In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: leveraging the media.
I am thrilled to welcome as this month’s guest Mastermind Christina Daves. As an inventor and entrepreneur, Daves had to teach herself PR to promote her products.
Her results were no less than stunning, with more than 1,000 subsequent media appearances. That led her to start her company, PR for Anyone, teaching business owners how to more effectively reach out to and connect with the media.
I’ve asked Christina to choose the top three questions she is asked most often and answer them for this month’s column. I know you will benefit from her expertise and experience.
My challenge to you this month is to develop a pitch and reach out to your local newspaper, favorite website or podcast or other media outlet.
Questions of the day
Question 1: Why would the media want to use me?
Something I hear all the time, especially from new agents is, “Why would the media want to use me?” What is important to remember is that every real estate agent brings their own gift to the world. Your experience and history is what will help you not only be a successful real estate agent, it also makes you a unique expert in the media.
Take a good look at your background, what you’ve done in your past and how you can tie that expertise into the field of real estate.
Use a target market as your example to hone in on your niche, and use that when pitching the media.
What is your specialty? What is your background? Were you an attorney? A CPA? A stay-at-home mom?
These are all occupations that allow you to draw on an expertise. Use that to help your real estate clients and also provide a valuable story to the media. For example, if you know the new tax laws and can help first-time homebuyers by potentially lowering their taxes, you provide extra value to them.
Think of this expertise as what you can be pitching the media as well. What unique knowledge do you bring to the real estate world that can provide value to a journalist and their audience?
Question 2: How do I pitch the media?
After years and years of pitching the media, at first unsuccessfully and then consistently with success, I figured out a simple three-step system to use when reaching out to the media. I call it my Get PR Famous Formula
Step 1: Be newsworthy
It’s important that you stand out from the crowd when pitching the media by making you or your business newsworthy and valuable to the media’s audience. At the end of the day, your goal is to provide a story that the viewers or readers will find interesting.
One way to do this is to niche your pitch. As I mentioned above, by narrowing down your expertise you make yourself an expert in a specific aspect of real estate that you can then use to pitch the media.
Your pitch should be short and concise with a lead-in hook (see step 2), a few bullet points, a statistic if applicable, a quote from you as the expert and a short bio. You don’t have to give them everything at once. Tease them a bit so they want more and will reach out to you for the rest of the story.
Step 2: Create a great hook
The next step of the Get PR Famous Formula is to create great hooks. I like to call this the “Art of the Hook.” It really is a skill, but once you know how to do it, it’s easy. As with anything, it’s muscle memory, and the more you write hooks, the better you’ll get.
The hook is how you get the journalist’s attention by having a “wow” subject line and a great story pitch that they can actually use on their television show or in their newspaper or magazine.
Give them a good subject line, and make them want to read what you have to say because if they want to learn more it’s likely that their audience will too.
My favorite tip on learning how to write great hooks is to look at magazine covers. People get paid a lot of money to get you to make an impulse purchase in the grocery store line based on the “hooks” on the cover, not the actual article.
Google magazines that your potential clients are reading, and look closely at the types of hooks they use on the covers. Don’t plagiarize, but take a sample you like and change some words around to make it your own. Your media hooks will be flowing naturally in no time.
Step 3: Find the right journalist
The final step to PR success is finding the right journalist. “Right” is the key word here. It doesn’t do you any good to send your real estate story idea to the beauty editor. You need to know exactly who the right real estate contact is at your ideal media outlet.
My No. 1 way to find journalists — especially local media — is Google.
Remember that Google is a question search engine. Ask questions like: “Who writes about real estate for [media outlet]?” In most cases, especially at the local level, you’ll get the name, email and phone number for the journalist.
Keep in mind that media today is 24/7/365, so journalists need your good story ideas. Give them creative, well thought out pitches, and you will not only get covered in the media, but you will also be welcomed into their tribe and become a valued resource to them.
Question 3: What do I do when I’m covered by the media?
It’s up to you to be your own megaphone. You need to tell the world that you were covered in the media. The media outlet will share it, and you will benefit from the SEO (search engine optimization), but it’s up to you to make sure your potential clients know about it.
Every time you are covered in the media, put the post on all of your social media platforms. Then, make sure you put it in an automation software so that it is regularly shared to your social media audience.
Share the story with your newsletter list as well. Add the logo(s) to your website with links to the story, and lastly, make sure you have copies to take to your listing appointments.
Being featured in the media will make you stand out as more credible and have more authority in the real estate space than any other agents a potential seller will interview.
Make sure you take every advantage that comes with being featured in the media and let the world know you are a real estate rock star.
Christina Daves has trained thousands of real estate agents across the country about getting highly visible and becoming the go-to agent in their community. She was named Steve Harvey’s Top Inventor on his Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show. She has appeared in over 1,000 media outlets including Today, Dr. Oz, affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, Forbes, Inc., Success, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Radio and countless others. She is the best-selling author of PR for Anyone 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.