Success building or growing a business can often be rooted in credibility. You may have the expertise and knowledge to get the job done, but if clients perceive a lack of credibility in the space, your path to success is much longer.
One way to build credibility is the public relations tactic of generating contributed content, which is taking your expertise and opinions and offering them up to a new audience through the media. Contributed content helps you lay the foundation to become an expert in the space you are trying to grow or enter.
For example, a financial advisor looking to grow his or her client base may be able to use contributed content to build their reputation and credibility by having a compelling opinion on a trending story within their industry. They would identify the topic, send the pitch, create the content and then promote the content.
Let’s break down each of the steps.
Identify a topic
In order to have the best opportunity for success, your idea for a contributed piece should be as timely as possible. A generic topic won’t always get the attention of an editor, but a topic tied into a newsworthy topic will.
Spend the time to do the research on what topic will really resonate with readers. The more compelling the content, the more likely more people will read it.
Send the pitch
Once you have a topic, you need to identify a target outlet to contribute to. Whether it’s an online publication, a newspaper or a magazine, picking the right outlet makes all the difference. You want to reach your target audience with your content, so pick outlets that are the best fit.
Once you identify the target, figure out who specifically at that outlet is the person to contact. Often, it will be the managing editor, editorial page editor or sometimes even a contributed content editor. Send that person a note with a brief summary of your idea – no more than a few sentences – to entice them to accept your offer to contribute to their outlet.
Create the content
Once approved, it’s time to write. Take your time and be focused with your argument. Be sure to identify a specific problem or argument and stay on topic. You should also be careful to not just identify problems, but offer viable solutions.
It can be tempting to try to “sell” your services through a contributed piece, but don’t take the bait. Any attempt to come across as selling something will quickly be squashed by editors.
Promote the content
Once the outlet publishes your content, it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity. Post the link on all your social media channels, both professional and personal, to amplify the message.
It’s also important to not let the content die. Keep the momentum going by continuing to re-post the content in the following weeks so you can continue to reap the benefits of your work.
Although contributing content can be time consuming, the results can often be measurable. You’ll be able to identify the source of new leads based on them referencing seeing your content, which will inspire you to continue to strive for more placed content in the future.
Newsjacking can be a great opportunity to get contributed content placed. For more information, download our eBook, Newsjacking: The Essential Preparation Guide.