This is the second and concluding part of the article on the topic above. In the first part, I sought to explain that while it is a great thing to be an expert in your field, the people who do enjoy elite professional benefits in any field are those who are not just experts in their field but those who are experts and have become well-known for their expertise.
I explained that these individuals follow a definite process and take specific steps to achieve expert visibility or thought leadership status. I covered some of the steps in this process in the first part of this article. The rest of the steps are outlined here in the second and final part of the article as follow:
6. Curate Content – Beside creating your own content, you can curate content that you think will be valuable to your audience. This involves gathering content from a variety of sources, around the topic you publish on and then sharing the content on your platform for the benefit of your audience. The key is to carefully choose a number of websites, blogs, writers and thought leaders on your topic and occasionally pick some of their content that you judge they would be useful to your audience and publish it on your platform. As long as you attribute the content to the author or include a backlink to the original source, you will be in the clear. Even though you are not the author of the content you curate, since it reaches your audience through you, they will associate you with the value they get from such content, seeing you as an expert on the topic. As a result, content curation is a powerful way of enhancing your expertise and increasing your visibility
7. Write a Book and Publicize it – When you are looking to build your visibility as an expert or thought leader in your field, one of the things you must necessarily do is write a book. Writing a good book instantly confers credibility and authority on you, opening doors to elite speaking invitations, media interviews and high-level partnerships, all of which dramatically boost your visibility. Authoring a good book singles you out from the numerous other people operating in your field. Even if the other folks in your industry have more experience than you, the fact that you took time to painstakingly organize your knowledge in an orderly manner to produce a book that anyone could easily access for insight would mark you out as a go to person in your industry. Moreover, writing a book shows that you possess the resilience to commit to a task – even an exacting one – and follow through. This conveys to people an understanding that you are someone who could be trusted to get things done, especially tasks that are prestigious, require high-level skills and involve painstaking commitment.
And when you have written a book, by all means, publicize it. It will be a shame if you write a good book and only a few people know about it. In the digital age, there are numerous avenues to create publicity around your book, including issuing press releases about the book, securing book reviews, doing a book blog tour of popular blogs, securing interviews in the media, posting excerpts from the book on the your social media pages, putting a link to the book in your email signature, tweeting excerpts from the books, running LinkedIn and Facebook ads and others.
In the meantime, if you are not able to publish a traditional book, you could go the route of publishing ebooks. Presently, most people value ebooks just the same way as physical books especially if such ebooks contain valuable information and are properly formatted. And if you possess expert knowledge but don’t fancy yourself as someone who could author a book, you can very easily hire a ghostwriter and share your knowledge with him so that he will write the book for you.
8. Build and Nurture Connections on LinkedIn – The real essence of networking is to connect with people and figure out ways you can be of help to them. Being an expert in your field means that you have skills and experience that you can bring to bear to help people in different situations. LinkedIn as a social platform provide an avenue to connect with and be of help to as many people as you are able to. As you exercise your expertise to bring benefits to the people that you build and nurture connections with on LinkedIn, more and more people will get to know of you and the skill set you possess. As the circle of professionals with whom you have a connection and who can attest to your expertise widens so will your visibility. Over time, your status as a thought leader in your industry will be entrenched so much so that when people ask for an expert in your field, your name will always be the first to come up.
9. Build High-Level Communication Skills – The truth is that you will not succeed as a visible expert if you lack ability to communicate effectively. And communication here includes both written and oral communication. You have got to be able to write clearly as well as be able to deliver a speech, lead a seminar and explain concepts and ideas. If your writing skills are not strong, look to shore them up by taking a class – online or offline. And if your verbal communication is not exactly smooth, or if speaking in public gives you nerves, you might want to enrol in a public speaking programme that will help you to develop both the skills and the confidence to speak effectively in the public.
10. Sit Up and Work at It – The process of attaining visibility as an expert in your field as I have described throughout this article requires real work. You cannot afford to write and publish articles on your blog for two months and then go off for three only to return with two posts and then go away for another four months. If you have a book idea, sit up and write it. And when you start writing, endeavor to stick with it until you are done. Seek opportunities to speak on your topic. And when you do get them, prepare exhaustively each time and make a world-class presentation. See to it that each time people listen to you speak, they go away with a lot of value. They will remember to seek you out when they need someone with real insight in your field. Make sure you are constantly engaging in the activities that will ultimately help you to become a visible expert in your field. Achieving visibility is a long-term game and you must be willing to do the hard work for as long as it takes.