Low-cost publicity tips for the kitchen-table business

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How to promote your small business. Photo by Chesney Bradshaw

Bad news sells. Check out your news feed on your favourite website or app. What do you see? Most news items telling you about conflict, how tax and rising prices are emptying your pockets, people who have been injured or killed, environmental destruction, climate devastation and drought.

Remember this about bad news because that’s your real competition when you want to create low-cost publicity for your kitchen-table business or small business.

Publicity can be put under the umbrella of “good news”. You have a product or service and you want to promote it. Are you going to talk about its faults or failures? Hardly. You need to find some angle or hook that can make whatever you are going to say interesting.

Your lever is curiosity. You need to say something different, very different, unusual, radical even, to motivate people to read about your product or service.

Remember to that you have to get past the “gatekeepers” who are the editors of print and online publications or moderators of websites and social media. These people deal with news every day and have an instinct for something that will appeal to their readers, listeners or viewers.

Recently a group of vegan warriors launched an angry protest outside butchery in the UK. That’s news. But it’s hardly something that the ordinary kitchen-table business owner would want to do. Why? Because it’s risky. It could blow up in your face. It’s better left to left -wing activists. The worse their publicity backfires, the better results for them.

You don’t always have to go for the unusual or over-the-top, you might also consider plain vanilla flavoured news interest items such as informing customers about your business opening or a new product that you have on the market. Just remember that these two types of events are once-offs because you can’t go back and repeat.

You need to think of updates – how can you provide an update on and existing businesses or service? Any publicity agent, worth her salt will help you generate ideas for promoting your business. In fact, a short while back I had a free gift for new subscribers on no-cost, low-cost publicity techniques for small businesses. Unfortunately, that valuable information is no longer available.

I’m sure that while you been reading this you’re thinking to yourself that you can use Facebook or Twitter to make announcements. Sure you can but be careful of being bland or too outrageous where the customer sees little benefit in it for them. The point about social media is that if you don’t have a way to record interest such as bookings for an event or driving social media traffic through to an opt-in page, you really don’t know the success of your promotion. What are you going to do with page views and likes?

Generating publicity for your kitchen-table business can be fun, and valuable for your business but make sure you get the basics right.

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