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5 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert

What’s a better branding tool than advertising? Even better than press releases? Being quoted by the media as an expert in your industry.

Journalists and bloggers are constantly writing stories that they need resources for. They’re on the hunt for people who can speak to a particular topic intelligently. You’re well-versed in your field, and have plenty to say. Now you just need to connect the dots.

These strategies will put you in front of the right journalists so that you can maximize your exposure in print and online articles.

1. Answer questions

Answer Questions - Become Industry ExpertIf you haven’t checked out Quora, do so right after you read and share this post. Quora is a site that connects people who have questions with those with answers. There are thousands of questions, and I’m willing to bet you’re qualified to answer at least a few.

Find categories you know well, then browse through the questions listed. Once you set up a profile, you can answer as many as you like. The more questions you answer, the greater visibility you get on the site. Not only do journalists use Quora to find people to quote for articles, but it’s also a great platform to network with other professionals.

2. Reach out

Reach Out - Become Industry Expert

There’s no reason you can’t reach out to any journalist, local or otherwise, and introduce yourself. Keep it genuine, though. Mention an article you really enjoyed, and let the journalist know you’re available, should he need an expert in your field.

You can also ease into getting on his radar by following him on social media and commenting on his articles online. This is also a great lead-in to develop that relationship before you pitch your news.

Tired of reporters ignoring your pitches? Get your free “Guide to securing Free Publicity for Your Business” now!

3. Help a reporter

HARO - Earn Free Publicity

Another useful tool (that happens to be owned by Vocus) is Help a Reporter Out. Also called HARO, it’s where reporters submit a query and get responses from experts. So if a journalist is looking for sources who can provide advice on how to start a business, she can post it there. If you’ve got advice on this subject, you can respond. You’ll be quoted and might even get a link back to your website. How’s that for free press?

4. Get social

Future of Social Media

Follow hashtags for topics you’re an expert in, and participate in conversations. Maybe you’re in healthcare and know a lot about the Affordable Care Act. So you follow the hashtag #ACA on Twitter. You use it whenever you share insight or a blog post on the subject, and soon people start turning to you for all things on the matter.

Sometimes journalists use hashtags to find experts, so be active and don’t forget to use them in your tweets! (Google+ uses hashtags there, so the same strategy applies).

5. Blog

Blog - Become Industry Expert

Content marketing is such an amazing tool for branding yourself as an expert. Write useful blog posts, and you’ll drive traffic to your site. Guest blog on other sites to increase your visibility online. People will identify you as a thought leader, and begin to trust you more than the competition. From there, sales are a breeze.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, where she helps her clients realize the benefits of social media, content marketing and blogging.

Image: Graham Lavender, Stefan Baudy, Sundaram Ramaswamy, Rosaura Ochoa, Sebastien Wiertz (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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