December 19, 2014

How to get published when you aren’t famous (yet)

Wondering how to get published so you can be known? And do you really have to be almost famous first?

Celebrity, photographers 2

I’ve been getting fantastic questions from new A-Listers, which makes me sooo happy. Today’s is pure gold, because so many of us who want to be famous in our field wrestle with this chicken-and-egg syndrome.

Denise says:

I am trying to get my works published and I keep being told that I need to become known first. Others tell me that before I can be known, I need to be published. Which is more important?

I hear you, Denise. The hardest part about publishing usually isn’t the actual writing, it’s getting our work onto the sites and publications we covet.

(And book publishing? It’s h-a-r-d to get a traditional publisher to sign a new author. Typically, publishers look for well known names, celebrities, CEOs and people who’ve built a platform. Numbers vary, but I’ve heard book “coaches” suggest that 20,000 combined followers from social media and email subscribers is the minimum a traditional publisher will consider.

Plus, you’ll do the marketing, not the publisher, so don’t think of a publisher as a fairy god mother who’s magic wand will wave all your marketing woes away. Buzz kill over.)

Here are three ways to get published before you become known:

1. Start small

Publish locally or in a niche, like a trade magazine. Trade magazines (industry-focused publications) and local newspapers both struggle to produce content with limited resources, and often welcome help from experts like you.

2. Be your own publisher.

Write for your own blog.

Guest blog for other websites.

Why? Because editors need to see examples of your ideas and your writing. It reduces their risk by showing that you’re credible and a good communicator.

Plus, it lets you hone your ideas and material. You know your topic even better once you’ve explained it to someone else, in writing.

3. Get onto the big sites through the “back door.” 

Have you dreamed of seeing your name as an author on big name websites like Huffington Post or Forbes.com?

It can boost your fame factor like nothing else:

A study from Nielsen, shows that expert content—credible, third-party articles (earned media)—is the most effective source of information in impacting consumers along all stages of the purchase process across product categories. (Source: Chad Pollitt, via LinkedIn)

To put it plainly, people trust what they read when it’s on a reputable website or in a magazine. 

The best part is, it can be easier than you think to get your name next to the business celebrities on Forbes, CNN, LifeHacker and Business Insider.

A number of the most popular sites on the web are also what are called aggregator sites. This means that they post articles from contributing websites on their site. (That’s what’s called syndication, in the media biz.)

Here’s what that looks like, in the wild of the interwebs:

Forbes_Search

Notice what’s circled? This article was contributed from another site, YEC Women. If you click on YEC Women, you’ll see this bio:

YEC Women contributor bio for Forbes

YEC Women syndicates articles to the Forbes.com website. And this is good news for you, because it’s often easier to get published on a contributing site.

Now, let’s reverse engineer this, baby!

On the Forbes.com website, you can cruise the various articles, or use the search function to find articles in your area of expertise.

Searching “Small business”, I found articles contributed by:

  • Next Avenue
  • NewTek, the Small Business Authority
  • My Say
  • Quora
  • HBS Working Knowledge
  • Capital Flows

Then, I headed over to the Next Avenue website to do a little digging. It turns out that NextAvenue.org is a website focused on active and engaged seniors. The site’s tagline is, “Where grownups keep growing.”

In the Contact area of the website, there’s a form to send a story idea, article or resource. Boom! Slow clap, fist bump, etc.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Pick one of the three approaches – local/trade magazine, your own website or going through the back door – and spend the next 10 minutes making it happen. Now you’re on your way to turning that signature into an autograph!

The five factors that get you more fans, followers and clients

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Here’s your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on the VIP list for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.) 

Stand out in the market and earn trust with these five credibility factors

Who are you?

Why should I believe you?

Why should I hire you?

Why should I buy from you?

Why should I follow you?

Want to know what makes people scream “YES!” at the opportunity to be part of your world?

It’s all about credibility, my friends.

