We are well into 2015 and many of our New Year resolutions have gotten lost in the blur of day to day obligations. If you’re like me, you gave thought in January to where you wanted to take your business this year, but didn’t get much further than that. One method to consider is to make yourself an expert in your field – something that you may have already started developing without realizing it!
Whether your business is in a highly saturated field – like real estate – or a niche market like grocery delivery, you can set yourself or your brand apart by becoming an expert and marketing yourself as one. The good news is that it’s virtually free!
1. Have a Narrow Focus
You will want to pick one key product or aspect of your business to focus on and use all avenues to research it. Using various methods of research will give you well-rounded knowledge on the topic, which is what you need in today’s global market. Consider attending courses or seminars at a college or through an industry association, as well as conferences, seminars and webinars. Trade magazines, journal articles, and local newspapers are all good sources too – don’t rely solely on the internet!
Example: a realtor can specialize in being a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent; a jewelry designer could specialize in turquoise
2. Call Yourself an Expert
While it may feel like bragging at first, as long as you have the knowledge and are authentically trying to help or educate people, it will soon feel natural and right. You cannot fake this – there are no shortcuts to becoming an expert. You must be so confident in your expertise that you are comfortable speaking and writing on the topic. If you haven’t written any published articles on the topic, what about success stories or customer testimonials?
3. Share Your Knowledge
All of this wisdom won’t do you any good unless you let people know about it! If you have a website, blog about it; send the local paper a press release; start tweeting or posting on your Facebook page. Find industry experts and comment on their posts or articles. If you post it they will come!
4. Market Yourself
There are many venues both online and offline. Online, aside from what I’ve mentioned above, be sure you are implementing SEO or Search Engine Optimization so that potential customers can find you. Offline (yes, there is still a real world out there!) you can offer to speak at local networking meetings or community events, submit articles to the local paper or industry magazine, create relationships with related businesses that compliment yours, donate your services or product to local charity fundraisers, or sponsor an event yourself.
While becoming an expert can take some time, you may already be halfway there. It can feel daunting at first, but being an expert will pay dividends in new business and loyal clients. If you have any questions about the processes or methods I’ve talked about, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I cannot help you myself, I will be happy to refer you to a trusted colleague of mine – after all, you’ll want an expert!