To be successful as a consultant requires that your ideal clients view you as an expert. And not just an expert, but the expert in your field of specialty. One of the biggest mistakes I see consultants make is being too generic. They don’t pick a specialty or niche. They don’t brand themselves. The truth is, you can’t be the best at everything. So, you need to take an inventory of the specific experience, education, and expertise you bring to your consulting business and determine what you want to be known for—I call that your brand positioning, or platform. Once you identify that, it’s your job to begin using a variety of marketing activities to cement that brand positioning in the hearts and minds of your ideal clients.
Here are six ways to establish your expertise so you become the go-to expert in your field. When that happens, you’ll be surprised how clients and opportunities start coming to you, instead of you having to chase them down!
6 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Expert
1. Create a Blog
Creating a blog, focused on your area of expertise, and regularly posting articles, videos, and other valuable content is a great way to show prospects you know your stuff. But don’t just regurgitate the same old information people can find anywhere on the web. Create content with a point-of-view—your branded point-of-view. Give people a reason to visit your blog by providing fresh, interesting, and thought provoking information.
2. Write and Post Articles on Article Directories and other Blogs
Not only will posting articles on directories such as EzineArticles.com help you reach new people, it will also develop links back to your website or blog, which can generate traffic. If you’re a featured contributor on someone else’s blog, you’ll enjoy the benefit of a third-party endorsement. Readers assume your content is being featured because the blog host believes you are indeed an expert. Include your bio and a link to your website, blog, and free gift at the end of each article or blog post, and it can help you generate traffic and build your email list.
3. Publish a Free Report
In the online world, offering a free gift such as a report, video, or e-course is still the best way to build an email list. In addition to building a list of potential new clients, a free report is a great way to share your point-of-view and showcase your expertise in a longer format than an article or blog post might allow. It’s also the perfect no-risk first-step for potential clients. Just be sure to offer them a complimentary consultation, or other product or service at the end of your report so they can take the next step if they’re ready.
4. Publish an ezine or enewsletter
Piggybacking on #3 above, once you begin building an email list, it’s important to maintain regular contact with the people on it. By sending out a weekly or monthly ezine or enewsletter that features short articles or videos showcasing your knowledge, you’re solidifying your expertise among this audience of interested prospects.
5. Speak Live or on Teleseminars
Sharing your expertise via live speaking engagements or free teleseminars is a great way to put yourself in front of potential new clients and showcase your knowledge. You can also use free speaking engagements as an opportunity to generate consultations, sell an information product or book, or build your email list.
6. Write a book
Writing a high quality book that showcases your branded point-of-view can be a very effective way to establish your brand and separate yourself from other consultants in your field. With today’s self-publishing options it’s easier than ever to publish your own book. Plus, a book can help you generate media interviews and speaking engagements, two other ways to establish yourself as an expert.
All six of these marketing activities provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience and establish yourself as an expert. Just make sure you have first identified your point-of-view, or brand platform. Remember, you want to become known for your way of doing things; just being another generic consultant spouting the same old information won’t be nearly as effective.