Many entrepreneurs strive to become experts within their particular industries. Emerging as an industry authority can help you to open new doors by building key connections. Plus, the knowledge base that you create while becoming an industry leader ultimately helps you to provide better services and products to your clients.
Becoming an industry leader takes a lot of work and a significant investment in time—not to mention the risk involved if your efforts do not pay off—but afterward, you will become highly sought after for your knowledge and experience. In that way, establishing yourself as an authority can drive your business’ bottom line.
Read on for some tips for becoming an industry leader.
1. Create and share content.
People gain respect when they create valuable content and make it available to other people for free. One of the best ways to distinguish yourself as a leader is to give great advice that others can use to achieve access.
Industry leaders need to focus on sharing value with others as much as possible, and they can deliver this content in a range of media, from blog posts to training videos. However, even something as simple as an e-mail can be valuable.
Ultimately, you will need to show that your content achieves results. When others recognize this fact, they will be more likely to trust a product or service that your company is selling. After all, if the free content is great, then the paid items must be even better.
2. Find a specific niche.
In the digital age, it can be difficult to find a niche. Sometimes it feels like every angle of every topic is already covered. However, there is always a unique way to look at a problem.
Approaching an issue from a radically new angle will command attention and establish you as the go-to person for that particular niche rather than just as another person with an opinion on the topic. You should spend some time investigating what other people in your industry are talking about so that you can offer something new and fresh.
Finding a niche takes a lot of homework and learning, but the investment of time and energy can really pay off in the long run.
3. Address industry change.
Nowadays, it seems like industries are changing faster than ever before. New findings or products can radically alter how business is conducted and even how customers should think about identifying the right product or service.
Becoming an industry authority demands that you pay close attention to major changes and even subtle shifts. However, being aware of these evolutions is not enough. As much as possible, you need to address these changes and explore their ramifications.
You can include comments on a company or personal blog, but it is also helpful to approach media outlets and attempt to disseminate ideas and content more widely. Once you are known for talking about industry changes publicly, you will be more frequently sought out for comment.
4. Connect with other authorities.
Entrepreneurs can establish a lot of authority by gaining the respect of other influencers in their industry. Typically, sending an e-mail and asking to connect doesn’t gain a lot of traction. Instead, you can subscribe to mailing lists and follow major thinkers in your industry on social media so that you can engage with their posts.
If these leaders post items that are not very thought-provoking, then they are not the right people to follow. Authorities that inspire “aha” moments, on the other hand, are the ones to engage with. Commenting and starting a discussion with these people is a great way to move beyond a surface connection and build a deeper relationship with other leaders.
5. Maximize your online presence.
People only become recognized as experts when their voice gets widely heard. Today, social media platforms make it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to put their voice out there.
Twitter is a great tool for sending updates and linking to helpful articles, whether you have written it yourself or not. You can use Facebook to build a larger following and network with other industry professionals. LinkedIn can also be especially helpful in this regard.
You may want to think about creating an e-newsletter that people can sign up to receive. Watching the mailing list grow can give you a better sense of the impact that you are having, as well as the reach you have achieved. Personal and company-based blogs are other great ways to offer free, valuable content.
6. Keep in touch.
Sometimes, when people work to become an expert in their respective fields, they lose sight of what really matters: the market. Entrepreneurs should make sure that they keep in touch with their customer base, as well as their employees. These individuals have the clearest insight on how a market is changing and can provide the best information for keeping abreast of new shifts.
No matter how busy you become, it’s quick and easy to shoot an e-mail or have a lunch discussion with a key employee who interacts with clients on a daily basis.