Superperformance.com Editor's Note: The following article applies not only to entrepreneurs but also to new professionals establishing practices and to those who wants to develop their careers by establishing themselves as experts within the organizations that employ them.
26 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Expert
by Stephanie Chandler
No matter what kind of business you're in, you are an expert in something. One powerful way to grow your business is to become known for what you do best. Because experts are the go-to people for services and products, establishing yourself as an expert gives you an edge over the competition, generates interest from prospects and builds loyalty with clients.
Following are strategies that you can use to elevate your expert status.
ESTABLISH THE FOUNDATION
Own it: First, believe you are an expert. Second, claim it. Get over any fears that you don't have all the answers because nobody does. Give yourself the title of "XYZ Expert" or "XYZ Specialist." When you believe it, others will too.
Leverage Credentials: If you have any special education or certifications, you are already an expert. Make your credentials known.
Develop Your Skills: Make it your quest to continue learning. Stay on top of industry news and trends, read books, attend trade events and continue to hone your skills.
Subscribe: Read all relevant news, trade journals and related information for your industry so you're always in the know.
Promote: Write a bio that describes your expertise and publish it on your website, business cards, and anywhere where you have the opportunity to showcase your experience.
CREATE LOCAL VISIBILITY
Networking: Get to know other people in your community and build relationships. Consider joining chambers of commerce, Business Networking International (BNI) or other networking-focused organizations.
Trade Associations: Take a leadership role in a related trade association and watch your visibility grow.
Volunteer: Donate your time and expertise to a worthy cause. Not only will you derive satisfaction from a good deed, but you can gain valuable exposure and contacts.
Lead Meetings: Form a local group or association and conduct regular meetings. Promote your group through Craigslist.org, Meetup.com and community calendars.
Lead Change: If your industry requires some activism, get involved in making positive changes.
LEVERAGE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Consulting/Coaching: Consultants are naturally viewed as experts. Provide one-on-one or group coaching services.
Write a Book: Becoming an author solidifies your status as an expert and gives you credibility with the media. A book is one of the best business cards you can have.
Develop Information Products: Ebooks, special reports, workbooks, booklets, teleseminars and videos can provide opportunities to showcase your expertise. Give them away for marketing purposes or turn them into valuable revenue streams.
Teach: Teach classes about your subject at local colleges, adult learning centers or online. You can also host workshops at your place of business or a rented meeting room.
Speak: Whether you speak for free or for a fee, speakers are considered experts. Start locally and then look for national opportunities.
SPAN THE GLOBE
Pump up Your Website: Make sure your website reflects your expert platform. Commit to developing the proper content along with an online marketing strategy (search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, etc.).
Publish Articles: Write for trade newsletters, newspapers and magazines for instant expert status. Take it a step further and syndicate your own column.
Get Quoted: The media relies on experts to add credibility to their stories. Work on building a publicity strategy in order to get quoted in local and national news.
Publish a Newsletter: Covering news for your industry builds credibility and an audience. An electronic newsletter can be an affordable and effective tool for experts.
Form Strategic Alliances: Develop partnerships with others who compliment what you do and who can help you expand your reach.
Survey: Conduct relevant surveys for your industry and publish the results.
White Papers: Write and publish technical papers covering topics related to your industry.
Form a Group: Host an online group through Yahoo, Google, CollectiveX or another group site and develop a visible leadership role.
Host a Show: Local radio and television stations could be the launching ground for your new show. The Internet also provides an excellent venue for hosting show. Search Google for "Internet radio" to find dozens of hosting options (typically for a fee).
Social Networking: Create profiles on MySpace, LinkedIn.com, FastPitchNetworking.com, Facebook.com and any other social networking sites that appeal to your target audience. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with others, participate in groups, and spread the word about what you do.
Blog: Build an audience and get your voice heard by hosting an interesting or controversial blog.
About the Author:
Stephanie Chandler is a small business expert and the author of FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, E-BOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS. She is the founder of www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs and www.ProPublishingServices.com, a custom writing business specializing in electronic newsletters and copywriting for websites and brochures.
Stephanie Chandler may be contacted at http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com or Stephanie@BusinessInfoGuide.com