If you weren’t trained as a writer, you might think writing isn’t for you. Whether this is because you stumbled upon your teenage sister’s journal of kitty poetry when you were young or because you were subjected to Beowulf one time too many, you’re really missing out. Besides making a name for yourself, becoming an author can boost your business prospects and help you brand yourself – and your company. Launching a writing career can provide a lot more than just an ego boost.
Okay, there is an ego boost inherent in getting published. Despite what some guys will say, most love attention and recognition. (You liars know who you are.) Seeing your name in print can be very rewarding from an emotional (egotistical) standpoint. It’s recognition that you have something valuable to say, and that’s important for anyone establishing himself.
And, really, a boost to the ego isn’t a negative thing. It can build your confidence, which is crucial in any industry. If you’re running your own company – or planning to – getting published will ensure that you feel like you’re contributing to your field in a more expansive way. I was recently published in Forbes, for example, and I smirk whenever I pass someone reading it. They might have read my piece!
The personal benefits are all well and good, but even more important are the branding advantages. People are advertising-savvy these days, and they recognize blatant ads (even press releases) for what they are. Getting published is securing media recognition that feels organic – readers understand that, by printing your insights, the publications are verifying your authority. These seemingly neutral third-party recommendations are often far more powerful than paid advertising. People trust reputable publications because they have the option to censor your thoughts and package you – and they’ve still opted to let your words stand. That’s a powerful seal of approval.
Even better, these publications get your company’s name out in a roundabout way. People who are previously unfamiliar with your articles, but have heard of your company, will often research your brand online before making a purchasing decision. Having credible articles online, displaying your expertise, will boost their confidence in your service or product.
It works the opposite way as well. Most published articles come with a byline or bio that links back to your company’s site. People will click-through if your articles have intrigued them. Remember that publishing opportunities snowball – the more press you receive, the more your reputation builds. Bigger fish will eventually ask you to swim in their ponds, and this reaches a bigger audience. Getting published in multiple outlets, or on progressively larger ones, ensures that more people are seeing your name and seeking you out.
Networking Made Easier
Every professional, business owner or not, looks for ways to build his list of contacts. Traditional networking is always an option, but in this electronic age, it would be a disappointment to not take advantage of online networking. Writing well-read articles does much of the work for you.
Look at it this way: when you write articles that others read, they find you – you don’t have to approach them. This is a huge time saver (no more endlessly stalking people on Facebook – not that you ever did that), and it gives you an “in” with people you might not have had the opportunity to work with before. And once you do get in front of these people, the balance of power is swayed your way. (Is there a guy who doesn’t love being king of the hill?) Having an additional bargaining chip is huge when you’re making deals, seeking investors or simply cultivating an image.
This is the Age of Google, no two ways about it. People now research each other online, particularly when a business relationship is looking to turn serious. The almighty search engine gives us a “feel” for the person we might be working with, in place of old-fashioned face-to-face meetings. Having your articles highlighted in search engine results demonstrates that you’re the real deal (which is important, with so many scammers these days) and have insight in your industry worth publishing.
I won’t subject you to Nic’s Poetry: The Early Years, but search for my name online and you’ll see several of the articles I’ve published. I’ve seen firsthand how publishing opportunities can enhance your reputation – and the boost to my company has been anything but weak. Forget your sister’s epic poems about her tabby cat, Sprinkles, and try writing something about your industry. There’s nothing manlier than a guy who’s smart enough to know what’s good for him.