Get paid to promote your book or video? Here’s how…

Get-Paid-To-PromoteAs a fairly new author, I’ve been exploring a myriad of ways to promote my book Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos. As I’m doing this, I have found some interesting promotional outlets and many of them would work well for promoting videos too! Here is an article by Sandra Beckwith of www.buildbookbuzz.com on an opportunity I hadn’t heard of before and one that I know you’ll find helpful. Read on…

Get Paid to Promote your Book (or Video)

Most authors spend money to promote their books, but some get paid to do it. They’re media spokespersons, hired by companies and organizations to add credibility to a consumer product or service being promoted through a publicity campaign. They are topic experts who have the credentials to back their expertise. And they are paid $2,000 to $3,000 per day to help a company meet its communications objectives by sharing key message points through media interviews, while receiving impressive free media exposure for their books.

The role of a media spokesperson: A media spokesperson has a contract with an organization to fulfill specific obligations, which can range from participating in a satellite media tour to appearing on national or local television talk shows, or doing print or electronic interviews by phone. All of this happens within a designated time frame and for a predetermined fee.

For example, the Soap & Detergent Association (SDA) and its public relations agency recently developed a survey that would generate newsworthy results. The topic was housework: Who’s doing it in American homes, men or women? Not surprisingly, the survey revealed that even women who work outside the home are still doing far more than half the housework, and it’s causing tension among couples.

The SDA could have quoted a staff member in a press release announcing the findings to the media, but this individual would not be qualified to explain the survey results. So the SDA looked elsewhere for a spokesperson to do newsworthy interviews…and found me. As the author of Why Can’t a Man Be More Like a Woman?, a humorous look at what makes men different from women, I write and speak about the lighter side of gender differences. I have the credentials to explain the survey results, offer tips on how women can get more help around the house and suggest to men simple, easy steps they can take to help more without first getting a domestic engineering degree.

Through it’s public relations firm, the SDA contracted with me for three months for a range of media-related services, including traveling to New York City and other locations for in-person

In addition, I received valuable on-camera practice from a professional media trainer who helped me link my anecdotes and experiences to the client’s key message points. My goal, after all, was not to just talk about the survey findings. It was to share specific SDA messages with the public.

How to find spokesperson assignments: Usually, they find you when a publicist searches bookstores for relevant titles or the Internet for your topic. Some companies rely on organizations such as Spokespersons Plus, which specializes in finding qualified experts. Spokespersons Plus works much like an executive recruiter. The client calls the firm and describes the type of individual it needs; owner Deborah Durham searches her database to identify pre-qualified potential matches. If the right person isn’t in her system, she looks elsewhere for the perfect match.

Typically, the spokesperson candidate supplies the client company with materials that verify topic knowledge (your book) and media experience. A videotape with television interviews – even from local talk or news programs – helps the client assess not only your level of interview experience, but your personality, as well. You can be taught how to improve your interview skills, but your inherent demeanor – relaxed, uptight or professorial – can’t (and shouldn’t) be changed for an assignment.

You can also contact companies marketing consumer products or services with a logical connection to your topic and offer your services as a spokesperson. But have a publicity campaign idea in mind before making the call so it’s clear why they might benefit from working with you. Contact Spokespersons Plus, too, but only if you can outline several possible consumer product connections with your topic in a brief note to deb@spokespersons.com.

How a spokesperson is paid: Spokesperson fees vary and are calculated in different ways. Some contracts are based on a day rate while others have fee amounts assigned to specific tasks. Travel days usually earn half the individual’s day rate; travel expenses are reimbursed. Media spokesperson work requires many skills – including an ability to hold your own with hyperactive morning drive time radio personalities – so it’s not for everyone. But if you believe you’re destined to banter with Matt on “The Today Show” and haven’t snagged that interview on your own, consider seeking a spokesperson assignment and letting the pros secure it for you. Then all you’ll have to worry about is what to wear!

Sandra Beckwith offers a free book publicity and promotion e-zine at www.buildbookbuzz.com and teaches the “Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” e-course.

7 Reasons Why You Want Images On Your Website

Website images are just as important as video on your website. Invest in some great photography to keep visitors on your site longer and coming back for more!

Think your website images aren’t as important as video? Although videos have become important elements in your websites, don’t let the popularity and lure of videos blind you to the enduring power of great photographs and well written captions.

Here are 7 reasons you want to include photos in your websites:

1) A dull, drab site doesn’t entice.

You’ll want to include images that will capture your visitors’ interest, illustrate your services, products and message and arouse them to take action: i.e., opting in to your list, buying your product, shopping at your store, etc. We’ve all become accustomed to visually stimulating websites, so you have to strive for visual excellence.

2) Video is a powerful tool but sometimes your visitor doesn’t have the time to watch it.

What I love about photographs is that a good one can tell a story in one shot. With a two sentence caption, it tells a story that can be consumed in la few seconds. Right after I roughed out this post, I had a comment come in on this photograph I had posted in Facebook.

“I love the fact…you love photography, like I do and in addition to that you are creative with the posts that accompany your photos.”

3) When you do include captions, you can put your tags and keywords in there as well for more SEO juice.

4) Another wonderful thing about photographs, images and illustrations on the web is that they are easy to use and don’t take up much bandwidth.

Photos should be optimized for web delivery so that they are served quickly, but this process is simpler and faster than optimizing videos. You have no browser viewing issues with photos like you do with video, i.e., iPhones and iPads can’t view Flash files.

5) Additionally, showcasing photos that capture you and your business in the best light go a long way toward establishing your brand.

6) Google knows people like to look at images and will reward you with a higher page rank for providing this kind of content.

Although computers don’t read pixels, they do read the image title so make sure you include your keywords and tags in the name of your images. I am surprised at how many people overlook this one simple Google-friendly way of getting more keywords onto their site.

7) Photographs are a great way to deliver links, which Google likes.

Add valid links to your photos whenever you can. Most people are used to images taking them places and will expect your image to link to more information. If they click and just your image opens up, they may get confused and frustrated. If you aren’t going to link this photo anywhere within your site or another site, make sure your image won’t be clickable to avoid a possible visitor frustration.

Have you come across some great use of images on a website you’d like to share? Or do you have a clever, enticing way you have included photographs on yours? Leave your comment below!

Writing A Press Release That Won’t Turn Off The Media

Press releases aren’t just good for promoting big events in your business, they can be successfully used to promote your videos and products too! And when you get picked up in a publication, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the power of the press to bump up your sales. But when writing a press release, you have to do [Read more…]