Christina is here to tell us how we can leverage traditional media to get more visibility. Her tips also help for gaining credibility as a newer investor. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Christina Daves Background:
- Founder of PR for Anyone
- Shows people how to get visibility using social and traditional media
- Author of the bestselling book, PR for Anyone™ – 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business
- Say hi to her at http://prforanyone.com/ or at www.getpresstoday.com
- Based In Washington D.C.
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.
First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Saturday, we’re doing a special segment called Situation Saturday, where we will help you work through a challenging situation that you might be in, or perhaps you’ll come across in the future.
Today, the challenging situation is you’re a real estate investor but no one knows about you, or not as many people as you’d like know about you, so we have a guest today who will teach us how, as real estate investors, we can get more visibility using social and traditional media.
With us today to talk about that, Christina Daves. How are you doing, Christina?
Christina Daves: Hey! I’m great, Joe. Great to chat with you again.
Joe Fairless: Nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Christina – she is the founder of PR For Anyone. She shows people how to get visibility using social and traditional media. She is the author of the book “PR For Anyone: 100+ affordable ways to easily generate buzz for your business” and you can check out her website at PrForAnyone.com. With that being said, Christina, will you give the Best Ever listeners just a little bit of background for context, and then we’ll get into the bulk of our conversation?
Christina Daves: Yeah, absolutely. Oh my gosh, it’s probably eight years ago now I invented a product, and everybody loved the idea, and it was great, and everything was wonderful until I manufactured the product and I realized that I had created a whole new space in the marketplace. So you wanna talk about nobody knowing about you — nobody knew that they needed my product. So what happened was I broke my foot, and I was put in one of those big, ugly medical boots and we were headed to New York City the next day… So I’m looking for anything to decorate it, right? We’re going to the fashion capital of the world, so I’m googling “medical boot fashion”, “medical boot accessories”, and there was nothing on the market.
Having been an entrepreneur my whole life, of course, the light bulbs went off, and I did research, and I found out that there was a huge market for this… So I went forward, took a mortgage out on the house, did everything, and then it was like “Oh my gosh, how do I let people know about this?” I didn’t have any money left for advertising; I couldn’t hire a big DC PR firm… So basically, I became a do-it-yourself expert in publicity, and “How do you get free publicity?” I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and then I really started to figure things out.
On national television, I was on the Steve Harvey Show, I’ve been in Forbes several times, Entrepreneur… I figured things out because the more visibility I got on these big media outlets, the more people would find out about my product. That’s how it started.
Joe Fairless: And as real estate investors, especially investors who have a full-time job, but then want to transition into active full-time investing, the challenge is a credibility challenge, because they have a sphere of influence that knows them from whatever background and profession they were in previously, and then when they start talking to people about real estate investing, it might be like “Wait, what? You’re a real estate investor? I know you from computer programming, or whatever else.” And not only for people who are transitioning from full-time something else to full-time investors, but then also anyone who’s listening who wants to grow your business – you get more traction with more exposure, you’re likely going to generate more business results… Totally relevant for us, and I’m excited to dive in. What’s the best approach for this conversation?
Christina Daves: Well, we’ll start with publicity, and then we can talk about some social media hacks and tools that everybody can use… But it’s starting local. You’re probably on a more national level in terms of investment, but I would think a lot of people listening are investors in their own backyard, and that’s where your expertise comes in. Just because you were a computer programmer, there’s a lot of spin that you can give yourself to position yourself as — maybe you’ve lived in that area your whole life, and you know the real estate industry inside and out. Maybe you were doing another job AND doing it. So when you’re pitching stories, you don’t have to say “I’m new at real estate investing.”
If you’re with a company — I work with a lot of real estate agents and I always say “Don’t say you’re new to real estate. Say you’re newly affiliated with this firm.” So there’s lots of ways you can spin it a little bit.
Local is the easiest way to get publicity, and one of the things I recommend is if there is a national trend in real estate investing, if there is a study that came out, how can you pull it locally? What does that mean for your local market? That’s a great thing that you can pitch your local market, again, assuming that most of the people on here – you could tell me your audience better; if it’s national, I have a whole other idea. We can go nationally, too. But locally is the easiest way to get publicity.
Obviously, they want local people… If you ever tried to pitch the media in another state, it’s hard. They want the people who are in their community to be the experts. But that’s why it’s — like I said, you take national trends, national studies and bring them into your local community; that’s a really easy way to stand out and to get coverage.
Joe Fairless: I love that. With the national trends or reports – is that as simple as seeing what’s on a national news station, and then saying “Hey, I saw this report from XYZ” or do we have to get Google alerts for that, or how should we approach that?
Christina Daves: Yes… Yes to everything. If you can see that study before it makes the national news and then you can approach your local – that’s great. Or let’s say you see it on NBC Nightly News, you see a study… I would call my local NBC affiliate and say “Hey, they just ran this story last night; let me tell you what the local spin is. How about I come in for an interview and we can talk about what this means for our region?”
