5 Marketing Ideas Besides Social Media

5 Marketing Ideas Besides Social Media :: pollinapr.com

Social media is an amazing way to connect and even to drive business to your company, and it’s undoubtedly an amazing tool. But in this age of social media obsession I find that people rely so much on their Instagram or Facebook page that when it isn’t enough to make their business a success they are at a complete loss on what else to do to market their brand. I have people ask me all the time what else they can do to promote their business besides post on social media. And the truth is, there are so many things you can and should be doing to reach a wider audience—after all, social media is relatively recent, so people were employing other forms of marketing before it even existed. You may know already how much I love using PR to promote and build your business. But even if you’re not ready to go full force with PR there are lots of things you can try. Many of these tactics are just as easy as social media, and things that business owners absolutely can do on their own time. Here are a couple of ideas.

 

GET ON A PODCAST

Pitching yourself to a podcast is a great way to get some exposure in a fun and fairly simple way. There are tons of podcasts that are on the smaller side or just getting started that are always looking for guests to bring on. The idea is that you will share some of your valuable knowledge with the podcast audience, and in the process listeners will have a chance to feel like they’re getting to know you. Some of them will then choose to get involved with your brand because they feel a connection to you. Search for podcasts (either on google or right on your podcast player) that are somehow complimentary to your niche and who’s target audience you fall into. Once you have a list of these, visit their website and see if it has instructions on how to submit a guest. They often have a form you can just fill out to pitch yourself! Just remember: focus on what their audience will get out of the information you can share with them. For a step by step on pitching yourself, sign up for my free five-day challenge that walks you through creating a pitch.

 

WRITE + SUBMIT A GUEST POST

Similar to a podcast, a guest post will allow you to distribute your information (and your personality!) in your exact words directly to a larger audience. Again, start by finding websites that cover your niche or are complementary to your niche, and look like they cover a topic you can talk on but don’t have articles exactly like what you would write about. Check under the ‘contact us’ tab or ‘about us’ tab to see if you can find information about accepting guest posts and how to submit one if so. Write a fantastic article that best shows off your expertise in a relatable and clear way, and submit it according to the instructions. If they don’t have any information on how to submit but you can tell that they do publish guest posts try to find an email address for the editor and submit directly to them with a short note at the beginning explaining that you would like to submit your piece for publication.

 

PARTICIPATE IN AN IN-PERSON EVENT

Depending on your business, an in-person event can be a great way to get in front of people. The best thing about an in-person event is that face to face interaction is the absolute best way to build a connection with others. Yes, this can be the hardest tactic on this list, because you have to make sure the timing and location of the event works with your schedule, and you have to physically be there, but it also has a huge potential for immediate return. Be as friendly as possible and come prepared with a really specific straightforward explanation of what you do and what you would like the people you meet to do, ie. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Don’t just have a clipboard with a piece of paper on it sitting on the table behind you- actually hand it to every single person as you’re talking to them and ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing filling it out.  (Of course don’t push it if they’re not into it, but you’re going to get tons more responses if you actually ask for it and work it into the natural conversation than if you just sit the clipboard there and hope people will go check it out.) If you’re a brick and mortar business with a physical location be sure to tell every single person where it is and personally invite them to come stop by during your working hours. They’ll feel welcome and they’ll remember you a lot more than anyone else they met if you provide those kind of specifics that they can picture in their head later on once they’ve gone home.

 

CROSS-PROMOTE WITH ANOTHER BRAND

A good way to tap into another brand’s existing audience is to do some kind of cross-promotion with another company. Ask if you can put some products or even printed marketing material in their location, shout you out in their email newsletter, or get in on an event they’re hosting. Offer to promote them to your audience as well so that they’re getting something out of it too, but be honest if your audience is currently still pretty small. A true cross-promotion has to benefit both brands and result in your audience learning about them as much as their audience learning about you.

