Another great guest post from Marketing Mentor client Mary McCauley of 5 Star Writing, who contributed a great post on speed networking back in February. This month, Mary chimes in on a great, oft-underutilized way to build business: guest articles!
Steve Slaunwhite, in his e-newsletter For Copywriters Only, spoke of article writing as a copywriter’s "secret marketing weapon." In fact, he says that a 500-word article he wrote a few years ago has generated $76,000 for him!
If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what does.
In retrospect, it’s not odd that Ilise, who’s been my marketing coach for nearly a year, encouraged me to write an article. But back then, I — a marketing newbie — knew nothin’ ’bout no marketing. However, Ilise knew the power of articles, especially when published on the Internet.
The first article was easy; I combined four of my Monthly Makeover e-newsletters into one, "Catch Your Prospect’s Interest With Clear, Concise Writing." TechLINKS, an Atlanta online tech publication, published it.
And guess what? The morning it was published, a marketing manager read it and contacted me to rewrite a white paper for him. Heady stuff.
A few weeks ago, TechLINKS published my second article, "Write a Case Study Fit for Hollywood." Nothing from that one yet, but if you Google "write a great case study," my article shows up as result #7. Not instant fame, mind you, but keep in mind that the more articles you publish, the more familiar you are to your prospects.
The point of marketing via articles isn’t to hope that a prospect will read it and have a project sitting on their desk, begging for the talents of a freelancer. (Though it did happen to me!) The point is to put yourself in front of your prospects so often that:
- When a project does materialize, yours is the first name that pops into their head.
- You position yourself as an expert in your chosen profession.
And if you’re a copywriter, your bonus benefit is literally front and center — your prospect can see that you’re a darn decent writer.
So, what are your next two assignments?
- Brainstorm article ideas. Something that will grab your prospect’s attention. (Hint: Start by thinking of your prospect’s biggest business "pain." What do you know that can help them?)
- Look for online or offline publications that might publish it. Don’t get desperate here; choose a publication that your prospect actually reads.
Keep your mind open about this, even if you’ve never written an article. You never know what ideas might pop into your head!