Trade publications can get you free publicity where it really matters: where prospective customers will see it.
Your publicity dreams may include being featured in Forbes, Fortune, Time, Inc., and other magazines read by millions. Appearing in those publications can boost both your ego and your business.
A feature in Nailpro may not have the same cachet, but if your clients are nail salons, you should be there. Trade magazines and newsletters give you exposure where it counts—with your potential customers.
You may already know of some publications in your industry, but you can learn more about them and discover new ones in media directories at your library. Standard Rate and Data Service publishes information about magazines’ demographics, circulation, ad rates, etc. Writer’s Market, Gale Directory of Publications and others will provide lots of leads.
Remember that you are not necessarily interested in publications that are read by you and your competitors, you are looking for those read by your potential customers. Another way to locate magazines and newsletters of interest to your target market is to ask your current clients which ones they value.
When you find information about a publication with which you are unfamiliar, request sample copies and writer’s guidelines. Then, study them to see how you might be able to fit into their editorial needs and provide information of use to their readers.
Send press releases to announce news. Do you have a new product their readers need to know about? Do you know something that can help them be more successful? You may get a blurb or a story out of it.
Offer your products for review. Books, tools, technology and other products are reviewed in many trade publications.
Write articles for publication. You may get paid for the articles but, whether free or fee, you should insist on a byline that identifies you and your company and includes contact information, such as a phone number or web site URL. Reprints of these articles can also be used in your media kit and in proposals, or simply mailed to clients and potential clients.
Send a letter introducing yourself and describing your background and areas of expertise. Let them know you are available for interview when they need information about the topics on which you are an expert. They may run a profile of you, or contact you for a quote within an article. If they have a feature where readers submit questions to be answered by experts, offer yourself as one of the experts.
Suggest a column. You may be able to land a monthly column by sending a few (three to six) sample columns to the editor, along with a description of your vision for the column.
Look for other opportunities to get your information published. Does the magazine run case studies? Maybe your company can be featured, or you can share a client’s story (with the client’s permission, of course). Do they run contests or polls asking readers to comment on an issue or problem? Respond. Write letters to the editor. Consider the publication’s current features and see how you can fit in and benefit their readers.