 

ASK FOR REFERRALS

You’d be surprised how many people will be willing to refer you to their networks if you just ask. You can do this in a more formal way, by creating a true referral program where current customers get an incentive for referring you to a new customer, but you can also do it more casually. Mention to current customers or people in your network that you are currently looking for new opportunities and ask if they would please pass along your information to one or two people they know. Depending on your business it can also be appropriate (and super effective) to do this in reverse—ask people you know if they have someone they think may be able to use your services and see if they’d be comfortable with you reaching out to them personally.

 

All of the above are going to get you in front of more of the people you want to get in front of, and often will result in a stronger feeling of connection even faster than you can get on social media. Yes, it can feel scary at first to put yourself out there in such a personal way. Let’s be honest, all of these things require you to put more of yourself out there than an Instagram post does– but that’s exactly why they are so effective. So if you’re looking for something beyond social media to get your business out there and reach more potential clients and customers, give one of these a try.

If you’re interested in getting more in depth about getting featured in the media for promotion, check out my free 5-day marketing challenge that comes in the form of daily emails, at the end of which you’ll have a completed pitch to send out to media! Or, join the interest list for my new DIY PR course launching soon!

By |September 3rd, 2018|Blog, PR|0 Comments

How (and Why) To Use PR to Grow Your Audience & Gain Customers

how + why to use PR to grow your audience + gain customers

 

So you know you have an amazing brand and you offer something that people will just love and want so badly… if only they knew it existed. The hard part is getting your brand in front of the right people. With so many products and businesses out there, and so much noise to constantly sift through, people don’t just happen upon your brand the way you wish they would these days. You use social media, you have an email list, but you just aren’t getting in front of new people who aren’t already a part of your brand community. You need to reach entirely new people who will be open to and excited by your brand– if they just find out about it. That’s where PR comes in.

So what is PR and how exactly can you use it? In a simplified sense, it’s using media to spread the word. It’s securing ‘earned media’ by pitching writers to write articles about you that will be published under their name in a publication. You are featured in the press, and it is considered ‘earned’ because you did not buy it, like you would with a paid advertisement. You earned it by doing something noteworthy and drawing attention to it. Earned media ends up giving your brand a lot more clout because readers know that your business or product is in there because the publication thought it was worth putting in their pages, and that their readers would find it useful.

The best part about PR is that it gets you in front of a much wider audience than you would ever get in front of otherwise, for free. You do not pay to be featured in articles, and you do not need to have any other connection or relationship to the audience beforehand, besides the relationship you form with the writer to secure the pitch. Once the article is published though, you immediately get in front of thousands of people who could be potential customers or clients. Maybe not every person who reads the publication will be your ideal customer, and they may not be the type who would ever sign up for your email list, but think about how many of them will know someone who is. The great part is that even these non-ideal customers can share it and discuss it with people who are your ideal customer, or even purchase your product for them when they need a gift! There’s no doubt about it: a media feature gets you talked about, and the additional word of mouth that results from an article helps to amplify the attention you get.

Media coverage should be part of a larger strategy though. An article gets tons of eyes on your brand and gets people interested in what you have to offer. The idea is to drive them to more information about your brand so they can continue to learn more about you and develop a personal connection. If the article directs them to your website, or somewhere else that they can find out more information about your business, make sure the messaging they’ll see there is consistent with the messaging in the article, and that it is updated and current. Consider offering something to draw them in even more, like a discount to join your email list, or an invitation to follow you on social media. This is ideal because then you have an easy way to stay in front of them and to keep getting your branding in front of them throughout the coming weeks. It takes time to build brand loyalty, and people often don’t buy into your brand the first time they see it. An article in the media definitely makes a strong impression, but even still you’ll want to take it a step further and make sure they’ll recognize you again later so that they’ll become a loyal fan and you can turn them into customers.

 

If you would like to discuss how a PR strategy could fit into your marketing mix, I’d be happy to chat, or download my free ebook that outlines easy ways to promote your business through PR and see what you can do on your own!

