It was looking like just another Tuesday morning, until this e-mail arrived from Forbes blogger, Dorie Clark:
“Michael, just wanted to let you know the Forbes post is live. Thanks for letting me interview you.”
Well, you know, I do what I can to help the media out.
Actually, I had met Dorie a few weeks earlier for the first time over coffee, both of us friends of a friend. I have to admit, I had no idea at the time how big a deal she is. I just like meeting people and drinking coffee.
And so it was a nice surprise when she asked for an interview, and an even nicer one when I saw how it came out.
But here’s the key question: Now what?
Because as ego-boosting and run-home-and-tell-your-dog wonderful as it is to see your name in a major publication, the fact is, it’s not all that valuable as a marketing tool, in and of itself.
And why would it be? After all, most people who read the article don’t know me. And most people who know me, didn’t see the article.
So if all you do when this kind of big hit occurs is sit back and wait for the phone to ring, about the only people you’ll be talking with are dialing-for-dollars real estate brokers who hope to “move you into something more appropriate.”
Here’s what I recommend, instead:
- Tell the people you already know. It’s great for strangers to read about you; it’s just not that productive. The real traction comes from those with whom you already have a connection.
If you’ve got a newsletter – and you can think of a slightly subtle way to draw attention to the article without making it all about you (sort of like what I’m doing right now) – mention it there. Elaborate on some of the lessons learned or points made.
If you don’t have a newsletter (shame on you), send some emails to clients and other important colleagues with a, “in case you missed it, thought you’d be interested” note. If you’ve been in touch with these people on a regular basis, it won’t feel obnoxiously self serving. (If you haven’t, shame on you again.)
- Post it on your web site. I’m thrilled to have been interviewed. But tomorrow, someone else will be interviewed and I’ll fade into the background like a middle-aged bald guy at a high school parents night.
If you post it on your own web site, however, it’s there – as a credential – forever. What I do is have a press page on my site, from which I link to things like this.
- Update your bio. From a marketing perspective, the best part about being quoted in Forbes is being able to say you’ve been quoted in Forbes.People (clients, prospects, your father-in-law who still doesn’t understand why you left that “secure” job) are impressed. And, with the notable exception of having been accused of a felony, it doesn’t matter what the article was about or what you said – it’s a feather in your cap and one you want to capture.
- Frame it and hang it in your office. This one doesn’t have a lot of marketing value, but it’s important, nonetheless.As solos, we’re so busy chasing the work or doing the work that we forget to celebrate the victories.
The thing is, when you look back years from now, most of the day-to-day will have evaporated.So capture the big wins and display them for yourself. They come in particularly handy on those days when you wonder if maybe your father-in-law was right. (He wasn’t.)
Here’s the bottom line. As solos, we all dream about the big hit, the media home run that will open all the doors once and for all. Unfortunately, it’s mostly illusion – a winning lottery ticket that’s somehow been misinterpreted as a marketing strategy.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that with a little bit of thought and effort, you can use your press coverage to elevate your standing and visibility among the people you already know.
Gotta go – the frame store is only open until five.