Joe Fairless: That’s easy. Not easy, but it’s a simple, intuitive process is what I should say, because my next question was “Who do you reach out to when you find the study that could be newsworthy and you’re approaching them?”
Christina Daves: And people laugh… Especially locally, it’s really easy. Google. Google is a question search engine. “Who writes about real estate stories for…” and the name of your local publication. Or “Who writes about real estate investing?”
If you’re in New York City, I’m gonna tell you it’s gonna be a little bit harder. That’s the number one market in the country. And most of those are your NBC Nightly News, those kinds of things. You can still get on in New York, it’s just that you’re competing with a lot more people. But for the most part, everywhere else it’s really not that hard. You can pick up the phone, you can Google your call letters (WRC in DC) and you can pick up the phone and call the newsroom and say “Hey, I just saw this story on NBC Nightly News. I’ve got a great idea how we can bring this locally. Who is the producer that I would send my e-mail to?” And they’re gonna tell you, because they wanna know this kind of stuff.
Everybody is so afraid of the media, and they really are very accessible and very easy to reach, and very appreciative if you give them good stories.
Joe Fairless: That is a stand-out way, certainly, to get local coverage, and as you said, starting local is the easiest way to get publicity. Is there a channel or medium, rather, that we should prioritize over others?
Christina Daves: I would say TV probably is more competitive, because more people are trying to get on television. What’s interesting is I think that the blogs and the onlines have a much bigger reach. TV used to be the big thing. Now it might not be so bad to have a link in your local paper where they’re e-mailing all of their subscribers. People read news online, people read news on their phones. So I just think anywhere in your regional market…
Know all of your newspapers, your magazines, know what they cover. I always tell people, “Do your homework.” Spend that extra bit of time so you know what they cover and how they cover it. How do they normally write real estate stories? Or do they even cover that?
You don’t wanna pitch somebody that would never cover the real estate market. In DC — it’s all about activities in DC, and concerts, and book readings, and this kind of thing. They would not write a story about the real estate market in DC. But find the outlet that does, and then build your media list, so you have it right there. You’ve got the 10 people in your community that you can hit every time there’s a story, and you’re staying front of mind, so then they’re also gonna remember you when there’s a real estate type related story… They’ll be like “Oh, Joe’s been sending me great story ideas for months now. I bet he’s got a great quote on this.”
Joe Fairless: When you have an idea to pitch the local media, should you reach out to all of them at once, just to make sure you get coverage, or take a different approach?
Christina Daves: That’s a very good question. You have to be kind of careful, especially with television. I will usually pitch what I think is the best media outlet first. So I’ll pitch, I’ll follow up with a phone call, and then I’ll send a reminder e-mail, all within a few days.
Now, if it’s breaking news, I will pick up the phone and say “Hey, this study came out. This is really impactful for our region”, and talk about it. But then, after that amount of time I would go to the next one, and if the first one came back, I would be honest and say “Hey, so-and-so is also covering it.” Sometimes they want exclusive, sometimes they don’t care, but you don’t wanna upset them. They might say “Okay, we’ll pass on this one, but next time let us be first.”
So you just have to be mindful of your contacts… Especially because you’re not sending a press release. I’m a big proponent of you find the right person, you build a relationship, you send a personal e-mail to them, so they know this is not a blanket press release that’s gone out to the world. This is really specific to them, to their media outlet, and you could be specific about it.
“I know that you cover once a month in this section in the paper, and I think this would be a great fit for that.” You’ve done your homework, and they see that.
Now, newspapers – if you’ve got a regional and you’ve got a local, I would pitch both of them; that doesn’t really matter. Again, in DC you could pitch The Washington Post real estate section and the regional paper and the local paper all the same story, and you wouldn’t step on anybody’s toes.
Joe Fairless: Got it. Okay. You mentioned starting local is the easiest way to get publicity, and you say national would be a different direction… So how do we go national?
Christina Daves: The easiest resource is something called “Help a reporter out.” I’m a huge proponent of it; I’m actually one of their biggest success stories, because I use it every single day. It’s helpareporter.com. I’m not a paid spokesperson or anything like that; it’s an amazing resource. There are a ton of real estate leads in there. So what happens is three times a day they send out queries from journalists looking for quotes or more information, and it comes out at like 6 AM, 1 PM and 6 PM roughly, Eastern Time. It’s important to answer quickly, because I think they have 500,000 people in their database that they’re sending this out to… But I will tell you that the real estate people that I have worked with have been in the Wall Street Journal, they have been in national magazines, they have been in the Washington Post, New York Times… It goes on and on and on.
It is so important to make that part of your marketing plan, especially being in the real estate industry, because there are some days you could get 10-20 real estate queries alone; I don’t know any other industry that they do that much with.
Then you get the — I call it the Google juice. You get the SEO of these big, huge media outlets that are putting your name in there, they’re putting your website if you have a website, and then when people start checking you out for doing stuff with you and you start coming up on page one of Google with a New York Times or a Wall Street Journal article, you look incredibly credible to those people… And that’s why local is easiest, but national is where the big credibility is.
