Home staging expert Debra Gould solves home stager media challenges like increased website traffic, misspelled names and publishing delays.
Media Coverage Should Be Leveraged Advises Home Staging Expert
(UNITED STATES) March 26, 2012 – On the Home Staging Business Report blog, expert home stager Debra Gould recently shared a number of tips for leveraging media attention for a home staging business. Gould believes that this free form of advertising can garner more exposure than home stagers could ever hope to pay for on their own.
“The more the media covers the topic of home staging, the easier it is for all home stagers to sell their services,” says Gould. “When potential clients already know the benefits of home staging, we can spend more time on why we’re the right stager for the job rather than educating them about the practice itself.”
Gould has been working to raise public awareness of home staging since 2002 when she started Six Elements Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Since then, she has been covered in major media like CNNMoney, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, National Post, The Globe and Mail, MoneySense, This Old House, Woman’s Day, and many decorating magazines.
In a series of articles, Gould discusses a number of things about media coverage that she learned the hard way and shares solutions for these home stager media challenges.
“First of all, your phone will NOT start ringing off the hook immediately after you appear in the media,” says Gould. “One of the things I talk about in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program is that someone needs to see your name 7 to 10 times before they’re even aware of you, simply because we’re bombarded with so much information. Your challenge will be to get your name out there before and after those appearances.”
Gould has found that the greatest value of media attention is the “bragging” that can be done about it afterward. “Someone might not see the original article, but when you keep talking about how you were in such-and-such newspaper or magazine, or that you were featured on the radio or appeared on TV, it helps establish your authority and credibility as a home staging expert. In other words, one of the biggest advantages is how much LEVERAGE you can get out of it!”
Much to Gould’s dismay, she has found that newspaper and magazine articles often include misspelled names and omit company names altogether, but she has developed strategies to lessen the chances of this happening.
“Whenever possible, get the email address of the writer and follow up after the call with a thank you email. This is a nice courtesy, but serves other purposes too,” Gould says. “In your message, include a short blurb of how you’d like to be described. With your name, company name and URL in writing in front of them, you improve the odds of having that information included correctly in the final story.”
In Gould’s experience, if an article is compelling and includes the company’s website address, it’s likely there will be a spike in website traffic.
“Make sure your website is hosted on a server than won’t crash when you get your traffic spike,” Gould advises. “Consider this a huge marketing opportunity and don’t waste this new traffic to your website. Ensure you have an opt-in box on your landing page to capture interested leads.”
Gould also explains that the timing of news stories is often unpredictable. She says, “Despite your best intentions, you may never find out if the story actually ran, as happened to me after a long interview with the largest circulation magazine in the US! This was a big disappointment to me because it’s such a huge magazine and I had even pulled favors with two past clients so they could be interviewed for the story as well. After many months of periodic emails back and forth with the writer saying the story had been delayed, I eventually stopped chasing the information.”
Gould recommends that home stagers take a broader view of any experience speaking with reporters: “First of all, it gives you great practice speaking about your business and will likely make you less nervous about the whole idea of media interviews. Plus, if you do an excellent job providing background information, the writer is more likely to come back to you for a future story. For example, I was interviewed for MoneySense Magazine and when the freelance writer did a piece for The Globe & Mail a year later, she called me again!”
About Staging Diva
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars’ worth of real estate, including 7 of her own homes. She is the president of Voice of Possibility Group Inc., which operates a home staging division, SixElements.com, in addition to StagingDiva.com, which has trained over 7,000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses.
Debra has gained international recognition through features in major media in the US and Canada including: This Old House, HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, Global TV, City TV, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.