by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.
In some ways, it has never been easier to obtain recognition in your industry through social media–it’s instant, it’s free, and your friends (and even strangers) can share your posts for you. However, due to the proliferation of social media and social networking, it’s very easy to become lost in the crowd due to all the noise and constant barrage of content from professionals and amateurs alike. You therefore need to not only develop a brand, but also a strategy for marketing that brand. One way to do this is with a business coach or public relations company to think outside the box and do some of the leg work for you. The more cost-effective way, however, is to plan out your own marketing and branding strategy, which may include speaking engagements, publications, and social media posts.
Before you are ready to begin marketing, you need to know your niche and target market. Then you need to know how to access them— what websites do they read? What conferences did they attend? What organizations are they a part of? Once you are confident in who you are, what you do, and who you want to reach, you can begin preparing and implementing your communications strategy.
1. Speaking Engagements
One way to gain visibility within your industry and network at the same time is to book speaking engagements. To illustrate, if your ideal clients are human resources managers, look for HR organizations which have monthly meetings and annual conferences. Until you have established a solid reputation, you may need to start small, with local chambers of commerce, or informal industry groups (which you can find on LinkedIn, Meetup, or Eventbrite). Once you have the engagement booked, be sure to prepare your presentation accurately and meticulously. Practice and polish your presentation so that you can answer any questions that the audience may ask you.
In addition, it’s a good idea to record your presentation so that you can use it as a reference when you want to obtain bigger speaking engagements. You can also post these presentations on your website and your YouTube channel, which will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Then promote your videos throughout your social media networks. Another option is to conduct your own webinars. In addition to using webinar platforms, a more casual setting would be to select a time and date to discuss relevant topics via live video or audio with your Google Plus followers in Google hangouts.
2. Publish Content
Currently, the most common way to gain attention in your industry is to start blogging about relevant topics in your industry. Over time, this will not only improve your website rankings, but will let people know where your areas of expertise lie. Even if you feel like your posts are going into a “black hole,” people in your network will start to realize what it is that you do, and you will start to earn credibility as you provide them with valuable information. This also keeps you in front of your audience on a consistent basis.
In order to step up your game a little bit, you may want to contact industry publications and websites and see if you can offer to write a column or one-time article, which will also increase your visibility and drive traffic to your site. If writing articles is not one of your strengths, consider hiring a copywriter to assist you. A ghost writer can even interview you for the content, and then organize your words into a grammatically correct and appealing article. Each time one of your articles published in a magazine or trade publication, you can leverage this experience as an entrée into writing for even more prestigious and high profile publications.
Earning recognition in your industry can have direct results (compensation for speaking engagements and book sales), or indirect results (increased awareness of your expertise in the industry, thus leading to more referrals). Either way, you should be on your way to building a strong career in your field of choice. And when you love what you do, the money will follow.
As an attorney and business consultant, Jennifer Grady, Esq. uses her litigation background and business acumen to ensure her entrepreneur and small business clientele are achieving their goals. To schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation with Ms. Grady, fill out a Consultation Request Form, or call (949) 798-6298.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.