You've spent years accumulating knowledge in your field, and more importantly learning how to apply that knowledge to help your clients - your linkedin profile is filled with experience and success and your collegues know you as the "go to" person in your field ...but are you a visible expert?
Most of your new clients will come to you because they have a problem that needs solving and the expertise is not available in house. A recent research piece from the Hinge Research institute (Which you can download at http://www.hingemarketing.com/library/article/visible-expert8480-research-study-accounting-financial-services-edition) suggests that 31% of buyers will look for an expert online.
The research goes on to show that once they have found an expert that might be able to help, 83% of these potential buyers will look at your website and 63% will google you. It goes on to say that a level 5 (see below) visible expert can command fees of up to 14 times the average professional!
It all adds up to the fact that there are huge and tangible benefits to boosting your visibility by demonstrating your expertise.
Hinge's research defines the five levels of visibility below, but how do you get there? Recomendations and word of mouth are very powerful but if you are not visible online you are missing a trick!
Blogging and social
Unless you are lucky enough to speak to the right person who engages you to speak at an event or sets up a high profile interview, you are going to have to start with proving you know what you are talking about online. The easiest place to start is by demonstrating your knowledge via a personal or company blog and via social channels like linkedin twitter etc...
Making a habit of creating and sharing relevant content will benefit you enormously. In 2014 the average accountant wrote 0.25 blog posts and the average lawyer 0.51 so even writing one post per month will stand you head and shoulders above the rest! If you can make a habit of weekly or fortnightly blogging your quest to become a visible expert will be well on it's way!
A lot of firms focus on brand & communication about the firm as a whole (and well they might!) without giving too much thought to the individuals. This is mainly because the experts within the firm don't produce anything that the marketing team can leverage or promote. Create quality content for them and they will start pushing it out for you - dramatically increasing your visibiility without too much extra work on your part.
Graft and endurance
Put the effort in! If you want to be a visible expert you have to work at it. It takes time for your expertise to permeate but if you can get into the habit of blogging, commenting and sharing regularly it will become easier over time.
Every day there are new tools appearing on the market that make it easier to build your profile and become more visible. You can achieve more in ten minutes than you would have done in three hours only a few years ago. You can also use stats and metrics to help work out what really impacts your audience (and who they are!) and to track your progess towards your long term goal.
Setting aside as little as twenty minutes a week to comment on the latest developments in your sector or write a blog post will be enough to get you started, get in touch if you'd like to know how Passle can help!
Level 1: The Resident Expert - Recognized as an expert by clients, staff, and colleagues, these individuals are not well known outside of their firms. Level 2: The Local Hero - Known in the local market, these individuals’ expertise has started to move beyond the boundaries of the firm, occasionally drawing business based on their reputation. Level 3: The Rising Star - Individuals whose reputations are moving onto the regional or even national stage, attracting better business at higher fees. Level 4: The Industry Rock Star - Nationally recognized names within a given niche, attracting top-tier business opportunities and commanding premium fees for the individual and the firm. Level 5: The Superstar - Individuals who have broken out of a particular niche and become synonymous with an entire area of expertise, with major firms seeking to associate themselves with them.