Customers want to deal with someone that can help them. Bottom line. If you want to be that someone and win their business first you'll need to win their trust.
And how do you win their trust? You start by demonstrating your authority and expertise. This gives you credibility.
It doesn’t matter what products or services you offer, your prospects likely have lots of different options to choose from. Being able to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and position yourself as the person or business most suited to serve them is vital to your success.
The secret to getting noticed despite all the noise in the marketplace is to establish your authority. When you have authority, people will pay attention. When you are perceived as a subject matter expert, people will naturally want to work with you. They will seek you out.
Getting to that level is all about positioning. Using a few simple strategies, you can position yourself as the go-to expert for your customers. You can attract business to you. Instead of constantly hustling to find your next client, you can turn yourself into a client magnet and let them find you.
Here are 7-Steps to Becoming An Expert, to position yourself as an expert for your customers:
1. Decide what you want to be an expert or authority on
As with almost every other element of marketing, the more you can focus, the better the results you are likely to generate.
- Pick a handful of topics in your field related to your business. These topics should be areas that you can talk to authoritatively.
- Filter your topics based on whether there's a customer WIFM (What's In It For Me?), and whether the topics are likely to generate interest or engagement.
- For your filtered list, think carefully about the overall message that you want to deliver to your audience. What do you want them to learn? What is your point-of-view?
2. Start writing
A well written article with valuable information is likely to be shared by the people who enjoyed it. This is how content goes viral – through peer-to-peer sharing. By writing regularly, you expose your brand and your business to new audiences on a consistent basis. As you publish and promote your content, you will gradually begin to position yourself as an expert on the topics that you focus on.
- Social media
- Blogs (your own or 3rd party)
- Publications and media - newspapers, magazines, industry journals
Make a list of the most popular publications, journals, websites and blogs in your industry and your community. These are the sites that your ideal clients are visiting regularly to obtain information about your topic. Contact those websites, and request to become a guest contributor. Most website owners are always looking for high quality content to publish on their website that will add value to their visitors.
Write an article exclusively for each website on your list, and include your bio with a link back to your website at the end of your article. This strategy, known as being a guest contributor, helps you get your message in front of new audiences online that may have never discovered you otherwise. You provide content to the media for free, and that content helps direct new visitors to your profile. It’s a win-win.
Challenged with writing?
- Pick your subject
- Think about who you're writing for and what you want them to learn
- Jot down the major points you want to cover
- Outline your article
- Begin filling in around each of your major points
- Create transitions between points
- Write an open and a close
- If you're having a difficult time, you can always hire writers to write for you based on what you tell them, or have them edit your work
Most people are terrified of speaking in public, so when they see someone do it they tend to immediately perceive that person as an expert and a leader. Plus, when you speak to a live audience, you have their undivided attention for the duration of your presentation. This affords you a unique opportunity to engage and connect with a large amount of people at the same time.
If you’ve never spoken in public before, a great starting point to develop your skills is your local Toastmasters Group. This is a non-threatening, positive environment in which people meet regularly to practice their speaking and communication skills. Once you build up some confidence, you can begin speaking at networking events, Meetup groups, seminars or conferences in your industry. If you speak regularly to groups of hundreds, or even thousands of people, you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry very quickly.
Most podcast hosts are always on the lookout for more guests to interview for their show. If you think that your story, message, or advice would add value to the audience of a specific podcast, then visit that podcast’s website and find their Contact Page. Send the host a brief message outlining your experience and area of expertise, and tell them you’d like to be considered as a potential guest for their show.
Many podcasts attract thousands, even tens of thousands of listeners on a regular basis. If you make it a routine to be a guest on other podcasts regularly, your name will gradually become known by thousands of highly targeted people from around the world. At the end of each interview, tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you if they want to learn more about what you do or how you can help them.
4. Optimize your profile
Prepare a professional bio
Have bios prepared in 1-paragraph and 1-page formats. You can either write these yourself or have someone write them for you, but make sure you have these prepared in advance.
Get professional photographs
The impact of professional photographs can't be understated. If you want to be seen as an authority or expert, your image needs to be professional. These can be either studio sessions, or in your place of work, or ideally both. Spend the money on this once and you will be able to use these photos repeatedly for years.
Create a Professional LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to showcase your expertise, professional experience, and achievements. Used properly, it can be an incredibly powerful networking and positioning tool.
Here are a few tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
- Use your profile and professional headshot
- Highlight your experience and areas of expertise
- Highlight your subject-matter-expertise writing or speaking engagements
- Profile volunteer work and any board/charity positions you've held
- Add specific skills to your profile so that people in your network can endorse you for those skills (endorse other people’s skills first, and they will likely reciprocate)
- Collect testimonials from customers, coworkers, and not-for-profits that you've worked with (write testimonials for other people first, and they will likely reciprocate)
- Include a way to contact you or a link to your website
5. Comment on posts related to your expertise
A great way to become known in your industry is to engage in conversations that are happening on popular news sites, online forums, blogs and social media groups in your industry.
- Don't spam out or pitch your products or services agressively
- Do add value to others by sharing helpful advice, insights, and responding to questions that other people are asking.
Another advantage of adding value to the conversations that are happening online is that the owners of those blogs or social media groups will likely notice. Building relationships with other influencers in your industry is never a bad idea, because it opens the door for potential collaborations or partnerships in the future. Commenting regularly on their platforms can help build that relationship.
6. Curate content from others
Content curation on it's own won't position you as an expert, but it's an excellent way to supplement your efforts.
What is content curation? Simply put, you'll be finding articles, posts, videos on your subject matter expertise that have been published by others, and you will share them to your website, newsletter, social media feeds, or email distribution list, along with a short description about why it's relevant to your audience or customers, or what they should take away from it.
MORE INFORMATION: Head over to our guide on How to Make Social Media Work For Your Business for more useful tips on utilizing social media to your advantage.
7. Build a calendar and a plan to execute it
You can become a go-to expert for your customers and build awareness of yourself and your firm, but don't expect it to happen overnight. Build a managable and realistic plan. Think of the journey as a marathon not a sprint. You want to start small & build momentum.
- Build a calendar and a plan. Stagger the amount of content you produce and for which purposes. Plan for large pieces infrequently - several times a year, or quarterly at the very most.
- Google - Hero Hub Hygiene model - Developed by Google for YouTubers, this is a very relevant model for all content types
Even if you implement just a few of these strategies properly, you can expect to build awareness, establish credibility, and ultimately attract a considerable amount of new business.
TIP: We've helped hundreds of professionals and businesses use this model to become famous experts. We can coach you through this process. Head over to Coaching and schedule your appointment.