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How My Fledgling Graphic Design Business Landed Free Publicity from HARO

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It was April, 2012 and I had just discovered this phenomenal space on the internet called the blogosphere. It was filled with amazing and mind-blowing stories. And like a wide-eyed candy junkie from a Willy Wonka factory, my brain gobbled up everything nugget of knowledge covered goodness I could find.

During my blogospherical travels, I stumbled across a blogger named Srinivas Rao over at Skool of Life.

Srinivas (Srini) was an incredibly talented blogger and storyteller. He was a wildly successful podcaster at

Being the blogging newbie I was, I had no clue on how to engage Srini so I started out reading some of his Kindle books. (The one on Relationship Marketing will completely blow your mind!) 

When my newbie-ness finally showed signs of wearing off, I started commenting on Srini’s blog posts, following him on Twitter and sharing his Facebook status updates. 

Not long afterwards, I felt as though the time was right for me to ask, “Srini, who would you recommend to learn how to run a successful business?”

He quickly pointed me to He also took the time to recommend several interviews that he knew would help find my entrepreneurial feet.

One of the first interviews I listened to was with Ryan Holiday. Ryan had just written a book called Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.

As I listened to Srini’s interview with Ryan, a acronym kept getting repeated over and over again.


Ryan passionately talked about how he promoted his business for FREE using HARO.

“What the heck is HARO?” I thought.

Ryan went onto explain what HARO was. It stands for Help A Reporter Out.

In a nutshell, HARO is the online go-to destination for reporters, journalists and information gatherers in general to reach out across the email superhighway to find sources to cite in their work.

Call it luck, serendipity or just plain ol’ good karma, the first HARO email I received contained a query that was just up my alley.

A blogger, Alexandra Levit, was looking for woman-owned businesses in Georgia, Nevada and Mississippi for an article she was writing for American Express’

Score! My graphic design business, Digital Photo and Design, LLC. just happened to be headquartered in Mississippi. I was all over that email like white on rice.

And, being the OCD type of person I am, I scoured the Internet and pitched her using the official Peter Shankman method. Peter is the founder of HARO. 

I squealed with excitement when I found out Alexandra accepted my pitch and after several brief email exchanges, Digital Photo and Design, LLC was featured in The Best States for Women-Owned Businesses on American Express’s website on November 14, 2012.

Today, not only does Digital Photo and Design, LLC have credibility on a major  website, I’ve discovered a newfound avenue to promote myself and my business for FREE using HARO.

Do you have a HARO story to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

By Colleen Conger. Colleen is owner and lead pixel alchemist at Digital Photo and Design, LLC. She’s a self-confessed Starbucks addict, font freak and geeky tech girl. Connect with her personally on Facebook and Google+. You can also follow Digital Photo and Design on FacebookGoogle+PinterestYouTube and Dribbble.