Why “Getting Press” Makes Winning New Business Easier

Dustin Siggins is the Founder of Proven Media Solutions, a communications and business strategy firm.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Dustin explains what it means to “get press” and how individual salespeople can use this strategy to build more trust at distance and establish themselves as experts in their niche.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Dustin Siggins
Founder of Proven Media Solutions

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Sales Nation, as you know, Salesman.org is part of the HubSpot podcast network. Another show that is part of the network, that I enjoy listening to personally, is My First Million, hosted by Sam Parr and Shaan Puri. My First million share stories about how founders earned their first million dollars. So if you are thinking about starting a side hustle, or perhaps you’re a business owner, it’s great content to keep you motivated. You can listen to My First Million wherever you usually get your podcasts.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. My name is Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast, the world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have Dustin Siggins. He is the founder over at ProvenMediaSolutions.net. On today’s episode, we’re investigating how press can improve your sales results, how to get press, what getting press actually means, and how for a, you and I, a humble, knuckle dragging sales professional, can get mentioned in the media and how this translates to more, faster, better prospecting and sales results. Everything that we talk about in this episode is available over at Salesman.org/Press. With that, let’s jump right into it.

 

Will Barron:

Dustin, welcome to The Salesman Podcast.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Thanks for having me again.

 

Will Barron:

I’m glad to have you back on, Dustin. Okay, so in today’s show, we’re going to look at how press can improve sales results, or even the right press can create better sales leads and faster sales cycles as well.

 

Getting Press: What Does It Mean and How Can We Use It To Drive Sales Results? · [01:28]

 

Will Barron:

Give us some context here, Dustin, before we jump into this topic, are we, when we’re talking about getting press, are we talking about driving over to the New York Times, if they still have an office, I don’t know, however, all these media companies are working remotely or what they’re doing now, but driving over to the New York Times and demanding that they do a story on us personally, or is there more specific, industry niche publications that we should be getting in front of? Or does getting press just mean getting quoted in LinkedIn articles? What do we need to do here to use press to drive sales results?

 

“When it comes to getting press, it depends on what your market is. So for example, there are several things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to badger somebody, you don’t want to just drive up to the door and knock on the door. What you need to do is look at who you are, the story you can tell that would get past what we call gatekeepers, journalists, producers and the like, in a way that they’re going to say, “This is interesting, at the right time, from the right person, to put in front of my audience.”” – Dustin Siggins · [02:01]

 

Dustin Siggins:

So, when it comes to getting press, you’ve mentioned New York Times, industry trade pubs, it depends on what your market is. So for example, there’re several things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to badger somebody, you don’t want to just drive up to the door and knock on the door. What you need to do is look at who you are, the story you can tell that would get past what we call gatekeepers, journalists and producers and the like, in a way that they’re going to say, “This is interesting, at the right time, from the right person, to put in front of my audience.”

 

Dustin Siggins:

So there’s a few ways that I would suggest doing that, starting with an opinion piece. The financial advisor who sees a stock market crashing and puts out an opinion piece that everyone should stay in the stock market, it’s counter intuitive advice, it’s timely for the right kind of person. There’s a lot of ways to do that, we’ll get more into it in the show, is really tailoring your message to your first audience, which is that gatekeeper, before you reach the people who might buy your services or products.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. That totally makes sense. For anyone who’s listening, who’s a quota carrying, knuckle dragging salesperson like I am, working with Dustin on a piece at the moment, but I get quoted somewhat regularly because I have domain expertise in a very thin sliver of B2B training, typically online training. So, even when I was in medical device sales, I was getting quoted, people would be tweeting about me, I’d have different things going on, because I was an expert in one specific space, which was endoscopic camera systems here in Yorkshire, beautiful Yorkshire in the UK. So I just want to lead this conversation with, if you’ve been in sales for any period of time and you’re selling any level of technical or complex product or service, am I right in saying, Dustin, that you probably have some expertise that other people may want to quote or reference you on? Is that fair to say?

