Today on the blog, we’ll discuss how I landed a BIG, unexpected, unsolicited, and free media opportunity. This story will illustrate how you can increase your business’s visibility by generating free media coverage through authentic marketing.
Ya’ll know I’m a firm believer in authentic marketing (read my article about brand authenticity here). Thus, it may not surprise you that my willingness to share intimate moments of my life is what led to a recent offer for a live appearance on the UK’s most popular morning show.
While I’ll share more about this momentarily, I first want to reiterate the value of authenticity in business — especially since I’m one of many who have discovered the difference a personal touch can make.
Many of the entrepreneurs I work with have been surprised when posts they make about their personal connection to their brand get the biggest response. Your ideal customers love your origin story. They also love photos of you with your clients/products, the people/places you love or the things you do that align with your brand.
Consider the following example. Let’s say you just launched an annual planner via Amazon and you have the option to make one of two social media posts.
The first: A professional photo of your planner that shares why it’s awesome and has a link to where people can buy.
The second: A photo of you and your planner that shares why you decided to create it and how it feels to be releasing it after all the work you’ve done.
Nine times out of ten, the second post will have the best response. It will also be more likely to get shared on social media or to pique the curiosity of media outlets.
My point here is that your personal story can attract attention and magnetize opportunities. It makes you relatable, which has others see themselves in your experience and may therefore inspire more support.
While it can be scary to put yourself out there and become the face of your brand, it’s worth it. Not only do you have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives, as well as discover your unique brilliance and contribution, you also get (yes, get) the chance to overcome any fears that arise as you become more visible. Entrepreneurship can be a great path to self-actualization, self-love and higher levels of confidence.
With all that said, let’s transition back to how I landed the media opportunity on This Morning in the UK.
It started when I married myself on November 8, 2020.
This was both a beautiful and challenging experience… and it was 100%, authentically me. Since my friends know me as a coach who preaches the values of self-compassion and owning your personal power, they weren’t terribly surprised when they received my wedding invitation.
And, while the event was very personal, I still chose to share about it, believing my stand for self-love could inspire others.
It became my most popular blog of all time.
And then it became my most-commented-on social media post of all time.
Four months later, I received an email from a journalist in the UK. He had found me on Instagram via hashtags (always remember to use your 30 hashtags!) and wanted to share my story with his audience. I’d never heard of his media outlet, so I was suspicious.
“How much will it cost?” I asked, ready to be annoyed by yet another person offering me media coverage for a stupidly-high price tag. (I do my own PR… and I’m really good at it).
When he made it clear that it would be free, and that he often pitched his stories to larger media outlets, I happily agreed to move forward.
Three days later, I got an email back from him. Not only had he written a beautiful account of my wedding, but the largest morning show in the UK wanted to interview me live on their program.
So, what are my major takeaways from this experience about getting free media coverage?
- Being YOU is good for business: That thing that some other people don’t “get” or think is a little odd? It’s the exact thing your ideal customers want to see or need to hear.
- You do you… and see what happens: You can’t always predict the blog post or video that will go viral.
- When you get visible, your ideal audience can find you: Who knew that people in the UK would love my self-marriage? I’ve also heard plenty of stories from fellow entrepreneurs about their books, programs or products making them well-known in unexpected parts of the world.
- Use your hashtags: Yup, those thirty hashtags on Instagram can make a difference. #doit
- Trust your gut: I had a feeling that people could benefit from my story and — although it felt vulnerable to share it — I’m glad I did. I hope it makes a big difference in others’ lives.
What are your learnings from this post, dear readers? What ideas did it give you about generating your own free media coverage? Share your thoughts with me below.