By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker
Want to build your business fast now? And, on a shoestring budget?
Whether you are a soloist or a major publicly listed corporation, writing articles is still one of the best forms of low cost, high impact marketing around.
If you're a regular reader of my articles, then you'll know how I turned an article into a media release that generated national print and radio exposure for me.
It was about the McEddie "Everywhere" Personal Brand and I even had people ringing me wanting to contact Eddie and people emailing me with comments about the first Footy Show TV program without Eddie McGuire as host.
For those overseas or who have just picked up this article for the first time, Eddie McGuire is the Australian host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire who has just given up his on air role to become CEO of Channel 9, Australia's number one national TV network.
If you missed it all, just enter the words "Eddie McGuire Thomas Murrell" into Google and try, and out of the 51,000 listings you will see how my original article and media release dominate.
Importantly, my articles or name dominates eight out of the first 10 rankings on Google.
Go on, have a go now. Just go to Google here and try.
So what? Well, the key is to build relationships with your leads, prospects, customers, clients and advocates.
As my wise mentor Gihan Perera says "people buy from people they trust".
He says you need to turn strangers into neighbours and neighbours into friends and friends are the easiest people to market to.
So how do you do this, especially in a competitive, crowded and cluttered marketplace?
A well written, well targetted article helps you stand out from the crowd.
It builds expert power which creates reputation capital.
My articles, like this helps do that.
So I turned a media release, which originally came from an article, back into an article.
This is true leverage of expert power.
But I gave the newspaper article a few powerful tweaks.
First, I re-read it and added more depth of content. This made it fresher and more impactful.
Then I asked, how can I turn this into a measurable marketing activity that has the potential to increase sales?
The media will never run a story from a news release about a free or even new eBook - no matter how well written or controversial. It doesn't have the credibility or newsvalue of a hard copy book by a recognised international publisher.
But an authored article does provide a platform to promote your free eBook. This in turn provides an incentive for readers of the newspaper article to give permission for you to market to them.
So here's the kicker. Because I had a good relationship with the newspaper editor, he wanted my media release, not as a story, but as an authored article.
This gave me permission at the end of the article to add value to readers by pointing them to my website and allowing them to download my free eBook.
And, this builds my expert power and reputation capital with complete strangers.
Plus I got the bonus of a well laid out article with a great graphic that added enormous value to my original words.
You can see the final newspaper published article Brand marks out leader here because I got permission from the newspaper editor (thank you Western Suburbs Weekly) to put a PDF version on my website.
This leverages even further the value of the original article.
But when the article was published in the newspaper it was read by more than 52,500 people.
Far more prospects than I could reach in a speech, direct mail out or even through this article you are reading now.
So traditional media still have greater reach and impact than emerging media like blogs. Plus it is tangible, providing a lasting record. People still like to feel ink between their fingers and not just electrons on their eyeballs!
So here are five amazing ways to grow your business through articles.
1. Choose A Newsworthy Topic.
The Eddie McGuire move, at least in Australia, was big news and speculated upon for months and months prior to the official announcement.
2. Make Sure This Topic Matches Your Area Of Expertise.
My area of recognised authority status is branding at a corporate, internal and personal level. And, I've had more than 20 years experience working in the media.
Plus, my media experience covers periods as both an on air personality and as a Senior Executive in a leadership role.
Eddie's making that move now. I made that move from on air broadcaster to manager when I was 28 years old with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
So that background gives me a lot of expert power and credibility because I've been there and done that.
(By the way Eddie if you're reading this and want help, my number is +61 8 9388 6888).
3. Identify A Problem.
Most people have aspirations to be like Eddie McGuire, whether that is to be more attractive, to be more influential or to have more money.
That is a universal challenge across all demographics and applies to all areas of your career, business or life.
4. The Content Of The Article Solves A Problem.
Provide a solution to people's problems and then you have a sustainable business, career or life.
5. Have A Strong Call To Action.
Make sure readers take action after reading your article.
Here is word for word the last paragraph in my article published in the newspaper:
"Visit www.8mmedia.com and sign up for Media Motivators, a free eZine read by 5,000 professionals in 15 different countries, and you can download a free eBook How To Turn Your Big Marketing Idea Into A Competitive Advantage valued at $79.00."