Sharon Bolt is a publicity expert and founder of Get Free Publicity Today. She has contributed to more than 40 different local and national newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations and has received over £1 million ($1.5 million) in free publicity and free advertising. She is also the co-author of 2 highly acclaimed books called ‘Successful Women in Business’ and ‘Every Entrepreneurs Guide: Running Your Own Business.’
ABOUT Sharon Bolt
Hi and welcome! So you want to know a bit about me?! Well here we go…
People are often shocked when I tell them about my first media experience because I got myself booked on BBC Radio 2, which is a national radio station in the UK, without any prior media exposure.
What was even more shocking was that I was introduced as a dog training expert answering dog behaviour questions when I had a complementary therapy business and NOT a dog training business! Dog training was my passion at the time and what I went on to do for the next 9 years.
Here’s what happened…
In 2004 I got two eight week old Parson Terriers, brothers from the same litter. If you’re not familiar with the breed, Parson Terriers are similar to Jack Russells but with longer legs!
I had grown up with dogs and although we had never had two dogs at one time we thought that having two would mean double the joy.
I brought my puppies home, made them comfortable and tried to enrol them into a puppy class. I had not realized how popular puppy socialization classes were which meant I spoke to about seven different dog trainers as so many of the classes were already full.
The trainers all said the same thing to me which was:
“You have taken on real trouble, it’s the worst case scenario”.
I was shocked and asked why?
They explained that because the puppies were blood related they would look at each other for direction rather than us and as they were males they would fight for the ‘top dog’ position. They warned me that aggression and nasty fights would result and we would very likely need to re-home one.
I was distraught and looked at the two bundles of fluff in front of me and said, “No way, that was NOT going to happen ”.
So, my mission began to find a natural way of communicating with my two dogs in a way they would really understand and stop the predictions from coming true. I studied, went on courses, researched and most importantly watched the way my two dogs communicated with each other.
During the following months I had great success with my dogs, they looked at me for direction and showed no signs of aggression. I also introduced dog training consultations to my complementary therapy clients who had dogs and I was totally amazed by the success they were having too.
Around that time Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 (a national radio station in the UK) said he was looking for a dog trainer to come on his show to talk about unwanted dog behaviours.
The people I had worked with were raving about the changes that had taken place with their dogs and were recommending me to their friends and family. I knew what I was doing was making such a difference, I’d seen it with my own eyes often enough so I thought ‘I can do that!’.
I went to the BBC website, typed an email to Chris telling him why dogs misbehave, how I could entertain and educate his listeners and that he needed to get me on his show!
It was a lot of fun writing the email, I laughed out loud as I read it back and then I hit the send button.
I wasn’t put off – I really believed I could help and I wasn’t going to give up that easy! So when I heard him say that he was going to include podgy dogs on the show too and look at why so many dogs are overweight I wrote another email. The subject line read:
Podgy dogs – I’m your girl
Still no response.
I sent a 3rd similar email a few days later and 3 days after that I was sitting in the studio speaking to 4 million listeners!
I know it isn’t what people ‘normally’ do, I was working full-time in complementary therapies at the time and I didn’t even have a dog training website! BUT I’d seen the evidence of how dogs changed when their owners applied my methods and I’d listened to the amazing feedback from people I had helped. I also had 2 dogs who were happy and well-behaved who displayed none of the awful behaviours I was led to believe would happen. I just KNEW the information I would share could make such a difference to people, so I went for it!
I loved the radio experience and wanted more so I enrolled with a PR company. I soon realized that I was 1 of many people on their books and decided to run my own PR campaigns alongside what they were doing.
I did receive some local press from their promotions but by doing it myself I received national exposure and quickly started working with celebrities.
What I discovered by doing my own PR was that I focused solely on my business, rather than the focus being diluted to a number of clients. I could also answer the journalist’s questions directly rather than it going via a 3rd party and that I was, and still am, more enthusiastic and passionate about my business than they were – which I think is only natural, no one is more passionate about their business and can represent themselves better than the business owner themselves. The results spoke volumes.
I remember my last conversation with the owner of the PR firm, she couldn’t quite believe that I’d gotten better exposure for myself than she had. When I shared how I’d done it she screamed down the phone at me yelling ‘You don’t do it like that!’
Needless to say we parted company and as the saying goes, the rest is history…
Since then I’ve been featured in, or contributed to, over 40 different local and national newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations and have received over £1 million ($1.5 million) in free publicity and free advertising.
For years business owners have asked me how I manage to get featured in the press so much and I have finally decided to lift the lid and reveal my proven system of how I do it and more importantly how easy other business owners can do this too.
At the moment I’m busy creating online publicity courses, which I’ll be launching within the next few months, where I’ll show business owners and entrepreneurs step by step how they can find the best reporters in their niche, how to use social media to get featured, how to come up with eye grabbing headlines, story ideas and angles and how to write a press release or pitch that gets attention plus much more…
I have written a free report called, ‘How to Write an Attention Grabbing Press Release That Creates Win-Win Situations With the Media’ which you can sign up for in the box at the bottom of this page.
I hope it helps and that our paths get to cross very soon 🙂