How to leverage the media to accelerate the growth of your small business

If you haven't tapped into the power of mainstream media, then you’re not taking full advantage of an invaluable opportunity to drive exponential growth for your small business. Here’s how to better sell your small-business story

It’s a simple business principle: the more people who know about your business, service or product, the more sales, clients or customers you’re likely to attract.

But when you’re competing against other businesses that offer the same, or similar, product or service vying for media attention, you’ve got to think out of the box.

“Since the beginning of time, the most successful communicators have been storytellers,” says small-business expert and Aurik Business Incubator CEO Pavlo Phitidis. “Working with the mainstream media requires us as business owners to become storytellers.”

READ MORE: Growth strategies for your small business

Becoming a good storyteller, says author and small-business marketing expert Ben Angel, entails knowing how to identify unique and interesting aspects of your business, service or product that could potentially create a newsworthy angle that appeals to journalists.

“The media isn’t looking for a product or service to advertise,” he says. “They want a story, something that will appeal to their audience. When you know your product so intimately, you will see the stories behind it, and that’s where you will find the hook you can use to appeal to the media.”

It’s also vital to understand your core positioning in the market as this helps to identify the appropriate publications and media platforms that would speak to your core target market.

“If you sell golf clubs, being featured in a sports magazine would be great, but not if [the magazine] is primarily focused on water sports. If your message and core positioning target left-handed golfers, try to narrow down the media outlets you approach to those with the same niche,” Angel advises.

It all begins with the ability to draft an attention-grabbing press release that not only pinpoints your unique selling proposition, but one that also highlights the trials and tribulations that you as an entrepreneur have overcome along your journey.

READ MORE: How to grow your business brand effectively

“All business owners who own a growing business have a story to tell,” says Phitidis. “They’ve had an idea and acted on it. They’ve struggled and they’ve failed many times. And then, through sheer perseverance, they have succeeded. The struggle to build your business has compelling stories in it. This is what captivates the media’s readers, viewers and listeners.”

So think about what’s inspiring about your business story, how your product or service contributes to the general betterment of people’s lives, or something that has a socio-economic impact, like job creation and any kind of interventions that tackle and provide solutions to problems the average person can relate to.