Customers like to buy from someone they think of as a trusted expert, so how can you become one?
Media appearances can certainly help. HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and ProfNet are two places to look for opportunities to be quoted. Sign up as a potential source on your subject and have queries from reporters sent directly to your inbox.
If you can write and have something to say about your industry that might have broader appeal, a non-paying column in a local paper or on a relevant website would be a great way to begin to establish yourself as an expert. A book is another way to establish your credentials on a subject, if you have the right topic and enough to say on the matter. Expert opinions, product reviews and whitepapers on your website can attract a more general audience that will later think of you when it’s time to buy.
Events are another way to build a name for yourself. A local free luncheon combined with a helpful presentation – say on retirement planning or interior design – could bring in potential customers who might want to know about specific products or services you offer. People who attend such events are probably ready to buy, or at least giving it serious thought.
Finally, to be thought of as an expert, you need to know more than what’s immediately applicable to your business. So be aware of national trends, and even better, be the one to set or frame them. The broader your knowledge is, the broader your potential customer base will be. So subscribe to trade publications, get involved in industry associations and think about where your industry is headed. Staying on top of trends in your industry could help your business as much as it will help make you an expert.
Adapted from Boost Your Brand by Becoming a Go-to Expert by Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.