Media Databases & Building Your Own List
So once you decide who do you contact, how do you find out their contact information? There's two ways you could buy it or you couldn't build it and by bill that I mean you could research it and figure out for yourself so if you do decide to buy it there's two things you can do, you come by media list and usually media lists are broken down by industry or by type so it will say something like this is a media list of the top one hundred newspapers in the country or this is a media list of all of the fashion editors at magazines or a media list of bloggers, so this is a really specific it's all just one topic, one industry and if you want maybe to target the lifestyle media list and the fashion media list, you have to buy both of those and if you google media list, you'll find a ton of services that sell this there's also a media database, which is what I'm a huge fan of because they cover all of the topics all of the industries it's basically all of the editors in north america usually ...
so if you're based in the u s it's a great thing to have access to some and if you want to research out to the lifestyle editor you can if you want to pitch yourself and your entrepreneurial story you confined journalist that are working on entrepreneurs and that topic so you have a lot more flexibility here if he is a media media database and also with the media list, you usually there's a restriction where you can on ly use it one time, but with the media database, you can go in there any time you want pola list or email them and it's a lot more flexible, and you couldn't do whatever you want with it. Now there are different difference in prices. Obviously, one is going to cost less than the other, but again, sometimes you do get what you pay for, and if you want flexibility and if you want the ability to email someone more than once, then a media database would be great. If you don't have that much money, maybe just a couple of hundred dollars and you want to try it out from one time to see how it works to get more practice at it, then maybe starting out with the media list might be a better option. How do you if you're searching for it? How do you know which? Because I'm sure there's more than you said more than one service out there, how do you know which one's legitimate and all of that s o I'm going that's your question him? I'm going to get to that right after this and questions to ask them and things to look out for, because there aren't a lot of one, a lot of them out there that might be outdated, or maybe that might not be relevant, so you do want to look out for that, so you have to do a little bit of research based on on what it is that you're looking for, but if you want to find them, you couldn't just go to google or search engine and type in media list and your industry so it could be media list plus fashion or baby apparel, media list or lifestyle media list. Or you could even search for media database and you'll see there's only a handful of top points. Any time you search for media database, you're probably going toe find all of them because they're either advertising and google ads or they're listed as a search results. So you're going to find all of those there, and you couldn't decide which one is the best fit for you. But if you do decide to go that route, you're going tohave tio. Ask them some questions and sometimes you couldn't call them and ask sometimes you can get this information from their website, but you do want to know how often is the list updated? Do you updated once a month? Do you updated daily? Is it updated every six months because the more updated the more often it's updated the more relevant that's going to be because editors there always switching jobs and they might be working for people magazine today and maybe for people stylewatch tomorrow. So you do want to make sure that the media database or the media list that you're buying has been updated, at least within the last month. Anything over that, I would say you're going to have a lot more returned emails from people that are actually not working there anymore, then you also want to find out what contact information doesn't contain doesn't have their phone number, does it have their email address? Does it have their mailing address? If maybe want to send out a sample and you don't want to bother them and ask them what their email or what their mailing addresses? So you want to make sure you know that before you buying your media database and you also want to ask what types of outlets are included? Do they only include magazines or do they also include bloggers? I know a lot of media databases nowadays include bloggers as well, which is really great because bloggers air definitely upton coming there have a huge influence, and whereas maybe six, seven years ago, there were not as relevant to this landscape. Now they're totally relevant, and sometimes they have even more readers or subscribers than a magazine would so definitely don't discount bloggers out of your media strategy, and we're going to talk about bloggers this afternoon a lot, so there's definitely benefits to working with bloggers as well, and a couple more questions that you should ask is, how many times can you use it now, if you get a media database, you can use it any time you want. If you buy media list, sometimes there's restrictions where you could only use it once. So you want to know that ahead of time, because if let's say you want to save money, but you want to reach out to these people, maybe three times are you able to use that? And is that built into the price that you're paying for it? So good question to ask, and you also want to know what format it's available, and sometimes it will come as a pdf or which can sort of be time consuming to copy and paste all of those email addresses, oftentimes it comes in. It's all for match so super easy to use and organize and sort on and add more columns if you need to with the comments and sometimes when I've done when I've bought media lists is that all instead of creating my own tracking sheet I'll just take that media list and use that as a track I'm sheets so ill at a column when I first contacted them a column when I followed up and another column with comments so that way I don't have to build a new tracking sheet and it's over there I know who I'm contacting and if it's someone that I decide is not a good fit I'll just move them over from that list to another list that I decided not to use so those media list especially there in excel format that khun definitely helped to save you a lot of time from building your own tracking sheets so with your your multiple businesses it sounds like you've done both where your son sort of done the do it yourself approach and then you've also bought it what would you say after having done both? Is it worthwhile and how much how much would you about spend for a database? Yeah the I would say it's definitely worth it and it's buying good access to a database is one of the best investments that I made with my t shirt business and with my sobis this now too because it saves you so much time, I mean, hours, even weeks, it could save you weeks of of research, and when I first started, I definitely didn't have three, four thousand dollars that's, how much it was costing at the time for a year membership. So I start out, which is buying one simple media list. It was a fashion