Every Friday, we’ll be posting short and quick business stories, tips and resources that have helped us grow Inspiralized. The series will be called #InspiralizedBoss and we hope they inspire others!
FROM THE DESK OF ALI MAFFUCCI, FOUNDER, INSPIRALIZED:
I’m always flattered when a brand reaches out to me and asks to speak with my “team” or more specifically, my “PR team.” This means that that person thinks that all of the features that Inspiralized has been in have been placed by professionals.
In actuality, every single time you’ve ever seen Inspiralized featured, it’s been because of me. One of the questions I get asked most by other bloggers and other people wanting to start their own brands is “How do you stay relevant? How do you get the media to want to feature you?”
Honestly, I act as my own PR firm, and I’m constantly “asking” to be featured, because I want to spread the word about spiralizing and Inspiralized.
Now, I don’t have a background in public relations (aside from a couple of internships during college,) but I am so passionate about Inspiralized that I truly believe that my brand is featurable.
How do you make your brand featurable?
It’s all about how you position yourself when you’re reaching out to the media. But before you do position yourself, it’s important to know your target “customer” (whether that’s an actual customer or simply a blog reader.) This way, you can then target the appropriate media.
For example, if you’re a healthy food blogger, you’re not going to want to reach out to Coldstone Creamery to collaborate. It wouldn’t do your brand any good and Coldstone most likely won’t want to partner anyway.
Of course, great, quality content is #1. Own that content and be confident with it! Niche content is best, because it’s an automatic angle for the media outlet to speak to. Do something different, reach out in a different way (why not e-mail a GIF instead of a text e-mail?) It’s all about separating yourself from the hundreds of pitch e-mails these journalists or brands get a day.
And don’t sell yourself short – if you’re a business owner, you most likely have a cool back story. I’ve found that my favorite part about what I do is speaking to my journey along the way. Pitch yourself – you’re just as part of the message as your actual content/products are!Pitch yourself - you're just as part of the message as your actual content/products are! via @inspiralized Click To Tweet
Make a list and target appropriately
Each month, I make a list of 10 to 20 media outlets I want to reach out to – whether it’s a collaboration (which helps with the PR end goal) or just a feature. From this list, I gather the appropriate contact information (and if I can’t find an e-mail, I take to social media like LinkedIn or Twitter to chat up that contact.)
In these e-mails, I’m very specific about how I want to be featured – I’m pitching an angle to them. I’m not just saying, “Hi, I’m Inspiralized, I’d love to talk!”, I’m saying something like, “Hi, I’m Ali from Inspiralized, this is what I’m doing and this is what I think your readers would love to know.”
For example, if I’m reaching out to Entrepreneur magazine, I’m speaking to being a woman in business, less the healthy food angle. But, if I’m reaching out to Bon Appetit, I’m talking all about the food – and how it’s different, what I’m doing differently and what I believe to be a valuable story for their readers.
Follow up and then, follow up
If I do anything right, it’s following up. I really do bug the heck out of people! And after a million nos, eventually, they break down. Usually, the point of “break down” is when one of my follow-up e-mails has something that peaks their interest.
When I follow up, I don’t say, “Just checking in!”, I try to offer something new that perhaps will resonate. I may say, “Inspiralized was just featured by Ivanka Trump’s team and they called me a savvy millennial entrepreneur.” Sometimes, when the media knows you’ve been featured somewhere else prominently, it makes you seem more “featurable.”
Don’t be afraid to ask
I’ve said this a bunch, but seriously – ASK for the feature. “I’d love you to feature [insert brand name] in your ‘Eating Healthy’ column this month – I have a great new spin on [insert your cool idea here.]”
What’s the worst that can happen? They said no? Guess what – I’ve received about 100 nos per my 1 yes. It’s part of the grind – have fun with it! Once you receive a feature that you’ve worked hard to secure, you’ll forget the hundreds of nos.
Keep steady ahead and wait
If you haven’t heard back from who you reached out to, don’t let it bring you down. Keep steady ahead and focus on your content, your brand – grow it bigger, better and then, in the future, I bet that person will come back around to YOU!
Sometimes, it’s just dumb luck – many of the larger features I’ve had have been from outlets reaching out to me – because I keep focused on creating the best possible content and try to participate in neat collaborations that will peak the interest of those important influential media outlets.
How long does it take? Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be patient! Great features can take years!
A Brief Recap
To conclude, for the best results (in my experience) as your own PR, take the following steps:
- Have great, quality content and a solid brand identity
- Know your customer/reader – identify that person
- Based off your target customer, identify the appropriate brands/outlets to collaborate with – and think outside the box
- Pitch them with specific ideas
- Follow up
- Follow up again, with new ideas and brand updates
- If all else fails, just keep creating content and hope for the best.
How do you work to get your brand out there?
Thank you for tuning in, and I hope you learned something new from this week’s #InspiralizedBoss post.