You are an expert in your field. You follow the trends and monitor the work of your competitors and… And you cannot understand why they make two, three, and even 10 times more than you.
Why do various media publish their articles? Why do others recommend their content on Facebook and you are mostly ignored? Perhaps, the answer is simple: nobody knows about you.
People’s recommendations, respect, and recognition are an important resource. It can help you stand out among the competitors, increase the loyalty of potential and existing clients, convince them to trust you and only you – all because you are an expert.
What do I mean when I say expert? An expert is somebody that is more well-versed in certain areas and is respected by their colleagues. We assume that the person really knows what they are doing and deserves that title.
Positioning yourself as an expert is important for lawyers, doctors, psychologists, architects, stylists, copywriters, fitness trainers, business consultants and other highly competitive professions. It’s also crucial for entrepreneurs who become a company’s designated public face and expert.
Expert status is based on two concepts: professionalism and recognition.
Recognition requires publicity, audience and strong evidence of your expertise. You have to define your niche clearly: “I know (x), my specialization is (x), I can confirm that I am an expert because…” Your audience should understand exactly what your proficiencies are.
How to do everything right:
- Determine your niche. Do not do floristry, construction, and foreign languages all at the same time.
- Decide upon a specific specialization.
- Find out who your target audience is and where to find it.
- Think how to prove your expertise. Experience? Certificates? Rewards? Publicly available materials approved by other experts (articles, posts, schemes).
I know over a hundred tools to promote an expert that can help create, strengthen and support the expert status. Let’s review 10 main instruments you can use on your own, without help from PR managers.
Conference and Webinar
Conference and webinars provide an excellent opportunity for self-promotion and boost your recognition both among your colleagues and a wider audience. The more significant the event is, the more it benefits your status.
Discover the key industry events that you simply must attend. You can always come as a guest, but you should definitely strive to become a speaker, a moderator, or jury member.
When you are good at speaking and presenting your vision or experience at a major industry conference, people remember you and refer to you later for advice and other services.
Personal Website and Blog
Unlike media and industry events, this excellent promotion channel is fully under your control. A website allows you to fully showcase your work, gather all information in one place, and present yourself in the best light.
Every website has its unique structure: it can look like a business card, a portfolio where you upload the best examples of your work and cases, or a blog where clients can find useful materials as well as additional information in regards to your career profile.
A blog on your website will help your promotion efforts if you can produce at least one quality post a month. Short on time? Then hire a person to write on your behalf and according to your theses.
This is one of the cheapest marketing options. Social networks allow you to create an image that works best for your goals and the desired audience.
Do you work in a field where pictures are important? Then you need an Instagram account.
Are you a business person? Then you should focus on Facebook.
Do you have a small business and cheap services? Then you need to promote yourself on your country’s most popular social network and Facebook.
These are just general recommendations. Every platform has its pros and cons, and you should choose one based on your area and personal preferences.
How to benefit the most from your social network accounts?
- Audit your accounts to discover areas of improvement.
- Develop a promotion strategy (how, to whom, and what you want to communicate). Do it yourself, or work with an expert.
- Make a content plan. Create segments for regular coverage.
- Write at least 2-5 posts a week.
- Reply to comments and personal messages.
- Grow your audience from friends and subscribers.
- Communicate with thought leaders.
Tip: Do not post the same content on every platform. After all, your Instagram audience is not the same as your Facebook audience. Since different people will react differently to the same post, you need to adapt your content.
You should understand that your audience for Facebook, YouTube, personal blog, and email newsletter can be pretty diverse. Thus, it’s not worth creating accounts on all those platforms for the sake of numbers. These social networks will only work if you take an individual approach to promotion on every one of them.
Posts on Media and Web Portals
This is a classic and an optimal way of promoting yourself to a wider audience.
Publications foster reputation and recognition. You should try to get published with the leading media in your industry, or on business portals. Traditionally everybody wants to get on Forbes, but very few really need it.
Are you new to working with the media? To start, you should prepare some articles for less renowned web portals. However, always keep in mind your priority media.
Choose industry-specific topics. Do not agree to participate in TV programs discussing attitude to smoking if you have nothing to do with smoking. Such events may boost your self-esteem, but they won’t advance your expert status.
Don’t wait for media to knock on your door. Be the first to write to them (and for them). Pick an important topic where you can take a stand. Do not just recite theory.
An expert is expected to share original opinions, so you won’t get away with copy pasting articles from the web. Use services to request comments from journos directly. They can help you share your expert opinion on the right media and online portals.
