If you want a successful startup, you should be focused on building authority. That means working on your PR. PR is pretty much anything that isn’t advertising or your own content. Building your brand comes in many forms and I’d like to share some strategies I and my clients have used to build PR. A side benefit of good PR is sometimes good SEO links. The primary benefit is being recognized as an authority on your subject. PR supports other marketing by providing social proof you are the expert you claim to be. We can’t cover everything you can possibly do, there’s just too much. These are our top 7 ways to position you and your company as an authority in your space, or anywhere else you enjoy being a resource in.
Help a reporter out is a great resource. I use it myself and just answer questions on things I’m interested in. If you are looking to become known as an expert, this is a great tool. You can provide feedback and input to writers creating content every day. I was recently mentioned in this article about making checklists, for example.
Press releases are an art and a job by themselves, however there are some great resources, including free ones. A great article I read, especially for startups, is this article listing free press release sites. PR is important, especially if you have something news-worthy. Think about content in terms of what people want to reach about.
Get on a Podcast
This might seem simple, but it will take some time. You can either do this yourself or hire someone to to get you on shows. The first route is time consuming and can be harsh. Expect to get rejected a lot while doing this. The second can be spendy, but a good rep will get you 1-3 podcasts a week after a few months of going. While it’s easier to get on podcasts once you are on one, don’t let that stop you. Building authority is worth the investment, time or money. You will be seen as an expert in your field to the viewers/listeners of the podcast you are on. They also typically provide links to your website and promote the podcast, and therefore you, on social media.
Be a Presenter
This one can be hard to get into, but once you get going it can produce great results. While it doesn’t always provide great links or SEO opportunities, it does provide great marketing and proof you are an expert. Look at larger events if you can as these will have longer marketing ramp-ups. Even if you aren’t one of the top speakers, your name is still attached to the event. That means you have a lot of co-marketing opportunities.
Teach Local Classes
You can do this at a community center, college, or anywhere else. This can also be a great place to get noticed and recognized as an expert. If you are teaching at a college, you may be able to get the highly desired backlink from a .edu. This is great for SEO. This obviously isn’t a sales pitch, but in-person classes can provide a good source of leads and shows you are an expert. I mention local as these are marketed by the place hosting the class. This means you aren’t marketing it alone. It also allows for one-on-one interactions area after a class is over, which can open more doors.
Local Magazines or Newspapers
Since we’ve already discussed HARO you might wonder why I mention this separately. Local magazines are always looking for stories, but they are looking for local ones. HARO is national and doesn’t provide a great way to filter for local stories and information. Providing your PR news release to local magazines and newspapers can get you noticed and build local interest. Being mentioned in local magazines and newspapers helps you get into larger ones too.
Publishing is great for building authority. You can publish an ebook, printed book, course, or even just a white paper. What matters is that you have some way of tracking how many people have read or downloaded it, ideally by a third party. This creates social proof you are an expert as well as hopefully putting your name and contact information into the hands of many people.
While you may think a lot of this advice pertains to only service based companies, product based companies need this too. When you, and therefore your company, are seen as an expert in your products field, it’s easier for you to sell the product. People want to buy from the expert. Position you and your company as the expert in whatever field you work in. PR is part of a good marketing strategy and shouldn’t be neglected. We always look at what we can do in the PR realm for new product launches.