If you stop and look around you, there is a likelihood that there are at least 10-20 people in your county who offer the same services you do. How exactly then, can you define yourself as a company and make your products or services the preferred choice by your market? At times it goes beyond great customer service and advertising. You need to define yourself as an authority in your field.
Here are a few pointers on just how to go about raising your profile and ensuring that you become the go-to person in your area of expertise.
1. Identify your outstanding skill
Yes, we live in a digital world where we are expected to know it all, but you cannot afford to be a Jack of all trades because you will be a master of none. No matter what people say, whether you are an MC, blogger, scientist, poet or entrepreneur, every strong brand is known for ONE thing. Identify your core area of speciality and clearly define it.
2. Set up a website
This may seem obvious, but many professionals just don’t invest in a good website. It doesn’t matter if you are an industrial chemist, people need your expertise; they need to know how to find you, who you are, what you have done and what grand projects you have in store. You can start simple, but ensure you invest in a good copywriter and photographer to ensure your image and website copy tells a unique, succinct and compelling story.
3. Blog and write articles
The best way to build your profile as an expert in your field of choice is to write about it. Run your own blog and make guest posts on other people’s blogs. Disclaimer: you need to be consistent. You don’t have to write every day, but at least have a weekly posting on your blog, and if possible, contribute as a columnist in a well-read publication such as a newspaper, magazine or journal.
4. Be featured in the Press
When you are featured in the press as a commentator on a specific issue, it adds credibility to your position. Contact the publications that your ideal customers read and offer yourself as an expert. Create a professional media kit that highlights all your credentials and awards journalists can download from your website. Once you have been featured in the press, share the links on your website; this allows new visitors to see how expansive your expertise is.
5. Build an active social media presence
There is a distinct difference between having numerous social media accounts and being actively engaged on your accounts. You would rather work with one targeted social media account where you can engage with your immediate target audience instead of having seven different accounts you rarely update. Different social media accounts offer various types of engagements; it all depends on what you are looking to do.
LinkedIn is perfect for building professional networks: join groups and engage in discussions with like-minded individuals. You can also share your news and articles here.
Facebook is an ideal way of building brand loyalty: share some insights and light-hearted articles and images to engage your reader.
YouTube is the best if in the service industry: create simple “how-to” videos to raise your profile.
Instagram is ideal if your business is heavily visual: If in the fashion, food, retail, entertainment and beauty sectors, you need to be active on Instagram.
Twitter is a great public relations tool: you can also use it as a customer engagement tool where you manage complaints and disseminate new updates. You could also use it to raise awareness on a cause or belief and join discussion forums.
6. Organize events
You can organise breakfast meetings, luncheons or dinners to engage with your target audience. Consider starting with simple presentations once a month for free, to attract your target audience. It is easier for people to buy your goods and services when they know who you are and what you stand for.
7. Conduct trainings and talks
This is ideal for those in the service sector, business coaches, content creators, human resource consultants and accountants. Let people learn from you. If you offer invaluable insight, they are more likely to hire you and send referrals your way.
8. Offer free services and products
This is especially if you are just starting out. There is a caveat here though. Offer free services where you are most likely to get a return. That is why it is essential to know who your target audience really is. If targeting CEOs of medium-sized enterprises, it doesn’t make much sense talking to start ups unless you see an inroad through that. You can also offer free products such as free written resources on your area of expertise that people can download and share.
9. Write a book
People do read as long as it is engaging enough. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to limit yourself to Kenya’s borders because you can work with clientele from around the world. Authors are generally perceived as authorities on the subject matter of their publication. Invest the time, write and promote your book on your website and social media platforms.
Read More: Daily Nation