 

Dustin Siggins:

I would put it one step, take it one step back from that. There’s a lot of people who may have that same expertise you do, so you have to create a story that’s interesting and has the whole strategy behind it. Otherwise, you might be one of 10 people sending out the same email, or the same phone call, to that press outlet. That means you’re just wasting your time.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Okay.

 

Dustin Siggins:

You may have the expertise, but it may not matter because if you’re in a more saturated market…

 

How Does Getting in the Press Translate to Improved Sales Results? · [04:16] 

 

Will Barron:

Got it. So we’ll come back to story in a minute, but just to tee up the conversation a little bit further, sell the audience on why they should want press, and how press can improve sales results. How does getting noticed, talked about, your story being told, translate into improved kind of sales results in the marketplace, Dustin? I’m assuming, without putting words in your mouth, there’s an element of trust here that all this is going to fall back on.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Trust, of course, know, like, and trust is what every, that I’ve been taught, since I started doing sales a few years ago. So what about… There are three ways that I would suggest looking at how press can help you stand out from the competition, get you better leads and faster sales.

 

“When looking at how press can help you stand out from the competition, get you better leads, and faster sales, first craft your message to show your target markets you understand them and how you will solve the problems they know about and the ones they don’t.” – Dustin Siggins · [04:48]

 

Dustin Siggins:

First is craft your message to show your target markets you understand them, and how you will solve their problems, the ones they know about and the ones they don’t. So for example, the future of work has been a huge topic since the pandemic. Some people might know that they need to go remote. Other people may not understand the future technologies that are necessary to make their remote work more efficient. I mentioned the stock market example earlier, but there’s a lot of supply chain issues here in the States. Some people may know about their specific industry’s supply chain issues. They may not know about the wider, American wide, issues. So if you talk about one or the other, you can talk about issues that they know about, and issues that they won’t see coming.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Second, getting into press can turn cold calls and cold meetings, into warm calls and a warm meetings. So you meet somebody at a conference and you’ve been in industry press for some time, but they shake your hand and hear your name and they go, “Hey, I know who you are. I’ve heard your name before.” Likewise, in a planned meeting or other environments, people will know your name more likely, when you’re engaging in some level of your sales process. In fact, people may contact you because of getting in the press. Well, I’ve quoted you in Forbes before and people, I somewhat regularly get contacted on a LinkedIn or otherwise by people who saw my article, looked me up, and contacted me, sometimes to engage in the sales process. So getting the press can really engage people before you have to earn know, like, and trust, in the traditional sense, you’re already earning it.

 

“Getting in the right press is just like getting a referral from an influencer. If you’re in the right industry trade press, that reporter or that editor has already given you the ability to be trusted, because you’re in that source. Whether it’s a magazine, a podcast, radio show, TV, you’ve already begun to earn trust through the credibility referral of that gatekeeper who let you be in their outlet.” – Dustin Siggins · [06:29] 

 

Dustin Siggins:

Then lastly, getting in the right press is just like getting a referral from an influencer. If you’re in the right industry trade press, that reporter, or that editor, has already given you the ability to be trusted, because you’re in that source, whether it’s a magazine, a podcast, radio show, TV, you’ve already begun to earn trust through the credibility referral of that gatekeeper who let you be in their outlet.

 

Is There Any Value Left in Earned Media, Especially Now That We’re in the Digital Age? · [06:54]

 

Will Barron:

Love it. I agree with all of that. One thing that I think we should double down on very quickly is, Dustin, in a world where any salesperson can start writing LinkedIn posts, they can start their own blog, they can start podcasts like this, industry specific, and hopefully drive a load of traffic and attention, what we’re talking about here is earned media, right? Is mentions in earned media more valuable or less valuable than it has been in the past?

 

Dustin Siggins:

I can’t answer that question because decades ago there were very few outlets, and now, as you said, the barriers to entry are so low. What I would say is that most… So it’s two things.

