My Latest Surefire Tip for Getting Publicity for Your Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Do you ever get frustrated trying to get publicity for your business with the media outlets specific to your industry? For example, fashion magazines are besieged with requests from vendors to use their products in editorial, so how good are your odds? But you do have other choices. Have you ever thought about stepping away from your industry’s mainstay magazines and blogs, and try a different approach?

How to get publicity

Let’s say I owned a restaurant, I would typically be trying to get a review or included in articles from local magazines, lifestyle and travel blogs, and as such would be competing with many others for the same editorial. However, consider a story pitch that would work with a different type of publication and have the same effect.

For example, I was recently planning a trip to Boston and I searched on Google for “Top restaurants in Boston”. One of the articles that came up was from the business blog, Business Insider, entitled “The 10 Best Restaurants For A Business Lunch In Boston“. Do you see where I am going here? Would you normally expect to see restaurant suggestions in a business publication? But this article makes sense for this particular type of publication.

Maybe you have a pet products business. You are likely always targeting the pet-related media. However, earlier this year the men’s fashion magazine GQ ran an article called, “The Ultimate Dog Accessories for a Gentleman’s Best Friend“. Would you have thought to pitch to them?

If you own a resort or tourist-related business, I imagine you are always trying to get featured with the travel media. However, Time Magazine ran an article last summer entitled, “7 Great American Vacation Spots That Won’t Bust Your Budget” as part of their money feature, and it listed and linked to several hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions.

What if you sell beauty products and you have had no luck with the beauty editors at the popular beauty blogs. But did you know that Shape Magazine, which typically focuses on fitness-related editorial for women, also has regular beauty editorial, even an annual beauty awards?

I hope this gets you thinking about how you can increase your chances of getting publicity for your business by targeting non-industry media with a story relevant to their editorial.

MORE TIPS: Those who got my July Marketing Calendar knew #NationalCheeseCakeDay would be trending big on social media today. Tomorrow look for #BlueMoon to be trending on Twitter & Instagram and probably into the next day.

Remember, send me your marketing or business questions for Tuesday’s Ask Gail to

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Ask Gail: Does My Business Need to Be on Every Social Media Site?




Dear Gail,

I find social media overwhelming. How often do I need to be on, and do I need to be on every social media site?


Frustrated Business Owner

This question (from a small business owner who asked to remain anonymous) is one I get asked a lot. If you are a one or two-person business, no, you don’t have to be on every social media site, just the ones that your target market frequents the most, and the ones that are generating the most sales for you.

Now, it is important to note that I say sales, not traffic. I have certain social media sites that bring me a lot of traffic, but not necessary new customers because the typical small business person who frequents this social media site (I won’t name the site) seems to just be looking for free advice and is not looking to really invest in their business. My customers are actually found more through the social media sites that don’t bring me the most traffic. I know this because I will see the customer first show up in my follower list for this social media site, then they approach me about my services.

Look at it logically. If a social media site is bringing you 5,000 visitors a month, for example, but you are still getting very few sales, then I would say that this social media site is not effective for you. Don’t be lured in just by high traffic numbers; you want customers not visitors.

There are also certain demographics that frequent certain sites. Be sure to read my post, Which Social Media Site To Use For Your Business.

As for how long to be on social media each day, I would definitely invest 1 to 2 hours if you can, and use some of the automated social media scheduling programs like HootSuite to make your life easier.

Remember, I do offer a Social Media Plan that will help you maximize your exposure and stay organized.


Every Tuesday I answer your questions, so send one to or fill in the form below:


4 Easy Tips to Help Your Business Succeed on Social Media

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

Social media is all about interaction. So, if you are a business on social media here are four easy ways to make sure you are maximizing your presence there and reaching more customers:


  1. Respond to Comments – On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you can reply to comments on your posts, photos, tweets, etc., and you should, especially if someone has asked you a question. I know I can forget to do this too, so make a point of setting aside a half hour at the end of the day and go through your notifications and make sure that you respond to every comment as well as if people have even mentioned you on their social media site. If people have retweeted your tweets, say thank you and/or return the favor. You never want to look inactive or that you don’t care, so take the time to respond.
  2. Comment, Like & Share – How good are you are taking the time to comment, like and share on the social media posts that appear in your feed? When you comment, like or share someone’s Facebook post, your name is now seen by their followers. I have actually had people tell me they found me on Facebook based on a comment I made on another site’s Facebook page. Plus, a lot of the time when people see that you liked, shared and/or commented on their content, they will return the favor.
  3. Follow Back – Again, take that half an hour everyday and go through your list of new followers and make sure to follow back. Now, I am not saying you have to follow everyone who follows you because sometimes you will have people follow you that are spammers or maybe not appropriate content, so use your discretion, but if they look like a potential customer, a potential business alliance or someone in the media, follow back.
  4. Analyze What You Are Posting & When – Take some time at the end of the week to go through your social media posts and see which content was the most popular. What was liked the most, commented on the most, shared the most? Now try to analyze if it is the actual content and/or was it a particular day that was popular, or a particular time of day? Both Pinterest and Twitter have pretty good analytics at the ready for you. For Twitter, click on your avatar in the upper right hand corner (for Pinterest, it is the gear icon) and then go to “Analytics” on the menu. You want to stick with the content that is working for you, and then schedule it for the days and times that seem to offer the best chance of sharing.

