I once had a friend (I’ll call her Meg) who was considered a well-known life coach. Over a decade, she had written popular books and even been on Oprah.
From an outsider’s perspective, she and her business seemed to be thriving.
But I knew Meg was struggling financially.
She’d turn down offers to get together for dinner. Not because she was too busy — because she couldn’t afford it. She also told me she could barely pay her rent every month for her tiny, walk-up studio apartment.
On the other hand, there are people who’ve been in business for a mere 6 months and have written guest posts on small blogs or done a few podcast interviews — and their business has exploded seemingly overnight.
Take one of my clients, Kimra Luna, for example. She took her business from zero to over $1 million in 18 months. In that time, she built a Facebook community of over 25,000 highly engaged fans and grew her email list to over 30,000 subscribers.
What’s happening here? What’s the difference between Meg and Kimra?
The difference is that Kimra didn’t just chase whatever press she could get. Instead, she focused on carefully chosen opportunities that would explode her business.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to make the most of the publicity you get. This will help you become a trusted leader in your field and add thousands per month to your bottom line. Plus you’ll never again waste time on dead-end media coverage.
Which kinds of publicity actually make you money?
The truth is, not all publicity is created equal.
There are many types of publicity, but today we’re going to focus on the main types that make a bottom-line difference in your business:
- Guest posts
- Print magazines
You know what all of these are. But you may not realize that some of these can help your business grow more than others. It all depends on your industry and your products.
For example, you may think you want to get coverage in a specific magazine. But if you’re selling a $3,000 course on online marketing, a podcast may be more beneficial for you. And if your main goal right now is to grow your email list, guest posts are best.
The chart below is an easy way to figure out what types of coverage you want to go after based on your goals, who you want to target, and what you offer.
|Type of Media||Best for…||Secrets to Success|
|Guest posts||New online businesses looking to share their ideas in an in-depth way and grow their email list||Write for a website that has the same target audience and include links back to your site. If possible, include a free gift in the author bio.|
|Podcasts||Businesses looking to target an affluent audience (especially one interested in self-development) and who want to create a connection by sharing their ideas in an in-depth way.||Be ready to talk about your successes, the ways you help clients, and your upcoming offerings. Before the podcast interview, ask for permission to share a free gift with the audience to bring them back to your website.|
|Print magazines||Online businesses looking to reach a mainstream audience and who have a mainstream product or service to sell (i.e., magazines might help you sell a $19 book, but maybe not a $3,000 program).||Target magazines that have a strong brand and that would be recognizable to your audience.|
|TV||Online businesses looking to reach a mass audience and position themselves as the ultimate expert.||Start with local TV, get some strong media clips, then work your way up to national TV.|
This chart also highlights the “Secrets for Success” — how to maximize the media opportunities you get. These are just some quick tips for each type of media.
OK, but what do you do to get the most bang for your publicity buck? How can you turn a media appearance into actual growth for your business and revenue in the bank?
I’ll show you. There are four powerful strategies you can use to leverage your media coverage to grow your business. These work with virtually anything — guest post, podcast, magazine, or TV.
- Give people a free gift
- Boost sales effortlessly
- Turn readers into buyers
- Skyrocket your credibility in 1 minute
Strategy #1: Include 2 key things in your media appearances
Once they get the offer for a bit of media coverage, many people assume their work is done. “Great, now my email list will grow!”
That can happen. But you need to put in the effort to make sure your media hits actually grow your following.
It’s really simple. All you need to do is offer a free gift and link to the page on your site where people can get it.
1. Offer a free gift
In your guest posts and on podcasts, offer a free gift, such as:
- a short ebook featuring one lesson from your online course
- a video or audio recording sharing one strategy you teach your clients
- a PDF checklist or worksheet you give your clients
Whatever you offer, choose a free gift that’s related to the article you just wrote. That way people will be more likely to opt in. There are two reasons for that:
- Anyone who read your article is clearly interested in the topic
- Your article has shown them that you’re an expert in that field
For example, the article I wrote for I Will Teach You To Be Rich was about how to get the attention of your favorite expert.