 

 

By |January 30th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

3 Ways to Increase Visibility for Your Business This Year

3 ways to increase visibility for your business :: pollinapr.com

If you’re hoping to build your business and take it to the next level in the new year, there’s one thing you have to do. You have to promote it! You don’t need a big PR budget or to know everything there is to know about marketing and promotion, but there are a few things you can do easily and on your own, to get your business ready for extra visibility and to start promoting it. One of the most important things is to make sure that once people start hearing about you and finding out about your business you have your best foot forward and make the right first impression.

Here are some of the things you can do to set your business up for success when it comes to promotion and increasing your visibility to get bigger and better clients and customers.

CLEAR MESSAGING
The most important thing to double check before promoting your business is your messaging. You want to be sure that your messaging is all extremely clear and gets across exactly what you want it to. People aren’t going to take the time to decipher what you mean if it’s not clear, and they will take you at face value after one glance—if they can’t tell what you mean and it doesn’t totally resonate with them, they aren’t going to buy into what you’re selling.

CONSISTENT BRANDING
This goes hand in hand with your messaging. Your branding must be consistent across all channels because just like the messaging, if it doesn’t resonate and make sense to the audience at first glance, it isn’t going to keep their attention. The look and feel of the brand should be the same from your website to your business card to your Facebook page. If someone sees something about your business in one place and then seeks you out or follows a link somewhere else, it should be entirely obvious that it’s the same company. This ensures you look professional and present a cohesive image.

BRAINSTORM PITCH ANGLES
Once you’re sure your business is going to come across in the best possible light and portray the personality you want, you can think about something to pitch to the media to get some earned media attention. This will get eyes on your business that you never would have reached otherwise. It lends clout to your brand because people know that you’re in an article because a writer found you worthy, not because you created some content yourself or paid for an advertisement. Think of a few story ideas that would show off angles of your business that you want to draw attention to and then pitch them to writers at an applicable publication for each story.

BONUS: SHARE EVERYTHING!
Don’t be shy to share everything about your business, especially once you start to get some media or other outside attention. It’s not weird to share the amazing things you’re doing or the attention that others have paid to your business. What you’re doing with your business is something to be proud of and everyone who follows your business will want to see it. Once you’re in an article post the links on all your social media channels and website and use the material wherever else you can for weeks to come, including in an email out to your email list, in a blog post, sharing the links to Facebook groups you’re in, and making images that share a specific quote from the article across your social media channels again- the possibilities are almost endless, and you should use it all as much as you can.

If you’re ready to start getting more attention to your business that will bring in more clients or customers, and ultimately more money, you just need to promote the right things in the right ways. Then, the right people will fall in love with your brand and want to be a part of it.

If you need help with any of the above, or just to talk through your visibility or promotion strategy for 2018 let me know!

By |December 30th, 2017|Blog, Business, PR|0 Comments

why your content is important

content to convert customers

Clear, concise content– especially on your website and promotional materials– are very important for successful communication of your brand. All too often, people get so caught up in their services and trying to build great customer relationships, that they let things like written materials and websites slide. This is a mistake, because communicating your brand’s story is very important in building and growing a business, and in drawing in and retaining customers.

Keep in mind that not everyone who is looking for your services will be completely familiar with what it is and how it works. Chances are, if someone is looking for you to do something for them it’s because they want an expert in a field that they themselves are not expert in. Craft website content and informative materials that are descriptive and simple enough for a person uneducated in the topic. This will help them understand what you can offer and why they should use your services. They will see that you are an expert and know what you’re doing, but they also will clearly understand how you will be helping them and why they need you.

Start with your mission and think about what you are trying to offer to prospective customers or clients. Put together your thoughts in a clear and simple way that can be easily repeated throughout all of your materials. Think about the most important points and what are the key things to know. Then craft it into wording that sounds interesting and easy to read– not too full of jargon that most people won’t understand or so much detail that they will get bored and stop reading.