Joe Fairless: For example, when you got into Entrepreneur Magazine, how did you get into there?
Christina Daves: If you put my name into Google right now, last I checked there was like 14 pages of Google. I would say 90%-95% of that is answering Help a Reporter Out queries. It’s tremendous. That’s how I got in the Steve Harvey Show. I changed my business completely to be on a show like that, and that was all from Help a Reporter Out.
Joe Fairless: What were you on the show for?
Christina Daves: I was on an inventors’ competition that I won.
Joe Fairless: Wow!
Christina Daves: Yeah, it was great! I won $20,000 and all of that credibility to be on that show, and then they brought me back a couple more times. It was amazing.
Joe Fairless: Now let’s talk about social. What do we need to know about social to help get more visibility. Everybody thinks they need to be on every single platform, and you’re not gonna do every platform well. You can’t. It’s impossible. Take the one that you’re really comfortable with and do it really well.
Obviously, for real estate in general, that’s a big referral business; people who know, like and trust you are gonna tell people about you and what you do… So Facebook is really good for that to stay front of mind with your family, with your friends. Don’t post all your business stuff on your personal page. Make sure you have a business page. But sometimes you can send some stuff over to your personal page to remind them.
For real estate investors, LinkedIn is huge because of the searchability and because of the types of people that are on LinkedIn and the people you can connect with to build your network. It’s very important to have a good profile, a good profile picture. Don’t put a picture from happy hour at the beach; this is business. [laughter]
The next one that’s really big in the real estate world right now is Instagram – because of the pictures, because of the Instagram Live, because of the slideshows that you can do… But I would take one and get really comfortable with it. Hashtags are really important on Instagram, Twitter… And this is new on LinkedIn – you can now use hashtags to get found. So when you’re doing your posts, think about that. And social media, guys – video. You’ve got to be doing video.
I heard a statistic that in 2019, 80% of all content consumed online is gonna be video. So you’ve got to be putting your stuff out there, and just get used to it. It’s muscle memory. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get. My first video was horrible, and I love to tell the story – my first Facebook Live I was so proud of myself… I got all set up, I did it, I hit Post, everything was great, and I realized that my phone lock was on, so I was at a 90% angle… [laughter] But I didn’t lose any clients. Nobody said “Oh, Christina, I can’t work with you because you did a Facebook Live sideways.” Everybody laughed and thought it was really funny… But that’s how people get to know you, and that’s how people get to see the authentic you, and that’s how people get to decide they wanna work with you.
So video is really important… And LinkedIn is doing video now. They do any lives; it has to be a recorded video. And then the Facebook Lives are just a tremendous way to get people to find out about you and allow you to educate people… So it’s something you really have to incorporate into your marketing plan.
Joe Fairless: Anything that we haven’t discussed that we should discuss in this shorter conversation? Because I know your book has 100+ affordable ways to create buzz for your business… But anything that comes to mind that you think we should discuss for our conversation?
Christina Daves: Yes, just do it! My business coach years ago told me that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction, and I have embraced that. Because like I said, people are gonna not wanna work with you because your video isn’t perfect, or your content isn’t perfect… It’s just really important to get yourself out there, because if you don’t do it, somebody else will. Somebody’s gonna do it. If they need a real estate investor to quote in a newspaper or a magazine, somebody’s gonna get it, so why not let it be you, and put yourself out there so you’re the expert and you’re the credible one and you get all the logos on your website, compared to the other person who’s doing it?
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Christina Daves: PRForAnyone is everything. That’s my handle on all the social media, that’s the website… If you’d like to go a little deeper on what we talked about today, with some more ideas, I have a PDF checklist that I created. That’s at GetPressToday, and it’s specific for people in the real estate industry… To give you some ideas on how to make yourself newsworthy, how to pitch to media… So that might be helpful to actually have something written in front of you. And if you wanna talk about anything, ChatWithChristina.com will take you right to my phone calendar, and I would love to talk to you and see what I can do to help.
Joe Fairless: Excellent. Yeah, I’m at GetPressToday, and I see “Get my free step-by-step guide.” Awesome. Christina, thank you so much for sharing this expertise, how to get free publicity, both locally, just paying attention, creating a database and doing the work, the just-do-it part, and being smart with how we approach the local contacts. As you said, TV is more competitive, but blogs tend to have a bigger reach, and they also help better with SEO, unless the TV segment is also published on that news organization’s blog, and then you get the double whammy, which is good.
Then how to approach national press, HARO – Help A Reporter Out… My company has been using that sporadically, and we certainly have received some success there, so I second that… And you taught me something — you taught me many things, but one of the things that I wrote down and I bolded and I’m gonna be reaching out to my team on is LinkedIn, how we can use hashtags now on LinkedIn, whereas before we couldn’t… Or you could, but it just didn’t do anything. So that’s something that I’m gonna implement in my stuff, too.
Thanks so much for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Christina Daves: Thank you.