Thought Leadership Resources

Speedy Success

We’ll work with one of your firm’s key professionals to help them create and publish an article in a niche publication relied on and trusted by people in their market. 

A fast and comprehensive writing, editing, coordination, publication and promotional campaign from start to finish, for one of your firm’s subject-matter experts.

Many firms have specific target markets that they consider high priorities for future growth – and individual professionals the firm depends on as their subject-matter experts or thought-leaders. One of the best ways to reach those markets and demonstrate that expertise is through articles published in niche publications that your target clients read.

The need for this service was highlighted in some recent research by Thought Leadership Resources, on what stands in the way of professional services marketers and leaders who want to show the expertise of their firm members.

Two responses stood out from virtually all respondents, unprompted:

  1. Finding publications that reach their intended target market.

  2. Obtaining time and cooperation from the firm’s leading experts, to develop thought-leadership content, or even to review content developed by the marketing team.

Speedy Success is designed to solve both of those issues – it’s a “full-stack” solution that takes care of you from start to finish. Here’s how it works.

Step one: Finding the right publications

We use the online media database Cisionpoint, likely the most comprehensive source available, to find publications reaching your niche market – whether a specific industry, profession, cause or other factor. We’ll make our recommendations on which publication would be best for your purpose. This part of the process gives you confidence that you’re doing all that can be done to find effective publications.

It also helps to solve the second problem above – getting time and cooperation from busy people. Our experience is that if subject-matter experts are convinced that getting an article published will boost their professional stature, they’re more interested in doing their share of the work in getting published.

Step two: Developing an effective article concept

We find that many business professionals need guidance on what article concepts will be of interest to the editor and the readers of the publication. This includes avoiding anything that sounds like a sales pitch. It’s not necessary to “sell” directly through the article – the text just has to show that the author understands the needs of the reader and can provide workable solutions. So, this second step’s purpose is to develop the concept for the article.

Step three: Obtain the editor’s buy-in

Many would-be article writers make the classic mistake of writing the article first, and then trying to get it published. Most editors don’t like to get what they call an “unsolicited manuscript,” which is editor-speak for an article they didn’t ask for. From the perspective of a former editor and freelance writer, it’s important to get the editor’s buy-in to the article concept first, before writing. Otherwise there’s a risk of investing time in writing an article that won’t get published. So, our third step is to get the editor’s buy-in to the article idea first, by sending what editors call a “query letter” describing the proposed article.

Step four: Ghost-writing the text of the article

Some technical business professionals are good writers – of reports, proposals and other documents. Some are also good writers of magazine articles, but that’s much more rare. So we find that assigning a ghostwriter to work with the author of the article means it’s more likely that the article will be completed in time for the publication’s deadline, and that it will be written in a journalistically acceptable fashion. Best of all, experience has found that a good ghostwriter can, inside of 40 minutes, gain enough information to draft a two-page article, so that the author can get back to what they do best – generating billable hours. We work with the author to push the article (gently) through the review process.

Step five: Getting the article published and promoted

We work with the editor of the publication to make sure that the article is scheduled for publication, has the necessary pictures and other images, and you get a copy of the article for promotions. In most cases, we can obtain a URL linking to the article on the publication’s website, and provide an image of the article that can go on the firm’s website. We support social media leverage for the article, preparing summaries, Tweets, and help for the author in publishing the article to their LinkedIn profile. Depending on the publication’s policy about reprints, we will help you obtain a PDF your firm can post to its website (Note of caution: Experience has found that some publications tend to think of the published article as more “theirs” than “yours,” and this applies to reprint and reproduction rights).

Throughout the publication process, we’ll keep you informed – but we’ll also do our best to make sure that the process moves forward without your need to constantly intervene (we’ve been doing this kind of work for a while now :-), and have a clear idea of where the sticky parts in the process are).

What it costs

As we said earlier, we don’t charge for our work until the article is actually published. If for some reason the article does not get published, you don’t owe us anything. Of course, as you might imagine, we’re not about to make this offer unless we had a reliable track record of getting articles published.

So, our fee for the five steps listed for Speedy Success, payable on publication of the article, is US$500.

The fine print – covering potential issues

Okay, there’s got to be some fine print on that. In all these years helping clients get published, we’ve only run into about two situations in which the client decided to not proceed with the article, after we’d worked with them to write it. In such cases it’s only fair for us to be paid for our work, on an hourly basis of US$85/hour. But if you’re really not satisfied with the article, we’ll just walk away – we have no desire to push ourselves in where we’re not wanted.

The optional social media extra – more results for the author’s time

We find that in the past couple of years, more of our clients want to publish content to their own websites, email newsletters and e-blasts, and through LinkedIn and other social media. It’s an important part of building an audience of target clients and contacts.

So, we will adapt and rewrite the content of the article as two or three stand-alone blog posts, using good writing for Web purposes. This includes more sub-heads, bullet points, numbered lists and other aspects of good Web writing. You can then take those blog posts and work them into your firm’s marketing efforts.

Our flat fee for preparing these blog posts, written based on the content of the article, is US$400.

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