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With all of the capabilities offered by the internet and social media, getting publicity for your business is not only attainable, but affordable. — Getty Images/golero

Public relations matter, and a PR firm can help your business build credibility and brand awareness. But the service doesn’t come cheap — the average cost is between $3,000 and $5,000 per month. If this is out of your budget, here are four affordable PR strategies you can try.

[Read more: 7 Things to Know When Hiring a PR Firm]

Sign up as a HARO source

Kailynn Bowling and Nikki Carlson of ChicExecs emphasize the importance of becoming a "go-to credible source" in your industry. That’s why they recommended signing up as a HARO source.

HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is an online service that connects journalists to expert sources. You’ll receive three emails per day outlining the articles journalists are currently working on and the types of sources they’re seeking.

Check each of these emails, and when you spot a topic within your wheelhouse, you can send your pitch to the journalist for consideration.

Many journalists are overwhelmed by HARO pitches, so your answer may not get picked every time. But the more reporters see your name in their inbox, the more likely it is that they’ll remember you for a future article.

Publish thought leadership content

One of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your industry is by publishing high-level content. Thought leadership content is more than just information — it includes thought-provoking ideas that your audience can’t find anywhere else.

The first step to creating thought leadership content is brainstorming a list of topics you could write about. These topics should be relevant to your audience or the publication you’re writing for. And you should be able to back up your ideas with high-quality research.

You can self-publish your content on platforms like your company blog, LinkedIn, or Medium. You can also sign up to contribute to reputable publications like Entrepreneur or Forbes. If your pitches are approved, you'll enjoy high-authority backlinks to your website.

However, don’t forget about smaller blogs or websites in your industry. Many people ignore this option, favoring large publications, but smaller sites receive fewer pitches. Pitching to a smaller site may be an easier way to get your foot in the door and get in front of your target audience.

[Read more: Public Relations vs. Public Affairs: What’s the Difference?]

The most important aspect of LinkedIn is how much time you spend engaging with other people.

Answer questions on Quora

It takes time to write a high-quality thought leadership article, and if you’re submitting the article to other sites, you may have multiple rounds of revisions to go through. If you’re short on time, a more straightforward solution may be to start answering questions on Quora.

Quora has over 300 million monthly active users searching for answers to their questions. There are over 400,000 topics on Quora, so the types of questions can vary greatly. If people like your response, they can upvote your answer — and the more upvotes you receive, the more exposure you’ll get.

To make the most of Quora, include the name of your business and your Twitter handle in your bio. That way, people have a way to connect with you outside of Quora.

Engage in conversations on LinkedIn

Building a strong LinkedIn network and participating in industry discussions is one of the best ways to get your name out there. Start by optimizing your profile to ensure you’ll show up in relevant search feeds.

Your bio should include your location, the name of your company, and a keyword-rich description of yourself. From there, you should focus on connecting with other experts in your industry.

The most important aspect of LinkedIn is how much time you spend engaging with other people. Participate in LinkedIn groups by commenting on other people’s threads and creating your own posts.

All of the above methods for getting press will cost you little more than your time. It takes effort, but the more you put your name out there, the more like it is you’ll be recognized and amplified by your target audience.

[Read more: LinkedIn: Understanding Social Media Stats and How to Measure Success]

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Published April 04, 2022