I cannot tell you how many times my company was in the news and I was not even notified. However, now instead of missing out on the information, I find out via Google Alerts (a totally free, easy, and awesome service provided by Google). What is Google Alerts?
Defined by Google:
“Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. Enter a search query you wish to monitor. You will see a preview of the type of results you'll receive.”
How to Use Google Alerts:
Set up multiple Google alerts. (It’s free and easy so why not do this now?) I have the following alerts set-up for my first business, www.NJYP.org:
"Get out. Make friends." (my tag line)
"Members meet at restaurants, bars, in coffee houses, at comedy clubs, and even outdoors" (my main copy)
"New Jersey" "Young Professionals"
NJ "Young Professionals"
As you can see, not only am I seeking information that may appear about my organization, but I am also keeping an eye on whether anyone is using my tag line and copying illegally, talking about me by name, or talking about Young Professionals in NJ.
It will take you less than a minute to set up a few Google Alerts. An alert will keep you updated on who is talking about you and it also may help you figure out who is stealing your ideas.
In my webinar on The 5 Pages Your Website Must Have, I talk about how head shots are mandatory!
The Birth Workers featured in this blog, offered up their head shots for the world to see. As you may notice, they are setting the industry standard and YOU need to keep up.
I also want you to take note that MANY of them paid NOTHING for their photo. Some had friends take their picture and others traded their services.
Do YOU want a free head shot too? In my Launch with Laura class I go over how to get a head shot and what to do during the shoot. I also talk about my rookie mistake (knowing it will save you time and money.
A huge thanks to everyone who participated!
Sometimes marketing can be overwhelming. Here are 4 things you can do quickly and easily to get more clients!
1. Edit your email signature.
Your email signature is what shows up on every email you send. It will not only make you look more professional but it will drive people to your website (and to your Facebook page). Even if you use the same email for work and clients (which I don't suggest you do) you should still use your signature. It will only help to remind friends and family what you do for a living.
Sample of a good signature:
Owner of Max's Massage
2. List your business on your personal Facebook page.
So often I will see a business owner make an interesting post or comment on the wall of a community group I am in. I want to see learn more about her business so I click her profile and there is no business listed on her personal page. I'm too lazy to private message her, I just wanted the info quick, so I move on.
You will drive more traffic to your business if you list it on your personal Facebook page. This will take you seconds to do!
3. Link to your website on your Business Facebook page.
Again, too often I will navigate to a Facebook Business Page and the owner of the business failed to list their website! This drives me nuts as I just want to see the website so I can get more information.
You will drive more traffic to your website and this will take you seconds to do!
4. Create a custom Facebook image that will drive traffic to your website.
I just did an entire video blog on this one and I'm sure many of you saw it but didn't do it (yet). But NOW is your chance! Go here for the video and get this done!
So these are the most common mistakes (that are easy to fix) that I see holistic professionals and birth workers making. The first 3 you can get done in under 10 minutes total (maybe less if you already know how to edit a signature). The 4th will take a little longer but may be the MOST powerful!
Knowledge without action is power wasted!
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a great way to gain some free press. Help a Reporter Out connects experts like you to journalists.
Here’s an example of how it works.
So in a nutshell sign up as a “source”. Help a Reporter Out will email you queries and you will respond to the ones that are a good fit.
But there is a catch…
Help a Reporter Out is going to send you queries 3x a day! And each email is going to be PACKED full of requests from reporters. If you do not have time to read through each email, looking to see if you are an expert in anything, do not worry, I have a hack for you!
My HARO Hack Will Save You Time and Money
HARO allows you to pay a big monthly amount to make sure only relevant queries get to you (plus there are some other perks for paying) OR you can use the FREE version. With the free version you’ll receive emails 3x a day as I described above. The answer to surviving with the free version is FILTERING. Yes, set up your own filter within your email account so only relevant queries end up in your inbox.
Here’s how to set up HARO filters using Gmail or Google Apps for Business. If you use another email service, read below and google how to set up filters.
1. Click the gear at the top right.
2. Select "Settings".
3. Select "Filters".
4. Select "Create New Filter" from the bottom of the page.
5. In the “From ” field type firstname.lastname@example.org. Under “Doesn’t have” put any words you DO want to see. Personally I ONLY have Jersey in this field so I can find out what reporters are looking for in New Jersey . You may want to list city names, your state, “massage therapist”, etc. Use OR between different terms for example: Michigan OR Massage Therapist OR Detroit.
