One of the best home business tools out there, if you want to boost your visibility, is HARO.
As a writer, one of my favorite resources is helpareporter.com (HARO). HARO makes it easy for me to find expert sources for articles, and it can even connect me with small business owners.
If you are a small or home business owner, you can boost your visibility and build your credibility as an expert by signing up for HARO and then answering queries.
Tips for Answering HARO Queries
Since I'm on the the writer side of things, as well as the home business side, I have looked at it from two angles. If you are using HARO as one of your home business tools, you want to try to make your pitch as attractive as possible. Here are some tips for increasing the chances that your pitch will be chosen — and that you might end up with a little more visibility for your home business:
- Answer quickly: Pay attention to when the HARO queries hit your inbox. The faster you answer, the greater the likelihood that you will be chosen, especially if the query is particularly time sensitive. Be one of the first out of the gate, with a great response.
- Address the query: One of the worst things, as a writer, is to wade through a long-winded response that includes how great the person is before addressing the query. Give a brief introduction of yourself, showing why you have the credentials, and then address the query. If the query asks for tips, offer a few short tips. If the query wants detailed analysis, give a two to three paragraph response with some solid nuggets, and suggest that the writer contact you if s/he wants more detail. You can always include a full bio at the end of your pitch, if you want to make sure that the writer knows how qualified you are.
- Offer contact information: I don't often like to speak with subjects over the phone, so for me the better the information, the more likely I am to accept your pitch. But not every writer is like me. Some might want to call you. Include your contact information so that you can be reached quickly. If the writer emails you with more questions, answer them ASAP.
Realize that you might have several misses before someone decides to accept your pitch. You might not hear back from many of the people you pitch. The key is persistence. It also helps if you are selective about which queries you answer. Make sure you truly are qualified to address the query, and that you are a good fit.
The point of answering a HARO request is to show that you can be useful to the writer. Journalists and others are looking for someone who can help them create a great article/story. It's important to remember that, even though HARO can be added to your kit of home business tools, it's ultimately designed to help reporters and writers get access to good sources, so you need to show that you are, in fact, a good source.