Point. Click. Profit. (As published in The Business Journal)

4 Steps to Marketing Yourself as a Trusted Expert

Google loves you when everyone else loves you first

Every day, millions of viewers tune in to shows like The Dr. Oz Show,The Rachael Ray Show, and Dr. Phil, to hear new information, advice and stories. The reason these shows are appointment television for their fans is the viewers’ perceptions that they’re watching an expert at work. From guest appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, these taste-makers demonstrated their ability to provide timely, life-improving advice in an entertaining way.

While you may never have your own syndicated television show, there’s no reason you can’t position yourself as an expert in your field and solidify your personal brand in your industry. In addition to being a great marketing tool, your perception as an expert will help you compete on value rather than price.

Whether you’ve been working in your field for a year or three decades, the one thing your customers want to know from you is that you’re an expert who can get them where they want to go. Regardless of your field, from investment advisor to roofer, clients want to see that you’re on top of your subject and at the top of your game.

There are two types of information to give your audience: news and tips. Think back to the last time you watched one of these syndicated advice shows, even if you just happened to be enjoying a bagel at Cafe Cimmento and overheard Rachael Ray blaring from the bar (I write from experience), and note this formula for success:

  1. Greet the audience and share an anecdote
  2. Mention something surprising or revelatory from recent news and comment on it
  3. Invite a guest to share a story (and plug his or her latest product)
  4. Give the audience members a take-away, something they can do in their own lives, whether a medical tip, a recipe, or a fresh perspective on life.

Use this recipe for your own customer outreach, giving you four types of information to share with your audience through your blog and Facebook.

  1. Be personable, and don’t shy away from sharing a personal story that reveals something about your character. Self-deprecating humor is always a winner: we want those we look up to be confident enough not to take themselves too seriously.
  2. Use news stories relevant to your profession as a way of connecting with your audience. Tread carefully with politically or religiously tinged items, but otherwise anything’s fair game. If you’re a CPA, obviously you’re going to share news about tax law changes. But don’t be afraid to post a blurb about a celebrity in tax trouble, with a comment like, “Let’s take a look at your taxes and make sure this doesn’t happen to you!” Focus on how you can help make sense of the jargon and ease the fears and frustrations your audience might have about topics relevant to your services.
  3. Interview leading figures in your subject matter area or profile interesting clients who have benefited from your services. Stories sell, and reaching out to find stories to which your clients will relate is a great way keep them wanting more. You don’t have to be the only source of tips and advice for your audience.
  4. Share a how-to with your audience. Demonstrate that your primary goal is their success and well-being, whether they’re hiring you or not. Have their best interests at the forefront of what you share, and they’ll root for your success in turn.

Supplement written blog posts with the occasional video, webinar or white paper. Give your readers something extra to hold onto. A recent post on Dr. Oz’s website showcases the good doctor examining “the health risks linked to artificial sweeteners.” Rachael Ray has a “Spicy sausage, chicken and bean pot” recipe cued up for Mardi Gras, and Dr. Phil reveals “the five biggest dating mistakes you don’t even know you’re making.”

So, grab an anecdote, a news item, a guest, and a tip, and start acting like the expert you are. Your audience awaits.


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