Learn now to build your reputation and become an expert in your field to grow your business.
The following guest post is by Lawton Ursrey, product marketing manager of Sage One, a simple online accounting application for small businesses, and CEO and founder of Indie Peace, an environmentally responsible apparel company.
You may be the best coach in the world, but if nobody knows who you are – does it matter? This isn’t an exercise in Zen thinking. It’s a real world concern if you’re not a name in your field and want new clients.
Like it or not, people congregate around popular businesses. If you want to grow your small business, you need to create that popularity. Becoming a recognized industry expert is easy if you follow these steps.
- Do digging into your industry. What is important in your industry today? If you’ve had your nose to the grindstone for your current clients, you might be out of the loop with the most current topics. Your industry has at least one trade magazine – if not several. Why magazines and not blogs? With a longer production time and editorial control, industry magazines can give you the best top level view of the important topics. Get back issues of the magazines and pay close attention to the editor letters, the opinion pieces and the regular columnists. These are the hot button issues that are top of mind with experts in your industry. Pick one of these current topics to claim as your own.
- Plant your flag. Let’s say you’re a work-life balance coach that works with busy executives. You’ve identified that smartphones and tablets are a hot topic because they make it easier to work from anywhere. This blurs the lines between “on” and “off” time. Plant your flag on this issue. Start sharing industry resources and articles on how busy executives can train themselves to avoid getting sucked into work through their mobile devices. Write blog posts on the topic and share your tips. For 30 days, make sure all of your content is focused on this topic. This will let you plant your flag in the industry and marry your identity to the topic.
- Go the extra mile with your content. Anyone can write and publish a blog post. Most of your peers are stopping there. If you want to become a recognized industry expert on your topic of choice, you need to think bigger. Video and audio content can help you reach out to a wider audience. Create podcasts or blogs from your blog content. Audio Acrobat can record your voice from your phone and deliver it to podcasting hosting sites like ITunes. Google+ hangouts provide an easy way to hold a conversation with other professionals, or clients, and upload the video transcript to YouTube. Go the extra mile and you’ll rise up from the masses in your industry.
You don’t need to wait for someone to declare you an industry expert in order to be one. Find a topic, plant your flag and expand your content types to make waves and draw new clients to you.