We at Inspired 2 Design™ feel that as a business owner, one great way to gain notoriety is to be the expert in your field - whether limited to your community, your entire county, your state, or even nationally. Being seen as the "go-to" contact for information, advice, and commentary is a fantastic way to promote your business. Here are some ways to build yourself up as an information source:
1. Educate – write, write, write! Start simply with a tip of the day, compile into "how-to" articles. Start a blog... like this one! Be relevant, be newsworthy, be educational - just be writing.
2. Go public – publish your educational writings online, and in print. Send information to clients, prospects and contacts via an Email newsletter, links to online sources, clippings and more. Ask the recipients to share the information. You'll be amazed at how regular, consistent information - that's relevant and useful - becomes important to your clients. They'll begin to rely on your writings, anticipate them, and eagerly await them.
3. Add press releases to your marketing mix. Regular feeds of newsworthy information to local media outlets will build your "expert" level and add credibility. Again, check your motives - your information must be relevant, timely and not self satisfying.
4. Speak Up! Turn your writings into presentation material and become a public speaker. Start by contacting local clubs like the Rotary, Lions, and Jaycees, ask if they're looking for speakers. Teach a workshop or seminar. There are audiences out there who would be interested in your relevant, timely information. And when you're done... you are the expert!
5. Tie it all into your business. It's okay, really it is to link your information to your services, to case studies, to success stories. Check your motives, however. If your writings or your training sessions become too heavily weighted in sales pitches and hard sell, the audience will catch on quickly - and you'll lose ground.
6. Become a life-long learner. Attend classes, workshops, training sessions. Read, read, read - the newspaper, magazines, online, offline, books, cereal boxes... it really doesn't matter, just read and read some more. Take up a new hobby - you'll be surprised who you might meet. Ask questions, and LISTEN to the answers. You can't be an expert if you're not up to speed on the latest happenings, trends and goings on in your community, your industry and your client's world too.
7. Network to increase your net-worth. Join the Chamber of Commerce (Cherokee County's chamber is fantastic), join a club (like Rotary), join a networking group (like SECBN), join a local business association (like BGBA), attend workshops and classes where you can meet others with similar interests. But, and this is SUPER IMPORTANT, don't just join! You have to get involved, attend events, meet new people, take the initiative to seek out relationship that hold the most mutual benefits.
8. Form alliances (we like the phrase Fusion Marketing). Through all of 1-7 above, you'll be meeting new people, learning about their businesses, their challenges, and their strengths. Find the ones that you can join with to co-market, co-brand, co-author, co-speak, and build up a strong relationship that you can use to expand your market reach and effectiveness. You may find you have a knack for one area, and can double or triple your impact by adding complimentary experts to your team. (One word of caution - be very sure that whoever you align yourself with is a person/company that really knows their stuff, and is reliable!).
You will be most effective when your motives for sharing are genuine. Expert-status and the associated promotion of your business are really just by-products of the efforts you put into educating others. Call Inspired 2 Design to add knowledge to your marketing mix - if you don't like to write, research or speak, we can help!