From boosting credibility to reaching new audiences and generating sales, positioning yourself as an industry expert or ‘thought leader’ can be transformative for business growth.
In a recent study, 88% of decision makers said that thought leadership would influence their perception of an organization. It’s no wonder that more and more companies are incorporating thought leadership as a part of their business growth strategy.
But despite the benefits, it can be daunting to step into the spotlight and find your voice in our ever-changing digital world.
In this blog, we’ll be sharing why we think positioning yourself as an industry expert should be an essential part of your business growth strategy, as well as our top tips on developing your reputation as an industry expert.
The benefits of positioning yourself as an industry expert
Improved credibility and trust
Building trust in yourself and your product or service is essential for business growth. Positioning yourself as an industry expert will help to add credibility to your business, assuring potential customers that you understand the industry that you operate in. However, it’s important to note that you will only be able to build trust if the thought leadership content that you put out is valuable to your audience and is of a high quality.
Reaching new audiences
If you’re wondering how to market your business online, positioning yourself as an industry expert can help you to reach new audiences.
Since the advent of social media, positioning yourself as an industry expert is more important than ever, as it gives you the ability to stand out from the crowd and gain trust and recognition in a crowded online space.
One of the key benefits of positioning yourself as an industry expert is the way that it can help you to grow your business and ultimately generate new leads and opportunities. Cultivating a reputation as a thought leader will require you to create content, network and build your online presence. All of these activities will help you to increase you and your business’ visibility, which in turn will help new customers find you.
Getting clear on your USP (Unique Selling Point)
To be successfully yourself as an industry expert, you must define what it is that makes you and your business unique. By doing this, you will hone in on your unique selling point, which will ultimately inform your business activities going forward. Being more vocal and putting yourself out there as an industry expert will help you to understand and communicate what it is that makes you and your business unique, which is essential to creating and maintaining a strong brand.
How to Position Yourself as an Industry Expert
1. Define your niche
A common mistake when establishing yourself as an industry expert is spreading yourself too thin and trying to be an expert on everything. You may not always feel like an expert, but you will have your own unique area of expertise and insight to share.
The more you can narrow down your specific niche and area of expertise, the easier it will be to position yourself as an industry expert. Think about the area of an industry that you work in, as well as the unique perspective that your business can bring that your competitors cannot. Instead of commenting on everything and anything, ensure that you only provide commentary on subjects that are relevant to you and where you can provide value.
Ask yourself what it is that your business excels in and what problem you are trying to solve. It is also important to consider what topics you think your customers or other audiences would be interested in hearing about.
2. Share your wins
Whether we like it or not, your reputation as an industry expert will definitely be enhanced by sharing your successes, and this will positively impact people’s perception of you and your business.
One of the reasons that your audience may not be aware of your business’ expertise is because you aren’t sharing your wins enough. If you’ve won a new client, received an award, or even some positive feedback, make sure that you are sharing your success on social media.
3. Stay up to date
Becoming an industry expert isn’t a ‘one and done’ thing, and it requires continuous learning to make sure that you’re up to date with changes in your industry. Your industry will be constantly changing, with new trends, buzzwords and issues arising all the time. In order to be seen as a ‘thought leader’, you need to stay on top of what is happening in your industry so that you can share and comment on trending topics.
4. Engage with audiences on social media
Leveraging the power of social media is essential for business growth and will help you to position yourself as an industry expert. Rather than just using social media to promote your products, you should also see it as a tool to engage and have meaningful interactions with your audience.
LinkedIn is a great social media platform to build your reputation and position yourself as a thought leader. Using both your personal and business channels, you can share content such as blog posts and videos, comment and react to industry news in line with your niche and share your wins and achievements.
5. Create high quality content
Regularly posting high quality content is essential when it comes to building your brand and positioning yourself as an industry expert. Content marketing is all about creating useful content for your audience that goes beyond just showcasing your products and demonstrates your knowledge and expertise about your industry.
If you try to position yourself as an industry expert and don’t produce the content to match, it could actually have the opposite effect than you desire. A recent study showed that customers had a negative view of a company due to poor quality thought leadership.
When it comes to creating content on social media, make sure that your content is genuinely useful and is applicable to your industry, rather than just a sales pitch for your brand. A great way to boost your reputation as an industry expert is to create easily shareable content on relevant and trending topics, such as ‘how to’ guides, videos or podcasts.
6. Collaborate with others
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in your industry is to collaborate with others operating in the same industry as you. This could mean going to industry talks and networking events and pitching yourself as a keynote speaker at conferences
As well as attending in-person events, look for opportunities to collaborate on podcasts or social media content where you can benefit from the audience of another brand or individual that is relevant to your audience. Take time to identify some of the major players in your industry, and ask if they would be interested in collaborating with you. Positioning yourself alongside other industry experts will help to boost your profile and solidify your reputation.
7. Ask for testimonials
Your clients likely already view you as an industry expert. Using testimonials from your clients on how your business has helped them are key to gaining trust and building your reputation. Depending on where your audiences are, you could ask your established clients to review your business on Google or Trustpilot, or to write a personal recommendation on Linkedin.
8. Take a long-term view
It can take time to craft a strong reputation in your industry, and it is not something that can be rushed. Don’t aim to ‘fast-track’ your reputation, as this can lead to commenting on anything and everything happening in your industry, which can dilute your message and confuse your audience. Instead, focus on creating quality content and having a clear purpose to what it is you are saying, and the results will speak for themselves.
9. Talk to the experts
Positioning yourself as an industry expert can be a transformative tactic for small business marketing, as you work on defining yourself from your competitors.
At Social Chameleon, we have worked with a multitude of businesses, helping them to stand out online and find their voice as industry experts. To find out about how our transformative marketing services can help you to achieve your business goals, get in touch today.