When trying to build up your brand, the way you “sell” yourself will go a long way in helping you sell your products or services. When you can position yourself as an expert in your particular niche, you gain greater trust for your brand.
Continued efforts at establishing your expert authority can have lasting results for your business. In fact, a study from Lucidpress found that “consistent presentation” will increase revenue by an average of 23 percent. Consistent authority-building work will create trust and support your overall brand image.
But how do you go about building authority within your niche? Here are a few tactics that you can use to build your positioning and fuel brand growth.
Because your website is your first point of contact for most potential customers, it should be a primary way of sharing your expert insights. Raphi Mahgerefteh, founder and CEO of jewelry brand Allurez, explained, “Buying jewelry is a big investment, so it’s our responsibility to provide as much pertinent information as possible for our clients. We want customers to be informed and educated. As such, we’ve added an ‘Education’ section to our website with in-depth guides about buying diamonds, gemstones and other items we sell. Not only do they become better informed, but they also know what they want to buy. This limits the amount of returns we receive, which benefits both the customers and us.”
An analysis by Search Engine Watch found that evergreen content delivers greater long-term SEO benefits than news-oriented content, improving your site ranking and authority for months or years to come. Make sure you are updating your site regularly, and with content that is relevant for a long time.
2. Look For Opportunities To Share
Your website isn’t the only place where you can share your expertise. As a business leader, you are in a position where you have unique experiences and insights that could prove invaluable to people who might never discover your company.
Writing for Kapost, creative consultant Katrina Pfannkuch notes that business leaders should use as many platforms as possible to share knowledge and build authority: “Mixing up what you share online is part of keeping engagement high. Include references and links to cornerstone content in fresh new pieces. Consider collaborating with industry influencers who have complimentary insights that can build on content you’ve already shared. Or, create a new collaborative content series with an influencer to serve as future cornerstone content.”
Putting yourself out there isn’t always easy. A publication could turn you down for an interview. Your class proposal for a business conference could be rejected. But your persistence will pay off. Even guest blogging can build your online authority, giving you more social media mentions, backlinks and brand awareness.
The resulting SEO boost can be big for your bottom line. Optinmonster reports that while outbound leads only have a close rate of 1.7%, SEO leads have an impressive 14.6 percent successful close rate.
While this may seem like an unconventional way to position yourself as an expert, there is no denying that the daily things you do to keep your business running smoothly play a big role in establishing true expertise.
In a study on CEOs conducted by Oxford University, female CEOs were found to achieve the greatest levels of success when they focused on self-development and self-management, while also accepting themselves and the unique strengths they can offer as a leader.
In a CNN interview discussing the study, Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, explained, “You had to make the choice you wanted to be a female CEO. I never understood that I just brought a different kind of strength to the table. I had to grow into my shoes ... no one handed me the keys and said 'OK, it's your turn to be CEO.”
Don’t be afraid to use your unique strengths to take your business to new heights. Being a strong leader will allow you to get the desired results from your team, driving sales and building powerful brand authority in the process.
While you may have a lot of knowledge to share, one important thing to remember is that it’s not all about you. You may not always be able to answer a customer’s questions or address a particular need. But you can gain trust by directing them to the people who can help them.
To do this, it helps to build relationships with others in your industry. Reach out to influencers and experts that target a similar audience to your own without directly competing with your brand. Engage with them through their blogs or social media content. When you encounter someone who they could help, send a referral.
This builds trust with the customer you were working with and strengthens your relationship with your industry contact. As a result, you’re more likely to receive referrals from the happy customer and your industry connection — building your authority through word of mouth. Better still, according to the Wharton School of Business, customers gained via referrals offer a 25% higher lifetime value.
Positioning yourself as an expert in your product niche requires continuous effort. Unsurprisingly, it also requires that you actually know what you’re talking about. But as you use your industry knowledge to help your target audience, you will be able to gain their trust — and their business.