Getting MEDIA exposure will help you grow your business…getting ‘free’ media exposure is even better!

Having been in the business for over a decade now I have had some great media exposure. I have paid a PR Media consultant to find media opportunities for me, and I have also found my own ‘free’ media opportunities. As I mentioned before, since I wrote my book Start & Run a Home Staging Business I have a publicist who finds media opportunities for me now.

I actually had my very first article on Redesign published in 2004 and I found this opportunity by contacting the editor of a local decorating magazine. You can do this too. If you go my website and click on the PRES Staging MEDIA tab you will find most of the media exposure (appearances and published articles) that I have received over the last 7 years but not all of it.

Here are some TIPS to getting ‘FREE’ MEDIA:

  1. Research other people who have media opportunities that you want to have and decide which ones you would like to be part of. If they can be in it or featured so can you!
  2. Have an article ready with a ‘hooky or catchy’ title that he editor of a newspaper or magazine would notice. Write it from the perspective of what their readers or audience would want to know about.
  3. Write your ‘Pitch’ that focuses on ‘why’ your article should be published and/or why you should be interviewed. Many websites will tell you specifically what they want to hear from you and you just need to follow the template that they have prepared for you.
  4. Check out www.HelpAReporter.com as they are always looking for good articles and specialists in certain fields. Get signed up so you receive their requests on a regular basis.
  5. If you get contacted and even if the timing is not right for you – just say ‘YES’ I am available, of ‘YES’ I can write that article in the time frame  you have given me. This is a priority because you may not get a second opportunity!
  6. Blog several times a week and you may just get noticed by a media person. Write great content that readers would really want to know about, and want more of  your expertise!
  7. Write a lot of articles and submit them to www.ezinearticles.com and become known as an expert in your field.
  8. If you do hire a media consultant be very specific about what kind of media exposure you are looking for, and it’s great if you know exactly where you want exposure.
  9. If you are not a good writer then hire a copy writer. All you need to do is give them your ideas and they will write the articles for you. This is a small investment for a big return!

Something for you to know…once you submit your materials you have virtually no control over the outcome. If you are interviewed and misquoted in the article, let it go…if they use the wrong ‘Before & After’ photos during an interview, let it go… My advice is to send in the best written article you possibly can, send only a few of your very, very best ‘Before & After’ photos and then let it go…it’s all good!

Interested in a FREE’ One-Day Home Makeover for Living or Selling?

PRES training home clients are ecstatic over the transformations in their home! We’re looking for 2 great (well, not so great actually) homes for May 7th and 8th 2013.

During the 5 day PRES Staging & Redesign Training course, students are taken into real clients’ homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom. Our training home clients are carefully selected by the PRES Resource Centre Founder & Creative Director, Dana J. Smithers. What’s essential in the training homes is that there are at least 3 major rooms to transform, enough art and accessories to work with. Some homes may have more opportunity for learning proper furniture placement and others may provide the perfect opportunity for teaching the ‘art of hanging art’. Whether we are staging the home to sell, or transforming the home by redesigning it for living the outcome for the client is the same – they LOVE the transformation!

You’ve heard the expression ‘The way you LIVE in your HOME is not the way you SELL your HOUSE’ and this couldn’t be more true than in this situation for this seller! Many people that have lived in their home for a long time change the function of their rooms to suit their needs. They might do this because they are now ‘empty nesters’ and have more options of how they can live in their home now. For STAGING the property to get ready for prospective buyers you want your home to be inviting and evoke positive emotions so buyers are excited to see themselves in their new space! Only about 10% of the population is good at visualizing which is why it is so important to create an inviting, functional look in each and every room. And that’s exactly what we did here…

The main living room is being used as an office area for living…

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

We looked in other rooms for more attractive looking furniture and found these sofas in the family room…

This is a much more inviting living room now!

This is a much more inviting living room now!

For many people who are not moving, the PRES students can come into your home and in just one-day totally transform the look of your home using your things! We call this REDESIGN and create more harmony and balance in a home. This is PERSONAL and all about the client’s lifestyle and personal style. This client loved her french decor items from her travels in France but wanted more flow to the home.

