Audience Growth Strategy: Press (with Brigitte Lyons)
we're going to talk about one more audience growth strategy today on this I'm also particularly excited about. So we're going to talk about press and again presses this idea of getting your products featured in blog's and magazines and newspapers. And I know not all of you were thinking about presses a strategy, but it's Tiffany mentioned. This is also a great secondary strategy that can support your S c O efforts. Eso again. I like to bring in people who know way more than I do about this stuff. So I'm gonna go ahead and bring up Bridget Lions. So come on up here, Bridget. So Bridget is my personal PR guru. Anything I know about press I know from Bridget. So instead of me telling you what she knows, I just wanted her to tell you what she knows. But why don't you tell us a little bit more about what you dio? Yes, So I do PR and digital marketing consulting and you a mix of PR where I'm out in full service and writing pitches for people and sending them out and lining up covered. I also...
do a lot of training where I'll train people up on how to do PR for themselves, because I really do believe that you can be empowered to do it yourself. And there's reasons to hire somebody to do it for you. But you never have to. So if anyone tells you you have to hire a publicist, they are lying to take all your money. So that's what we're here to talk. Yeah, and Bridget is I love Bridges. She's excellent. And Bridget actually helped me land one of by products in Elle Decor magazine, which was a huge goal of mine, and she help me make that happen, So she really doesn't know her stuff. So I'm actually just gonna go ahead and hand things over to you and I would have a seat again. So Tiffany was just talking to you about search. And so a lot of people who come to your website are cold traffic. They don't know you. They haven't necessarily seen you before. And they want to know, like, can I trust you? Or maybe they read in a magazine a recommendation to your product or to your website, and they're like, Oh, my gosh, I have to check that out like I love l decor. So of course I'm gonna check out Meghan Ahmed, right? It's like a referral or no endorsement. The other thing that PR can dio is drive traffic, whether it's foot traffic if you actually have a physical location. Local media is a great way to get people coming into your shop. But online that link drives traffic back to your shop, so it's really important that way. I also do a lot of CEOs per my PR work, right? Those things work together, So I always tell people that when you're doing PR, you're actually doing S CEO and you don't even know it. So that could be a huge benefit, too. And then The last thing, of course, is that media coverage can really help you drive up sales, not just by driving traffic, but you can add a little a scene and tag with your product that's been featured, and that can really help people who land on your sales page convert from browsers to buyers. So if you can show that kind of proof that you've been picked and endorsed by the media, it can really help you drive up your sales So that's what we're gonna be talking about today is how do you get there? And I want to get you ready. So you concert submitting your product to the press and give you the elements you need to do that. So the first thing is, we're gonna talk about what makes a blogger editor really excited to cover your product. What are they looking for? Their getting hundreds of submissions every week. Some people at the top magazines are getting hundreds every single day. But there are definitely things that you can do to make your submission stand out. And they're really simple there. Not complicated. But they're things that people don't know about, and so you know it can really help you boost your results. That way, we'll also talk about what magazines and blog's air the perfect fit for your product. So when I start working with people for doing PR for the first time, they're often like, well, I don't really know how to pitch. I don't know what's out there. It's not your job to be looking through the media holiday. That's my job, right? That's one of those reasons that people hire people like me, but it's actually really easy to build a media list. And so I'm going to share with you how I actually get started with somebody when they're brand new. And I'm in a brand new industry, how even I have to figure it out, going from scratch. You know, I don't have this media database of my head, although I do have a subscription to one, but usually want to have an idea of what you're doing before you go in there. And then we're also be talking about who you should direct your pitch to. So the most important thing that I can impart on you today is that bloggers and editors are constantly on the lookout for a new product of feature finding new product to feature and their magazines and other blog's is literally their job. That's what they're paid to show up at work and do so. I often will hear from people who say, Well, I haven't been feature before, so how do we get started or people haven't heard about me? So how can I do that? And that's actually really great for an editor to be able to break new product to their readers. That's their job, and it's in their best interest. So that's why I say it. Any stage you