I recently scored a sweet copy of Bread & Badger's marketing e-book, which I am quite excited to thoroughly read soon. But before I do I thought I would share a quick and easy tip that I have used to receive a decent amount of publicity for piddix.
How to Be a Spokesmodel
Do you have a product that you absolutely love? I've had very good response by offering to write up a testimonial or be a media reference. If you're specific, and even give examples of what you might say, chances are it might lead to something.
For example, several years ago I took an amazing business class through MercyCorpsNW. I really can't say enough good things about my experience. I had mentioned the class in a storque article on piddix and in a blog post, and so I sent the links to my MeryCorps contacts and concluded my email with the following paragraph:
"Also, if you ever need some quotes from participants for filling out the grant reports or anything, feel free to use this: Going through the MercyCorps NW IDA small business program was incredibly helpful for my crafting business, piddix llc. I learned critical information at every class from instructors who were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and I came away with a concrete plan for how to sustain and grow my digital image business. Almost immediately I began seeing the results of my new focus, and within three months I had doubled my income from piddix. Thank you so much for offering such a helpful program."
By emailing them articles where I talked about their program, as well as a sample testimonial, the folks at MercyCorpsNW were able to get a good idea of what I would say in an interview. And they took me up on the offer. I was interviewed as one of their "featured business." Plus, piddix was also highlighted in the new printed MercyCorps brochure.
When looking for places to pitch your "testimonial," think a little outside the box and look for organizations that already feature other businesses. For example, both my electric company and local hospital highlight a different customer each month in their printed newsletters. Constant Contact, whom I use for my e-newsletter, publishes regular "success stories" and says they are always looking for organizations to showcase.
And the easier you can make it for them, the more likely someone would be to respond. I often include a link to my "office" flickr photos or media-ready samples. I know from personal experience working as a journalist that you're often writing at the last minute and trying to fill space. Items such as pre-written quotes or readymade photos help greatly.
Finally, if you do include a sample quote or if they ask you to write one up, be sure to mention the name of your business several times. Especially for online posts, this is a great opportunity for them to link back to your website.
While being featured by your electric company may not seem as glamorous as somewhere like modish, think of the thousands and thousands of people who will see your smiling face and learn about your business. Plus, there's way less competition, and you never know who may be reading it.