What I learnt from being in The Guardian

I was so surprised by the reaction I got to being in The Guardian, it had to be the topic of my next blog post.

People wanted to know how I had done it, called me up to thank you, congratulated me on the street and sent lots of messages of how they felt the same way and how the subject had touched them.

Here’s the full story, how the article came about and how I used it on social media to build engagement with my potential clients.

Have your story ready

The first thing to say is that, stories are always about people.  Now that might seem an obvious place to start, but in business, especially when you’re freelance, being able to tell your story is what sets you apart from everyone else.

When I’m coaching clients I get them to think about what makes them different, what they’re on the planet to do and help them to uncover their golden nugget.  Now the golden nugget is really something that’s special about you, your journey and why you do what you do.  Your golden nugget might come to you instantly, but it might also take you a while to uncover it. 

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PR is always (well 99%) about stories, the human element, so it’s worthwhile trying to unlock what makes you Pr’able before opportunity knocks.

And then create some content around those stories – in my case a blog post.

So, back to my Guardian story.

Have your eyes open

I’ve been featured in both The Ecologist Magazine and as a Natwest small business advisor through responding to requests on #journorequest on twitter – so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.

In the case of The Guardian, it’s a paper I read online every day and I’ve been wanting to be featured for a while now (so I put a request out there to the universe!). I get a daily email from the Guardian Small Business section and in the footnotes they were asking for entrepreneurs who had experienced loneliness to get in touch and share their story.

So, I sent in this blog post - Why networks are important to you and me and a short paragraph summing my experience up in 2 sentences.

And waited.

A couple of weeks later I got an email from a journalist asking if she could interview me over the phone.

Make the most of your exposure

I was so excited to be interviewed by the Guardian that I went and shared it with my Facebook community straight away.

At this point I wasn’t sure about dates, but I knew my audience would be as delighted as me and interested and excited to find out more.

I took a picture of my shocked, excited face and posted on Facebook. The post had a reach of 3,968 people and 137 likes and 25 comments – now that’s pretty good for Facebook, considering I had around 400 page likes.  My average reach is around 500.

On Instagram, for the same picture I got 132 likes and 23 comments.

A little bit of PR goes a long way

People were already interested in The Guardian story, asking me when it was coming out and congratulating me on getting in.

What happened once it was published blew me away.

Be Strategic – blow your own trumpet


You’re running your own business, hopefully people following you are interested in you and your products.  It’s really ok to blow your own trumpet a little bit.  People want you to, otherwise how would they build a relationship with you. Hiding won’t make you any money!

I posted the Guardian article on my Facebook page and was blown away by the results.

I had a reach of 12,954, 129 likes and 30 comments.  12,954 – that’s a lot of people all over Facebook who’ve seen my brand debbiedooodah and a yellow image of me – that’s a whole lot of marketing!

I also posted it on a few Facebook groups and one, in particular, was fantastic with a whole lot of love, 270 likes and 39 comments!

What was great is that the article opened up lots of debate, women telling me they felt the same way, or asking questions about setting up or finding networks.  One woman even included the article with a link to me to her email list of 2.5k – now that’s one heck of an email list.

In addition to all this engagement and love I also got 196 additional Facebook likes – that’s worth its weight in gold!

Just a little bit more

In addition to mentioning the article in my newsletter, posting in the lead up and as it was published across all my social network sites, I also added it to linkedin – both as a post, but also on my profile under accomplishments and publications.  And I added it to the footer of my website -which gives me great pleasure and adds to my expertise factor for potential clients.

So the moral of the story – a little bit of PR can go a long way.  Get your stories ready to go, so you can reply quickly, and make the most of opportunities when they arrive – don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet!

And if you’d like to work with me to uncover your brand story and create a fantastic social media strategy, just get in touch to see how I could help you!

Want to read more about making the most of social media?

And if you didn’t read the original article in The Guardian – here it is!