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7 Keys to Becoming a Visible Expert
In this article, Dr. Frederiksen discusses seven keys to becoming a visible expert.
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These days, it is natural to look for experts who can help us make sense of a confusing world.Â To different degrees and in different ways, we all need to find people and organizations we can rely on for advice on what to do, where to go, and what to buy.
The same goes for companiesâ€”when they need solutions, they tend to gravitate toward the known experts in their industries.Â However, if you are a professional seeking to build your reputation and attract new business, it can be frustrating to watch as the handful of experts in your field get all the attentionâ€”seemingly, with little or no effort.
The truth is, industry experts are probably no more intelligent or charismatic than you.Â They have simply figured out the trick to becoming more visible in the marketplace.Â Doing so can help you and your firm in many ways, including:
- significantly boost the firmsâ€™ business
- enhance your reputation
- forge new partnerships
- increase billing rates
- drive additional revenue
Fortunately, there is a proven marketing process that many of these â€śindustry starsâ€ť used to climb from anonymity to prominenceâ€”and as explained below, it is very doable.
7 Keys to Becoming a Visible Expert
We have spent years researching how certain individuals become what we refer to as Visible ExpertsÂ®.Â The process boils down to demonstrating your expertise through blog posts, speeches, or conducting webinars.Â When you freely give away even small doses of your expertise, people will begin to recognize you as a subject matter expertâ€”and then, when their companies need the services that you offer, you are likely to show up at the top of their list.
There are seven essential actions you need to take on your way to becoming a Visible Expert:
- Commit yourself to the process. Attaining a new level of professional prominence takes diligence and time.Â The process need not be grueling, but it does require some patience, time, and effort.
- Develop your personal brand strategy. To go from relative obscurity to A-list industry expert, you will need a clear roadmap.Â Fortunately, it is all laid out for you in our free book, The Visible Expert.
- Be focused. Choose to pursue a specific target market.Â You will also need to develop an online presence, and the best ways to do so are by publishing blog posts, articles, and videos.Â Later, you might decide to add networking, public speaking, and partnership building to the mix.
- Beef up your expertise. You do not necessarily need to be the smartest expert in your industry, but you do need to know your stuff.Â That means constantly working to strengthen your skills and address your weaknesses.
- Sharpen your communication skills. Being a competent communicator is essentialâ€¦so if your writing is a little weak, take a class or hire a consultant to help you improve.Â If speaking in public makes you go weak in the knees, try it anyway.Â If you need help, there are many programs and organizations specifically designed to help people become more confident as speakers.
- Find your inner teacher. Visible Experts make complicated subjects understandable to laymen.Â If you are not able to educate your audience, it is not very likely you will be able to earn their respect and trust.Â Every chance you get to write or speak in public is an opportunity to educate audiencesâ€”and build a loyal base.
- Get help when you need it. If you are trying to build a visibility program on your own, you will probably need help developing specific skills or handling an aspect of the program at some point.Â If this happens, do not let it discourage you or knock you off course.Â Instead, reach out and get the help you need.Â Doing so can make all the difference.
Becoming a Visible Expert takes some time and commitment, but it does not have to be difficult.Â Most of the Visible Experts you know achieved their prominence in stagesâ€”starting at the local level, then regional and national.Â In fact, in the professional services field, the clear majority of high-profile experts started out as â€śordinary peopleâ€ťâ€”even unknowns.Â And rest assured, as they went about building their audiences, many of them learned by trial and error.
That means you have an advantage over themâ€”access to research that has uncovered the tools, techniques, and strategies that will take you (and perhaps colleagues within your firm) toward a new peak in your career.
Good luck on your journey!
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.