So you have coach training and some experience. But you’re ready to get out there and build a robust coaching practice that sustains your life.
But how do you reach more people and get your coaching business attention? Guest posting may be the strategy you need. Guest posting is writing an article for an influential website or blog that speaks to your target audience. Doing so, you build your reputation as a thought-leader and expert, you offer useful information and you widen your reach.
Even if you have heard of guest posting, you might be wondering how it works. Here are three steps to get you a guest post opportunity.
Step One: Come Up With a Great Idea
There are four hallmarks of a great pitchable idea – make it specific, relevant, timely and actionable.
- Take a typical idea and make it unique by tweaking it to speak to a very specific audience about a very specific topic.
- Make it relevant based on the audience or the issues of the day.
- Think about timeliness in terms of the trends in the industry and what’s happening this time of year.
- Finally, make your idea actionable by providing useful tips your audience can implement immediately.
Here’s an example: You might want to write about how to break through personal blocks. When you tweak this idea to include the four pillars of a pitchable idea, you might end up writing an article called “Six Steps to Make This the Year You Ditch Your High-Powered Career and Search for Real Fulfillment.”
This idea is specific because it speaks to people in high-powered careers. It’s relevant because perhaps you’ll pitch this idea to a website that speaks to personal development for people in high-powered careers. It’s timely because you’ve incorporated the “New Year” angle. And it’s actionable because you’re including “steps” in your information delivery.
If you try to write an article that resonates with everyone, it will be too general and will not resonate with anyone.
Step 2: Find Outlets to Publish Your Guest Post
This is the key element of a successful guest post. You want to find outlets that are speaking to the same audience you’re looking to attract.
There are huge outlets, like Huffington Post, that take guest posts but where getting lost in the shuffle is more likely than going viral. And then there are specialized outlets that target a responsive, interested audience.
Here is how to find these outlets:
Start by building a “reading list” in your browser so that you can consistently read these sites and become acquainted with their content. This familiarity is key when pitching an outlet.
Make a list of what you’re reading: Think about your favorite publications. Add them to your reading list, then visit those sites and check for links to any other like-minded publications.
Make a list of what your clients read: Think about profiling your ideal client. What does she read? Ask her. Start adding those sites to your reading list, too.
Make a list of all the publications you’ve seen that featured colleagues or coaches you admire: Check out where people you admire have been featured. Look on their websites under “press” or Google their name and the term “guest posts.” Add the sites to your reading list.
Make a list of your own connections, associations, organizations, communities: Think about your niche and look at whether your associations or alumni organizations have any publications. Also, check for local publications or newsletters that go to members of any community organizations you’re a part of. (Your local Y, your gym, your religious institution)
As you become even more clear on the websites or publications you’d like to pitch, create a spreadsheet called “Media List.” Add to it over time.
Part 3: Write a Successful Article Pitch
Your pitch will have five essential components. Here they are:
- Show you know the outlet: Throughout your reading, you’ve become familiar with the publication’s tone and content. Show you know and appreciate the website or magazine content by saying so and addressing a recent article that was meaningful to you. Keep it short but be specific and honest.
- Tell them who you are and what you can offer: You can write something as simple as “I’m a _______ who does _________ for _________ [fill in the blanks with information specific to your practice] I am writing to see if you might be interested in an article on ______________[your article idea here]_________________.
- Tell them what they will get: This is the perfect opportunity to flesh out your idea a little further. In advance of your pitch, you’ll want to put in some time researching and brainstorming so in this section of your pitch you can write what you conceive as the main point of your article and some of the tips you will offer.
- Tell them why you are perfect to deliver this information: Offer a quick blurb on your background and training. Make sure to mention where you’ve written before (and provide links.) If you haven’t been published elsewhere, do not let that stop you!
- Make the ask: Cap off your pitch with this call-to-action (or something similar in your own voice) “Please let me know if I may write ______[title of your idea here]______ for ______[name of publication here]______.”
Remember you are pitching an idea, first and foremost. You are secondarily pitching yourself as the expert who can deliver useful information to support that idea.
Now that you know how to come up with pitchable ideas, find the perfect outlets that speak to your ideal audience and write a pitch that will result in placements, it’s time to act.
Ask me your most burning question about pitching (about ideas, outlets, the pitch itself). I’m here to support you. When you land your guest post opportunities, post the links in the comments below, or tweet at me @AmandaBerlin.
About the author:
Since graduating CFT in 2012, Amanda Berlin had a huge epiphany, realizing she could serve her beloved coaching community with the very skills she’d honed as a corporate pitch writer with over 12 years of experience. It gave new meaning to her skill set as she now “uses her pitch powers for good!” Amanda works with coaches and mindful entrepreneurs to help them get their names out there, raise their profile, and ultimately serve more people. You can learn more about Amanda here. And learn more about her online course “Pitch School: Six Lessons in Pitching to Spark Business Fame,” here.