Have you ever thought to yourself, “ I’m an expert, but no one knows it… yet”?!
While everyone is knowledgeable in some area, once you develop expertise the hard part is communicating your expertise to your ideal clients. Once you’ve determined where your clients hang out, you’ll need to let them know you’re an authority in your industry; ready to help them out.
Here are 4 smart ways to establish your niche expertise online.
1. Create free and valuable content.
Put yourself out there! Show people who you are and what you know! Giving your ideal clients valuable content (e.g., by blogging, answering their questions on social media, etc.) quickly establishes your credibility.
Not only will you respond to the person asking the question, but others will see your response, and in turn this builds your credibility. Frankly, I don’t think there’s such a thing as giving away too much free information, especially in the beginning.
You need to establish yourself as an expert and build your credibility. You have to get your name, face, message, and knowledge out there. The best, easiest, and fastest way to do that is by giving away valuable information for free.
The clients you want to work with (i.e., your ideal client), will take notice, recognize you, and eventually want to work with you once they see how knowledgeable and valuable you are in your niche.
2. Make social media your BFF.
These days, spreading the word is easy, but spreading the word requires more strategy than simply shouting from the rooftops. You’ll actually have to work for it. You can’t expect to create an online presence and immediately have people follow, trust and love you.
Your ideal client is probably on social media right now. This means your social media strategy should engage them on the platforms that best align with their demographics and interests. Develop a social media calendar, test the frequency and number of posts that work best for your niche and then engage, like, comment, and post your knowledge like crazy.
Not only will your ideal client see your posts, they will see you showing up and providing support, inspiration, and motivation. Keep in mind each social platform has a unique set of users with varying needs. Your approach will vary across top networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
3. Make sure your content is relatable.
Sharing content to establish credibility is important, but making it relatable is essential. There are a lot of experts sharing information on the internet. Let your message stand out by making it more personable.
You may be tempted to put on your professor hat to show authority and to illustrate you know what you’re talking about. However, you need to share your own personal experiences in your content. What you believe and what you have experienced will validate the expert advice you’re sharing. For example, get personal by telling a story of the lesson you learned.
Entrepreneur Andrea Novella, for instance, shared a very personal story about her ordeal going from job loss to entrepreneurship. “I can honestly say, being let go from my job was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because at that point, I had no choice but to make my business succeed,” she recalls.
This type of personal storytelling hits home with aspiring entrepreneurs in a career transition or readers who need a push to pursue their dreams. Show your ideal client that your expertise applies to real life scenarios they face by sharing your own examples.
4. Be clear and consistent with your message.
Be consistent with your content. Show up on a regular basis to share your expertise. The best way to stay consistent is to develop a content marketing plan that is feasible for your stage of business and available resources.
Ultimately, you should aim to develop “content marketing strategies where your content and your story are ubiquitous and you are engaging with your audience anywhere, any time and on any device.”
As you start to establish credibility, people will start sharing your content. This visibility and exposure will increase your reach. Be patient, it takes time, but once you test what’s working and do more of it, you will gain momentum.
Share your knowledge, get comfortable with shameless promotion, and be consistent with your content. Your ideal client will start to believe you’re an industry expert once they consistently see you everywhere. Take every opportunity to establish your expertise and people will remember you.
When it comes to building an online business it all starts with your know, like and trust factor. By following these best practices and being consistent you will begin to gain exposure and become a trusted industry authority. Best of all, these tips can be implemented without any money; all you need is time, effort and your expertise.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Veronica L. Sagastume is the founder and CEO of BizFit Coaching . She is a Business Coach and Strategist for entrepreneurial women. If you’re ready to launch your Biz, visit BizFitCoaching.com for coaching opportunities and go from Dream to Launch. Connect with @Veronica_BizFit on Twitter.