Being perceived as an expert in your niche can play a great part in generating buzz, momentum and ultimately profits from your marketing efforts. If you’re a small or medium business, being able to establish mindshare (the perception of yourself or your company as a player in your niche) is a key strategy for newer players. Here are 7 tips to achieving that goal.
Content: Identifying key issues, especially challenges and problems within your industry and offering a solution to those questions builds your reputation as a problem solver. Experts are those with expertise at solving problems.
It also builds goodwill and encourage reciprocity and a “pay it forward” mentality from those who have benefitted from your advice (which leads to a viral/linkbait effect if they distribute/syndicate your content).
Content was one of the major issues that I discussed with veteran journalist and former editor-in-chief of Revenue magazine, Lisa Picarille, for this week’s Friday Podcast. It’ll appear on Friday.
One of the easiest ways to brand yourself is by starting a blog and start putting out quality content.
One major issue I have with bloggers, especially affiliate marketing/internet marketing bloggers is a tendency to excessively sell ad-space or run banners on their blog. If more than half the screen real-estate is dedicated to ads/banners, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Are you more interested in making money, or providing information.
Looking at your signal-to-noise ratio (content vs ads) and maintaining a 80% content : 20% ad ratio will create a great user experience. Going beyond a 50% content vs 50% ad ratio is pushing the limits.
Guest author and guest post: If you’ve established a reputation and are seen as credible, take the next step to approach the top 10 channels/outlets in your niche and offer to guest author on their site – whether it’s a news site, a content aggregator or a blog.
If you are known and the site publishes guest posts, you stand a good chance. If not, it’s back to step #1.
In the affiliate marketing context, specialist magazines like FeedFront which comprises an online and print edition can provide great visibility.
Public speaking: Speaking at industry-specific events and related events are a good way of getting your name out there. It’ll also help put you in touch with potential partners.
I know some marketers are reluctant to go this route because of a fear of public speaking. If so, start small as many of these events have small group discussions or breakout sessions. If addressing a couple of hundred people sends your heart rate pounding, you might volunteer to be a discussion leader for a small group session.
Networking (and following up): Whether you’re meeting people online, or at a face-to-face event, you’ll build up a network of contacts. The challenge that holds people back from more effectively leveraging on their connections is a failure to follow up. When was the last time you got an email or card within 24 hours of meeting someone?
If there’s a contact that could help you build your business, be sure to stay in touch, ping them when you have something relevant to discuss and the relationship will naturally develop.
Author a book: This may sound difficult, but if you’ve ever had a 2 or 3 hour conversation about a particular topic, that content you shared would easily fill a 200 – 250 page book.
On the average, speaking and consulting fees increase between 50-100% after you’ve had a book published (physical books, not e-books). So it might be worth the time and effort.
Build a community: Finding like-minded individuals and organizing them into a community is a good way to network, share expertise and work on joint projects together.
Finding someone to step up and set up a social network or forum is the major challenge because everyone is “always” busy. Instead of waiting for someone to take the first step, why not step up to the plate?
Integrity: This is the big one in my opinon. Do what you say. If you say you’ll do something, even if it’s as simple as sending out a list of bookmarks, you should do it. With the anonymity and virtual distance created by the internet, it’s easy to make a lot of promises and not keep any of them.
Instead, stand apart from the pack and followthrough.