You’re probably thinking sheesh Tasha is July why are you talking about holiday season 2016. Very simple answer to that too many small business owners wait until November to think about holiday season. Creating a marketing plan and more now is important if you want to hit the ground running and win this year. Today, I want to discuss landing holiday press features that can help you gain exposure for your small business.
Know Your Why
As a business consultant, often I asked clients why they are in business. Some give basic answers and then there are others who give the passionate story that ties you in. Giving you a heads up if you’re looking for a feature not just a product shot you need to know your why. Your story is what sells not just a product. People are buying into why your business exist. It tugs at their emotions and they can relate. People work with me, reach out to me and support my company is because they can relate to my story. During the holiday season people are driving out in forces to support small businesses at local markets, pop up shops and more. Reading your why online or in a publication can help you.
List Of Publication
Everyone wants a press feature but not everyone has determine where. Crazy to me is when clients say they never had a list of publications they wanted to be featured in but want press. The two go hand and hand. Today, you need to create a list of local, state, regional and national publications you would like to be a featured in. How does your brand fit in with their target audience. You see I would love to be featured in Ebony, Essence, Forbes, Texas Monthly, Black Enterprise, Inc, Entrepreneur and Bloomberg. Having a feature in those publications would allow my target audience to get to know me and for me to demonstrate my expertise on small business. After you have gathered a list of publications you need to pull up their online editorial calendar to see when they will be covering things. December/Janaury issue tends to come out in November. Most magazines work 3 months in advance. Local magazines might be a month ahead. That means you need to start pitching within the next two weeks if you hope to be featured in the holiday issue.
What You Need
Before you pitch a single soul you need these three things ready to go at the chance you get a yes back.
- Head shot + Full Body
- High resolution images
- Large inventory level of specific product
One of my favorite sayings is “stay ready, never have to get ready”. Too many people want features, but are dropping the ball when it comes to submitting the right information in a timeline matter. Spend the weekend getting the head shots, full body, and bio done. This can always be kept in a folder called “press feature information”. Next, your products this is something I have heard first hand from friends who now run a multi million dollar company. You can send a product off to be featured in a magazine and not hear from them for months. Then all of sudden your item is dead center in their latest issue. Whatever product you submit to be feature triple or quadruple the inventory level of that product. It’s better to have it in stock then have nothing.
Connect + Pitch
If you’re wanting to be featured this holiday season as a full spread or product feature you need to be working on your pitch now. Crazy thing is people think a general email to some random person is going to cut it. No, no boo! You need to find the right editor for each department you are looking to work with. After you find the person go stalk them on social media. You sending a package today could sit on someone desk for weeks because they are on vacation. If you’re sending emails please don’t just send a scripted copy and paste email. Don’t Melania Trump your email you send out. Truly find your way in the door by bringing up something within the first paragraph that resonates.
In recent years, I have helped friends and clients land holiday features on CNN, Ebony, and on influencers websites. You’re able to broadening your audience by landing holiday gift guide or features during the holiday season.