Establishing oneself as an industry thought leader makes marketing and sales a much easier task. For marketing executives, especially those who specialize in marketing for a specific vertical, gaining a following as a though leader can significantly improve one’s ability to reach target prospects. Although the process of asserting oneself as a true leader can seem a daunting task, it can be accomplished with a dual-pronged approach. The first step is to get published, and the second is to gain a following as a speaker or presenter. Today we’ll focus on the first step, getting published.
Four Steps to Seeing Your Name in Print
Contrary to popular opinion, getting published is hardly impossible. Many editors of trade magazines and other industry-specific publications truly appreciate story ideas and articles from professionals who are “in the trenches.” The key: ensure that articles fit within your overall marketing strategy.
1. Choose topics that fit with your business goals. Which products and services do you want to emphasize? Which area of expertise is most important to establish? Come up with interesting angles on these services, and select articles that will solve problems your clients may have.
2. Identify key publications for target prospects. The next time you call on a client or prospect, take note of the magazines in their waiting area. Some business owners even ask clients what magazines and journals they subscribe to. You’ll want to choose industry-related publications that key decision makers read. Contact editors at those publications to pitch your story ideas.
3. Be ambitious. Go beyond local publications. Although the city’s business journal is a great source for local business, expand your reach to include regional and national publications. The best approach includes publishing at multiple levels, from the company’s blog to national trade magazines.
4. Edit, edit, edit. Even the most desperate editor will be happier to get a clean draft. Ask a trusted colleague to look over your draft and make revisions—not only to grammar and punctuation, but also to style and tone. Articles should reflect the overall message and tone of other corporate materials, such as the website and sales kit.
Benefits of Publishing as a Marketing Tool
So now you have the clips…but what to do with them? Make them part of your sales machine, naturally! Perhaps the greatest benefit of publishing is that it provides relevant, authentic marketing collateral. Clips can complement the sales kit or speaker kit. Some executives even include a link to their latest article in their email signatures.
Ultimately consistent publication builds credibility and opens the door for speaking engagements. Savvy marketing executives can take advantage of these opportunities not only for themselves, but also for key members of their organizations. The pay-off: increased visibility, which generally also increases sales.