It’s important to stay consistent throughout all materials. Say you’re setting up a website but also want to use a Facebook page for social media, and create a printed brochure for people to pick up at tradeshows. You want to make sure that if someone sees just one of these, they will get a clear picture of your brand. But you also want to make sure that if they see all three they still get a clear picture of the brand. You don’t want someone to see all three and not be sure if it’s the same company, or see the brochure and be interested in your services, but then look up the website and change their mind because it is confusing or doesn’t make your services appear as desirable. Use the same language for all materials and use similar content, but translated to each platform.

People make decisions based on what they see about your brand. You may think your company is the obvious choice and that anyone who speaks with you will be convinced, but think of the research each person will do before choosing whether or not to even pick up the phone to call you. Your written materials are the assets you have to persuade someone to make that move—or not. Take the time to make sure they all are visually appealing, read easily, and are consistent and clear throughout.

By |December 16th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments

Compiling An Industry or Yearly Report

writing a reportReports can be powerful documents for a company to have. They show that the company is interested in and takes seriously their industry and can often position them as an expert in said industry. A report can be a great document to have on your company website so prospective customers can learn a lot of information about the industry or specific company all at once. They can also be great printed documents to send to or hand out to prospective customers or any audience who may be interested in the industry or your company stats. It shows that you take the time to do research and compile useful information for the consumption of your audiences. There are a couple things to keep in mind when putting together your report, in order to make it as useful and simple as possible.

  1. Do lots of research. The more research you have the better your findings and report will be. You don’t want to start writing the report and realize you don’t have enough data to make sense of it. Also make sure you have done research about the aspects that will serve as background for your report. Maybe your report is on one specific piece of the industry, but it’s helpful to offer background on the details of the other companies you included in the report in order to make it a well-rounded write up.
  2. Compile all the data in an easy to understand format. You need to be able to comb through the information and determine what you want to use and how best to lay it out in the document. Nothing will be more frustrating later than trying to go through your data and realizing it’s a jumbled mess that you cannot decipher anymore.
  3. Break it up into sections. Everything is easier to read when it is in sections. Break it down and give each piece a clear heading. Keep it all clear and concise, while including enough information and background that it makes sense to the reader.
  4. Make it look nice. Use graphics and charts to help illustrate the main points as well as help make it look pleasing to the eye. Use at least one color besides black and white to add interest. Don’t go crazy here, you don’t want to go overboard, but you don’t want it to look boring either.
  5. Proof read three times and have someone else do it too. Go over all the text and all the information and make sure it all makes sense and there are no errors. Make sure that any potential questions are answered in the report. This is where it is a good time to have someone else help you, because they will be able to give an honest opinion about whether it all makes sense or if some of the information brought up questions that did not seem fully answered in the document. Being so close to the industry and the project you may find certain things obvious, but different questions arise to an outsider.

Once you have a great report, distribute it by every means you have. Put a PDF of it on your website and link to it on social media and include it in your monthly newsletter. Print some copies to send to people who may be interested and give it out to prospective clients. If it is an industry report on a general topic, send it to trade publications who may be interested in publishing it or linking to it on their website as a resource for others in the industry. People will appreciate being able to see a neatly compiled report about data that is important to them and they will look upon you as an expert in the field for having compiled it.

 

If you think you may want help creating or compiling a report for your company, contact us to see how we can help!
By |May 21st, 2014|Business|0 Comments

Keeping It Fresh

made-fresh-daily-stampNow that we’re well into the new year and beyond making our major goals and resolutions it is a perfect time to evaluate your brand. Yes you took the time to set the goals and plan out what you want to accomplish through the upcoming year, but now is the time to think about one thing that you may easily overlook but will definitely contribute to your success in completing your goals. It’s the actual brand identity. Now is the time to think about whether it can be updated and improved.

Brand identity is important, as it is literally the face that your brand puts out to the world. People judge you and your brand based on this. It is portrayed through all the materials that you put out, like your website, business cards, flyers, menu, social media accounts, etc. Some brands have these all completely cohesive, informative and visually appealing and exciting. That’s great. But oftentimes all the different components that make up a brand identity get created over the lifetime of the company and may not all entirely represent the brand in the same way or in the best way. Another issue is that the company may have been around long enough that the brand identity is just outdated. Take a long look and evaluate every aspect to determine honestly if either of these are the case for your business.