To break through people’s natural defense mechanisms, you’ve got to be credible. Credibility is about presenting yourself and what you have to offer in such a way that you come across as knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Now, here’s what some of you might be thinking right now:

“But I haven’t done anything yet to be considered credible! I’m not a Vice President, I don’t have a PhD, I didn’t make six figures in my business, I haven’t been on stage at TED…”

WHOA. STOP. Right there.

No matter where you are on your fame-making journey, you’ve accomplished and experienced things that make you knowledgeable and trustworthy.

I’m going to share five areas that you can use to claim your credibility. I call ‘em the 5 Rs of fame. 

1. Results.

Your results, your progress. Have you gained 5 new clients in a month, won your last ten cases, secured $10M in grants, grown your email subscriber list from 50 to 500? Those are all wins!

Are others in your field who’s lofty accomplishments have exceeded yours? So. What.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t the only star to shine brightly. What matters is that you’ve gotten a result that your clients, fans or followers would like to have.

2. Role.

Your title or position in a company or your industry. Are you the founder of something? CEO of a company (even a company of one?) Use it.

Anyone who saw The Social Network remembers this iconic scene when Sean Parker fires up the Mark Zuckerberg character to claim his place as a industry-changing innovator.

Here’s the thing – the card was real. Zuck didn’t use it all the time – only when he wanted to show potential partners that he was someone they should take seriously.

3. Reviews (from clients.)

Are your clients and colleagues singing your praises? From the rooftops? Do they get great results from you on the reg?

The best thing about testimonials is that they SELL FOR YOU. 

So, sing it loud and proud in all your marketing materials like your website, your fliers, bio, etc.

4. Reviews from the media.

Got a little glitter from a mention in a newspaper, magazine or website? Include it in your marketing!

Did you share a stage with a big name? Does someone with name recognition and influence consider you brilliant, a visionary?

Big or little, reviews are the money combination of celebrity and implied endorsement.

5. Reference framework.

What’s  your particular approach, your style? What do you believe is right and wrong when it comes to your industry?

Do you regularly bust myths in your field? What’s your philosophy? How is it different, more advanced, or easier to use?

Maybe you’re the attorney who explains legal issues in plain English for your tribe of small business owners. Or the career coach for women who advocates asking for more – much, much more. Or the marketing consultant who doesn’t think clients should spend time on social media.

Your philosophy, your point of view and your communication style are all integrated to create your reference framework. Those are the ingredients to your own special sauce.

To help uncover your reference framework, so that you can share it clearly and frequently, start by asking yourself these questions:

What do I believe about the world?
What do you believe about people?
What do I believe about business?

Your fame boosting assignment:

This week, take 15 minutes and a sheet of paper or your favorite digital note app. Make a list of credibility factors from each of the five categories. Keep going until you have at least a dozen – I know you’ve got loads!

Then, weave these credibility factors into your bio, your website’s About page, and the stories that you tell during a networking conversation. Let your star shine bright, A Lister.

Three Tips to Get More Speaking Engagements

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Enjoy your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on The VIP List for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.)

Famous in Your Field - 3 Tips to Get More Speaking Engagements

Want to increase your win rate for speaking engagements? Go pro.

No, I don’t mean that you have to hire your own PR rep or speaker marketer to pitch you as a speaker for groups or events. You can increase your chances of being selected  – and make it easier on yourself – by copying these techniques used by professional speakers’ bureaus.

1. Stack the odds in your favor.

Before you submit a proposal to an organization, do your homework. Read about the organization’s membership and mission. This will give you insight into the information its members would value and what the hot topics might be.

(Stumped at where to start? Here’s a list of 17 ways to find speaking engagements.)

