Today’s Buzz Your Business features a special interview with Master PR Strategist Jill Lublin. Jill is an international speaker and the author of three bestsellers; Guerrilla Publicity, Networking Magic and Get Noticed… Get Referrals, her latest book to hit the shelves. She teaches crash courses on publicity around the world and her passion is to help people bootstrap their publicity. That’s the tip she wants to share with you today: How to bootstrap your publicity, improve your visibility and get your business moving!
BB: How would you say bootstrapping relates to publicity?
JL: Guerrilla Publicity is all about bootstrapping; the subtitle of my book says, “Using time and imagination instead of money,” and that means bootstrapping! I’ve always been a bootstrapper myself. I started my own business on credit cards. I’ve grown it and I am now a successful author, I run courses all over the world; but truthfully it started on nothing; some good ideas, and me and my energy! And I think that’s what bootstrapping often is; it relies on terrific people with their vision and their purpose; and then you go out into the world. But you do it smartly, using specific tactics and techniques. In regards to publicity, you don’t go out and buy expensive ads. That would be crazy. You don’t go waste money on high-falutin’ marketing strategies. You take step-by-step replicatable systems that drive profits to your pockets and prospects to your door.
BB: In terms of you own consulting; how would you support someone who is launching a new business and bootstrapping?
JL: The first thing I look at with any client is what I call, “It’s all about your message.” How are you going to get your message out to the public so that the public embraces it and says, yes! I want to hire you. I want to play with you. I want to buy your product or service. And that’s what we’re trying to get people to do; buy your product and your service but without hitting them over the head. We do it by giving them stories and placing stories in the media using what I refer to as, “Everything you’ve got;” which is all about creating a message that works. You have to solve people’s problems and present yourself as an expert. Experts solve problems; so stop thinking of yourself as a widget maker, or a provider of services, instead think of yourself as an expert. So what are you helping other people with? What problems are you solving? Once you focus on that, then you can go into the media, then you can make the media interested in you. It’s never about your business and that’s a mistake most bootstrappers and entrepreneurs make. They keep thinking that the news – and that’s what we’re talking about here, the media, publicity – is all about them and it isn’t; it’s about the readers, and that’s what they need to keep in mind.
BB: What are the three publicity tips you would give to bootstrappers? Are there three things they can do?
JL: Yes, first thing is baby steps. Focus on your message. Don’t just bring yourself out there until you have honed in on your message. That will help you have something to say when you’re addressing prospects without being a deer in the headlights… it will become a script that you can use in networking events, with prospects, clients, customers and with the media.
Number two is become a celebrity in your own backyard. In other words, don’t forget where you live and your geographical region; make sure you get lots of local publicity. National publicity often comes from local, from the city or provincial news. Create ongoing announcements that you can place in the local business journals and the local daily newspaper every sixty days or so.
The other piece that I would suggest is focus on your “ooh and aah factor.” What is it about you that makes people go “ooh and aah” about you? What is it about your personal message that other people would be interested in? A variation of that is to do what I call “Everything you got;” which means capitalizing on your ethnicity or your religious affiliation, so if you’re a Christian, you will want to target Christian media.
BB: What do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur?
JL: It takes guts, determination, focus, commitment, and a “No matter what” attitude, because there’s going to be plenty of “No matter whats.” You have to be willing to keep going and to believe in yourself. And to stand tall, because sometimes it’ll be all rough, sometimes you won’t know where the cash flow is coming from and sometimes you’ll be praying for your next customer, but by being consistent and persistent – those two key words are very important, consistent and persistent – and if you focus on publicity, marketing and keeping your vision forward, no matter what, then you will find success. I know very few people who don’t who are that committed. So keep going and keep a “No matter what” attitude so that you can stay in the limelight.
BB: How did you get your idea for your current business?
JL: I was working in the music business helping musicians promote themselves and I found out I was really good at it. That was after going to law school for a year, which I did not like because for a creative mind like mine, it just wasn’t the place to be. So I ended up working for a music business attorney, and the music side of the business was interesting so I started promoting entertainers and musicians – usually for independent record labels. Then I started working my way up and became Director of Promotion and Publicity at several independent record labels. And here is where I learned to bootstrap because I was working for independent record labels with no budgets and no marketing department besides for me – I was the marketing department – and I could see these big record labels marketing departments with two million dollar budgets! I mean, give me two millions and I’ll make anyone famous! But we had to do it with zero budget, or by bootstrapping, or with fifteen thousand dollar max. We once sold out a Carnegie Hall show before the artist even arrived in New York! We used what is now called viral marketing and which I then called grassroots marketing. We used all our resources and got very creative in order to build interest for our artists. That’s were I got started and then I opened my own business because I thought if I can do this here, I can do this for others as well. And I love working with all kinds of businesses and all kinds of entrepreneurs because each one presents a new challenge, a slight variation on the marketing aspect, and this brings together all my bootstrapping ideas and my Guerrilla Publicity techniques. And it all serves to move entrepreneurs forward and my commitment is to helping entrepreneurs get their message heard. That’s what I am all about.
