Here's how to successfully position yourself and your brand in a sea of competitors.
Many people refer to themselves as a leading expert, but the truth is, only a select few are able to make a profession out of being an expert. To become a true industry expert, it takes dedication, time and hard work to steadily build your credibility.
The same applies to brands and businesses. To build authority and awareness for your brand and beat your competition, you need to put in the time and effort to establish yourself as an expert. This is how HubSpot managed to become the leading expert in the digital marketing industry. It's also the same reason why many other businesses, such as Basecamp and Slack, managed to beat more successful brands on their way to the top by simply showing authority.
Whether you're an individual or a business looking to become an industry expert, here are five simple steps you can follow to get started on the journey.
1. Start a blog and build an audience.
Starting a blog is one of the easiest first steps you can take to becoming an industry expert. It increases your visibility on search engines, plus you can share your ideas and opinions, and reach your target audience at the same time. You can also use your blog to create your first loyal group of followers by growing an email list and sending them newsletters.
2. Share your knowledge for free.
To demonstrate your experience and value, you'll have to give away some of your best lessons for free. A great medium you can use for this is video. People consume video more than text. Use it to your advantage by creating informative videos and sharing them with your audience for free. You can easily create a YouTube channel and start growing a following.
3. Write a book.
Writing a book is one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and authority. Nothing says you're an expert more than adding published author to your resume or bio. Thanks to self-publishing platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing, releasing a book of your own is easier than ever. In fact, you can write a book on a Word file, format it, and upload it to Amazon to get it published within 48 hours. Better yet, you can write a book and give it away for free as a lead magnet to grow your email list while promoting your other products.
4. Attend conferences and network with others.
Now that you already have a blog, an email list, a YouTube channel, and a book, you can start promoting them to build your brand. Instead of claiming to be an expert, now you have evidence to back it up. Start attending conferences, meetings, and events related to your industry and connect with people. Network with other experts and build relationships. If you've done a good job at creating great content, you can be invited to speak at events as well.
5. Write guest posts and join podcasts.
Once you start blogging, creating videos, and producing content, you will become more discoverable. However, to reach new heights and go beyond, you need to promote yourself as an expert to new audiences. This is why many experts – Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Bill Gates – often write guest posts for popular blogs and appear in podcast interviews.
You can use this same strategy to promote your blog and your brand to new audiences. Simply find a blog that accepts guest posts and pitch them an idea. Once you have a good portfolio of published guest posts, you can create a special section on your website to show all of the websites you've been featured in.
Never stop learning
Even after you've established yourself as an expert, you need to keep practicing and keep learning to provide more value as an expert. Part of the process is staying up-to-date with industry news and following the latest trends. As long as you continue to increase your knowledge, you'll have more to share and educate. Eventually, you'll see more people gathering around you to listen to your opinions and follow your advice.