The media is such a powerful tool and when used well can really help profile you and your brand. Writing articles for the media is the ideal way to do this.
Articles sharing expert advice help position you as the authority in your area; the first person people contact when it comes to that subject. People notice. Okay they might not immediately pick up the phone and buy from you, but consistently being seen says, "you're in business, you mean business and I'm here when you're ready to buy".
The main thing you need to be aware of when writing an article or media release is that you need to have something interesting to say. You need to be unique, differentiate yourself from the others in your field. What is you point of difference? What sets you apart? Once you work that out, that can be your "hook" to gain media attention.
Here are questions to ask yourself in preparation:
What does it mean to others?
Will this information be of benefit or help people in any way? Great to be different but what relevance does it have? Will it have an impact on my customers or general public? Can that point of difference help them?
Do I walk my talk?
Am I credible/believable? Do I have the history or skills to back up my claims? Can I give real life examples in my stories? What research or statistics have I discovered?
Am I a leader in my field?
Do other people back up those claims? Do I have testimonials or awards or the financial credibility to prove I'm successful at what I do? Are there quotes from others endorsing what I do? Will they say great things about me?
Am I truly an expert?
Have I invested in gaining knowledge about my industry, my customers and the competition? Do I have articles on my website on my subject, white papers, special reports or written a book that demonstrates my expertise?
You need to be consistent with your media efforts. Keep in touch with your contacts whether journalists or magazine editors and build personal relationships. Once you're known as the expert and your personal brand shines through the media will come knocking on your door.
By the way I do write a number of regular articles not only for Flying Solo but other publications and find it to be great PR. I wrote an article for a business magazine a while ago. Someone from an industry association saw the piece I wrote, ran it in their online magazine and from that I've secured speaking and consulting work and will be presenting at their annual seminar this year.
Now it might seem like a lot of hard work writing articles particularly if you don't think you have the expertise. But it's like anything, once you start it does get easier as you go along. Why not start with just one article and submit it to as many publications or online magazines as possible?
Begin to develop the habit of writing a regular newsletter with content you can develop further into articles. Post articles on your website, too, as search engines favour sites with plenty of good content. More inevitably creates more business.
Keep hard copies and create a portfolio of your work that you can show potential clients. Consider laminating the articles and display them in your office or printing out the articles and have them bound into a booklet that you can give away as a prize or raffle.
If your article is in a magazine, ask the publisher of the magazine for extra copies. If you know well in advance maybe they can do an extra print run for you and you can give away complete copies of the magazine to prospects.
As a result of creating some buzz for myself as a writer I was asked to write for Flying Solo and I'm now one of their contributors.
And there's more: I am also currently working away on my first book a co-authored publication which will be out soon...watch this space!
“ You need to be unique, differentiate yourself from the others in your field. ”