How to Become an Influencer in Your Niche
Passionate people! You’ve seen them. Just think about the idolizing fans in those videos of rock star bands. They’re staring up at their idols with adoring eyes and expressions that sometimes cause you to shake your head in wonder.
And haven’t you thought, at some point in the past, what if that were me they were idolizing …
Nah! That’s crazy thinking! You know the celebrity lifestyle is pretty difficult … but just to experience it once … maybe …
As a copywriter, you may not be a rock star, but you could work your way up to being an influencer — one who has thousands of enthusiastic fans … er … followers — who are passionate about their niche industry.
And all you need to do to get these passionate followers is to consistently publish content your audience wants to read.
Yes, in saying this, I’m being overly simplistic. But that’s the bottom line. That’s what others have done over and over to build their following.
They started off the way you’re starting — they published content on their niche blog and referenced it from their social media sites. And they consistently kept doing it, just like you’re doing.
So … what else did they do?
They leveraged the passionate audiences of influencers they were following and published in other niche publications. Eventually, they achieved influencer status.
Niche publications and influencer blogs are the experts in your niche market, pulling in thousands of passionate people wanting to read what they post.
So, when you get your byline in these niche publications and blogs you’re also perceived as an expert by the readers (passionate prospects). They likely didn’t realize you existed until they read your article in one of their favorite niche publications.
Some of these passionate prospects will click on your byline link and go to your website to read more and see if you’re the real deal.
Clearly, you need to get your articles and other content in front of the eyeballs of those large, passionate audiences so you can grow your copywriting business.
But getting into niche industry publications requires finding the niche publications and influencer blogs — and then learning and applying the practical strategies to get your article published.
So, let’s explore how to do that …
What types of niche specific publications are out there? And how do you target them?
Your blog and social media sites are one type of niche specific publication. The influencer’s blog is in this group. Niche specific magazines and trade association newsletters are another type. A third is niche company newsletters. (Say what? Yes, really!) I’ll share more on how to use them, later.
Let’s look at influencer blogs first …
You should target the mid-level niche influencers to get content on their blogs. They have a large following, which hopefully includes you. Targeting this group of influencers will eventually expose you to the top-tier influencers.
Finding niche specific blogs is easy with the online tools available. Blogs of influencers are ranked by their number of followers and number of mentions to achieve a social rank. Using the tools below, you can determine which ones are best for you to target.
- Technorati will help you identify bloggers in your niche who will likely appreciate a guest post from you targeting their audience.
- BlogCatalog allows you to locate blogs that target your niche market. Once you choose a blog whose audience is perfect for you, provide helpful comments and interact in group discussions to get “noticed” by the influencer.
- EatonWeb, one of the older blog directories, provides a comparison of strength, momentum, and overall metrics of blogs to help you select the best ones to target.
Once you’ve found your bloggers, you need to get noticed. These influencers won’t even respond to you unless you’ve been …
- following them.
- commenting on their articles.
- answering their followers’ questions.
- starting conversations.
- sharing links from their content on your social media sites.
- asking for quotes from them for articles you’ve written.
At this point they will know you and have probably checked out your website content. Now it’s time to propose a guest post on their blog. You could send the following email message or one similar to it.
"I just wrote the attached article suggesting a solution to X problem in our niche industry. Would you consider using it for a guest post?" (Yes, you send them the completed article to read because you’re still a new writer in the niche.)
Since you’ve done your absolute best work, the answer will likely be “yes,” and you’ll be on your way to getting some great exposure before the passionate people of your niche. And once the door is opened by one blogger, you can leverage that one to get a lot more to respond positively.
Now let’s look at niche specific publications.
Finding these publications usually requires a simple browser search. Use your general niche industry name followed by the words “trade association” for trade association publications and “magazine” for niche specific magazines.
For instance, I used “education supplies trade association.” It gave me the top three trade associations in the world for my niche.
Once you have the association name, go to their website and check to see what publications they have. Mine each had a newsletter and other content pieces.
When I checked for magazines using the above terms, I got catalogs and online stores. Next I tried “educational magazines” and three websites listed the top 50 education magazines in the world. But their audience is front-line educators, not my prospects.
So, I will need to survey my niche prospects to see what industry magazines they do read. I can then confidently target the best of those magazines. And if there is no niche magazine, and there’s sufficient demand … that’s an opportunity to start one.
I also checked “natural health magazines,” another passion of mine, in my browser and the first three pages listed 20 different online magazines in three countries. So check your niche and see what a browser search turns up. You may have many online magazines to choose from.
Read the newsletters and magazines you choose to get to know their approach and audience. Knowing and using the writing style, preferred article length, tone, and content format for each publication you are interested in will likely get you published in that newsletter or magazine.
Article submission guidelines (if available) are usually on the website. If you can’t find them, use their contact method, and ask either what their guidelines are or where to find them. Follow those guidelines to the letter. Then send in your article.
Once you’ve determined the publication you wish to write for, read at least one newsletter or magazine, and studied the guidelines, it’s time to decide on the topic you wish to write about.
Suppose, for instance, that you came up with a breakthrough idea or solved a major industry problem. Or that your client and you, in a consultative role, perfected and successfully implemented a new workflow process. Or that your client created a new product. You’d be very pleased with any of these results.
You’d naturally want to share these results for either commercial gain (press release you write) and/or to advance the industry to a new level (idea article you write). So, you prepare these content pieces for a niche trade association newsletter or niche magazine.
To insure that your article will be published,
- your idea should be useful, reflecting a unique solution to a hot topic or problem.
- you need to be very knowledgeable about the work.
- investigate whether the idea or solution can be applied to related fields.
- integrate technology into the idea or solution to appeal to a wider audience.
- check electronic lists to see if the idea is really new. If not, focus on the new aspect of the idea, showing how it fits into already published information.
- article topics must be clear and concise and use graphic examples so the reader can comprehend and use the idea.
Now that you know what to do and how to do it, it’s time for a simple query.
“I’m contacting you because I am passionate about X, and I’m wondering if you accept targeted, industry specific articles from freelance copywriters. I believe (article title) would be an excellent topic for your readers.
“You can read more about me and view samples here. Thank you for your time and consideration.” (link to your best blog)
Your passion should come through in your linked articles and videos. It will make getting into niche magazines and trade publications a lot easier.
Remember my company newsletter comment?
Finally, you can target company newsletters. This is a bold approach, but any company publishing a newsletter is always looking for good articles … especially ones addressing a concern of their customers and prospects.
Choose companies you’d love to work for that haven’t yet responded to your marketing emails. Use your marketing research and write an article addressing a concern of their customers and prospects. Include a short bio with it showing your expertise in the niche.
Yes, it’s spec, but when you suggest they put it into their newsletter, they may take you up on it. Ask them to let you know when they publish the article. (Be sure and let them know it’s not a freebie.)
When they publish it, you score twice. It’s now a lot easier to suggest another project as you share your copywriting services. And since companies in the industry read each other’s newsletters, you’ll get additional exposure to key prospects in your niche market.
Okay, passionate person … now that you’ve put into play one or more of these strategies, you should be well on your way to becoming an expert (due to your carefully researched articles) and influencer (due to your growing circle of new followers) in your niche market.
And in the process, you’ve likely picked up a number of new clients, providing you with consistent, paid projects. As a passionate niche copywriter, you’re sure to love that new life.
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