Tips for telling-and selling-your story.
Getting published is one of the best business development tactics for lawyers. It offers direct and indirect benefits ranging from expanding your network to building name recognition. More important, however, is the impact that writing for publication has on enhancing your reputation, establishing your expertise and spotlighting key issues that affect your target markets. And have no fear: There is a publication in print or online for every piece of good writing. Here are key considerations for developing a story and convincing a publisher to run with it.
- Collaborate.Work with your supervisors, clients and prospective clients to develop ideas for article topics. A potential article is a model opportunity to engage these important individuals in conversation. Listen to what is on their minds and focus in on an issue that might have a broader impact on the entire business community or industry in which they work.
- Synchronize your submissions with events they cover. Timing is critical both for pitching to publishers and for achieving the optimum response from readers. An article on year-end filings, for example, will be most relevant in December when individuals prepare for their submissions. Those who see an article while the issue it covers is on their minds are more likely to be affected by the article’s contents and, consequently, to remember the author’s name and expertise.
- Broadcast the good news. Getting published has little value if no one knows that you have written the article. For this reason, you need to be proactive about telling people you are appearing in print. Create a mailing list to distribute the news. Post information about the article on your firm’s Web site. Ask your legal blogger friends to add a link to your article on their sites as well.
- Leverage your writing for other media opportunities. Study the profiles of successful practitioners you want to emulate. Take note of where they have been published, given presentations or provided media commentary. If you are writing on a similar topic, contact those outlets and let them know that you are available for future speaking engagements and writing assignments. Try to meet the decision makers at these venues in person.
- Repeat. Professionals who achieve maximum benefit from the art of getting published tend to be serial writers because the more often their work appears in print the more recognized it becomes. That recognition builds credibility with the target audience and prospective publishers. As your written work becomes better known, so will you.