Two weeks ago, I had an article published on Forbes! When I received the email with the link to my piece, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I remember making a list last year of 100 things I want to do before I die and this was one of them. I couldn’t believe it happened before I’d imagined! Needless to say, I shared the post everywhere – my email list, social media networks – and with basically everyone I know.
The news was well received! This was one of the highlights of my writing career. A lot of people asked how I landed the opportunity so I decided to answer it in a post.
Here’s the story of how I got an article published on Forbes.
This may surprise you, but it happened in the most unexpected way. I was browsing my LinkedIn feed one day when a notification popped up. I mindlessly clicked on it then jumped out of my seat when I realized what it was about. A friend had recommended me under the status of an editor from Forbes. She was looking for millennial writers to contribute to their website and I was listed as a potential candidate. I immediately thanked my friend and affirmed my interest in the opportunity. Next, the editor reached out to me via email. She had actually checked out my website and found my contact information on there. I was over the moon.
What followed was a mini-interview where I had to craft a pitch and suggest some new posts. I didn’t hear from her until the following two weeks as she had to vet multiple writers. I was starting to get discouraged thinking there was a chance I’d get rejected. She eventually got back to me. They wanted to move forward with my piece.
And there it was! A few emails and a round of edits later, my article went live on Forbes! Although it happened unexpectedly, the steps I had previously taken led me to that moment. If it wasn’t for my work and my habit of showcasing it online, my friend would’ve probably never thought to recommend me. It may seem like no one’s watching when you share your work, but people do notice and this helps you stay top of mind when an opportunity comes up.
Whether you’re looking to take your writing career to the next level or grow your personal brand, you can apply my story to your particular situation. Here are the main takeaways:
Talk about your work online
Let people know what you do. Better yet, show them. Have a blog post, a cool graphic or an app you’ve worked on? Share it online! When people frequently see what you do, they will come to know you as an expert in your particular field.
Take care of your personal brand
Invest in your professional development by building a brand. You can think of it as your footprint. It tells the world the story of what you do and what you stand for. Entertain opportunities that allow you to expand your brand and reach new audiences. This can mean speaking at local events, contributing to different publications or being featured on podcasts. Be sure to always document your process along the way.
Leverage social media to build relationships
Just like you can make friends on Instagram, you can build authentic relationships with potential mentors, employers, business associates and colleagues. You just have to use each platform to its full potential. For example, don’t just passively scroll through your LinkedIn feed. Find new people to connect with and send them a message. Read about the news in your industry and repost relevant articles. Write a blog post that demonstrates your expertise. On Twitter, see what recruiters or people you admire are posting. Interact with them and eventually, ask them out for coffee.
You may not hear from everyone, but if someone takes the time to respond, be sure to follow up. A lot of relationships are left unbuilt from people not following up. So be sure to carry out the plan and take your connections offline. Your network is a crucial factor in your career development. Don’t neglect it.