Creating anything from scratch is a big deal. In an age where you can go to Ikea and pick up the latest pressboard put-it-together-yourself piece in the BORGSJÖ line, complete with smiley and frowny face instructions, high-quality items are becoming rare. We call the people who make said high-quality items "craftsman".
If you are nurturing a seedling business, you have the potential for a being a craftsman in your industry. You've taken an idea from scratch, and now you're carefully shaping and assembling the pieces to create something beautiful. How do you let the world know about it?
It all starts with you, the craftsman. How you approach the press has a huge bearing on whether or not you will actually get coverage for your startup.
Let's take a look at four personality traits that will help you get coverage.
Chances are, if you've birthed a startup, you have a few creative bones. So don't stop there!
Crafting regular blog posts is one the best ways to get noticed. You may have exciting news for your company, but it may not quite be buzzworthy. However, your blog is the perfect outlet for industry and company news, as well as a great means to educate readers on industry-related topics. A well-marketed blog post may receive hundreds more shares than a story buried in a high-visibility journal.
Having a blog is not only an inexpensive way to market your company, but it taps into your creative side. What's the advantage? You can relate to the very reporters you are pitching stories to. Now, you're not Bill from marketing emailing reporters with the sole intention of increasing revenue for your company. You are a fellow writer who understands that a story should have appeal to the reader, not just perks for the author.
When you first launched your startup's Instagram or Facebook account, you may have noticed the trollers. These are the ones who scan for new people to follow them. They figure they've done something nice for you, now it's your turn. "Follow me. Ahem... I said FOLLOW me!"
The reason why we all find this so annoying is that they're motivated by selfishness. Don't be that guy.
If you want to get press for your B2B Startup, follow reporters that you find genuinely interesting. When you find a story enjoyable, leave them a sincere comment letting them know. If they raise a topic in social media that you are interested in, be a part of the conversation.
Building relationships in this way makes it less parasitic. You are both benefiting from the interchange (learn more about how to work with journalists here). The reporter will be far more likely to open your email when he/she recognizes your name and already has a relationship with you.
(Click here to learn about 7 amazing pr strategies that will earn more press for your startup.)
How often do you hang on to relationships where the other folks talks all about themselves and how great they are? Right. Not long at all.
If you want to build a relationship with the press, you need to be modest. It's not all about you and your company. Offer to be a source on industry matters and to talk about issues that affect readers, not just what directly impacts your business.
This one may sound a little kindergarten-ish, but this basic concept of being nice is sadly lost on many business owners.
When your story gets picked up, remember to be grateful to the reporter who agreed to take your story. Give them public recognition and praise in social media outlets, using their handle. Remember, reporters also have a business -- marketing themselves as writers. So give them plenty of advertising as well.
Remember to be nice in replying to comments. You're not going to please everyone. Some people will just slam you because they had a crummy day and they're feeling particularly opinionated at the moment. However, replying with a "YEAH, WELL...!" kind of attitude shows more about your character than theirs. Politely thank them for their comment ("I'm so sorry. Thanks for letting me know about the issue you're having with our software. I'll be in touch shortly to help you resolve it.") And leave it at that. Don't engage in battle.
Has your B2B startup received great press? Let us know how you did it in the comments below!
In the meantime, let us help you get organized with our free downloadable editorial calendar! Use it to schedule your content so that you can boost visibility and become a thought leader in your industry.