list, and I started using it, and that worked out really great. I loved it, it was just maybe like, one hundred forty nine dollars or two hundred dollars or something like that, and it was definitely a great a great price point for me at that point, but I could only use it once, and I wanted tio reach not only fashion editors, I wanted to reach on two people that were fighting about entrepreneur, so for that I had to buy another media list, so I thought, you know, if I really want to focus on publicity and I really want to grow my business by getting in magazines, it's probably going to be a good investment for me to spend three thousand dollars a year and have access to these media list. And if I get my products just in one major magazine I'm probably going to be making more than three thousand dollars in sales you know, I know when I got on a tv show the first time the show aired it was almost fifteen thousand dollars in sales just that morning so that alone paid for my media list and then when the show re aired a couple of months later it was even more sales there too so if you believe that you know you can do it and you can get a media coverage in a major magazine than one mention could more than pay for two or three years of this media coverage but it is a lot of money to put out front and it took me a while before I was like, ok, three thousand dollars ok, you know let's do it but it was totally worth it and to date I would say that that's the best investment I've made in my business so far it's just getting access to a media database and having their they update those on a daily basis so you don't have to worry about sometimes you'll find outdated contacts because it's just so hard to keep up with all of those updates but there it is pretty updated on a daily basis and totally relevant and they even let you send your e mails directly through their database so you don't have to copy and paste into your email program and it could be a really great thing, so again, you're sort of spending money by your saving a ton of time that you could be focused on to be doing other things with your business. So, yeah, great question there you just have to decide where you're at in your business and doesn't make sense for you right now. Um, so it's, the another great thing about the media databases, and not so much the media lists is that it also contains things like editorial calendars or how the editors prefer to be pitch. So when I logged into my media database, I couldn't see exactly what they're working on. So again, it saves me so much time from going to their editorial calendars on their website, even though that's how I first started and it was it was great because I had to hold that information right there, but a lot of these media databases they'll tell you what the editors are working on, and even better they tell you how they like to be pitched. So do they want to be pitched by email? Do they prefer phone call? Do they want to fax I know? With one exception with pitching by email is that I know the editor of oprah magazine in his profile, it says, please don't pitch movie email I prefer to receive packages in the mail, which I could take to oprah and show her during our meeting, so for that I'll know that he doesn't like email, so when I'm pitching to oprah, I'll send the package and you know to him, but if I'm pitching someone all said oprah magazine, like I did with my soaps, I pitched she was the fashion editor who happened to be working on a feature that I was interested in, so she prefers email, so she responded to my email and said, I blow the soaps, they'll be great in our wellness issue. Can you send me samples? So for her, she didn't want to get products unsolicited she want you know she'd prefer the email. So the great thing about the media databases is that you could know all of that information without having to of research or ask other people who have been featured there, and they just make it super easy for you to find all of that information. So again, you're paying money by your saving time so what's more important, tio when and all of that is going to be different when you're first starting out, because when you're first starting out who cares, right? You want to spend as much time as you can on your business and this is exciting and you want to be doing this research, so but when you're growing and other things are happening, it's like, ok, maybe now I'm ready to invest, so it just depends where you're at. So a few more questions that you want to ask is that do they provide tips and assistance? And sometimes they will, and sometimes they won't, so some media databases will have tips on how to pitch them. They hold webinars on howto work with the media how to read it, editorial calendars so that's, another great service that you're paying for that's included, but you could get access to so you can learn even more about how to pitch the media and some media databases include that some won't. So you want to know if that's something that's important to you? If you always want to be learning, you might want to be spending your money on some something where you can actually learn from and two more things that I want to think about is, do they have email sending capability? So are you able to select your list segment airless? Choose who's relevant to you, whether it's based on the list or the editorial calendar and send the email directly from their service. I found this to be extremely helpful, a lot of time saved from either me sending out e mails or maybe my assistant sending out e mails, but it's just such a great service and sometimes they do have a limit on the number of emails you khun send. I think with my service maybe it's like I don't know fifteen thousand e mails a year or something like that again, it depends. Sometimes you can buy a package where you I could only send let's, say, two thousand emails, but if you upgrade you khun, send fifty thousand e mails so that's something to where if you really want to invest in a media database but you don't have the money, maybe you could negotiate with them and lower the amount of monthly or yearly e mails that you can send in exchange for a lower price. Sometimes they'll do it sometimes they won't, but a lot of times you're not going to know unless you ask. So even though it's, a huge company that you might think you can negotiate with, just always ask, sometimes they will negotiate that that price with you. So now let's talk about if you don't have three thousand dollars or six thousand dollars a year, how do you get access to the media contacts? So building your own list definitely takes a lot more time, but it's a lot less expensive, right? Especially if we have inventory, you could be spending five thousand dollars on your inventory so you could have more products to sell instead of spending five thousand dollars to reach out to the media, where you the results are not guaranteed, right, you're not going to know if they're going to email you back, and just because you buy access to a database doesn't mean you're going to get featured in the magazine, so I always recommend to start out with building your own list and trying it out, see how it goes. You learn a lot along the way, and you're going to save a lot of money and the prospects. So if you decide to build your own list, here are a couple of things that I think you should consider having on that list, so definitely their