By Cheryl Oribabor
Are you struggling with the best way to reach your target audience? If you like to write, here are five steps to reach your target audience:
1. Determine your audience
Be specific. If your target is professional services, who in that sector will your article apply to? Professional services covers accountants, law firms, engineers, etc. Perhaps you focus on health care. Small practices, hospital networks, nursing homes, continuing care facilities could all be placed under the health care umbrella.
When you’re focusing on your niche make sure that you are truly focusing on them. Use the same terms they use. If you’re going to pitch similar articles for multiple niches customize them — do more than just a find and replace.2. Aim for the publications that your target market reads
You should know the answer to this question because if it’s your target market – you’re reading the same thing! Pick the top five to seven newsletters, periodicals, and/or magazines that pertain to your niche and make certain they accept unsolicited articles.
3. Be proactive and find the right contact
Search for and review any submission/editorial guidelines before reaching out to the editor. He or she may not be the person to contact for your particular article. Find out who the contact is and reach out to him or her. How? See No. 4 below!
4. Use the right approach
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most editors can tell from the first few sentences if an article will be the right fit: not the first few sentences of your article, the first few sentences of your inquiry. Be brief and concise because they likely receive multiple inquiries on any given day. Tell them:
- Who you are – Include your name and firm.
- What article you’re pitching – Try to have one or two topics in mind.
- Why they should choose your article – Mention your years of experience with the audience. Explain that you want to increase your visibility with your target audience. Is there is a hot topic affecting your niche now? Will there be an issue affecting your niche in the near future?
- How you will approach the article – How can you guarantee that your article will be appropriate for the readership? Explain that your article will not be commercial, an opinion piece or advertorial. Your name and company will be enough of a commercial for your services if it is well received.
5. Follow Up
You didn’t hear back one hour after sending your inquiry? Fine. You didn’t hear back one week after sending your inquiry? It might be time to send a follow-up email or pick up the phone. Let them know that you’re truly interested in the opportunity.
Getting to a yes
If you’ve attracted the attention of the editor based on your inquiry, you’re one step closer to a yes. Talk to the editor about your ideas, maybe one topic is more appealing than another. Or perhaps he or she will have an idea to combine your ideas. Be prepared for anything.
As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and that may be the case, but not always in terms of accounting and business consulting. If you approach a topic differently, if you have extraordinary insight on a hot topic, or if you can cover a topic that’s being overlooked, by all means scream it from the rooftops! Your chances of getting a yes from the editor will be increased and you might actually land a monthly column.
Cheryl Oribabor is a Senior Marketing Consultant & Life Coach, with TIERNEY Coaching & Consulting, Inc., she serves multi-partner CPA firms across the country, offering customized marketing plans, business development coaching, leadership development programs, and LinkedIn training. Cheryl can be reached at (856) 441-0577 or Cheryl@CPAMarketingConsultant.com.