As business owner you have competition. Whether you believe you do or not your customers have options. Why should they choose you? When you are seen as the expert they will choose you. You want to be seen as your industry leader or niche expert. This is not accomplished by taking out a newspaper ad or buying a billboard. You develop expert status by delivering value, branding your business and educating your follower and customers.
Delivering value is done by ensuring you have business systems and standards that are adhered to daily. You must ensure that your product and customer service are consistent. You cannot waffle and offer a great product one day and a lesser product the next.
Does your brand reflect your business and personal values? Is your brand consistent in your various marketing materials? Do your employees reflect your brand in their appearance? I was recently watching an episode of American Restoration and one of the employees showed up wearing a purple t-shirt which was not the prescribed uniform. Rick, the owner, told him he must wear the uniform t-shirt. The employee grumbled and I admit I fell asleep before seeing the outcome. Your employees are a reflection on you and your business. Ensure that you have a dress code that they follow so they reflect you and your business in a positive manner.
Social media is here to stay. It is a great way to educate your customers on industry standards, the latest trends, and allow them to learn about you. You can write articles for publication and then post them to your blog. You can share snippets of this article as social media updates too. Writing a media release is also a great way to establish you as the expert.
Another way to be seen as the expert is by attending live events. When you are an attendee or a presenter at events you will want to share this news with your audience. This again can be shared through the use of social media, media releases, your newsletter and articles. When you attend events your customers will know that you are staying abreast of the latest trends and keeping your skills up to date. As the presenter at various events you will show your audience that you are recognized as an expert by those in your industry. They want to work with the expert.
You must be seen online and in your community. You cannot hide and expect to be seen as the expert. Ensure you are offering value with each transaction. Ensure your brand is consistent in all your social media and marketing materials. Keep your followers and customers abreast of changes you are making to improve your skills. I challenge you to start posting your diplomas, course completion certificates on your website in your media room and on social media. Share articles you write for your newsletter and publication. Post the published articles in your media room on your website and again on social media. Lastly, have a professional headshot and ensure it is current. No one likes seeing a photo then meeting the person and the person looks nothing like the photo. It is deceptive.
Be authentic, provide value, brand you and your business, and educate your followers so you are seen as the industry or niche expert.