How to establish yourself as an expert using content

If establishing yourself as an expert in your field is central to your marketing strategy, then you need to be thinking about content. After all, the best way to convince someone you’re an expert is not to tell them but to show them. 

You need to give away a little taste – or even a large slice – of the value you know you can add, to help people understand why they should find out more about you and, ultimately, commit to buying from or working with you.

Think about it like the free cube of cheese or thimble of wine at a farmer’s market – something you can use to entice people. Once they bite, you won’t need to work nearly so hard to sell to them. They’ll know what they’re getting and whether they like it.

So how do you go about establishing yourself as an expert using content? Here are some things to think about.

What type of content to share

Whether you choose to write a blog or record a podcast or film videos is up to you – and your audience, of course. But when it comes to the actual content of what you share, there are three boxes you should be looking to tick to help your audience understand that you’re an expert.

Share your opinion: Make sure some of the content you publish includes your commentary on what’s happening in the world or your industry. If you’re in financial services and a big stock market event happens, you need to be adding your voice to the conversation. 

Educate your audience: There’s stuff your audience doesn’t know, and stuff they don’t even know that they don’t know! Think about where they are on their awareness journey and help them move to the next level. As you empower them to become better informed, they’ll trust your expertise more and more.

Show them how to do stuff: This is the real gold when it comes to establishing your expertise using content. If you can show your audience how to do something that will genuinely help them (like how to establish themselves as an expert using content!) they’ll have a chance to experience the value that you can add to their lives.

Where to publish your content

So you know what kind of content you want to publish and what format your audience will most engage with. Now the question is where you publish it. 

Your own website: Your website is one of the few publishing platforms that you own. No one is going to make you start paying money to promote your content or suddenly decide they don’t want to share it to more than 25% of your audience. Also, by putting content on your site you improve its SEO and give your audience the chance to move easily beyond reading your expert content and start exploring your products and services.

Social media: Of course, SEO is only a part of the puzzle when it comes to getting visitors to your blog or other onsite content. Social media is where people hang out and so that’s where you need to go and share your content. Work out which platform your audience prefers and make sure you have a presence. Share as much useful content as you can and you’ll soon be one of the go-to experts in your subject area.

Other websites: If content is meant to drive traffic to your site, surely you shouldn’t be publishing it on other people’s websites, right? Actually, if your goal is to establish yourself as an expert then there are times you’ll want to do just that. Placing a guest post on a reputable website is great PR, getting you in front of a new audience and showing people you’ve got the seal of approval from the brand you’re collaborating with.

More things to think about

Ok, so there were a few other hints and tips we wanted to share with you and they didn’t fall under either of the other headings so we stuck them here. They’re still super useful though, as we hope you’ll agree.

Back up your assertions: If you make a claim on your blog, be sure to back it up with a link to a reputable source. Don’t – please don’t – link to a Wikipedia article. Scientific studies and research by established brands like Hubspot or McKinsey are great. Some random person’s blog or a dodgy-looking survey sponsored by a third rate consumer brand is not going to help you establish yourself as an expert.

Try to give real life examples: Lots of people share theory. And theory is great. But one thing readers really love is an example. That’s why we’ve stuffed our Business Owner’s Blog Title Toolkit chock full of them. If you’re not sure how to use examples to make your expert content richer, check out this blog post on How to write an engaging about page (with examples).

Leave a trail of crumbs: Ideally the expert content you share should be so tasty that your reader – or listener, or viewer – is left wanting more. So make sure you give them a next step. That could be another blog post to read, an ebook to download, a newsletter to sign up to. One piece of content is unlikely to win you a sale. The point of expert content is to build a relationship so that when your audience is ready to buy, they’re pretty much guaranteed to turn to you.

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