#PRTips – Best Ways to Pitch the Media & Build Your Brand

One of the ways to get great PR for your business is to write pitches that can be sent to the media and other places.  The goal is to become a regular contributor to those you send to and often times that’s exactly what happens.  It’s just that so many aren’t sure how to do it right.  So let’s break it down in bite-size tips!

So…exactly what is a pitch? Let’s discuss the many types of pitches:

  • A story to a reporter or editor – stories sell, just make yours relevant
  • A pitch to a radio show, TV program, etc., to be a guest
  • A pitch that accompanies an article to get your article accepted in major publications, websites, etc.
  • A pitch to book reviewers to ask for a book review
  • A pitch to accompany a press release and show why the release is newsworthy and of interest to who you are sending it to
  • A pitch for a blog tour asking to be a guest blogger. As a blogger you can see if they would be interested in posting your articles, being part of a contest, do a Q&A, host giveaways, and more. Guest blogging is a great way to build long-lasting relationships and get in front of new audiences.
  • A pitch to secure speaking engagements letting them know why you would be the perfect speaker for their event or audience

Pitch Basics 101 – Follow The Guidelines

  • Know what is newsworthy. Really know what is newsworthy.  Now that you are doing yoga isn’t newsworthy, even though you are selling health products.  However, you selling health-related products and you having a great tip article on how to cut sugar out of your diet or the best foods to eat with different medical issues to improve your health and wellness can be. Pitched right, you can get in major media and those sites that would be interested in what you are offering.
  • Be aware of trends, editorial calendars, relatable human-interest stories, etc. Trends are especially awesome this time of year.  Media loves to know the upcoming trends in 2018.  So pitch those now!  Example:  Social media trends you need to know for 2018. Marketing trends for 2018.  (You get the drift!)
  • Pitch correctly to build great relationships. Want to get a nasty gram back from an editor, send your health-related pitch to the sport’s editor.  Boy do they not have a sense of humor and rightly so.  Do your homework and pitch accordingly. P.S. another way to annoy them beyond belief is to send to them after they have asked to be deleted from your database.  You can see the steam coming through the emails.  Avoid at all costs!  And again, they are correct in asking to be removed and being upset that you didn’t do so, so always follow through and make sure they don’t receive additional pitches.
  • Plan results. Know who you are targeting and why. READ their publications so you know what they cover.  Your ace in the hole is when you provide the right publication with the right article and it’s error-free and provides killer tips.  Bamm, they will love you forever.  Well, maybe not.  But they will more than likely add your article and consider you for future ones.
  • Think of unique angles and hooks you have for a news story. Give them something they don’t already have.  In the pitch, spell it out clearly.  Don’t just pitch them saying, I’m an expert on this so let’s chat.  Pitch them with …. I’m an expert on this, I’ve been quoted in these major media previously and here are my tips. Now, you want to provide the tips in the email itself and not send them back to your site to find them. Editors are busy people and they aren’t going to go to your site to find these tips you make mention of, even though you’ve told them they are KILLER TIPS!  You have to provide them. Make it as easy as possible to allow them to copy and paste your tips right into their publication.  They might just reward you with a feature story in their publication with the entire article you sent.
  • Lead with the most important points of whatever you are sending. Don’t save the best for last.  That subject line and first two sentences should open the door so you can proceed accordingly. Don’t just stop there and have fluff for the rest of the pitch.
  • Use statistics when it adds to your pitch. Publications love to have stats they can quote.  Just make sure they are quoted accurately with the proper attribution to the author. Examples include:  how many entrepreneurs in 2017, how much do businesses spend in marketing a year, etc.
  • Be consistent. Don’t be a one-pitch wonder.  Send pitches out frequently.  All too often, clients will send out one article and we get good responses and then they stop.  Ouch it just hurts!!!  This is the wrong way to pitch.  The best way to do it is to pitch again within a short amount of time so they remember you. You hear it all the time that it takes a few times to get to that “yes” and that is definitely true in media pitching. Yes, with the right pitch you can hear back immediately, but when you consistently send out great pitches with awesome information, you build those media relationships and it won’t be long until they will be coming to you when they need expert advice. (Boy does that make my job easier!)
  • When pitching, send to the major publications first as they might want exclusives. In the subject line and in the pitch tell them it’s an exclusive article too.  Then you want to wait to send to others until you know they aren’t interested.  Many publications will tell you exactly how long to wait.

