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How do you attract the spotlight when you’re a boot-strapped business?
Even more challenging is when you don’t have many customers or a marketing budget.
You need three key ingredients:
• A unique angle. Create a story that is intriguing, exciting, curious, and a tad different. It’s a story that stands out – even in a small way.
• A champion or vocal advocate willing to tell your story. It’s a customer who sees value from the product, even though they may be the only one.
• Insight into target audiences (reporters, bloggers) and pitches that reflect their interests and their content.
It’s a straightforward “recipe,” but it requires creativity, an appetite for risk, and a willingness to tell a story that requires a leap of faith.
And in many cases, it requires a third-party perspective, someone who can see the possibilities because they’re not engrossed in the day-to-day operations of a business.
This scenario appeared recently when the brother of an entrepreneur breeding crickets approached me. I’m talking about millions of crickets.
While the sale of crickets, which are high in protein, hasn’t generated a lot of momentum for human consumption, this business has made sales to a couple of markets as experiments.
One of them was a golf course, which used a combination of cricket shells and excrement as a fertilizer.
As you can imagine, the golf course was willing to try a new product. And it was happy when the fertilizer performed well.
It’s a promising marketing idea, right?
But here’s the thing: the entrepreneur only saw it as a business transaction. Their focus was on how to sell cricket fertilizer to other golf courses.
As an ex-journalist and die-hard storyteller, I had a different perspective.
What if you could pitch a story about the amazing properties of cricket fertilizer to golf magazines, bloggers, and podcasters?
It’s an “out there” idea, but it should drive curiosity and get people to bite on a story that goes against the grain.
That’s the idea. Now, let’s talk about the mechanics:
First, the company needs to get the golf course onboard. They have to show them it’s a win-win proposition.
For the company, it’s an opportunity to attract the spotlight to build brand awareness and drive sales.
For the golf course, it’s a way to attract more players, establish a reputation as a pioneer, and build the personal brand of the person who decided that cricket fertilizer was a product worth trying.
To sweeten the offer, the company could offer a discount on cricket fertilizer to the golf course. There’s nothing like saving money to close a deal.
Second, the company needed to build a list of magazines, newspapers, radio shows, Websites, blogs, and podcasters who cover golf.
There are thousands of potential targets, so the key is establishing the list and segmenting it.
Third, the company has to develop a well-crafted pitch that puts the spotlight on the wonders of cricket fertilizer and how a forward-thinking golf course is reaping the benefits.
Hopefully, the combination of an interesting product and an enthusiastic customer is enough to make targets realize that the product exists and has been validated by a customer.
The pitch offers interviews with the company’s CEO and someone from the golf course.
Amid fierce competition, this type of outreach is admittedly a long shot because it hinges on a story that depends on sparking someone’s curiosity.
When you have a limited or non-existent marketing budget, it’s a huge challenge to attract earned media, but you need to be creative and willing to risk rejection.
Looking to create better stories for prospects, customers, and the media? Book a free 30-minute call.
Learn more about how I help B2B and SaaS companies build rock-solid marketing foundations underpinned by brand positioning, messaging and content-driven go-to-market strategies.
Think your ready to take your marketing to the next level? Let's have a quick chat and we can make a solid roadmap from there.