6. Select “Delete it” or you can also pick “Skip the Inbox (Archive it). Basically you just told your email system to get rid of any emails from HARO that do NOT have your keywords in them!
HARO is a great tool but their emails that come in will most likely overwhelm you. Play with the filter system until you end up only getting leads that are a good fit delivered to your inbox.
Take pictures at EVERY talk you give, every time you create a new product to sell, each time you donate a gift basket to an auction. Do not worry about the quality, just do your best. Why? Pictures will attract more customers (for free), get more opens when you send out a newsletter, attract more viewers on Facebook, and so much more. In most cases, pictures will cost nothing more than your time.
Sure, owning a fancy camera may result in better pictures, but not everyone can afford the newest DSLR. If all you have is a smart phone, start there. If you have a budget for a cheap point and shoot with a good flash, buy one. Pictures will help you gain more customers. More customers, means more profit, which means at some point you can invest in a more professional camera.
Make sure you designate a photographer at each event you are speaking at (if any). You can be the photographer, you can give your event host the responsibility, or you can hire an amateur.
Do not share the photos until you watermark them. Use something like FastStone Photo Resizer to watermark pics all at once.
Share the Photos
After your take the pics, share the images in multiple places so you can drive traffic back to your website.
- Post the pictures to an album or blog on your website.
- Post one picture in your newsletter and link it back to the album/blog.
- Post one picture on your Facebook page and link it back to the album/blog.
- Submit a few pictures and a press release to the newspaper.
Use pictures in your marketing materials. If you ran a group yoga event in May and you have another coming up in July, be your own graphic designer and use the pictures you took in May to promote the July event!
What to Photograph
Focus on taking pictures of people as much as you can. For events you are running pull 3-5 people together and have them smile for the camera. If you have extra time, take some candid shots and also take pictures of other things such as the venue, your welcome sign, the dog that someone brought on the hike, etc.
Pictures will help you gain more customers for FREE. Everyone loves pictures which is why they get so many views and likes on Facebook and why people will open your newsletter. So do not worry about the quality if you do not have a budget for a camera or a photographer, instead focus on the quantity of pictures at every opportunity.
Who doesn’t love seeing their name, or better yet the name of their business, in the paper. Over the years I have been in the paper, both online and in print, more than I can count. If you do what I do, then you, too, can garner free press that will likely bring you customers.
1. Submit a Press Release (especially for a free event)
Often local newspapers that focus on town events will publish press releases for free. First, contact the newspaper to find out what types of press releases they do and do not publish. Some papers may only publish your free events while others may publish anything you submit if you are a non-profit. After you find out their rules, set your calendar to submit fresh releases on a schedule so you are constantly in print.
2. Donate a Prize
Look for local non-profits who are holding fundraisers and see if you can donate a prize. The prize can be anything from a free service (ie, if you teach yoga offer a free one-on-one class) to a free yoga mat. The organization running the fundraiser will likely advertise your donation in order to draw people to their event. And on the day of the event, the attendees will hear about your prize.
3. Offer Press Passes
If you are selling tickets to an event you have coming up, you can offer free press passes to any local newspapers (online and in print). Reporters LOVE this and will often attend and then write a post-event story about your organization and event.
4. Sign Up for Help a Reporter Out,http://www.helpareporter.com/
As defined by Wikipedia, "Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online service set up for journalists to quickly gather feedback from the public. It is designed to enable journalists to connect with people who have expertise or experience in particular issues, so that journalists can obtain valuable advice and quotes for stories they are covering.”
In a nutshell, sign up as a “source.” Then, Help a Reporter Out will email you queries and you will respond to the ones that fit you. Hopefully a reporter will then quote you in his/her story and TA-DA, you’ll receive free press.
Please note that Help a Reporter Out is going to email you 3x a day. If you find this overwhelming, read my blog "How to Hack Help a Reporter Out".
5. Ask to Be a Guest Blogger (online press)
If the area your company covers has some local bloggers, it is a great idea to ask if you can guest blog. You can blog about something you are an expert on such as, “How to Clean Windows the Right Way,” or “How to Give Your Spouse the Perfect Massage.”
Free Press will not only drive traffic to your website but it can also improve your SEO rankings. Set a goal to try to get free press once a month. Remember that even articles that are in print are often also online so a little work you do now can still bring in new members months from now.
Laura Occhipinti is on a mission to help birth workers and holistic professionals grow their businesses.