Prove Your Worth And Show Them Why You Are the Expert In the Pitch

  • Prove why you are the expert with the content of your pitch. The content and tips you send speaks of your knowledge on the topic you are pitching on.  Hopefully you can see in this article that I love to pitch and truly do try and do it right. That’s what you want to do in your articles and pitches-show that you are really good at what you do. Don’t have the same ole’ dated material that others have.  You get recognized for being the best when your pitches show you are exactly that.
  • Add in your bio and your media mentions and where you have appeared. When you get new media, add it in. Just don’t list every single one.  Keep with the ones that will impress this audience the best.  For example, a business pitch is going to want to hear you were featured in Entrepreneur or Fast Company, whereas a health and wellness pitch might want to see your Health Magazine mention more.
  • Prove your worth by the quality of the pitch itself. If it is riddled with typos, has five different fonts, isn’t consistent and well just looks wrong, you aren’t impressing anyone.  Read and reread it, make it look sensational, and do all you can to show that you have got this down pat.

See how easy it is to pitch.  What is really awesome too is once you got your format down pat, it’s a rinse and repeat for additional pitches.  Add in new content, but keep the pitch basics the same.  And remember, you don’t have to do it alone.  Why not seek the help of those who do this regularly and let them assist you in getting your name and brand out there in the best way possible.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She also offers PR Classes including her latest PR Success Series at www.prsuccessseries.com. Follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

PR Success Series – Marketing Tips 101

Who’s ready to get back into marketing their business?  It’s time to get busy and there’s no better way than with tips from a pro, like me!  Here are some of my best tips to market your business and build your brand.

Marketing Tips 101

  • Define your business. In order to do this, you must know and understand who you are and who your clients are. Then you get to talk their language with all your marketing.
  • Make sure your “brand” is fully developed. Take a minute here.  If people were to ask what you do, what would you tell them?  This should come off your lips as fast as ice cream melts in the hot summer sun in S. Florida.
  • Create a complete “Marketing Plan.” This is a plan that you will follow.  Nothing fancy, just some good old fashioned ideas that makes your company stand out among the competition and brings those clients and cash (cha ching!)
  • Become an expert and use Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc.) to prove you are a rock star. Don’t boost, just provide great tips that show you know your stuff.   Also, be mindful of postings that are inadvertent brags.  Most see right through those.
  • Use images that show you as the supreme entrepreneur! Don’t just put an image out there to have new content.  Review those images and make them reflect the real you – you know the professional that will make other businesses shine when they work with you.
  • Network, Network, Network! Hi Ho, Hi ho, a networking we go.  – Online, offline, here an event, there an event, everywhere an event …. Okay, a little corny, but you get my drift.  Get out there and have some fun.  Network and meet new people, whether online or in person that can be your clients, refer clients to you, or just build relationships with.
  • Get involved in “virtual events” or host your own. These are often events where 5 or more entrepreneurs get together with a common theme and share what makes them awesome.  It’s great because not only do you get to connect with these entrepreneurs and build relationships, but you also get introduced to their tribe.  Win/win.  Just go in knowing that it takes time to promote.  Many a virtual event has not succeeded because no one took the time to talk about it.  The more you do, the better your results.
  • “Pitch” the media…and do it right! Write articles on your expertise.  How to articles work best.  Then create Cision databases and send them out.   Then announce on your social media when accepted.  Don’t have Cision?  No problem, email me and let’s see what we can do.

These tips should help.  Also, if you are interested in learning how to market like a pro, consider our latest PR Success Series – www.prsuccessseries.com.  It is 4 webinars, one on marketing like a pro, one on blogging, one on press releases, and one on pitching.   And for a very short time, these are available for $97.00.

Social media Marketing Tips – These work!

Want to get more engagement out of your social media.  These tips work!

  • Have a Plan Work that Plan – The key is to be consistent. Don’t stop, start, start back up again, etc. Be consistent in your postings.  For example, I share tips, reviews, images, articles from publications, any media I get, what events I’m doing, tips from others, etc.)
  • Review Your Plan & Make Changes – Constantly review your SM marketing and make changes .. Just one might be .. finding out when your people are on SM by reviewing your insights and then sending more during that time.
  • Use Your Profiles –Use appropriate keywords to describe what you do in your profiles. Does your LinkedIn Profile sound like the same person as your Twitter Profile?  It should! Don’t be two different people online!
  • Post #PRTips, #VATips, #BookMarketing tips – Remember to include those tips that will reach your target audience. Also, set up columns so you can see what others post under these hashtags and repost some of their tips as well.
  • Do not run the same postings over and over again. Yes, you can use ones you’ve used before, but don’t do same ones repeatedly.  It  makes you appear lazy!
  • Facebook Ads – They work!  You get to set the budget, target the audience & more. You get more people to your page & you get ads that promote your events or services.
  • Images count. Use a great image, compelling message, call to action, etc.  Start noticing the ads that you see.  What is it about them that stands out?
  • You can send people to your website or your Facebook page. Decide which you want? I normally do a combination of both.
  • Use the editor to fine tune your audience. One thing I discovered is that you can “Type in possibilities” and it will show what’s available. Say .. Entrepreneurs, business owners, romance novels, etc.
  • Boosted Posts – Just hit promote this post. Bamm…it’s done! More likes=more engagement. Promote the posts that get the most responses and the ones that mention your newsletter, your specials, etc. (Not the ones that Facebook recommends.)
  • Promote the good stuff.

Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com This article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

25 Awesome Ways to Get PR for Your Book

Self-published your book and not sure how to get others to notice it!  No problem these tips will help you market like a pro.

  • Get media attention – pitching the media. Securing interviews with various media is an excellent way to promote your book. Make sure your pitch is well-planned, clearly showing why you are the expert in your field, and outlines your experience appearing on radio, TV, and other media. Also, just because you wrote a book is not news, you need to talk more about how that book can make a difference or why their audience would love it. Be sure to pitch to the right editors too.  We use Cision to find those and it rocks!
  • Radio Shows – One way to get more PR for your book is to do radio shows. Fortunately there are so many shows available today and constantly are looking for great guests. In fact, it was recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine that 57 million Americans are now tuning in. One benefit of doing radio is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home or office with no traveling required.    Remember pitch the shows that fit your book and you.  That show on benefits of going organic is not going to appreciate your book on building a business.
  • Write down sound bites that clearly discuss your book, you, the topic of your book, etc.  (The Q&A from your media kit can be used here.)  Remember when doing a show to keep it conversational and fun, always following the hosts lead.  And add these to your media page on your website and be sure to promote the show yourself.  Shows will have you back more when they see their numbers increase.
  • TV –Know that if you haven’t been on TV before, big named shows are not as likely to bite, so start locally and on a smaller scale. Build up to the bigger names one and always add any media you get to your press page, your bio, and any pitches.  Watch the shows so you have a good idea how they work.  Dress the part and be confident.  Yes, you’ll be nervous, but remember you did something sensational that not everyone can do … you wrote a book and are an author.  It helps!
  • Local Media – Connect with your local media and let them know you have a new book out. But be sure to give them a reason why they would want to interview you.  Again, the fact that you live in their area and wrote something isn’t enough. You need to pitch them on why their audience would be interested.  What unique angle can you bring to the plate?  Keep in mind too, you can often target these towards holidays or special events if you have a book that relates to these topics.  There always seems to be a day or month for something (i.e., talk like a Pirate Day.)
  • Book Reviews. Getting book reviews is so important. There are numerous professional book reviewers who review books professionally and it’s good to send pitches to them. Again, we use Cision to look for reviewers and all of our media, but there are others out there as well.  Just make sure it’s targeted and send exactly what they ask.  When you do your homework, it shows.

Also, it’s great to ask for those who know you as well to write a review, just don’t be that person that spams their friends.  Also, have a promotion strategy with a big push at the beginning, but then continue to seek and secure reviews on a monthly basis. It’s a commitment that will pay off by keeping your book in the public eye. Also, know timing is critical when securing book reviews as a few of the larger book review sites require the galley two to three months in advance.

