Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting Media Exposure to Generate Freelance Leads and Clients

Pitching the media can be one of your best marketing tools. Here are reasons why you should be pitching the media, the benefits of pitching, as well as tips on developing your media pitch. This will be a three-part series. Next part coming in 3 days! In the meantime for more PR tips, sign up for our newsletter at or email me at Don't forget to get your copy of our PR Informational Package

Getting Media Exposure to Generate Freelance Leads and Clients

Getting media exposure is one of the best ways to drive a ton of traffic to your website —traffic that can turn into leads and, eventually, into paying clients.
This type of exposure works because it helps establish you as an expert, something few other forms of marketing can do as well (or as quickly). It also gets you in front of prospects who wouldn’t have heard about you through other marketing vehicles.

Just as important, it brings down your prospects’ defenses and allows you to communicate your value more openly and without having to overcome direct buyer objections. That’s because when most people see you mentioned in an article or featured on the news, they feel you’re providing them with valuable or interesting information, and not necessarily selling your services directly.

Take Jill Hart, for example. Jill is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms. Not long ago, Jill sent out a press release to local media about her website, which is devoted to helping moms work at home. She hadn’t done this previously and wasn’t expecting great results. However, within a few days of sending her pitch, a local news producer called asking permission to send a reporter and camera crew to interview her for their morning show. It was a fantastic experience and brought hundreds of new visitors to her website.

Here’s why Jill’s approach worked: she did more than just send a press release to the paper, which is what so many businesses still do. Instead, she developed a pitch that incorporated what was happening in the news at that time. She also tied in something that is always a media draw — a holiday.

The pitch focused on a special Valentine’s Day radio broadcast that Jill was presenting for work-at-home moms. She offered businesses the opportunity to call in, send a Valentine’s greeting, and then briefly discuss their business. It worked! It brought visitors to the radio show and to her website, and she was also able to connect with many businesses who wanted to advertise on her site.

Another great tip from Jill’s pitch was that she pitched the entire story as opposed to just talking about her products or services. This is really important, because media outlets are really looking for are interesting twists, hooks or angles — not just facts, figures or self-congratulatory announcements.

So, what exactly does pitching the media involve? Mainly, it’s about contacting media outlets that would be potentially interested in your story. You can pitch to your local TV, radio, newspaper, or even national media. Local media often covers news specific to your area, and oftentimes you are afforded the opportunity to provide more personal information. National media pitches will need to have of a broad appeal, since it reaches a larger audience. You can also pitch through established sources such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and Profnet.

Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, offering PR and marketing services. She has been featured on Fox Business News, CBS, CNN Radio, USA Today, Woman’s World, Entrepreneur Magazine and so many more. She’s also the author of six books on starting your own business including VA the Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Contact her at or @dianaennen for a free PR Informational Package.

Monday, January 31, 2011

So You Want To Master Social Media - Ten Tips to Help You Succeed

Thought you'd enjoy our latest article on mastering social media. Love to hear your tips as well.
Thanks! Diana Ennen

So You Want To Master Social Media - Ten Tips to Help You Succeed

It’s official. Social media is here to stay. It’s not a fad like so many initially thought and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Businesses have realized that not only is it a great way to connect with current clients, but a great way to land potential clients as well. And that’s only the beginning. Social media also allows you to promote all your upcoming events and products, and even gives you front row access to editors and reporters who might write on your area of expertise. The possibilities are truly endless. But the big question now is, how can entrepreneurs best use the current social media opportunities to help increase business? Here are some tips we feel will help.

Ten tips to incorporate social media into your marketing plan:

Determine What Social Media Sites Are Best For You. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top three, but that’s only the beginning. Determine who your target market is and then meet them where they are. It’s okay to ask by taking a survey by email or on your website asking which social media avenue your clients prefer. Once you determine that, be consistent and realize that you can’t be everywhere all the time. Pick the ones that are best for your business and really engage.

Team Up With Other Entrepreneurs. By teaming up, you allow easy access to retweets, Facebook posts, etc. Plus, it’s a great way to provide your audience with more valuable information on topics that would interest them by sharing information that is provided by the business(es) you team up with. Just make sure that your choose teammates with information that is a good fit for your audience.Don’t Just Advertise, Build Relationships. - We’ve all seen them. The tweets and Facebook postings that we know are scheduled and we know are only trying to sell us something. We aren’t saying that you can’t promote your services or products. In fact, we encourage you to do that. But do it right. Don’t just be about landing the deal. Truly connect with your audience and show them why they would want to work with you. We know you’ve heard it a million times already, but it speaks for itself and bears repeating: Social media is meant to be “social.”

Make It a Two-Way Street. You post and you post and you post on Facebook. You’ve tweeted away on Twitter & you’ve updated your status on Linkedin. Finally you’re done. Social marketing is ready to be checked off the list. Not so fast! Realize that just like you are posting there are others out there posting and building relationships as well. Get out there and respond to others, too. When you think about it, how do you feel when someone posts on your Facebook posting or blog entry? It feels good, doesn’t it? When you see a Facebook posting that you like leave a comment - always making sure you add value and are not just promoting your business.

