How to Become the Go-To Expert Locally
A great way to promote your business is to become an expert locally. Becoming a local expert in your field of expertise will boost your business in different ways. It doesn’t matter whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business; being seen as a local go-to expert will increase your share of business.
Start a Locally-Inspired Blog
Create a blog that is focused on your local area within your niche. Use a lot of locally-focused keywords, such as the town you live in or local places, and talk directly to your local audience about your subject. You can use your blog as a repository for interviewing local people, writing information about your niche, or educating the public about your niche.
I initially focused on Bury St Edmunds, where I lived and still spend much of my time. I do now target a wider audience as well.
Offer to Speak at Events
Contact local organisations that might like to hear about your niche. Local organisations often need speakers; offer your services for a couple of different topics relating to your niche. You can contact college organisations, local associations, and groups by sending them information that you can talk about as an expert.
Once you’re established, you will be approached by local organisations looking for speakers in your niche area.
Write for Your Local Newspaper
Many local newspapers have community columns where local experts write about their niche. Contact the newspaper and offer your services. Sometimes you can even get paid, but even if you don’t, having your byline in the local paper will add to your credibility as the local expert.
I write a fortnightly column for the Bury Free Press on marketing and social media and often get enquiries from potential clients who’ve read my article. Incidentally, the Editor contacted me via Twitter – always a good place to find journalists.
Publish a Book
Today, with the advent of Kindle Publishing you can quickly become a published author. You can do a completely electronic version, or you can use print on demand services (POD). This enables you to have a print copy of your book available for sale at events that you speak at. Being a published author immediately implies “expert.”
This one took me longer to get round to doing! I’ve finally published a book with my graphic design partner, Sammy Teather of Teather Creative Design. This is under our Teather&Morrison Online brand and is available via Amazon as both a POD book and a Kindle version.
Our book, ‘4 Simple Steps to Your Next Big Idea’, is based on our own experiences of getting a new business to market and is available from Amazon here.
Make it a practice to contact media to correct or add to stories that appear in your local paper or on local news related to your niche. Eventually, they’ll start calling you themselves for help with their stories. Don’t turn down an offer to be quoted. Soon you’ll be the only one they call for help with stories relating to your area of expertise.
Study Your Niche
To establish yourself as a local expert it’s important to study your subject in depth so that you are a real expert. Don’t claim to be something you’re not.
It’s also important to believe in yourself so that the confidence shines through. You must also be able to drop the jargon and explain your subject matter in everyday language that non-experts can understand. After all, an expert’s job is to impart knowledge to others that they’ve worked hard to acquire.
Finally, call yourself an expert. This was something I struggled with as social media moves so fast and changes so frequently. However, I soon found that others were calling me the go-to expert. I realised that my role is to keep as up to date as possible and stay ahead of the wave. So, add your expertise to your name and signature line, to your website, to your blog, to your business cards and every bit of marketing collateral you have.
The more you demonstrate your expertise, the more other people will perceive you as the go-to expert who can help them.