Issue #1307 April 30, 2019
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Newsjack Small Business Week May 5-11
- Is Your Email Address a Spam Magnet?
- Get Help Building Your Online Course
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
You won’t hear me complaining about the rain and cold forecast for Wisconsin all this week. I was frantic that my 22 Virginia Bluebell plants, now in bloom, would be buried in the 6 inches of snow that was forecast for Saturday. Just to be safe, I covered most of the plants with plastic pots, pails and totes turned upside down. Then I removed them all on Sunday when the storm had cleared the area. A small price to pay for a sea of blue flowers.
1. Newsjack Small Business Week May 5-11
If your attempts to generate publicity for your small business have landed with a thud, try this.
Piggyback onto Small Business Week May 5-11. Here are five publicity ideas:
- Call your local TV station and pitch a story about your small business. What trends have you seen within the last year or two that have affected your target market, products, services or hiring practices? (Authors, if you own your own publishing company, you’re a small business.)
- Sponsor a contest on Facebook, Instagram or another social media site, and ask your followers to post a photo or video with your hashtag. Give away a cool prize. Be sure to read the site’s rules governing contests.
- Announce special sales to your email list.
- Publicize a special event at your retail business. Cooking classes, dog obedience training, art lessons for the kids, and fashion shows are the kinds of events TV loves because they include three critical elements: people, color and motion.
- Write a list of how-to tips related to something your small business sells and encourage your followers to share them on social media.
To do: Use a statistic in your media pitch. FitSmallBusiness.com published U.S. Small Business Administration 2019 lending statistics, state-by-state. You’ll find stats for the UK here and for Australia here. Can’t think of an idea to pitch? Rent My Brain. We can brainstorm story ideas and I’ll even write your pitches.
2. Is Your Email Address a Spam Magnet?
Twice in one week, two close friends, both CEOs, asked me to review marketing materials they had created.
The first was a newspaper advertising insert. It included my friend’s email address that looked like this: email@example.com
The second was a new website asking visitors to respond to an offer by emailing her at a similar “info” email address.
If you’re making the same mistake or using the words “contact,” “office,” “admin” or “mail” in front of your domain name, I’ll bet some of your recipients never read what you wrote because the search engines kicked your emails into their spam folders.
The additional problem with “info” and the other risky words above is that they could result in YOU receiving lots of spam. That’s because the automated systems operated by big-time spammers attach “info” to valid domain names.
I see so many authors using “info” as their business emails and it drives me nuts. But I go off the deep end when I see anyone using Hotmail or Yahoo email addresses for business. Those addresses scream, “I’m an amateur!” Use an email with your domain name. If you don’t have a website, get a free Gmail account.
To do: Destroy all business cards with these dangerous email addresses, and order new cards with a better one. Read “4 Reasons NOT to Use “info@” as Your General Email Address.”
3. Get Help Building Your Online Course
If you’re an expert in your topic and love to teach, but you don’t like public speaking or the travel hassles that accompany it, offering an online course can be a super-profitable option.
People love to learn in the comfort of their home or office, and at their own pace. And you can refer to your course when you seek publicity.
But building a course, and learning the technology that accompanies it, can be a hassle.
This Thursday, May 2, at 2 and 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Steve Harrison will explain how he can help you get beyond the dollars-for-hours slog and generate passive revenue with online courses tied to your book or expertise. He’s taking 20 clients, and he and his team will do all the hard work of building out an online course for you designed to sell 24/7.
If you’re chosen, they’ll even help refine your course idea, work with you to develop your curriculum, interview you, and create your video modules.
To do: Learn more this Thursday by registering using this affiliate link.