  • Blog Tours. In today’s online world, blog tours are an economical way to promote your book as well as your expertise. Create your pitch and send it to blog sites that may want to have you as guest blogger or connect with you in some other way such as doing a good review or perhaps a contest. Be sure your pitch is clear on the topic and why you would be the perfect fit for their site. Also, offer several options such as being a guest blogger, providing a Q&A, hosting a contest, etc.
  • Blogging is a great way to get PR about your book. It allows you to connect with your readers, as well as those who are just curious about you, but haven’t yet taken the plunge as a devoted fan. Blogging builds relationships, allows you to share more about yourself than just what appears in your book, and it’s the perfect place to post your book reviews or ask for reviews.  Be consistent with your blogging and whenever you add a new blog posting, mention it on all your social media channels.
  • Book Clubs – Promote your book through book clubs. Offer a discount and also offer to answer questions throughout.  Be personable and show them why it would be to their advantage to host you.
  • Press Releases. An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to promote your book. It not only brings exposure to your book , but it rocks your SEO results and backlinks. Your release can cover the launch of your book, any great reviews you received, an upcoming book tour or book signing, any speaking engagements you have up and coming, any radio appearances, etc.  Remember the most important basis for a press release – it has to be newsworthy.  Get in the habit of writing releases on a regular basis and also be sure in your press release to include the call to action—buy my book, do a review, come to my book signing, etc.
  • Writing Articles – Write articles on the topic in your book. It is a great way to promote your book or show your expertise. For example, say you have a business book on starting a virtual assistant business. You can write articles on how to start a VA business, how to work with virtual assistants, pricing, etc.  Use your articles to pitch magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc. who write on your topic.  Often they will include the entire article. You can also add your articles to your newsletter, blogs, etc.
  • Create a media kit – it’s great to have a media kit that you can add to your site as well as send when requested from the media. A media kit can consist of sales page, pitch (cover letter), press release, bio, Q&A, excerpts, and testimonials.  No need for a huge media kit these days.  Just the basics so you can share more about your book.  We use the pitch (cover letter) and press release to also send out to the media, so it helps that way as well.
  • Newsletter –On your website have a signup box to your newsletter. Send out a newsletter at least once a month if not more.  This is your way to get personal and show fans more about you.  Let them know of upcoming books, speaking opportunities, etc.
  • Book promotion and speaking go hand in hand. Use your book to get more speaking engagements, and use your speaking engagements to promote your book. Plan well in advance, and look for opportunities locally, online and around the country. Your colleagues and others in your professional circle can also be a great resource for speaking opportunities, and are typically always happy to share their knowledge and ideas. Also, you can find speaking opportunities by doing internet searches on speaking opportunities and your topic.  Also, set up Google alerts to find more.  Once you find them, send a well-crafted pitch on why you are perfect for their audience.  And know sometimes it takes follow-up and connecting with them more than once to be accepted.
  • Teleseminars / Webinars – Absolutely be in the habit of doing these, especially if your book is business related. You get to show your expertise, but also many use teleseminars as a way to get more to sign up for their email list.  The key is to really give value.  Too many webinars are 5 minutes of content and 55 minutes of sales pitch.  Not good! Give value and they will want to hear more from you.
  • Book Signings – What a great way to celebrate being an author. First connect locally to not only bookstores in your area, but perhaps your local library.  Don’t limit it to only those though.  If your book is focused on a specific topic, see what businesses or organizations may be interested as well. Know that you can continue to do book signings even after the initial launch. So many do this, plan book signings at the beginning and then stop.  Don’t be that author!  Continually make this a part of your marketing, not only for sales, but to keep you front and center in front of your favorite fans!
  • Networking – Get involved. Look for groups in your area that would be a good fit and attend regularly.  Be picky.  In the beginning you might attend more until you find the right groups, but once you find good fits, spend your valuable time there. And this isn’t just for writer’s groups, although those rock.  Are there any business groups that have your targeted audience in them, maybe some sci-fi groups or mystery groups?  Keep looking. The secret here though is not to overcommit.  Know these take time so watch your schedule so you too can enjoy them and not feel stressed.
  • Social Media –Get active and stay active on social media and connect with your fans. They love seeing the face behind the book. Remember the 80/20 rule.  80 percent engagement, 20 percent pitching. You can include excerpts from your books, any reviews you get, business tips, motivational quotes, images, contests, upcoming events and any press you get, etc.  Plus, have fun with it.  And most importantly, remember it’s better to have a smaller number of really engaged fans, than thousands of those who aren’t.
  • Paid Advertising – Yes do it! Sure it costs a little, but budget accordingly.  You get your book and you in front of the right people when you do.
  • Facebook Ads. – It pays to spend some money and get additional exposure for your book as well as your Facebook Book Page. Be sure to target your audience when you set up an ad and be specific in who will see your ads, and make it visually appealing.  Set the budget so you can see results.
  • Google Ads – The benefit to Google ads is that you find the keywords that really work. To get front page status, you have to pay more for certain keywords.  The good news … you can use those keywords in your everyday marketing.  Yeah buddy, it works!  Plus, Google ads bring more exposure to your book from those that might not have heard of it.  It’s worth it!
  • Book Business Cards – Carry business cards of your book with the cover on them and contact information. Get into the habit of passing them out often. Also, if speaking at an event have cards with your book and cards with your information.  A nicely crafted postcard works great!
  • Website – You want to have a website for your book or at minimum a page on your site specifically for your book. Also, know just having a website isn’t enough.  You also have to keep it updated, making sure to keep it updated and easy to purchase your book.  So many develop a website and never come back again.  Big mistake!
  • Promote through Your Other Books – Use your other books. If you sell multiple books in the shopping cart, have it set up so it shows other books they might be interested in.  When possible add in your other books to your newest book.  If you happen to have a series book, start promoting Book One in the series when you write new books so you get fans to start there and catch up.
  • Excerpts from your book – Get into the habit of taking excerpts from your book and creating social media postings, blog postings, creating articles, etc. It’s a great way to show what’s in your book and get more engagement. Also, you can add these to your media kit as well.
  • Always carry a copy of your book with you – When someone asks about it, be proud and tell them about it. Don’t be shy in telling them how they can purchase it.  (Just don’t be pushy!)
  • Family, Friends & Associates – Yes, your family, friends and associates can be key in promoting your book and most are thrilled to help. (You can even send PDF copies to some to cut down on expenses of not having to send a hard copy.)  It’s okay to tell them how best they can help as many just aren’t sure.  Ask for reviews, tell them to share with their friends and family, post on social media, and don’t forget to invite them to your book launching party.  Just don’t be that friend that all you talk about now is your book and forget the value of your friendship.
  • BONUS TIP — YOU! The best way to sell your book is to be a good example.  Be the author that engages with fans and truly cares.  Be the author that doesn’t overextend and burden your social media with constantly only selling your book.  Be the author that has a great book and you are proud of it.

