Three kinds of inquiries I receive regularly:
- write about us
- give us your content
- allow us to post
Many of you find the contact form for consulting work. In that case, I'm happy to provide a quote and scope of work. If that's not what you're after, the quickest way to find out what is accepted for review and publication is by following the link to -- submit your question on the top menu.
In all cases, the best outcomes come when the ask is appropriate. Note the term "pro" is part of the word.
Making the ask
Don't know how to ask? Here's how to write an email that stands out for your review. It looks simple enough.
As I said in the post, notice how much care and interest the author took in writing it so that it would not come across as promotional or self serving in any way. Yet it carries the message across even by making it about the presentation and the morning and not the writer.
It is the care and interest that translate into a compelling note. If you're tempted to take a casual, what-the-heck approach, this example should give you pause and ideas to test a different one.
There are other ways to make sure you don't get good help. In general, if you ask for good help without deserving it, you will be mentally blacklisted AND there is a good chance that your future requests are deeply discounted.
This is greater than "cost of asking", if you're tempted to shrug the point off.
Some thoughts on why you may be striking out.
1. Write about us
The most obvious here is when you're trying to get coverage for a product or service that is of no immediate interest or focus.
When you're pitching an expert, it's good to keep in mind people like to read about business professionals who are changing the game by innovating an industry, building a new ecosystem, or are examples of design thinking at work.
In other words, you do something interesting and get attention based upon that. For an example of the kinds of interviews published here, just view those archived under conversations.
It's about impact, not impressive-sounding bios (those can be massaged). How do you show impact to those who don't know you/of you? Glad you asked.
Use this format if you're submitting a program for consideration/publishing:
- clear situation, problem, or challenge
- timeline or complication
- response or solution sought
- outcome and results
- bonus points for customer testimonials and third party validation
It can be a very brief note. Remember, your best chance to get attention is not to waste people's time. Compare this approach with "see attached press release". There's a time and place for press releases as news items, calling cards.
One final consideration on this point is the halo effect in connections. After some practice organizations have learned to think about the friends and friends of friends in relationships. Yet, the opportunity with content and halo that comes from those connections is still pretty much untapped.
A good starting point is asking yourself, should you be pitching me?
2. Give us your content
This site is about thinking together on several issues related to business strategy, connecting marketing with business sense, and meaningful actions for brands. Every post is connected to every other post in one long conversation -- this is what makes the content special.
It works here because it is part of a bigger picture. And it's an investment in time and attention we do together as a community.
Indeed, there are bloggers who use reposting and cross posting as a link building or sharing strategy. I don't repost this content to other sites. You are welcome to link to posts and quote excerpts with link back as addressed by fair use.
On occasion, when the ask is aligned with my strategy and helpful to a professional community, I do interviews, answer questions, and write feature articles for other publications.
The grass is always greener, trust me on this one. A better question should be: how can you make your site a rich resource to attract a specific community? You do that, and take advantage of the long tail of search as well.
3. Allow us to post
Encouraged by the many posts on link building, these types of inquiries have gone up in volume. They all sound the same in a fascinating case of cut-and-paste copy writing. This is the first clue that you don't have a good chance of standing out.
While the quality of your post may be good, the economics may not be. The cold hard truth about guest posts is to make it worthwhile, often the approach is to write a generic advice type post, one of those that get shared on Twitter, and pitch it to as many bloggers as possible.
The writing is low level, the grammar is awful grammar, typos are having a party, and it would be easier to let the post die than trying some serious CPR editing.
Have guest posts become the fruit cake? Someone actually declared it was good quid pro quo with a smiley in an email last week. True reciprocity is a fair exchange.
Reciprocity is one of the levers in marketing by context building. Reciprocity anticipates and respects a need -- the good balance to strike between the entitled quid pro quo, and the lazy status quo.
True, I have published guest posts here. They were the direct result of me asking. I even picked the links to the work of the writer. This goes back to wanting to showcase the impact a specific person has on the community through their work.
It's about building links to human endeavors.
Social media enhances a growing confusion between reporting, sharing, and reading news/information with the actual actions of making history. Hint: it takes less thinking to do the latter.
The May issue of the Premium Newsletter goes out at 8am EST (in case you'd like to receive it by subscribing) this morning. This month it's about deeper thoughts and resources on demand creation, conversion metrics, and product launches.
[good content is like a meal, created to nourish your community, an excuse to be social]
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