Becoming known as an expert in your field of practice is the type of business development that requires a ton of work in the beginning, but once established, can lead to large amounts of work and marketing opportunities without requiring much upkeep. Below are some strategies and online tools that can help you become known as the expert. It can take time, but keep at it, and your phone might just end up ringing off the hook.
Identify a Need
This is pretty self explanatory. There should an identified need and popularity to the subject that you are going to become known as an expert in. For instance, you could be the greatest expert in the world in VCR repair, but it wouldn’t do you any good. Pick a topic that people are searching for. There is a tool that Google provides to identify historical trend data for search terms. Go to Google Trends and type in the item you are thinking about naming yourself an expert of. You might be surprised how many people are or aren’t searching for that area. You can also check websites to see what topics are trending across many websites including Wikipedia and Twitter. The smaller the niche of topic, the easier it will be to become to obtain expert status.
Live, eat, and breathe the topic. Having put on a seminar, testified as an expert, or handled a case in a topic that you can present yourself as an expert in will speed up the process. Try not to duplicate your efforts. In the beginning, it will be helpful to have a cache of information from a presentation or case that you can focus on promoting rather than writing.
It’s not a bad idea to set up a Google Alert to search for news about your industry. Paying attention to news articles about the topic can be useful in tracking developments, knowing who is writing about the topic, and reaching out to those writers to offer yourself as a resource.
Write about popular topics
Within your expert topic, there will undoubtedly be popular trends and developments. If you can focus your writing to those topics, it will make being found and writing popular content much easier. Go back to Google Trends and check to see the most popular web topics for that day or for yesterday. If any of them apply to your expert topic, write a quick article and get it out the door ASAP. The article can be as short as 500 words.
Build on your expertise
Beyond what is popular that day or week, find nuances within your expert topic that may be non-obvious or counter-intuitive. Try and remember what aspects of the topic seemed most confusing and elusive to you when you first started down the path educating yourself on the topic. Reddit is an excellent source to find non-apparent questions and topics that people are talking about. Reddit is one of the most popular online communities where users can post content, ask, and answer questions in communities called ‘Sub-Reddits’. Every industry has a Sub-Reddit. You can check /r/legaladvice for people asking legal questions, or check an industry specific community – there’s /r/askscience for science, /r/medicine for medicine, and /r/technology for technology. Try searching, but be careful where you end up and who’s in the room when you’re searching… nothing is filtered or off-limits on Reddit.
Shameless plug – there’s even a sub-Reddit for legal marketers – http://www.reddit.com/r/legalmarketing.
Don’t give away the farm
You want to include enough facts to make an article interesting and convey that you know what you’re talking about, but you also want to leave enough out so that the reader is compelled to contact or hire you. Broadly cover topics and leave out strategies that aren’t common knowledge or found elsewhere on the internet. A good tip is to also to throw in some ‘scare statistics.’
You can use websites like Synacor or FriendFeed to find popular websites that cover your topic. You can also do a Google search for “[your topic + blogs]” to locate some blogs that cover your expert topic. Reach out to the editors or web managers of those blogs. Blogs are always looking for content and they may be very receptive to posting guest posts that have not been published elsewhere on the web. And always remember – include a backlink to your bio.
NOTE: The requirement that a guest-post should not have appeared elsewhere already is an important point among bloggers and web editors. Having duplicate content as another website makes the post invisible in Google’s eyes and Google is very good at tracking down and omitting duplicate content from its search engine.
Every industry has seminars, conferences, and tradeshows. You can find out about conferences online by visiting events sites like Upcoming.org, or finding local groups on Meetup or Linkedin. Get proactive about reaching out to industry organizations and letting them know about topics you can present on, where you have presented in the past, and why they should choose you. Having a marketing professional put together a clean, easy-to-read media kit can’t hurt. Be sure to disseminate press releases and copies of your articles every time you present. This will help create more buzz about the topic and you as an expert.
Set up a Blog and automate your distribution method
This might seem like cliché corporate-jargon by this point, but putting together a simple, clean blog is a useful tool to help make yourself found. The mistake that most professional service providers make is that they put too much information on their blog. Keep it simple. Only put your credentials, media kit, contact info, and a separate page for all of your blog posts, press releases, and articles. The blog should focus only on the topic you are presenting yourself as an expert on. For the purposes of the blog, leave out all your non-relevant experience and biographical info. You should have a button to collect contact info from interested visitors who want to be put on your mailing list and alerted when you publish or present a webinar. If handled correctly with your marketing professional, the posting and distribution should be a nearly automated process.
Be found by journalists and media professionals
You need to get yourself mentioned as an expert in your topic. There are several online tools available to help journalists find experts. Get yourself listed in those tools. One of the easiest ways is to enter your contact info and relevant media mentions and expertise into expert directories. Expert directories are usually built for reporters, but many useful professionals use them (including cable news companies and bloggers). There are many paid expert directories and there are many free services. One of the most popular is PRNewswire’s Profnet. For a full list of expert directories, visit the Journalist Toolbox.
Get guest radio appearances
This one is more common sense than secret online tool. It really only takes a little bravado. Search Google for your local radio show’s programming director. Syndicated shows have their own program directors. All you have to do is reach out to them by phone or email and offer yourself as an expert. If the topic is useful and relevant, they may ask for you credentials, at which point you should have a media kit to send them. To find relevant online radio stations in your area check Radio Station World ; it will take a little digging to get the contact info of the program director, but this is an excellent starting point.
Majux Marketing is a Philadelphia-based marketing and Law Firm SEO agency that specializes in helping attorneys and professional service providers revolutionize their online marketing efforts. If you would like to find out what Majux can do for your practice, please feel free to contact us.