name. And if you can find the first and last name that's great, if you just have a first name that's greats to the you wanted their outlets, so one magazine, are they working for what blawg are they writing for? And you also want their email address which is super super important because this is how you're going to be contacting them teo I don't have phone number in here because I personally never call them but if you are a person who maybe you want to try following up with a phone call then and phone number is important to you you can put that in there as well and lastly you wantto have their social media profiles and this is the great thing about social media nowadays is that every editor or almost every editor every blogger all of the journalists, even tv producers they're all on social media I know I'm personally following the editor at oprah magazine on instagram and I couldn't see what he's doing and this is something that would have been unheard of a few years ago because they were not that public you know they're in their office or out of markets or doing things and they're not hanging out on instagram taking photos of what product they just saw at a trade show but now the beauty of that is that you guys can have access to all of that so when you do you see something or when you follow a journalist, I always say that a great way to start a relationship with them is by following them on social media first and either commenting on their post or sharing their posts or just providing something of value to them and the more again is that seven times rule if they see you on instagram or if they see on facebook their names is starting to become familiar if you send them an email and maybe it's the third or fourth time they've seen your name or your company name they're going to be like oh I remember I've seen that on twitter let me go see what this email is about so I think social media is a great a way to connect with journalists and if you google things like journalists on twitter or fashion bloggers on twitter or the but your editors on instagram, you're going to find a lot of them there and a lot of them also if you go to the magazine's website or to the blog's website, they'll have their instagram and pinterest and facebook and twitter profiles up there as well. So I'm a huge fan of using social media to connect with journalists and more than just sending out an email that could be considered an unsolicited email because they haven't specifically asked to receive that email from you and then lastly you want to make sure you have a note in your list about the topics that they cover you know, do they write about fashioned they write about beauty product? Do they are they in charge of the how the gift guide if as much as you can to find out about them if you can put it in that spreadsheet when you finally reaching out to them, you're going to have a good idea if they are a good fit for you or not for the type of story that you are presenting or pitching to them. So now let's talk about other ways that you can find their contact information, so this is really simple. You can actually visit their website, and a lot of times they might not necessarily have their email address in there. But you confined the email address oh are the way they structured their email addresses, so sometimes it could be, for example, first name at magazine named that calm, sometimes it's first name, that last name and the magazine's website dotcom. And sometimes just by visiting their website, you have a good idea of how their email addresses are structured and if you know their name and you know how their email addresses are set up, then you sort of couldn't put two and two together and come up with their email address, so if you can find anything there, you can also call their main office and ask for the email address format. If you call and you say can I have the email address of the editor at cosmo magazine, they're probably not going to give it to you, but if you say you know what is your email address format? Is it first name? That last name isn't just first name aa lot of times they'll give that to you, and then you can look at the masthead and put again two and two together and come up with their email address so it's sort of an indirect way of doing it, but I've done it and I've been able to find email addresses that way, and it totally works, too. Yeah, did you have a question? Let's say you're digging around and you find the person's name typing into google so their personal website might come up maybe their facebook profile? What if you can find a personal email? Should you stay away from the personal side and only stick to business email? Yes, what a great question! And the answer is yes, you should definitely stick to their magazine or their publication or their block email as opposed to their personal one because they have a personal one for a reason and I think if you're bothering them by their personal email address, then they're sort of going to feel like you're invading their privacy and a lot of ways and they're not as receptive I think to receiving your pitch if they feel like you're sort of intruding in their inbox, that should only be kept for personal things. So such a good question. I know a lot of them. You could find out the email addresses or the personal pages, or even they have contact forms on their personal pages, but I would stay away from those because you don't wantto go there. You just want to stay professional and contact them on their professional email address. You actually can you raise a good question? I'd like to put this one to two hundred because lindsay infused jewelry is asking, what do you have a family member who's connected with somebody in a magazine? Do you you think it's a good approach to try and exploit that relationship? Or do you think you're better off going directly to the person? That's a good question, too, and I think it's absolutely ok to take advantage of that relationship, and I don't mean take advantage in a negative way. But if you know let's, say, if your sister knows the fashion editor at lucky magazine may be your sister could make an introduction and say, you know, my friend has a lot of jewelry line that I think would be interested, so sometimes it's a good idea if you have them introduce you first or if they're not willing to do that and you still have their email address, you can even say something like my sister and say your sister's name recommended that I reached out to you, and that way you kind of have an introduction there too. So if you do have a relationship that way, that's definitely a good thing, why not use it right? It can hurt. So great question thought about maybe we see an editor that you know, who has a facebook account or actually linked in? Probably would you recommend that as a route to go to more? Do you think a direct contact is still better? Yeah, I do. I think I talk about linked and in just a second, but I think it is a great place where you can connect with editors, so I will I highly recommend lengthen I know there's a lot of confusion about how to actually use linked and to grow my business, but connecting with the journalist is an amazing way to use lengthen because they're there for business, they're not there for personal reasons, so they are expecting business connections out of lincoln, so we're definitely going to talk about the lincoln as well, a great question.