See how easy it can be to market your book.  Get in the habit of doing these regularly.  And know if you need help, follow those who offer book marketing series to get their expertise.  Often they will provide daily tips.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  Follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

Entrepreneur tips – Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Entrepreneur tips – Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Running your business definitely has its challenges. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.

Here are a few tips to overcome your business challenges:

• Letting others know your value. So many business owners just don’t understand fully what all you do because they aren’t doing the work. You need to let them know. It’s not bragging, it’s good business sense. For example, with PR and marketing, it’s important to be able to explain to clients exactly what they are getting. Let’s say you land them in major media. Not only should you let them know that it happened, but also provide the stats on that site so they see how great it is and what they can expect. Also, to get more out of each media mention, provide additional information on how they can utilize their social media (people they already know them) to showcase this media attention. So whatever your business, find ways to do the follow-up showing all you accomplish for your clients and why it benefits them.

• Keeping consistent income. Here again, many business owners suffer from this and the feast or famine of their business. One month you are rock’n and can barely keep up, and then the next month crickets. You often crave the stability of a regular paycheck. Well, you can make that happen. One way is to offer retainer services whereby every month clients will retain your services. Even though it’s at a slight lower rate, depending on how many hours they secure, it’s beneficial as it provides regular income. Another method might be to offer programs that are set up on a monthly basis. This differs for so many businesses and how they can set it up, but the bottom line remains the same – keep income coming in regularly.

• Overcoming a Bad Experience. Have you ever had something happen in your business that well didn’t go according to plan? Say you spoke and no one ended up buying your book or becoming clients. Your new program that you spent months on, didn’t fly. Perhaps a client wasn’t 100% satisfied with your services. Believe it or not, this happens to most of us at one time or another. Yes, you could sit back and never speak again, or mope and settle for less income by not going after new clients, or you can reboot and start fresh. That’s the one to go with. We know that loss of confidence can really hurt. However, the real pros know to move on. First, take a few minutes and examine your role. Could you have done something different? If so, next time do it. (That was easy!). Next build your confidence back. Read your client testimonials or talk with associates. Do anything and everything to rebuild your confidence because honestly even saying it doesn’t bother you, more than likely it does. Then get back on the horse again only this time with renewed confidence and perhaps a few changes in how you do things. Will you fall again? Of course you will at some time. But will you always grow learning from your experiences, absolutely!

• Not Pricing Correctly. If I had a nickel for every time that I did this, well I could make up for my pricing mistakes. Seriously though, this happens. You underbid on a project finding out it takes five times longer than you anticipated. You price a course and then realize that you are giving away the farm. Or you simply discover your hourly rate is way below what it should be. Not to fear. It’s fixable. The most important thing you can do is to learn from this and correct the situation. You might not be able to up your rate with the current client, just you can learn from your mistake and never do it again. Also, don’t disregard talking with your client about it. Sometimes they understand. However, know that if its your mistake, you shouldn’t make them pay unless they are willing to.

• Time Management – Pricing mistakes often are made because you didn’t realize the time involvement. So get used to timing yourself. Yes, get the timer out and work for a specific amount of time on that task and see how long it takes. Simple! Also, get a day planner and write down your day for a week or two (or forever!) or get used to using some of the many valuable time management programs available today. Time is money and if you are not keeping track of it and utilizing your time in the best possible way, well there it goes, clunk clunk … down the drain.

Business challenges are a part of business. So get used to dealing with them and also get used to learning methods of rising above them. Be great at what you do, do what you are passionate about, and finally seek help when needed. Let’s chat about your business challenges. Post away!

