'Sup guys! Today I'm getting down and dirty and discussing how getting press has affected MY business. Are you ready? Because there's going to be a TON of information here. My hope is that after reading this post, you sit back and think to yourself "should I be focusing more on PR?".
I think that answer will be YES!
Here's the thing, I totally know how you feel 'only brands/bloggers making the big bucks, or the ones that have connections to Hollywood, can get press'. I used to think that too. I used to think I had to know Justin Biebers, cousins, uncles best friend to even get my brand noticed. I'm here telling you… that couldn't be LESS true.
P.S. If you REALLY want to start getting some press, make sure to snatch my secret resource I use to get me featured in Inc., Fast Company, etc. Hint: it's FREE and you DON'T need a PR firm ;) Click HERE.
I started my business Lot801 in March of 2014, sat around waiting for sales to come through. I started on Etsy and was getting maybe an order or two a month. I thought to myself, how the hell do I get my brand out into the world? Well of course I started daydreaming about seeing my products in magazines, TV shows, online media outlets, celebrity siting etc.
After months and months of trying to figure out how to make my dreams a reality, I finally f***ing did it… I broke the code. I hustled my ass off and finally figured out how to get all the things I wanted for my brand without a PR firm. Below I'm telling you exactly what happened once I started receiving press:
My Sales Increased
I remember I was laying in bed and my phone was going off like CRAZY. I was about to call my mom and tell her to STOP TEXTING ME SO EARLY (she does that sometimes). I picked up my phone and saw that it was actually my website provider emailing me all the sales I was getting that morning… about every 2 minutes it would go off again. I was scratching my head thinking, what happened overnight? I immediately went to my Instagram to see if there was anything there.. nothing unusual!? Got to my office and checked where all this traffic was coming from. It was coming from TIME Magazine's Most Influential People on the Internet, the Oh Joy! blog.
She included Lot801 in one of her posts Bite Size Style sponsored by Target! I was jumping for joy (see what I did there?). Sales were coming through like crazy, for at least a week or two. My sales increased by 400% that month, all because of this one article. And still to this day that article sends traffic to my website.
My Social Media Exploded
I was just finished up the hectic morning of getting my daughter ready and off to school, sat down at my desk, opened my Instagram account and that little orange person bubble popped up informing me that I've gained some new followers… awesome! I looked at the number and almost fell off my chair, it said 1,007 new followers over night. Holy f***ing shit!!!! I was scrolling around like cray trying to figure out what happened. I thought, maybe my IG just hasn't updated in awhile and just now refreshed. Throughout the rest of the day, new followers just kept coming and I still hadn't figured out what was going on.
Later that day I received an email from an editor over at The Huffington Post informing me that she had included Lot801 in one of her posts that day, "15 Super Cool Kids Clothing Brands that You and Your Little One Will Love". I clicked on the article and there I was, #14. You better believe I cranked up some Eminem and danced my booty off for about an hour.
I'm Considered an Expert
After landing a TV segment with Good Things Utah (a lifestyle show here in Salt Lake City), it was super easy to pitch other TV networks. Once one accepted me, it felt like they all accepted me. I've now also been on KSL Studio5 a few times. The first time I co-hosted a segment I was sweating my armpits soggy (ewww). Now I'm completely comfortable in front of the camera.
After recording my first segment with Studio5, I got home to an email from the producer asking if I'd be interested in becoming a regular contributor. You best believe I jumped right on that… HELL YES! Now I rarely even have to pitch story ideas, they come to me with stories to cover. I'm now viewed as an expert in my industry and am trusted with stories that relate to my niche.
As a matter of fact, while writing this blog post I got an email from the producer asking me to come on this Thursday to cover a story about cute kids Christmas pajamas (now to worry about what to wear). Which leads me into my next point.
The Connections I've Made
Remember my comment earlier about knowing Justin Biebers, cousins, uncles best friend? Ha, funny thing is… I actually do have a connection with his manager now (totally unintentional, I mean, what would JB do with toddler clothes? lol) But the fact that I totally said that as a joke in the beginning because I NEVER thought that would happen, dreams do come true.
I've made personal connections with many celebrities too. I'll never forget the day Jessica Alba started following me on Instagram (I almost fainted with excitement… she knows who I am?!?!). I've even received a few emails from celebrities themselves, not their assistants. We now exchange emails back and forth (how cool is that???).
I know many of the local editors and producers here too. I've made connections with many larger brands like Pottery Barn Kids, Gap, Old Navy, Target etc. Anytime I'm in need of product for a story or photo shoot, I'm able to contact them personally to get that product sent to me ASAP for free!
I've Gained Brand Exposure!
And most importantly, I've gained brand exposure. People are hearing about my brand, coming to my website, watching me on TV. My brand is being heard! Which is the point of all of this. People can't buy my products if they haven't heard of them. My brand was able to finally get some recognition and raving fans.
The MOST frustrating thing from all of this? Was figuring out how to get press in the first place. It was extremely frustrating trying to figure out where to start, who to contact, what to pitch. But once I figured all of this out, it was a cake walk.
Okay, the Bad
Are you ready for the bad???????????????? There is NONE! Out of every piece of PR I've received, there has NOT been one negative side to it, other than fulfilling orders as a result of all of this. Oh and I'm always stressing on what to wear when I'm on LIVE television. But honestly, thats about it.
Getting press for my business has been the BEST thing I've ever done for this brand of mine. Never once have I thought to myself that it's been a waste of time. Makes sure to grab my FREE resource I use to get press (Hint: you don't need a PR firm). Just click below.
Have I convinced you yet? Are you getting a little fire under your ass telling you it's time to start taking PR seriously? Ya, I thought so. To get you started, check out this killer post from The Nectar Collective, How and Why to Create a Media Kit (with a template). Now this post is geared towards bloggers, but it's just as easy to integrate this template with a product or service based business (which is called a Press Kit, and I suggest you do). I recommend switching out #6 Testimonials and Previous Work with Past Press. Don't freak out if you haven't gotten a ton of press, start small and include any blogs you've been featured on or collabs you've done with brands/bloggers.