You’ve invested time and money on a website. The logo’s pretty, there’s no denying that. You’ve spent endless hours deciding on your brand colors and the perfect font combo.
Your new fancy business cards are tucked away in your purse ready to be handed out. You’ve posted on social media and all your friends are cheering for you. Your new home office is ready and waiting.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: clients knocking on your door and queuing up to work with you.
Reality? Days, weeks, even months, went by and… Nothing. Crickets. Nada.
When you’re running a business, there’s nothing as soul-destroying as not having clients. Without clients, you can’t keep the lights on. Without clients, you have no business.
You have to stand out to attract clients
At the time of writing, there are over 1.6 billion websites out there.
And that’s the problem.
In order to attract clients, you have to stand out in this vast online space so that potential clients will notice you. You have to become known as the go-to person in your field.
“But I’m only just starting out! I don’t have any following and the only person who knows about my business is my mom. How do I become the go-to expert?”
I hear you! Before you start freaking out, let me tell you one thing: you don’t have to be famous or have a huge following to get known as an expert. You just have to focus your marketing efforts on a well-defined group of people – people with problems you can solve.
To quote Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, “I’m not famous, I’m simply very well-known to certain people.”
There’s no doubt that getting known as an expert makes it easier for you to attract clients and command higher fees. So what can you do to build your reputation?
7 Strategies That Will Help You Get Known As An Expert
1. Own your expertise
You may feel hesitant to call yourself an expert for fear that others will perceive you as being arrogant or not being good enough. You feel that there’s some kind of magical line that you have to cross before you can be considered an expert in your field. It’s like you’ve been waiting all your life for someone to annoint you as being worthy.
The truth is, as long as you have solid knowledge about a particular niche or industry, you’ll always be ahead of a sizable group of people who are a few steps behind you.
Stop and think for a few moments. What is the sum total of your knowledge, experience and expertise? How long has it taken you to get to where you are?
Consider your life’s work, your education, your training, your commitment, and your dedication to serve and help others. Own your expertise with pride. Aim to serve your clients with the knowledge you’ve accumulated over the years and you’ll find it easier to call yourself an expert.
Related: How to Create Your First One-on-One Services in 5 Steps
2. Be known for one thing
This follows naturally from Point 1. If you’re going to be considered an expert, you need to be an expert for something specific. In other words, you need to define your niche.
Think about it, if your car needs repairing, would you take it to a place that proclaims “We specialize in every car model under the sun”, or would you have more confidence in a specialist garage that knows your model inside out?
You can’t be everything to everyone. If you try to cater to a wide range of clients, your marketing message will be diluted, vague and generic, and therefore ineffective.
You need to appeal to a well-defined segment of your audience. In fact, the more well-defined your niche is, the more you’ll be able to connect with the desires of that audience, and the easier it will be for you to get known as an expert. “Riches are in the niches” is the key to standing out from the crowd.
3. Share your knowledge generously
Sharing your knowledge and delivering valuable content to your target audience is one of the best ways to show your expertise. Share generously. Don’t hold back.
“But how does giving generously help me with my business?”
Well, for a start, when you share your expertise on topics that are relevant to your ideal clients, it pulls people toward you and your message. You don’t have to chase after people to pay attention to you. Those who are drawn to your content will naturally gravitate toward you.
What’s more, when you share generously, and people like what you share, they will come to trust you. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to establishing yourself as an expert.
Here are the types of content you can share with your audience:
- Blog posts
- Podcast episodes
- Support and advice on social media channels (like Facebook or LinkedIn groups)
- Introduction to other people in your network
- Recommended resources and tools that will help your audience save time and money
Related: How to Get Great Content Ideas From Reddit
4. Have a unique point of view
Developing a unique point of view (POV) is a sure-fire way to stand out, make an impression and get known as an expert.
Do you have opinions that go against the status quo? Are there things in your industry that you feel should be done differently? If so, don’t be afraid to take a stand and make it part of your core message. Speak out, write about it, create conversations around the topic, and consider how you can bring about change.
Be prepared to offend some people. That’s part and parcel of taking a stand. Some of your followers may unsubscribe. Others may even hate or shame you. Poking your head up will feel scary at first, but staying safe won’t get you noticed.
Your POV needs to be relevant to your audience. It needs to be something they care about too, or it won’t resonate with them and you won’t be able to build a connection. Needless to say, it also needs to be authentic and something you’re genuinely passionate about. If it’s manufactured in order to gain followers, people will notice. So, any discussion around your POV needs to come from a place of authenticity or it will likely backfire on you.
5. Speaking engagements
Speaking engagements allow you to demonstrate your expertise, build credibility and position yourself as an expert in your field. It’s also a great opportunity to get in front of your target audience and spread your message.
Brainstorm a few topics you feel confident to speak about. Look out for industry conferences & conventions, workshops, trade shows, webinars, podcasts and online summits for speaking opportunities. Whatever your field of expertise, there’s likely a network you can tap into for leads and connections.
6. Write a book
There’s something about being a published author that automatically elevates you as an expert and a trusted resource in your subject.
A book raises your visibility, helps drive traffic to your website, helps you get found more easily, and is one of the best marketing tools for your business.
You already have extensive knowledge about your chosen field, so why not write a book about it?
You’re probably coming up with many reasons why you can’t write a book, a common one being “But so and so has already written a book on that topic!” My advice is that you should go ahead and write it anyway. Sure, ten other authors may have written about it already, but you’ll likely have a different take or angle that hasn’t been explored before.
7. Collaborate with others in your field
Another great way to build your expert status is by collaborating with others who serve a similar or complementary audience as yours.
This can be co-creating new products / services, running a joint marketing campaign, or cross-promoting each other to help expand your reach.
The most effective collaborations are when like-minded businesses genuinely work together, whether it’s supporting a common cause, having shared core values, or having similar worldviews.
Collaborations often come about after a chance meeting whilst networking or having a casual chat with another business owner. So be on the look-out for possible collaboration partners and be open about such opportunities that come your way.
Building your expert status takes time, especially at the beginning, but the above 7 strategies will give you a headstart and help speed up the process.
Which strategies speak to you? Which will you try? Let me know in the comments below.