Monday July 20, 2020
How do people get into magazines or become guests on high-profile podcasts?
You may have seen your friends or peers get into magazines, onto high-profile podcasts, and gain a whole lot more visibility.
But how do you do this? Where do you find these podcasts, magazines, and other public relations to get more eyeballs onto your business and brand?
And where do you find the time?
I'm so excited to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Laura Maloney. Laura and I met her through a community called Sheer Impact where we were on a coffee and connection call.
When we met for our own coffee connection time, I knew I had to interview her. This interview was recorded live and now I’m transcribing it onto my blog. If you want to watch the original video, go here.
Laura is a PR and marketing maniac that loves helping her clients land valuable press and share their stories with the right audience.
She's also the blogger behind The Self Set, a space dedicated to self-care, self-love, and self-improvement.
She recently self-published a 60-day guided journal called Create Your Confidence that guides you through the process of cognitive reframing to help you work through insecurities and and build more confidence over time.
I’m so ecstatic to be interviewing Laura, so let’s hop straight into the interview:
What inspired you to write your guided journal, Create Your Confidence?
It was definitely a side project kind of a passion project of mine. I love anything around self-care and self-love. And from my own experience, I found cognitive reframing as a really useful psychology practice that helps you work through your insecurities, start to challenge them, and replace them.
And I wanted to find a practical way that people could do that and I ended up creating that was through a guided journal.
It was definitely an interesting process. I love journals, I love journaling. Amazon has a program that lets you Self Publish called Kindle Direct Publishing. And, yes, that's a part of like, “Okay I can actually do this, like actually go through the process of self-publishing!”
And then to actually create the actual specific guided journal for building confidence was definitely written from my own experience of lacking confidence, lacking self-esteem years ago, and what helped me build my confidence and then writing it down in a practical way.
When you become more confident in yourself, you’re able to be more confident in how you show up in your PR. Am I right, Laura?
Absolutely, it’s connected and it's definitely related to the way that we connect with other people.
Because PR itself is kind of like a broad topic, but if you were to summarise it, it's about relationship building. It's building those strategic partnerships, like mutually beneficial relationships.
And it’s a lot like owning your business, owning your value, and what you have to offer, and really connecting to that and articulating that to the right people.
Why is PR so important as an entrepreneur?
Oh man, there's a lot of reasons. I think the main one is just building relationships.
I think a lot of people have a fear of selling, so I think with PR, there’s the opportunity to really build these relationships and cultivate them.
These cultivated relationships are called earned media versus paid media. And it's just so important because you're building these opportunities that are going to last.
You know that you'll be able to land press once and then go back to that relationship you have with that publication and you know you can land press again in the future.
How do you define what Public Relations is and what areas do you specifically focus on with your clients?
PR is kind of broad and now these days with social media, it gets kind of mixed in with marketing and, sometimes, with advertising.
Since it’s relationship building and earned media, it's thinking about any type of article in any magazine with featured articles. All it takes is someone reaching out to the editor and being like, “Hey, there's a story, you should write about it.”
It’s a lot of landing press like magazines, with other types of partnerships like events, finding speaker opportunities, and sponsorship opportunities.
Basically, if you can say, “Hey, here's my business, my organization, a publication, let's team up, here's what I have to offer to you”, can be considered PR.
What are your specialties when you work with your clients and the common PR work that you do for them?
One specialty I perform is that I build media lists. I find those relevant publications, magazines, news outlets, and podcasts, and I find the right editors, reporters, and publishers for my client and I reach out to them. I find ways to pitch a certain story angle around [my client’s] business.
Podcasts have been the most popular recently with clients asking me to land guest opportunities on podcasts.
I am able to be that middleman saying, “Here's this awesome business, here's what's going on with them, and this is what your readers are going to gain value from them.”
The goal is to have them said, “Let's work on this together.”
What are some PR mistakes you see entrepreneurs make all the time?
When people say, “I want PR and I'm going to pitch myself to these businesses or publications, and I'm only going to write about myself and here's how awesome and great I am”, and think that that's all that it takes when it's not.
