As the economy continues to struggle I see an ongoing tragedy in the publishing world. Authors, experts and others who have valuable and significant products and services to offer aren’t able to create exposure and demand due budget constraints. Publishers aren’t promoting as many books as they once did, bookstores are closing and far less people have a strong budget to get their information out in a consistent and meaningful way.
When people speak with a publicist they are often saddened to learn that the process takes time and ultimately, money. Therefore they are left to figure out how to conduct their own PR outreach in the hope of creating income to further their dreams.
Acting as your own publicist can be very effective and far more affordable, assuming you have the time to commit to the process. All forms of advertising and PR take time to create the desired impact under the best of circumstances. When you add in the learning curve and the time it takes to create relationships with targeted websites, patience will need to be the first ingredient in your recipe for success.
Let’s review some of the factors to take into consideration before you make a final decision as to how you would like to proceed.
1. Create an effective environment. Working in a specific place at set times of the day can help you build the focus required to learn and implement the new skills you are about to acquire. Removing as many distractions as possible will be very helpful in keeping you organized and following through. These are two traits all good publicists must possess.
2. Create a plan. Start by being your own client and ask yourself the crucial questions to develop an effective strategy. Who is your real target audience? What are your revenue models, short and long term? Does your website mirror your branding, invite people to sign up and to ultimately purchase your products and services with ease? What is your message that will distinguish you from others in your field and which websites will best represent that message for you? Moving forward with a well thought out plan is a critical step to being successful.
3. Develop your presentation materials. When you reach out to an editor the last thing you want to do is to make them feel they are getting the same package that several other editors are receiving. Create relationships with editors one-on-one. Review their site in detail. Know what they want, both in terms of content and format and give them articles they can use quickly and without a great deal of editing. Offer them ideas on future content you would like to provide. The more you make their job easier and increase their credibility, the more they will want to utilize your work and promote you prominently in the process.
4. Follow up…follow up…follow up. After you send your initial article and a BRIEF email introducing yourself, you will in many cases need to follow up within 2-3 days. Editors are very busy and often work with the people who care the most. Don’t be afraid to send a very short email to follow up, confirm they received the piece and ask if they plan to use it. They are getting quality content free of charge so its reasonable you would like to know what their plans are and be notified upon posting the content. In addition, be sure and thank them once the content is posted.
Continue to build that relationship and get to know the editor. Its all about people….they are helping you, you are helping them, and ultimately you are both helping many others through your combined efforts.
Anne Leedom is the Founder of Net Connect Publicity, a premier online expert placement agency based in Northern California. In addition to her efforts as a publicist, Anne also publishes www.parentingbookmark.com, www.lifepalz.com and www.catchthelifebug.com. To learn more about Anne’s coaching services for authors and experts contact her to discuss additional strategies on how to be your own publicist.