Market, market, market.
Like all other businesses, Virtual Assistants must always be on the lookout for opportunities to market, promote and publicize their companies. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo operation or have a full staff. If you want to grow your business and make more money, you must market, market, market. One critical reminder: this is not about spending gobs of money on ads. This is about having legitimate news stories covered by the media, which results in getting you “free press.” No fooling here, but this takes time. If you’re thinking you’re too busy and stressed to market, you may want to reconsider your business goals and priorities.
You may also be thinking you don’t know the first thing about marketing and PR. Not to worry. I have 25 years of news, PR and communication experience. I’m happy to share 5 tips with you so you can better understand what is newsworthy and how you can tap into the power of publicity. It’s time to learn.
1. Keep your news antennae up. News is about people and people love great stories. You have great stories right under your nose but you are busy running your VA business, learning Social Media and balancing work and home. Look around your world: Is your company celebrating an anniversary? Have you recently expanded or gotten a small business grant? How have you helped a client to succeed? What separates you from others? Overcome any challenges to succeed in business? Have you been elected to a position at your local Chamber or networking group? Do you have an interesting hobby or talent that’s out of the ordinary? Have you considered teaming up with a nonprofit in your area for a summer food drive or back-to-school supplies donation for needy kids?
2. Pay attention to the news. If you want to be in your local newspaper or business journal, you must be familiar with what types of stories they cover and what deem as newsworthy. Do your homework.
3. Get creative! Many entrepreneurs who work from home get stuck in the rut of sitting at their computers and taking phone calls all day. It’s important to open your energy and creative channels. Commit to attending one or two networking events a week or month. Get a glimpse of the outside world!
4. Listen to the buzz in your industry. Read e-zines, articles and blog posts from your competition and leaders in the VA field. What are they writing and talking about? Their material and content can give you creative ideas for publicity and marketing.
5. Remember that in the word “newsworthy” is the word “new”. When writing a press release or pitch to a reporter, be sure you have a fresh and new hook or angle on a story, trend or issue. Sales pitches are for the advertising department, not the newsroom. Take a class or read about what reporters look for in a good story and how you can help them. The key is to build relationships and become a trusted resource.
Remember that your presence affects your prosperity. Which brings us full circle—market, market, market.
Susan Young works with professionals who want to supercharge their communication skills, self-confidence and success. She’s the President of Get in Front Communications, Inc., a public relations and communication training company. Susan consults with businesses and individuals on sales, reading body language, leadership, Emotional Intelligence, public speaking, news and Social Media. Sign up for her free 21-day video series “Speaking of Communication” at www.getinfrontcommunications.com. Follow Susan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sueyoungmedia