The mainstream media still matters. If you want to increase home business visibility, it can help to find a way into the MSM.
My routine first thing in the morning usually follows this pattern: Get up, check my email, check my social media, and check my blog stats. Then I start writing. On a day not too long ago, I was surprised to see that the number one search for my blog was this: “Miranda Marquit blog.”
Who the hell wakes up in the morning and just decides they’re going to search for “Miranda Marquit blog”?
The answer to that question is no one.
Then I realized that a segment on NPR that included me had probably run. My blog got many times its normal visits, I received requests for information about my home business, and for about 15 minutes, I was a name in certain households.
MSM Still Matters
In the world of blogging, the mainstream media still matters — especially if you want to increase your home business visibility.
While we refer to newspapers and radio as dying industries, and even as cable news becomes increasingly obsolete to those who are actually looking for news rather than infotainment, the truth is that MSM still matters in terms of bestowing legitimacy on your business.
It’s the reason that so many bloggers include media mentions on their sites. It’s the reason that I have a cool graphic (thanks, Pete!) that squishes logos of places I’ve been featured. When you’ve been featured in the MSM, you are considered?legit.
Plus, the MSM still reaches a large number of people, and it can increase home business visibility rather quickly. If you want to boost your visibility and be taken seriously by potential clients and customers, it can help to be mentioned in the mainstream media.
How Do You Get Mentions in MSM?
This is where it gets tough. How can you catch the eye of someone in the mainstream media? There are millions of home business owners out there. Many of them have blogs. How does your little corner of the world get noticed by the big guys?
Unfortunately, I don’t get out there as much as I should. I don’t actively seek press attention. The NPR thing happened because the business editor was looking for someone who knew about low-cost ETFs, and if you’re looking for anything related to personal finance and beginning investing (in the context of personal finance) in the blogosphere, it’s really hard to avoid me.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to increase home business visibility through press mentions. You should. Whether it’s contacting your local newspaper about what you offer (and why it’s unique), or whether it’s signing up for HARO and pitching answers to journalist questions, or whether it’s just quietly building yourself up as an expert until someone comes to you, MSM attention is something you should be looking for.
Before you look for press attention, you need to position yourself as an expert, and show that your home business is something worth covering. Get yourself into position, and then you can begin looking for press attention. You get noticed by working the social media, answering HARO queries, offering a great product or service, sending press releases, and getting to know journalists — sometimes that means mixing it up at conferences.
(If you want some great tips on getting press attention, read my recap of Jaime Tardy’s session at NMX last June.)
How Does MSM Attention Convert?
Sadly, while you might increase home business visibility for a short period of time, the traffic rarely converts. Yes, I ended up with some great traffic. And I did get some interest in my home business services. However, I didn’t really get much else out of it. None of the traffic to my blog resulted in conversions from the advertising I have.
If you offer an interesting product (a physical product) through your home business, you might have more luck, though. In the moment, while it’s fresh, many customers might decide to make a purchase. However, even that bump often fades as your home business fades from the scene.
But, even after that spike in interest fades a bit, there is still the chance that you have new fans, and, of course, you can use the “as seen on” as social proof to legitimize your home business going forward.
Image: Eva Rinaldi via Flickr