The living room BEFORE has things that she loves in it:

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things - lovely as they are.

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things – lovely as they are.

The living room AFTER is more to her liking…

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

The PRES Staging Resource Centre has been offering the ‘free makeover’ for home dwellers – owners and sellers for years now. By ‘free’ we are not charging for this exceptional home transformational service. We only ask that the home dweller or realtor (we do homes for realtor’s clients too) makes a donation to a charity of their choice on behalf of PRES Staging Resource Centre. We know that thousands of dollars have gone to worthy charities because of our offer – WIN – WIN!

An AUTHENTIC BRAND consistently delivers what it says it will

By now you know how important it is that you have a marketing plan so that your business will grow on a steady basis. Be aware that marketing plans can and may need to change if your business is not growing. Regardless, it is crucial that you understand whom your ideal client is because if you don’t know who you are ‘talking to’, you won’t know ‘what to say’, and you won’t know ‘where to find’ them. Let’s take a look at some of the key questions you need to be asking to help you create your Ideal Client Profile.

Even if you have not yet worked with your Ideal Client spend some time ‘imagining’ what he or she would be like. Ask yourself some of the following questions but also include ones that are very specific to your niche market. As a home stager your primary clients will be home sellers and realtors.

You want to understand the geographics, demographics and on-and-off-line psychographics of your ‘ideal client’. This exercise requires that you really zero in on who you want to sell to and who will buy what you want to sell. Once you have determined who your ideal client is you need to create a message that attracts your ideal client to want to learn more about you, and finally you need to determine several strategies as to how you will market your message to your ideal client.

Here are a few key questions for you to ponder while creating your list for your ideal client profiles:

Ideal Client Profile as a Home Seller:

  • Do they have enough money so they will happily pay my fee?
  • When I make my recommendations in preparing the house for selling are they eager to implement my suggestions?
  • Do they respect me and value my work as a professional home stager?
  • What kind of neighbourhood do they live in? Where do they shop?
  • Do they have a family and might they have elderly parents needing to downsize?
  • Would they be happy to refer me to people they know who are selling?

Ideal Client Profile as a Realtor:

  • Do they have enough money so they will happily pay my fee?
  • Do they respect me and value my work as a professional home stager?
  • What real estate company do they work for? Does the company have a good reputation in the market place?
  • Do they have a good reputation in the market place?
  • Will they introduce me to other realtors they know and give me a great referral?
  • Will they be on time for meetings and be willing to build an exclusive relationship with me as part of their marketing plan?

You may find that over time your ideal client changes perhaps because your market has changed, or you may decide you want to change your business offerings. Many home staging entrepreneurs evolve as their business grows. What they offered in the beginning may no longer be where their main revenues are coming from. It’s important to know that and make the necessary adjustments!

CASTING CALL FOR STAGERS!

Want to break into the staging television world? Here is an opportunity but you must live in the Toronto Area. You need to be a certified home stager or design professional to apply. Deadline is APRIL 22, 2013.

***CASTING CALL ***

DESIGN PROFESSIONAL/HOME STAGER

Are YOU or someone you know….
• A Design Professional/Home Stager who stages homes for resale?
• With a Big personality?
• And confident on camera?

‘MISSION: NO COMMISSION’ is Fusion Television’s new and exciting real estate series that focuses on the growing popularity of homeowners selling their properties privately.

CASTING: DESIGNER/HOME STAGER

- Credentialed Design/Home Staging professional
- Experience staging residential properties for resale
- Late 20s to early 40’s.
- Outspoken with definite design opinions
- Highly confident with Gregarious Personality
- Sense of Humour
- Live within 1 hour of The Greater Toronto Area

HOW TO APPLY

Please email the following must required materials to Casting Director, Sue Skinner, at smsconcepts@rogers.com,

1. A SMILING PHOTO
2. A BIO or DESIGN/HOME STAGER RESUME Don’t forget your contact information!
3. A 2-3 minute VIDEO- chatting direct to camera, as your lively and outgoing, dynamic self, please give us a home tour while telling us your 3 best tips for staging a house for resale! We want to get a sense of your fun and memorable personality as well as your valuable staging tips.