concert doing this because you don't actually have to have huge name recognition. What you really want to have is something that is gonna capture their eye that's gonna be appealing to their audience something that they haven't seen yet. And so this is actually a benefit to you when you're first getting started is that you can be that person. They can be the person that breaks you, And that could be really exciting for an editor to do with a new product. So what are they looking for, right? Because you can't just send any product out to any magazine and expect that it gets covered. And the most important thing to realize is that you and a person working in the media that you have actually a customer in common. The person who is buying your work should also be the person who is consuming that media. So when you pitch a magazine, what you want to figure out is what kind of media is my customer consuming? Because then it's perfect for that editor to slot my product in or with a blogger. You know who is the person that they're reading and the ways you can figure this out. Our first looking for an aesthetic fit and the last important pieces price. So no matter what price point here at, generally speaking, a media outlet will have sort of parameters for the price point of the products that they'll feature. So, like a really clear example, it could be like Cosmo versus folk, right? Like Cosmo is like for younger women, it's often kind of fast fashion or less expensive buys. So you might see products in there at, like the to $50 range where his vogue is very high fashion exclusive off the runway. And so if you have a product in that $1000 price point, you probably want to be pitching Vogue. But I think that shows you that no matter where you're priced at, there is gonna be an immediate let that's gonna cater to your customer. So how do you get coverage? Well, this is actually more simple than you could ever possibly think. You ask for it. Another big misconception is that you need to wait for the press to come to you or that people get magically discovered and sure, I mean, I've talked to people who that's happened. I've had clients who have actually hired me because they've said Cash Bridge. You know, I got this piece of media coverage. It really boosted my sales, and now we need to figure out how to get more of it. I don't know what to Dio, and so they've seen the results and they decided to go for the outreach. But really, the best way to get coverage is just to put your product out there consistently in front of the people whose jobs it is to find more product and really specifically, I recommend a pretty particular approach when you're doing peer for yourself. I've done a lot of experimentation in training people how to do PR, and there's different models for this. But this is the one that I find is the easiest for people to maintain. It gets in the best results, and that is to set a goal for yourself to pitch one media outlet each week. So each working week I don't if you work 52 weeks in a year or 48 or some weird number, like 30. You take half here for less than a year off. But if you can set a goal for yourself that every Tuesday morning, I'm going to set aside like 2 to 4 hours to send out a pitch. Then by the end of the year, you could have 48 pitches out, and that can be really powerful and getting results. I find that when you're doing pitches really, really well, maybe one in five will get accepted, Which is why you wanna have quantity. You know, you want to make sure that you're out there doing consistency. So what does this look like? It really looks like emailing one blogger or editor at me out each week to introduce them to your work. Now, after about six months or so, you can actually go back to an outlet and send them another product or another angle. So let's save a product, and you send them some sort of Valentine's Day theme pitch. Maybe then, for the holidays, you can send them a gift guide pitch. That's an example of how you can go back so you don't necessarily need a 52 media outlets in a year. Maybe you can cut that in half and go back a second time later in the year. So the best opportunities to get press for your product this is a big question I get from people. Lots. Where should I be pitching? And to answer that question, we really don't need to understand why you're doing PR, because the best opportunities for you are going to be very context specific about what your goals are, right? So why are you doing PR? Well, most people do it to get their work in front of more people. Media can introduce you to a mass audience. We talked about this already, but earning endorsements from those influences your customer trust so important because the customer is really the key at what media matters to you again. You want to drive foot traffic or online traffic to our stores, so if you actually have a local shop or you sell somewhere locally, doing local media is a great option for you doing TV. We're not really talking too much about TV in this in this presentation, but all of this really kind of works for TV as well, but TV or newspaper or local magazine or even local bloggers can really help you there. Or are your people mostly coming to online if you're selling online than the link is king? So you really want to look for media that will link back? And so that can