My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
The way that you present your personal and business brands (which might be one and the same) is one of the trickiest, but most important, aspects of your entrepreneurship journey. Clients want someone who knows what they’re doing. If you can position yourself as someone knowledgeable and credible enough to help, then you’re in business!
Here are a few ways that you can better position yourself as an expert in your field.
Specifically, the creation of blog posts can be a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. A blog can be one of the best ways to establish the perception that you know what you’re talking about. And you do that by providing really great insights about your industry that demonstrate your knowledge.
When someone views your digital presence for the first time, they’re going to be looking for three things.
This goes for both your social media accounts as well as for your website, by the way. When you write great blog posts, not only will they live on your website but you can also syndicate them across your social media channels to share your expertise with the world.
By starting a weekly blog, you can quickly build up a library of valuable information that will “prove” your credentials. Your blogs will allow you to speak directly to your clients and customers with an authoritative voice. They also allow you to keep your website updated and active, something that can help out immensely with SEO (aka. Google presence).
Once you have a good variety of blog posts written, it might be time to think about something a little more substantial, like an eBook (or even a printed book!!! Paper isn’t dead yet people and an actual printed book still carries a bit more weight than an eBook). Writing a book can sound daunting, but it’s one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert on the internet. Having a book with your name on it instantly gives you “street cred.” After all, if you weren’t an expert, you wouldn’t have been able to write it!
Your book doesn’t even necessarily have to be all-new material. You can take many of the blogs that you’ve already written and expand them into full chapters of the book. After it’s finished, you can then either sell your book (digital or otherwise) on your site or even offer it as a free opt-in for your email list.
Another kind of content that you might want to look into is webinars. Webinars are essential online seminars that you present with slides and audio to a live audience. They’re a great way to prove to potential clients that you can talk coherently and expertly about a subject at length. You can also use a webinar as a marketing tool, offering it for free to upsell the people who are listening to your actual products or services.
It’s difficult to position yourself as an expert if you’re only interacting with your already existing customers.
For you to get your name out there, you’re going to have to be actively engaged on your social media channels. The channels that you choose to focus on will depend on your industry. For example, Instagram might be essential for a nutritionist or personal trainer, but LinkedIn and Twitter might be the right focus for a business coach.
Maintaining an informative and engaging social media presence should include daily posting of content, sharing other relevant industry content, quick responses to any direct messages, engaging with others in comment sections, and building your social network one connection at a time. After you’ve accumulated a number of followers, you’ll start to be seen as an expert by those who check your profile pages.
In today’s digital age, we really can’t overstate the importance of online networking to position yourself as an expert online.
This one can be so hard for so many people. From the time we’re children, we’re taught modesty. We’re taught not to brag or boast about our abilities or successes. (And hey, I’m Canadian, so that can be doubly true for entrepreneurs north of the border, eh?) As adults, we’re trained not to toot our own horn, in fear that others will see us as arrogant or full of ourselves.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to forget about ALL of that. The only way that people are going to see you as an expert is if you become a pro at self-promotion. After all, if you're not going say that you're an expert, who will?
Take a look at your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is often the first stop when a client wants to learn more about you and your business. What do your headshot and headline communicate about you? Are they professional and well-composed, or was your photo taken in your backyard with your cell phone? Is your summary complete? This is where you need to talk about your accomplishments and why exactly you're an expert. Honestly, writing your own LinkedIn profile can be excruciating if you aren’t used to talking yourself up. Getting someone else to write it can be a good option if you don’t feel comfortable “bragging” to other LinkedIn users—but remember, it’s not bragging. It’s stating important facts about who you are, what you do, and why you matter.
Incidentally, you should update your self-summary on all of your other social media channels as well.
And let’s not forget your elevator pitch. Are you prepared with a short sound bite that explains exactly how you help people reach their objectives? Having a confident elevator pitch ready that establishes your expertise is an absolute must for your solopreneur journey.
Although being able to talk yourself up is essential as an entrepreneur, positive testimonials from your loyal customers can speak volumes.
The fastest way to position yourself as an expert is to have neutral third-parties vouch for your expertise. If you have a particularly positive interaction with a customer, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking them for a quick paragraph testimonial about your services.
Keep in mind that not every testimonial will be fantastic. Not everyone is a writer, and some people have trouble putting their thoughts down on paper. But you don’t have to use them all! Over time, you’ll accumulate many fantastic testimonials that you can put on your website, post to your social media, or provide clients who want proof that you know what you're doing!
Positioning yourself as an expert can be one of the hardest things to learn to do as an entrepreneur. You may want to let your actions speak for you, but you need people to pay attention before you can do that. It’s a chicken and egg situation. My advice is to keep at it and build up your reputation over time. Be assertive and confident and take a stand for your personal excellence! Soon, your clients, their referrals, and vast swaths of the internet will see you as the expert you are!
How do you position yourself as an expert in your field? Was it challenging to create that perception? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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