Develop your profile and brand as an expert

expert-at-businessIf you want to create a thriving business as a consultant or coach, it is imperative that you become known as an expert. As people get to know and “see” you on your website, in your videos, on your social media platforms, etc., they’ll start thinking of you as the “go to” person when they have a need or want to solve a specific problem in your area of specialty.

This is the ninth and final post in a series from my report 101 Ways to Create your Dream Consulting Business which you can download here.

Below I’ve listed several items that will help you build your profile and brand so it’s easily recognizable. Don’t worry if the list looks overwhelming. Just peck away at it as you can and before you know it, you’ll be doing most of these things on a regular basis!

10 steps for helping you create expert status

1. Write a bio that’s specific to the consulting or coaching you do. Ensure that it is focused on the benefits/results your clients will receive from working with you. This works better than using a C.V. or resume approach because it demonstrates the value you bring to your prospects instead of listing accolades and previous work history.

2. Develop and articulate your “Point of View”. This is similar to knowing what your unique value proposition is. You need to be able to demonstrate how you stand out from the competition and why prospects should hire you. Your unique perspective is based on your unique experiences and successes. In other words, your “why”.

3. Start writing regular blog posts. This is easily done by creating an editorial calendar for the next six or 12 months. Then you’ll know exactly what you’ll be writing about and when to publish. If you’re too busy to do it, you can always hire a copywriter who is experienced in this area. Just be sure not to fall into the trap of starting a blog, then going a few months without publishing anything. Otherwise people will wonder where you are and may question the professionalism of the services you’re offering. Creating blogs not only builds your profile as an expert but also starts building your intellectual property that you can leverage for future product offerings like books and ebooks, etc.

4. Revisit your LinkedIn profile. Start by writing a compelling headline about what you do. Like all headlines, it has a job to do – entice a prospect to check you out. Do some keyword research. Look at the profiles of others who are your competition and others outside your industry and follow best practices to ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining a view or a contact. The Summary area is also critically important – it’s like a written elevator speech that shows the world in a nutshell what you do. Make it succinct and to-the-point.

5. Use the power of engagement on LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn’t just about connecting with clients and prospects. It is one of the most used social media platforms, which means you have to be social to be “seen”. Post activity updates often – this could be your activities or activities in your industry or interesting articles you’ve come across, etc. Comment on posts of interests in the groups you belong to. Post your blogs in the blog feature to keep a steady stream of content that shows your expertise.

6. Create a signature talk in your area of expertise. The single best and quickest way to build credibility and to get clients is to engage in targeted speaking opportunities. I recommend having a core “signature talk” that you can then modify into different versions for different audiences. Tap your colleagues for speaking opportunities. Get involved in speaker organizations. And simply reach out to organizations or companies you’d like speak for and get onto their calendar.

7. Ask clients for testimonials. Client success stories are one of the best selling tools you have. They can have a great impact if they specify the results your clients achieved while working with you. You can use testimonials in just about all your marketing, whether you refer to them in a sales conversation, during an interview, or when you post them on your website, use them in a newsletter, etc.

8. Publish articles and white papers. These pieces of marketing content can have great appeal to your target market and can be used to get additional people onto your marketing list. Choose one to post on your website as a valuable “freebie”. You can also publish them as a LinkedIn article, repurpose them into blog posts, and give them away as a handout when you speak to a group. Check out association publications and see if you can get your article or white paper published in an upcoming edition. The ways you can re-use these valuable marketing pieces are pretty endless!

9. Have your one-page ‘Speaker Sheet’ ready to go for when you’re invited to interviews and live speaking engagements. Use it when you’re a guest speaker in a webinar or live conference, on radio, online or a at physical seminar.

10. Craft a powerful Brand Story that creates emotional engagement. The operative word here is “engagement”. A good rule of thumb is to write all your marketing materials in a way that engages your listeners and readers. If you’ve done your research and really understand your target market, the job will be easier. Again, if you don’t have the time or the skill to write your content, hiring a qualified copywriter will help raise your image even more.

Remember, just work at the list slowly as you can. Don’t give up if you are confused or struggling. Keep at it. Email me for support at kim@dreambusinesscreator.com or comment below with any of your challenges or wins so we can all share the exciting journey of being entrepreneurs!

© Kim Chernecki 2016

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