Why you are the best advert for your business and how to show it

Business Fashion
Business woman – Via Shutterstock
When you start your business, you probably started it for a specific reason.

Maybe it was because you had a brilliant idea or to achieve a better work-life balance, maybe because you were sick of your commute or you just wanted a change of scenery. One thing I’d be willing to put money on though, is the fact that you started your own business because you have a passion for whatever it is that you do.

Passion for your business is essential, people can tell when you love what you do and they’re more likely to be drawn to you if you demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm.

The same applies to your PR. PR is about presenting yourself in the best possible light, not lying (as some people believe) but instead showing your expertise in your field and educating people on your subject and demonstrating why you’re the best person to work with. In fact, it’s about showing that you are a thought leader in your field.

Many people wonder why their competitors are featured in the press. If you read trade publications or newspapers and see your competitors featured in the media as experts or commentating on news stories it’s not necessarily because they’re better than you or that they know more than you. You might even disagree with what they’re saying. The chances are it’s because they’ve put themselves in a position to be featured in the media.

We often encounter people who are nervous about doing their own PR. They believe they’ll be rejected, that journalists will be rude or that they don’t know enough, but the truth is, they know more than they think. When you run your own business, what you do becomes second nature, it’s obvious to you because it’s what you do for a living, but the danger is that you can’t see how impressive you are to other people.

Take a step back for a moment. Try to take a different approach and look at yourself from an outside perspective.

Maybe you’re an accountant specialising in working with women in business. What advice would you give to a woman starting a business for example about what to consider financially? What advice would you give to a woman getting divorced about how to manage her finances? Look at what you specialise in and the advice you can give to your target audience.

If you’re a relationship expert, what issues do you come across time and time again and what do you advise your clients to do? How can they tell if their relationship can be saved? What are the signs it’s over?

Start by looking at the media that your target audience is engaged with. Are they reading trade or business publications or consumer publications? Read the relevant media outlets and see what they’re writing about.

Look at where your competitors are being featured, do you need to be in the same publications?

Do your research. Who’s writing about what? Do you have opinions you’d like to share? Many business and trade publications accept commissioned articles on a topic that will appeal to their audience, so perhaps offering advice on a subject you feel will be relevant, or something you can approach from a different angle might be of interest to them.

Make contact with them and ask if they’re looking for contributors and explain why you’d be a good expert for them to work with. Read what’s already there and think of different and engaging angles to pitch to them.

If you’re targeting consumers with a new book or you want to raise your profile, what can you offer the consumer media? Find out which journalists write about the topics you’re an expert in, sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns!

We called a journalist recently with an idea for a feature which resulted in a meeting between the journalist and our client and the journalist recommended our client to a colleague to feature her in another title. We recently secured a regular column for one of our clients in a trade publication. After he’d written a few pieces for them, they knew that they could rely on him for timely, relevant content and he’s now a trusted contributor which has been really effective in raising his profile and encouraging debate in his industry. Interestingly, a lot of his competitors are suddenly interested and wondering why they haven’t got a regular column!

Ultimately, everything you do is PR, from networking, to your social media presence, and your passion, knowledge and enthusiasm is what people will buy from you, so why not spread your net wider and show the world what you can offer?

About the author

Ceri–Jane Hackling is Managing Director of award winning PR agency Cerub PR. Ceri-Jane has worked in PR for almost 20 years working on B2B, B2C and third sector campaigns before starting Cerub PR in 2013.

Cerub PR is a boutique agency which works across a variety of sectors including health, lifestyle, education and business. The company also works with thought leading individuals to help them raise their profile and the company’s clients regularly appear on national television and radio as well as in national newspapers and magazines.

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