One of the best ways to separate your business from the others is to position yourself as an expert. Experts charge more, work less, and are highly regarded. Experts regularly experience an inflow of interesting opportunities. They attract business easily and regularly.
Assuming that you do, indeed, possess expertise in your chosen field...what are some ways to showcase this expertise so others see you as an expert, too?
1) Build an expertise focused website.
Ideally, you will have focused your expertise in one particular niche. Build a website to showcase your expertise in this niche. Include client lists, press releases, and demonstrations of you speaking or teaching on your topic.
2) Publish a book (or at least some articles!)
Even in this age of lightning fast e-publishing, there still exists some recognition and esteem for authors of published books. It doesnít matter if you self publish, publish on demand, or go the traditional publishing route, there is almost instant credibility and recognition when people say, ďOh, she or he wrote a book on it.Ē
If you canít get yourself to write a book on it, at least write some articles and distribute them regularly.
3) Build a focused newsletter around your expertise.
You may already have a newsletter, but is it focused around your expertise? If not, it might be time for some repositioning. When you do this, youíll find that your newsletters actually get easier to write, because itís always easier to drill down into one topic than to develop multiple new ones. Also, this focused newsletter can be a great hand-out for prospective clients, and can be a way of articulating your expert position on relevant trends in your field.
4) Seek publicity regularly.
This may be in the form of writing effective press releases or being quoted in industry journals or magazines. Just find some way of regularly getting your name and expertise mentioned in print. There are many resources on how to write effective press releases. Aim to send out at least one press release per quarter or to attain two magazine or journal mentions each month.
5) Build a file of successful case studies.
Most people will have two questions when they learn of you. One: can you help? and two: how can you help? Well-written case studies help answer both these questions as they build your credibility. We are all, generally, more likely to believe that something will help us if itís helped other people who are just like us. A well developed case study file can shorten your sales process.
6) Teach workshops or seminars.
A fast way to build your expert status is to teach on your topic. This can be done in person, or on the phone. When you teach on a topic, you are almost automatically seen as an expert on the topic. Plus, teaching classes or workshops can be another way to meet more people, add to your contact list, and develop another revenue stream, all at the same time.
7) Present on your topic.
Offer yourself to relevant groups and associations as a guest expert, panelist, or conference speaker. Use these speaking opportunities to refine your knowledge, polish your presentation, and to build areas for possible lateralization. Public speaking also offers you another way to build your contact list and gain recognition at the same time.
8) Hang out with other experts.
If you spend time with other experts, you will, by association, be seen as more of an expert. If you belong to an association or professional group, make contact with the leaders of this group. By spending time with the leaders in your field, you will be more easily seen as one of them.
9) Refer to yourself as an expert.
For some, this might be more difficult than it seems. Expert status is not just given, it must also be claimed. If you are an expert at what you do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying yourself as one. If youíre not, do what it takes to become one. Authenticity and integrity are powerfully effective marketing tools.
10) Commit to regular actions to build your expert status.
As you build your expert status, you will find the flow of opportunities come faster and more easily. When this happens, continue to take regular actions to keep building your expert status. Once gained, expert status must be maintained.
Try these strategies to build your expert status. Your business (and bank account) will benefit.
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Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a consulting psychologist who helps her clients succeed in business and in life. She can be reached online at www.salesandmarketingcoach.com
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