One of the fastest ways to increase business and attract attention is to become a go-to authority in your field. When potential clients seek the help or products you provide and your name pops up, you’re bound to reap the benefits of the exposure.
“Expert positioning aligns you with the best-of-the-best in your industry,” says business and brand specialist Debbie Allen, author of The Highly Paid Expert: Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into a Lucrative Career by Becoming the Go-To Authority in Your Industry. “An expert is recognized as an authority who knows in-depth knowledge about a specific subject. Such individuals solve problems, and when they offer invaluable solutions to make pain go away, people pay top dollar for their advice, wisdom and expertise.”
When you establish yourself or your business as a leading authority in your industry, clients reflexively seek your assistance, which drives repeat business and recommendations, says Kristi Marsh, founder of Choose Wiser and author of Little Changes. Thanks to cementing her status as a leader in environmental health and its effects on personal health and the home, Marsh is now the featured educational video blogger for Seventh Generation, which manufactures eco-friendly health and home products.
It’s surprisingly easy to become a go-to expert today. “There's never been a better time to launch yourself as an authority," Allen says. "The Internet, social media, video marketing and the print-on-demand industry have made it entirely doable.”
Welcome to the New Marketing Model
If you want to become an authority in your field, it’s important to embrace a new marketing model. “Expert marketing that positions a business owner or entrepreneur as the go-to authority focuses on offering valuable, free information in the form of videos, articles and media, rather than the push of advertising and selling one-on-one,” Allen says.
The bottom line? You must give before you can receive.
“Becoming an expert means taking on a level of responsibility to support others with your knowledge,” says Allen, who notes that this doesn’t mean offering people a cookie cutter get-rich-quick scheme.
“True experts are those who offer personalized, proven solutions and give people lasting results,” she explains. “Authorities offer valuable assistance, not only from their heads but from their hearts. They share their wisdom freely, and in the process they get paid well in return.”
To excel at becoming a highly paid expert, it’s important to lay the groundwork, which all stems from education-based marketing. Try these three tactics for becoming a household name in your industry.
1. Establish Yourself As an Author
Publishing is an excellent way to claim authority in your field, says Linda Scott, owner of eFrog Press, a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs who want to self-publish.
“Blog what you know,” Scott suggests. “Writing original, regular posts on subjects in your area of expertise showcases what you know and gives you an opportunity to find your writer's voice. Comments to your posts help you understand where you need to clarify your message and, even more importantly, what works.”
Create categories for your blogs and keep adding detailed posts, and you’ll soon have enough chapters to put together a book. “When you can say you have literally ‘written the book’ on a subject in your field, you immediately gain expert status,” Scott says. “Forevermore, ‘author’ will be added to your introductions at conferences and speaking engagements. Reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble will further increase your credibility and exposure, and posting your book cover on your website is a subtle reminder to all who visit that you know what you’re talking about.”
2. Become a Communicator
Speaking is another opportunity to establish yourself as an expert—so accept every chance you're given to present. Also, host your own live events, both online and off-line. It’s ideal if clients and customers actually hear you speak, but it's just as nearly beneficial if people know you regularly speak on your chosen topic.
In addition to public speaking, Marsh advises, "share educational tidbits, tips or lessons through video blogs or vlogs. The combination of your storytelling or speaking style, along with value-added tips, can solidify your image as an expert. It used to be that this opportunity only came through being interviewed on television, but sharing through video messaging is now affordable, easy and under your control. The result is educational, informative tips that are shareable by consumers.”
When you present, always take your book with you, Scott adds. “Bookmark a short, interesting passage to read aloud. If your book is a work-in-progress, or even if it's still in the conceptual stage, remind audiences of your expert status by saying ‘In my upcoming book on ... ’ “
3. Rebrand and Refocus When Necessary
It’s possible that the current setup of your business may not lend itself to you becoming an expert, which means you’ll need to shake things up a bit by rebranding or refocusing your business. For example, if you've spent 20 years in the carpet cleaning business and want to launch yourself as an authority, you could reposition yourself as a carpet cleaning expert who teaches other carpet cleaners how to run a successful business, Allen explains. “Essentially," she says, "you take off one hat—running a carpet cleaning business day to day—and put on another hat as a thought leader and expert.”
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