What do Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump have in common? They both know how to work the media to achieve their goals. Kardashian has built an extraordinary business empire. And love him or hate him, Trump rode the media all the way to White House. Amazingly, he didn’t even need positive press to do it!
Marketing your business through the news media is also a smart move. Of course, you’re gunning for positive press! One quote or published article can become a launching pad for additional media appearances—it conveys instant credibility on your business.
But marketing through the media requires patience, a solid plan, and a little good will from your compliance department.
Here’s a five-step primer I’ve often recommended based on tips I’ve learned talking to financial advisors and gleaned from the book PR SAVVY for the Financial Professional
by Lyn Fisher and Sydney LeBlanc.
- Create a master media contact list. Create a robust list of publications or broadcast entities that could potentially serve your market and/or complement your business goals. Enlist your client associate to help you find the editors’ or reporters’ contact information. (This can include signing up to follow or befriend them on social media.) For help identifying more obscure publications, purchase The Writers’ Market or hire a public relations firm. (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a referral to a firm.) It’s a small investment in your media success.
Your media list likely will include the following categories:
- Your favorite trade journals. Becoming known among your financial professional peers is a great way to jumpstart your media campaign, and get clips. Trade beat reporters are always looking for story ideas. Being interviewed in a trade association newsletter is another way to showcase your commitment to your profession.
- Local newspapers, magazines and business journals. Your clients likely subscribe to one or more local publications. Becoming a local reporter’s resource on business articles will increase your visibility among potential clients and strategic allies.
- Financial talk radio and TV stations. Business programming directors are always looking for fresh content and knowledgeable interview guests. Befriend a few of your favorite hosts either by inviting them to coffee if they’re local, or connecting with them online or by phone.
- Trade journals for your niche. One advisor in Florida, for instance, began courting the editors of Medical Economics and Radiology Today, two doctor publications. He was able to publish many articles related to physicians’ finances. As a result, he was invited to speak at physician conferences.
- Develop a media resource file. As you begin to reach out to editors and reporters, develop a digital media resource file for your computer or tablet PC containing article ideas and reference material for your interviews. Your media resource file could include surveys about retirement readiness, for instance, or statistics about family business transfers, or case studies on your niche. Compiling research, charts and useful information makes you an instant resource for reporters, helps you appear more confident in interviews, and can allay compliance concerns.
- Connect with reporters and editors. Now that you have your contact list, and resource file, start communicating with editors and reporters. Set aside time each week to connect with them on social media, by phone, email, or respond to their articles. Occasionally, send them helpful links or article ideas. You to be favorably remembered when they’re writing an article or producing a piece.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Whether you’re interviewing for print or broadcast, slow down. Pretend you’re educating a client or potential client on a particular topic. Follow a mental check list. Use charm, anecdotes, and facts that support your claims.
- Maintain a media appearance folder. Keep track of your media appearances. Once you have a few articles or audio or video files under your belt, you can send them out to other editors and reporters. Treat members of the press as centers of influence. After your interviews, always thank the reporter with a handwritten note, email or phone call. This helps cement your relationship, and encourages them to contact you again. Use reprints of your articles for your client flip book, and as part of your speakers’ kit as you reach out to industry trade associations or local business gatherings.
Bottom line: Marketing your advisory business through the media is a smart strategy that pays huge dividends over time!