Starting his career as a Navy journalist and radio DJ, Josh Elledge built and now runs two very successful businesses: Savings Angel and Up My Influence. He has found a highly effective way to generate publicity at very low cost. In fact, he has created more than $6 million dollars in media coverage for his businesses, essentially for free. In this episode, Josh shares with us how he did it and he lays out the steps we can take right now to build our authority and promote our own businesses in the same way.
Josh Elledge is committed to democratizing PR & influence. What does that mean? Read on to find out!
This U.S. Navy veteran launched UpMyInfluence.com to help entrepreneurs attract the perfect audiences and grow their brands without the crazy costs associated with traditional PR companies. UpMyInfluence’s purpose is to DEMOCRATIZE access to influence. Josh believes he has a moral imperative to help entrepreneurs serve the world with their collective messages while growing their revenue!
UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, SavingsAngel.com, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with less than $500 in advertising. He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.
Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2000 times.
Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.
Josh’s Secrets to Generate Publicity:
Advertising is a tax you pay for being unremarkable. If you can focus on serving audiences … then you don’t have to pay for it as much. If you’re a giving person who loves bringing value, there are a lot of stage you can speak on.
Exposure is everything. When he didn’t have money for advertising, he reached out to radio stations, magazines, and newspapers to provide them content that would serve their audience. The logic is that, if you give value to an audience, that will often result in positive media coverage; even if it doesn’t, you still create the opportunity to grow your network, which can be helpful the future. This led to him becoming a columnist for his local newspaper, then a syndicated columnist, which led to TV appearances and syndication to 75 markets, with an audience of more than 1 million people.
If you pick one platform and dominate that platform, that’s how you become a social media celebrity. Media now includes all influencers, including social media celebrities.
The more you can develop your own voice, the more comfortable you’ll be.
Your authority is your most valuable asset, so invest in growing it. Authority and visibility is like developing muscle mass; you have to work on it.
Companies in the early stages should not be spending much money on PR agencies.
“Spray and pray” pitching is just spamming journalists; take the time to build relationships with journalists. Focus on what you can do for the journalist first; you can ask for their help later.
Harness the power of relationships to create sustainable collaboration.
PR agencies should make the client the star of the show; the agency should try to remain invisible as they are facilitating the connection between client and media.
Agencies that insist on long-term, iron-clad retainers are just afraid.
The most important thing for us to be doing is growing our business. That means we need to not just be the business operator, but the business owner; we need to be the face of the business. Quit trying to grow your business from behind a computer screen; get out on stages. Get media training. Take your personal brand seriously. How do you look online? What are your indicators of authority?
Outsource as much of the business operation as possible; invest in growth by bringing in people who can speed up the system. Hire someone to build your press kit with media clippings, headshots, etc. Work on LinkedIn or Twitter; focus on one social media platform and outsource management of the rest of your social media. Bring in an expert to help with strategy, social media management, copywriting, branding. Pay for an expert; it’s money well spent.
It is the wise CEO who admits that they are not an expert in everything.
What keeps him motivated: We believe we have a moral obligation to turn thoughtful entrepreneurs into media celebrities so we can increase their authority, influence, and revenue.
When you get to the point where you know that your product or service is going to change lives, then selling will be the easiest thing in the world.
PR professionals also have to eat their own lunch. What does that mean? Do public relations for yourself!
What is the best compliment someone can pay Josh? “I appreciate your authenticity.”
Josh maintains that having a good press kit is essential for business leaders; and he puts his money where his mouth is. Check out this example of an outstanding press kit.
Inspired to take action? Josh can help; all you have to do is reach out to him. Here’s how:
Special offers from Josh:
I’ve learned a lot from Josh and have implemented many of his tips. I hope you learned a lot, as well. If you enjoy this podcast and find value in it, please share it with a friend. Here’s the iTunes link.
That’s it for this episode. Now, go out and do something really good in the world!