Do you like to influence people? Have you got knowledge of your subject to the extent that others could benefit from your experience?
If so, you are or could be an effective expert that people take notice of and listen to.
When you see people being interviewed on TV, and their name comes up with the title ‘Industry Expert’, it gives them gravitas that other people don’t have.
People just love dealing with experts, and many of the experts that you will come across will have strong personal brands. A brand is simply an image that belongs to a product, and if your product is expertise, then people will look up to your advice and guidance.
Being an expert doesn’t mean you need a PhD in your chosen field; it’s all about the way you position yourself within your industry and what impression you portray to all those who come across you and your company.
Many of your potential business clients are crying out for guidance and reassurance in a very uncertain world. So, the key to reaching out to all of these keen business prospects is to demonstrate your wealth of knowledge and experience in a space where they will be able to interact and engage with you. It really is about how you apply what you know to help others that provides a display of competence and encourages people to trust you.
So, exactly how do you position yourself as an industry expert?
Here are three tips to help you build your online persona and create an internet profile which will benefit you as a sales professional and business owner:
Write articles, blogs, newsletters, etc that showcase your knowledge
These can go online (your LinkedIn account, business Facebook pages, etc) or they can appear as freepress articles, in magazines or industry press literature. Writing articles that are of value to others is a key way to build your profile as an expert.
If you’re constantly retweeting and linking to other thought leaders content rather than producing your own then you will not be viewed as an industry expert; you will simply be seen as another follower of other people’s good ideas.
By providing plenty of your own original content and complimenting this with recognition of work produced by others in your field, you will display the persona of someone who has plenty to say for themselves but also acknowledges other great minds as being just that.
Add value in whatever you give out
People want to know what you know, so it’s important to add value with every contact. Your thought leadership content is what your business followers really are looking for. You have to give people what they want, so if there are opportunities to spread your knowledge, then do so. Adding value to your business prospects should be the end goal.
As a manager, you may never have thought about offering yourself as an industry expert. But it can reap its rewards in the future. Our MD, Sean McPheat, is constantly being asked for his views, ideas, advice and comments on a myriad of subjects, and only because people view him as an expert in his field. When you become that expert, and people ask for your opinions, you know you have influenced others and have built up a great reputation.
Head of Training
Originally published: 3 August, 2012