Everyone knows publicity is good for your business (and free publicity is even better). After all, publicity:
* Creates buzz
* Positions you as an expert
* Brings traffic to your site
* Skyrockets subscriber sign-ups
* Launches the heck out of a new product
* Drives sales
* Increases brand awareness
* Establishes authority and credibility
* Builds your platform
* And much more…
But let’s face it, professional publicists are an expense most small business owners can’t afford. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get great publicity — for free? Well, you can. All you need is a little time and a lot of desire.
Here are six ways to get amazing publicity that won’t cost you a penny.
More and more, media outlets are using Twitter and Facebook to find great sources for the stories they’re working on. Is there a magazine or TV news show you’d like to be featured in? Chances are, they’re on Twitter and Facebook, and once you “follow” them, you’ll see awesome shout-outs for sources like you.
Help a Reporter Out
Like Match.com for reporters and sources, HARO provides publicity-hungry sources with hundreds of media opportunities each day. All you need to do is sign up, get your HAROs, and start pitching.
Get your business in front of a whole new audience by guest posting on other people’s blogs. Check out Copyblogger for 10 tips on how to land a guest post on an A-list blog.
Despite what some PR people say, the press release isn’t dead. Writing and distributing a press release can announce news, launch products, tweak your SEO, and help you reach the media. DocStoc.com has several free press release templates and Mashable.com lists 20+ free press release distribution sites.
An editorial calendar shows the major editorial features planned for forthcoming issues of a newspaper or a magazine. Editorial calendars are traditionally used by the advertising department to sell advertising, but you can use them to increase your chances of getting featured in a publication.
Where can you find editorial calendars? Go to the publication’s website and look for a link or tab that says “Advertising” – it’s usually way down at the bottom of the website. Click on that and you’ll likely find rate information, closing dates, and a “download editorial calendar” link. Download the editorial calendar and start hunting for publicity opportunities in the features the publication has planned.
Have you ever seen your favorite products being used in movies or TV shows? That’s called product placement and you can get your product placed, too. Sarah Shaw of Entreprenette has a genius free service called Instantly Famous Products that’ll help get your product on the big screen.
Much like HARO, Instantly Famous Products broadcasts queries from TV and movie producers looking for certain products – clothes, accessories, green items, food, bags, shoes, whatever. All you need to do is pitch your product and cross your fingers.
Publicity is a powerful way to boost your business. And as you can see, there are many fun and free ways to get it. So go get it!
By Heather Allard
Heather Allard is a mother of three kids, Hope, Grace & Brendan — and one big dog, The Dude. She’s also the founder of TheMogulMom.com, a website for moms who run a business, raise a family, and rock both. You can find her on Twitter at @heathALL.