I talked about the importance of building relationships and networking, so my free gift was a step-by-step guide of how to do it. Here was my bio on that article:
I got over 2,000 new subscribers from that one article alone.
Sometimes you’ll be able to link to a free gift in the article itself. Other times, the publication will only allow you to put the link in your bio.
Make sure to ask what you can do — and do it!
GrowthLab uses this strategy, too. Check out their offer for a free report of 30 successful online business ideas at the bottom of this story, “What are the best new small business ideas?”.
2. Send them to a landing page
A lot of people simply link to their homepage in their bio on guest posts.
Don’t do that. That’s like a crowd of people coming into a hardware store for hammers, asking the cashier where to find them, and the cashier saying, “Just look around.” Most of them would walk out without buying anything.
Similarly you don’t want to let a flood of interested visitors hit your homepage and never come back because they didn’t get what they came for.
So link to a dedicated landing page where the only action readers can take is to opt in for your free gift.
Typical opt-in rates for a website are 1-5%. But with a dedicated landing page like the one below, I’ve personally gotten opt-in rates as high as 50%.
Strategy #2: Use media to generate more sales for launches
This is one of my favorite strategies — and one that most people completely overlook!
Let’s say you’re launching a new program.
People considering buying that program will want to get to know you better before they make that investment.
A great way to connect with them AND elevate yourself in their eyes is by sharing your media coverage with them.
For example, one podcast I really wanted to be on was Mixergy. It’s an online interview show hosted by Andrew Warner. He’s had guests on such as Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Paul Graham of Y Combinator.
I’d been building a relationship with Andrew, so I pitched him about sharing my story of how I went from zero to $157,000 in revenue in my first year of business, and have continued to double it since.
He thought it sounded exciting, and we agreed to do an interview.
Before we started, he asked, “How can I make this interview really great for you?”
I told him I had an upcoming program launch and that one of my goals of the podcast was to drive traffic to a free gift that would start the sales funnel.
During the interview, Andrew asked me about my story, taking people through the highs and lows of my career. It made for a really emotional interview where the listeners got to know me.
We also spent a good portion of the interview talking about the program I was launching, as well as my free gift that I was offering to his listeners.
Then during my program launch, I shared this interview with my email list.
This way, people who were deciding whether or not they wanted to work with me could watch the interview and learn more than I could say in an email.
Using this podcast in my sales funnel helped double my launch revenue compared to the previous year. We generated over $300,000.
Strategy #3: Tell your audience about your appearances
We often think media is just to reach new people and gain new followers.
But press can also elevate you in the eyes of your current followers. And those people will be far more likely to hire you if they see that you continue to be recognized as a leader in your space.
Here are three easy ways to make your readers aware of your appearances.
1. Share appearances in your newsletter and on social media
As soon as you can after a guest post or podcast goes live (or when a magazine hits newsstands), post about it on social media. And mention it in your newsletter that day or the following.
Notice below how one of my clients, visibility expert Jenn Scalia, doesn’t just say, “Check it out!” (That doesn’t get you very many clicks.) Instead, she gives a bit of a preview, a teaser of the content to entice people to click:
You can also give your followers a reason why they should check it out.
Start by saying that you’re excited about the opportunity and what it is. Then, share the story behind how you got the media opportunity and tease a few things that they’ll learn.
It’s also good to sell the website or podcast itself, so your followers are interested in checking it out. Pump it up. Add credibility to it.
For example, take a look at what I sent my email list when I wrote an article for Positively Positive:
I know not everyone in my audience knows what Positively Positive is, but they likely know who Jack Canfield, Seth Godin, Gretchen Rubin and Danielle LaPorte are. These are top thought leaders, so mentioning that I’m writing for a publication they’ve written for adds credibility.
Additionally, I shared the backstory of how I met Eric, which was through one of Oprah’s events. That gives Eric even more credibility, too.
So let’s say you’ve written a guest article for a popular blog. Not all of your readers may have heard of it, but you can mention the names of other industry leaders who have been contributors. Or you can let your followers know this is the #1 blog in your niche.
