What if you could get YOUR VA BUSINESS or your clients' businesses on television, in magazines or newspapers or on the radio to get regular exposure? Wouldn't that be great for your business? And if you did it for your clients - how much more could you charge for this exclusive service?
A few years ago, I partnered with a social media strategist to combine my DIY-PR expertise with her social media brilliance. We found that combining our talents in a planned strategy is providing incredible success for our clients. It’s absolute marketing magic!
We started Get Seen Be Heard to work with clients together and also to create programs showing people how to use this powerful combination of social media and PR. What we discovered is that nobody is doing what we do, combining them together, at the same time, for outrageous success, so we offer a very special niche service.
The key to doing this right is the strategy.
We’ve perfected a PR/Social Media strategy that works successfully over and over and over again. Below are five tips to get you started on this now so you can start to see success for your VA business or your clients' businesses as early as... today.
1. Research on Twitter, industry-related websites/blogs, and LinkedIn updates. Find out:
- Who is writing about you or your client’s topic of expertise?
- Which reporters (online, TV, magazine and newspapers) report on your business or your client’s industry and more specifically, in a niche you/ they specialize?
- Who is talking about what you/they want to talk about?
2. Connect with these people on Twitter, either on your own behalf or on behalf of your clients. Create a Twitter list called “Media.” Make it private and add these journalists to the list. This will help you organize their connections, and allow you to keep tabs on their updates (which can give you plenty of ideas). But first, make sure:
- Their Twitter profile is professional
- Their Twitter description is interesting and has strong keywords
- They engage with a call to action somewhere in their profile
3. If you are handling your client’s LinkedIn profile then connect with the people on this Twitter list on LinkedIn. If you are doing all of this on their behalf, then you would reach out to them. In the connection request, be sure to mention, “I just read your article/saw your segment. I loved it, and would love to connect with you here on LinkedIn.” Stay personal, authentic, and real. Just like on your Twitter list, you can tag connections on LinkedIn as “Media” to keep them organized. Since the media will now be checking your client out on LinkedIn, make sure:
- Their LinkedIn profile is rock solid, polished, and professional
- Their summary and experience really speak to what you want to do and who you want to connect with
- Their profile picture is up to date and professional. Don’t use a happy hour picture, them on the beach, or them with their kids. Remember, this is a business-networking platform. Save the “fun” profile pictures for Facebook.
- You’ve posted a few updates recently for them that show up in the “Posts” section.
Now that you’ve built the foundation, it’s time to make sure they know you/your client exists!
4. Schedule a few times per week to go into the Twitter list. Research who has tweeted what and see if there are tweets that are relevant to your client’s expertise and niche. When you find applicable tweets, you’ll want to:
- Favorite them
- Re-tweet them
- Reply to them
I promise you that journalists know who is paying attention to their work.
5. Do the same on LinkedIn. Schedule a few times per week to research their connections. Sort them by the “Media” tag you created, and then go through that list of connections and:
- See what they’ve shared recently
- Comment on posts that are relevant to your client
- Like and share those posts through LinkedIn and other networks
Because social media is right now, you could see results as soon as right now. Make sure your client’s name is recognizable to the media as someone who adds value, is an expert, and is generous with sharing their content. This is where you begin to build the relationship — long before you ever contact them directly.
It’s always better to make connections and foster a relationship before you need them for something. That way, when you have an idea, a pitch, or a prospect, you’re approaching them as a warm contact. No more cold emails, cold connections, or cold calls. This means the possibility of a successful outcome skyrockets. Your target contact is much more likely to respond favorably to your request.
These media contacts can be of huge value to you, because one nicely placed media shout-out of one of your clients can bring you tons of new business!
The best part? These five steps are all free and very easy to implement. It doesn’t take a huge chunk of time either, if you spread them out over a week or two. And when you put in the maintenance of a few minutes a day, a few times a week, you will be seeing the return very quickly.
So, how do my business partner and I make this work?
While I’m finding and pitching influencers, she’s on the back end making sure the social media part is supporting my efforts, and guess what? Our clients are killing it: TV spots, magazine columns, paid speaking gigs, products on QVC and HSN, and more! I have absolutely no doubt you could do this too.
Find out more about Christina's business here.