actually be a balance of, like to I want to work on magazines exclusively. Or maybe I need 50 50 magazines, bloggers for the Prestige and then the traffic. And then you really want to convert that into sales. So you want to think about what mastheads, if I were to say, as seen in on a product page, are really gonna wow my customer, what will they have name recognition with? That's important to get the most out of your product PR program. That's why you really need to focus on that media that your customers know, like and trust. And so this means your outreach really needs to be customer focused and not pure industry focused. And I think this is the hardest thing to get in the habit of because, you know, a lot of makers are looking at techniques to build the products or maybe business advice like this, and they're looking for things that are appealing to them and their peers. But you really want to be focusing on What is it that my customer is looking for? You know? Are they looking for an outfit to wear to a wedding? Are they looking for birthday cards for kids? You know, what is that that they're looking for and what media would be paying attention to for that? So when you're person is looking for ideas online, which is where most of us are now looking right, you really want to think about what are those search terms that they're typing into Google? What are those phrases that they're doing to solve their problems? So you actually start working on this with search. And this is where retirement, like search and PR can go together really well because you can figure out, like, what are those terms and then look and see what comes up. And just remember, this starts to feel overwhelming. You only need to identify one of these each week, so you don't need to build a media list of, like, 20 or 30 and spend all this time planning. You could just sit down on a Tuesday and say I'm just going to try to do one customer search modeling, poke around for maybe 20 minutes until I find something, looks like a good match and then take the next steps and I wanna share with you to send out that pitch. So it's really that simple. You don't need to spend a ton of time on this to get it done. Okay, so the question back to this. If you're submitting a product to a magazine, you want to reach out to one of two people. The first is the relevant, like assistant editor. If there's no assistant, it could be the main editor. But what I want to emphasize here is you want to go is low down on the totem pole. It's possible. So I'm gonna show you a staff listing what it looks like. Um, but let's say it's a magazine, and they have, like a fashion editor and an assistant fashion editor. It's that assistant that you want to reach out to always is lowest possible or a market editor. A market editor at a magazine is the person who is responsible for pulling product for gift guides and product roundups. So whenever you see a market editor on the masthead, which is a staff lifting a magazine, you're like, this is an awesome person to be reaching out to. Okay, so you've got your media list, you've got your you're ready to start pitching. So the next question is like, What I put in this email like, what do I send to that right? I know how I'm pitching what I dio. So I have this template that I've put together that literally can work for just about any sort of pitch. So I'm going to share with you the template, and then I'm going to share with you a pitch that I wrote for Meghan that we sent out for her. So you can see how this goes into practice and so you can have a model that you can look at. This template is like I said, it's something you can totally customize for your product. It works with just about everything, so top to bottom, every one of the most important things in your pitch is actually your subject line, because the subject line is what get somebody to open it. It's just like a headline on a piece of content, right? If somebody doesn't like the headline or the subject line, they're never gonna read past it. And my hack, my trick for subject lines is that you want to make it sound as much like the tone of the block or the magazine that you're reaching out to. So if you find a sample article where you're like, oh, this is a product round up, I love it. Just like try to play mad lives with that headline and like, make your own that you know, if they're using a liberation, use alliteration if they use ways to style a blank, do five ways to style a blank, like be really literal and kind of copying, like steal like an artist, you know, steal that headline. Copy it, twist it, use it. That is gonna be your best way to get in. Because what happens on the other end, you know, find an editor and I'm reading that I'm like, Oh, that looks like it fits like already have sent me this cue that you're paying attention, that you're gonna be a good match for me, and it makes me much more excited to see we're going to say, then you go into it. So as much as possible, we're sending out direct emails to people and you always want address them by name. So just high for user for same. But this is important because a lot of people will. Actually, it's so gross. Send BC sees like Will said, they'll put in 22 50 editors and one email and just BCC them all and be like hi there and like, not address them by name. And it's like, I know