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How to Establish Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert

Colleen Egan, Writer

This abundance of options can feel intimidating to small business owners. How do you set yourself apart? The good news is that there are still shoppers — especially those in the all-important millennial category — who value expertise, authenticity, and companies that share their values.

So, to get your business noticed by this type of consumer, you have to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Here’s how to get started.

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Create a blog or write articles for your website.

To demonstrate your prowess as an expert, it helps to have proof. The best place to begin is on your company’s website, where you can either establish a blog or post evergreen (i.e., always relevant) articles. If you don’t have time to regularly post on your blog, opt for evergreen articles so your site doesn’t look neglected or out of date.

A blog can be a forum for discussing the latest news in the field and how it relates to your business, while articles can focus on advice and explaining core topics in your field. Either of these options help you set your site apart as a robust source of information.

Boost your social media presence.

Choose a few social media platforms that you have time to keep up with, and start posting relevant articles and commentary. It’s also important to engage with your followers and connect with other leaders in your field. Building a strong social media presence and demonstrating your knowledge among an online community helps establish your expertise.

Get involved with industry groups.

If you’re not already involved with local, national, or even international organizations related to your industry, it’s time to change that. Attending industry events is a great way to meet other people in the field and take a larger role in upcoming conferences or conventions, with speaking engagements, panel discussions, or leadership positions.

Reach out to journalists who cover your field.

Editors, reporters, and TV producers are always looking for subject matter experts who can speak about related issues in the news, breaking down difficult topics and offering perspective.

If you don’t already have media contacts, check bylines in relevant publications. Reporters’ email addresses are often included with their byline, so send them a short, concise message introducing yourself and offering your services as an expert in the field. Include your contact information and links to your website and some relevant articles or appearances.

Start a podcast.

Instead of waiting to be a TV or radio guest on someone else’s show, you can always start one of your own. With a podcast, you can bring your message directly to listeners. Podcasting is a great excuse to reach out to people you admire in your field and ask them to be guests on your show. Creating a successful podcast is also a way to build a following and establish yourself as a strong voice in your industry.

Colleen writes for Square, where she covers everything from how aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their passion into a career to the best marketing strategies for small businesses who are ready to take their enterprise to the next level.