November 18, 2007

Twenty tips to promote your startup (your business, or youself)

Last week, I attended Fern Reiss' talk at the MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel on "Expertizing and Maximizing Media Attention." I did a short course on self-publishing with Fern several months ago, and had also heard her introduce Expertizing in a different forum last year . But now that I'm donning the new "entrepreneur" hat, these tips take on a whole new meaning.

My summary of the talk in twenty tips:

1) Position yourself as the expert in a subject (it gives you instant credibility for the media to find you). Best way according to Fern? Write a book on the topic.
2) Syndicate: your column online, ezines, magazines. Doesn't pay but it's wonderful visibility. Where to submit? Google the following: submit article:[and the subject here]
3) Link to someone's big name (including big competitor if relevant) by giving them a positive mention on your website. Example: Bill Gates wealth calculator.
4. Blog & use social networks (what else is there to be said?)
5. Create the "International association of [fill in your cause here]"
6. Create the "International [theme] Day" and add it to Chase's Calendar of Events
7. Contests
8. Branding. It's really easy to forget this - but keep your brand visible at all times: brand your cocencept, reinforce it (everything from your branded name tags at conferences to tote bags)
9. If you do a flyer, put something useful on the other side so that people will keep it (same goes for givaways). In other words, what do you want people to have taped to their computer monitor?
10. Connet with journalists: press kits are no good (piled up in the back of the room). Same as "mass PR. Consider, the system where journalists ask to find experts on everything. The catch? It's about $7 K annually.
11. Make a PR that's newsworthy - what is the spin that will really interest the press (not "I've got a new manager"
12. Keep track of journalists and cultivate those relationships. Know what interests them, feed them tidbits thoughout, become a (trusted) source
13.Carve out a unique niche and position yourself in differnt directions
14. Enjoy public speaking? Do it!
15. Email newsletters - easy way to cultivate thousands of readers
16. Brand yourself according to either popularity or exclusivity -both work, but not together
17. Offer diversified products: books, audio, consulting, gift baskets, lectures, small groups
18. Sweeten the offer: "if you sign up now, save $500"
19. Remember: you're not selling a product or service, you're selling the DREAM associated with it. This is ultimately what people buy
20. Think in soundbytes. Think of catchy, descriptive phrases you can use and people (and the media) can remember.
More on Fern Reiss here:

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