what you're doing. You're lazy. I don't like So if you just put their name, it's like one of those things. This is where there's, like, these little unconscious signals that you're sending that you're like a touch above everybody else they've heard from. And then the first paragraph is also very important. So what you want to do here is much as you can, is kind of wet their appetite. Hook them into the idea. So what you don't want to do is say, you know, hi, Jane, like I'm Richard. I'm a PR consultant. I've been working in the industry for God 15 plus Let's see too many years on and I've been reading What you writing? I love what you're doing. Like No, none of that. Usually you'll write that all out, and then you have to cut it and you want to start with something that's really specific. So let's say you want a pitch. For instance, like a Mother's Day gift guide, you might say something in your hook. Like you know, um, people often struggle to give their mom something that feels really meaningful. Well, this Mother's Day. What if you blah, blah, blah, write something that's gonna lead into your product? So you get right to the points? You can even look at their past coverage again and kind of model the ways that they enter their articles and have a little bit fun with the copyrighting there. Once you've wet their appetite and told them what it's about, then you can do your submission. So this is where you actually introduce your product and say, You know, I have this wonderful product that moms love. It's made of blah, bloody blah. It costs dd dot you know, like include your product information there. So I'm going to show you again. Exactly how this looks. So you have a couple of sentences that talk about your product in its price points, and then to close it out, you can either offer to send a product to them, so samples you never have to send them. It's totally a personal choice whether you send them. And it can really depend on how one of a kind your product is the photography you have available, like whether they want to photograph it. Um, the prestige point of the outlet. You know, if Oprah comes to you and says, like, I might want to include that in my magazine, you might say, like, take all the product right? Like please take it, Um, but if it's a smaller blogger like you don't have to do that or even a smaller magazine, you could say, You know what? I actually have these high res images. Can I send those two instead and nine times at the time? That's totally fine. Most people nowadays don't even want to get product eso We talked about this briefly, but the one thing about magazines is that they do produce their content six months in advance. This is a really hard and firm deadline. You cannot pitch a magazine two months before the issue. Just don't do it because it's a waste of your time, because what happens in those months beforehand is they get printed and they put, get put onto trucks and they get distributed across the country or across the city or wherever they're going. So you know they have distribution schedules that they have to meet. Sometimes you'll see if you look at their editorial calendars like they have later deadlines. Those air for advertisers is not for us. They will let you pay to get in at the last minute, but they certainly won't accept it for free. So just be really clear about that. The other thing again is to use your social media to build a relationship with that new media contact contact. So a lot of journalists and editors are on Twitter, but also Instagram is huge, especially for people who are involved in products. You know, they're probably doing the chutes that their styling of the products that they love Pinterest can be a great place to connect with them. And so sharing their content or commenting on their content is really great, and you would be surprised how few people actually do that. And some of the top editors have really small follower counts, so you can really stand out that way. But even if it's big like think how great you feel when someone compliments your work, they're human. They're doing really hard jobs, actually for usually under like, low pay. So they love compliments, give them to them. And then again, going back to them with a new pitch idea in six months can be really helpful in building that relationship for you at your time. So what I'd love to urge you to dio is just to get started to set a date with yourself. Um, and make sure that, you know this is in your schedule that you can commit to once a week, just spending a couple of hours the first time you do it. It might take you a little longer, but as you go, you can actually take some of those pitch ideas because on all of them will be accepted. So let's say we have Megan's grunge idea for l. We can actually, if that doesn't get accepted in two weeks, we can tweak it and send it out to somebody else so you can actually repurpose. I like to create, like, one document of just pitches and notes of like where have sent them. And then you can go back and repurpose things and send them out. So once you get started, it gets a lot easier and faster, which is why I like the one a week you're like, in a groove. You're not like Wait, what do I do? And how do we find this person? And oh, I don't know what to write and say it just becomes very natural in part of your process.