The best way to attract leads and generate referrals is to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Here are foolproof strategies to get that done.
- Customers will hire you more when you position yourself as an expert.
- To stand out as an expert, build your online presence and share valuable information consistently.
- Join reputable organizations/platforms to boost your credibility and authority.
Today’s customers love to comb through online reviews, case studies, blogs, and even videos before making a purchase. In fact, 81% of customers conduct online research before purchasing a product or hiring someone to provide a service.
So, what are customers looking for before taking the plunge? They are often on the hunt for a professional or specialist who has a track record of solving the problem they need to be fixed. So, whether you want to promote your brand or sell your service or product, becoming an expert is a no-brainer.
However, with most businesses/brands claiming to be experts, clients don’t often take what you say at face value. In this quick but comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through seven proven steps to differentiate yourself from the pack and drive traffic to your business or brand. Let’s dig in.
1. Build your online presence
Even if you’re a traditional brick-and-mortar business, having a solid online footprint in today’s world can go a long way if you want prospective clients to see you as an expert.
Here are some of our recommended social media platforms for vendors:
- Blogs: Aside from your business’s website, consider starting a blog where you can share thoughts, insights, updates, and advice with your clients.
- Facebook: With over 2.9 billion active users, Facebook is a prime place to target your audience.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn allows you to create a professional profile, network with others, and find job opportunities.
- Instagram: Instagram allows you to use creative photographs and videos to reach millions of people.
- Pinterest: Another photo-based app that’s great for sharing your work and ideas, primarily if you perform visual-friendly services like landscaping and interior design.
Depending on the kind of business you run, you can also consider other platforms like Twitter, TikTok, WhatsApp.
2. Highlight your credentials
Imagine someone tells you that they can perform surgery on you but they haven’t been to medical school; there’s no way you’ll trust them with your body.
In the same vein, clients will only trust you when you have the credentials to back up your claims. Your credentials typically include your:
- Qualifications and certifications: Where did you train and what certificates have you earned?
- Licensure: Are you properly licensed to practice your profession in the area?
- Registration: Are you registered with and approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies?
Don’t be afraid to highlight these credentials on your website and social media platforms. Your homepage, author bio, and “About” page are good places for this information. Also, make sure you consistently update your credentials when you upgrade your skills or get a new certification.
3. Write/speak on topics in your niche
To set yourself apart as an expert, you must be a content marketer. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as: “…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In other words, you have to create content that’s focused on people’s pain points.
For example, if you’re a plumber, instead of just running ads to tell people about the service you offer, you can run a blog, podcast, or vlog that provides relevant and valuable content to help people. Some potential topics could include:
- Why is my toilet leaking at the base?
- What temperature should I set my water heater on?
- Hilarious HVAC memes
Such content will boost your SEO and keep clients coming back. If they ever face a challenge, you’re sure to be on their list.
We recommend posting consistently – at least once a week. Also, encourage people to comment, like, and share your posts across different social media platforms.
4. Pitch to appear on relevant blogs/podcasts
It may not be enough to create and share content on your platforms. Consider posting on reputable sites to help yourself gain exposure and quality backlinks and the knock-on effect is that it boosts your credibility by association.
For example, if Forbes features you on their real estate site, people will immediately think of you as an authority simply because of how people revere the site.
The key is to find reputable sites relating to your niche that are accepting guest posts or features. A simple Google search of, say, “guest post + home improvement blog” or its variations should give you a valuable list to peruse.
VendorSmart is starting to host regular webinars in partnership with vendors to present to managers. These webinars will also be watchable from any time for managers to review at their convenience. Reach out to email@example.com for more information.
5. Conduct research and share resources
If you want to be a thought leader and an authority within your niche, you have to be ready to set the conversation. The way to do that is to produce original research and resources for your audience.
For example, if you’re a contractor, you can run surveys and see your clients’ mistakes when purchasing their first home. Ultimately, you can turn that data into a blog post, infographic, guest posts, e-books, and even whitepapers.
Think about how much traffic you can drive to your site with a post like “We Asked 1,000 Homeowners About Their Biggest Mistake. Here’s What They Said.” It will likely draw more eyeballs than a mere blog post that reads “Homeowner Mistakes To Avoid.”
Before long, your resources would be quoted and cited within your niche, firmly establishing you as an authority. You don’t have to aim for considerable research if you don’t have the resources. Instead, focus on likely unexplored gaps, such as research with your local community.
6. Highlight testimonials
Data from Brightlocal’s 2022 Customer Review Survey shows that the average customer pores over at least ten reviews before they trust a business. In other words, if you don’t have testimonials and reviews to back up your claims, forget about being considered an authority.
While testimonial snapshots and case studies on your website are handy, you should also place a premium on review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Customer Reviews, The Real Yellow Pages®, and Amazon Home Services.
7. Join established organizations and associations
Like guest blogging, becoming a member of a professional body/institute is a great way to get credibility by proxy. Since such bodies do due diligence and vouch for members, people generally hold you in high regard if you’re part of them.
Use VendorSmart to get ahead
When looking for jobs, you’re best off joining a reputable platform that customers trust and have worked with for years. If you’re in the community/home maintenance niche, we recommend joining VendorSmart. Our web-based platform helps vendors connect to hundreds of thousands of property managers and thousands of associations looking for your services. Join our platform to get started.