 

Dustin Siggins:

One, press should be part of what we call, as a surround sound strategy, surround sound marketing and branding strategy. Don’t just put your thing out there. Let’s say you get into Forbes, that should be turned into a blog post or some other collateral on your show, on your blog. It should also be turned into email marketing, and on your social media. There should be a strategy surrounding press, otherwise it’s just a tactic, one.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Then two, look at what’s being written and differentiate yourself in it, or as someone put it to me when I was starting out as a writer, 12 years ago, look, what’s in the news, research the heck out of it, and then write on it. In this case, if you’re in the sales industry where everyone’s talking on LinkedIn and the like, what are they not saying? You’ve mentioned driving into a very narrow niche. What are they not saying, and how are they not saying it? So those are two different ways to differentiate in a saturated, low barrier, [inaudible 00:08:22] press environment.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Well, I would go more, kind of lean in one direction with my answer, I think it’s a massive differentiator, in a place where we’re just, buyers are now used to salespeople creating content, if you can either be quoted on an external platform that refers their trust to you, or even better, if you could get a guest post or… Whether it’s an industry publication or an industry podcast, or like yourself coming on here, I think that carries way more trust now than ever has done in the past. From the context of though, I never had press 20 years ago, so who knows if it was different then? To be real with the audience here. I see it over the past five years of, I now look for press mentions, and care more about press mentions, than what I did when looking for podcast guests, for example, and things of that nature. I think that trust is becoming even more valuable and more important.

 

Practical Strategies for Getting in the Press · [09:25] 

 

Will Barron:

So with all that said then, you’ve kind of given us a few nuggets along the way so far, Dustin, but is there a strategy that we can put in place? Is there a 1, 2, 3 steps,, or an A to Z guide of how a salesperson, or a sales leader, or tonnes of founders and entrepreneurs listen to this show as well, how they can go about getting press, not just for the prestige of having it, but how they can do it step by step to drive more attention and more sales?

 

“When getting in the Press, we start with looking internally at the outlets that influence your target markets and who are the gatekeepers at those outlets. If you’re hitting an industry trade publication, you don’t want to hit somebody who’s unrelated to what you do. You want to hit the right person at the right outlet. Then you have to develop a strategy to look at what they are paying attention to. So you want to make sure that you’ve found the right people at the right outlets, and that you get in front of them the right way with the right topics.” – Dustin Siggins · [10:00]

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to pull up a link on my company website. We have actually have a PDF download that gets right into this. We call it Getting in the Press, Your Media Engagement Strategy Guide. So there’s a few steps here, but we start with looking internally, what are the outlets that influence your target markets? Who are the gatekeepers at those outlets? You don’t want to hit, you’re hitting an industry trade publication, you don’t want to hit somebody who’s unrelated to what you do. You want to hit the right person at the right outlet.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Then you have to develop a strategy to look at what are they paying attention to? The reporters write the stories, but editors assign the stories. Hosts, like you, conduct interviews, but you also have a producer who’ll often handle guest schedules. So you want to make sure that you’ve found the right people at the right outlets, and that you get in front of them the right way with the right topics.

 

Dustin Siggins:

So again, when I first reached out to you, I mentioned the topic of getting press and getting into sales. I got your attention through an email and I also reached out to your producer, then we discussed and fine tuned the topic. So that’s an example of how I got press getting on to this podcast. That is what salespeople certainly can do is, you have to do a lot of preparation so that you’re not reaching out to the wrong person, because then they’re going to dismiss you. That’s actually going to hurt your brand with those trusted outlets.

 

Dustin Siggins:

You also want to make sure that you are having the right timing. A joke I make is that gatekeepers will care about taxes in March and April, they will not care at Thanksgiving. So accountants should not try to pitch their story at Thanksgiving, they should do it March and April, conferences, school year dates, or education groups. So to your audience, look at the industry calendar and say, “These outlets that reach my target market, these are the individuals there who reach my target market in a more fine tuned fashion, when are they going to be most interested? Hey, we’re going to have a conference every August. Well, let’s reach out in June with our specific story, that’s going to be timed to that conference.”

