Be the Expert
A skill or knowledge you have in which others can fully trust.
One way that a business can set itself apart from others is through thought leadership, or by being the expert. As you niche yourself into a specific area, you begin to build your expertise.
You may not always know your true calling when opening your new business, but patterns will emerge and your specific expertise will begin to develop. Whether you are subconsciously attracting a certain clientele, or you are just really passionate about a sector of your clients, expertise with a specific type of client will develop. And if you choose to run with that experience, you can become the expert.
experience + knowledge = the expert others can trust
Once you feel you have proven your abilities time and time again, consider becoming a thought leader. As a thought leader, you may have developed a process that generates specific results. Or perhaps a solution to a common problem. Or maybe you have just done the work so many times that clients’ expectations are always met. You are a business they can trust, whether they are seeking results, a solution or just a satisfying business relationship.
Types of thought leadership activities
There are many ways to be a thought leader in the industry, especially online. You don’t have to do them all, just pick what resonates best with you…especially if it feels rewarding and fun!
Write a book. A published author always has authority on a topic. If you are exceptional, you may find a publisher. The other option is to self-publish. You can offer your book through an online book store or app, or you can sell them on your own website. You can offer your book digitally or in print.
Start by getting gigs with the local Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, local library or small businesses that hold events. Join networking groups or Toastmasters. Developer your skills which could lead to speaking engagements at conferences and trainings.
Companies hire consultants to fill in the gaps where additional expertise or service is needed. Consulting jobs will help you get some additional paying hours, expand your network, and begin to further develop your expertise in new ways.
Author articles for other business blogs, online publications and even your own website. Articles are a great way to use social media and online newsletters to bring readers back to your website to learn more about you.
As we gain experience in our work, at some point it’s to pass that information on via mentoring those just entering the industry. You make take on an intern, work as a mentor at the local SBA, or teach at a local college.
Start a podcast if you want to build a following of listeners. This is a great strategy for businesses that rely on repeat sales. As you build your library of audio podcast recordings, you will gain traction with others interested in your topic, eventually leading to sign-ups, subscriptions and sales.
There are always companies and studios looking to hire experts to train their employees or students. This is a great way to meet new potential clients as you work as a trainer to introduce your topic and skills.
These are some common ways to build thought leadership and establish yourself as the expert. As you dabble in some of these, you may find that you truly enjoy sharing your gifts, thus attracting more people to your community and client list.
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