How to Turn Two Hours into Millions of Dollars of Free Advertising

When you need clients fast, the problem is how to attract them without lowering your prices or having prospective clients wonder why you aren’t all booked up.

Recently, I used a great tool for attracting clients which is often overlooked. It’s surprising because it all but eliminates the above issues.

Also, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it’s free.

This free tool? The press release.

I’ve written many for my clients. They have proved to be an excellent way of attracting attention and soliciting a response.

I’ve also done this for my copywriting business to announce new clients, a new certification, and special occasions like when I was entered into the AWAI Wall of Fame.

However, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to do one for my own “personal” gain. And, many of the lessons I learned along the way can be applied to attracting new clients to your freelance business.

(Don’t worry if you’ve never written a press release, you can learn how in my article, “12 Steps to Writing and Sending a Press Release that Attracts Clients to You.”)

To demonstrate how effective this is, let me tell you what happened with the press release I submitted in my local market to promote events in my 11-year-old son’s music career.

It took me about an hour to write, and an hour to distribute by email.

The story about Dalton’s music career was picked up in my local area by three separate publications, both in their print and online publications. Three websites from other parts of the country picked up the story from the local publications and ran their own version of the story. I also sent the press release to a member organization I’m involved with, and they want to feature it in their newsletter as well.

There is one more possible story pending, that I know of. The major newspaper in town let me know they are considering running it.

If I wanted to take it a step further, I could also post it online for a few dollars and incorporate keywords that my target audience will be searching.

Not bad for a couple of hours of work, huh?

Here are three quick tips if you decide to do a press release for your business:

1. Submit to publications that target your ideal prospect.

Press releases can be submitted in your local market or online to a national or even international market. You can submit to print and online publications only or you can include radio and TV stations. Topics can include announcing a new product or service, introducing a new partnership or client, and highlighting awards and other accomplishments. For example, if you complete a new course, say SEO Copywriting, you could announce that you’ve added services to help clients rank higher with search engines.

To maximize your chances of finding a really great client, you might also consider submitting press releases to specialty publications or to organizations that target your niche.

For example, if you were targeting companies that do training, send your press release to Speaker Magazine, which is published by the National Speaker Association.

The more your story caters to the magazine's audience, the more likely you are to get published.

2. Have a plan.

If you want to regularly attract new clients with a press release, make a plan for how often, when, and to which publications you will send press releases to. Also, make sure to match the press release content with the publication. Doing so will keep you thinking about what is newsworthy and keep you from missing important publication deadlines.

3. Put together a list of press contacts and start establishing a relationship with them.

To put your list together, in addition to finding the contacts online, find out who typically covers the type of story you will submit.

Create a spreadsheet with their contact information to save time and help you track contacts and response.

If one of your contacts runs the story, take the time to thank them. Preferably with a handwritten note. Be friendly and helpful and don’t waste their time.

This will make you stand out, and your contacts will be more likely to respond to future stories you submit.

So, if you’re looking for a new way to get clients, try writing a press release.

It’s simple to do. Doesn’t take much time. And, can potentially get you in front of millions of prospects for nothing more than your time. Plus, the best part is that when your story runs, it comes off as an endorsement by the media.

The skills you pick up might even turn into a new stream of income if you decide to add “public relations” to your list of services.

Have you written a press release for your business? What were your results? Share them with me

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: February 9, 2012

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