Email and Social Media Marketing
Email marketing is still relevant, even though the open rate has been decreasing. People are overwhelmed with letters, so they do not read them as often as three years ago.
There are services such as MailChimp and GetResponse to help you organize your email campaign. Just remember that people should subscribe to your newsletter voluntarily. In no way should you bombard them with spam.
How to make an expert newsletter interesting?
- Explain complex things in simple terms, try to abstain from industry-specific jargon.
- Be cheerful and concise in your writing.
- Provide valuable info, answer relevant questions and share useful articles, tips, life hacks and “secret” tools/techniques in your body.
It’s better to write letters in the first person. To increase the open rate and provide better experience for your readers, you should learn to divvy up subscribers based on their interests and customize your email chains accordingly.
Email marketing is an effective way of convincing your subscribers that you are an expert. They allow you to convey the right information at the right time to your already loyal audience. Think carefully what to write to stand your ground as a true professional once and for all.
Communication with Thought Leaders
Study your audience and join the thought leaders. Interact with them on social networks, comment, get feedback, meet during conferences, take photos together and post those on social media.
This will leave an impression on your target audience: if the recognized market experts talk to you, you must be worth it.
Think of yourself as a small compartment joining a locomotive – a renowned company or person. By following its trail, you tap into the power of its influence. In less competent hands, this translates into an endless series of fan selfies.
Your Own Book
A book is a potent tool of promotion. A book printed by a well-known publishing house is a physical evidence of your expertise. Unlike an article that people read and only briefly remember, a book is an achievement for life.
People still treat authors as experts. At least up until the moment they start reading your book (just kidding).
What are the benefits of a published book?
- A boost in expert status;
- An influx of new customers;
- Professional growth;
- Access to new audience.
Do you have what to share with your target audience? If the answer is yes, it’s time to think of a title for your new book.
If the concept is good, and you convince the publishing house, just in a few months your book will be in the stores.
When you are confident, you may even take a risk of issuing a book at your own cost. It’s best, however, that you don’t use online self-publishing platforms since they won’t help your promotion as an expert.
You will get more value from a well-formatted pdf brochure or a long read posted in social network communities and on the personal pages of thought leaders.
Just don’t forget to mention your contact information, such as your website, everywhere you post.
A special project is any independent product that you launch to increase your brand recognition: a training, a series of webinars, a podcast, a longread with useful tips, etc.
To launch your special project successfully, ask the thought leaders to join you. For example, you may create a professional/business community in your field. This way you can connect your colleagues and clients, share expertise, organize events together, and develop industry as a whole.
Ratings and Rewards
Ratings and rewards are a straightforward way to see your efforts acknowledged by a professional community.
The jury for such competitions usually consists of the most authoritative and remarkable industry representatives.
Participating and winning a prize in such contests is always a step forward in your career. People will see you differently once your expertise has been officially recognized.
Make a list of the most significant contests, awards and ratings in your field. Apply.
Winning is not necessary. Even a simple participation is effective when it comes to promotion. At the bare minimum, you can now mention the nomination in your CV, biography, elevator speech, etc.
Winning would, of course, make for an excellent news story. Specialized media and business portals will write about you. You can also promote this news on your website and social networks.
Reviews and Recommendations
These are important indicators of your professional authority. When you get positive feedback from your clients, or people you never met, it’s not only nice, but it also means that you are on the right track.
However, what your colleagues say is much more important. They don’t have to love you. They should just know about you and recognize you as one of their own.
Your colleagues and your industry community should never be discounted, since they are the ones bestowing the expert status on you.
What Else Is Important for Successful Promotion?
You cannot get an expert status overnight: it takes a lot of time, money, and promotional efforts either from you, or your PR manager.
Post more on social networks. Participate in all major industry events and train your speaking skills. Write for different media and web portals. Launch special projects that can help you get more recognition, or even change the entire industry.
Becoming the best in your field is like trying to be the king of the hill.
Firstly, you become an expert in your field. Then you focus your efforts on gaining the niche recognition. Gradually, more people discover you.
Once you reach the top and get an expert status, your opinions become important. However, it’s important not to lose momentum.
Now that you’ve climbed the hill, you need to make effort to stay there. Now you’ve got to constantly prove that you deserve to be on this pedestal.
MyOwnConference blog. Lifehacks, reviews, useful tips for preparing, holding and promoting webinars and web conferences.