 

Perfect Timing: How to Get Your Opinion Piece Published in the Press · [11:55]

 

Will Barron:

Dustin, let me give you an example that we can work against. So I was working medical device sales, my biggest customers were typically urologists, and there’re tonnes of both trade publications for urologists, trade publications for medical devices. A lot of what is talked about in more pop science articles about urology medicine, that kind of thing, quotes experts within that space with regards to technology. So let’s think of it from that perspective of looking at gatekeepers there, what the right timing is, what topics would be interesting, the story, that side of things.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. So I don’t know medical device sales, but let’s say you’re a salesperson and the Affordable Care Act passes in America in 2010, and there’s a medical device sales tax. Everyone’s going to be talking about that at the next conference, right? Then if you’re the salesperson, you can develop, you can talk about how you managed to deal with that challenge, because now everything’s going to be more expensive. Or how you dealt with navigating the new regulations of the Affordable Care Act, so that you can still make your sales quotas, or that you are finding new ways to make new types of sales.

 

Dustin Siggins:

You do that, you reach out to the gatekeepers, maybe two issues ahead of the conference, or for one of the magazines that they’re putting in everyone’s bags at the conference. That way, when people are going to be reading those, they’re going to be interested in what’s going on because it’s a huge issue, and your name is going to be there, maybe in an article of your own opinion, an op-ed, as we call it, or quote as an industry expert with a unique story to tell. Now when people are going to be seeing you, they’re going to say, “Hey, I read your article. That was really neat, we need to talk.” Or the people who are going to be trying to buy your product are also going to be trying to find new ways to navigate the new medical device scenario with these taxes and regulations, and your piece may be targeted to them more directly.

 

Will Barron:

Makes total sense. An analogy that I always like to give to describe this phenomenon that I’ve experienced in the past is, and you’ll get this, Dustin, I’m sure you’ll agree, if you are ill, you don’t look for an average doctor, right? You don’t go on a list of top 10 doctors and then go to number seven or eight, you go to whoever’s the most timely, appropriate, and who you feel has the most expertise.

 

Will Barron:

So when we’re talking about an acute situation, like a conference, I’ve done this loads of times, been inadvertently… If I’d have known you, Dustin, five years ago, you could have helped me with some of this stuff. Loads of times, I’ve been quoted in, as you described, the magazines that go in the gift bags at medical conferences, at urology conferences. A few years ago, the world’s biggest urology conference was in the UK, I was there attending, and I was quoted on the website, and on the conference Twitter feed, and a few other places, talking about medical devices and our product. I had a bunch of my actual customers say, “Hey, I saw you, that was awesome. I saw you on this, this, and this,” and come over and have a chat, and then other people would be, “Hey, I recognise your face.” I mentioned this, so I’ve been through what you’re you’re talking about here.

 

Get Past the Gatekeeper and Get Published in the Press as a Total Newbie · [15:00] 

 

Will Barron:

One thing I do want to ask, just as we get into this conversation here, Dustin, is what do you say to people who are listening to this right now who go, “Okay, that’s all great for Will, this podcaster who, after, admittedly, years of grinding, now has a little bit of an audience”, or Dustin, killing it with your business, mate, what do you say to sales people listening to this who are going, “Well, I’m probably a little bit of an expert in this space, I probably do have something to say, but there’s probably better qualified people. Why would anyone listen to me over them”?

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. So I spent the first part of my career as a political journalist. No one knew me in the business world. In the last few years, I’ve gotten published at the industry trade publications in the PR space, Forbes, number of other places. I didn’t jump right to Forbes. I started thinking about where I can get published at maybe lower level publications that didn’t perfectly reach my target market that were easier to access through opinions, through getting quoted in articles, primarily through my own, putting out my own opinion-ating is my primary form of marketing in that way. It builds that brand over time. So when someone looks you up, or you can send them a sample, you can say, “This is the topic, and these are where I’ve been published before, or I’ve been on podcasts before.” By getting in front of those early audiences, you start to build that brand.

