If you want to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry or your locality there’s some fairly basic things you can do to improve your profile so that you are seen as the ‘go to’ person in your sector.
Make sure your website is up to date, static websites don’t rank well with search engines. You need fresh content from blogs, news and new pages. Prospective customers also like to see that you are active and commenting on trends or contributing useful information to share or download.
Offer to write articles for local business magazines or websites or target your industry sector. Contact the editor and suggest what topical or useful subjects you can write about. Keep it simple, not too much jargon but make sure it adds value and don’t be overly promotional. You can offer solutions, refer to other people you have helped and end with a call to action and link to your website.
- Speaking at Events
Find opportunities to speak at local or national events, there are always numerous conferences, seminars and networking groups looking for good quality speakers, usually unpaid. Again, find a topic that will impart some useful information and don’t be afraid to give away some knowledge. You can raise your profile, demonstrate how you can help people and use it to subtly promote your business or a product such as a book. You can even create an event around your sector and ask a few like-minded businesses to support you.
These are great ways of adding external validation and credibility to your business. Even the process of entering awards means you have to find or create case studies, testimonials and evidence to support your application, building up a nice bank of information as you go. There are lots of social media opportunities as you enter, get nominated, shortlisted, attend an awards ceremony or even win an award! Organisers need people to apply to make the awards worthwhile and you would be surprised that numbers wise, competition might not be that high as it is quite time consuming, although this is something you can outsource.
Creating a bank of useful downloadable information and ‘How to’ advice is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition. You can start with a three or four page document, put a few of these together and you have your chapters for an e-book! It is your choice whether to charge a nominal fee for the downloads or not. If you want to provide a hard copy it is a lot easier and cheaper to self-publish these days. Have a look at this advice from Amazon.
I’ve saved my favourite for last because this is something which is so simple to do if you have a website. It’s good to blog about problems that people have and how you (or others like you) can help them. How often is up to you but even once or twice a month is a great way to provide new content for your social media and drive traffic to your website. Use catchy titles with key words, post with lists and ‘how to’ remain popular search terms. Aim for 400 words plus, include bullet points, internal and external links and an image or two. Don’t forget to use tags and other tricks to help search engines find your content.
These six simple steps will help you improve your reputation and profile and lead you to being recognised as an expert in your field.
If you need help writing award applications blogging, press releases or articles please get in touch!