As a small business entrepreneur, it’s crucial to build up credibility and position yourself as a leader in your industry.
But how do you accomplish that?
In a paragon world, you want your name to be synonymous with whatever product or service it is that you’re providing. You want to be the “go to” individual when prospective clients consider “networking” or “best author” or whatever it is you want to be recognised for. It takes time to establish a report in your industry but if you’re strategic in your attack, it won’t be long before you’re the name on everybody lips. So what do you do?
- Build upon your net presence
Many individuals go to Google as their 1st source when they’re seeking something. So it’s crucial to build up your net presence. If a prospect searches for you – and you’re invisible on Google but they then seek your competition and discover multiple listings, chances are they’re going to believe your competitor is more accomplished. Whether or not that’s really true, it’s the percept they’ll form because of your net presence (or deficiency thereof).
To build upon your net presence, you may have a blog where you write on matters or hot topics in your business. You can author articles and post them to relevant online sites. Or you can remark on blogs that are read by your target market.
It goes without stating that you should see to it that you’ve the correct search engine optimisation for your site and that your site itself is a clear manifestation of your skills and what you provide.
- Be a speaker at events
Distinguish the sorts of events attended by your target market and offer to address the crowd. Before you get too charged up and think that you’re now going to acquire lots of income as a paid speaker, chances are that you’re going to have to do a number of gratis speaking gigs before you are able to call for payment. Moreover, if you’re obviously lambasting a product or service, or if you’re distinctly using the speaking opportunity as a drill in self-promotion, it’s improbable you’ll be paid.
That’s all right. See it for what it is – a dandy marketing chance for you to reach your target market. The thing about speaking is that your audience can make a true connection with you as they get to check you out in person and maybe even talk to you after the event.
- Be clear-cut about what you’re an authority on
It may sound obvious but I’m astonished at the number of small business entrepreneurs who don’t have lucidity on this. Think of it is as your “elevator pitch”. I’ve heard some business owners drift on for 5 minutes trying to explicate their expertise to me. And at the end I’m none the wiser on what they really do. Don’t go into particulars about the number of qualifications you have and the classes you’ve done.
Keep it simple. Tell individuals how you can assist them.
- Don’t be afraid to deliver a view
We don’t want your view about everything from the state of the economy to who should win Dancing with the stars. But we do want your view on matters in your industry. After all, you’re the authority in this area so behave like one! Don’t be afraid to place your view on blogs, opinion columns, letters to the editor etc. You may author articles for industry publications or, more significantly, publications that are read by your target market.
It pays to go to networking events. Frequent networking is a must for any business owner, especially if you’re fresh to the game.
The key here isn’t to expect to have piles of sales after your 1st event. I get tired of hearing business owner’s state: “yep I went to a networking event but I’m not going back as I didn’t get any customers from it.” That’s just the incorrect attitude. It takes time to establish relationships. After you’ve been to a few and you begin seeing familiar faces, your face becomes familiar to them likewise. And before too long, individuals begin associating you with your business or expertise. The stunner is that they begin telling others about what you do also!
When it comes to positioning yourself as an authority, it takes time. But a good reputation doesn’t come out overnight. Put in the time and energy – and the outcomes will be worth it.