I officially launched my RIA when I clicked send on the press release. After a week of unofficial ad-hoc marketing while my website was being finalized, it is now ready, so it is all systems go.

Coordinating a press release was something I was intending to do all along but when the time came, I realized it was something I wasn’t prepared for. Not being one to miss a self-imposed deadline, I worked out what I wanted to say and aimed to get it out by 10:00 a.m. Not having ever sent a press release before, I went to some historical ones that I have been quoted in for inspiration. Using that template, I wrote my own and set out to find a service to release it.

I used PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com) to distribute my press release. Using its Advanced Visibility Package (their mid-tier service), I was able to get my piece SEO-optimized, sent to premium news outlets and delivered to five industries across three major markets (I chose Chicago, New York and Los Angeles).  I also added the easy submission option that took me through step-by-step of what had to be done and how to optimize my materials, and then added priority distribution to get it out that morning.

The total cost? Less than $500.

But, for most of the morning, I was having buyer’s remorse. Then at 4 pm, I went and checked the metrics of the first day. From the release at 10:30 am, it generated 4,500 headline impressions and 250 people have opened and read it. From within the press release, 35 people clicked the URL to visit my website.

I’m not really sure if it was worth the money, but right now, exposure is what I’m going for. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t pay that much. I can’t see myself doing another press release anytime soon, so it may be worthwhile to do it like this every once in a while.

Dave Grant, CFP, a Financial Planning columnist, is the founder of Cary, Ill.-based planning firm Finance for Teachers. He’s also the founder of Fee Only Consulting, which focuses on developing the skills of Gen Y planners. In addition, he’s the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for young, fee-only planners.