2. Add mentions of your media hits to your email series
You probably have a nurture sequence — a series of autoresponder emails — set up for people when they first join your list.
You want your nurture sequence to contain some of your best content so your new readers can get to know you and get a good idea of what you can do for them.
Including your key media pieces in a nurture sequence shows that you’re credible. Instead of simply saying, “Here’s an article I wrote on my site,” you’re able to say, “Here’s an article I wrote for Huffington Post.”
Ideally you’ll have 1-3 media hits in your nurture sequence. Make them your best ones, such as a guest post that showcases your expertise or one that got a lot of likes or comments.
You also want the content to be something that provides value and teaches them something. This will strengthen your relationship with them, which can help turn them into a buyer.
Bonus: With a nurture sequence, you set it up once, and then that media appearance works for you forever. (Though if you land a new opportunity that’s really huge, use that to replace one of your older mentions.)
3. Ask your friends and fans to comment and/or share on social media
You’ll get more media opportunities if your previous articles or interviews got lots of likes, shares, and comments. Other websites want contributors who will bring that kind of audience interaction and traffic.
For example, when I pitch myself for guest articles, I include a link to my guest post for I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Since that post has more than 250 comments, it shows that it was popular and people were engaged.
Instead of pestering friends and fans to comment on every new piece of media you get, I recommend selecting a few key pieces. This will make them more likely to respond.
On your social media or in an email, you can prompt comments by asking, “Was there a particular piece of this article that resonated with you?” or “Which of the 7 tips did you like the best?”
Sometimes people might email you directly, letting you know how much they enjoyed your article.
Take this opportunity to thank them and then ask them to comment. Simply say, “I’m looking to get as many comments as I can on the actual post. Would you mind sharing exactly what you shared with me on the guest post?”
Usually people will do this, and it can make the difference between getting more than 100 comments and getting a handful of responses.
You can also ask your friends and followers to share your article on social media, like I did for my article for Ramit:
This simple ask worked!
Strategy #4: Update your website with new media hits
This last strategy is all about growing your followers.
Every article, interview, or podcast you participate in will cause more people to Google you. And when those people land on your site for the first time, you want them to trust you. We only buy from people we know, like, and trust.
Placing logos on your site of the outlets where you’ve been featured will help establish that authority and make it clear that you are an expert in your industry.
If they see that you’ve written for MindBodyGreen, for example, they’ll think of you as an expert in health and value your advice. Or if you’ve been quoted in a Business Insider article about personal finance, they’ll see you as a financial expert.
The key places to put these logos are:
- your homepage
- any places you want to people to take an action: opt ins, webinar registrations, and sales pages
For example, business coach Jess Nazarali has a home-study course. Beneath the link to sign up to learn more about the course, she shows her “As seen in” media outlets:
And Amanda Jane Daley, a business coach who works specifically with health coaches, puts her media logos directly beneath her free gift offer:
This way when potential buyers come to your sales page, they’re reminded you’ve been endorsed as an expert by the media. This makes them more likely to purchase your product.
You also want to mention your latest coverage in your bio on your about page. Something like, “Featured on AOL, Huffington Post, and SELF” is perfect. Just a few quick mentions, and readers know you’re credible.
Become a trusted, recognized leader in your industry
Sometimes people think they need to wait until they’ve been in business for years and years, and then publicity opportunities will start seeking them out. But really, the best way to get publicity is to proactively seek it out yourself.
The media is looking for new stories every day. They’re looking for entrepreneurs, speakers and authors who have lessons and stories to share.
Go after these opportunities to increase your visibility and multiply your revenue – starting right now.
Just remember that not all publicity is created equal.
You’ll be putting a lot of effort into optimizing these opportunities, so make sure you’re going after press coverage that will get you the type of results you want.
Use the tips I gave you to choose which types of publicity will help you reach your specific goals fastest. And then develop your strategy to turn that publicity into traffic, subscribers, and sales for your business.
Now I’d love to know: What are some media outlets you would love to be featured in? How would you leverage the publicity to grow your business?
Post in the comments below. Be sure to include what kind of business you have, and I’ll give you my feedback.