Making it half way through your first month of blogging is a pretty big deal – if you are a personal blogger with very few expectations. If you are just starting your small business blog, congratulations for making it this far, but it’s time to get serious. You can’t be getting all giddy over every anniversary like a naive preteen. You are a professional business blogger now and it’s your time to shine.
If you started your blog with us on the first, you should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 posts by now, in addition to having set the tone for your blog’s future. I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that our blog is going to be used to inform our readers as much as possible on small business marketing tactics and to offer them a chance to not only follow along with us, but also join in on tips we are currently doing on our own and even gain some valuable publicity for their new blogs.
Another tactic I’ve been seriously contemplating is the idea of establishing myself as an expert in one or more areas of small business marketing. Despite my penchant for maintaining confidence through even the most stressful projects or deadlines, I’ve never actually thought of myself as an expert on anything other than, well, me.
Discussing this same topic with a client lately though, he pointed out that I almost always throw in the caveat “In my professional opinion” when beginning a presentation. I’m not sure if this is purely subconscious or if being a professional can actually be sufficient for being an expert on the Internet. Over the next few days, I thought a lot about who the experts were online and how they got there. From the blogs I read that I consider to have expert authors, it was basically a 50/50 split of those who were already in an authoritarian position before blogging, and those who used their blog to become an expert.
Well with split even odds in my favor, I figured why not. I’m quite adept at providing consistently favorable results to our clients, I’ve been blogging on and off for several years, I write a marketing blog that posts at least 15 times per week, I’ve gotten some great feedback for the content I have added, some of my other blogs rank very well in their search engine terms, I have quality experience on several sides of the media (journalist, blogger, marketing director, newspaper editor, press release writer, fraud liaison 😳 ), have spent an average of 100 hours a week over the past two years learning as much as possible about Internet marketing and am completely devoted to continuing that education for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully that will qualify me as an expert in this field and you won’t boo me out of here. If not, well it’s my blog and I’ll brag if I want to. 🙄
If that weren’t enough, I now present to you the reasons why you should want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and how to go about doing so. (*Wouldn’t knowing how to establish oneself as an expert basically imply that I am one?) Lastly, since this may all backfire in my face, I’ll go over some things you should avoid when trying to establish your expertise. Cross your fingers.
Why would I want to be seen as an expert in my field?
- Being perceived as an expert in your field will lead to an increase in your company’s sales. People strangely feel more comfortable buying from someone they “think” is an expert. Even better is to be viewed as THE expert. I would say that bloggers like Darren Rowse and Brian Clark are considered THE experts in using a blog to make money and online copy writing respectively and that only one of them was a professional before starting his blog. If you are going to do it, do it. Like many other marketing rules, first one in is usually the last one out
- Build a loyal following of readers enthusiastic about evangelizing your prowess all across the Internet. The amount of time and money saved from the free advertising and branding efforts will likely be substantial
- Being an expert will also open up multitudes of other opportunities for you, including speaking engagements, book contributions, guest appearances and a line of willing referral and affiliate partners
How can I build my image as an expert in my field?
- Writing articles and posting them in online article directories is a great way to brand your name and company on the topic of the article. You will also see your article picked up across other blogs in your niche, spreading your name and message even further. Make sure you craft a solid reference box at the end of the article to entice some desired action from readers
- Write some press releases and pitch them to the media, local or otherwise. I’ve had a few articles published locally for my parenting blog, but I’m more interested in gaining a regular advice column to increase my authority and expand from there. Persistence pays off in these matters. Don’t give up. An expert wouldn’t
- Write a useful newsletter and distribute issues freely to your email, client and media connection lists. Build these lists up, as well as your RSS feed subscriptions, and you will gain valuable authoritative respect
What are the consequences of being seen as an expert in my field?
- Over evaluating your skills can lead to reader mutiny. If your readers even begin to smell a fake, your name, reputation and blog will burn faster than a Southern California wildfire. Don’t overstep your bounds, but be confident that when you have reached a high-level of knowledge that you are ready to take that next step
- A deluge of contact messages is sure to accompany your new position as an expert in your field. If you don’t have time to handle the increased requests from media, readers and prospects responsibly, maybe you should reconsider this move
- For you anti-socials out there, being an expert is probably not going to help you maintain a low profile. In fact, blogging itself is likely to blow your cover; becoming an expert will only multiply that attention. As a blogger, you can stay relatively unknown personally, but once you are an expert, your adoring public is going to want to see what you are wearing each and every day. Enjoy!
While some of the people I most look up to in this field are long-established experts, I have to believe there is room for one more. Some fresh fish so to speak, with a noticeably different approach to things. As your newly appointed expert, I’ll seek to share as much free, focused marketing advice as possible, including case studies of clients willing to participate, as well as encouraging as much of the marketing niche as possible to raise the bar and help Internet marketing become a well-respected, fully transparent industry that won’t tolerate snake oil salesman minimizing the niche’s reputation. I’ll also be completely accessible to anyone needing advice for their business or interested in becoming an Internet marketer themselves.[read my publish button]The streets of the blogosphere will finally be rid of the vermin, riff raff, flotsam and jetsam and refuse that has plagued it since the early years and of course, there will be no new taxes (at least at Prevail).[/read my publish button]