5 Ways to Market Your Expertise Online

There’s no particularly “digital sphere” or “online world” anymore – not one that’s fundamentally separate from the rest of our lives. And that means your marketing has to change. Digital strategy cannot be just a set of digital techniques, internet gimmicks, or web tools, because the web is no longer a place where only a small population of technical people interacts – it has become like driving a car – most people know how. The web as social and commercial venue is now so integrated with the rest of our lives that we need to think of engaging it as a way of existing at home in it – a way of being that lingers in our daily activity – rather than just some tips for what to do when visiting a foreign land.

Your Raw Material Is Your Expertise: This way of being belongs to *every* business, because marketing is a core business function. Even if it’s not *your* function per se, it’s a function of the business, and these roles are roles the business will take on directly or indirectly as an ontological reality – a reality of what the company really is. You might say “But I’m not a marketer.” Yes, but you’re an expert at something. And expertise has a natural evolution of stepping into certain roles, all of which exist to share, spread, and grow that expertise and other people’s enjoyment of it, which is how you get more business.

  1. Be a Publisher: You want to build credibility and authority? Write your own articles. Expertise is a social construct; if you don’t share it, you don’t have it, because it only exists in relation to someone else’s recognition and awareness. Adopting that attitude is critical to your marketing success. At it’s core of activity, marketing is creation of content. You don’t have to ask “what will I write about” – that’s a silly question if you’ve answered the more important one – “what do I care about?” – or better yet, “what do my prospects really care about?” Combine those two, and you’re ready to publish something. Fire up the blog.
  2. Be a Teacher: You want to demonstrate social proof? Reviews are good, but they’re passive, and they exist in a world of fakers and often get passed over. Teach something valuable. Teach it on video. If you’re an expert in your field, you’re teaching something valuable to someone else – clients or peers. Determining to give value, not just expect clients and get paid, is a trait of superior companies and it comes through to everyone. Who are your potential clients, and what would they most be interested in learning? What do you most wish they *would* learn? You’re the tutor, so start cooking up your tutorial.
  3. Be an Inspiration: There’s more than just the facts in your work. If you haven’t developed some insights into life, the cosmos, and human nature, check your pulse. You might be muttering it under your breath in the bathroom, or quipping at lunch with the food server, but you’ve noticed a few things that matter and have meaning. Push them out – start with Twitter and Pinterest and work toward Youtube. You don’t need qualifications to be a philosopher, other than a real job. Nothing speaks louder to the human condition than work. You’re not just a billboard, so commit to being fully expressed and authentic by saying something larger than just “buy my stuff”.
  4. Be a Producer: Producing shareable content is about one intrinsic human response: “wow”. Cool images, shareable memes, candid video – something you saw today and captured on your camera. The world is full of wowful images, and nothing converts better or gets more attention on the web. If all you’re thinking about is “keep it business like”, you’re not accessing the full range of human emotions that make prospective clients tick. Want to reach them? Dig into what we all share as persons; acknowledge that by being a little more interesting in social media, and it’s just like making conversation at a party; you’ll start getting more attention in the rest of your life, too.
  5. Be a Promoter: Whoever might have told you that it’s better to be self-deprecating than trumpet what makes you awesome likely wasn’t running a company or flying their own flag over a brand. Businesses that boom don’t talk that way. Get press. Get yourself onto a podcast or video show. Get attention. Make noise. Think of yourself like a boxing promoter who only gets paid if the fight sells out. Your business is the event, and the event is awesome. Find all the reasons why, and make sure we all know about it.

Becoming the clear and obvious choice among competitors, the go-to authority in your field, is about taking on an altered way of *being*. You are not just an owner of or employee in your company – you wear a set of hats that determine how others respond to the business. You are, in effect, a commercial guru, a company sage – you’re an expert in your field. If you’re still resisting your business taking on the commensurate roles in its marketing, what you’re really resisting is the growth of the company itself, as well as your own growth. Step into the place of being that leads to growth, and take the company there with you. Clients will follow – in droves.

Contact MadPipe to help achieve your dreams of gaining more clientele and create an efficient marketing department for your company or organization.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership in marketing, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.
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