Promoting your Expertise

Promoting your expertise and publicize your small business? 

One of the biggest challenges of starting a business is getting it off the ground and growing a client base. Unfortunately, you cannot just sit and wait for customers to come.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I started my small business. I had a wonderful website and a fantastic offer for my customers, but my business only had a trickling of customers. It doesn’t take a management guru to tell me that I needed to do something to drive more customers to my online business.

You might say, and I would agree, that people will eventually find your website — maybe in five to 10 years’ time. That’s a long time to wait without any gains from your business. If you do not have a deep pocket, you are likely to just fold up soon after you’ve set up shop.

You do not have to waste time because there are strategies that you can implement on your own with no money involved. One of these effective strategies to grow your website’s audience and build your business is to tap HARO to get exposure in the media.

Building Credibility and Attracting Traffic

HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a website created to connect journalists with credible sources. It covers a wide array of topics and it’s possibly one of the best PR tools that small business owners can use to promote their expertise.

Once I subscribed to HARO as a source, I started getting at least three emails a day detailing what questions reporters are looking to have answered. It became a fast and free way to create authority in my niche, get mentions from websites and publications, and market my small business. Plus, HARO makes an excellent platform for connecting with various bloggers or journalists from around the globe.

If you want to build your credibility as a leader in your industry, responding to HARO requests will increase your online visibility. If you keep doing this, people will start to see you as a primary source of information. They would most likely visit your website regularly without you even asking them to.

You can also use HARO to get backlinks to make a solid SEO foundation for your website. That’s what Christopher Gimmer, co-founder of Snappa, did when he answered source requests asking for expert information about content marketing.

Follow his example and your website will become reputable over time, writers will be likely to link back to your site, and your ranking in search engines like Google will go up.

Find source requests that are relevant to your niche that you are qualified to answer. Focus on topics that you are most familiar with and those that you truly have the expertise in.

How to Get Quoted as a HARO Expert

Being a HARO expert source starts with a subscription. The Basic Package does not cost you a single penny. You simply sign up on the HARO page by providing your name, email address, and other contact information.

Check your email inbox for notifications on media opportunities. You will receive three email messages per day on weekdays at specific times: 5:35 a.m. EST, 12:35 p.m. EST and 5:35 p.m. EST.

You don’t have to answer any of the requests if you’re not familiar with the topics. In fact, it is not recommended to try to send in a half-baked reply with questionable information. Stick to your expertise and to what your business specializes in.

Some of the most reputable media outlets make use of this sourcing service — The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune,, and Reuters to name a few.

I signed up for the HARO Basic Package and got my share of source requests. My business has been getting the attention it needs and visitors are starting to flow in numbers rather consistently. Now, I have to work on my conversion campaigns to increase actual purchases from my visitor traffic.

At the same time, I think that moving up to a paid subscription would be good for me as it would allow me to choose to get only the source request emails that match my keyword filter. It also automatically sends source request notifications to my mobile phone.

Wrapping It Up

The matter of successfully growing your business depends on what you are willing to do and how much you are willing to invest. Your investment does not necessarily mean cash. Aside from financial capital, you should be willing to put in the time and effort choosing the right strategies and planning your marketing campaigns.

Push yourself. There’s help out there. All you need is to reach out and you will find people with marketing expertise who are generous enough to share their time and knowledge with you to help you grow your business.