While it may be true that a picture speaks a thousand words, the written word has a power all its own. Seeing something in print tends to make it more credible-especially if it’s speaking to an issue that is present in the reader’s life-and it helps establish the author as an expert.
For these reasons, articles are extremely valuable marketing tools when building and maintaining a private practice, whether you’re a coach, consultant, psychotherapist, attorney, massage therapist, organizer or other professional. If you don’t have the time to write articles, or the idea brings out all your “I can’t do that!” gremlins, you still don’t have to miss out on the opportunities that articles bring just outsource!
How specifically can you use articles? Here are 10 great ideas-both online and in print-to get you started.
1. Submit them to your local newspaper or other local publication (parenting magazine, community journal, etc.). Get creative as you brainstorm the types of print publications that might run your article.
2. Print articles in a tri-fold brochure format or on a flat 8.5 x 11 sheet. Use colored paper for better eye-catching qualities. Be sure to include your name, contact info and maybe even a photo and/or logo. Stack copies of these in acrylic holders in your own office-but more importantly, in the offices of other professionals to generate referrals.
3. Create themed “sets” of articles: relationships, career transition, communication, personal/professional growth, etc., and use as above. Keep topical files and give or mail them to clients as needed.
4. Place articles on an “Articles” or “Resources” page on your website. It gives excellent content depth to your site and lets people know where you’re coming from.
5. Create an e-book of one, several or all of your articles. Give it away on your website in exchange for people signing up for your ezine or as a bonus for those who buy your product or services.
6. Send your articles to online article submission sites, where they will be distributed and placed on websites throughout the Internet to help drive traffic to your website. It’s a mini-industry all its own, and will require a little bit of learning. Just google “article submission,” and away you go!
7. Use them in your own newsletter or ezine. People want what you know!
8. Stuff them into informational packets, press kits or proposals of any kind. Again, this adds depth to your material, and shows you as an expert in your field.
9. Hand them out to your groups and/or workshop participants. Relevant articles (with your info on them) serve as solid, gentle “touch points” with people who might be considering using your services.
10. Create catchy headlines and then tack them to community event bulletin boards.
This is just a start. Perhaps it will get your creative juices flowing. Remember always to include your name and contact information (at a minimum) on every article. You may want to include a photo, call-to-action for services, etc.
Articles offer valuable information to readers. When you use articles to market your practice, you’ve started your relationship with the reader by offering the gift of the article. And a gift is always a good place to start any relationship.