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included and follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

Holiday Marketing – Plan For Your Best Year Ever

Tis the season to go marketing, fa la la la la … la la la laHoliday Marketing

Why do I love holiday marketing so much?  Because it’s a great way to go into the New Year with more clients and more sales and at the same time, connect on a deeper level with your clients and potential clients. You get to wish them holiday cheer and talk about their plans for the holidays and upcoming year.  It’s more relaxed and low key and often the marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all, but more of a ‘Hi, how are you?”  No really, “Hi, how are you?  What are you doing for the holidays and how are you celebrating with your kids, etc.?”  You will soon get to the “What can do together in the new year,” but first, let’s get to know each other better.  Continue reading

PR and Marketing Firm, Virtual Word Publishing Rebrands Adding VIP Days, PR Packages and More

Here’s our latest press release about our rebranding.  Love your thoughts!

PR and Marketing Firm, Virtual Word Publishing Rebrands Adding VIP Days, PR Packages and More

MARGATE, FL (May 2014):  Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com has rebranded and is back better than ever.  In business since 1985 and offering PR and marketing services and PR Coaching and Classes to authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, coaches and more, Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing has been working on the rebranding process for over a year.

Ennen knows the right branding and marketing draws business in, rather than wastes countless hours chasing business down, and has been specializing in just that for clients, getting the right people to notice.  Through years of perfecting PR and marketing, Virtual Word Publishing has become the one-stop shop for those wanting to grow their business and get more sales and specializes in book marketing and getting media attention.  Ennen is also the author of several books including the best-selling Virtual Assistant the Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

One of the newest additions to go along with the rebranding has been the addition of PR and Virtual Assistant packages. A long time in coming for Ennen and often requested from clients and potential clients, Ennen is pleased to now offer new programs and many of her PR services and coaching programs are now packaged together.

Ennen is especially proud of these new programs including:

  • PR and Marketing Packages – Book marketing, pitching the media,   press release or article marketing campaigns, editing and proofing, social  media, etc., are just a few of the new PR packages.
  • VIP Days – Virtual days working one-on-one with Ennen where  businesses can either plan out an entire media campaign, write those press releases and articles, create pitches and secure databases to pitch to or grow their business by working together on what needs to be done.
  • Coaching – Now introducing six-month programs in addition to monthly  plans.  It takes time to grow a  business and nothing can help more than working side by side with a coach who knows exactly what is needed. Ennen is also opening this up for Virtual Assistant teams or Corporations as well.

The new branding of the website was done by the extraordinarily talented web designer, Nancy Seeger of Arts Assistance.  The key to an effective rebranding and new web design is when the web designer is able to capture the vision of the site and make that vision come to life, while adding in all the necessary website components including being mobile friendly.   Another key factor is designing the site to match the audience (target audience design) so when potential clients come to the site, they immediately feel at home.  Seeger did just that and so much more.

Ennen states, “I am so proud of the work I have done with clients in the past: getting them national media attention, growing their business, and more, but I’m so looking forward to the upcoming year and new programs.  Our focus remains the same—helping those grow their business, but we have perfected our methods to have even more success.”

Stop by http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com and let’s see how we can work together.  Also, be sure to sign up for Ennen’s PR tips and not only get our PR informational package, but PR tips regularly. For media interviews contact Ennen at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com

About:  Virtual Word Publishing has been in business since 1985 and specializes in PR and marketing and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching and Classes.

How to Avoid Desperation Marketing – How to Get Clients Now

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How to Avoid Desperation Marketing  –  How to Get Clients Now

Have you ever done this?  Looked at the bank account, looked at the bills, looked at your upcoming schedule and then just went into a major panic?   What are you doing to do?  The bills are coming in, the clients are heading out, and you are stuck right dab in the middle with what seems like no solution in sight?  The last few months might have been great, but now, for some reason times are tough and the clients just don’t see to be there.  What next?

Believe me, many think they are alone in this scenario, but they aren’t.  At one time or another I bet most businesses have faced this dilemma— Lack of Clients, which quickly lead to Desperation Marketing.   They desperately needed to get clients.  ASAP.  Pronto.  FAST!  But can they?

So what is desperation marketing?   It’s marketing when you are so desperate for clients that you work at Superman Speed and throw everything you have out there, with no general direction.  The worst part is clients and potential clients can feel this, and it backfires, often having them lose confidence in your professionalism and services.  These tips should help.

