In this walkthrough, I'm going to share some insights on how you can get featured in Forbes. I'll guide you through the process, from finding the right category to understanding the contributors and their articles.
I'll also provide tips on how to approach them and tailor your pitch.
If you have follow up questions, just tweet me here.
How to get featured on Forbes:
I am by no means an official correspondent, just a contributor who is approached many times every week!
From seeing a lot of awesome (and terrible) pitches, here's the process I recommend you follow to stand the best chance of getting noticed and delivering a relevant pitch.
- Research topics and categories via forbes.com, using the left-hand navigation.
- Find active contributors in your area of expertise and shortlist 5-10.
- Look at their profile for their headlines and article content, their social media links and contact details, their top performing posts. Take notes.
- Explore their Forbes profile in depth and get an idea for what they write about. In your notes list the areas of your expertise that could fit with their profile, the needs of your shared audience, and potential headlines or topics you could approach them with.
- Spot themes and patterns in the format of their articles and how or if they quote sources. If a contributor only writes opinion pieces and rarely references, move onto someone else rather than approach them with an irrelevant idea.
- Follow the contributors on social media, check out their TEDx talks, blogs and websites and look for things you have in common.
- Pop it in your calendar to keep up to date with what they write about on a regular basis, ready for that great idea to move forward with. Be patient, it may not arrive straight away.
- When you have an idea that you think will fit, don't use a template, non-personalised approach message. It's far better to send fewer, hyper-relevant approaches than generic ones they will just ignore.
- Include a few lines about you, focusing on your credibility. Always think, "why will their audience care about this?"
- Don't take it personally if they don't get back to you or are blunt with their response. It might not be the right time and they may not have seen your message.
- Follow up. Keep finding new angles, keep looking to add value, keep thinking about how you can help them with their articles (rather than how they can help you get featured).
- Revisit the Forbes homepage to find new contributors in your swimlane and go again.
In the walkthrough I mentioned credibility. Here's more about this:
- Being featured gives you credibility, but contributors want to know that you are credible source before they include your story or quotes. (Chicken and egg much?)
- Your personal brand matters here. Look at your website and social media profiles with fresh eyes. How can you demonstrate your expertise?
- Factors may include your brand's appearance, social media following, other media inclusions, client testimonials, your own blog, insights or research on your topic.
- In short, build your own house first. Make yourself a no-brainer for inclusion.
Why is this advice relevant to Forbes specifically?
But Jodie, plenty of media outlets have contributors. Why should I focus on Forbes?
- The Forbes site splits articles into discrete topics and swim lanes.
- This make it easy to find contributors by expertise and see what they’re writing about as well as how popular their articles are.
- This makes it super simple to see where you could be featured.
What shall I do if this doesn't work?
This might not work straight away. It will likely take concerted effort and only you can decide if you're heading in the right direction.
Here are some other considerations if you're really not getting anywhere.
- Not every contributor wants a title pitched to them. They may prefer concepts or ideas for topics or articles in general.
- They may prefer you to simply get on their radar as a possible source, in which case you should lead with your bio and areas you can comment on.
- Test a few methods with different contributors and see which gives the best response.
There is a way to do this and if you keep going you will find it.
- Forbes contributors want content. They are often genuinely on the look out for stories that will add value to their audience. They may be actively looking to increase the number of articles they publish.
- If they're not responding, you likely haven't sold them an angle they want to pursue.
- If it was easy, everyone would be doing it 😊