Every budding author can employ a handful of standard written materials to support his or her overall marketing efforts. These include an author biography, news releases, articles, and fact sheets.
A Current Author Bio
A biography is not a resume. A resume is certainly useful for landing a new job or the preparation of proposals, but it is inappropriate for marketing.
A biography (bio) differs from a resume in that the bio is written in third person as if someone is talking about you, and it is not necessarily chronologically organized. A good bio is upbeat and lively, yet authoritative.
When and where do you use a bio? Bios should accompany any articles that you write, and may accompany any press releases about you. They certainly can be included with any other information that you send when in contact with members of the media.
Resumes are relatively boring reading. To submit a resume when a bio is called for is a strong indication to the receiving party that you are not adept at marketing.
My bio (see below) is constructed to accent my speaking service and then the books I have written. If any part of my bio is truncated when published, my speaking credentials are still likely to get mentioned.
The Venerable Press Release
Years back, I discovered the press release. Up until that time, I didn’t realize that pictures and little blurbs that appeared in the paper each night about entrepreneurs, consultants, and business executives were submitted by them. I actually believed that there was a roving reporter seeking out tidbits from the business and professional community!
The average person simply does not realize that the media needs them. Newspapers, magazines, and other media are constantly looking for stories and press releases that they can run to fill their pages. Looking in the papers and seeing what others had sent in made me realize that every other thing that I was doing could also be worked into a news release.
Essentially a good news release contains the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why, as well as how. It is written in a cone-like fashion or, in other words, the most important information is presented first and less important information down at the bottom. The release must be easy to read and snappy – no long sentences, or it will lose the editor’s attention right from the start.
Writing an article it is not nearly as tough as most people think it is. Many publications routinely edit your material. They are more interested in receiving interesting themes and informative concepts submitted by people with the right qualifications.
Whether or not you extract articles from your books, you undoubtedly have information that will be of interest to your clients and prospects. With thousands of magazines, newspapers, journals, and newsletters in print, more than one million by-line articles appear in the U.S. alone each year. A significant number of those are by first-time authors. As our society becomes more technologically sophisticated, the potential to get an article published will increase dramatically.
Fact sheets have successfully been used by people who wish to highlight a particular service in a simple, cost effective way. A fact sheet is a one page list of data about a particular topic or service you offer. The sheets can be presented in question and answer format. The fact sheet represents an important element of a media or press kit and is particularly useful for getting on radio and TV.
If all of the above sounds like a lot of work, think again. You only need to devote about four extra hours a month over the course of a year to develop a full complement of these effective marketing tools.
Jeff Davidson Bio
Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, aka The Work-Life Balance Expert®, offers keynote presentations and workshops on creating work-life balance, managing the pace with grace, and thriving in a hyper-accelerated world. Jeff is the leading personal brand in speaking, writing, and reflecting on work-life balance issues, and he has a passion for speaking to organizations who want to help their employees make rapid progress in this arena. He has spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse.
Jeff is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living,and The 60-Second Organizer. Jeff’s books have been published in 19 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Turkish, and Russian; have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers; and promoted in Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Jeff has been interviewed by the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and USA Today, and by Businessweek, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes Travel, and Fortune.
He is a columnist for 18 publications, among them Accounting Web, Association News, Public Manager, Human Resources IQ, Physicians Practice, Inside Business, Plan Your Meetings, Insurance Business America, Practical Lawyer, and Real Estate Professional. Jeff also is an Advisory Board member for The Organized Executive, a monthly publication of Columbia Books.