It’s important to be considered an expert in your industry. One such way of establishing credibility and positioning yourself in the know is by getting published in your industry’s trade publications. But, how do you 1. Get the opportunity 2. Write the bylined article and 3. Promote the article to create that much desired level of expertise to be considered the leading authority within your field?
Let’s go through each step one by one.
1. How do you get the opportunity to have an article published in a trade magazine?
First, you need to come up with an idea. What is trending right now in your industry? At HJMT, our CEO and President is constantly writing about trends within public relations and social media. From evaluating new social networking sites in the marketplace to offering tips on how to create a turn-key event, the content of the article is appealing and very informative to a PR professional.
Once you’ve decided on the right topic, next draft up a query letter. A query letter is a way to introduce yourself to the desired publication’s editor, explain your background and offer the chosen article topic to see if the editor is interested in reviewing the article for placement. Often times it makes sense to propose more than one article topic – this gives the editor options. Just make sure that you can write about each topic you’ve offered!
2. How do you write the article?
So, the editor has notified you that he or she is interested in reviewing an article on your decided upon topic. The next step is to actually write the article. First, find out the details from the editor regarding article length, due date and any other special requests the editor may have like exclusivity rights. The last thing you want to do is spend time writing a 1500-word article and all the editor has space for is 500 words. And make sure you get the article to the editor on time. Editors HATE having to give out extensions. Then do your research. See what articles already exist on the Internet on your topic. Look for relevant case studies/examples that you can incorporate into your article and then just start writing. After you’ve completed the article make sure to proof. You’ve spent all this time writing down your advice – don’t ruin it with spelling and grammatical errors. Once you’re happy with the article, submit it to the editor for review and work with the editor until you both are happy with the finalized piece.
3. How do you promote the article to create buzz and establish yourself as the expert?
So you’ve written this wonderful article and it’s being published, what now? To obtain the most “bang for your buck” make sure you spread the news to your contacts about the article and ask them to comment on the content you provided if possible. Also request that they too spread the word to their contacts and request comments. In addition, if you are active on social networking sites (you should be!), then be sure to post the article to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. The more the article is read, commented on, linked to, etc. the better. This will not only create buzz for you and your business, but also make the editor happy since the article is such a success. (The happier the editor is, the more he or she will want you to contribute to their publication again in the future.) By creating visibility and awareness for your article, you’re sure to be seen as an “expert” in your industry.
So, if you’re looking to validate your expertise and capabilities, try writing an article for your industry’s trade publications. It is great exposure and gives you the opportunity to give back to your profession and do so in a creative, lasting and impactful way.