I’m back again! Hope you enjoyed the last post. Todays post is Day 19 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge and the topic is “How to Become Influential and Attract Sponsors and Media Attention”.

As I mentioned in my blog post about building and engaging your tribe, building influence takes time and a lot of hard work and quality content and advice.

You need to have your own unique approach and take on your work, produce work thats valuable and do it consistently over time. Thats how you build the trust and credibility.

Once you’re doing this, then you can start building greater influence and there tends to be two main ways to do this:

  • By being a ‘leading learner’, known as someone who is constantly teaching themselves new skills and trying to stay ahead of the market, they learn it then show others how to do it. They don’t try to be experts they just know and learn enough to attract and teach others.

  • By becoming a ‘mediapreneur’ (dreamed up by David Siteman Garland), these are bloggers, podcasters, personal brands, coaches, speakers, experts, etc who build their own platforms and brands using their unique skillset, and from that base then create and sell information-based products and programs based on their expertise so you can learn from them.

When people start to see you as an expert in your special niche of your industry then you open yourself up to sponsorship opportunities and key partnerships with big influencers in your market.

Sponsorships are a great alternative to advertising. If you don’t want advertising on your website then sponsorships are probably an even better option especially if you choose companies with products that you know your customers would love. You can get backing from sponsors to help pay for and launch certain projects in return for plenty of promotion from your part and their branding on your website. Like any relationship, you need to build this slowly and present a strong case for why you are so well aligned and how you can mutually benefit each other.

As for media attention, well that takes effort and a bit of hustle but is still completely do-able. The best place to start is just by, wait for it… asking! What’s the worst that will happen? They say ‘no sorry’ or they don’t respond at all? Hardly the end of the world is it. However before approaching sponsors or the media it pays to be prepared.

There’s a few things you should have at your fingertips, ready to go out as soon as you start making contact:

  • A PR Kit: including your company pitch, your vision and mission, your story, your products and services, your credibility, your customers and reach, your press photos, branding and customer testimonials.
  • A media list: based on research of media who specialise in your industry and would be interested in you and why.
  • A press page on your website: so people can check out all your press details.
  • You should be hustling: at least once a week for up to an hour, get yourself out there. Approaching bloggers and websites and land yourself some guest posts. Look for trends and remind people in your media list that you’re there, your story might just  be a great fit for them at the right time if you’re proactive.

So the question de jour is:

Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?

I like the idea of both sponsorships and media exposure and of being a ‘mediapreneur’. However, first I need my own branding and website sorted – of course. Then I need some customer testimonials, case studies and a portfolio – naturally. I’ll need to do a number of guest posts and get active on other blogs and forums as I mentioned in my post Engaging My Tribe. I’ll write my ‘amazing captivating start up story’ and prepare my PR kit.

Then I’ll be in a position to get hold of ‘women in business’ networks, clubs, affiliations, events and related publications and start hustling! I’ll probably invest in someone doing a whole bunch of research for me in this area so that I can build a media list up fast who I can start approaching.

Once I’ve received some credible local press, I’ll start up a press page on my website and start reaching out to global brands who have products I love and use and that my customers would be interested in and try to land a few key sponsors.

I would say, this high level plan would take place over the next 2-3 years. More work to do! I will add it to my list. It’s all really good stuff to be thinking, even if it is early days. One foot in the present and the other in the future I say. You’ve Got to Think BIG!

Could you be hustling more to get your business media exposure or sponsorship? What could you do this week that would get you to step up your PR game?

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