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Publicity: Your Best Free Recruiting Tool

Sep 16, 2010

Posted by

Carla Cross

About Carla Cross, CRB, MA                           Read more

You’re a real estate professional. You have limited advertising or recruiting funds. Yet, you want to gain more clients and/or recruit more. One of the best strategies I’ve found is to write articles that get published, and use those articles in all of your marketing strategies.

Why This Strategy is so Dynamic

It’s free.

Most managers won’t bother to write.

Some people can’t write.

You’ll have no competition!

It makes you look like a leader in the industry.

• It provides you much greater credibility than paid advertising.

Here are the steps to follow to write articles that are valuable and that get published every time. 

The Process: Simple and Straightforward

Writing an article follows the same process composers use in writing a popular tune: It starts with the theme (A), continues with the middle, where you expand on the idea and example (B), and ends again with the theme. When I’m teaching my Train the Trainer course, we practice this simple structure when we create training programs.

The Eight Simple Steps to Exceptional Articles

Here are the simple steps I’ve used over the years to create articles that have gotten published hundreds of times in major real estate magazines and newsletters:

1.) Decide on who your audience is, so you realize for whom you’re writing.

2.) Decide on the challenge (s) they have that you want to address.

3.) Jot down all the ideas you have about the challenges and solutions.

4.) Narrow the topic so you can zero in specifically on what you want to write about.  The biggest mistake writers and teachers make is to choose too broad a topic for the time or word framework.  For example, it's difficult to write 500 words on how to create a team. You CAN write 500 words about why to create a team; or three strategic tips in creating a team.

5.) Choose one to three ideas to discuss.

6.) Arrange the topics in the order you want to discuss them.

7.) To expand on the ideas, present the idea clearly and then give an example. One commonality I’ve found among editors is that they want examples with the idea. Otherwise, the reader doesn’t really get the picture.

8.) Close the article with the reiteration of your challenge and solution, and give your audience positive motivation to take action.            

Biggest Mistakes and Lessons

From writing all those articles, here are the lessons I’ve learned:

1.) A smaller topic is better -- too often, we try to give people everything we know in 300 words.

2.) Less ideas are better -- we sometimes cram too many ideas into the article.

3.) More examples are better -- without the stories, people won’t "get it." 

So, in about 400-500 words, you'll only have time for one to three ideas and examples. Make the examples "real life." Also, be sure your article is as perfect as you can get it before submitting. These editors don't have time to work with any of us in extensive editing. The person who submits articles "ready to go" gets published much more often!

Do a Little Research First

Pick up your favorite real estate magazine or newsletter. See the kind of articles that the publisher likes. Note the length. Ask yourself: Why would my articles be a benefit to that publication? Then, contact the publisher for article specifications and submission policies. You’re on your way to standing out as an exceptional manager! 

Choose Publications that Are Right for You

Make a list of hard copy and Internet-based magazines and newsletters. That becomes your "distribution list." Each month, I submit at least one article to my list -- all at once (your contact management program is invaluable to put your PR contacts in a field so you can communicate easily). I have a "template" that I use each time, which points out the link to the article. I ask the editor to include my biography with "hot links" so readers can get the free documents I usually provide with each article -- and can go to my website.

Armed with these suggestions, you can become the ‘publicity maven’ of the real estate industry. You’ll have little competition, and you’ll create stunning marketing vehicles at no cost.