Call it the chicken and egg phenomenon. People won’t take you seriously unless they perceive you as someone who know’s what they’re talking about, but how do you become an expert in the first place? It’s an ongoing process that requires laser focus, commitment and a variety of strategies, including:
- Build and establish credibility by writing articles for industry publications. It’s now easier than ever to find publications looking for new content. A good starting point is to secure a spot as a guest author in niche industry blogs. This will help you build some momentum (and samples) to pitch to larger publications. Make sure your articles are on point and error-free. No editor wants to waste his or her time correcting basic grammar.
- Publish a book. The Internet has made it possible to self-publish. Writing a book can give you the leverage you need to impress clients, vendors and others.
- Speak at industry events. Seek out the types of events your ideal clients would attend. Put the time in to hone your public speaking skills so you can connect deeply with your audiences. If this doesn’t come naturally, you might consider joining a Toastmaster International club to build confidence and gain feedback in a non-threatening setting.
- Focus on the details. Autograph your work with excellence. Produce good work consistently and people will want to keep hiring you.
- Land high-profile clients. It only takes one big name company to change your company’s trajectory. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith by pitching to the big guns in town.
These ideas are a good start. Remember, the expert was once the amateur. No one grows a business overnight. Staying in the game is half the battle.