Publishing your content on reputable websites is the key for getting your word out there, building your reputation, creating trust among your readers and, ultimately, increasing your brand awareness. The strategy behind doing this is creating a personal relationship with the website’s author or editor.
This article examines how to get attention and build that personal relationship with the author or editor of a reputable website, with the goal of getting free media coverage.
As you already would have in mind which website you are aiming to approach, based on your target audience, the next step is to connect with the key person behind it that has the authority to decide what can and can’t be published.
Finding a reputable website and approaching the person behind it to get free media coverage is a process that can be looked upon just like any other marketing plan – you have the goal, strategy to meet that goal and corresponding tactics. It is clear what the goal is, now, the strategy of creating a personal relationship is very tricky.
First step is that you need to make yourself stand out – leave insightful posts and comments on industry forums, blogs and the reputable website you’re aiming for. Forbes suggests publishing articles, trying to become a professional speaker, hosting teleseminars and online events.
It is very important to comment on the articles of the author you are after to get their attention and familiarise them with yourself. Hence, you need to do a thorough research on this person. As an article on copyblogger states: “It’s easier than ever to join in their (audience’s) discussions, follow their patterns of sharing, and generally stalk them (benevolently) before you try to approach them”. Social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Internet in general reveal a lot of information of various successful authors.
Once you gather information about the author you’re targeting, move on to developing the tactics of approaching them through various channels of communication.
According to MarketingTechBlog “with over 68% of all email being SPAM, it’s not only difficult to get your email to the inbox, getting it opened and the content clicked on requires quite a bit of attention”. First touch point methods should never interrupt or inconvenience your potential author/editor and emails from unknown senders are usually overlooked, hence they shouldn’t be used as first communication channel. It would most likely be a medium used to maintain your relationship after it is made.
It might sound old-fashioned and completely misleading especially for online businesses, but writing letters directly to the person you are aiming can be effective, as letters tend to be a lot more personal than emails. This approach completely sets you apart from the others as it’ll grab the person’s attention. If you put the right content in your letter, it will generate a response.
Social media engagement
LinkedIn can be used to develop credibility and could be a good tool for creating the personal relationship. One of our previous articles outlined you may build your own personal brand on LinkedIn and create transparency, which will allow the contact you’re interested in to learn more about you. Depending on which social network your target person is active on, you may choose to engage with him/her through commenting on their stories or referring to their articles in other discussions.
Events are exceptional ways to network and create relationships with new contacts. By researching the person you want to approach, you can come across the event he/she will be attending. You need to plan ahead to make the most of these opportunities and it’s vital that you focus on meeting the most useful people for your business – whether it is the person you are targeting or their contacts, as they can later help in creating a relationship with your target author. It is wide known that “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, but in the end, we all do. First impressions do count and face-to-face encounter at a business event can either sweep your target audience off their feet or…not. Hence, research is vital in order to build your network and create a relationship with your prospective publisher.
The key with the first contact point is just to get a response from the author you’re targeting and slowly start creating a relationship. It is important to first get their attention and respect by telling them what is the value that you offer, why you do something, what is your belief and make it their belief. Do not try to close (ask for free media coverage) on first encounter. Work on building the relationship and then, over time, free media coverage will take place.
It’ll be a long and time-consuming process until you create a relationship and even harder to convince someone to publish your story. Have in mind that at the core of marketing is creating value for customers, or in this case – potential publisher. Once your story is published on a reputable website or by a reputable author it is also your job to keep the relationship going, as it’ll open new doors for your business.♦ End