When you make the effort to stand out, you get noticed…and you get business.
Recognition as a thought leader in one’s industry is key to gaining credibility and building trust for one’s business. Becoming the “Go-to Expert” in a field leads to an invaluable perception of authority and can accelerate business relationships which, in turn, contribute to increased demand for the Expert’s goods or services.
In other words, being considered “respected” or “popular” makes people want to hire you or buy from you. If you create your own “fan club,” members of your fan club will hire your or refer you to their circle of connections.
And, when you’re the Expert and “spread the word” about your expertise online, you increase your sphere of influence and improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), allowing even more potential customers to find you.
- Know your Audience: Who wants to hear from you and what they want to hear about
- Clarify your Brand: Be selective in your offerings; don’t try to be all things to all prospects
- Develop your Value Proposition: Buyers want to know what is unique about your offering
- Have a Website that is well-designed, strongly-branded and easy to navigate
20 Ways to Get Known as a Go-to Expert or Thought Leader:
1. Use Content Marketing to talk about what you do, whom you do it for and the Value of working with you.
2. Introduce yourself, via video, on your website (or use a clip from a recent presentation or speaking engagement).
3. Publish a Business Blog regularly on your website – create custom content that your viewers will find helpful and relevant to their business.
4. Implement an Email Marketing program to stay “top of mind” with readers – include your blog posts, industry news, case studies, professional accomplishments or notice of an upcoming presentation.
5. Use your selected Social Media platforms to promote your custom and curated content that targets your audience.
6. Guest Blog in media accessed by your audience (this also helps SEO).
7. Secure Testimonials that reinforce the Benefits of working with you — post them on your site and include them in your email marketing and in social media updates.
8. Ask satisfied customers to post a LinkedIn Recommendation about your work with them.
9. Distribute Press Releases that document recent accolades, new hires, or other newsworthy company event.
10. Undertake Speaking Presentations at industry conferences and events; sign up with Speaker’s Bureaus and market yourself as a Content Expert.
11. Sponsor Events that target your potential audience (not just your industry competition) – particularly events that adequately promote the sponsors in their email promotion, on the event’s website, on signs and banners, etc.
12. Volunteer your services to organizations; talk about their good deeds…and yours.
13. Toot Your Own Horn: Publicize any Awards, Honors and Achievements via email, social media and other promotional channels.
14. Use your Email Signature as a mini-promotion: include a link to your latest blog post, a one or two line “Quick Tip” or other newsworthy item.
15. Repurpose your custom content on Publishing Platforms like Medium, LinkedIn Pulse or MosaicHub.
16. Embrace Authorship: Gather a series of related blog posts and publish an ebook.
17. Spend time researching and writing longer pieces of content like reports and white papers; these can be marketed as Gated Content to further promote your company (and expand your email list!).
18. Engage in Native Advertising: less blatant than traditional ads, the content type and style aligns with the chosen medium’s look (a meme on Instagram; an interactive calculator on a financial site; a “how to” recipe video on a food site).
19. Be generous with Referrals — those you help will think of you first when they have a need for your services.
20. And always remember to Engage in the Conversation: monitor retweets, LinkedIn endorsements, your blog and social media comments. Answer questions in LinkedIn groups or Quora, MosaicHub or other Q&A sites that focus on specific industries.
You may be an expert in your field, but unless you put out the word, your knowledge is wasted…and you’ve missed a perfectly good branding and marketing opportunity.
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Want help spreading the word about your business? Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing, content marketing and social media expert. Using traditional and online marketing strategies to start, grow and promote businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing ebook: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.