So how do you get published? It's easier than you might think. But before you get excited about writing on any topic, stop and consider some important factors that will help you get the most out your effort. What services do you provide as a consultant? Who is your target audience for each of these services? Which publications do they read? Are the readers of those publications in a position to hire or influence hiring you? If not, which publications do the "decision makers" read? What kinds of articles appear in those publications? Can you contribute a meaningful story, involving something in your area of expertise, to those publications?
Answering these somewhat simple questions forces you to find a topic that interests your target market while demonstrating your expertise. This formula will help establish you as an authority in your field.
Need a little help finding some publications? Here are a few places to look:
Read the publications you selected to see what kinds of articles they publish. Are the stories tutorial in nature such as "how to" or introductory articles? Are they news items such as trends or the latest computer virus scare (remember Michelangelo)? Think about how your area of expertise fits into the general theme of these articles. Then, come up with a list of ideas and topics that you are qualified to write about.
Next, contact the editors of the publications. For newsletters, a phone call to the editor is acceptable. Ask if they are interested in an article on one of the topics on your list. Since newsletters are often published by volunteers, they probably cannot pay you. For magazines or tabloids, a "query letter" is the acceptable form of contact. This letter is essentially a one-page proposal describing your idea, your qualifications, and the reasons they should carry the article. Your library has books on writing query letters. Keep in mind that editors are not necessarily industry experts. This means you may have to do some explaining to convince them that your idea is worth publishing.
Once you get an assignment, get to work! Editors have deadlines. If they told you that they want your story by the 15th, get it in by the 15th! If you are late, you probably will not get any more assignments by that publication. As you write, remember that the article is not an ad for your services. Write an informing article that is consistent with the publication's theme. Have a trusted colleague or professional writer review your work for clarity, content, and organization. The less work you create for the editor, the happier he or she will be (read: they will call you again for more articles).
After your article is published, make copies to use with your marketing literature. Don't be surprised if you get a phone call or two from prospective clients.