5 Do’s & Don'ts to Position Yourself As An Expert

authentic branding power positioning resonance thought leadership Feb 02, 2023

One of my favorite marketing strategies and one of the best ways to bring in new business is to cultivate a reputation as an expert in your field.


It’s not that difficult to set up, and it doesn’t require you going back to school to earn degrees.


First let’s look at 5 things you can do now to establish yourself as an expert and open to new opportunities, like being interviewed on a popular podcast or invited to be a keynote at a conference. Then we can look at the 5 things to avoid. 



Five Things To Convey Your Expertise & Become Known 


1. Build your Content Library 

The first step is to make sure you have something to say that will be resonant with your audience and grab their attention.  This is where your Content Library comes in. 


Every step of the customer journey is informed by your values and your beliefs. 

Basically - how you roll. The way you do business. 


By building a library of your values, beliefs, and what you stand for - with your ideal client in mind to use in your marketing - you automatically get the attention of people who agree with you. They want more - you piqued their curiosity. 


A solid content library might have as many as 12 paragraphs divided into 3 or 4 categories, steps, pillars, or keys, for example. This content can be used in your email marketing or newsletters, and other marketing.  


From my own ready-made paragraphs written and categorized in my content library, all I have to do is copy and paste and do a little copy editing. 


The real benefit is that no matter who is writing my content, the brand builds trust faster because I’m staying consistent by only using the content in this library. 


Now I’m eligible for 20% increase in revenue as studies show that being consistent pays.  


“It’s crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves. With millions of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, having a strong brand is not as easy as giving your business a name and plastering it on everything. 38% of users will stop interacting with a web page if the layout is unattractive. 39% of website visitors will stop engaging if images don’t load fast. And color improves brand recognition by up to 80%, so pick a signature color, make sure your images are web-friendly, and invest in a good designer who knows how to code. Love your brand and be proud of sending people to your website. Goodbye website shame. The main motivation behind cultivating a brand identity is to stand out to consumers.” 


As viewers read, share, and send others to your website, you get more traffic, more leads for your lead magnet. (freebie e-book pdf for example)


Plus, Google now thinks of you as an expert, which also drives more traffic.

Can you see the value of building this content library? 


It takes some time but it is so worth it saving time, money, and resources galore! 


2. Dive deeper into your Content Library topics.

Take one of your paragraphs from #1 and elaborate. Talk about the consequences of not doing it in the way you recommend. Then talk about their desired results through your process. Now use this content to build on and create a workshop, keynote talk, or a blog post. 


Stand out because you finally stand for something. Shine and show off your knowledge and wisdom. Get found by virtue of resonating with your ideal clients through your content. 


You will attract like-minds who recognize you on the spot as their person. You'll further make an expert impression with case studies and statistics, and you'll build trust faster.  

Writing marketing copy is way more fun when you have aligned content. And it’s not boring. 



3. The word on the street wins every time.

Tooting our own horn is something to be handled carefully since many prospects who land on your website are oftentimes skeptical - a big obstacle. 


That’s why testimonials are critical to establishing your expertise. 


Take the time to gather reviews and client testimonials and always get a high-resolution headshot to get maximum traction in your quest to being known. 


Ask for a 14 minute insight call - promise to keep them no longer. Be ready with your interview questions and above all, honor the 14 minutes. 


There are many ways to do this to get the job done, but this is my favorite. It works like a charm. As a bonus, many of these calls end up with getting a follow-up call scheduled to talk about hiring me for services. 


You’ll be so glad you did. Pick 3 favorite clients who loved your service and get them on the phone.


Here are the questions I use:

  • What problem were you dealing with when you called me?
  • How was this problem making you feel?
  • How did we demonstrate that we understood your problem?
  • Why did you trust me to solve your problem?
  • Did you notice a difference between me and similar consultants?
  • What surprised you about working with me?
  • What does life look like now that I have solved your problem?



4. Charge Like the Expert You Are


If you're an expert, charge like an expert.


When you try to compete and get business by lowering your fees, it always backfires. You end up with low self-esteem, resentful, and poor! 


Most people correlate “more expensive” with high quality. All those years of education and experience result in wisdom that only you have and the expertise you have truly amassed. 

(you will realize this when you gather the testimonials in #3 above.) 


There are many ways to build your offers to maximize the value and pay your worth. It may take some penciling but it pays in spades when you take the time to do it. 


Build your own confidence, show up authentically, and build good offers. Do you need to raise your prices?  




