How Publicity Gets You into the Fast Lane
Monday, September 12, 2005; 6:45pm EST
Many of us have the dream of saying good-bye to our day job and
starting our own successful home business. Dianne Beiermann did just
that. Dianne had worked for corporate America and she had survived
layoffs and poor pay. She had enough and wanted out. She dreamed of
having her own business and being her own boss.
Dianne adds: 'I always wanted to work from home. As far back as I
can remember I dreamed of owning my own home business. For years I
read books on mail order and working from home. But for a long time
it just remained a dream. Until my last job, that was when I finally
decided to stop dreaming and take action. What motivated me to make
a move was in early 2002, the company I was working for at the time,
decided to have a mass layoff of many departments within their
They ended up firing four people from my department. I had missed
the ax but it really hit home for me. I knew I didn't want to live
this way, always worrying about the next time there would be a lay
off. Wondering if I would get the ax, it really changed everything
for me. I know that there was no such thing as a safe secure job. I
didn't want somebody else deciding my fate. I wanted to decide it.
This is what finally pushed me to take action."
That was when Dianne took the plunge into the world of online
business selling a mix of inexpensive gifts and gadgets. It was a
slow start at first. Dianne explains, 'I started my online business
back in July of 2002. The best way to describe my website was a mix
of inexpensive gifts, ranging from garden gifts to religious gifts.
When I first started, my site was pretty unfocused.
Because I was selling a mix of unrelated gifts from many different
categories I decided to focus my attention on selling wholesale to
already existing retail websites that carried garden items or
religious gifts. The supplier I was using gave their distributors
the ability to sell wholesale to other companies so that is what I
concentrated my efforts on doing. I spent most of my time contacting
the website owners to sell wholesale to them."
Her real success came several months later after a great deal of
study in the library reading books on everything from, finding a
niche to free publicity.
Dianne found her niche selling automotive themed gifts for the home
and office (http://www.pwmenterprises.com) and she found her
customers through writing new product announcements and emailing
them out to the editors of national magazines and online magazines.
We asked Dianne how she found her niche for selling automotive
themed gifts and this is what she said:
'Back in February of 2003 I was thumbing through my supplier's
catalog looking for new product ideas when I came across a wood pen
shaped like a gear shifter and clock shaped like a steering wheel. I
knew that I finally had something really unique and different and I
started to build my website around these new automotive themed gifts
and accents. My site went from being a mix of inexpensive gifts and
gadgets to a site focused on gifts for the automotive enthusiast.
That was a real break through moment for me because once I found my
niche it made it much easier to target my audience. That was when I
started to focus on sending the editors of automotive magazines new
product announcements on the items I carry."
Since Dianne had no money to advertise with, she had to think
outside the box. After spending months reading every book she could
find on getting free publicity, she implemented what she learned. By
adding some of her own ideas, to her surprise the editors started
publishing her new product announcements and her sales took off.
Dianne adds, 'One of the main ways I am able to drive targeted
customers to my site is through my efforts to get free publicity for
my new products (also referred to as 'New Product Announcements").
Back in March of 2003 I started to send out press releases via email
to every car magazine I could find. I was sending out press releases
for about three weeks when something amazing happened. After my
third week of sending out press releases I started receiving phone
calls from customers who wanted to purchase my gear shift pen. I was
pretty shocked at first and didn't know where they were coming from.
After the third or fourth phone call I started asking the customers
how they found us and they said they read a blurb about our new
product in Auto Week magazine. I was really stunned. I couldn't
believe my press release got picked up. With this first taste of
free publicity my business sales exploded.
I was getting a lot of hits to my website (for the first time) and
people started placing orders online as well as calling into order.
Because I also had the steering wheel clock and a couple other
automotive themed items, the customers were purchasing these
products as well. In five weeks I sold hundreds of the pens and
steering wheel clocks. After this experience I started hunting
online for more new automotive related products to introduce to the
editors and in a nine month period I grew my sales ten times by
mainly emailing the editors press releases on new product
announcements. I sent out these press releases on a monthly basis
and ended up getting my products in several automotive and men's
print magazines and online magazines."
To this day (2 years later), she still receives free publicity for
her products and company, PWM Enterprises, Inc. As her company
continued to have rapid growth, several people jumped on board to
help with business development. Now, Dianne's company has grown
thanks in part to their hard work. She says the key to her success
was partly due to all the free publicity she has received.
