10 ways to show prospects you are an expert
So, you are a specialist at what you do. Your customers and prospects want to work with someone who knows their stuff. How do you bring the two together and really show them that you ARE the best?
There are a number of ways that you can demonstrate your expertise within your field. Here are my top 10 strategies for showing off!
1. Know your Strengths
The starting point has to be understanding your company’s strengths and your competitive advantage. If you know the ways in which you are better than your competitors, and those are of value to the customer, then you can build your key messages around them. Make sure that they are clearly communicated in all your marketing channels – website, literature, proposals, social media etc
Your website page copy and brochures will tell prospects that you are the best but you would say that wouldn’t you. A great way to ‘make it real’ is through third party testimonials from your existing customers. There are a number of ways to obtain them. You can conduct a survey or ask them to complete a feedback form after each project – usually the simpler the better. You can ask them to provide feedback through some established channels such as Linked In, Trip Advisor, Yell.com etc (as appropriate) or you could hold a feedback meeting conducted by yourself or an impartial third party. Use positive comments on your website, literature and social media to add credibility but always ask the customer’s permission before publishing.
3. Case Studies
A case study is similar to a testimonial but goes into more detail. It generally involves interviewing the customer and including information such as why they had a need for your products or services and how you provided a solution – you can reinforce your key messages through telling a story about how they work in practice. Use on your literature and website such as this example I helped APP Wine Law to create.
4. Enter Awards
Winning, or even getting shortlisted for, an industry award is a great way to raise awareness and get recognition for being the best at what you do. Just make sure the award itself is a credible one and is relevant for your industry and your audience. (See another recent blog on the subject)
5. Share Knowledge
You may believe that the point of being an expert and knowing all that you do about your chosen field is to keep all that knowledge and expertise locked away like a precious thing for fear that people may steal your expertise and not need you. While of course you shouldn’t give all your trade secrets away, sharing some of that knowledge can be an effective strategy. Use your blog or write articles for the media or guest blogs for others that really show you know your stuff. Likewise, speak at seminars and events. It’s a great way to raise your profile and become known as a respected specialist in your area.
Show work that you’ve previously completed on your website – real examples will always resonate more with people than a list of services offered.
Editorial coverage in the media is much more credible than any paid-for advertising or marketing. The media rarely have a vested interest in reproducing your news items (unless you are a major sponsor or advertiser) and so it is viewed as an impartial piece. Come up with some interesting angles for news stories about your business and submit them to local, national and trade press.
8. Give your Opinion
Offer your spin on topical issues, news or debates within your area of expertise. Clarify what developments mean, comment on how this will affect the industry or just tell people what you think based on what you know about the subject. This is an example of what I think about recent changes in the field of SEO
9. Answer Questions
What are the questions you get asked most often? What are the barriers or concerns people have when considering using your products and services? What areas particularly confuse people about your industry/products/services etc? Anticipate these and answer them via your blog, social media or FAQs on your website. It not only reassures people, it shows that you understand their concerns. Another alternative is to conduct a live Q&A via social media, webinar or webchat.
10. Share and Share Alike
Getting people to share your content allows you to reach wider audiences and endorses what you are saying. Aim to have people share your blogs and status updates, retweet your tweets and link to your website by creating great quality posts.
Who do you think you are?
So if you reckon you truly live up to the hype you’re promoting why not try some of the strategies above and really show that you are some kind of superstar – go you!