Even in this digital age, a bylined article is one of the most effective tools available for establishing credibility with your target audience. Putting your name on a published work positions you as an expert in your niche—a leader among your peers. It draws attention to the stature and strength of your firm and it helps differentiate you from the competition and other pretenders.
As author and motivational speaker Denise Brosseau has said: “Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas”
As our annual CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey™ revealed, publishing bylined articles is the SECOND most effective thought leadership tactic out of more than two dozen tactics we surveyed. Half of respondents (50%) rated bylined articles “highly” or “extremely” effective—a number which has risen to to nearly 60 percent since the pandemic began. Among firms expecting double-digit growth in 2020, nearly seven in ten (68%) rated bylined articles “very” or “extremely” effective for establishing thought leadership.
Look at the multiplier effect of recent bylines from HB clients taking part in our Just in Time media outreach program:
- RANDY FOX (Two Hawks Consulting) has a regular monthly column in WealthManagement.com:
- BRAD KRAUS (James Capital Advisors) was recently published in Commercial Observer: Bye-Bye Boutiques
- KYLE WALTERS (L&H CPAS) has a biweekly column in Accounting Today.
- BLAKE CHRISTIAN (HCVT, LLP) was recently published in Accounting Today (6 ways opportunity zone expansion can aid COVID-19 recovery). This led to interviews in The New York Times (Despite Challenges, Opportunity Zones Provide Much-Needed Capital , The Journal of Accountancy (Companies Rethink the Office Amid Coronavirus Pandemic) and Globe Street (What Biden Could Mean for Opportunity Zones).
- DR. GUY BAKER, Ph.D. (Wealth Teams Alliance) was recently published in Thrive Global (Everyone’s Situation Is Different). This led to interviews in Forbes (What You Can and Should Do About Your 401k Fees), Fox Business News (Mortgage refinancing is about to get more expensive — here’s why). And US News & World Report (What to Consider Before Getting a Reverse Mortgage
- in Retirement).
- KAREN KOCH (Bedford Cost Segregation) was recently published in AICPA Tax Insider
(R&D tax credits: A valuable cash infusion for businesses), which led to guest columns in Midwest Real Estate News (The myth of the 179D EPAct and the $1.80-square-foot deduction) and guest speaking opportunities at numerous state CPA Societies.
How to get bylined articles published
Even if you don’t have well established relationships with journalists and editors, getting a bylined article published is not as daunting as you might think. Just remember, the media doesn’t owe you anything. The media doesn’t exist to make you famous or to help you sell products and services. The media exists to keep powerful people and organizations in check, and it exists to keep its readers and followers as well informed as possible.
That’s where you come in.
Look at the publications, newsfeeds, websites and blogs that you read regularly. Which ones do you admire most? What holes in their editorial coverage can you help them fill? With newsrooms shrinking across the landscape, busy editors love having knowledgeable and reliable outside sources they can tap for a quick quote on tight deadline. They love having reliable outside contributors who can submit a well-written, well-researched article on time–one that resonates with their readers.
Make a busy editor’s job easier
Few have time to have time to play golf, have lunch, or grab a cup of coffee these days. But they WILL respond to a relevant pitch that shows you’re familiar with their work, their editorial style and their target readers. Reach out with a brief email, phone call and contact on twitter or LinkedIn if possible. Share links to other relevant things you’ve written or presented about the topic you’re proposing. It’s okay if that work has never been published.
Make sure to follow up multiple times after pitching—say at weekly intervals. Journalists are extremely busy people. Just because your story didn’t get picked up a week or two ago, doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of publication today. The world changes fast. Have a thick skin. Be persistent without being pushy.
Whatever you do, DON’T SEND A COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT OR ARTICLE ON SPEC. That’s a rookie mistake and editors hate that. Just submit a brief outline of your proposed article and make it crystal clear to the editor what’s in it for them and what’s in it for their readers. It’s not about what’s in it for you.
The resources section of our website has more about making a busy journalist’s life easier.
As motivational speaker, Jay Baer, has said: “A thought leader is someone with proven expertise and experience who isn’t afraid to share it with the world without direct compensation.” Doesn’t that sound like you?
What’s your take? I’d love to hear from you.
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