Whether you’re trying to build a brand associated with your company or you are your business brand, promoting yourself as an industry leader may be one of your many goals. Even though you’re an expert in your field, with a stellar education and years of experience under your belt, you can’t rely on your credentials alone to make consumers flock to your banner.
A big part of becoming a leader within your industry relies on your ability to toot your own horn. It’s not enough to be good at what you do – you have to make people aware of your presence and your authority.
The end results will be well worth the effort. According to global resources consulting firm DDI, companies with strong leadership are nine times more likely to financially outperform competitors. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to accomplish your goal.
Focus on Authoritative Content
An online presence is essential in this day and age, but creating a website, adding an on-site blog, and joining social media platforms is only the beginning. One of the best ways to begin establishing yourself as an expert in your industry is to create free, authoritative content for your current customers and as a way to hook potential customers.
You can use online platforms like your blog and social media channels to post and promote this content in order to reach your audience. Over time, you may be inclined to branch out and create longer-form offerings (white papers, ebooks, etc.) and perhaps even sell them. However, it’s best to begin with content that is available to everyone so that you can establish a rapport with readers and publically promote your expertise.
Speak to Your Audience
As an authority in your field, you enjoy a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as a familiarity with your subject matter that your readers may not appreciate. If you want to engage with an audience in order to prove your expertise and become an industry leader, you need to make sure that people can understand you.
There’s a fine line you must walk between delivering pertinent information and making it accessible to an audience that may or may not understand insider terminology and concepts. You don’t necessarily want to treat interested parties as though they have no industry knowledge, but neither do you want the information you deliver to go over their heads. If you’re worried about hitting the mark, simply ask readers for comments and suggestions to improve your content.
Allow Easy Access and Sharing
Availability is crucial to your readership when trying to establish your authority and build a following. There are two primary accessibility issues to concern yourself with in order to help your readers locate and enjoy your content.
First, you need to make sure that your website is easy to find and navigate. Choosing a reliable web host and creating a simple layout and design are the keys to making this happen.
However, you also want to make yourself available by interacting with your readers. Reading and responding to comments and questions in a timely matter will help you to build relationships with your audience, further the conversation, and prove that you care about creating value within your online community.
To some degree, consumers decide whether or not you rank high among competitors within your industry. However, there’s also something to be said for claiming the high regard of your colleagues and competitors.
Networking allows you to connect and perhaps even collaborate with other industry leaders, cementing your place in an elite group. When you build relationships with others in your industry you gain support and potential promotion (like inbound links, for example) needed to improve online rankings.
Seek Unique Outreach Opportunities
Industry leaders don’t attain their position by resting on their laurels. You should never stop seeking unique opportunities to promote your authority within your field. This could mean guest posting on other’s industry blogs, writing a book, securing public speaking engagements, and finding positive and productive ways to attract media attention (getting involved in charity events, for example).
Or you might come up with timely and creative ways to get in the public eye. Remember, you’re not in a sprint. Your long-term strategy should include ongoing efforts to increase your expertise and your online presence.
Get Professional Help
According to a survey by business magazine Fast Company, 71% of senior executives and 43% of CEOs reported working with a coach on executive development. In other words, you’re not alone if you need help becoming an industry leader. Some people seem to be born with natural leadership abilities, but to a degree, everyone could use some help honing leadership skills.
Establishing yourself or your company as a leader within your industry starts with expertise in your field, killer website content, and a social media presence. From there you need to know how to apply your strengths in order to position yourself as a frontrunner in your industry. Hiring a professional coach to put you on the right path could be just what you need to succeed.