7 Personal Branding Tips for Aspiring Experts
Creating Visibility and Personal Brand Recognition
In this article, Dr. Frederiksen provides seven branding tips for aspiring experts.
If you are involved in valuation or financial consulting, you are, by definition, selling your expertise.Â Some examples might be obvious, such as when you provide expert testimony.Â But, even when conducting routine transactions, your personal brandâ€”that is, your reputation for expertise and the visibility of that reputationâ€”should be hard at work.
Here are seven proven strategies for improving your personal brand.
Effective Tips for Powerful Personal Branding
1.Â Narrow the Scope of Your Expertise
If you could become the â€śgo-to expertâ€ť in just one subject area, what would it be? Â Try finishing this seemingly simple sentence:
â€śI am the leading expert in ____________.â€ť
The narrower your answer, the faster your personal brand can grow.Â Consider the difference (from a branding perspective) between saying your expertise is in â€śvaluationâ€ť as opposed to â€śvaluation for medical practicesâ€ťâ€¦or better yet, â€śvaluation for anesthesiology practices.â€ť Â The last topic is far more specific, yet still applies to many businesses.
2.Â Choose Your Issues Strategically
By zeroing in on a specialty area, you will uncover a whole new array of ideas, problems, and challenges to explore.Â But try to keep your focus on just two or three issues that align well with your services.Â These must be issues that you either understand well already, or are ready to do the research needed to get up to speed.Â Choose issues that are not easily solved and that are unlikely to go away soon.
3.Â Adjust Your Online Profile
Review your profiles and areas of expertise on your website and social media.Â Make sure they are consistent, credible, and connect you with the issues you have chosen to write and/or speak about.
Do not forget your profile photo(s).Â Professional photography is key to conveying a high-end personal brand.Â Your photo can certainly have personalityâ€”but it absolutely has to look great.Â A cropped holiday shot or web cam portrait will not do.
4.Â Create Your Own Signature Piece of Content
Most high-profile experts offer high-value content to amplify their expertise and reputation.Â For many, their â€śsignature piecesâ€ť are booksâ€”but there are other options as well.
For example, you could write an executive guide.Â A typical guide is 20â€“30 pages long, and explains a technical subject to a non-technical audience.Â White papers are another option; they are shorter and can be quite technical.Â Yet another approach is to do research on your topic.Â For example, you could offer a report with your research findings about valuations for anesthesiology practices along with your expert analysis.
5.Â Write Regularly About Your Area of Expertise
Where should you publish your writing? Â Two great venues are your firmâ€™s blog or e-newsletter, but you can also look for external publications that your target audience reads.
Remember that your goal is to broaden your personal brand visibility among people who might otherwise never meet or hear of you.Â To stay on track, try â€śreservingâ€ť a time every week for writing or, if that is not possible, do your writing during off hours.
6.Â Make Your Voice Heard in Your Market
Most Visible ExpertsÂ® (the term my firm uses to describe professionals who have made their expertise well known within their markets) view public speaking as one of their most effective tools for reaching their target audience.Â As an added value, after your presentation, you can meet individual audience members and make personal connections.
Presenting via webinars is another great option.Â You can use webinars to attract qualified and engaged prospectsâ€”hundreds at a time.Â Webinars also have a couple of advantages over in-person speaking engagements: they can require less of your time and effort and, if you record them, you can use the recordings again and again.
7.Â Find Peers and Prospects Through Networking
Networking can be a powerful way to build your personal brand as an expertâ€”and that starts by networking with peers, referral sources, and prospective clients.Â Another networking target is not as obvious: other experts, especially those whose audiences are like yours (but who are not your direct competitors).Â By associating yourself with respected authorities, you begin to operate in their league.
Face-to-face networking has some real advantages in building your brand, but its reach is limited by how much time you can spend on it.Â Social media, in comparison, is faster and easier.Â Keep it simple, and focus on using LinkedInâ€”it is the social platform used most often in the professional services field.
Get Started, and Stay Focused
Keep in mind: no one becomes a well-recognized industry expert overnightâ€”even if they try to use all these personal branding strategies at once.Â But, the more time you can dedicate to building your personal brand, the faster will be your climb to the status of Visible Expert.
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.
Dr. Frederiksen can be reached at: (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to: LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.