How Not to Read a Business Magazine
Heaven, or some smart marketer, sent me a copy of Selling Power today. Not my usual biz magazine of choice, but the April issue is chocked full with useful information and story ideas.
As I perused the table of contents, I thought about how I used to read these magazines. If there wasn't anything ADR or human resources related on the cover, I didn't buy it. What a waste. I don't want you to make the same mistakes, so here are some tips on how NOT to read a business magazine:
Mistake 1 - Don't read any business magazines.
We are in business, people, regardless of whether we call our work a practice or calling. We need to know about and understand the workings of business. And where can we find those topics? Business magazines, blogs, newsletters, and columns.
Take baby steps and start with Inc. Magazine, the handbook for the American Entrepreneur. It has a ton of how-to, hands-on content for folks just starting out and those who are growing their business. The online version is pretty good, too.
Mistake 2 - Don't read the table of contents.
Failing to read what's inside the issue is like ordering without looking at the menu. You may get what you want, but how many interesting, exciting things are you missing?
Reading the table of contents will help you to discover new ideas that could benefit your business that you might not have seen if you just read the cover or looked at the article titles alone.
Mistake 3 - Don't read the Editor's letter.
OK, I made this mistake myself until recently (I wanted to get to the meat already!). However, I've learned that the editor shares his or her views not only on what's important in that issue, but also where the magazine is going, in terms of content, over the next few issues. Or, the editor will highlight a growing trend or concerning issue in the introduction. Or, maybe announce a contest that you could win.
Getting all the good stuff.
Business magazines are expensive but they are one of the costs of doing business (you do write off those expenses, right?). Make sure you get your money's worth by reading the entire magazine cover to cover (and I do mean the classifieds, too).
Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.