Keep it fresh by updating your branding to match your current business goals and customer base. Make it appealing to the people you want to reach. Make sure your website is clear and information is easy to read and easy to find. Make sure it includes everything that it should. Think about if there is anything that you can add to your branding that will help with your brand identity or will help you connect with customers more. If there are, start figuring out ways to implement them.

If you already have a really great brand identity don’t stop there. Continue to keep it fresh through the content that you put out. Update your social media often, keep the information on your website up to date, continue to improve everything you do so that it stays up to date and will continue to resonate with the audience. People can tell when you are using stale and outdated information and if they don’t think you are keeping up to date they will assume that your product may not be up to date either.

Whether it’s a whole new logo or website, or just updating your social media content consistently, keeping your brand fresh and relevant will keep it appealing to your audience and customers. People base a lot of their opinions on the first things they see about a business, and they put a lot of stock into the way a business portrays itself, often picking one over the other based on this. Evaluate and be honest with yourself about whether you could use an update.

By |February 12th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

k-bigpic
You’ve probably heard of an elevator pitch and you probably know you should have one. In theory it seems easy– have a preplanned 30 second pitch about yourself that you could conceivably use to promote yourself to someone you happen to be standing in an elevator with for the duration of an average ride. In reality, it can be harder than expected to create one and be confident enough about it to actually use it. It is worth taking the time to craft an elevator pitch that you really feel great about and can use in any situation. After all, you never know when you will need to explain to someone what you do or why they should care. You could be miss out on a great opportunity if you don’t take full advantage of it when you have the chance.

To start, think about what you really want to focus on for your pitch. If you are currently looking for a job, you may want to focus solely on yourself and your strengths. If you own a business and want to sell yourself to new clients or customers, focus on your product and how it helps people. If you are pitching a start up focus on your brand and how it’s going to better the world and why people should want to be a part of it. Once you have a clear idea of what you are pitching it will be easier to narrow down the important information into 30 seconds.

Be direct. Begin by introducing yourself and your business/product/idea. Then explain three important qualities of yourself or your business in simple and specific terms. End by explaining how exactly you help make life easier for others. Mention where they can find additional information like on your website and social media channels. Once you have it written down and memorized, continue to practice regularly so that when the time comes you can recite it clearly and easily while still sounding authentic and real.

Since you will not always be in an elevator when the opportunity for this pitch occurs, open it up for questions once you finish, if you can. You have spent 30 seconds pulling someone in and now that you have their attention pause to see if they have further questions about anything you’ve said or if they want you to elaborate on any of the points. They probably will, and now you have the basis for a more in depth conversation. If you really only had the 30 seconds or so, then at least they now have all the important information about you and know how to get more information later on. You have successfully expanded your network and opened up the possibility of a new customer/employer/client/backer. Be sure to have a business card on hand to leave them with as well so they can’t forget your name or contact information!

By |January 22nd, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

New Years Special One Hour Free Consultation

As you might have seen on our Facebook page and homepage of this website, we’re offering a New Years special to help you get your social media up and running successfully for the new year. If you inquire before January 20 we will schedule a one hour free social media consultation for any day in 2014. This offer is available to anyone, you do not need to be an existing client or sign on for continuing services after. It can take place in person or over the phone or skype, so you do not even have to be in the Boston area.

We want to make sure that you have a social media plan for the upcoming year and are able to successfully promote your business through it, even with little to no experience with social media previously. Call or email now to schedule or for questions.

New Years Special

By |January 9th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

PR In The New Year

New Years PRA new year is a great time for renewing and starting fresh. This holds true for everything from personal goals, to PR. With only a few weeks left of 2013, now is the time to start planning your PR goals and strategies for the upcoming year. Now is the time to make sure your business will really shine in 2014 and get ahead in whatever you have been meaning to do, be it garnering new customers, gain some media coverage, building a community following, or anything else.

