Your Guide to Free Publicity (or How to Get Talked About for Free)

Your Guide to Free Publicity (or How to Get Talked About for Free)

Your Guide to Free Publicity (or How to Get Talked About for Free)

There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about. — Oscar Wilde

The ubiquity of technology creates many opportunities to promote your business for free or very little cost. This article may give you a starting point for getting talked about without breaking your budget.

A press release is a workhorse for free publicity. It is a reliable and effective way to raise your hand in the crowd and say, “I am here!” As I wrote almost six years ago in “Permanent Press: Using Press Releases to Keep Your Company in the News”, “In the competition for consumer attention, a well-written press release is one of your most important marketing tools. A press release is an opportunity to build name recognition and generate interest in your company without delivering a sales message.”

With a well-written press release you may garner publicity ranging from a mention during the drive time news to a newspaper article with pictures or a spot on local television, all of which increase your visibility and get people talking about you for free.

Another approach is to establish yourself as a SME, or subject matter expert. Depending on your industry (e.g., financial services, law, or health care) you may need to tout your certifications or other bona fides to successfully promote yourself as a thought leader. You can also boost your exposure by collaborating with other, well-known SMEs in your industry.

There are no formal rules about how to qualify for SME-hood. You will know whether or not your market has accepted you by the response you get when you put yourself out there. Whatever your market, you need people to find you and accept you as a thought leader. You can accomplish this with other forms of targeted, well-written free publicity, such as:

  • An industry white paper
  • An article in a trade paper, magazine, or online resource
  • A column on your website
  • An e-newsletter
  • An e-book. Amazon and Smashwords are two of the most popular e-book self-publishing and distribution platforms. And Apple recently introduced iBooks Author, a free software app for Apple computers that offers drag-and-drop self-publishing tools.

Simply being present on blogs and social media sites may get people talking about you. However, if you want the talk to be productive and lucrative, you need to do a few specific things. First, you need to consistently distribute meaningful content. Share top training tips or news of an upcoming workshop, offer a new distance coaching resource, or tell how you overcame a common selling challenge. Give people a reason to listen to you. Second, include links to your website so it is easy for people to find you. And third, represent. If you are using social media for professional purposes, act like a professional.

Don’t let another day go by without giving people a reason to talk (positively) about you and your business.

Subscribe to receive my bi-monthly Onwords™ column, and check back next time to learn how to write web copy that sells.

Copyright © 2012 by Sally Bacchetta. All rights reserved.


Sally Bacchetta

Sally writes training content and designs instruction for online and face-to-face deployment for clients in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, healthcare, security, financial services, and business services. In addition, she writes articles for publication, website content, corporate communications, marketing collateral, promotional pieces, press releases, and white papers.