My new (fabulous) SEO/tech person for The Brazen Soul says I need to get content out there that speaks to the pain of my “market” and is super-easy to digest. (Jeez, he sounds like a good marketing guy, too, doesn't he… hmmm, even more fabulous.)
He's right. We're out here on this web of connection and information to resolve desires and needs. You may not have noticed (ahem), but sometimes I say a lot of words and do a considerable amount of musing in my posts. (Which I may be at risk of doing right now already…)
But not this time.
Here are 8 rock solid things you can do right away to step toward becoming a Known Expert in your field:
1. Start a blog. Post really smart tips, stories & ideas on that blog that meet the needs of your market. (Like this, see?) One of my clients has grown a whole following based largely on her blog – one that has now joined her email newsletter as well because they see her as an expert in her area of counseling.
2. Write an article for print publication. You can often find local publications in your area of expertise (parenting magazines/weekly, business news, Chamber of Commerce publication) that accept well-written articles from non-professional writers. They often have an online version of their publication as well, expanding your reach considerably. (Be sure to share about your article in your blog and on social media as well!)
3. Offer to speak for a local group that would benefit from your expertise. If you are a counselor who works with children, offer to speak to a local Mom's/Dad's/Parent's group on a topic you choose together (have a list of topics ready to offer up.) If you are a medical massage therapist, offer to do a presentation for the staff at a pain clinic… things like that. I have a few clients who speak at the local college in classes related to their areas of expertise. See if there is an opportunity like that in your area.
4. Create an email newsletter. Send it out monthly to your list of contacts. Better yet, add a sign up form to your website (talk to your website developer if this is outside of your expertise. It's worth the effort, trust me), offer a really cool free gift for signing up, then fill your newsletter with such great content that your readers can't help but encourage their friends to sign up, too.
5. Write a book. Okay, this is a doozy, I know. But it's really effective at showcasing how much you know on your topic – and how well you can write about it. And by the way, it's super hard, but it's more doable than you might think. I wrote the 200+ page companion book to Vision Into Action: The Brazen Soul Program in 4 months, start to finish (another month for the publishing rigmarole.) If I can do it, you so can do it.
6. Join the Board of a local nonprofit organization that you adore.First of all, serving others who need you feeds the soul. This is a powerful way to do that. You don't need me to tell you that, you probably give your time already. Being on the Board of an organization gives you challenging opportunities and often requires that you advocate publicly on behalf of the organization. This gets your name out there and shows you care enough to Contribute in big ways.
7. Offer a free workshop. Your name next to the cool title you've given to your workshop, expressing your expertise status (as you convince others you are the one to learn this thing from) is pretty compelling. Especially if you do it repeatedly, where your name and business start to become associated with your topic area. If you make cakes, throw a free cake decorating workshop. If you are a nonfiction book author, offer a workshop that helps people interact with one of the most exciting concepts in your book. I facilitated a free Party Pitch workshop recently and it was fabulous. (Plus, I created a very cool product out of that workshop… bonus! Watch for that soon, by the way…) I am known around town as the person to go to for your networking Party Pitch – even now more than before, thanks to that workshop.
8. Create stunning marketing materials (website, business cards, brochure). I once had someone hold up my brand new (stunning, I might add) brochure, wave it in my face and say, “You clearly know what you are doing.” She hired me, yes. I had at least three other phone calls as a DIRECT result of that heavy-card-stock, deep purple, simple-and-dramatic marketing piece. The other day one of my clients told me that a friend of hers started telling her about “this woman who has this really cool website who helps people grow their soulful businesses” until my friend realized she was talking about me. Not to brag by telling you all these stories about me, me, me… and anyway, all of these are the work of brilliant designers, not me (which is why investing in talented design is such a no brainer.) People spread the word when they are impressed by your marketing materials. That's why it is way worth it to invest in them.
Okay – there you have it. Pick one. Get it done. You are one step closer to growing your business in ways you can't imagine right now. Then pick another and get even closer… it just gets better from there.