How to be your own PR Guru and get what you want!
Have you ever made your partner a nice breakfast to keep your relationship happy? Have you ever grown your own food with your kids? They are small investments that we make in our personal lives to influence others and that buy us a lot of goodwill. That way the kids get excited about eating their greens and we don’t have to pay for an expensive divorce!
In your business, how could you influence people and what will that lead to for you? Influencing others in a positive way creates the kind of environment you need for your business to thrive. Consciously or unconsciously we influence everyone around us with everything we do and don’t do. So be your own PR manager and put an action plan into place!
Who can you influence?
Almost everyone in your environment… That includes your (freelance) staff, suppliers, prospects, clients, local or trade press, your councillor, networking groups on and off line, professional bodies, trade organisations and more. So who have you not picked the phone up to recently who could make a difference to your business?
How can you influence them?
Everything you say influences the people around you. Even the things that you don’t say, such as not informing your staff what is going on in the company can negatively influence people. So pick up the phone or have that face to face meeting. Far too much communication is done via e-mail now, which makes it very hard to pick up on what others really want or think of you.
Listen with a capital “L”. The only way you will be able to influence others is if you know what is important to them. Quantify or qualify what they want. Think about those things that you could provide and meets their needs. Is there a course your staff want to go on? Is your local newspaper editor in desperate need to fill a page of editorial today?
Of course it is not just about talking the talk, but also walking the walk. If you want your staff to show more initiative then show them with your actions how it is done and reward them when they do the same. If you want lots of new clients, then first make sure your service or product is delivering value for money to your existing ones.
People like to be influenced by experts in their field. So speak at public events or seminars, write in magazines or blogs, become the chairperson of that trade organisation. Be active in social media like LinkedIn, or if your business works with consumers, Facebook and Twitter. Repetition here works, your company will seem bigger and others will want to hear from you.
What will that get you?
Know in advance what you want from the other party, how they can help you get to where you want. You could get a 2% discount from your supplier for paying early; you could ask your client for testimonials or referrals for the extra service you have given them. Or you could get the local press to write articles to promote your business rather than taking out expensive ads.
Having a reputation of being someone people like dealing with is priceless. Even if you cannot immediately cash in a favour, being known as someone who is a positive influence will ultimately help you and your company. So, think about the biggest goal you are currently trying to achieve… who can help you with it… and how. Then get to work!