Biz Ladies: How to Leverage Your Press Into Sales

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Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Melissa Cassera, a PR expert who works with savvy, female business owners to help build, grow and market their creative businesses. For more than 10 years, Melissa has helped biz ladies carve their own neich and promote their own expertise through one-on-one consultations, workshops, and, most recently, an e-book guide. Today she offers us some of her techniques for leveraging press coverage into actual sales. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your insights with us! –Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

Getting upgraded to first class + scoring a free night at a luxury hotel (room service included).

Coming home to a bouquet of stargazer lilies from a mysterious admirer.

Discovering that root beer floats have anti-aging antioxidants.

Yeah — getting your first piece of major press coverage feels kinda like that. Whether it’s a coveted spot in a national magazine, a guest post on a big-time blog, or a 15-second sound bite on a hot morning talk show, press coverage can bring boatloads of credibility and recognition to your business. But for many entrepreneurs, that initial bubble of euphoria bursts pretty quickly. Because big-time press does not always translate into big-time sales. And no amount of root beer floatation makes that feel any better.

Fortunately, all is not lost. As a publicist + business strategist, I’ve walked (literally) thousands of entrepreneurs through a few simple techniques that can help you turn media attention into cash — not just clout.

The secret? It’s all about leveraging your newfound fame to help on-the-fence customers make up their minds — not just waiting for orders + inquiries to (magically) come pouring in.

Here are three ways to leverage press like a pro:

Tip #1. Use press as a “happy excuse” to follow up with your “maybe” customers.

Sell products? How many times have you pitched a retail account, gotten some interest, and then never received an order?

Offer a service? I bet you get inquiries all the time from eager would-be customers … who never follow through and actually hire you.

The good news? Press coverage can be just what you need to take prospective customers from “call me, maybe” to “let’s start NOW!”

Here are two tweak-able scripts to make it happen:

For a product-focused business:

Dear [name of wonderful shop owner],

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful [season!]

When we last connected, you expressed interest in purchasing [product name] for [their shop.] A bit of exciting news: [product name] has recently been featured in [media outlet], and it’s looking like we’ll also be featured in [another media outlet] in just a few weeks.

We’re expecting a flurry of interest in [product name] from this press placement, so I thought I’d swing back to you to see if you’d be interested in placing an order for [product name].

I’d be happy to send a copy of the [press coverage] along with your order, ready to hang on the wall in an artsy frame — so your customers can see the [name of media outlet] endorsement up close + personal. :)

If this sounds like a “definitely yes,” email or contact me at [phone] and we’ll get your order packed + shipped, pronto.

Thank you for your consideration,

[your name]

For a service-based business:

Dear [name of brilliant-but-indecisive customer],

I’ve been reveling in your work — especially that [mention something specific they’ve done, recently: a blog post, product launch or collaboration]. I just adore what you’ve been up to, lately.

It’s been a few weeks since our last back ‘n forth, and I thought I’d swing back and re-open our conversation on jamming together.

I was recently featured in [media outlet] talking about [topic], and I know you mentioned this was something you wanted to learn more about. Here’s the [name + link to press coverage] if you want to [read/watch/listen] over your morning java. :)

I’d love to gift you 15 minutes of “pick my brain” time this week and explore how we can work together to [describe the benefit of working with you]. What day + time works for you?

Warmly,

[your signature]

 

Tip #2. Plop press coverage wherever “buying decisions” are made.

Everyone’s done it: you prowl around a website, load up your shopping cart, get to that final checkout screen, and then suddenly decide … naw. Never mind. Control-Q + bye-bye!

By placing press coverage right at that final checkout stage — the “buying decision” moment — you can help tilt fickle customers towards an enthusiastic YES.

For example: if you sell handmade notebooks and one of your notebooks was featured in Real Simple magazine, spotlight that press mention right next to the “BUY” button. Could be as easy as writing “As seen in Real Simple magazine” in the product description.

If you’re selling a service — like a consulting package — you can spotlight your most recognizable press coverage right in your service description. Nothing complicated: just include a line like “My advice has been featured in Glamour, Elle and The Huffington Post.” (Even smaller, lesser-known publications can still do the trick.)

 

Tip #3. Don’t just share your press coverage — share the back story.

Imagine finding out that your favorite local hair salon got written up in a national magazine. You’re genuinely happy for them! But it doesn’t exactly alter the course of your day.

Now imagine finding out that your favorite local hair salon got written up in a national magazine — and thanks to a tell-all, behind-the-scenes blog post, you get an inspiring tour of how it happened, who was at the photo shoot, and just how ECSTATIC the salon owner was when the media rolled up for the interview.

Now you’re not just mildly interested — you’re emotionally invested. You’re so proud! And you can’t wait to book your next blow-out to congratulate the salon owner, in person. Done + done.

