going to judge you. But guess what? They were going to judge you anyway. Those aren’t the ones you are trying to reach. You know your message is working when people send you private messages saying, I experienced exactly the same thing. And the brave ones? Will say it in public comments on your posts.

So how do you post about your product or service on social media?

Share information about your thoughtfully and in moderation. People love anniversaries and milestones. They hate being sold to. Everyone wants to be part of a winner’s circle. So share your big wins. Work to perfect the messaging around your product. Listen to the feedback you receive, and adapt. Your posts about your product should fit seamlessly into your social media channels. I use one rule of thumb when I write, which is would I want to see this on somebody else’s channel? If yes, then full steam ahead.

#MoneyChat Staff Author

Dorethia Kelly, is the founder of #MoneyChat and president of Conner Coaching, LLC providing results-oriented personal finance and business coaching services. Known for her no nonsense approach and charismatic personality, Dorethia is passionate about helping individuals successfully manage their money and business owners increase their bottom line. She speaks to youth and adults in areas of money management and business with #MoneyChatLIVE workshops and live events. In 2015 she published #MoneyChat THE BOOK – available on Amazon.com.

About the Author

- Dorethia Kelly, is the founder of #MoneyChat and president of Conner Coaching, LLC providing results-oriented personal finance and business coaching services. Known for her no nonsense approach and charismatic personality, Dorethia is passionate about helping individuals successfully manage their money and business owners increase their bottom line. She speaks to youth and adults in areas of money management and business with #MoneyChatLIVE workshops and live events. In 2015 she published #MoneyChat THE BOOK – available on Amazon.com.

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African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general population (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.

Source: Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study