5. Answer the questions they are asking.


The first thing people do to get an answer to a question is go search online. Platforms like Quora offer information from experts like you. 


Check out one or two of these platforms for a few minutes a few times a week and see what you can answer.


It’s an additional way of sharing your valuable knowledge like we do on social media except the people who have the same question in the future will see your past answer and see you helped them without being salesy.


You'll be seen as trustworthy, knowledgeable and approachable.




Five Things To Avoid as An Aspiring Thought Leader 

Thought leadership and being seen as an expert in your field offers great benefits to individuals and organizations.  People can develop their reputations as industry experts, build stronger relations with other industry leaders and authorities, and this can lead to shorter sales cycles with longer customer lifetime value.


While this is an easy marketing position to take, there are things we must avoid or our efforts will be for naught, resulting in loss of respect and a tarnished reputation. 


To become known as an expert, avoid these five things at all costs:



1. Talking to no one who cares.


Not everyone wants to hear it. Being a thought leader, an expert, doesn't mean you can just go spew your opinion all over the place. Save it for the right time, in front of the right people.


Your goal is to show that you care about what your audience cares about, and express it in language that matters to your audience.


Your customers, partners, and peers have their own pressing questions and challenges. 

They're looking for answers, and for people with the answers.


Genuine thought leaders define and share clear messages that are relevant and resonant to their audience. Address your audience’s biggest challenges and you will win them over. They will see that you have taken the time to truly understand the problem they need solving and appreciate and be loyal to you. 



2. It’s not about you. 


Isn’t it the most boring thing to go to the About page on a website and it’s all about their awards, the shows they’ve been on, the people they’ve partnered with. 


It’s not that it's bad that someone has had these accomplishments. It’s just that when I’m seeking answers to a problem I have, I don’t want to spend time reading about how great you are. I’m happy for you - don’t get me wrong. But how are you going to make my life better is the only question I have. 


This is a common mistake and can be easily fixed. 


Your About page should not be about you.  It should be about your ideal client. Of course it’s the best place for your short bio, but this is primarily the place to show off your expert content. 


Overall, we want to create value at the sweet spot of what people need and what you offer. Therefore, freely share actionable viewpoints that your audience can apply on topics that apply to them. Keep adding value to build trust. 



3. Quality content is what counts. Not quantity. 


Check this out: Over 90% of content gets single digit engagement. Like no engagement. That’s really bad. 


We are in the "age of infobesity", as Ann Handley, the founder of MarketingProfs so clearly states. And in the pursuit of "thought leadership", people are adding to this information glut.


Thought leadership is not about quantity - it’s about quality. It's not just about repurposing the same content over and over. 

It’s about answering that one question for them:

“Can you make my life better?”


Genuine thought leaders share unique insights with context, often from personal experience. 



4. How Thought Leaders are born.

Having a unique opinion isn’t enough to make you an expert or thought leader. Your message must resonate with your audience. Because there is nothing to be gained in a scenario where your audience doesn’t get you. 


Also, don’t title yourself as an ‘expert’ or ‘thought leader’. No - let your audience bestow this title on you. 


A good indicator you are being seen as an expert is the engagement your content receives. 


Take the time to build a clear, cohesive brand story that reflects your values and the benefits you provide, so the right people will hear it and recognize that you are their person.


If you want to explore building your unique brand story and content library, let’s hop on a call!



5. You’ve got to walk the talk. 


Being an expert in your field is awesome. You are distinct. You stand out. And opportunities abound! 


However, it will be short lived if you don’t walk like you talk. 


As you put your expert opinions out into the marketplace to build trust, you will be held to that persona. Make sure you can exhibit the actions and behavior of your content. 


This is what being authentic is all about. 


You build your messaging ecosystem on your power positioning that is relevant and resonant to those you want to serve. 


You are aligned now in your brand story. Any content that is broadcast - coming only from your brand story messaging and content library - will remain clear, cohesive and consistent. This is the recipe to build trust quickly! 


Use your personal experiences and practices to demonstrate expertise. 

Tell stories and show that you too are human, and that you understand the people you serve, and can help them move forward. 



Summing Up

Thought leaders drive conversations instead of being mere contributors to them. 

Through their views, thought leaders enable their companies and organizations to engage customers where it counts, not in features but in benefits to solving this problem with you. 



Thought leadership and becoming known doesn't offer a quick win. It takes a lot of time and effort to build. But when done right, it yields amazing long-term rewards for both the leader and the audience. 


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