For small business owners seeking no-cost ideas for marketing their services, one of the smartest moves you can make is becoming known as an industry expert. How can you build your reputation as an expert? Here are three simple ways to get started.
- Get active on social media. Your business probably already has a presence on social media, but if you want to be recognized as an expert, it’s time to step it up. LinkedIn is probably the best place to spread the news of your expertise to B2B customers—but don’t do it in a pushy way, or you’ll turn off more customers than you attract. Instead of boasting about your business and your accomplishments, use LinkedIn to join or even start Groups, answer questions posed by members of your Groups, and generally engage with others in your network. You can also develop a reputation as an expert by “curating” and sharing valuable content from other sources that you think may be of interest to your potential customers. For example, recently my homeowners’ insurance agent wrote a LinkedIn post on the pros and cons of building a swimming pool on your property. It was very useful to know how this decision would affect my insurance.
- Make the most of content marketing. There are many ways to share your expertise by sharing content—which includes articles, blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, or just about any form of information you provide to prospects. For example, if you own an accounting firm that caters to business owners, you could develop a whitepaper or host a webinar to help business owners prepare for the upcoming tax season. The goal in creating content should always be to think about what problems, needs or concerns your prospective customers are facing, and how your business can help them solve those issues. By offering advice and solutions, your content not only helps your prospective customers but also indirectly bolsters your image as an expert in your industry.
- Get active in the community. One of the best ways to promote your industry expertise is also one that many entrepreneurs are too intimidated to try: public speaking. As a shy person myself, I strongly encourage you to overcome your fears of speaking in front of an audience, because the benefits of public speaking engagements are just too numerous to pass up. Look for organizations where your target customers gather, and contact them to see what speaking opportunities they have available. Develop speeches or workshops that solve a problem or answer questions that your prospective customers are likely to have. Going back to the prior example, an accountant could give a speech to the local Chamber of Commerce or host a workshop for local business owners to help them prepare for tax season. Of course, this not only helps the entrepreneurs in the audience save some time and money on their taxes but also enables the accountant promote his or her expertise and hopefully garner some new business.
By taking these three simple steps, you will find that your reputation as an industry expert multiplies exponentially, attracting more prospective customers to your business than ever before.
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