The DIY mentality of many entrepreneurs leads them to believe that their innovated products or services will create enough word-of-mouth to push their marketing needs forward. However, it is more likely that the small startup businesses that you have heard about have invested in a strategic media plan and are currently devoted to driving it forward.

Here are some benefits to having good publicity in the startup phase:

  • It builds customer trust – if consumers haven’t heard about you or can’t see you they will not trust you. Search results of your business should reveal an active business and an accessible contact. Without this customers will click the back button instantly!
  • It attracts talent – having great content about your business’s visionary work will attract potential partners, distributions opportunities and employees.
  • It gathers speaking engagements – as a published expert, conference organizers will want you to speak at their next industry event, boosting your visibility further.

Creating awareness of your business is a critical predictor of business stability. However spending major amounts on PR before you see any significant revenue may not sound appealing, it is pretty standard.

The Do’s:

  1. Understand what makes your business different! Always lead with this when promoting your business and have it down to a sound bite so it can be incorporated in every blog post, press release and webpage.
  2. Encourage regular customer contact by sending email newsletters, blogging or taking surveys.
  3. Identify a piece of information that’s unique to your company and mine it. This might be a special report, an index, or even a leading industry figure. If you are the only one who has it, you can build a lot of interest with the right content.
  4. When sharing you story, always make sure people know why what you do matters in the larger context of your industry!!!!!!!

The Don’ts:

  1. Bad media can damage your media before your business is even able to get off the ground!! So make sure you stay on track with creating fruitful media relations!
  2. Don’t get caught in the “we can’t talk about that” cycle.  Sometimes customers are nervous to acknowledge that they are working with an early-stage entrepreneur. To encourage customers to talk about you give them a discount for an “acknowledge” engagement or put a “privilege of mutual reference” clause in the contract so both parties can mention who they’re doing business with.
  3. Think you can’t afford publicity? In today’s ever-advancing technologies, media access for entrepreneurs is faster and cheaper than you might ever think!
  4. Media can generate sales, and sales information can influence marketing. So pay attention to how they play off of each other.

Whether you pay someone to spread the word or educated people with your stories via online outlets, a strong media presence pays off. Knowing you exist is the first step to getting customers’ attention. Then, it’s up to you to convert these mentions into real business.