by Jacquie Wise
Eight steps towards showcasing your expertise
Here you are at a cross-roads in your career at a mature age. You have years of experience behind you and are looking for a way to use your knowledge as an independent consultant.
You know how to run a business and could set yourself up easily enough. But how do you get yourself recognised and respected by journalists, organisations and potential clients as an authority in your industry?
What can you do to be sought after for your expertise and your solutions or opinions?
There are eight steps you need to take
to market yourself as an expert.
You need to be prepared to share your knowledge and opinions openly and for free to build the kind of reputation that will enable you to charge decent fees for consulting or speaking.
1 Select a website designer who knows about search engine optimisation and marketing. Your website needs to be more than an ad that just sits there—it needs to draw the right people to your site. If properly created, your site could be the foremost industry resource for potential clients, journalists and organisations. Develop a mailing list for your blog, which will be sought after if it contains useful insights.
2 Keep your ear to the ground so that you can be the first to spot trends and changing needs and be the first to talk about them in the press, or as a speaker.
3 As a member of relevant professional associations, you will constantly meet key people. Follow them up with introductions or useful information. Link with them on LinkedIn.
4 Get yourself invited as guest speaker anywhere you can. Your presentation can later become an article, or your article can be turned into a presentation.
5 Create a list of magazines, industry and professional association journals and papers that people in your industry read. Maintain a continually updated list of the journalists who write about your industry.
6 Come up with ideas for stories. Journalists will quote you and seek you out for your insights. They are continually looking for stories and will keep contacting you if you are known to have leads and accurate information they can use in their articles.
7 Observe how feature articles are written and write some yourself that will reveal your in-depth knowledge. Look for articles others have written and respond to them. If you disagree with what they’ve said, so much the better. You will become known for your innovative point of view.
8 Propose ideas for articles to publication editors and get your name in print. The same articles can go on your website once they’ve been printed and you can add a link to the journal, which will enhance your website. Send copies to your contacts or potential clients as well, when you arrange a meeting to discuss a well-paid speaking or consulting engagement.
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