 

“Find outlets that are easier to access, that will represent your target market, at least to some degree, and that will allow you to continue to fine tune your message so that as your brand grows, you can reach out to those higher level outlets with a credible message because you know it’s your differentiator, and you’ve had enough experience and a background to send them credible links and references.” – Dustin Siggins · [16:49] 

 

Dustin Siggins:

You also start to notice your differentiation. One thing that I’ve talked quite a bit about in the last year, I was on your show first about a year ago, was trust protection. I made up that term while we were talking. That was not a term I had previously thought about until we talked about it in the show, and you just drilled right into it. That got me thinking about that specific term, and fine tuning my message around that. So you’ll learn a lot if you do a bunch of, I would say, low level, I don’t mean, don’t go to a blogger who has four reviews, but find outlets that that will, easier to access, that will represent your target market, at least to some degree, and that will allow you to continue to fine tune your message so that as your brand grows, a lot of it is perception, as your brand grows, you can reach out to those higher level outlets with both a credible message, because you know it’s your differentiator, and you’ve had enough experience to, and background, to send them credible links and references.

 

How to Write the Perfect Email That Gets You Past the Toughest Gatekeepers ·  [17:20]

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So, let’s get into the nuts and bolts here, you mentioned having samples when you reach out to the gatekeepers, what does that, I assume this is an email that we’re sending most of the time, what does that email look like and how can we, if we can, all stand out within that email itself?

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. So…

 

Will Barron:

Let’s put in the context here, Dustin, of we are, perhaps, at this point, reaching out to lower level media outlets that we think that we’ve got… We’re reaching out to Urology Daily Yorkshire, as opposed to The National Society of Urology in the UK. So we’re reaching out from the perspective of, “Hey, these people probably want to listen to, at least, these people probably would want to jump on a phone call,” so we’re playing the kind of odds here in the right direction.

 

Dustin Siggins:

So, what’s the outlet again?

 

Will Barron:

I just made it up, but Urology Yorkshire Daily, I don’t know, something like that.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. Well, so, let’s talk about, let’s use when the economy crashed a year and a half ago, there were so many industries affected and I reached out to an editor at Fox Business with a piece on how you should engage in more marketing when the economy is bad. I have, my title is Founder of a Public Relations Firm, my background includes getting published, and I have the ability to say something counterintuitive, engage in more marketing when everyone else is pulling their marketing. I used some real world examples in my piece. That’s how I was able to get published at Fox Business.

 

“If someone’s in the sales environment and everyone’s suddenly going remote, you can have articles and reach out to an editor and say, “My company has done this on remote work, I’ve actually increased my sales because I have spent less time travelling, and I can focus more time on the customer’s needs, or the prospects needs. I noticed you have an article about this component of sales, such as remote is going to be the future. Well, here’s my story on how that’s actually happening.” So you’ve taken advantage of the news cycle. You’ve taken advantage of a prior article in order to add a narrow spin on it. Now your expertise might not be in driving better sales in a remote environment, but you have a story that can tailor to the current news cycle, which then you can talk about whatever you really want to talk about.” – Dustin Siggins · [18:46] 

 

Dustin Siggins:

If someone’s in the sales environment and everyone’s suddenly going remote, you can have articles, you can reach out to an editor and say, “My company has done this on remote work, I’ve actually increased my sales because I have spent less time travelling, and I can focus more time on the customer’s needs, or the prospects needs. I noticed you have an article about this component of sales, such as remote is going to be the future. Well, here’s my story on how that’s actually happening.” So you’ve taken advantage of the news cycle. You’ve taken advantage of a prior article in order to add a narrow spin on it. Now your expertise might not be in driving sale, better sales in a remote environment, but you have a story that can tailor to the current news cycle, which, then you can talk about whatever you really want to talk about.

