How To Get Slightly Famous in Print by Steven Van Yoder
How To Get Slightly Famous in Print
by Steven Van Yoder
Early in my career, I wrote an article for a small business magazine about
self-publishing as a marketing tool for businesses. Because I specialize in
helping businesses get into print, the article only took a few hours to write. A
few months later it was published. Almost immediately, my phone began to ring
and my email box filled up with inquires.
As a result of “Be An Expert, Get More Business” I landed two clients,
submitted several proposals, and added dozens of names to my mailing list. Later
I used the article in my email newsletter, made glossy reprints for my marketing
materials, and arranged to reprint the article in other magazines targeted at
Years later, the benefits continue to roll in as prospects read my article on
the Internet, recommend it to associates, and hire my firm because I'm an expert
in Slightly Famous marketing strategies.
In one instance, a reader became a client even though her company had almost
finalized a decision to hire a competitor. "We came across your article,
and it made all the difference," she said. "We knew from your article
that you could help us."
You might be thinking that success came easily to me because I am a writer. But
you don't have to be a professional writer or seasoned journalist to get your
name in print. Whether you're a management consultant or a masseuse, you can
learn how to pursue print media exposure and succeed. And with more than 10,000
publications in print today, opportunities are virtually unlimited.
Visibility + Competence + Word of Mouth = REPUTATION
Getting Slightly Famous in print media means reaching a larger audience, rather
than relying entirely on human contact. After all, there is only one physical
you. No matter how much you network, get around, or attend meetings, YOU can
only go so far.
Appearing in the media is the equivalent of expanded networking. You reach a
targeted audience of people who might buy from you, and you build a relationship
with your target market that can lead to sales. Even if you have a small local
business, media exposure helps you establish a regional or national presence
without leaving your desk.
Media exposure works because it associates your name with the authority of the
media. When you read about a business in the newspaper or hear about it on the
radio, chances are you immediately elevate that business above its competitors.
It has solidity and credibility.
Appearing in media that reach your target market establishes a bond of trust
upon which future sales are possible. Ultimately, your Slightly Famous media
strategy will develop your reputation as a business of choice in your market
niche. As more prospects run across your name in publications targeted at them,
you will acquire an aura of expertise that will get you more business with less
Publishing Articles & Columns
Bylined, contributed articles are a mainstay in many trade and special interest
publications because most cannot afford full-time writers. From fillers to
features, these magazines rely on freelance writers and contributors like you
for at least some of their content. Often written for a small fee—or given
freely in exchange for an author bio designed to elicit business—these
articles show off the expertise of the businessperson or consultant who authored
Besides exposing your business to thousands of prospects, it’s possible to get
feature articles devoted entirely to your business. As a bonus, article reprints
make excellent, low cost sales literature.
The key to publishing expert articles is to package your ideas in a
benefit-oriented fashion. Tell prospects how to think about or apply your
business solution. Give readers real information they can use, regardless of
whether they will buy from you. If you don’t, and use a thinly veiled sales
pitch instead, editors will see through it and reject the article.
Articles are usually a one-shot deal. Columns, on the other hand, are regular
engagements that allow a writer to build relationships with readers. Columns
appear on a weekly or monthly basis in newspapers, magazines, and Web sites.
They can brand an author not just as an expert, but also as a friend,
confidante, and mentor.
You don't have to achieve “Dear Abby” status to be a successful column
writer. As with any Slightly Famous marketing strategy, your column only needs
to reach the right people in your target market to position you as a resource.
Be A Media Resource
Bylined articles are not the only way to see your name in print. Read any
newspaper or magazine article. You will see a handful of experts quoted within
stories as diverse as international business, stock market forecasts or the
latest fashion trends.
Reporters are not experts. That's why they need experts from the business world
to create their stories. The secret is to position yourself as a media resource.
The media rely on you, the industry expert, to give substance and credibility to
their stories. Experts can be book authors, speakers, consultants, managers and
professionals. If you have knowledge about a specific subject—and that subject
can be your business—you qualify too.
People who get quoted in the media pursue a strategy to be on journalists' radar
screens when journalists write stories about their industries. They make
themselves available as expert interview sources so that journalists will think
of them when they are writing relevant stories.
When you learn how the media works, and mold your expertise into a
carefully-crafted media attracting strategy, you actually help the media do its
job in exchange for valuable exposure for your company.
With a little effort, you can become the first person on a reporter’s list
when a story about your business area comes up. But it won't happen if you don't
let the media know you exist!
Time, Commitment, and Consistency
You wouldn’t expect a massive return on a monetary investment overnight. The
same goes with getting Slightly Famous in print, where huge dividends come to
those who persist.
Like all marketing activities, print media exposure is a long-term commitment
that will yield long-term rewards. Is it worth the time? Yes. Landing just a few
clients can pay for all your marketing costs for the next year.
If you don't give print media exposure a chance, you'll never know what it can
do for you. Establishing your reputation in print takes time. But if you are
committed, an inevitable "snowball effect" will take place and can
bring you all the business you can handle!
Steven Van Yoder is the author of Get Slightly Famous. He's helped dozens of
business owners get "slightly" famous in print and become
mini-celebrities in their fields. Visit his online community at http://www.getslightlyfamous.com
where you'll find free resources and programs to help you attract more business
with less effort by positioning yourself as a media resource.