Do you sell advice?
If so, you need to be an expert. You also need to convince your audience that you’re an expert too.
But by now you know that you are competing in a crowded space. It seems like everyone is an expert.
I looked on LinkedIn and counted how many consultants are competing in the top niches. Check it out:
- Business consultants: 98,900
- Management consultants: 75,707
- Sales Consultants: 303,908
- Life Coach: 33,358
- Executive Coach: 15,711
These numbers are on the conservative side which means that you need to bring your “A Game” to get noticed.
Specifically you must stand out as an expert and demonstrate that your solution is better than the competition.
Your future clients have a problem too, they need to decide which experts are legitimate and who to avoid.
Why Content Marketing Matters for Experts
Content marketing works because it is an audition for experts.
However, just publishing a post isn’t going to to get the job done. You need to adopt a deliberate approach to demonstrating your expertise.
Here’s what you need to do:
Define Your Audience’s Problem in a New Way
Experts see the world differently. Their perspective helps them see a problem and understand how to approach it. You can help your audience appreciate your expertise by describing their problem and its root causes. Asking insightful questions in your blog posts is an effective way start framing your reader’s problem.
A client with great traffic to his blog was concerned that most of that traffic wasn’t converting into paid customers. Our team reviewed the numbers and saw that the editorial schedule included topics that didn’t present the client’s strengths. The problem wasn’t conversion. The problem was topic selection.
Diagnose Unique Challenges
Experts have seen the same core problems occur consistently. They know that the key questions are often the same in each situation, but the approach to solving the problems are unique. Experts like to joke that every client thinks their problem is unique when it really isn’t.
That notion is right and wrong.
Right because core problems are usually the same but every client brings a different challenge. As an expert you need to understand how to find the core issue hampering the client’s efforts.
You can show of your problem solving versatility by segmenting your audience into different interests or industries and diagnosing the common problems in each segment.
Jay Baer is a thought leader and respected content marketing expert. Jay demonstrated his versatility by adapting the core concepts taught in his bestselling book Youtility to the financial services industry with – Youtility for Accountants.
A Better Approach
Experts get a bad rap because they often try to charge too much for the same advice offered by 99% of the experts in their industry. Innovative approaches to tough problems matter now more than ever.
Your clients with a Google search can get a birds-eye view of what your competition is saying. Simply echoing the industry consigns you to obscurity but a new way to solve a problem instills confidence that you aren’t selling the same tired solutions.
I believe that most content marketing best practices are obsolete.
I look to folks like Brian Dean, Noah Kagen (http://www.okdork.com/), Nate Desmond as examples of experts bringing new approaches to the content marketing space. They aren’t social media gurus they are expert problem solvers that are constantly tweaking their approach.
Be topical and relevant
Any topic will lose its appeal if it isn’t revitalized with new examples, people, and situations. Successful experts understand how to absorb the news and current events and use them to reframe their approach. Being topical and relevant requires you to look outside your niche’s “locker room” and keep your eyes open to interesting stories that will catch your reader’s attention.
I’ve used Lady Gaga Madonna, Tim McGraw, Oprah, Beyonce, and Lex Luther to illustrate Pushing Social’s approach to blog post writing, social media strategy, and creating content. Connecting the dots for readers keeps my content fresh while pushing me (pun intended) to stay relevant.
With so much competition, its critical that you stay top of mind by keeping your approach in front of your reader. Staying top of mind requires a steady stream of quality content published in different ways.
The most successful experts know what type of content their audience respects and gives it to them.
Michael Hyatt is a bona-fide personal branding expert. Michael understands that his audience needs to see more than blog posts. He currently reaches his audience with books, a podcast, video, along with consistent blogging and social network engagement.
Remember the ‘80s commercial where the old lady shouts “Where’s the beef!?” Your readers will want to see proof that you can deliver.
You can reassure your readers by showing:
- Case Studies: Explain a client’s situation, problem, and how you solved the problem. Show actual numbers if you can. Go ahead and strip the client’s name from the case study as long as the information is accurate.
- Testimonials: The authentic words of happy clients will help your potential clients visualize how you can help them. Add a step in your client service process to contact clients and request a testimonial, even if you aren’t using testimonials yet.
What Do You Need to Work On?
Which of these expert promotion techniques gives you the most trouble? Where do you shine. Let me know on Google+