Catching the Attention of National Publications
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It's always the dream for every small business owner to have their brand and business expand. There are almost as many strategies for growth as there are businesses. A great strategy, and one that we use here, is to find media outlets that specialize in your field of service. Following these sources can provide an insight into the direction your field of business is going and supply ideas, techniques, and/or assets your business can utilize. But how can following others help you to lead the pack and get noticed? Sometimes it takes tremendous skill and dedication. Other times it might be playing the long game, a streak of luck, or simply just asking. We have ended up using a bit of everything along with many hours focused on improving our craft to set ourselves on the path of grabbing these media outlets attention and this is just one example of success. Included here are some links to get the article we are referencing for FREE.
A Foot in the Door
We currently follow a number of publications for both Sign and Awning Businesses. Over the years we have read their articles detailing the newest and greatest tips and tricks in the business. That was our first step towards a systematic approach to growth. Learn from your peers and learn from your competition. They're still in business for a reason. It's good to constantly remind yourself to take their ideas ONLY AS INSPIRATION. Following a trend or copying is a sure-fire way to lose what makes you unique and will ultimately lead to blending into the crowd and obscurity. Keep a keen eye on any chance to prove yourself to the media you follow. Find any chance to get in front of them and get a foot in the door.
After honing and improving our craft, we found an opportunity in the form of national contests. It was a great way for us, a custom sign business, to show off and compare ourselves to the rest. This was our starting point. Our chance to get the focus of the spotlight.
A Helping Hand is a Friendly Hand
Upon placing in the finalists of their contest, we were contacted by their chief editor. There he inquired a bit more about our shop and our submission. Use these interactions to foster a friendly relation. It never hurts to be on first name basis. We supplied all of the information the editor was requesting but made sure not to miss this opportunity of contact and lose a chance to ask questions towards the publication.
Being fans and avid readers of this publication over the years laid the groundwork for asking directed question. We knew that not only did they cover techniques and overall reports of the industry but that they occasionally did feature articles on specific Sign Shops throughout the nation. We inquired as to what the selection process entailed and what was expected of the shops featured.
Hot off the Presses
For this style of article we had to present an idea currently in the works and focus on the details. Our pitch to the editor was successful and he green-lit the feature as long as we could provide our necessary parts within his publishing timeline. A new deadline for the project had been added. Supplied with our information and progress pictures, the feature was assembled. All that was left to do was await the arrival of the upcoming issue.
This Strategy Overview
Find Media Outlets within your field of business → Follow these sources to learn and utilize skills to improve your business → Find/Create an opportunity to get in front of these sources → Keep trying and refining at every opportunity until you can gain notice → It never hurts to ask questions towards your goal → Meet their criteria and show your brand off!