This is how you get Free Publicity For Your Business

free-publicity-naomi-mc-laughlan

Advertising is telling the world how great you are, while publicity is having others tell the world how great you are. Companies and organizations that understand the importance of publicity are generally more successful than those who use advertising alone to reach their target audiences.

Newspapers, magazines and radio and television news programs are filled with stories about businesses and organizations. Those who know how to present materials professionally to the right people will get media coverage for free, while those who don’t understand how publicity works have to rely on large advertising budgets to reach their audiences, usually with less impressive results.

The first step in reaching out to media professionals is to create an appealing press release. Its main purpose is to get an editor or producer interested in what you have to say or in what you are doing. It should contain enough information, specifics and quotes that a writer can craft a story from it without ever having to call you.

A media alert is another tool for getting press coverage. Its purpose is to give news assignment desks the specifics about an event in a way that entices editors or television news directors to send a reporter or camera crew.

There are dozens of other ways to get news coverage, such as placing feature stories or writing pitch letters offering your expertise in a subject for quotes or on-air interviews.

You can hire outside help to get publicity, however you know your business inside out, so the key to succeed, is to reach out the appropriate person with your message, in a format that media professionals expect. You will find who to contact and what they expect on most media outlets ‘contact’ page on their website.

Let me know what you think!

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

P.S.: If you require assistance to get more PR for your business, contact me via email @ info@naomimclaughlan.com or book a Business, Multimedia, Marketing & PR Consulting session here.

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Help fund Training for Ghanaian Entrepreneurs

As some of you might already know, I am half German and half Ghanaian and although I never visited Ghana as a child, I travelled to my dad’s homeland with my children 10 years ago for the first time. I loved the country, the people and the culture right away. Everyone seemed happy and cheerful, despite the high level of poverty. I realised quickly that Ghana is a developing country and that things like fresh clean water, constant electricity or even education are only available for those who can afford it.

Map of Africa NaomiMcLaughlan

Since my first visit, I always wanted to change something; I just didn’t know how I could help.

Last year between October and November 2014 I conducted primary research in form of 100 individual interviews of local entrepreneurs and business owners in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. The aim of the research was to decide whether there is a demand of business seminars and to use the findings to decide to add business seminars to my existing product and service range.

The research took place at the premises of the survey participants. 80% of the interviewed survey participants declared an extreme interest in the service offer, while 11% were slightly interested and only 9% were not interested in business and marketing seminars conducted locally.

Although only 32% of the survey participants stated the need of financial assistance to cover the costs of a seminar ticket, 68% claimed to be not able or willing to pay a ticket price higher than 250 GH₵ / £50.  Yet, a seminar can only be offered by me and my local team, if either the number of participants exceeds 100 people per seminar, which is not desirable due to the lack of possible individual support needed, or additional funding can be acquired otherwise, due to the estimated budget. I and my team are willing to provide the service on a non-profit basis in Kumasi, Ghana to help teach as many people as possible.

I sincerely believe that providing entrepreneurs and micro-business owners with a professional business and marketing training to be the key for a better future for themselves and their families.

After hours of thinking how I could offer the service, I discovered crowdfunding as an alternative funding option and therefore initiated a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo, to cover the costs of business seminars in Ghana.

So far the respond has been great and I received many emails offering additional help, unfortunately the campaign has not received any financial support yet. Needless to say that I hope the campaign will be successful, as it still runs for another 43 days.

Please check out the campaign site as well and donate a $1 if you can (or more of cause 😉 )

Sending You my Appreciation & All the Best

Naomi xxx

5 Frugal Marketing Strategies for Home-based Businesses

When you ask a home-based business owner the question of how much they put aside every year for their marketing strategy, the answer is likely to be same each time; “I don’t have any money for marketing!”

Home-based businesses account for 36% of all businesses. The majority are full-time firms and around one in ten have achieved a significant scale (10 or more employees, turnover in excess of £250,000) These are amongst the findings in the Invisible Businesses: The characteristics of home-based  businesses in the United Kingdom report, by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde from 2008.

Most home-based businesses are not able to use the major advertising channels like TV, Radio, Press or Cinema, because of the high costs.

5 Frugal Marketing Strategies for Home-based Businesses Creativity naomimclaughlan

“In total, advertising spend is expected to reach £16.8bn in 2012, and £17.2bn in 2013” according to the Advertising Association (AA). But there is light on the horizon. Marketing does not have to cost a fortune.

Here are my Top 5 Frugal Marketing Strategies:

    1. Client Avatar

Client Avatar = Ideal customer or client

The most important questions are; Who is your ideal customer? How do you reach them in the most efficient way? Ask yourself how old your customer is and where they live. How do they spend their time, do they have children for example?

With this in mind you can create a marketing plan that offers your product or service to the right person.

     2. Social Media

Since Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn started it was mainly used to connect with friends and family members as a new way of staying in touch.

The great thing is that social media is free. Why don’t you start a business account where you share relevant information like news, photos, competitions etc. with your customers? If you don’t know what do write about, grap some ideas here: https://naomimclaughlan.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/the-social-media-ripple-effect/

Do not forget to add your social media link buttons to your website.

      3. Word of mouth recommendations or WOM

There are many ways of engaging existing customers to recommend your business. One way could be a recommendation scheme. Offer your customers a gift voucher for their next purchase or cash back for each new client they refer to you.

      4. Customer service

Customers will return if they have been given a great customer service. Offer a 100% money back guarantee if you offer a service or exchange if your business is product based.

In order to give your customer the best service they deserve, you could invite them to take part in a short survey. Ask if the service or product could be enhanced to meet their needs.

You can than take the information to give your customers an even better service.

       5. Partnership with similar businesses – Networking

Teamwork is always good, because you are using less energy and resources to find and keep customers. Let’s say you are a beauty therapist who makes home visits, why don’t you team up with a wedding planner? Or if you were a cupcake baker; you could be part of this team or form you own with a caterer. Try to see the bigger picture and find your teammates. Recommend each other in your marketing – shared costs are half costs.

To find those partners you can go to a network café in your area. Those events are most likely advertised in your local newspaper or through the business newsletter most councils offer in the UK & US.

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xxx Naomi