Published in IndUS Business Journal.
In today’s business world, the use of published articles as a form of marketing has become an often relied-upon technique. But simply publishing an article and letting the chips fall where they may is not necessarily the most effective strategy. It is just as important for any author to understand how valuable a published article can actually be, especially AFTER it has been published.
It could be said that the only thing that distinguishes a useful article from a useless one is how the author uses it to his or her advantage. Many authors do not recognize that the process of publishing an article goes far beyond the date it is published, if the effect on the author’s career is to be maximized. To do so, you the author must make sure to appreciate the opportunities that your published article can provide.
Ken Lizotte, Founder and “Chief Imaginative Officer” of emerson consulting group, explains that “People forget to use their articles in the many little ways that can extend its lifespan. Just because an article has been published doesn’t mean it has lived out its usefulness. In fact, sitting around waiting for something to happen, that is, waiting for unseen readers to come out of the woodwork and communicate with them just might be the absolute worst thing one could do! There are so many ways you can use a published article to your advantage, if you just get proactive.” Ken himself has published hundreds of articles over the course of his career and his firm now, in part teaches, business leaders how to use their published articles effectively.
Here are few of his suggestions:
First, post a full version of your article, along with publication and date of publication on your website. There is nothing as simple as making your name and thoughts available to everyone, especially with modern technology. Once on the Internet, your article can be viewed by current clients, client prospects, researchers, and many other important and influential people. By putting your name and ideas on display for everyone to see, you make your expertise and services both more available and impressive.
“The Internet is one of the best ways to spread information fast,” says Ken Lizotte. “We live in world where everything is made quick and easy through technology, so why not take advantage?”
Second, posting an article is not the only way to use the internet to your advantage. It is important too to be proud of your accomplishment and to tell everybody about it. This is no time to swallow your pride, but to embrace it! Letting all of your clients and prospects and colleagues know that your ideas are out in the world, and getting recognized by publishing outlets, is crucial. Try mass e-mailing your published article to your business friends, partners, clients, and prospects as a smart way to spread the word of your success.
“I send articles to what I call my contact network,” says Jay Vogt, Founder of Peoplesworth, a consulting company that helps professionals who lead organizations discover greater creativity, spirit, and harmony in their workplaces. Publishing articles over the years, he adds, has been a major component of his business efforts. “My network consists of about 1000 people, and I can be sure that at least 500 will read what I send them. Not a bad turnout!” He includes each newlypublished article, or at the veryleast news of it, in an issue of his regular e-newsletter. This way, he uses the article to reach those on his list who will be particularly interested in his success and in that aspect of his services.
Next, after you have announced to everyone you know news of your article, continue to use it in other ways to your advantage. Bring a copy of your article to sales meetings and speaking engagements, Ken suggests, adding, “Handing out an article at a speaking engagement is one of the most important things to remember to do. This gives even more people an opportunity to marvel at your ideas and success, and adds credibility to you as a speaker and recognized expert.”
Also, keep in mind that your article can useful even when people you know don’t read it! A published article is immediately impressive, offering a wonderful first impression. “Nobody really cares if it’s the best article ever written,” says Brooks Fenno, a sales/marketing consultant who publishes articles in order to generate business growth. “People find it impressive enough that you have merely written and published an article, that fact alone puts you on higher ground. It enhances your professionalism.” Brooks is Founder of SALESMARK, a firm that provides full-service marketing and sales consulting services to small and mid-sized manufacturing and business-tobusiness service companies. His articles, he says, help him stand out from his competitors who rarely bother to writer and publish articles.
One final note on the power of articles is how their impact can be felt in the most surprising of ways. When Jay Vogt showed an article of his to a colleague a couple of years back, he soon found himself co-authoring a book with that same colleague on a topic related to his article. The irony in his situation is that this particular article had not even been published yet! His success shows how important it is to use your article in every way possible, even BEFORE publication, because you never know where its mere existence might take you.
Madeline Vellturo is a former Intern at emerson consulting group, inc. To contact Madeline, click here.