The cure for Desperation marketing – And Ways to Get Clients Now

Plan your marketing.  When you are desperate (oh how I so don’t like that word), often times the fight or flights scenario comes into play.  You sit in front of your computer screen frozen.  What can you do?  The desperate twinge in your stomach tells you that no matter what you do you have to do it fast.   Now instead of going out there and manically tweeting, and sending out terribly written content to make your presence known, come up with a plan.  Create a simple marketing plan that will help you secure the right clients, at the right pay, for the right reasons. Now I’m not saying to spend weeks on this plan (remember you do need that $$$).  But do write down exactly who you want to target and what services you want to provide.   Believe me it just feels better writing it down.

Get to Work – Get Marketing – In your plan include how you can best get those clients.  Review first, how did you get your other clients?  Definitely do more of those things. What you will often discover is that you have quit doing those things and that is what has happened to lead you to where you are today.  Get crack’n again! We recommend you do the following:

  • Write more articles to show your expertise (this is an example);
  • Host a teleseminar;
  • Get active on your social networks with great valuable tips and mention that special you are having);
  • Consider a paid Facebook ad or promotions or a Google ad (with the right keywords of course);
  • Network online and offline and anything else you think can make it happen.
  • And anything else you feel would get you front and center in front of your ideal client.

Now what’s important here is that even after you get those clients to get you out of your crunch, you continue to do these steps so you don’t get back here again.

Review Your Pricing.  Now don’t go lowering your rates, but can you offer these services to those potential clients at a special rate just to jumpstart your efforts. Review your rate structure and see if there might be ways to do that.  Remember you don’t want to come off as desperate; you want to come off as “Hey, let’s work together and I have this great special going on now.”

Connect with Your Current Clients, Potential Clients, Associates, and More – Now is a perfect time to connect with them and tell them about this fabulous special you have.  And yes, it’s okay to mention that you are looking for new clients.  What happens here is many aren’t aware that you need the work and once they are, they might have the perfect connections.

Get Your Head in the Game – It might not seem like it, but your mindset plays a big part in getting and keeping your clients.  Clients can feel fear as much as they can feel confidence.  You always need to portray that confidence to them.

Set Realistic Goals – It’s important to get down in writing what you hope to accomplish and be honest here.  You probably won’t be able to find 10 clients by noon, but can you find two clients by the end of the week.  YES!  That’s doable.  Write it down and do all you can to make it happen.

Hire Help – What?  Didn’t you hear me?  I’m desperate.  That might be true, but it also might be time to hire someone to review what you are doing and give you some recommendations.  Perhaps your marketing isn’t working, because you are doing it wrong and with a little tweak or two, you can turn it all around.  Perhaps you are doing it right, but just not connecting in the right places.  That’s why hiring a PR pro or a PR Coach can often get you on the right track.

We know it’s no fun to have that stress of needing to make money NOW, but hopefully these tips will help you turn it around.  And remember if you ever need help, we are here.

Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com offering PR and marketing services. Contact her at Diana@virtualwordpublishing.com or @dianaennen for a free PR Informational Package.

** Love to hear your thoughts on this!  What do you do when you need clients NOW!

 

 

Entrepreneur Tips – 10 Tips to Take the Ugh Out of Business Networking

10 Tips to Take the Ugh Out of Business Networking

What are your first thoughts when you hear the word networking? We know some of you are probably thinking, “Ugh, I hate to do that!” Right? All that work meeting new people. Forget about it. Or perhaps you’re thinking “Networking is too much like marketing and I’m not good at marketing. Never works, so why do it?”

It’s easy to be apprehensive or even downright anxious about networking if you haven’t had much success at it. But perhaps your lack of success comes from a lack of understanding just how important and beneficial it is. That coupled with a lack of good technique can prevent you from seeing good results. And, you won’t see how easy it can be when done properly. Many just give up instead of making it part of their marketing message.

Networking allows you to let potential clients know who you are and that you have a business that’s ready to help them solve their problems and quite possibly increase their revenue. Plus, making your name familiar to prospective customers is a great way to stay connected. People are more willing to work with a new service if they have heard about you or have had the opportunity to meet you. It helps them to gain the confidence that you can help their business. And finally, for those who work at home, it offers the camaraderie they often miss by not being in a workplace atmosphere. This is especially true when you network regularly at the same places so others become familiar with you and look forward to seeing you.

Like many things, networking can come in many forms. You can network by joining some of the more relevant business groups in your community and even offering to be a speaker at some of their events. You can attend seminars, tradeshows and expos. But what is even more important to where you network is how you network. It really works when it’s done right and we hope to help you see that.

