As a brand and culture strategist who helps individuals and brands define their unique position in the market, I meet many business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who want to position themselves as Brand U experts.
Not only do they want to be known as key influencers in their field, they want to leverage and build a reputation so clients and business finds them, so media ask them for their opinion rather than them having to sell, sell.
I just read an article by Lolly Daskal from Lead From Within and it aligns so closely with the advice I give my clients that thought I would share a part of it here and add my personal commentary (my personal thoughts are included in italics). Thanks @LollyDaskal for the great resource!
Here are 10 simple strategies that can help you raise your profile and help you find the people who need your expertise (plus commentary from me):
1. Identify your skill.
When you know your skills and capabilities, it is easier to position yourself as an expert. What are your skills, experience, and knowledge?
(I recommend the Gallup Clifton Strengths Finder, you can also explore DISC, PCSI, Myers Briggs but my personal preference is the Strengths Finder - if you need help undertaking this contact us!)
2. Find your voice.
Create a website, define a target audience, and begin speaking from your experience. Let people find out what you know and what you stand for. Having a voice builds your authority and allows others to find you online.
(If you don’t have a website yet use a blog or LinkedIn articles like this to state your position).
3. Maintain your credibility.
Define what you know and draw a line. With your reputation at stake, this is not a time to practice "fake it till you make it." As you progress, remember that what is most important is to maintain your credibility and your reputation.
(Everything you say and do must be on brand to maintain this. Everything, especially online - post consciously. Expand your skills of course but don't bulls@#t about what you can and can't do).
4. Network generously.
The real currency of networking is not about getting; it is about giving. It is about being generous with those you meet and sharing what you have to offer. Networking is what will get you introduced; generosity is what will make a connection.
(My motto is always Give, Give, Give. Follow up – send a referral, an article a resource that will help them, and of course connect on LinkedIn).
5. Speak up everywhere you go.
A great way to be acknowledged as an expert is to apply to a conference and get booked to speak. Speaking engagements are a great way to reach your audience and build your credibility. Find professional associations or company boards or town hall meetings. Are there classes you can teach, either in a noncredit program or a traditional academic program? When people start calling you to speak about your what you know, you have become an expert.
(Speaking is one of the best positioning tools – speak and you are perceived as the expert. To expand my speaking in 2016 I gave away 20 speaking gigs for free in the month of May, it got me focused, got me seen and helped me hone my craft).
6. Develop a blog.
Blogging provides you with a potential worldwide audience, and showcases your subject-matter expertise as well as your abilities as a writer. The key to writing a successful blog post is to keep the information useful and highly relevant, and to put out value articles frequently. Remember, you want people to see you as a resource, so provide the best information possible.
(See #2 - also keep track of what people like to read and the information they comment on, like or share - my two most popular blog post to date show people are having trouble with their bosses and leaders. Check them out here: 1 - How poor leaders are killing us and 2 - How to tell your manager they suck)
7. Become the source.
Journalists and writers are always looking for experts that they can quote in their articles. You can connect with these professionals with websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or The Expert Connection (ProfNet); these sites can connect an expert with their audience.
(We have SourceBottle here in Australia. Also you can write opinion pieces for the journals etc that are in your clients field).
8. Produce something.
Produce your own informational pieces such as books, e-books, or monthly newsletters. You can also create learning platforms with webinars, podcasts, or online videos to promote your services. You can then feature these products on your website or blog, or give them away when people enquire about your products.
(Yes yes yes this is why I recommend many of my clients write a book or a white paper. You can check out my quirky book - it's only a plane ride read - here!)
9. Make use of social networking.
Social platforms are important to getting your expertise out. Be active on all social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
(Use your expertise to add value, especially related to your keyword or key point of expertise whenever you can).
10. Help others along the way.
You can also develop your reputation as an expert by using your knowledge and expertise to help others. Signing on to skill share is a great way to become acknowledged as an expert in your field.
(Connect, engage, and assist as many people as you can - even here on LinkedIn - that is how your influence will grow. Before you know it people will be asking for your experience because they know, like and trust you. My measure of if you are beginning to become a brand U expert is are you being asked to have coffees often because people want to "pick your brain").