May 20, 2013

How to get featured on startups blogs and columns

Dharmesh Shah of OnStartups has a "tell it like it is" post on how entrepreneurs and their PR agencies should go about pitching to bloggers like him. (My feeling is that these lessons apply equally well - in "The Indian Context" - to say, pitching Economic Times' Friday page on "Power of Ideas". In fact, Indian journalists and bloggers - self included - can learn a lot on what to screen for - from a readers' perspective - from this post.)
Don’t tell me your story is unique. No offense, but it really isn’t. There are thousands of Ramen noodle stories. There are thousands of 3 am “Eureka!” stories. There are thousands of maxed-out credit cards, relatives won’t return your calls, last-minute financing savior stories.

Your story is deservedly fascinating to you because you lived it (just as my story is fascinating to me), but to the average reader your story sounds a lot like every other entrepreneur’s story. Claiming your story is unique creates an expectation that, if not met, negatively impacts the rest of your pitch.

...The best articles let readers learn from your experience, your mistakes, and your knowledge. Always focus on benefiting readers: When you do, your company gets to bask in the reflected PR glow.

..So,readers don’t want to know what you do; they want to know what you know. If you started a company, share five things you learned about landing financing. If you developed a product, share four mistakes you made early on. If you entered a new market, share three strategies you used to steal market share from competitors.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private company transactions, valuations and financials in India. Click Here to learn about Venture Intelligence products that help entrepreneurs Reach Out to Investors, Research Competition, Learn from Experienced Entrepreneurs and Interact with Peers. Includes the Free Deal Digest Weekly Newsletter: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.