Do-it-yourself publicity success stories continue to take shape, and this one hits close to home.

My husband Steve is a member of the Garrett Planning Network, which is a collection of Certified Financial Planners across the nation who offer fee-only financial planning and advice for everyday life. Steve's focus is guiding people to an abundant retirement. From time to time, the Garrett Planning Network sends him media leads to which he can reply with his commentary and perspective. Last week, a query came to him from a reporter from Bankrate.com who was writing a story about how to retire in a bad economy, and Steve sent a compelling email to the reporter to enlist her interest in including him in her story. A phone interview took place hours later, and Steve's comments serve as the lead in today's article. When good media opportunities show up, the lesson here is to reply quickly with insights that add value to the story and to be available and ready with your talking points.

In April of 2006, Steve was interviewed by a writer for the Seattle Times to offer tips to consider when hiring a financial planner. That article still delivers new leads to Steve's door to those who search “Google” to find fee only financial planners in Bellevue, almost two years after the fact. Online stories remain online indefinitely, and it's a beautiful thing when the news about your expertise is good.

What is going on in the news today that offers you the opportunity to share your expertise and add value to the conversation? If you want to be an expert in your field and accomplish that through the power of free publicity, hurry to register for tomorrow's Women in Business Forum, sponsored by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. I'll be speaking on this topic at 9:30 a.m. and would love to have you there.