Today, your business success is closely tied to your social media and public presence. One way to enhance your image—and boost your business—is to develop a reputation as an expert in your industry. No matter what your industry, from HVAC to e-commerce, from hair styling to consulting, there is a way to get known as an expert. Here’s how.
- Choose your niche. You’ll have a better chance of becoming an expert if you focus on one specialized aspect of your industry that’s related to your business specialization. For example, if you own a consulting businesses that helps small companies do business globally, that might mean focusing on one region of the world or on manufacturing businesses. When you zero in on a smaller niche, it’s easier to learn everything there is to know about it.
- Raise your profile in industry organizations and events. Hopefully, you already participate at industry associations, trade shows and conferences on a regular basis. However, if you want to be perceived as an expert, try stepping up your involvement. Instead of just attending an event, help organize it, offer to speak on a panel or volunteer to teach a workshop. The more often you speak in front of groups about your area of expertise, the more respected you’ll become as an expert.
- Share your expertise in your marketing. Do you have an email newsletter? Be sure each issue includes an article or blog post you’ve written on a topic where you want to establish your expertise. Add a blog to your business website with blog posts, infographics and videos sharing your industry knowledge. Reach out to others in your industry and interview them for your posts or videos.
- Share your expertise on social media. You can expand your influence as an expert even further by blogging for industry websites. If you can’t get a gig blogging or don’t have time to do so, try posting comments on relevant blogs. LinkedIn is a great place to promote your expertise. You can publish your own articles on the LinkedIn platform or simply share useful articles about your industry. You should also get involved in LinkedIn industry groups. Be helpful and answer questions that other group members ask without being too pushy or promotional.
- Use public relations to enhance your expertise. Being quoted by third-party publications or on websites enhances your credibility as an expert immensely. Develop a list of industry media people you want to get attention from. Follow them on social media (most members of the media are active on Twitter). Make intelligent comments on what they’re reporting about, and position yourself as an expert source they can contact for commentary, statistics or news about industry trends.
- Get active in the community. If your business draws customers from the local community, you’ll also want to raise your profile locally, which builds awareness to potential customers. For instance, an accountant who specializes in small business accounting might offer to talk to the local chamber of commerce about tax preparation. Look for community organizations that your target customers belong to and think of ways you could offer useful information to them.