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How To Use SEO To Attract Media Attention

The phone rang. The caller ID lit up. The display proudly illuminated that Fox 35, WOFL was calling. I instantly panicked. What could they want? I reluctantly answered. It was a well-known morning show anchor. Heidi asked me a few questions about Google and a new product that they were just rolling out. She asked me if I could answer a few questions on camera. I froze. I turned it down. I was afraid that I didn’t or wouldn’t know the answers. A huge error in judgement for sure.

Two weeks later, the phone rang once again. This time the caller ID displayed The Daily Buzz. I grabbed the call. It was the news producer, great guy, needed a guest to discuss social media and security and this time, I made it happen. I was petrified, but I made it happen. The Daily Buzz is a Nationwide LIVE morning program produced at the nearby college, Full Sail.

Arrangements were made. Hairs were cut. A jacket from JcPenney was purchased. The morning came. 4:30 am. I puked. I got ready. I arrived at the studio and stumbled through my first live television appearance.
Fast forward 4 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to be on a few stations around Orlando several times. Channel 13, WESH, CW18, and primarily Fox 35. I’m typically on Fox 4 or 5 times a month, sometimes more. It’s an honor, a privilege and a blessing all wrapped into one. I’ve also been on the front page of the USA Today Tech section and the Orlando Sentinel a few times. I don’t throw up anymore (which is a plus), and I’ve gotten a chance to brand myself, and of course, help enhance On Target’s presence in the Orlando area. But how did this happen? How have I had the privilege of appearing on TV over 230 times? SEO.

I’ve always been a huge fan of positioning local companies as experts because people want to work with experts and businesses want to buy from experts. Experts are valuable, trustworthy, and sometimes prestigious to work with. Experts can charge more. Experts are much more sought after over, well, amateurs. I spent a ton of time positioning myself and my company as the experts in all things digital marketing and tech, and it has thankfully paid off in media gold. Now, to be clear…. I’m not sitting in a skyscraper looking down and thinking about the little people. I don’t have a toilet made out of solid gold (but it’s in the works). I don’t have a corporate jet or a high-end pretentious sports car. I drive a pickup truck and have a great business that people believe in.

So, how does SEO come into play? I built each one of my sites to scream expert. I used SEO to position myself as an expert in things that the media was / is interested in. They simply did a Google search, gave me a shot and BOOM…it happened. I didn’t hire a PR firm. I didn’t call each news producer or try to bribe them with cheap gifts and stale donuts. I positioned myself as someone that people would believe. Someone that people would see as a credible source, someone who is real.

So, how can you use SEO / Content Marketing to garner some media attention?

Name It And Claim It.
You’re damn good at what you do. Tell the world about it in your blogs and your web content.  Use the word expert. BE the expert. Craft your content around being an expert. Shower people with expert advice through your blogging and social media channels. Be the leader that people want to follow and learn from.

Guilt By Association.
Be careful who you associate yourself with. Sure, hanging out at the Chamber of Commerce functions CAN be a solid strategy, but if your vision for your business is a bit more lofty than working with Joe the Life Insurance Salesman, then be certain that you are seen in the right avenues. Be associated with the right movers and shakers, especially in your social media channels. Be a giver, a contributor. Put yourself out there and hang with the big dogs.

Know Who You Want To Work With.
In order to position myself as an expert, I sought out speaking gigs at trade shows, conventions, etc., that positioned me as a digital marketing expert. I’d speak about social media, SEO, great design, blogging, content marketing etc. and oftentimes, I didn’t get paid a dime. I just did it. I sucked it up. Yes, my time is valuable, and yes, I ‘should’ get paid for that valuable time, BUT, there is a lot to be said for being exposed to hundreds of businesses that need digital marketing and aligning myself as an expert.

Share The Wealth.
I’m a huge believer in Karma. I like to give. I think it’s a corporate responsibility to give. I think giving to others that can benefit helps boost your credibility as a human. Join some boards and share your wisdom and knowledge. Spend some of your quality time mentoring a grad student or working with a local charity to help them grow. It’s ok to tell people in the community that you give. Be sure to push out a press release that announces your new position on XYZ board. Be a giver offline and online.

Be Real.
There is a huge tendency for people in the limelight, whether digitally or offline, to be an arrogant ass. People don’t want anything to do with arrogant asses. Be you and always remember where you came from. I often think back to the first check I ever got as a result of my website. The check for $300.00 that started everything. I never forget the risk people took by hiring me, a once one-man shop stuffed in a small 8×10 office in an executive suite. If you’re real, people relate. If you’re real, people WANT to work with you. If you’re real, you don’t have to worry about HOW to act around prospects, customers, etc.. If you’re you, people will flock to you.

I’ve been blessed, but I’ve worked my butt off to get where I am today. Don’t ever think people will just hand you something for nothing. You’ve got to earn it, you’ve got to appreciate it and you’ve got to keep at it. If I can ever help, call me.  407-830-4550 xt. 100.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

All the best,

Tom