Speaking of credibility, let me just get mine out of the way. Since January 1984, I have had an article published in a major trade magazine in this industry every month except one. The one month I missed was the month between transferring my column from Registered Representative to Research. I have had two books published, one in 1986 which was reissued in 1997. My new one, Hot Prospects, was published in August by Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
So when I talk about the importance of getting published, I do know what I’m talking about.
The Two RequirementsYou have to have two qualities to get published:
You have to have something to say.
You have to have the will to follow through on a complex project requiring months or even years.
Note: You do not have to be a good writer. There are plenty of editors that can take your thoughts and frame them correctly. Caution: In today’s regulatory environment, the old days where you could pay somebody to put your name on a chapter and you show up in a book with 10 other financial advisors are, thankfully, over. It has to be your ideas. But any writer needs an editor. You just need to find one.
What Should You Publish?Today, you need to think in terms of two options. You can write a book, or you can write an article suitable for publication in a newspaper or magazine. If you can’t get either of those done, you can start a blog and send copies of what you publish there to your clients. (Yes, with persistence, you can get compliance approval to do this.)
Let’s talk about the magazine route first.
If you have decent material, and that means “up to professional standards” as far as the quality of the material, and the interest it may hold for the readers of a particular publication, you can usually get it published.
The actual drill goes like this: Find a publication that you think will take your material. Cold-call the editor as follows:
YOU: Good morning, this is Bob Barr King. I’m a financial adviser here in Ditch Water. I have written a 764-word piece on (topic). May I send it to you?
EDITOR: Eh … sure.
It’s called “foot in the door,” “snout under the tent.” Many editors, especially of smaller publications, need material. They don’t want to have to pay for it. You may get a phone call from advertising sales suggesting, tactfully or not, that you should buy an ad. So do it.
To build credibility over time, do the above again and again.