Community Futures Meridian

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Use Your Expertise to Generate Leads

  • August 3, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Marketing is a necessary expense, but it’s often like being caught between a rock and a hard place – you often need to market your business to attract more prospects at a time when your marketing budget may be stretched. It’s at times like this you need marketing strategies that give you more bang for your buck and have longer shelf lives.

We all know that the first rule of selling is “sell yourself first” but consider also making it your first rule of marketing. People like buying from people that are experts in their field. Why? Because they exude confidence, they have credibility, and they appear trustworthy.

But what is an expert? How do we define one in day-to-day life? An expert is anyone who knows more than you do about a given subject. For instance, if you were going to get a pedigree dog, say an Australian Shepherd, you might decide to talk to a friend who has had several of them over the years and ask them to tell you all about the breed. Is this person really an expert? Well, not strictly speaking, unless they have been breeding Aussies for several decades, but they do know a great deal more than you do about owning one, so you are likely to listen to them and take their advice.

Think about adopting one of the following personas and attract prospects by sharing your knowledge.

The Professor

Host a seminar, or workshop, focused on an area of your business you know well. One that your prospective customers will find useful and informative. Perhaps you could approach your local Chamber of Commerce and offer to host a session for members? This is a great way to quickly and easily become a ‘professor’ and demonstrate your expertise to potential customers.

Don’t be afraid to show people how to do what your business offers, themselves. You’ll be surprised how many people, once they see how complex it is and your obvious expertise, come up to you after the session and ask whether you can provide the service to them.

It’s also very likely several people will come up to you and give you their business card and suggest meeting for coffee or lunch. Whatever you sell, there is a way you can reach your target audience by educating them and demonstrating your personal, or your businesses expertise.

The Expert Media Source

Becoming an expert media source may be a little harder to get into than setting yourself up as a professor, but a lot of people do it and get masses of free exposure. When you read your local newspaper watch out for quotes from local “experts”, you’ll find that the same names come up time and time again. Becoming a media source can be as easy as letting local editors or broadcasters know that you exist. Consider your area of expertise and find a niche within it where you have specialized or “inside” knowledge. Then approach local newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and offer your services should they ever need an expert opinion, or background information relating to your specialty.

Being a respected media source will bring great credibility to both you and your company, and the good thing is that you can be an expert on just about anything from Aardvarks to Zabaglione.

The Blogger and Social Media Butterfly

The media frequently interview bloggers on a wide range of subjects; they’ve become a standard source. These modern-day communicators have attained serious credibility in recent years. Writing a regular blog about a specific topic can allow you to connect to, and potentially influence, thousands if not tens of thousands of people. It allows you to put forward your opinions and display your depth of knowledge and understanding about what you write. A blog also gives you plenty of material to use as Tweets, or LinkedIn posts, which of course drives people back to your blog and your website. Sweet!

The Author

One of the best ways of all to build credibility is to write a book and get it published. Up to a few years ago this highly successful marketing strategy was the purview of the few lucky souls who managed to attract a publishing house to represent them. Today with print-on-demand publishing and eBooks, just about anyone can produce a book that looks professional. The prestige and credibility that comes from writing a good book cannot be overstated.

Think about what you have to say to your target market, or even to a small segment of it. You don’t necessarily have to be a good writer – there are ghostwriters out there who can help you. Check out the Association of Ghostwriters for highly qualified writers.

The Freelance Writer

If a book seems a daunting prospect for you and the thought of writing 80,000 words gives you a case of the screaming heebie-jeebies, you might want to start a little more modestly and write an article for a local magazine, trade journal, or even for your local newspaper. This approach can still be very effective, and as you get used to formulating ideas and presenting them logically, a book or a blog will seem like a natural progression.

So, go forth and express yourself. Show the world that when it comes to your industry or profession, you’re the go-to person.

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