It costs a lot of money to advertise whether you are using newspaper ads, direct mail or postcards. You want to make sure it gets read or it’s like throwing money in the garbage can. That’s why we use your handwriting on our postcards.
But how do you get a free ad in the newspaper that get read?
No it’s not a guest column, though that is a great gig if you can get it. It has just become very difficult to get a column now that everyone is begging the paper to give them one. However, there is a great, free way to get your name, expertise, knowledge and morality featured in the paper once a quarter.
The “letter to the editor”. It is the third most read part of the paper, after the obits and sports. It’s simple, easy and carries a big stick. It will not get you immediate business but I cannot tell you how many times people will tell me, when they are signing paperwork, that they saw my letter to the editor and liked it. And my best referring clients are also the clients that will call me to comment on my letter to the editor.
When I recommend using “letters to the editor” to advisers they always ask, “But what do I write?”
Simply, pick a topic that will allow you to advocate for your target market. If your target market is Seniors then advocate changes in Medicare or Social Security in the letter. If your target market is college funding then talk about the inequities of how college is being funded by government. If your target market is home loans, comment about the dangers of loans and the direction of interest rates.
Always be looking and listening to the news for an opportunity or topic to comment on in the “letter to the editor.” Send them about every 3 or 4 months. Any more and the paper may get annoyed. If your first letter doesn’t get accepted don’t worry about it, about 1/2 of mine are accepted in a large city newspaper. It just depends on what’s going on in the news and how much it is stirring up opinions. Still, 50% placement of free “ads” that trumpet your expertise, authority and advocacy for you target market, that’s worth 20 minutes writing a quick “letter to the editor” isn’t it?