Make It Exciting. We see this often: business owners on Twitter who get on for 20-minute increments and during that time we are inundated with retweets. They will throw in an occasional tip or two, but basically it’s just 20 minutes of nonsense. Now we love a good retweet, but we don’t enjoy this at all. When you are marketing your business via social media, make sure that you engage with others and make it exciting. Give some good information and tips - don’t just retweet to be seen. Provide great value and your followers will not only enjoy your messages, but when they are looking to refer someone who needs your services, you will be on the top of the list.

Learn From Others. One of the best things about being in business these days is that you have the opportunity to follow the pros and see what they are doing right. They eagerly give out tips, videos, etc. Make it a point to follow those who you respect and can learn from. Sit back and take notes. But more importantly, take the action steps necessary to make these points work. It’s more than learning from them, you need to actually do what they recommend as well.Contribute to Other Networks. Another great aspect of social media is getting your message out to more than just your audience. Offer to guest post for other networks in your area of expertise. You never know who may see your posts and become a client.

Create An Expert Status. Why do people follow you? Many times it is because they see you as the best at what you do and they want to learn from you. Therefore it’s important to always give solid tips and advice to really show your expertise. Create high quality blog postings, tips lists and posts to share with your audience. It may take extra time to create high quality work, but the effort will be well worth it in the end.

Spruce Up Your Page. Social media has come a long way in a short time. No more are you limited to a tiny avatar of your logo. Most of the social networking sites today allow you to fully customize your page with images, backgrounds and more. Spend the time to create a page that will draw in your audience and make them want to come back daily.

Be respectful. One of the things that most business owners value most is time. It’s important when you are on Facebook, Twitter and the other networks, that you be respectful of others’ time. A few ways you can do that: Don’t Expect An Instant Response. Sending an Instant Message (IM) to a colleague or respected leader is fine, but recognize that they may not be able to chat with you immediately. Often times that person has allocated a certain amount of time to be on the site. If they are constantly on an IM, they can’t get what they need done. We’re not saying you can’t IM, but be respectful when you do.

Don’t Take Advantage. Social media is a relationship builder and gives us instant access to industry leaders. However, be careful not to take advantage of someone’s goodwill by asking a zillion questions. Most business owners enjoy helping others, however, to provide personalized coaching is a different story. Always respect the person you are communicating with and we bet you’ll find you get way more back than you ever imagined.

See how easy social media is. When done right it can bring amazing results for your business. Not only will you establish yourself as an expert, but you will be promoting your products and services regularly. Make it a commitment to master social media marketing and we promise you next year at this time, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jill Hart, Founder of Christian Work-at-Home Moms and Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, have teamed up to write So You Want to Be a Work at Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business Start or expand your business today with their help. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

Friday, January 07, 2011

What can a virtual assistant coach do for you? Everything!

What can a virtual assistant coach do for you? Everything!

Does it always seem that someone else is more successful than you in their virtual assistant business? I know sometimes it’s hard to hear about all those virtual assistants with too many clients, or those virtual assistants all making six figures when you are barely surviving. Don’t you always wonder just what they are doing to make it happen?

Well, wonder no more. You need to know that there truly are some secrets to success. There are things that when you do them consistently and do them well, business success is sure to follow. The problem is, how can you get those secrets? Easy - Hire a virtual assistant coach.

I truly believe to be successful in your virtual assistant business, sometimes you need help. Imagine meeting weekly with a coach that has been already been there and done that. A coach that can review your media, offer recommendations, provide solid tips on what you need to do better, and just walk you through the ups and downs of running a business.

So what exactly can a virtual assistant coach do? Here are our top 10 things we feel a VA Coach can do for you:

1- A virtual assistant coach will help you establish your goals and find ways to meet them.
2- A virtual assistant coach will help you define your niche and make sure that the marketing you do leads you in that direction.
3- A virtual assistant coach can help you in all your marketing efforts to enable you to find clients. That’s right, a good virtual assistant coach will help you secure clients and isn’t that the name of the game.
4- A virtual assistant coach will review your pricing and offer recommendations. It should be noted this is one area where more times than not, the coach will insist on increasing your rates. That same coach will also show you how to do that, raise your rates and really charge what you are worth.
5- A virtual assistant coach can hold you accountable. Many virtual assistants don’t succeed just because they don’t have someone to personally walk with them and push them when needed.
6- A virtual assistant coach can review all your media including your website, media, blogs, etc.
7- A virtual assistant coach can help you discover what is holding you back from being successful and offer you solid tips on moving forward.
8- A virtual assistant coach can help you at any phrase of your business. Don’t think a coach is just for starting your business. A VA coach can help you even if you’ve been in business for years. They can take you to the next level of your business.
9- A virtual assistant can remotivate you and get you back into the thrill of being a virtual assistant.
10- A virtual assistant can help you focus and crack the whip when you go off track.
When you’re ready to really start seeing some results in your VA business, we recommend looking for a coach. Just make sure that it’s someone with an outstanding reputation and one that is active in the VA community. That way you know they are walking the walk and talking the talk.

Diana Ennen offers specialized virtual assistant coaching services and has recently released her new coaching packages. Best known as the co-author of Virtual Assistant the Series: How to Become a Successful, Sought After VA, she is passionate about helping virtual assistants succeed. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.