 

Why Dustin Prefers Counterintuitive Topics and Point of Views · [19:30] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. Got it. You mentioned this, slight tangent here, Dustin, you mentioned the term counterintuitive a few times in the conversation. When you are pitching articles, are you pitching counterintuitive content ideas because that’s how you’re wired, to debate the kind of status quo? I’m the same, that’s what I enjoy doing. You could tell me that the sky is blue and I’ll debate you that it’s something else. I enjoy doing that. Are you wired that way, in which case, you find those insights are easier to come by, or is that strategic?

 

“You should always say what you believe if you’re going to be out there. So, if you can target an outlet that has a certain point of view, and if you see that they accept countering point of views, reach out to those specific outlets. There are times where it’s best to go with the flow, but offer your unique experience in a positive way. But the reason I like counterintuitive strategically is, by going against the grain, it will pop better. It will often get more reads. Everyone else is saying this, but Will is saying that. People go, “Well, that’s really interesting. I hadn’t thought about that before.”” – Dustin Siggins · [20:09] 

 

Dustin Siggins:

It’s a combination of factors. I’m a naturally contrary person. So, yes, to your point, but second, you should always say what you believe if you’re going to be out there. So when, if you can target an outlet that has a certain point of view, and if you see that they accept countering point of views, reach out to those specific outlets. There are times where it’s best to go with the flow, but offer your unique experience in the positive way. So it just depends on what outlet you’re looking for.

 

Dustin Siggins:

The reason I like counterintuitive strategically is, by going against the grain, it will pop better. It will often get more reads. Everyone else is saying this, but Will is saying that. People go, “Well, that’s really interesting. I hadn’t thought about that before.” Now, you’re going to… The book, Challenger Sales, I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Dustin Siggins:

They talk about getting people to say, “Huh, hadn’t thought of it that way.” That’s where that counterintuitive strategy can work.

 

Get Customisable Templates for Reaching Out to Media Gatekeepers · [20:55] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay, that makes sense. Do you have, if not, I’ll write one and put it in the show notes of this episode, do you have an example or a template of what we should be using to reach out to media gatekeepers?

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. Well, at the risk of being overly self promotional, I do have this PDF download I mentioned, about the internal and external considerations for reaching out to the press.

 

Will Barron:

Cool.

 

Dustin Siggins:

We also have a number of sample press releases that people can use when announcing bigger news.

 

Will Barron:

Cool. Well, I’ll link that, we’ll do the show notes to this episode, Salesman.org/Press, we’ll do that as the show notes, and everything that Dustin is describing there, I’ll link down on the page, so everyone listening can go and grab it. Okay.

 

How and When to Send Follow Up Emails After the Initial No Response · [21:40] 

 

Will Barron:

So with that said, at this point, hopefully we’ve sent off this killer email, the gatekeeper has gone, “Holy, holy macaroni, Dustin is a legend, killer salesperson, expert in this space, I want to get them on”. Then they go, “I’ve also got 5000 other things to get through and other requests on my time, so I’ll get back to Dustin next week.” Then they forget to get back to you. Is there an appropriate way to follow up or do we then just pitch the next idea, as opposed to following up on the original one?

 

Dustin Siggins:

So generally speaking… Well, let me back up. If it’s an evergreen topic, you just keep following up to get on their calendar. You’re also, unless you’re offering an opinion piece that’s unique to them, like you literally offer it to the Washington Post and until they publish it, you can’t send it anywhere else, you can send it to anybody you want to. I would hardly ever recommend, if you’re doing the sort of article quoting that you’re talking about, sending just to one outlet, unless it’s truly unique to them.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Dustin Siggins:

A lot of times is, you can have a pitch to you, Will, that I would just tailor to somebody else with a few, changing 10 or 15 words. What I would suggest, if you’re talking about the opinion article type of piece, like the kind of piece you see in the Washington Post or the Guardian, obviously we’re talking here, business angle, not political angles, I would definitely reach out to those outlets with a deadline. “Hey, I’m exclusively yours for 48 hours.”