Here are some tips to make your networking experience better:

1. Know the dress code and dress professionally. You don’t want to be over dressed nor do you want to be too relaxed. Simply ask or look at photos of recent events they have hosted to get a feel for it. Past event photos are often featured on their social media pages or website.
2. Make sure you are comfortable. Shoes that hurt your feet or shoes that tend to slip off regularly don’t create a positive appearance. Also, you want to look natural and when you look in obvious pain that sends the wrong message. You don’t want to look like you only dress for these networking events, but that you are professional day in and day out, even if you do normally wear jeans and a tee to work.
3. Make new contacts. Try not to spend all the time with the people you already know. Many people don’t enjoy networking events because of the “cliques” where the same people talk to the same people and it’s hard to break in. Do your best to mingle and truly connect with everyone.
4. Welcome the new attendees. They will long remember you for making them feel comfortable at their first event. And, you can sometimes use your “old contacts” to help you with this. For example, when a new person stops by your group you can introduce yourself and then say, “Oh, have you met…,” and then introduce your friend as well. This can be a great icebreaker for everyone.
5. Always have your short elevator speech prepared. The more prepared you are the more confidently you can introduce your services. Know the audience in advance so you can customize your speech to that group. Also, have business cards handy, as well as a pen.
6. Be a good listener. People can tell when you aren’t interested in their conversation. If you want their business, you should be interested. Pay attention to what is being said as if there were going to be a test later, because there just might be when asked if you recall something that was said just a bit ago.
7. Remember to make eye contact. You likely know how it feels when you’re talking to someone at an event and their eyes keep wondering over your shoulder to scan the crowd. It makes you feel like they have absolutely no interest in you and what you’re saying. Do your scanning of the crowd before you engage in talk with someone. Seek out who you’re going to talk to and keep them engaged with interesting conversation—don’t make it all about you.
8. Collect as many business cards as possible. Be sure to make any special notes on the back of a contact’s card that will help you remember them and why you need to make contact later.
9. Send a thank-you note. Immediately following the networking event, send a thank-you note to all those you spoke with to let them know it was nice meeting them. You can design your own to make it a little more personal. Make sure you sign your own name; don’t have it typed. While handwritten is better, email is acceptable. Just do it!
10. Follow-up immediately with hot prospects. If you made contact with the right people you will have identified some hot prospects. Armed with the notes you took on the back of their business card, make contact and let them know how you can benefit their company. Be sure to get a commitment for a next course of action.

Being prepared, looking professional at all times, and having the confidence that you are an expert at what you do will help to take the “Ugh” of out networking. And remember, the more you network the better you get at it. The more you enjoy it, the more results you will see.

Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. Stop by for information on starting your own VA business http://www.vatheseries.com. Follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/becomeava. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

PR Success tip – Wake up Your Marketing Efforts NOW!!

So now that fall is here and summer is over, it’s time to GET inspired again. I thought you might enjoy some ways to wake up your marketing ….

ZZZ .. ZZZZZ … ZZZZZZZZZ … Ever felt that way after reading someone’s newsletter or blog? You painfully read though it because, well there might be something good in there you need to know and they usually have good things to share. So you bite the bullet and read it. But then next week, ZZZ, ZZZZ, ZZZZZZZ it happens again. Okay, you’ll give them one last chance, but that’s it.

Guys, this should be a wake-up call. Are you putting your audience to sleep just to get content out there or are you truly giving them something of value. It’s time to stop and truly reflect on this. And more importantly, it’s time to take action.
Here are some action steps to consider:

• Energy … when someone reads your blog posting or your newsletter, they want to be inspired. They want to act now and do whatever you recommend. Take a few seconds and look over your past few newsletters, have you been able to do that? What can you do differently to energize your audience?

• Success … Happiness … Money … Power … (Stop me now!) Okay, those words normally do get your attention. We want more success. We definitely want more money and power. And who doesn’t want more happiness both in business and personal life. Okay. You need to write with these topics in mind and give real advice. Not all that blah blah blah stuff. Real actionable steps. Think of your audience and how you can help them. Now one thing, you don’t have to actually be writing articles on success or happiness or money, but in the material you write, add in tips to achieve it.

• Image – Start revamping. Review your website, blog, Facebook, etc. Can it use a little touch-up? This is one area that I hope you will start seeing some progress from me over the next few months. I did this step. I looked over my blog, my Twitter, my website, and what I discovered didn’t make me happy. I need a complete branding facelift. Stay tuned!!

• Be accountable. See what I just did there. I told someone about an action step I plan on taking. Now in a couple months if you don’t see results, hopefully you will come back and me and say, “hey what’s up?” Don’t be afraid to put it out there.

You can so do this. Remember too, we are here to help. Contact me if you’d need a coach to help you to go the next level in your business.