*** Please have someone shoot the video for you and ensure there is ample light.
Videos in mov format, at least 40MB and sent through www.yousendit.com, or as a downloadable Vimeo or youtube video link.

Deadline for Video, Photo & Resume Submissions: APRIL 22, 2013.

Questions? Please contact Casting Associate, Vickie, at 905-937-1620 or smsconcepts.vickie@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

The FORTUNE really is in your FOLLOW UP. Every time you meet someone new use my simple 3 Step Follow-Up System.

As a solopreneur business owner I know that sometimes there just does not seem like enough time in the day to get everything done. And since we should be spending about 60 – 80% on marketing and selling, how can we get it all done?

Well over the years I have developed a simple 3 step follow-up system that doesn’t take a lot of time. It has helped me grow my business and more importantly, lead to new clients who I have really enjoyed working with. Setting up any system takes time and with practice this system will become second nature to you. To really make it work you need to schedule it in as part of your marketing and sales strategy. Whether you chose a day of the week or after each event to implement the follow-up system doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make it a habit and become consistent with it. And you must continue to build your list through your enewsletters.

Whether you are networking at an event, trade show or private gathering the best way to connect with someone is to engage them in a conversation first. Ask them about what kind of business they have and/or referrals they are looking for. Truth be told, networking is all about the other person first, and then about you.

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT THE PERSON YOU ARE TALKING TOO!

That may seem a strange thing to say, but if you are focused on what you are going to say about yourself, you are doing the other person a disservice by not being fully present and listening to what they have to say.

When it is your turn you can introduce yourself either following the format the event is using, or your own outstanding infomercial that focuses on the results your clients receive. Then you exchange business cards not before.

Try my simple 3 STEP FORTUNE IS IN THE FOLLOW UP system:

1. Create Your Database = Your List

If you do not have an ezine/enewsletter sign up then at the very least put the contact information into your Outlook program and set up a Distribution List.The Distribution List should contain the name and date of the event/function because that will help you remember when and where you met someone

If you have an ‘opt in’ ezine/enewsletter system then you need to enter all the names into your system and they will ‘opt in’ if they want to receive information from you. If your ezine/enewsletter system does not require an ‘opt in’ because you have permission to enter their information and to send them information those people who really are not your ideal client, will simply unsubscribe. There are some free enewsletter software programs like Mail Chimp or cost-effective ones such as Constant Contact or  AWeber – find a program that fits your needs and start now!

2. Send out a ‘Nice To Meet’ You email

If you have a small number of people to follow up with you can personalize each email using their first name. If you have a large number of people to follow up with then do a less personal email and make sure you BC (blind copy your list otherwise you are violating the privacy laws)

In this friendly email, let them know you enjoyed meeting with them and ask them if they would like to meet for coffee. This is the REASON you are following up. You want to get to know them better, and for them to get to know you better.

If you have some kind of ‘free’ offer to give you can put this in your follow up email but do that as one of the last things – people often look at your P.S.

3. Getting Together With Someone New

I recommend that you phone someone that you really want to follow up with even after you send out your blanket email. We are such a ‘high tech – low touch’ business world right now a phone call goes much further than another email!

If someone emails you back and wants to get together then do them the courtesy of finding out more information about them. Go check them out through their website and learn something about them before you meet. This shows real interest and lets them know you are not wasting their time, but in fact, our genuinely interested in how you can help them.

Even if you think or know someone is not your ‘ideal client’ it’s still a very good idea to meet with them because they may just become a great network referral for you! When you do meet one-on-one let them know you value their time and find out more about them. Once they have shared information about themselves, then it is time for you to share what you are looking for with them.

 PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW YOU, LIKE YOU AND TRUST YOU

P.S. Social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in small business growth. If you have the time, or a virtual assistant, look each person up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media site you think they might be on and ask to connect with them. Start following them and commenting on their site if you want to know more about them before you meet.

P.P.S. For a really great Customer Relation Management system check out www.FIITFU.com and try it out. Mention PRES sent you!