Some things to keep in mind for the new year:

Social media is your friend. I did a post about the importance of social media in building relationships just last week. To sum it up: if you are not yet active on at least one or two social media platforms, build a strategy now and be ready to implement starting January 1st. Create a calendar for yourself so you know what you will be posting and when, so you never get stuck and feel that you’ve run out of things to post.

Content marketing is not getting all this hype for nothing. Create your own sharable content. It’s the easiest way to make sure that your information is getting disseminated and to position you as an expert in your field. This type of content is easy to share on social media and blogs and is easy for other people to re-post once they see it. Win-win.


Build new relationships. Building connections with people is one of the best ways to promote yourself. You never know who you will meet who may be a prospective customer or who may know someone who will help your business get ahead. Network as much as possible and attend all events that you can. Reach out to people in your industry or with similar backgrounds to you and start a conversation. Most people are eager to g
et to know people in their industry and will be happy to network and chat with you.

Make a plan. Think about what you want to do in the upcoming year and write down some feasible goals. Then make a plan as to how you can achieve them. Start large and work your way smaller. For example start with a general goal and then figure out what things would need to happen to reach it, and then figure out what steps you will need to take to make those things happen. Then, stick to your plan all year to make sure you accomplish what you wanted. If it’s harder then you thought, seek help!

What other things are you planning to do starting in January to boost your PR?

By |December 18th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

The ROI Of Social Media

the ROI of social mediaIt’s hard to argue against the importance of social media in todays marketing landscape. Most people use some kind of social media to a certain extent in their personal lives, and most understand that it can also be useful in business. But how exactly to use it and how exactly it helps is still something they struggle with a lot of the time. People understand that Facebook is great for keeping in touch with family and friends and they get the value of using it in a personal sense, but when it comes to their business they want to see how exactly social media is resulting in the business bringing in more money. The truth is, there may be no direct measurement for this, or at least nothing so exact, for most industries. For restaurants, for example, you can’t necessarily convert a certain number of Facebook Likes into a certain number of new customers or a certain amount of money brought in each month. It’s much less cut and dry than this, but that does not mean that it is not worthwhile to use social media to engage an online following.

 

Social media is all about building relationships. It allows really personal relationships with customers and prospective customers on a direct one on one basis. It allows people a chance to feel connected to a brand by following along daily and getting an inside look at images and updates on what is going on in real time. It is this experience that makes people feel that they know the brand and makes them feel invested in it.  People are already on social media platforms anyway, so all a brand has to do is post and it will show up in front of followers without them having to look for it. The connection that social media allows brands to build with followers is invaluable in that it makes people truly care about the brand without even needing to spend time trying to learn about it or actively pursuing information about it.

 

While you may not be able to calculate that spending a certain amount of time or money on a certain social media platform will result in a certain amount of money earned or a certain amount of new customers brought it, what you are getting out of it can be even more valuable. The relationships with the people you are reaching are what will sustain your business. You are building loyal customers and brand ambassadors. Word of mouth is still one of the most important modes of marketing, and social media is an extension of this and also arms followers with the information and affinity for your brand that allows them to go out and sing your praises to their friends and followers. And that is priceless.

 

Social media is a great resource for companies and brands and there is really no excuse not to use it in some way. It’s possible to pick a social media platform that you already use outside of your business, and spend a couple of minutes each day posting quick but personal updates from your brands page and responding to any inquiries and comments. For a reasonable amount of time spent and virtually no money, you can build and retain a following of people who will have an inside look into your company and therefore feel connected to you. Even a follower who never steps foot inside your business or uses your service is more likely to recommend you to a friend after they have a good experience with you on social media, which shows the exponential positive impact that a successful social media presence can have.

(If you have questions about getting started with or using social media for your business, contact us!) 

By |December 11th, 2013|Blog|1 Comment