If you are on social media today expect to see #Disneyland60 trending as it is their 60th anniversary and on Sunday it is #NationalIceCream Day (both are tips I gave in my July Marketing Calendar).

Have a great weekend … Gail 

Tuesday’s Ask Gail: How Do I Reach Out To Bloggers?



Hi Gail!!

I am a small business owner for custom apparel (screen print & embroidery) in Montgomery, IL. I’ve never reached out to a blogger to see what the process is to get a featured spot or even mentioned on their blog. Can you please let me know if this is common and how the process works?


Yvonne Tarnowski

Hi Yvonne,

Your question is a popular one. A few things you should know about bloggers. A lot of people contact me to be a guest blogger on my site, but I don’t take guest posts for two reasons. 1. This blog is my main way to advertise my consulting services, so I really need the voice of the blog to be my own. 2. My feed is picked up by other sites that only approved myself as a writer, so I can’t start feeding them other people’s posts. So make sure before you approach any blogger that they don’t have these similar issues.

The first thing you want to do, before you approach any blogger, is to follow their blog as well as follow them on all of their social media sites. Make it look like you’re a fan.

Then, when you pitch to them, pitch a story idea that would involve your business, don’t just pitch your business and expect them to find a way to incorporate it into a post. Keep your pitch short (I personally don’t have time to read more than one paragraph), save on the flattery (bloggers, and the media in general, know what you are looking for so cut to the chase) and then – and this is the most important piece of advice – tell them what you are going to do for them in return.

What do I mean by that? I get a lot of people asking me for mentions and when I ask for one back such as, “Will you then mention my blog on your Twitter page”, for example, they act like I have some nerve and then go on to say how the people who handle their social media pages are very picky about what they post, etc. As soon as I get a response like that I hit delete. This is business. Don’t ask another business to go out of their way and do a favor for you and you have no intention of returning the favor. It’s the old you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

Therefore, you want to always say that you will promote any mention a blog gives you to your customers as well as on your social media pages and even ask (as someone wisely did to me the other day) “and if there is anything else I can do to promote your business, please let me know”. If you get the mention, follow through. Thank them in comments, thank them on social media, circulate the post on your social media pages, circulate other posts of theirs on your social media pages – trust me, you can’t say thank you enough. They will remember that.

I write effective pitches for clients all the time, whether it is pitching to the press, a pitch for a Kickstarter campaign or to get a wholesale deal – just ask me for a free, no obligation quote at Need to ask a lot of questions about your business? Sign up for a 30-minute phone consultation

Best of luck! Gail

Every Tuesday I answer your questions, so send one to or fill in the form below:

5 Creative Marketing Ideas If You Sell Kids and Baby Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

Do you sell kids and/or baby products? Did you know that Packaged Facts has valued the current baby, toddler and preschool market at $20 billion US. That is large enough for you to grab a small piece of that market and still have a very viable business.

Getting your products in front of parents is obviously a key component to finding success in this market. Below are just a few of the creative ideas from my e-book, Marketing Ideas for Your Online Kids & Baby Products Shop that will help your online store rise to the top.


5 Marketing Ideas to Try If You Sell Kids & Baby Products

  1. All the major pregnancy magazines have a regular feature in every issue where they recommend baby products for a new mom to choose for her baby registry. Approach the writer or editor of this section with one or more of your products for consideration.
  2. You know those window shades that people put in their car’s backseat window to keep the sun off of a baby? They present a great advertising opportunity if you put your shop name and url on one. Consider giving them out as promotional items to customers as well, to extend your advertising reach even further.
  3. If you have a blog that accompanies your online shop, simply approach another blogger that also targets parents and swap out ad space on your blog for ad space on theirs. If that is not an option, ask if they will at least swap blog rolls (links to their favorite sites).
  4. Do a search on Twitter and follow anyone who has the words “mommy blogger” in their profile description. Retweet their tweets or give them a shout out so they take notice of you (and your products).
  5. One way to get publicity for your store or products is to create a promotional piece that capitalizes on a popular event or an anniversary. For example, 2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Dr. Seuss book, Fox in Socks. So create a fox-related product that you can pitch as part of a story such as, “Our Favorite Kids Fox-Themed Products in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Fox in Socks”.

marketing ideas for kids and baby shopI will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to successfully market and promote your online shop with my e-book, Marketing Ideas for Your Online Kids & Baby Products Shop, available for download at my Selz shop.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


Tuesday’s Ask Gail: Will My Online Store Be More Successful If I Sell Just One Type of Product?



