This week we're really excited to introduce the lovely Antonia, founder of Antonia Taylor PR.
This season we're working with Antonia to give creative business owners a good grounding on PR.
At a glance is seems pretty simple but no matter how well you know your brand, it can be difficult to find the right way to portray your voice and map out your business story.
Antonia is passionate about helping individuals like you, to shout about their business from the rooftops, and essentially encourage your ideal customers to choose you.
Today Antonia in sharing. . .
PR is essential to your business’ growth. You’re right - I would say that. But, have a quick think about the entrepreneurs and brands around you that you love, respect, even aspire to be more like. I would put my money on the fact they’re great at PR – getting their brand visible, being connected and engaging with their audiences.
PR is seen as a nice-to-have for big businesses and ambitious influencers; there’s an assumption it means mega budgets and huge campaigns. Possibly a lit Ab Fab sprinkled into the mix. The reality is, that in this fast-evolving landscape, where traditional media is merging evermore with social, the playing field is wide open for you. And, as a creative business owner, here’s how PR can take your business to the next level.
When people tell me their business “needs” PR, my response is “why?” Are you looking to raise your profile as an industry influencer over the long-term or are you looking to get people along to a particular event you’re hosting? Is it about reaching more customers or are you looking for publicity for your amazing new book?
Being clear on where PR sits in your business is the first step to PR success; it’s why I recommend creating a business vision from the outset. A one-off splash in a national will be lovely for confidence and to share with your friends but it’s not going to lead to transformative sales forever. You have to be in this for the long-term.
Story telling is a powerful way to connect with your audience. As the remarkable Seth Godin says, “People buy relations, stories and magic.” Understanding your passion behind building a sustainable, ethical brand can be the difference between a customer choosing your candle line over another. Or knowing the backstory to your dream of opening a lifestyle shop which serves coffee and locally supplied cake, may mean a customer will go the extra step to purchase a t-shirt from you, rather than a bigger, yet faceless supplier. Tell your story. Build that direct trust and connection.
PR is a brilliant way to become known as the expert in your field – whether you’re a blogger, a yoga teacher, a stylist, photographer or a specialist marketeer. By building relationships with journalists and contributing to comment opportunities, articles and interviews, you’ll gradually build a reputation as the go-to in your industry. This builds authority and trust with your brand and your business. Don’t forget too, that a journalist covering your business – because they think your product is relevant and beneficial to their readers – brings so much more credibility than simply buying the advert space.
It also leads to other opportunities – be it potential speaker slots, influencer events or to feature as a guest on a podcast. All this supports the momentum of building your profile, and in turn, gives you more to promote.
We’re all so busy as busy owners. A bank of editorial content – be it a top tips feature in a key trade publication or a snippet in Psychologies – can feed into your content marketing. And sharing coverage again underpins your credibility and authority – with customers, and with other journalists who may well keep you front of mind for a feature or piece they’re working on in the future.
You can re-purpose your content too – for example, refresh an advice-led article for a blog post – helping you maintain a positive content funnel. Timely and relevant telling of your story also keeps your business’ SEO rankings healthy.
PR is a vital component of the marketing mix. And ultimately, it’s about reaching your bottom line, in terms of leads and sales. Be mindful, it’s not a quick win. PR is about relationships which take time to build, require investment and thoughtful ways to help journalists. If you’re looking for an instant business fix, you’re probably better off directing your time and money elsewhere – Facebook ads or local media. But if you’re serious about building a considered, trusted and respected reputation over time, your business will reap the rewards of great PR for years to come. The even better news is, you can start today.
Take the next step with Antonia and learn how to implement a distinct plan on how to give your business the visibility it deserves, at her long awaited workshop: A PR Starter Class for Creative Businesses.