Welcome to the Media Mastery mini-series, where we look at the five most common challenges business owners face while trying to build a leading brand.
The number one question I get asked when people find out I am a media consultant is, “I just started a business -– how do I start ‘doing publicity’?” And that’s a great question: even if you have the best idea in the world, you need people to see it. How do you get traffic and generate buzz about what you’re doing?
Launching a new brand can be daunting. The internet is flooded with tutorials and “Top 10 Tips” to generate fast publicity and get your brand off the ground. But unfortunately, most of the advice you’ll find is just a flash in the pan –- nice for a moment, but once it’s done, you’re right back to where you started.
It’s essential that, as a new business owner (or even an existing owner), you adjust your thinking from “How can I generate publicity fast?” to “How do I generate positive publicity that will last?”
And here’s the truth: before you start posting on Instagram, before you start scheduling interviews on local TV, and before you start running ads in the paper, you need to look inward. It would help if you built a solid foundation.
Fortunately, since your brand is new, you’re at a perfect place and time to think about these things.
This isn’t going to be a quick and easy thing to do. It will take time to build up to positive publicity, but you have to start laying that groundwork now. Here are the steps/things you need to answer about your business so you can start building up your base.
What’s Your Why?
Since a young age, I’ve wanted to highlight people doing extraordinary things and help them achieve the “extraordinary” in their lives. This “why” is my engine. It powers me through interviews and motivates my decisions on what media opportunities to explore.
You need to know what your “why” is for your brand.
Many people on the internet and in business always talk about “mission” as your purpose, which is true. But it goes a bit deeper than that. Understanding your mission means knowing what actions and the impact you want to make.
This isn’t just something you write on your website’s “About” page. It’s your roadmap to where you’re going. So ask yourself, what is so important to you about building this brand? What kind of difference are you hoping to make?
The more honest and thoughtful your answer, the more of a guiding light it’ll be to you down the road–especially when it’s time to make difficult decisions. So don’t brush over this. Give your “why” some serious thought.
What’s Your How?
This might sound harsh, but a “why” without a “how” is only a nice thought. To make any movement in your business, you need to think about how you want to operate and how you want your brand to be perceived.
“Culture” is a buzzword that has lost its meaning. But the idea is essential. When people think of your brand, what do you want them to imagine?
Is your brand high-energy and youthful? Serious and reliable? Quirky and fun? There’s no wrong answer except no answer. Choose adjectives to describe your business and then use them to help guide decisions down the road. A tip here is to think hard about your audience and what they would respond to best.
This is just the beginning. But if you know your “why” and “how” when starting your brand from scratch, you’ll have a fantastic foundation for building the rest of your positive publicity campaign–and be miles ahead of most of your competition.