Photo by Kirsty Mattsson Photography
I’ve worked with a Publicist for a while to help me with the load as my blogging business is rapidly expanding but I’ve always believed and practised promoting my own work whether that was filmmaking, my journalistic work to right now, as a full time professional blogger.
PR is vital. As a filmmaker, it was crucial to my work, to getting an agent, to having my film seen by execs, screened at film festivals and to success. You can have the greatest talent in the world (not saying I have of course) but if no one knows about it, how will you find an audience, be discovered and quite simply CONNECT.
Whether you’re a pro blogger or not, here are some quick ways to get your work out there.
Now go, promote yourself-
Believe in yourself to sell yourself:
You’ve taken the step to set up your own blog, you may have even left full time employment to make it your career or you’re simply going freelance to have more control over your life, work and time. Amazing. Feel proud of this leap of faith now learn to sell yourself. Hone your voice, talent and negotiating skills and don’t forget to practice building your own confidence. It is truly key to running your own business. If you believe in yourself, others will too.
This might feel strange at first but, the more more you feign confidence, the more natural it will become, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this and you will!….
Know Your USP: YOU
Everyone has their own unique selling point and as a blogger you will most certainly have one, it’s you, you’re voice, you’re an original, a one-off so believe it! My blog is a summation of my passions, what makes me happy. It’s what brings all the boys (OK mostly Mums) to my yard.
That said, readers often tell me it’s the diversity of my blog they love, that it’s like a magazine, no one day is the same. That’s by no means better than someone who only focuses on style or food (I only share style on Mummy’s Got Style).
It’s worth considering what is it that makes your readers keep coming back for more? Is it your bang on trend style posts? Or perhaps the fact you can turn the most miserable of pantry ingredients into a delicious Michelin-worthy dish, or perhaps you’re meeting the needs of readers by focusing on allergy-free food, ethical products, what to do in London etc!
Harness this quality and use it to promote yourself to potential readers and journalists!
Don’t give up:
Despite what you may have learnt from Ab Fab, PR isn’t all about quaffing champagne and ‘lacroix sweetie’ (if only)! It’s actually pretty hard work! PR is an ongoing process and you constantly need to invest time and energy into selling yourself in order to get noticed!
I’m not going to lie, publicising yourself can be exhausting and when you have a backlog of blog posts that need writing, it’s easy to push PR aside. Instead, make sure you dedicate a few hours a week to plugging your business! And when you secure that sought-after media coverage, don’t think you’ve achieved your goal so you can take a break from promotion. Capitalise on this success and use it as a catalyst to find other media opportunities!
It’s so important to have a kit that can sell you. Mine is here. I update it monthly, add insight, awards, prominent achievements, new clients, stats of course but I personally omit fees. These I negotiate one to one based on briefs and requirements. It means you don’t cut yourself out of budgets and are open to negotiation.
Good photography can work wonders. Not only does it make your blog feel more professional, but a lot of journalists are inclined to feature bloggers with their own press shots. Good photography is a worthwhile investment, clear, well shot head shots are crucial. And most importantly always make sure you have hi-res versions of your photos if you are targeting printed media! The good folk at the Huffington Post have also compiled this great guide for avoiding an awkward press shot.
Make the first move:
The world of business often takes me back to dating as a teenager. I used to spend hours building myself up to chat to a boy I liked, truly terrified he might not respond (well my eyebrows were much, MUCH bigger in those days) but I went for it anyway!
…When I first started out as a filmmaker I used to get the exact same feeling of butterflies, worried that the pitch I had poured my heart and soul into, would be rejected. However, I soon realised that this worry would get me nowhere in life, so I did my research, found out the email addresses of the producers I wanted to work with, got in touch, sent them my work and quite honestly, grew a thick skin.
Rejection really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve learnt that it’s part of the process and as cheesy as it sounds-the journey. One door closes, another opens. Don’t let rejection break your confidence or stop you. Dust yourself off and get back out there.
When it comes to blogging-don’t be afraid to reach out to contacts, journalists or potential commissioners. Find out who’s who at PR companies you want to work with and contact them, leave comments on sponsored posts to be discovered yourself and follow up regularly with those who has already commissioned you to see if there are more opportunities relevant to your blog.
Be pro-active and seize opportunities – (and like boys) don’t wait for them to come to you! What’s the worst they can say, ‘no’- there’s plenty more fish (and journalists) in the sea. Next!
Be the first in the know by following the #journorequest and #prrequest hashtags on Twitter! A lot of top journalists and publications use them. Plus, Sarah Ewing, who originally started the #journorequest hashtags has started a new Facebook group, where journalists can post case study requests too. You can request to join it here.
My publicist has informed me that there are certain journalists and bloggers she won’t work with as a result of their bad attitude no matter how good their stats are! So let that be a lesson! She also said that there are certain journalists and bloggers who she’ll always make sure get an invite to the best events or have access to exclusive, high profile interviews as she has such a great working relationship with them!
Remember if a PR is choosing between you and another blogger who has similar stats, your friendly and professional manner could be the game changer!
Make sure you are visible across all the main social media channels as this is where journalists are most likely to come across your blog. Tweet, Facebook, Google+ (the latter is the most important for SEO), Pin and Instagram regularly. Utilise these platforms as much as possible and make sure you’re as professional as possible on them too.
Use the same, recent photo across all handles too so your readers know your online homes and when you attend blogging conferences or events, don’t forget your business cards, particularly useful for work contacts you might make.
And finally, this is perhaps the most basic of rules (but you would be surprised how many people fail at it) make sure your contact details are easily accessible to journalists and PRs.
You’d be surprised how many blogs I’ve come across which have no contact details on at all or are buried away as a tiny footer. Journalists are extremely busy and don’t have time to trawl your blog for an email address!
Make sure your contact page is one click away from your homepage and clearly visible on the header or side menu.
Follow these simple rules and no doubt I’ll be seeing you and your blog get the attention it deserves!
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