 

Dustin Siggins:

Use the weekend to your advantage. If you’re talking about something that’s going to happen next week, or that just happened, you’re on a news cycle, a deadline here, so what you need to do is say, “Hey, you have 48 hours, because of the news cycle, I need to move on at that point.” You follow up 24 hours later, and if they say yes, and then they don’t publish within 24 hours, you should always get deadlines and timelines from these people because, again, as you inferred, they get several hundred emails a day, hundreds of pitches, and you have to break through and then make sure they continue to stay aware of you.

 

Why Deadlines Matter When Reaching Out to Gatekeepers and Trying to Get Published · [23:49] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. So you’re not going to… That’s an appropriate thing to say then, “There’s a 48 hour deadline here,” follow up after 24 hours, and then move on? That’s an appropriate cadence? The reason I ask is, I know our audience are more than capable of following up over the next four years to get something in the books, because that’s what they’re doing in these complex sales they’re driving in their own organisations. So again, just expertise and, I guess, context from an expert like yourself is important here.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. Well, and the other thing too is, you can often get quoted sort of as a secondary matter, where you’re not the star, but maybe you’re getting on to someone else’s coattails. I have a very good friend, he’s a self made millionaire, he’s a true entrepreneur, Lee [Rashkin 00:24:27], and I was able to quote him in one of my Forbes articles, but he didn’t lead the article, Mark Cuban did. I was able to quote Mark Cuban as well. So, Lee wasn’t the star, but I’ll bet he had some additional star power with the right strategy, by being associated with Mark Cuban at Forbes.

 

Dustin Siggins:

So there’s a lot of times where you can be that sort of coattail person, or secondly, you can also be, what I like to call, the straight man, or straight woman, where maybe everyone else is talking about something controversial or changing industry stuff, and your goal is to just be quoted as somebody who’s an expert on the definition of terms. I quoted a lawyer on mergers and acquisitions, on the difference between a vertical and a horizontal merger, in a topic that was politically oriented about business. He was the straight man in the article. So you also want to make sure you’re thinking about, when you’re reaching out to these outlets, what might your unique voice be? Where yes, you see they’re [inaudible 00:25:22] quoting big names, but what about that smaller person who has that unique story that plays to the larger angle?

 

Will Barron:

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Will Barron:

For sure. I think that’s probably a whole episode in itself for storytelling within sales, and when reaching out to gatekeepers, both media gatekeepers, and then gatekeepers throughout the sales process as well, because when we’re reaching out to a gatekeeper in the sales process, if they’re passing on our story to see if we’re going to make it to the decision maker, there’re different techniques and different things that we need to do there to make sure that message translates appropriately. So maybe that’s an episode for the future.

 

How Often Should You Try to Get in the Press? · [27:00]

 

Will Barron:

Dustin, I’ve got one final question, mate. I don’t know the answer to this, and I don’t know if there is a clear answer to this, but leaning on Pareto’s Law, or the 80/20 principle of 20% of the efforts that we make will give us 80% of the results, how often do we need to be in the media to get all of this trust inference, this ability to have almost instant rapport with people, if they’ve seen us in the media? Do we need to be quoted every week? Is it fine to do a stint of this now, as we record this in 2021, and then that lasts the next decade, because you can say, “Well,” 10 years from now, you can say, “Well, I was quoted here, here and here,” or does that trust diminish over time? What’s the longer term strategy for this? Is it weekly, monthly, yearly? What do we need to do to make the most out of it?

