Are you an expert? If not, what’s stopping you?
Setting yourself up as an expert online isn’t rocket science, but I admit it takes some leg work. Running an online business might seem pretty intimidating if you’re unsure of your digital marketing strategy– or how you plan to get known online. It’s one thing to own a website, another thing to keep it updated, and an entirely different program to use your blog as a platform to display your expertise.
So, what’s stopping you from setting up yourself as an expert? Is it fear of the unknown? Lack of information on how to go about doing it exactly? Fear that maybe you’re not actually an expert? Let me calm your fears a bit- you don’t have to do much to be an expert. You just need to know yourself. Know your business. Know what you bring to the table. And most of all, be confident in your field and in your expertise. If you’ve done any of the initial groundwork and the laid the foundation for your business it won’t be so difficult to know what your expertise is. This groundwork includes discovering your passions, setting up your online presence, developing your pricing model, discovering your customer avatar, and maintaining relationships with your tribe. You can find out more in my book. The first step is to acknowledge that you are, indeed, an expert. Then you’ll be ready for the following steps.
1. Crank out awesome content!
Developing an online presence that matters means cranking out awesome content, and on a regular basis. I shared about batch scheduling a few months ago, and it’s one way I manage to keep content rolling at my three blogs. You’ll need to do a bit of research and find out what your audience likes. You want to give them the kind of content they’re looking for, so keep their questions answered and keep them happy and looking for more from you. There are more ways than one to deliver content (as you’ll see in my following points), but blogging is definitely a great way to start building your expertise online. There are a few steps to creating a great blog post and it’s necessary to make sure you follow a decent format so that your audience knows what to expect when they read your blog. After a while, once you start getting pretty comfortable with blogging, you might even feel confident enough to reach out to sponsors for support and partnerships which can definitely further your brand a do a lot for your business!
2. Give your audience good visuals.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain consistency with branding and to create visuals that flow well with your brand. I haven’t always done this and I’m guilty of brand conflict. What do I mean by this? Well, typically it’s a good idea to have your social media profiles all match with your business brand being the same throughout. I haven’t always stayed on top of this in my own social media profiles and just so you know, it is confusing to viewers who come to my Twitter page and see an entirely different logo than the one they see on Facebook. So, I’ve gone through a cleaning spree this year to ensure that I get a lot of this brand mix-matching cleaned up. Another important thing about visuals to note is that when you are blogging you have an important opportunity to capture an audience of image lovers- right there on Pinterest! So, including a Pinterest-friendly image with each post you write is going to be of paramount importance if you plan to incorporate Pinterest into your digital media strategy. By Pinterest-friendly, I just mean images that are the best size for Pinterest so that they are more likely to be re-pinned and give you that extra boost of traffic to your blog. I can affirm that Pinterest works for traffic-building and good visuals make the difference. Your images definitely connect your audience to your brand and help them to connect to you as an expert in your field.
3. Consider public speaking, podcasting, or both!
Public speaking in front of a live audience isn’t my thing, but it might be yours- in which case, you should start booking some speaking engagements! This is probably one of the best ways to establish your expertise. You’ll have an audience at your fingertips who want to hear from you and they are eager to hear your words. This makes you an expert. Since I don’t currently do live speaking, I decided that my best ways to connect with an audience on a more personal level was through podcasting and vlogging. These two forms of public speaking behind a camera and a microphone have been my way of connecting to moms and entrepreneurs for the past 10 years and it has worked for me. My kids were young and I couldn’t get out and travel so I made the decision to build my business from my laptop. I LOVE podcasting and vlogging because it’s a significant way to connect to my audience, hear from them, and establish relationships with them (some of whom I enjoy phone chats with or get to see in real life).
4. Take advantage of social media.
I get it- social media takes time. But if you can, carve out a little time to batch schedule your social media posts, using nifty tools like Post Planner or Meet Edgar. With Post Planner I’m able to plan out weeks in advance of Facebook posts and tweets. I use Tailwind for Pinterest sharing also and that has been major for me in driving traffic to my site from Pinterest. Other social media platforms that have been proven beneficial to me are YouTube (mainly for my homeschool platform) and I use Google Plus for SEO benefits only. The key is to find the social media platforms that work for you and work them. I don’t especially like Twitter much, so I don’t use Twitter often. I only use what I love and what works for me. Using social media will help to draw your tribe and help you establish your expertise across many platforms.
5. Leverage the power of search engine optimization.
Last, but not least, is the power of SEO. You don’t have to do it every time you write a blog post (although it’s optimal) but if you have strong search engine optimization habits you’ll land your blog in a better position of getting noticed in Google. Remember your titles and header tags and to include pertinent keywords in each. Add your keywords in your blog post description and in your images as well. If you need a little help figuring this out, simply installing the Yoast SEO plugin can help you navigate through these steps. You have an awesome piece of content- so why not ensure Google finds your blog post one of the relevant ones on the topic and rank your site high for it? Just doing a little extra prep work in advance and learning how to use your keywords effectively throughout your blog posts can be extra helpful and go a long way in helping you establish your expertise online. That’s it guys! I loved sharing this podcast (and blog post) with you and hope that this episode helps you to see yourself as an expert in your field. Leave comments below if you’d like to add to this conversation! I always like hearing from my listeners 🙂