Will Getting Mentioned in the Media Help My Business?
Continuing with my reflections after a year in business with Driven Wealth Management, I want to explore the value of your company getting mentioned in the media.
National media is a marketing channel I had both success and failure with throughout Driven’s first year in business. I believe the lessons I learned can be applied no matter which stage of business you’re in.
If you’re like me, your first thought is:
How Do I Even Get My Business Quoted In the Media?
Upon launching the firm, I subscribed to the “Business and Finance” section of HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Morning, afternoon and evening, I receive emails providing headlines for articles that reporters need subject matter experts to weigh in on. I regularly scan the headlines and respond to articles where I can add value. You can easily do the same for your area of expertise!
I was initially surprised at how many of my submissions to HARO were published. These are the factors that led to this success:
I did not reply in essay form, but used short bullet points- like these!
I made sure I was comfortable with any of the bullets being chosen for a quote. In other words, they are strong even independent of each other.
My designations mattered – unlike much of the public, reporters seem to know and respect the CFA designation. Having this, as well as the CFP®, proved helpful with credibility.
Only three of my dozen or so media mentions came via phone interview. I’ll be honest, I was very nervous for the first phone interview. When the reporter tells you the line is now being recorded, you can’t help but think, “Great, now here comes some nice word vomit for you!” It really isn’t bad though. Maybe I’ve been fortunate, but I’ve found that all of the reporters are very nice and able to disperse that initial fear with some helpful small talk that then naturally flows into the interview. Probably doesn’t hurt that they all love to talk about San Diego, too!
I admit it felt awesome to see my first quote followed by – “Rick Vazza, President of Driven Wealth Management.” I liked it.
But as I quickly learned, my lack of strategy around promoting these mentions led to them truly being nothing more than a vanity metric increase.
What would happen after these precious media mentions?
Did I think the phone would ring and people would start pounding on my door to work with me? Rick, I saw you in U.S. News – let’s work together!
Not exactly. But these mentions should serve some purpose, right?
What used to happen
I’d share the article on social media and post it to my website. Where it would sit. Doing…. Nothing.
In fact, this is the approach most financial advisors take. And I know this extends beyond the finance industry. We only think through half of the strategy. We pat ourselves on the back for getting the media mention, but we fail to utilize the mention for business development. Great, you got some third party validation, but you’ve completely missed putting it to work due to a lack of distribution strategy. Then we wonder why this “isn’t working” and give up.
As is so often the case, my “aha moment” came from a Michael Kitces podcast. Episode 130 to be exact. Yes, I listen to them all and will be a guest some day ;). Another vanity metric? Absolutely. But a good one.
In the episode, advisor Ashley Micciche talks about her distribution strategy after getting an important media mention. She was very intentional with her next steps. Realizing I needed to become intentional as well, I started asking the following questions:
Can this article compliment an introduction to a potential new client?
Should this be shared with another professional – like an accountant or lawyer?
Would it be helpful to distribute this in a networking group?
Ideally, you can see how just asking these questions prompted me to change which articles I would submit quotes for. No longer am I submitting to credit card transfer or high yield savings account articles. Submissions are much more purposeful. For example, I gave a phone interview last week about what exactly I do as an outsourced CFO for businesses. I already foresee the multiple ways to leverage that article once published!
Getting mentioned in the media can absolutely benefit your business IF you have a strategy to capitalize on the mentions. Social media has made it possible for anyone to call themselves an expert and third party validation through a national publication definitely proves helpful in establishing credibility. Hopefully this post gets you thinking about how you leverage that credibility.
And once your business takes off from your newly developed strategy, don’t forget to call Driven to help manage your finances!