When it comes to choosing a business to patronize, customers are more likely to choose the better-regarded, better-informed professional. The obvious challenge to being considered an expert in your niche, however, is publicity. Some of the best-regarded minds in any field aren’t well-known in their field, and certainly not by the general public. Establishing oneself as an expert in a particular field can be tricky to do, but there are media options to do so.
1) Start a professional blog.
A cheap and easy way to announce to the world that you know what you’re talking about is by simply starting a blog— a consistent blog with the most relevant content, of course. Many will agree that blogs are designed to be a bit informal, so it’ll be acceptable at times to allow your blog to let readers know that there is a real person behind all of that content.
On the business side of things, this can be the blog on your company website, but the company would be better-served should the experts start a completely different site to discuss their field, and their understanding of the work. This will drive traffic back to the professional site, while still appearing to be impartial.
Having an online presence is one thing– being an authority in your niche is another. Personality is a big thing, and it plays a huge role in your blog’s voice. Regardless of whether you’re starting a blog for your business or for your own enjoyment, blogging has certainly become a viable marketing tool for both options, and it’s a great way to gain exposure.
It probably won’t hit the ground running right away, but if you remain committed, you’ll reach a strong readership in due time. Don’t forget to add those social sharing buttons as well!
2) Guest-blog for an established professional blog
Writing for a professional blog that is already established in a particular field can garner more visitors for your newly-founded professional blog, as well as your own website. Building relationships in your networks will take time, therefore, you should be consistent in your activities (i.e. a single post won’t do much, especially when trying to forge a relationship with a certain site).
The more in-depth, well-researched posts you are able to produce on authoritative blogs, the more often you will have the opportunity of communicating and interacting with people.
The purpose is to get your name circulated among the people who can trust what you have to say. If you’re managing a business, guest blogging can also be a great way to promote your services and products. If you conduct a Q&A or dispense information regarding a particular topic, viewers are more likely to want to know more about you and why you are an expert. That’s what you are looking for.
3) Host a podcast
Long reserved for those with spare money to rent out a recording studio, hire a producer and then spend on advertising for the show, podcasting is actually quite easy to do.
Using a simple microphone (in a pinch you can use the microphone built into laptops, but an external microphone provides better quality), and free audio editing software like Audacity, anyone can record, edit and export audio to an mP3. Post it on your blog and website, and now visitors can put a voice to the name, as well as listening to you display your expertise on the matter.
4) Guest-speak to classes
Depending on what it is exactly that you do, there are likely numerous classes available on the topic. Let’s say you’re a web designer. There are plenty of classes and seminars being taught that are looking for an established professional in the field to speak to the class. There you will have a captive audience of young, aspiring professionals who are eager to hear useful information from a professional in the industry. Time to brush up on those public speaking skills!
5) Teach a seminar or class
Teaching a seminar or class works to your benefit in a number of ways. No, you’re not giving away trade secrets; teaching a seminar is a way to put yourself out to the world. Consider it a test drive: If you’re a graphic designer, and are teaching the basics of Dreamweaver to a class of 12 at a local community college, these students won’t be your competition. Likely, they’ll be pretty confused.
If they ever want to hire someone to do a restructure of their professional website, they’ll likely go to a person they know: their old professor. The group of students is there for a reason: They want to learn. More importantly, they want to learn from an authority on the subject. Teaching a class allows you to learn as much as it allows you to teach. How? You will receive questions that you might not have considered before. You will become better at what you do while conveying yourself to the audience as an affable, friendly professional.
Now that you have considered all of the options available to you, it’s important to remember that you need to tie all of these together. Yes, you may have had a successful run as a community college teacher, or garnered the most hits a particular website has ever had, but this means nothing if you don’t make sure to provide links and information for those who are curious. Creating a comprehensive portfolio to display your skills and experience ties together the odds and ends into one centralized location, establishing not only the appearance of an expert, but the proof that you are, in fact, a cognoscente.