No matter what business or industry you’re in, if you aren’t able to get new clients you probably won’t stay in business for very long. And as you are likely already aware, finding and keeping clients can be a challenge.
It doesn’t matter what products or services you offer, your prospects likely have lots of different options to choose from. Being able to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and position yourself as the person or business most suited to serve them is vital to your success.
The secret to getting noticed despite all the noise in the marketplace is authority. When you have authority, people will pay attention. When you are perceived as an expert in your industry, people will naturally want to work with you. They will seek you out.
Getting to that level is all about positioning. Using a few simple strategies, you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry. You can attract business to you. Instead of constantly hustling to find your next client, you can turn yourself into a client magnet and let them find you.
Please note: There is a podcast episode that covers this same topic (10 Ways To Build A Strong Personal Brand Online). If you don’t like reading, feel free to listen to the podcast instead!
Here are 10 ways you can position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry:
Without question, you must have your own website. But more specifically, you should have your own blog. Having a blog enables you to share valuable content, whether in written or video format, on a regular basis. As you publish and promote your content online, you will gradually begin to position yourself as an expert on the topics that you focus on.
Another advantage of blogging regularly is that it gives other people a chance to share your content with their networks (for example, through social media), which then attracts new visitors to your website. A well written article with valuable information is likely to be shared by the people who enjoyed it. This is how content goes viral – through peer-to-peer sharing. By blogging regularly, you expose your brand and your business to new audiences on a consistent basis.
Make a list of the most popular websites and blogs in your industry. These are the sites that your ideal clients are visiting regularly to obtain information about your topic. Contact those websites, and request to become a guest contributor. Most website owners are always looking for high quality content to publish on their website that will add value to their visitors.
Write an article exclusively for each website on your list, and include your bio with a link back to your website at the end of your article. This strategy, known as guest blogging, helps you get your message in front of new audiences online that may have never discovered you otherwise. You provide content to the website for free, and that content helps direct new visitors to your website. It’s a win-win.
Most podcast hosts are always on the lookout for more guests to interview for their show. Head over to iTunes, and take a look at the top-ranked shows in your industry/niche. If you think that your story, message, or advice would add value to the audience of a specific podcast, then visit that podcast’s website and find their Contact Page. Send the host a brief message outlining your experience and area of expertise, and tell them you’d like to be considered as a potential guest for their show.
Many podcasts attract thousands, even tens of thousands of listeners on a regular basis. If you make it a routine to be a guest on other podcasts regularly, your name will gradually become known by thousands of highly targeted people from around the world. At the end of each interview, tell the listeners how they can get in touch with you if they want to learn more about what you do or how you can help them.
There are many ways you can build a platform, but as of today, hosting a podcast is likely the most effective way to do so. Many authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, and even large organizations have resorted to podcasting to share their message and grow their audience.
There is a massive shift in the way we consume our information. People want specific information, on demand, in a format that is convenient for them. This is one of the reasons why podcasting has become so popular. Unlike a video, article, or book, which require 100% of someone’s time and attention to consume, a person can listen to a podcast while doing something else such exercising, driving, or cleaning the house.
Having your own podcast allows you to share your story and advice on a very specific topic and attract a very specific target audience. Having a podcast also gives you a tremendous advantage over other content creators. At this moment in time, there are tens of millions of blogs online today, and almost as many books. But there are definitely not millions of podcasts. Starting one now will likely give you a tremendous advantage over your competitors.
If you’re active on social media, you should consider creating a Facebook Page for your personal brand or for your business. Having your own Facebook page (this is different from a personal profile) is a great way to achieve “celebrity” status in your industry/niche. When someone has a Facebook page with hundreds or even thousands of fans, there is a strong element of social proof that helps edify them as an expert in their industry.
Having a Facebook page also enables you to take advantage of the incredibly powerful advertising opportunities that Facebook offers. You cannot place ads on Facebook as an individual. You need to have a page. Once your page is set up you can create ads that will display in the news feeds and/or sidebars of highly targeted Facebook users. You can also pay to promote your posts, exposing them to new audiences.
Another way to leverage Facebook to build your personal brand is to start a Facebook Group. Creating a Facebook Group enables you to create a sense of community among your audience. Unlike a Facebook Page (which is typically just a place for you to broadcast your message or content to your followers), a Facebook Group is the perfect environment for facilitating conversations and building strong relationships with other members of the group. As the leader and facilitator of the group, its members will appreciate you giving them the opportunity to receive valuable insights and encouragement from other members.
LinkedIn is a very popular social network for entrepreneurs and business professionals. Your LinkedIn profile is a great place to showcase your expertise, professional experience, and achievements. Used properly, it can be an incredibly powerful networking and positioning tool.
Here are a few tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Regardless of which type of business you have, this strategy is very effective. Contact some of your previous clients and ask them to prepare a testimonial on your behalf. Ask them for permission to display that testimonial on your website and in your marketing materials. Video testimonials are ideal, although written testimonials are still very effective.
As consumers decide who to purchase a product or service from, they want to see some sort of social proof that others have had a good experience with that product or service. No one wants to risk spending their money on a mediocre product or service, or being the first one to purchase it. They want to be sure that what they are buying will truly add value to them, and that others who have bought before them have been satisfied with their experience.
A great way to become known in your industry is to engage in conversations that are happening on the popular blogs and social media groups (Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, etc.) in your industry. This is not a strategy for pitching your product or service or aggressively sharing a link to your website all over the internet (that is considered spamming). This strategy is for adding value to others by sharing helpful advice, insights, and responding to questions that other people are asking.
Another advantage of adding value to the conversations that are happening online is that the owners of those blogs or social media groups will likely notice. Building relationships with other influencers in your industry is never a bad idea, because it opens the door for potential collaborations or partnerships in the future. Commenting regularly on their platforms can help build that relationship.
Writing and publishing a book is one strategy that can help to immediately set you apart from most of your competitors. Think about it. If your competitors are handing out business cards, hoping their phone will ring, and you’re giving copies of your book as gifts to potential clients, who do you think will win more business? You will, because you’re the one with a book.
Fortunately, it is no longer difficult or expensive to become an author. Once you’ve written your book and had a cover designed, you can self-publish your book on Amazon and immediately make it available to a global audience in both digital and paperback format. People from all over the world who are searching for a book on your topic can find it and buy it directly from Amazon. You can also keep several printed copies on hand at all times to give as gifts or sell at events/conferences.
Most people are terrified of speaking in publish, so when they see someone do it they tend to immediately perceive that person as an expert and a leader. Plus, when you speak to a live audience, you have their undivided attention for the duration of your presentation. This affords you a unique opportunity to engage and connect with a large amount of people at the same time.
If you’ve never spoken in public before, a great starting point to develop your skills is your local Toastmasters Group. This is a non-threatening, positive environment in which people meet regularly to practice their speaking and communication skills. Once you build up some confidence, you can begin speaking at networking events, Meetup groups, seminars or conferences in your industry. If you speak regularly to groups of hundreds, or even thousands of people, you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry very quickly.
Hopefully this article has introduced you to some specific strategies that you aren’t already implementing, and that you can use to increase your expert-status in your industry. Keep in mind that trying to tackle them all at once will likely cause more overwhelm than success. For that reason, it’s best to commit to 1 or 2 strategies at a time and then measure your results before implementing more.
Even if you implement just a few of these strategies properly, you can expect to attract a considerable amount of new business. If you eventually apply most of them, or even all of them simultaneously, it won’t be long before you are presented with lucrative opportunities reserved exclusively for those who have earned expert status in their field.10 ways to position yourself as the go-to expert in your industry. #lifestylebusiness Click To Tweet
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