2. Make the conference planner or education committee chairperson’s job as painless as possible.

Provide all the information the program chair or selection committee needs to choose you. Here’s what goes into your package:

  • Your contact information. This includes website, email, phone, cell phone, Facebook page,  Twitter handle, and Google + ID. (Bonus points for you if you’ve got a large social media following. Any conference organizer or group education director will love it  if you can help promote the event, too!)
  • Professional headshot.
  • Brief bio.
  • Clear statement about the topics you cover in your talks (i.e. productivity for entrepreneurs, money negotiations for women.)
  • List of topics (with catchy titles) and what attendees will learn with a short (2-4 sentence) abstract about each session.
  • Video demo of you, live and in action. YouTube or Vimeo is a perfect place to host this. Your speaker sheet should include a user friendly link to the video.
  • Testimonials and evaluations from organizations that the potential client can relate to.
  • List of companies/organization you’ve spoken to previously.

Because this is meant to be concise, all the content should fit on a single page.

3. Use The Secret

There is a secret to getting more presentation opportunities. (It’s one that few entrepreneurs and professionals practice. Not because they’re dumb – they just don’t know about it.)

Ask.

Don’t wait for a Call for Speakers for that small handful of conferences in your industry. Take action to expand your reach and influence!

Research groups and organizations where your ideal clients hang out. (Most groups host regular meetings, lunch & learns, webinars and conferences. They are starving for valuable content for their members.)

Reach out and propose a presentation with a timely topic. Include three to five bullets of reasons that it is of interest to the audience and include your speaker sheet.

Speaking is powerful tool for positioning you as an authority and leveraging your valuable time. You can put it to work for you!

Your fame boosting assignment:

This week, create your own speaker sheet. Then, do a little research to find five organizations and use the secret – ASK!

Want to jump start your public speaking? Start here.

 

The Secret about Trade Magazines that Could Boost Your Business

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Enjoy your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on The VIP List for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.)

Want to build your fame platform? Get published. Get articles published in trade magazines? Yes, you can!

Small business owners, coaches and consultants know that being published will make them more widely known and boost their credibility, but are hesitant to approach magazine editors.

Janet, a business consultant, and I were talking at a conference for women business owners where  she shared that she’d really like to be published but she was nervous about approaching a magazine editor. She worried that the editor was too important – too much “above” her – and wouldn’t want to hear from her.

I want to share a secret with you.

While editors of the newsstand glossies like Vogue, Fortune, Esquire and Inc. receive hundreds of story ideas each day, there is an entire category of magazines where the editor is waiting and hoping that you’ll submit an article.

Trade magazines.

Trade magazines (also called professional magazines) are written for a specific industry, business or profession. They have titles like CFO Magazine, Golf Course News International, Business Law Today, Supply Strategy and Event Solutions.

While getting an article published in Pig Farmer Monthly might not have the glam factor of a mention in Vanity Fair, if you’re in the swine industry, it positions you as an expert to a highly targeted audience, ripe for your services.

A few of these publications have editorial staff including writers who pen the articles that appear, but most trade magazines operate with a skeleton crew. Sometimes it’s just one lonely, harried editor/writer/publisher who works her tail off to get the issue out each month.

She needs you.

You are actually doing her a service when you write an article that would help her publication’s audience.

Trade Magazines are Target-Rich Environments for Your Expertise and
Editors Actually Want You to Write Articles for Them.

Convinced? Here’s how to get started:

1. Visit the publications website or send an email to request the publication’s editorial calendar. This is a listing of the magazine’s issues and the theme of each, along with topics that the editor wants to cover in that issue.

2. The magazine might also have writer’s guidelines. Read them to learn what kinds of articles are accepted, whether you should query the editor first (send a short message outlining your proposed topic and your credentials), desired article length and format and how far in advance of the issue publication you should propose your article idea.

3. Pick your topic, follow the guidelines and contact the editor with your short (one page) email or snail mail query.  When your idea is accepted, celebrate and start writing!

Here are few lists and directors of trade magazines:

And one paid (but totally worth it) service:

  • http://www.writersmarket.com – WritersMarket.com lists more than 2,000 magazines, as well as hundreds of newspapers and online publications. Listings include contact information, submission preferences, types of articles accepted and more.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Pick one magazine, look up it editorial calendar, select an issue with a topic that you could educate the readers on and send your email inquiry to the editor.  Happy publishing, you famous expert, you.