If being 'the’ expert sounds like a lot of work, it should be. You've likely worked hard to get where you are. Schooling, seminars, training, hands-on experience learning.  However, more often than not, people will underestimate their ability to contribute their knowledge, skill sets and value.  Often times this is a lack of self confidence, other times it's not knowing how to begin.

Well,  here's the good news. By getting into a new routine, you can take your status this year from follower to influencer, in whatever field or industry.

We've gathered the best online marketing and Public Relations advice from various 'experts' - and summarized them here in five, all-encompassing tips. It may help you prioritize your time  in order to position yourself as a more effective 'thought leader' and make your way into 'expert' territory.

 

1. Whatever you say - make it valuable! Stop talking about your products and services and create valuable content for people to read, listen to and share. Even what you say - be a thought leader and innovate! - in interviews, speeches and conversations - be transparent and most importantly - be consistent with your messaging and remember to talk about OTHERS.

 

2. Know your friends and your enemies. Align yourself with great strategic partners (think competitors!), 'follow' better people and then talk about and to them. Make a point of connecting off line, meeting up in the real world and make things happen. Talk to people and get their input GOOD OR BAD about what it is you do. Your biggest critics could one day become your greatest allies - even though they don't like you, they'll still 'follow' you.

 

3. Tell a better story. People connect with storytelling - what's yours? Think about your narrative strategy and let it permeate through your website, appearances and conversations. A good story can also be of interest to your local news source! Be honest and transparent, and let your passion shine through - it can build deeper relationships.

 

4. LEARN about online networks! Take a course, consult an expert, have a coffee with someone who knows it and learn how to make it work for your business. There may be opportunities on social channels or with tools - that you never knew existing - it may give you or your business an edge.

 

5. On trend - Be in the know about news or issues that concern your industry or business, then take part in the conversation. Start off with conversations that are trending, then make it clear how it relates to you and your business, through ENGAGEMENT, not just 'telling'. Start these conversations using tools like web video, webinars, social networks and contacting news media with a relevant news story.

 

Finally – a last tip in the spirit of the New Year and the quiet holiday season.

 

Listen for the silence....

By lending an ear beyond the 'chatter' and reading outside of your segment of customers - you are better able to gain perspective and generate bigger ideas for your company or product to grow.

 

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!