There are many ways to promote your business and present yourself as the ‘go to’ finance expert, without costing you anything except a little time and creativity. Public relations is about connecting your message with your target markets. Here are five ways to do PR better.

1 – Build a relationship with your local media

Wherever you are, there are local media outlets, including suburban or regional newspapers and community or commercial radio and TV stations. Your local media is always on the lookout for stories that are interesting, and they equally like to report national stories from a local perspective. Don’t under-estimate the power of local media. It’s worth contacting them and introducing yourself to offer your expert advice for times when they may be doing a story that involves mortgages, lending, interest rates or other consumer matters. Make sure you contact the editorial department, not the advertising department (even if you are an advertiser). We are not talking about advertorial, but legitimate newsworthy, editorial content. This is not a promotion for your company, but an opportunity for you to be seen as an expert commentator in your field.

2 – Monitor what FBAA is doing publicly and create a local angle.

The FBAA regularly engages the media on many different topics, and we are increasing our media profile for the benefit of members. But your local media is more interested in what’s happening in your area, so we’d encourage you to take the FBAA’s media releases and statements, and give it a local flavour. From time to time, we’ll be helping you with this, so watch your inbox.

3 – Twitter

Many people make the mistake of creating a Twitter profile with no real thought or objective, and are focused only on building a follower base. But with Twitter, size doesn’t matter! Thousands of followers might make you feel like a local legend but it won’t necessarily help your bottom line. It’s not how many you follow, but who you follow and why. Be strategic by following local businesses, those who may refer clients to you, local media and anyone who you’d like to hear your message. Give them news they won’t get from other sources and information that will interest them. Twitter will help you present yourself as the local finance expert and – done right – may even lead to other media opportunities.

4 – Facebook

Facebook is a more consumer based medium, so a Facebook page that people can follow (not ‘friend’) is the best option. Give people a reason to read and share your posts by providing relevant information, offers, latest news and quirky facts and figures.

5 – Email newsletter

This is a great – and very cost effective – way to engage with clients, potential clients and referrers. You can use a free or very low cost email program that not only provides good layouts and graphics but allows you to see who opens the posts and who shares them. But remember, don’t talk about yourself – talk about your clients and the benefits of your subject matter to them. Tune into “WII FM” (what’s in it for me?). Give them information they will want to read – don’t just sent them an advertisement.