In today’s world there is a lot of advertising noise.  TV & Radio adverts, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads and those really annoying ads that pop up when you are online.

How can you make sure that the advertising and PR strategy you choose for your business is authentic and effective AND generates the results you want (need?).

In the online world, people hate advertising when they are looking for actual content so when I started working on the myambition.com and Nourish businesses I had to give real thought to how I could be different.  How I could build up a brand that was authentic and trusted? …and gave my clients exactly what they were looking for.

The first thing I needed to understand was what the difference was between PR & Advertising.    Thinks of it like this:

  • PR – you should not have to pay for
  • Advertising – tends to costs you money

Just to qualify the above – you could of course work with both a PR or Advertising firm and in this case you may have to shell out a monthly fee for services rendered.  If that was me I would like to know exactly what I was getting for my money – like a monthly report with some form of measure of result to help me swallow the amount I was paying them!

So how can you do it yourself?

Become an expert – write articles or blogs about what you know and what inspires you.  This could be picked up by journalists looking for content in newspapers, magazines or websites.  Take a look at sourcebottle for a central hub of media requests.

Start speaking up! A tough one for those who are not comfortable getting up in front of a crowd… if you can talk through your article and make it into a mini presentation then you will have a captive audience.  You can take Q&A again enhancing your role as expert.  You can start small by working with your local Chamber of Commerce of Business Networking Groups.  Before long you may be called on by Industry Conferences and the like.

Network, network, network – You can do this both face to face and online.  Personally I like to do a bit of both but for those of us that are time short it can be just as easy to spend time making connections in forums and social media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.  If you are still wondering why you need to be on LinkedIn or Facebook then read my previous article. You can also comment on other people’s blogs and in forums where you have to leave your website address.

Cross Promotion – Maybe there is a company that you can align with that will happily swap an advertising deal.  Think of it this way.  If you are a builder perhaps you want to recommend a certain type of material in one of your adverts.  In this case would the materials company happily recommend your services as the builder to use?   No cost just sharing the love!

Packaging a Deal – This is one I am working on at the moment.  If you are able to work with another professional in providing a service and in turn reach their audience too?  More exposure…more noise!  Watch this space :-)

Gain testimonials and ask for referrals – Gain feedback from your customers and clients and as a thank you offer them a discount for any referrals they may have.  This is word of mouth strategy is a powerful way of getting people who have worked with you or used you service to talk about you.

And finally make sure you are always being true to yourself, your vision and your brand.  This is where the authenticity and trust comes in to it.

Don’t have a vision?  Let’s talk about that then!