As entrepreneurs, we know it takes hard work and persistence to build a successful brand. One of the most important things is to build a positive reputation, particularly in public relations (PR).
Your reputation is what people say about you when you’re not around. It is what gives you a competitive advantage, and can help drive business and sales. PR is all about reputation and reputation is everything to a brand. It enables you to share your vision with customers while building your profile and influence.
As a Health Coach, one of my favourite ways to build up my PR was via guest blogging on sites such as Mind Body Green and Tiny Buddha which were great ways to build up my 'expert' credibility.
Another of my fav ways to build my reputation has been by creating authentic connections with colleagues I respect or feel I share values with. When you have a genuine relationship with someone they are more likely to want to support you by positive word of mouth to their clients or colleagues. Never underestimate the power of a blogger to spread a positive word about you.
Here are some other PR tools which will help you to build your reputation on your path to being a successful entrepreneur:
1. A fantastic bio
You MUST be competent at selling yourself. A bio is a great tool to showcase your experience and expertise but remember, it’s not a resume. It should describe and highlight your career, highlight the fields you’re an expert in, and sell you in an authentic style.
To write a fabulous bio, include your areas of expertise, your background and experience, your qualifications and examples of your successes. Lovely feedback is a bonus. It is also a great idea to create multiple versions of your bio for certain situations. For example, a short bio (100 words) is great for media opportunities, a longer bio is suitable for websites and conferences (1 page) and a micro bio (1 or 2 sentences) is perfect for social media or adding on the bottom of articles.
Connecting with people is the best way of building your reputation and getting your name out there. When people know you, and know what you can offer, they are more likely to do business with you and recommend you to other people. Again, like-minded female entrepreneurs and bloggers can be a great place to start. Ands equally spread your net wider to include other people who may also service your ideal clients - chiropractors, massage therapist, yoga teachers...
3. Have an effective media release
A media release is the most effective way of communicating with the media and building your reputation. However, you need to be strategic in how you structure it otherwise it will be discarded within seconds of the recipient opening it.
Always keep in mind the publication you will be sending it to. Your overall goal for sending out a media release is to communicate your messages to their target audience. (Which ideally should be your target audience too) There’s no point writing a great media release about your expertise in tarot card reading if you’re sending it to the editor of a cooking magazine!
4. Media list
A media list contains the key media contacts in your industry who you want to build your reputation with. They will be the ones who write stories on key issues in your industry, and can include journalists, producers, bloggers, freelancers and editors.
Do your research to make sure you have an effective “list”, and keep in mind the following:
What are the publications your target audience use, read or view?
Who is the correct contact who will read your pitch or media release
Create a database with different names for the publication, contact person, job title, email and phone number
Categorise your list and sort contacts by topics or areas of interest
Update your list regularly!
I'd love to hear any of your own tips that have built your reputation via positive PR. Please share any of your own PR tips in the comments below.