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Initial funding for your startup can be minimal at best, so hiring a PR team may be temporarily out of reach. At the same time, generating buzz about your product or service is essential to grow your fan base and increase sales. Happily, the following tips can provide you with an affordable jump start on DIY startup public relations:
1. Get Social: Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great (and free) resources to directly communicate with potential customers and influencers. Social media is an effective channel to produce live updates about launches, new products or special events. You can also follow potential or existing consumers to gain insight about the products, events and people they are engaging with, which can be used to better understand and target your audience. In addition, following influencers such as larger companies or journalists in your industry is an effective way to stay on top of current news and trends. Reaching out to and sharing posts from customers, related businesses, and media outlets further generates brand awareness and creates relationships for potential business opportunities.
2. Press Release Like a Pro: Press releases are influential tools to inform the public about the growth and success of your company, but traditionally they can be quite costly. This is not always the case, however, because resources like Free Press Release and HARO allow you to inform the media of updates regarding your company at minimal cost. Signing up with Free Press Release allows you to increase your company’s visibility by distributing your press releases to search engines, email contacts, social media channels and more for only $19/month. HARO, an acronym for Help a Reporter Out, is a database where reporters can reach out to individuals in order to request sources for their upcoming stories. Being cited as a source in an article not only provides visibility for your company, but also establishes credibility and expertise in your field. You can sign up for HARO for just $19/month.
3. Speak Up: Take advantage of speaking opportunities at conferences and trade shows to increase your brand visibility, gain media exposure, and establish influence within your industry. Speaking in person allows you to let your unique personality shine through and better convey why your company’s product or service can benefit consumers. In addition to conferences and trade shows you can also participate in interviews on the radio or through podcasts. BlogTalkRadio is a platform that allows you to host and distribute your own live radio show to any phone or computer. BlogTalkRadio boasts millions of listeners and thousands of different topics that are covered. You can sign up and get your first 30 days free and a basic package runs $39/month thereafter.
4. Know When to Hire a Pro: So, you’ve established a fan base and are looking to further expand your company’s reach to wider audiences. Or maybe you’re ready to launch your offerings internationally? These may be signs that it is time to bring in the professionals. If you notice that maintaining PR is taking up too much time or interfering with the obligations of your internal team, investing in a PR team for support is necessary to effectively expand your market and increase your sales.
Utilizing these resources to generate your own PR is achievable on a shoe-string budget and the positive publicity can be priceless. With persistence, dedication and the right tools you can use DIY PR to ensure a successful future for your startup.
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