Do you follow industry experts?
There are usually experts for just about any industry. The Internet Marketing industry has quite a few good ones. I’ve followed many over the years and still follow some of the same ones today.
And the great thing is that new ones also come along for people to follow. It seems that this can be the case in just about any industry.
There might be a little bit of ego when it comes to being seen as an industry expert, but the benefits go far beyond that. Industry experts are generally seen as being trustworthy. They raise the profile of themselves and the brands they represent. That can lead to new business through a number of natural or organic sales channels.
Interested in becoming an industry expert?
It’s not easy or fast, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort you can become recognized in your industry. Here are some of the best ways to do just that.
1. Publish Regular Content (Blog, Podcast, etc.)
We’ll get this one out of the way early. I know I’m bias on this one, but it’s really something that’s proven to work over the years.
Consider some of the industry leaders you follow. Chances are that some or even most publish some type of regular content. They might publish regular blog posts or podcasts or videos.
It’s this way in a number of industries. The first key is obviously what they are publishing. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It comes down to helping people. Know your target audience. Pay attention to the questions they’re asking and the challenges they experience. Then provide the best answers you can.
That’s it. You earn trust and respect that way.
The second key is doing so consistently. People appreciate reliability. They appreciate consistency.
Whatever content you’re creating go into it for the long-term and do it consistently.
2. Guest (Post, Podcast, etc.)
When you’re just starting out you don’t really have an audience. You have to go where the people are to get in front of them. That’s called guesting.
You’ll see this all the time on TV where experts go on different programs and offer their thoughts on subjects. The tradeoff is that the channel gets great content from the experts and the experts get access to the established audience.
TV is one channel, but you can guest on any number of channels including guest blog posting, podcasts, videos, ebooks and more.
Business partnerships and personal partnerships make people stronger and capable of achieving great things that no individual could do on their own. I like to look at the basketball example. Michael Jordan was the best basketball player of all time.
But even Michael Jordan couldn’t win on his own. He tried that for several years before he won an NBA championship. When he started being more of a teammate, a partner…that’s when the championships started coming.
Look for partnership opportunities as an individual and as a business. Not every partnership will work out, but some will and those will raise your profile.
4. Offer Advice For Free (For Those That Want It)
I think I’ll do a post in the future about unsolicited advice, but just because not everybody wants your advice doesn’t meant that you can’t offer it for free to those that really are seeking it.
You can do this in a number of different ways. You can go to networking events and have conversations and offer advice when others ask. Let’s say you’re a dentist. You’re at a networking event and someone has a question about an issue they’re having. It’s a simple thing (for you, the expert) so you offer advice and help them.
You could start a blog offering the same kind of advice. You could do a series of videos or host a podcast.
Offering advice for free is a key to helping others and building respect. You can’t sit back and only charge for all of your knowledge if you really want to be seen as an industry expert.
5. Speak At Events
When you go to an event you typically think of the speaker as someone very important in the industry. I can’t really say exactly why we think this way because not everyone that speaks at events if necessarily a huge expert.
Some may have not even wanted to speak, but they just kind of stumbled into the situation. But that doesn’t change the way that people see them when they’re speaking.
Speaking at events is a demonstration of your expertise. If you’re looking to be a beacon of expertise in your industry then begin doing speaking events. You can go after small events and large events. The more often you do it the more confidence you’ll build and the more people you’ll bring into your audience.
The way to build relationships, and that’s really what becoming an industry expert is all about, is mingling with people. It’s about being around people in your community. You can start there and continue there. It’s also nationally and globally if you’re looking to do big things.
The Internet and technology today really allows you to grow your audience at any level. You don’t have to look at taking on the world right away. You can start small and build from there.
7. Associate With Industry Experts
We kind of mentioned this one previously with a couple of points, but we’ll bring it out here on its own. The simple act of being seen with other experts raises your profile. Let’s say there’s a panel of experts at a conference. If you’re on that panel you’ll be associated with the others on the panel. And don’t think any panel is beneath you. Look at every situation as an opportunity to associate with experts because everyone really is an expert in something.
8. Co-Create Content w/ Industry Experts
I’ve seen this one work really well.
In one instance, there was a really popular figure in the Internet Marketing space. I’m sure they were busy with all kinds of projects and one thing they did that was really smart was look for up-and-coming people in the industry to partner with to create content.
The way it worked was that together they would formulate an outline for the content, the overall concept. Then the up and comer would create the content. They’d both finalize it and then they would promote it together as a 50-50 partnership.
The tradeoff was that the expert kept a fresh stream of content flowing to the audience and the up and comer got access to an audience and association with an industry expert.
The old saying is that you can grow by association and it’s true. If you associate with industry experts you’ll be seen as an expert.
9. Pro Bono Work
This gets back to giving advice for free. There really isn’t a situation where helping others won’t do good for them, for you and for the world. It’s a win all around.
Some firms, very successful firms, make doing pro bono work a regular part of their efforts. Maybe it’s 10% of their work that they do simply to help others. Okay, maybe it’s not for entirely altruistic reasons. Maybe they’re also doing it to help raise their profile, but it’s still a situation that’s beneficial for all involved.
10. PR Efforts
Finally, PR efforts, which are often overlooked in business, are great for raising a profile. Public Relations is about building a relationship between you or your brand and the public in general. When you’re starting from scratch you’re looking at telling your story to the public through various outlets (TV, radio, magazine, online, etc.) while also providing help.
This kind of flows through the other points in this post, but it’s still important to recognize that if you want to be an industry expert that you’ll be fostering a relationship with the public and it’s something you’ll need to work at.
Becoming an industry expert is a great thing to aspire to. It can bring great things to your life and to your business and brand. But it’s not easy. It’s not something that happens overnight.
Look at experts you admire in whatever industry. Chances are they worked on reaching that status for years. Maybe 5-10 years or more. That’s what it will take.
But that’s an opportunity. Not everyone is willing to do that so you can step in and fill the void. And the tips here are some of the best ways to go about doing so.