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Clockwise from left: Gayle Rogers, Rebekah Iliff, Kristopher Jones, Gretel Going, Ayelet Noff, Brandon Stapper. All photos courtesy of individual members.
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Six Tips For Getting Clients Started As Contributors To Media Publications

By Gretel Going

July 26, 2016

With knowledge and experience from within an industry, business professionals have valuable information to offer media publications that differs from work by the publication’s reporting staff. But before writing an article or column, hopeful writers should do some preliminary research and work if they want to become regular contributors.

Six Forbes Agency Council members share what they consider the first step they recommend to clients who are interested in contributing to a relevant media publication.

1. Know The Audience Make sure you are a regular reader of the publication. When you know the audience, you can understand the pain points. Every problem is an opportunity to provide a solution. – Gayle RogersStrong Automotive Merchandising 

2. Examine Their Contributed Content What topics are other C-suite executives covering for them? Are those contributors writing opinion pieces or news? Build your outreach strategy off of what you discover, and be sure to explain why you are qualified to speak on that topic. – Rebekah IliffAirPR 

3. Set Expectations Having been published over 130 times, I can tell you that it’s a ton of work – but rewarding! While my agency has helped numerous clients gain contributor status at relevant publications, what proves more difficult is setting expectations around the amount of work it takes to get published. For instance, each article submission takes approximately 10-15 hours of work, including research. – Kristopher JonesLSEO.com 

4. Blend In Media outlets, now more than ever, require a trusting relationship with contributors. You can’t start off by busting down doors or trying to make the most noise. It takes time for trust to develop. You should start slow and let that happen. Start by blending in, not because it’s capitulation, but because media outlets want contributors that represent them, not the other way around. – Brandon StapperNon Stop Signs 

5. Consider What Your Client’s Key Expertise Is If your client has decided that he wants to contribute content to the media, you should first sit down together and figure out what his key expertise is. Based on this, you’ll know which publications to target for your client and will have an indication as to the type of topics that he should cover in his articles. Making sure that the pieces portray his knowledge is key. – Ayelet NoffBlonde 2.0 

6. Have Something New And Interesting To Say – That’s Not About Your Company Clients who are new to contributed articles often think of them as a new platform to talk about their products and services. The first lesson to teach them is how to think about their expertise and opinions from a big-picture perspective. Then turn that into accessible advice or provocative, interesting commentary. They don’t need to be controversial, but they do need to be thought-provoking. – Gretel GoingChannel V Media 

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