 

“Getting quoted once a month or getting an article published under your name, under your byline, once a month is a tactic. But if you’re not telling everyone about it through the rest of your marketing tools, your email newsletter, your social media, passing around at meetings, or otherwise using it to your advantage, then all you’re doing is getting your name out there in a way that’s only going to reach a small subset of your target market.” – Dustin Siggins · [27:58] 

 

Dustin Siggins:

I would say monthly, as a general rule. It could be as a little as quarterly, depending upon the outlets, your industry, and some other components, but you must have a strategy around it. Again, getting quoted once a month, or getting an article published under your name, under your byline, once a month is a tactic. If you’re not telling everyone about it through the rest of your marketing tools, your email newsletter, your social media, passing around at meetings, or otherwise using it to your advantage, then all you’re doing is getting your name out there in a way that’s only going to reach a small subset of your target market. So I would say once a month, also because, unless this is something you’re really good at, it’s going to be very, very difficult. It’s a huge mental and time suck. I don’t want people to be distracted from their core goal, which is to engage with prospects.

 

Dustin Siggins:

So I would say once a month, aim for the smaller outlets that are really easy to get into, that way you’ll learn along the way and won’t be a huge mental time suck, but you can still say, “I got published at XY outlet, or got onto ABC podcasts”, and it’s still going to be somewhat impressive and they’ll go and listen and you’ll build that trust.

 

Will Barron:

For sure.

 

Dustin Siggins:

I want to, can I close out with one thing real quick?

 

Will Barron:

Course you can.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Don’t get bad press. I’ll define bad press as anything that doesn’t create better leads or drive faster sales. So shiny objects, things that maybe you’re personally passionate about, or they look good, or they offer little to no value. That means you just wasted your time and your company’s time and scarce resources. Always be prepared for press, or it’s bad. The first time I was ever on TV, I was not prepared at all, and it was a disaster. I just won’t tell you all where the link is so you won’t have to see that.

 

Dustin’s Nightmare Press Moment · [29:33]

 

Will Barron:

Well, give us, you’ve teased us there. This is not, I’m sure you have improved since then, I’m certain of it, but what was that situation like? Were you called up last minute? Just for storytelling purposes for the audience, how did that turn out?

 

Dustin Siggins:

So, it was a political show, and I was a political journalist at the time. They told me to sit still, and look at the camera, and don’t move. I took them literally. I looked like C3PO, just sitting there, staring at the camera.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Second, I didn’t understand that you should get, in an interview style format, unless it’s like a super friendly interview like this one, you should always have three talking points and come back to them every single time, and always get out your full statement each time you’re allowed. Might only be 30, 60 seconds in a sort of three minute interview. I thought I could have one statement that leads to the next one, but my first one, it was counterintuitive in the wrong way. I was going to clarify it with my next statement, I never got a final statement. So the host was able to use my statement to imply that I had a certain position, which I didn’t, and then use that, use me as a springboard to make himself look better. I was not prepared physically, I wasn’t prepared with the strategy for being on a TV show, and I wasn’t prepared with my talking points and it just, it didn’t go well.

 

Will Barron:

Well, there you go. The moral of the story there is, Dustin, is to host the podcast… You’re brighter than me, mate, when you try and screw me over, I just go click. It never airs, and you’re in control.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Exactly.

 

Parting Thoughts · [31:11]

 

Will Barron:

Well, we’ll wrap up with that, Dustin. I appreciate the candidness of your response there, mate. With that, tell us where we can find more about you, Proven Media Solutions, and everything else that you’re up to, mate.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Sure. So we’re ProvenMediaSolutions.net. As we discussed earlier, we’re going to put you in the press, that’s our job. It’s a lot of fun and it’s very validating to be able to be on programmes like this, Will, and be able to talk about this kind of stuff that I’ve learned in the last 12 years. So ProvenMediaSolutions.net, you can find the PDF that I mentioned, I think, Will, you said you’re going to link it, it’s also on our website. You can find me on LinkedIn, under Dustin Siggins, there’s, I think, two people with my name in the whole world, so I’m pretty easy to find.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. I’ll link to all of that in the show notes for this episode, over at Salesman.org/Press. With that, Dustin, I thank you for your time, your expertise, and all of this, mate, I really do, and for joining us again on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Dustin Siggins:

Thanks man. Appreciate you.

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