Last week, I posted our second Throwback Thursday, sharing how the first thing I did when I launched Indie Business Network was publish a newsletter. Today, I'll share how we landed our first media feature on January 31, 2001. Unfortunately, I did not retain the original tear sheet, but it still appears online today. Here is a screen shot.
Here's how it came to be.
You Never Know Where Your Blessings Will Come From
After announcing to my colleagues that I would be stepping down from my position to start a business of my own, I made a bee-line for the PR department to request a referral to someone who could help me get the word out about the Indie Business Network. One of my colleagues had a friend of a friend named Mary Yerrick who provided pubic relations services for local politicians. That was obviously not my field, but since you never know where your blessings will come from, I reached out to Mary.
One thing led to another, and within a few weeks, I found myself sitting in Mary's living enjoying a cup of tea! Mary introduced me to the late Paige McMahon, who served as our publicist for a few months. Paige passed the opportunity along to Katherine Hutt of Nautilus Communications, who was the Indie Business Network's first official publicist. Katherine got to work quickly, positioning us for several media pieces, including this score in The Rose Sheet on January 31, 2000, just two weeks after we opened for business.
It was such an honor, and quite frankly, a huge surprise, to be featured. You can still click through to a page with a link to the article here. (Back then, we were known as the Handmade Toiletries Network and my last name was Roberts.)
Leverage Your Network
One of the things we talked about on this month's Indie Business Network member Success Call, How to Build Your Business While Keeping Your Day Job, was the importance of leveraging your network. It's critical all the time, but especially when you are leaving a day job to start a business of your own. Among other things, our guest, Tai Goodwin, who, like me, also quit a job to start a business, stressed how important it is to maintain connections in the traditional work world.
My experience is a prime example of that. I had no idea whether the people I knew in my company's PR department would have any interest in helping me, or that they would have any connections that could oint me in the right direction. But I had a good relationships with them, and so I asked. And it led me to Mary Yerrick and Katherine Hutt, who were great publicist and who remain among my dearest and closest friends and mentors to this day.
Coming Up Next Week …
Next week, I'll share all about how my book, Making Aromatherapy Creams & Lotions, was published! Subscribe to our blog by RSS feed for email (in the yellow box in the upper right corner) so you don't miss it.
Resources in This Post
The Rose Sheet, published by Elsevier Business Intelligence
Katherine Hutt, now the Director of Communications and Media Relations at Council of Better Business Bureaus
Tai Goodwin, president of Launchology 101, on Twitter
1. Are there people in your network, at a “job” or otherwise, that you can go to and ask for help when you need it?
2. Have you ever hired a publicist, or considered doing so? What was your experience like?
3. If you had to choose between a blog and a newsletter, which would you choose, and why?