Positioning yourself as an industry expert is one of the most valuable things you can do for your business. Every business owner has specialist expertise. For example at Two Lizards our specialist skills include graphic design, copywriting and direct marketing, to name but a few. So what is it you feel you know most about? What do colleagues and competitors rate you for? What makes you annoyed when you see others getting it wrong?
Having decided how you want to position yourself, here is our step by step guide to building your expert image.
1.) Build your expert image into everything you do. When advising clients, do you say ‘You could’ when you want to say ‘What you need to do is …’ ? Do your proposals sound as if you really know what you are talking about? As well as making your advice sound as definite as possible, try quoting other authorities, facts and figures where possible to underline your authority.
2.) Use the About Us on your website to stress the breadth and depth of your background. Focus on the area(s) of expertise you want to stress. People buy from people, and in particular they buy from expert people. This is not a place to be shy or diffident about your credentials as an expert.
3.) Establish yourself as an expert in your industry’s communications. Make a list of the trade magazines, newsletters and websites associated with your specialist sector. Contact them and ask for a list of forthcoming features (with magazines these are often posted in advance on the publisher’s website). Ask if they are interested in content from you. Quality photography is usually attractive, as are case histories. Start replying to letters or responding to articles published so your name starts becoming better known. Journalists want easy-to-use material with captioned photographs and the more helpful you are, the more likely they are to make you their go-to expert.
4.) Use social media to build your expert profile. Follow the news for your sector. Tweet and retweet developments with comments. Adding opinion to something that’s just happened (‘In our view this will mean …’) immediately positions you as an industry expert. Reply to tweets that interest you #ing them to get them seen by a bigger audience.
5.) Blog as an expert. You don’t have to be restricted to a blog on your own website. If there’s a subject you’re passionate about or where you can position yourself as an expert, consider making that the starting point for a new blog. Put backlinks from your ‘expert’ blog to your website, get into conversations with those who leave comments on your blog and spread the word about your expertise.
6.) … also on the subject of blogs, look for bloggers who are in touch with the audience you want to reach. For example if you are a graphic design or copywriting expert, find other graphic design or copywriting blogs and start leaving comments.
7.) Finally, don’t forget LinkedIn. There are opportunities galore to leave comments, enter into discussions, develop relationships. To start with try ‘Pulse’ under the Interests tab for some suggestions and go for whatever attracts you most.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started on positioning yourself as an expert. Whatever you try, as with most initiatives, a little and often is the best way forward. Set yourself achievable goals, keep at it, and in time you’ll see the results start to happen.
For expert opinion on a range of marketing, advertising, copywriting and graphic design subjects, take a look at our blogs here. Everything we write comes from our experience with a wide range of clients, across pretty much every sector from fashion to financial services. For more information contact us now.