BB: Do you think it’s important to have support from friends and family when running a business?
JL: Yes, it’s important. I am not saying that you’re always going to get it because they’ll look at you and say, “gosh you’re not making any money,” or “how come you can’t afford this or can’t afford that?” What can help with that is to set out rules and have a strong foundation and get help for the gaps in your knowledge. Mine was around financial literacy and how to structure a business. So I got trained and I also got a team around me. I am all about hiring a team, even if it’s for one hour a week, if that’s all you can afford. Or get an intern, who does not cost anything except for my time and consulting and that’s a very good bootstrapping idea.
BB: Do you think it’s important to be aware of your higher purpose in business and if so, is your higher purpose related to your business?
JL: I think my life, my business and my spiritual practice; it’s all become one now. It wasn’t always like that and in fact I used to feel quite a bit of frustration because what I always wanted was to touch people’s hearts, connect people and help them get their message heard. And then I found myself in a man’s world of business and then I realized that this is exactly what I got to do! Touch people’s hearts, connect people and help them get their message heard! So yes, I want to be one with my life, my business and my spiritual life. Before I go on stage, I pray. I hope that I will touch the hearts of the people in the audience. I pray for God’s words to work through me so I can touch others. I pray that I can give them benefit and value by my being in that room and that I too shall be supported, because it is a symbiotic relationship, of course. I feel that I am here to do God’s work, and I don’t think of it as religious but a spiritual calling. Right now I am doing God’s work by helping people get their message out and that’s pretty powerful. I am also working on a TV show about hope, called “Messages of Hope” and that’s powerful too and that’s part of my calling. It’s important to structure my business so it works, financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s all about doing what works for you.
BB: Does spirituality or religion play a part in helping you succeed?
JL: Yes. In the past few years, I have been working closely with spiritual mentor Bill Bowman. Prior to that, I had always been committed to my transformational work. I am very business oriented and I am very structured in many ways but then I have this spiritual world where I have always gone to learn about transformation and practice it too, first in myself and then in the world! I believe that as we heal ourselves, we heal the world and how fabulous it is for me that as I heal myself, I heal my clients and that, who I become, they become and we can all rise to the top together! So I am very committed to my growth and transformation, I have always been a seeker. But I have noticed that in the last few years of working with my mentor – who is very gentle and all about spirituality and soulfulness – I have noticed my business increasing, my revenues increasing, my clarity around my mission expanding, my level of peace expanding, no matter what is happening in the outside world and we all know it’s been a wild ride.
BB: One of Bootstrap Business’s principles is “Know Your Channel,” and I imagine that in publicity it’s very important to not only know your message but who wants to hear it. Could you share some comments about channel and PR?
JL: In that regard, what I would do is look at your target audience; you have to find your market. Once you determine that, you have to ask: what are they reading, what are they watching, what are they listening to in the media? And then you go after that. You want to get your message heard in those areas. One of the first sessions with my clients is all about that. So you call it channel and I call it reaching your target audience, but it’s the same thing. Who are they, where do they live, are they in your region, are they national, or international, are they in your age range, are they men or women, do they belong to a certain group either ethnic or otherwise. Those are the questions you need to answer and those are your channels. The good thing about those channels is that they each have media specifically oriented to them and that’s a good thing.
BB: Do you have any rules or guiding principles that you use in running your business?
JL: If it ain’t fun, don’t do it. And that includes working with clients now if I can see some… let’s call them warning signals. It’s come to a point where I won’t work with people if they are too demanding or too difficult to work with, or simply not enjoyable because life is too short. And I have rules in my business. I have no-refund policies; I have contracts people have to sign. I am much more structured. I know exactly how long I spend with each client. We have a system now on how to reach people and I think that having systems in place is a good guiding principle. In publicity, it means making replicatable and duplicatable systems and the truly magnificent thing to me about how I work with people is that they get to do this over and over again.
BB: What are the top three things people should make duplicatable in regards to their publicity?
JL: The first thing is how they send out announcements and what they do with them. The other is the step-by-step formula, like what are they going to do every day, every week, every month or every quarter. The third thing is having someone who is scripted and who can smile and dial; someone who will get your message heard and get people to pay attention to you.
BB: How important is it to set goals and reward ourselves when we meet those goals?
JL: I set myself a monthly revenue goal and, each day, I write three high value activities that I am going to do to meet that goal; those activities have to be measurable in both time and money and this is a powerful strategy that has guided my life for the last few years and interestingly enough, reaching my monthly revenue goal is often dependent on whether I accomplished those three high value activities. I highly recommend it!
Thank you Jill!
For more info on Jill Lublin, her books and her schedule of courses please visit: www.jilllublin.com
To find her books and more on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/ydxxwex
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