How to Profit From Your 15 Minutes of Fame

Media attention helps any marketing campaign. Here's how to capitalize on your moment.
Getting Small Businesses Unstuck, Shafran Moltz Group
April 17, 2012

Your company finally gets its big media break. A network TV program will highlight your new product. You tell all your customers and business associates about it.

You spiff up your website and hire additional sales staff to take the deluge of orders you expect. After all, millions of people watch this show every week.

When you check your website traffic and sales after the show—nothing! What happened?

Just ask successful entrepreneur Scott Jordan, who has appeared in the media a lot. His 10-year-old company, Scottevest, was recently featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. He thought this might be his company’s big breakthrough.

After 6 million people watched the episode, there was little increase in sales.

Jordan says the important part comes after your TV debut. The key is how you repurpose the content for your own marketing.

He suggests using the clip to improve your company’s credibility and build your brand. If CNN thought you were good enough to put on television, people are more likely to take a look at your product.

Here are seven steps that help you profit from your 15 minutes of fame.

1. Start local

Go to a major network’s local affiliate to get some practice and a video of your company representative on television. Even without a larger network spot in the offing, your story becomes more of a known commodity. The competition at this level is less intense so you will likely have more opportunity to be featured. (video)

2. Record video consistently

“Produce a lot of your own video for your blog, for YouTube and for other sites," says Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan. "Producers will Google you if they find out about your ability, so it will be less risky for them to feature you or your company.”

3. Get personal with producers

After you have made a successful pitch, thank them. Update them on what you're doing. Form a relationship over time so you can schedule the next media appearance.

4. Don’t waste resources on product placement

Paying for product placement is typically not a good investment for a small business. However, if your product appears in a hit movie or TV show, or is used by celebrities, use that in your marketing promotions to gain credibility.

An alternative way to create a celebrity connection with your product is to use Open Sky, a shopping website that helps companies get recommendations from celebrities.

5. Remember, it’s entertainment

The media does not want you to promote your business, but wants it to relate to current events, says Carol Roth, a “recovering” investment banker.

This year, attach your brand message to trends like the presidential election, the Occupy movement or the problems in the Euro zone. Carol also reminds us that television is a visual medium. Always think about how your product, your expertise or your business will look.

6. Forget the ROE (return on ego)

“You need to check the ego at the door," Carol says. "It’s not about you, but about how you or your expertise can shed light on issues the show is covering."

7. Practice, practice, practice

Most small business owners are afraid to practice before an event, or too lazy to do it. It's essential that you rehearse 15- and 30-second sound bites that can be used on the show and repurposed later.

How have you used television PR to promote your business and extended your 15 minutes of fame?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Getting Small Businesses Unstuck, Shafran Moltz Group