Ever heard of Rebecca Ariane Givens? Even if you haven't, you've probably seen her. She appears in thousands of websites, blogs, billboards, newspapers, posters and ads all over the world. And no, she's not a celebrity, but she is the most ubiquitous stock photo model in the world. If you're one of those who have actually noticed her, then congratulations, you have an unusually keen sense of observation.
It's funny how one person can be everywhere yet still remain relatively anonymous. Granted, she's not actively drawing attention to herself, but it goes to show how putting yourself out there isn't enough.
You've probably set up your business on every social media platform. You've created your website, started a blog and maybe even a podcast. When that doesn't work, you put ads everywhere. Like most people, you're probably thinking more viewers automatically leads to more conversions. Any kind of exposure is good exposure.
In the long run, this may be true. But if you're looking at short term cashflow, you might find yourself stymied the way Lauren Victoria did when she first launched Aloha Crate.
"My background was in social media marketing, " Victoria says from her studio in Honolulu. "And I created a sweepstakes contest. It went viral. We had thousands of leads but not one sale. It's a lot harder to convince people to convert with just ads. It's a different energy when they watch you on TV and big media brands are sharing your story."
People can choose to ignore you if they don't believe in your content's authority. They can easily block your ad or skip it. You may not be reaching your target audience.
So here's the plan: You get someone whom your ideal audience already knows and trusts to vouch for you.
Here's how to do that, in three steps:
1. "Borrow" an audience by guest blogging.
When you appear on an influential blog, you're not only providing valuable content for them, but you're also attracting their readers to your site (and products and services). Because they already have the audience you want, you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your own content.
Aside from this, you're also building connections with influencers in your industry. These are the ones whom other people listen to and follow. If they say you're worth looking into, then it piques people's curiosities. I like to say that when the media already loves you, the media loves you more. Credibility is a self- fueling machine.
2. Pitch your story to the media.
When they see you on the headlines of their favorite news outlet, you gain a huge amount of credibility. Think about you own buying decisions -- don't you usually Google a product or service before investing it in it? Well, if your prospect Googles you and the first page is filled with media outlets raving about your stuff, they're far more likely to hand over their credit card and make the leap to customer.
It's not like buying an ad where you're promoting your own product or service. Instead, you're actually putting out a story that benefits their audience. When they read your message, they see someone who has proven themselves.
They get to fall in love with you because of your founder story or the struggles you overcame to get to market or maybe your client success stories. A trained professional has filtered them out from hundreds of other people. Because it's already been qualified by someone else, it feels more trustworthy and reliable to other people.
3. Publish your own column
If you're a seasoned writer or content creator, not only can you pitch the media, but when done right, you can become the media. Having your own column is different from just blogging. You get to piggyback on the media outlet's SEO, leverage their social sharing of your content and of course, all the credibility that goes with saying, "I write for..."