Their company, PWM Enterprises, Inc. now manufactures their own
product line of gear shift themed accents. They have sales
representatives in New York, Ohio, and Arizona and their
manufacturing facilities are in Wisconsin. Her company sells
wholesale now and offers corporate imprinting on their patent
pending product line. We asked her what other methods she uses to
find new customers for her business, 'To help get the word out about
our product line we exhibit at car shows, expos, and gift and market
trade shows. We will be exhibiting at SEMA in November, which is the
largest trade show in the automotive after market industry."
Dianne has also launched another very successful website,
www.productpressrelease.com where she has written an e-book on how a
person can copy her success for getting free publicity by emailing
Dianne added, 'After, I started getting the free publicity for my
company, PWM Enterprises, Inc. I had many friends and business
associates ask me how I was getting the free publicity. They were
very curious and really amazed that I was able to get free publicity
for my products just by emailing the editors. Since I did not have a
background in public relations and previously knew nothing about
publicity, they were even more stunned at my success emailing the
People wanted to know everything they could about the process. They
wanted to know where I found the editor emails and what I wrote in
the press releases. They really needed someone to help walk them
through the process. I had so many people asking for my help that I
decided to write an e-book on the subject of getting free publicity.
The e-book is titled, "How Anyone Can Get Free Publicity Just By
Using Their Email." The e-book has been instrumental in helping many
of Dianne's customers obtain free publicity for their own websites
and products. Included in the e-book are several successful samples
of 'new product announcement" emails that she sent to the editors.
For more information visit: http://www.productpressrelease.com.
Dianne gains a lot of satisfaction from her ability to help others
achieve the same success she has had by using free publicity. We
asked her what are four top key methods for getting free publicity,
and this is what she said:
'I would be happy to share some key ways to getting free publicity.
Below are 4 of my top methods I use to this day."
1) Personalize the Press Release
Whenever possible find ways to personalize the press release. Here
is a simple technique you can use:
Address the e-mail to the specific editor of the magazine. Instead
of writing: "To the editors of the magazine" Take the extra step of
searching the magazine's website for the name of the editor and
address them accordingly.
2) Be prompt to an editor's request
Be prepared when the editors contact you. Many times an editor will
want to contact you and ask some basic questions about your company.
Another reason they might contact you would be to include your
product in their next issue.
When this happens the editor will ask you for a 300 dpi photo of
your product to be e-mailed to them so they can put it in the
magazine. Through the years of doing e-mail press releases, I have
learned to contact my suppliers before I send out a press release
and ask them for a 300 dpi photo. I keep the photo(s) on file in a
computer file folder marked 'editor's photos." They are easy to
retrieve and since I already requested the picture ahead of time, I
can just retrieve it from my file and send it to the editor
within minutes of the request.
3) Be consistent and patient while emailing the editors
It is very important to be consistent when you email the editors.
Try to introduce a new product on a monthly to bi-monthly basis to
the editors of the magazines. If you do it on a consistent basis
before you know it, one of your products could be picked up in one
of the magazines. It is also important to be patient with the
process. You may not here anything for a few months and then all of
a sudden you
will find out that a magazine picked up your press release and is
running it. On average it takes print magazines a month to three
months to print your press release. For online magazines you could
have your press release picked up within days or weeks. That is why
it is important to target both.
4) Website Focus
Make sure your site is focused on a specific category of products. I
cannot stress this enough. The editors will often check to see if
your site features products that are in the same category as your
product press release. This is one of the key ways you can get free
publicity for your products. Because when you send out a press
release on a new product, the editors will check your site to make
sure that you offer similar products. Once they see that you offer a
wide range of products in this same category, you will greatly
improve your chances for getting free publicity for your products
She says it has been a dream come true to have two successful
businesses and she really enjoys being able to share her success
with others. Dianne has some helpful advice for individuals wanting
to start their own internet business. 'Finding a niche is critical.
Stay focused on one particular type of product or service. It is
ideal to look for products that are not readily available on the
internet or big box retailers. Keep your costs down in the beginning
and do as much as you can on your own. Don't let anyone steal your
dream of having your own successful online business. Believe in
yourself, learn from people who have already achieved success and
then take action!"