Facts tell, but stories sell — and everyone loves a great behind-the-scenes story.

Instead of simply “announcing” a piece of press coverage to your audience, share a few juicy details about how it happened — how did you make contact with that media, or did they contact you? What was it like to be interviewed on-camera? Did you feel nervous? Excited? Eerily calm? What happened afterwards? How did you celebrate?

Your customers l-o-v-e living vicariously through you — and even if you don’t think your life is particularly glamorous, it doesn’t matter. Other people’s success is always fascinating when you lift back the curtain + reveal how it happened.

 

To seal it up:

Remember: press doesn’t automatically equal an avalanche of mad money — unless you take the initiative to turn that coverage into cash.

Choose one (or all!) of the methods we just rolled through, and watch what happens. (I predict a lot more glossy magazine features — and fierce revenue — in your future.)

 

molly

Just shared this with some of my favorite brands that I frequently cover on my blog. I want them to get more out of their coverage and of course it’s a virtuous cycle for me too… Thanks so much for a great piece!

Kiana Mosley

I feel like this was written for me! Just got a great feature on the Jealous Curator which was and IS amazing exposure, and just know I have to keep up the momentum… its the best work… feels great! Thank you for this incredibly timely and motivating post!

Casey

Great advice! I love the Biz Ladies posts. Getting a feature feels awesome, then follows the inevitable “what now?” crash. Very useful info for keeping the momentum going, thanks!

Maia

Wonderful article with great advice. I wish this was around when I was featured on Refinery29, it might have helped me capitalize on that while it still fresh!

Kristina

Love it! Thanks Melissa.
BTW when you promote your media coverage, use a newsletter service. I’m partial to ShowBiz Sender I use it for my acting newsletters, for my company… (I’m a co-founder of it). It’s really easy-to-use, it’s less expensive than any other newsletter service and, you can see then who clicks on what pr message you are sending and people can opt out. Make it easy to let people say “No thank you” if they are not interested so as you said you can focus on turning the ‘Maybe’s” into “YES’!” Tracking that really is helpful for your business.

Lisa

Thank you so much Melissa!

I loved every bit of this. My favorite tip was putting the press in where buying decisions are make. I do that a lot – fill up my little virtual cart, but don’t actually hit the pay now button. I can easily imagine that would be a supper successful strategy for getting a girl over the fence and pulling out the CC!

ashlee

Fantastic post. It feels so “doable” with those exames of follow up emails. Thank you!

Maria Ross

Fantastic advice to boost your brand…especially loved the note about adding a reminder right near the BUY button. Brilliant!

Catherine

This is a really fabulous article – thank you Melissa! We’ve been featured in media like People magazine, the Today Show and our backpack even made the cover of Today’s Parent this summer – but aside from posting on our social media pages and adding to our website, we really didn’t know what else to do with it. This is perfect – thank you!

Norma Germain

Thanks, Melissa! We’ll be using your tips to make changes to our website. Like Catherine in the comments above, we have had media, but have only listed it on a page on our website. Your suggestions are ideas we had not thought of incorporating.

Jana Morrelli

Adore your idea of telling the back story about getting press- that excitement you feel is palpable and is a great story to share!

Elsie Escobar

Super duper post Melissa! Loved “press doesn’t automatically equal an avalanche of mad money — unless you take the initiative to turn that coverage into cash.” I think that I can apply this to up-frame (my term) smaller bit of media coverage, such as being featured in iTunes or speaking at a local event with a fancy name. As long as I’m excited about it, I can totally make it work :) Thank you!

Caroline Davis

REALLY love this post – thanks for the great advice. Now, time for Dandi ladies to get busy making our media coverage work for us!

Diana Campbell

Hi Melissa, wonderful article and seems we have exactly the same ideas about getting the most from press – yes, display it alongside the products and near the Buy button! I have recently launched a website that helps independent business owners do just that. Will drop you an email because I’m very keen to get your feedback on the idea!

Mary Sherman

I wanted to have a printer friendly copy, so I tried to pin it but they wouldn’t pin because of the graphic. All I want is your words

Denise @ Antoon Group

Great tips for PR. It is always important to use the press and not let it wither away. Promoting where you have been seen is not always instant sales, so using it long term is what you need to consider in your bigger strategic plan. When it comes down to you and another person and they have seen you have been in the media that can make a huge difference to your future clients.

Tracey the Safety Lady

This is just what the doctor ordered. My safety and security business gets tons of press/TV coverage locally. However, I have been missing the next step, monetizing and leveraging the exposure. You have shed some light on how to make that happen. I can share the great coverage and not sound like I am shamelessly bragging… Just sharing the good news (and building credibility)!

Thank you and be safe!

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