Imagine yourself getting home from a popular conference, with colleagues and potential clients all around you. Now, feel yourself swell with pride as you see them open the Wall Street Journal or the In-Flight magazine and read a business article you have bylined.
Articles are an excellent way to reach and impress your target market with your knowledge and expertise. Each published article acts as your own personal ambassador, spreading your name, message, and area of expertise throughout the universe.
Why are articles so powerful?
When we see articles in print, we automatically assume the author is the leading expert in his field. The publication gives that author/expert the kind of official third party credibility money just can’t buy.
Articles Have Staying Power
Business talk TV shows are prestigious, but after the show, your appearance is reduced to a line in your media kit. Unless your personal network and your prospects watched the show, they missed the brilliance of your thoughts.
Your articles are available to anyone who wants to read it at a moment’s notice. You can:
– Carry them in your briefcase to distribute during meetings.
– Enclose them with letters you send to clients and colleagues.
– Post them to your website where they can be immediately downloaded.
You can also use articles as the basis for a direct mail campaign to send to clients and colleagues in order to solicit referrals, generate leads, and create greater awareness of your services.
Ken Lizotte, Chief Imagination Officer of Emerson Consulting Group, Inc., frequently writes articles and maximizes publicity by sending the published articles to clients, prospects, and distributes them at association meetings.
Articles Pre-sell you to prospects
When prospects come to know your value through your articles, you don’t have to be concerned with selling yourself during the initial meeting.
So, how do you go about writing articles if you have not written one before? First, consider the subject of your expertise. Next, frame your article idea in a way that would be of interest to your target reader who wants to learn how to accomplish something.
Perhaps the best way to start is to observe the style of articles you typically read. Analyze their structural skeleton. Then write your first draft, beginning with an intriguing question or anecdote. Next, lay out the necessary steps, and end with a snappy conclusion that sums up your point.
Remember that the real secret of successful writing is re-writing. Polish your article well, and you may well see colleagues and clients reading your byline in a prestigious publication very soon.