How to position yourself as an expert – and maintain it
Wednesday, September 5, 2012/
We live in a day and age where anyone and everyone can become an expert.
While this can work in our favour and help us position ourselves as experts a little easier, staying an expert can be a whole different story!
Maintaining your expert status takes a lot more work. You need to be offering ongoing value, be providing new and different information, products or services and techniques, be producing consistent results and be giving key industry insights.
So here are five tips for positioning yourself as an expert and maintaining your credibility and expert status long term:
1. Know your customers
There is no easier way to position yourself as an expert in your customer’s eyes or increase your sales conversion rate for that matter, than to get to know your customers, generally and specifically.
Generally in the sense of knowing what problems your product or service solves, what frustrations people have with your industry and the common objections and reservations potential customers will raise, and specifically in the sense of getting to know each customer personally, doing your research on them and asking the right questions to find out their needs and wants.
The more your customers feel like you can answer their questions, understand their needs and that your products or services can solve their specific challenges, the more credibility you build.
2. Know your industry
Know your industry intimately. Stay up to date with the latest industry news and trends by subscribing to industry association newsletters, journals and magazines and setting Google Alerts for key terms you want to track.
Further your education through reading books, attending seminars and workshops and continue to research the latest techniques, products, service offerings and innovations to stay ahead of your industry and provide your customers with the most up-to-date, relevant and effective information.
3. Develop resources and products
Develop informative, interesting and topical resources and products (both free and paid) to showcase your specialised knowledge. Establish a blog, write articles, e-books, workbooks, manuals and books and/or record videos and podcasts on your areas of expertise.
The more topical, relevant, insightful and consistent your resources are the more they will position you as an expert.
4. Contribute and collaborate
Contributing articles to other blogs, e-zines, websites and publications, and collaborating with others by doing joint workshops, events or co-authoring books or e-books, can be a great way to expand your audience and piggyback off someone else’s credibility.
You become an expert by association and endorsement and can then carry the credibility you have built into your new projects.
5. Use testimonials and past results
Let your testimonials and past results showcase your expertise and sell your products and services to your future customers. Your customer endorsements and the results you have achieved go a long way in building your credibility.
So develop case studies and get testimonials that detail the results you have generated. Use stories of past customers who had similar challenges to the ones your potential clients face now so you can show you have proven experience in solving their problems.
Ask yourself how you determine someone is an expert? Is it because they have been featured in the media? Have written a book? Run workshops and events? Write a blog? Can provide industry insights and answer all your questions?
If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that your potential customers will be evaluating you in the same way, so use this information to develop an action plan for how you will showcase your expertise.
Remember too that positioning yourself as an expert is an ongoing process that takes commitment and dedication.
You always need to be learning, researching, writing articles, blogs or developing resources and most importantly continually promote yourself. While it can seem like a lot of hard work, the payoff is definitely worth it.