Instead think, “Here's what the publication's readers are going to value.” When you see it from that angle, you can write your pitch to your value versus just writing about yourself, then it's so much more successful.
That way you're not spamming and you're not coming across as salesy or inauthentic, you're giving something to them that they're going to value.
What is one tip that you can give us that we can grab a hold of and make it happen today in regards to our own PR?
If there's a certain magazine, or in podcast, that you really like and is totally in line with your audience, and you really want to be featured in it, then in your pitch, you got to make sure to at least have that beginning introduction make it clear that you really care about them by showing a specific example of an article or of a podcast episode that you loved.
So many times, these people get so many pitches all the time and you can tell when it's copied and pasted. So if you're able to add something in there that's very tailored, then that's gonna make your pitch stand out.
If you're looking for those really specific perfect for your type of press, then that deserves that little bit of extra time to really pitch to them.
How can we get more clients and scale our businesses with PR?
That's a good question, but unfortunately, there's no way for someone to ensure that you’ll get clients from your PR. I think any type of agency or anyone who says “Hey I'm gonna 100% land you this much press” is lying.
There're so many variables in place - it could change based on that magazine's editorial schedule or interest or so many other things that there's no way to completely 100% ensure that you'll land the article or clients, but I think what really helps is just staying organised.
One piece of advice is to keep those media lists organized, knowing who you've reached out to, when to follow up, and when to set those reminders.
Next, it's also coming up with different angles, being able to make it interesting, look at [your topic] in different ways. Then you can pitch to a whole bunch of different publications.
If it’s not turning out, you can always shift and change [your article] a little bit and tweak it.
What are some of your client's successes that you have helped them achieve?
I'm very honored to have the opportunity to land a lot of different press recently in the Colorado-area publications and news outlets. I've also landed national ones as well.
I had a client who has a pet product and I landed them in the American Kennel Club Magazine. Since podcasts are becoming very popular, I think I’ve landed my clients at least like 15 or 20 interviews, you know across the board and those, that's been awesome.
Why would an entrepreneur want to hire someone like you to do the work for them when we know we can do the work ourselves?
There are a few different reasons why people should hire out in general to freelancers or agencies. The simple thing is that PR takes time, as we've said to build those relationships, to really like cultivate them, and if you're a business owner, you have tons of other things that you're doing.
So you definitely need someone who can follow through and follow up with those leads and things like that.
I think another part is that a lot of people in the PR industry went to school for journalism which actually fits under the umbrella of journalism, so I was trained to understand how journalists think, know their editorial calendars, and understand what makes something newsworthy.
I took a lot of classes on that and on strategic communications. So I think that the other part that makes PR successful: knowing how to think like a reporter and write to a reporter, effectively, then that's going to be much more valuable than someone who doesn't have that training.
What kind of packages do you have?
Depending on what the person needs and expectations are, I can definitely tailor our outreach to regional or to national for the podcasts. I definitely tailor it depending on if you just want training on how to actually pitch properly or what publications and podcasts to reach out too, I'm totally cool sending it to you.
I like to tailor my packages especially with newer businesses and smaller businesses to make sure that it's valuable to them.
How do we connect with you?
I was always open to just even just getting coffee and talking about PR and marketing. I love meeting different business owners and hearing about what's their story.
Any last parting words for us, Laura?
I love that you have this interest in PR. It is such a valuable way to earn and get that attention you need to really get your story out there.
I hope you take some of this advice to heart because hopefully, this is helpful for people, so they can pitch their businesses effectively and really build those relationships. Feel free reach out to me whenever you want because I just love talking about these types of topics.
Share Your Message with Laura Maloney!
Reach out to Laura to do your PR to reach out to the publications to share your message because we know that when we show up, other people are impacted. And then the world is impacted and things begin to shift and change.
I want to leave with is “What changes in me when I share my message?” and “What changes in the world?”
Your message can do just that when you hire Laura to share your message out to the world through publications or getting more ears on your business by being on higher-profile podcasts as a guest, be sure to email her at [email protected].