If you want to grow and scale your business, Facebook ads alone aren’t going to cut it. Have you ever thought about using publicity to make your business grow and become a known expert in your field? There are a lot of good reasons to do so: Publicity costs you less, it reaches an audience your ads could never reach, and it helps giving you amazing credibility.
Selena Soo is a publicity expert. She works as a publicity and networking strategist for entrepreneurs, experts and authors who want to reach millions with their message. With her online publicity program ‘Impacting Millions’, she has helped clients across the world to get featured in places like O, The Oprah Magazine and Forbes, and supported them in being on popular podcasts and national TV. Here, she talks about the 3 steps you should follow when you want to start using publicity and the method she uses when reaching out and pitching to people.
The Power of Role Models
When Selena was in her mid 20s, she had a life crisis. She wasn’t making a lot of money at her job, was in a bad relationship and felt generally depressed. “I ended up discovering this women’s life coaching group. Through that community, I started learning about all these experts, authors and books that were inspiring others to live their best lives.” It became clear to Selena that when people are suffering for different reasons, they’re often not looking for information, but inspiration. “I felt like these individuals were role models for people, exposing them to bigger and better possibilities.”
Selena realized that she herself was passionate about helping people in a similar way. “If you’ve got something amazing to share, why limit yourself to the 10 clients you’re currently serving? Why remain with the 500 or 1000 people in your community when you could be helping tens of thousands of people with your work? I really wanted to start helping people reach others with their important work.”
She chose publicity as her tool. “It’s one thing for you to tell the world you’re the number one at what you do. It’s another thing when other people are talking about you, and it’s especially powerful when you have the media talking about you.”
Finding Her Gift
Selena started reaching out to people she admired and found ways to be helpful to them. “I would make introductions, connect them to other people, offer ideas. I was basically supporting them with their goals. People sometimes say to me, ‘Selena, how did you have the balls to put yourself out there and to connect with these influential individuals?’ For me, it was that these people inspired me and I wanted to be of service and contribute to them and help them get their message out.”
When Selena first started doing this, she didn’t have a business. “I was in graduate school and they were just people that I admired who I would reach out to and make connections for. Eventually when I graduated from business school, I had a number of people who were fans of mine, who saw me as being really good at what I do. I realized that if they can see this gift in me, I needed to see it, and that gave me the courage to start my business.”
Today, Selena is constantly connecting people, even if it doesn’t always lead to business. “Making money isn’t the most important thing to me. I care about transforming people’s lives and making an impact. Someone might pay someone else $10,000 for what I do for free, but I also think that if I just show up and create value and connections every single day versus having to get into a transaction with someone first in order to move forward, it allows me to produce a lot more in my business. Of course, if I see that someone could really benefit from my services, at a certain point I will offer to start working together.”
3 Steps to Get You Started
Selena believes that every entrepreneur can get and deserves to get publicity, but that there are different ways to do it. “For someone who is going mainstream and wants millions of people to buy their book and their book is $20, that’s going to be a different strategy than somebody who has a high end coaching program that is $5,000 and looks for a niche audience.”
Publicity includes anything from speaking at someone’s mastermind group or being a guest expert in their membership site and getting in front of a very specific audience, to more broader things like having your book or your iPhone app being featured in a magazine. When growing a business, the key is to have a multi-dimensional approach. “Publicity is an important aspect of the marketing mix. Of course there are other components. Using Facebook ads for example is a powerful way to amplify what you’re already doing. But the people that join your email list through publicity – by listening to you for 30 minutes or an hour at a podcast interview, by seeing you as a guest expert in a program, by reading one of your articles, by consuming your content and falling in love with you – they’re developing that emotional connection and are going to be warmer leads that are more primed and likely to buy.”
There are three steps you can follow when you’re thinking about using publicity to grow your business. Number one is to get clear on what kind of publicity makes sense for your business. “For my business, I’m targeting a niche audience. It wouldn’t make much sense for me to be in a magazine if two million people are reading it because I don’t need to be in front of that kind of audience. I need a much smaller audience. For me, it’s podcasts and guest teaching opportunities and working together with influencers.”
The second step is to get clear on what your expert topics are. “There’s probably a lot of things you can talk about, but you actually want to be very selective. Publicity is my main topic because it’s what I sell. I have other clients and talk to them about hiring a project manager or their cashflow, but I don’t have any major offerings regarding these topics and they’re not what I want to be known for. The impact I want to make is through publicity, so that’s my expert topic.”
The third step is realizing low-hanging fruit opportunities. “This means you should start building your body of work. It shows that you’ve put in the time to build your audience and get your message out there, and that you’re serious about it.” This step is about realizing opportunities that are in front of you, like being a guest on your friend’s podcast writing a guest post for the blog of a colleague in your program.“Every entrepreneur can get publicity. If you have an important message or an idea, you want to reach people.” - Selena Soo
How to Reach Out
What follows is reaching out and creating publicity opportunities. “Sometimes this is a back and forth conversation and other times it’s a single email. Often when people pitch, they either include too much information and the person on the other end feels overwhelmed, or there’s not enough information. You need to say what your expertise is, what makes you an expert, if you have experience being on a podcast or talking on TV.”
When you’re sending an email to someone for an opportunity, Selena advice starts with the subject line: “I like to have the word ‘pitch’ in the subject line in capital letters, then a colon, and then you include a possible title for the suggested interview or article. That makes clear immediately that it isn’t a press release or something random, but that you actually have something very specific to pitch.”
Selena suggests starting on a warm and friendly note. “Show that you actually care about the person and that you’ve done some research. Maybe you’ve discovered their podcast recently and you really appreciated something about a specific episode, or maybe you really connect to the person’s mission.”
Then transition into sharing a bit about yourself. “This is not where you share your entire story or bio. It’s just a couple of sentences about who you are, what you’re an expert in, and one or two credibility markers. These can be results you’ve gotten to your clients or media you’ve secured, but it needs to be something that shows that you’re truly an expert at what you do.”
Continue with sharing your story ideas. “This is really the meat of it. If someone’s going to have you on a podcast, they want to know what you’re going to share. The same goes for an article. I like to share that in the headline, and then include a short description in the email body.”
Depending on the medium, it helps to add samples. “If you’re pitching for a guest post, link to your blog or other writing samples. If you want to be interviewed on a podcast, include another recent episode you were on. If you want to get interviewed for TV, share a short video clip.”
End your pitch saying you’re open for other ideas.”Mention other topics you can speak on. Just so you don’t have anything else in case they don’t say yes to that particular idea.”
Selena believes in the 80/20 rule. “The majority of the time, focus on publicity that is actually going to move the needle for your business and that’s connected to the area you’re an expert in. But other times, there’s topics that you’re just passionate about and want to talk about, and that’s totally fine.”
Connect with Selena Soo:
- Impacting Millions
- Selena Soo on Twitter
- Selena Soo on Instagram
- Selena Soo on Facebook
- Selena Soo on LinkedIn
Selena is offering her free checklist: Impacting Millions Publicity Checklist: 7 Must-Haves to Get Featured on Top Podcasts, Websites, TV, and More.
Click here to get the free checklist now!
Along with the checklist, you’ll also receive a free video series with tips and tricks to impacting millions!
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