You know your business is awesome, and your customers do too. But how do you reach a wider audience? If you have the budget you can employ a public relations agency or consultant, but many small businesses have to run their own PR campaigns. Here’s how to do it yourself:
Social media is your friend. Reaching people through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms is simple and free. You can engage with existing customers and attract new ones by sharing news of events, promotional offers, and responses to questions in real time. Check out our guide to using social media to promote your business for more tips.
Make friends with the media
Read local newspapers and websites to find the journalists and bloggers who regularly cover your industry. If you own a cafe, look out for influential food bloggers. If you run a boutique, try to find the fashion journalists in your area. Follow them on social media, share (and compliment) their work, and find ways to become a resource for their stories. They’ll remember your business when it counts.
Be the story
Approach media with an invite to come and experience your product or service, and give them a reason to tell your story. Sales pitches are not stories. Business magazines and websites may be interested in articles about how or why you started your business. But for other journalists you’ll need to offer up a counterintuitive hook or human-interest angle on your work, your unusual product, or your company’s latest big accomplishment.
Hold public events
Opening parties are a great way to introduce customers to your business, but it’s also important to keep that momentum going. Organize regular events to attract new customers, and invite experts or artists with followings of their own. Host a one-night pop-up restaurant in a cafe, for example, or an art show in a clothing store. Promote your events through social media and keep your media contacts in the loop with a press release or targeted email pitch.