How to turn signed trade journal articles into customers

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To find clients, don’t waste money on a brochure. Better than any brochure, the how-to articles that appear in a publication or website that your target customers read.

A signature is a printed line of text that identifies the author of an article. The master at helping people place signed commercial articles is Russell Trahan, owner and president of PR / PR Public Relations. Surprisingly, 100% of his clients get article placements.

“Having articles in association and professional publications makes you an authority in your field,” says Trahan. “Your articles will help you achieve name recognition nationally.”

Here’s Trahan’s format for a great article magazines want to publish:

1. Create a provocative headline.

2. Start with a great opening sentence, also known as “the lead”.

3. Open with a story.

4. Use the second paragraph to present the dilemma to readers.

5. Give three to eight tips, strategies, or steps the reader can take to resolve the problem. Use bullets or numbers.

6. Give a very brief one-paragraph summary with a call to action at the end.

7. Keep the word count around 800 to 1,000 words.

8. Include a resource box with your contact information.

9. In the resource box, mention your book, company, product or service. Also mention any CDs, DVDs, or online videos you own.

10. And some don’ts: Don’t promote yourself or your book in the article, write it in the first person, and give your opinion, but rather state the facts.

For many would-be authors, the stumbling block is the provocative title. Advertising expert Joan Stewart, creator of the website www.publicityhound.com, uses a fill-in-the-blank approach to brainstorm story ideas. Consider some of his suggestions:

• A quiz: test your intelligence _________

• Common mistakes that kill ___________

• The great _____________ dilemma

• Master the art of ____________

• Top 10 _____________ Dos and Don’ts

• 5 safe strategies for ____________

• 25 quick _____________ tips to use now

Then, how do you turn the article into high paying customers? Here are five ideas from Trahan on how to leverage your media placements:

1. Make your resource box at the end of the article memorable. Make sure to mention the credentials and contact details.

2. Buy reprints and send copies to your old clients, current prospects and lawyers.

3. Put a media page on your website. List all published articles.

4. Put a short list of your magazine’s publication history in your bio.

5. Use your printed articles to market associations in this industry as a speaker.

As Trahan says, “Media credentials speak loudly on your behalf. Whether you’ve been speaking or writing for a few months or many years, being quoted in the media makes you an instant expert.


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