Are you speaking to the right people?

You’ve written a great article that’s going to change your field. The usual suspects—a colleague, your best friend, the guy down the street, your grandmother—all read your draft. They loved it, but they still gave you a little constructive feedback. You’ve ignored most of that feedback, making only a few trivial changes. But you’ve dotted all the i’s, crossed all the t’s and added a few superfluous punctuation marks. Your article is now ready for the big wide world, and you’re ready to take that final leap…if you can just figure out one thing first.

Where should I share it?

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably got a few options. You could

  • feature it as a page or blog post on your website
  • include it in your next customer newsletter email
  • pitch it to a trade magazine
  • post it on LinkedIn Pulse, Medium or another social publishing platform.

Once you’ve posted the article, you can share it on social media platforms. It’s a good idea to always introduce the article with a short explanation of why you’re sharing it, so your followers know what to expect.

Remember: you’re not limited to your Facebook timeline or personal Twitter feed, either. Most platforms cater for your business identity, either by offering a company page or by allowing multiple accounts. Selecting the right platform (or combination) for each post is the key, though, if you want your target audience to read your article and you don’t want to spend time posting it everywhere.

Tips for picking the right platform

Define your topic and audience: if you’re the manager of a child-care centre, your article on hiring policies will look out of place in your customer newsletter or on your website. Consider sharing it through your professional networks instead.

Understand your online relationships: learn what your followers or fans want from you and deviating too far from that. You want them to click through and read your article, and the parents following you on Twitter are mostly just interested in what the kids got up to today.

Understand the platforms and pick your favourites: it’s always a good idea to give a new platform a chance, even if it’s just to secure your username, but you don’t have to stick with them if they’re not suitable for your business. If your content is all text, a visual platform like Instagram is unlikely to work for you. And if you hate using the platform you’ll never stick with it.

Example

My blog is a showcase for the services I offer, so when I recently wrote an article about pesky pay questions the other night, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good fit for my blog. Instead, I posted it on LinkedIn Pulse, where it was read by hiring managers and recruitment consultants. I closed with some writing and editing tips to help these readers create clear expectations for candidates.

C Word Creative is in the business of writing and editing, not recruiting, so the next challenge was to focus on aspects of the article that were relevant to my blog. What better way than to write about choosing where to post articles?

And that’s what you’re reading now.

Editing pro-tip

When it comes to carving your message, what you leave out is at least as important as what you put in. No matter how intelligent or pretty a sentence sounds, if it’s not perfect for your audience, brand, and platforms, it’s the wrong sentence.