Business is pretty competitive these days, whether you’re a professional speaker, a lawyer or a software company. What are you doing to get noticed by meeting planners, industry leaders and your prospects? Making tons of cold calls and spreading FAXes all over the world? Buying email lists to complete strangers? Puhleeze! The magic word is positioning. I consult 90% of the time and only speak 10% of the time for my bread and butter, so I have zero time to cold call and beg with meeting planners or worse, absolute strangers from a call sheet. I position myself as a subject-matter professional through articles and blog posts that I write to produce business opportunities coming at me, and so can you.
Follow this 6-Step Program to expert positioning with words:
This one is a gimme. It’s rather easy for professional speakers, you’d think, but you’d be shocked how they and business leaders can’t really explain what that is. Quick Answer: Something readers can use right away that doesn’t need (vital word there) that they call you to fill in the blanks. Of course, a percentage will because they don’t have the time to do what you whatever it is you just taught them but love it anyway. Cha-ching!
Write good stuff
They have to be informative and easy to read. Your pieces has a better opportunity at being published if it tickles the funny bone, so bring in humor that supports your ideas (not just jokes). Your topic’s not funny? Hey, with a little imagination and half a bottle of barbecue sauce, you can make a burning hen-house full of baby chicks enjoyable. (Try to get that image out of your head, go on)
Find your outlet
Years ago you could find Ulrich’s Guide to Periodical Literature at the library and spend the day looking up newspapers, categorized by subscription and subject matter, that support your topics. Now of course you can go on-line to http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com/login and register to use their service.
This is print periodical stuff, but blogs are even more essential if you get in the proper ones. Just Google your topic and the really large blogs (translation, big readers) will show up, or Google blog rankings and the leading sites with blogs by type like Technoratti will turn up. Click on the blogs you like and find their submission procedure or editorial contact to figure out if they take external content (some don’t, some do). Now develop your list of publications and blog sites by the topics you write about. Every time you write on that subject, you have a list of probables that might accept it (with some tweaking to get it in their format).
Draw them in
Provide a byline at the end of your article that lets the reader to get in touch with you by phone, email, and whatever you do provide your website URL (or a landing page on it) as a hyperlink. That hyperlink is another back link to your website which not only provides a path in for the reader, but it boosts your website page rank for your SEO efforts.
You can even give a bounce back or lead magnet in the byline where the reader can get in touch with you to get a top ten list or something else they may want for free. Also, link strait to that freebee so they don’t have to work to find it. Then make them enter their email addresses to get it, and that puts them into your sales channel. Possibilities galore.
Submit again and again
Weekly I write one to two pieces that right now we call blog posts. I upload them on my website. I promptly develop a library of content that I have produced that demonstrates my expertise. It takes a little work, but you can then make versions of your original blog write-ups, either sections with only a part of the content or the entire content, re-written so that it is unique in the Internet world.
I can write an entire article (actually I think I will) on making unique content from your really unique content the proper way. There are many article spinning tools available that can help you rewrite things, but be careful with these. Unedited even the best spinning applications will create a load of useless garbage that is neither enjoyable and gets you the Google slap. I pay a virtual assistant (VA) every week to re-create 2-3 of my articles with the same concepts but totally different titles, subtitles, and body content, and then submit for me to my top 10 outlets.
Promote Yourself Socially
You can advertise your blog posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups and so forth. Most bloggers do. It’s just as big a deal to advertise the links of the blogs that post your write ups. Your byline will provide a means of accessing your site, as will well-placed text hyperlinks within the article, but by advertising the other guy’s blog, it advances your reliability as a subject matter expert. It’s not only you that posted this piece on a site you control, but also a noted authority site thinks enough of you to publish your articles. That makes a big difference on your clickthrus from the byline to your site and on your absolute conversion rate.
Keep submitting and marketing. If you observed these steps, the law of averages (my hit rate is about 75%) says your name will be in print or online. The phone starts buzzing or the contact page starts producing and you’re in business.
About the Author:
Karl Walinskas is the CEO of Smart Company Growth, a business development and cost management consulting firm for small to mid-size enterprises. He has made a career of leading, inspiring and raising the game of small business people. He is author of numerous articles and the Smart Blog on leadership, business communication, sales & service, public speaking and virtual business and Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership, available in the Smart Shop, Amazon.com, or Barnes&Noble.com. He can be reached at [email protected]