Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marketing in a Down Market: Write! Publish! Perish! (Part II)

From the July/August 2008 issue of Resume Writers' Digest:

One of the most effective ways to land new business is to write about what you do. In 2001, the emphasis was on print newsletters. This is still an effective marketing tactic, but today's emphasis is online. Publishing a monthly e-newsletter is one thing, but weekly posts to your blog or contributing articles to websites and e-zines can be equally effective.

Writing articles can be used to keep in touch with clients and referral sources, to showcase your expertise, and even subtly promote your services to current and prospective clients.

In 2008, many people have adopted a "green theme" -- and it's applicable here too. You can also "recycle" what you've written, using the articles in your media kit, as handouts when you deliver workshops, and including them with other information you provide to prospective clients (either in person or online).

The key in writing articles is to inform, not sell. You want to establish a long-term relationship with current and potential clients. Your recipients will appreciate the information, and you'll be building credibility at the same time.

What should you write about?

You can provide career-related tips or strategies; introduce new services; provide professional advice (a "Q-and-A" format is particularly effective); and offer inspirational quotes.

Don't get too ambitious. In an article on client newsletters in the July/August 2001 issue of Resume Writers' Digest. Tracy Bumpus, CPRW, JCTC, of RezAMAZE.com, talked about the content of her monthly opt-in electronic newsletter targeted to high-tech professionals and engineers.

"I usually have one primary job search or career-related article that I write myself," she noted.

Her newsletter also features "Humor Byte" and "Nuggets from the Net," a compilation of relevant information culled from various tech sites.

You can also write for professional association newsletters or provide articles for their websites. Consider trading articles with professionals in other industries, such as accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, and even mental health therapists (especially those that provide career testing and coaching, if you don't).

Whether using a print or electronic format, keep your articles short, simple, informative, and helpful. If you're producing an online newsletter, remember that consistency in publishing is critical.

"Getting my name out there plays a significant role in referral rates, marketing standing, and branding," Bumpus adds. "If I only distributed it every six months, I'd be wasting my time."

Next in the series: "SPEAK AND GROW RICH!"

If you'd like to purchase this issue of the newsletter, the cost is $3. Order here.

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