A sure fire way to promote yourself and secure sales is to become an expert in your field. As the expert, customers will come calling and the media will be asking for quotes and comment. My next guest blog is from the founder of Enterprise Nation, small business expert and author, Emma Jones.
I first heard Emma speak in 2007 at a Business Scene event in Manchester and she was incredible. An accomplished speaker with a great depth of knowledge. In this blog she will be sharing six steps on how to take your expertise to market.
Enjoy – Warren
Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation
Whether you’re selling products or services, these steps will apply. You may be a virtual PA wanting to build a reputation as the UK’s lead expert on time management, or maybe you specialise in producing socks for kids made from organic materials. Either way, these steps will lead to higher profile and increased turnover.
1. Blog regularly – what better way to share your expertise than to blog about it. You can self host or use free platforms Blogger (www.blogger.com) or WordPress (www.wordpress.com ) and try to write something once a week, or more regularly if you can. Upload images and useful links, invite visitors to post their comments and you will soon have a lively blog that could attract advertising and/or affiliate sales. Two people I admire for having become experts through blogging are Alex Johnson of www.shedworking.co.ukand Kat Williams of www.rocknrollbride.com – for them both, their blog is now a significant part of their business.
2. Tweet your topic – no time to write a full post? Communicate in 140 charcters or less via Twitter(www.twitter.com) Attract followers by tweeting tips, advice, and answering questions related to your expertise. Mark Shaw @markshaw has become the UK expert on Twitter and offers good advice on how to best use this powerful tool for your business.
3. Create groups – make the most of Facebook and LinkedIn to create groups around your chosen specialised subject. Are you a data specialist? Create a group on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) for others with the same interest. Host the discussion and you will bond followers and fans ever closer to you.
4. Publish a book – it doesn’t have to be a long one! Produce an e-book with your top tips by using sites such as Lulu www.lulu.com and Blurb www.blurb.com or get in touch with our publishing arm, Brightword Publishing, as we are always looking for expert business authors!
5. Start a YouTube channel – create clips of you talking about your subject or demonstrations so others can learn from you. It’s easy to record with an in-built webcam if you have one or invest £99 in a Flip camera (www.theflip.com) and start filming! Create an account on YouTube, upload content, and then promote via your blog, Twitter and social media pages.
6. Present and share – attend and speak at events to get your name known and message across. Then share that presentation using Slideshare www.slideshare.net or host your own events, without leaving home, by using GoToWebinar.
None of these steps require big budgets and, indeed, they can generate revenue if you have them sponsored or charge for a certain level of access. They will most certainly lead to you being considered as a star expert!
Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Emma Jones is founder of small business support company, Enterprise Nationwww.enterprisenation.com and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up’, ‘Working 5 to 9′ and ‘Go Global’ Emma’s next product is a Start Up Kit, released in January 2011.