Hi Gail

“Your online shop should sing the same tune.” This is advice that I’ve seen posted by others.  When I asked my recently graduated business student son what I could do to get sales, he said basically the same thing.  “You have too many ideas going on.  Choose banners OR stationery and stick with that.” The thing is, I think the fact that I’m using paper as my medium, and die cutting the majority of my products IS cohesive. Plus, I get bored doing just one or the other.  What’s your take on this, Gail?

Deb Michalik

SisBoomBaa Papers on Etsy

Hi Deb,

I understand what your son is saying and why others post that advice. It has to do with search engine optimization (SEO). When you focus on selling one type of product or having a niche online, it really helps your SEO because all the keywords on your site are similar. Therefore, the feeling is that you are not confusing the search engine as to the type of products you sell.

But the truth is Google doesn’t just read your shop as a whole. It reads each individual shop section on its own as well, and that entire section can show up in Google search results as if it were its own website. By making your shop section titles three-keyword phrases. and then having each listing in that section start with that same phrase, you can easily offer a range of products (as long as they are all in the paper realm, as you mentioned, as Google also recognizes like-minded products) and it won’t affect your shop’s overall SEO. If you are still not sure how to do this, try my Etsy Shop Critique where I tell you exactly what your shop section titles should be to maximize your SEO.

Good luck! Gail

Have a question about your business that you would like answered on the blog? Send it to

Weekend Reading for 7/3/15 #FridayReads

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I am doing something a little different this week, and instead giving you links to some very cool businesses that might inspire you. Check them out!

small business blog roundup

Don’t forget to send me questions you would like answered about your business at for my new feature starting next week.

Have a good weekend and Happy Fourth of July to my American customers! Gail 

Free Small Business Advice


I am going to be starting a new advice column on my blog whereby I answer a question specific to your small business. For example, questions such as: “Why am I getting lots of traffic but no sales?”, “Is it immediately obvious what my business is?”, “Where can I find my target customer online?”

If you are interested, please email me at (in the email subject line put, “Free Advice”) or fill in the form below with your website and the question you have.

Please note, I will not be answering these requests individually, but rather my advice to you will be published on my blog for all to see so you must be comfortable with that. It does mean exposure for your business as well as a link to your website. I welcome all types of businesses and industries to submit, but I will choose questions and businesses at my discretion.

Thanks! Gail

Weekend Reading List for 6/26/15

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing

Can you believe June is almost over? Why doesn’t January go as fast? Oh well, here are some interesting reads for the weekend.

small business blog roundup

Enjoy your weekend … Gail 

WANT TO CHAT? I offer 30-minute phone consults where I can advise your small business. Click here for more information.

5 Must-Do Marketing Ideas for July

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

My July Marketing Calendar is out and I wanted to give you a sneak peek as to why it is such a valuable marketing tool, especially if you struggle on social media, with getting publicity or just promoting your business in general. So below are 5 of the 93 ideas, tips and tactics in this month’s calendar.

marketing calendar for july

5 Must-Do Marketing Ideas for July

  1. Who doesn’t watch Netflix these days? Every month when Netflix updates its listings, it trends huge on social media. One of my calendar tips this month is to tweet out something about your favorite @Netflix show because they are very good are retweeting compliments, which puts your business name in front of their 1.42 million followers.
  2. Now is the time to be pitching to print magazines to get into fall editorial. Magazines will be writing about fall fashion, fall food, fall entertaining, fall decor, fall weddings, fall shows, fall movies, you name it. So come up with a fall-theme story pitch that involves your business.
  3. Creative Market is amazing! They give free goods away on their website including fonts, icons and graphics that you can use in your marketing. This is just one of many insider tips I uncover for you each month in my calendar.
  4. Two big events this month that will trend well on social media are Shark Week and Comic-Con. I give suggestions on how your business can get noticed when these hash tags are trending.
  5. Remember my post a couple of weeks back, 5 Ways to Promote Your Business at Summer Events? Well, in July’s calendar I remind you to take advantage of free advertising on your car (and your family and friends’ cars) by having a cardboard windshield sun visor made that displays your logo and url.

Download my July Marketing Calendar here!

Have a Question About Your Small Business?

I am going to be starting a new advice column on my blog whereby I will answer a question specific to your small business. If you are interested, please email me at (in the email subject line put, “Free Advice”) or fill in the form below with your website and the main problem or concern you have. The advice will be published on my blog for all to see so you must be comfortable with that, but it does mean exposure for your business as well as a link to your website. I welcome all types of businesses and industries to submit, but I will choose questions and businesses at my discretion.

Thanks! Gail

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


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