I’m going to be honest. I used to beat myself up about the fact I wasn’t an expert. Still now, I question: who am I to tell people how to do their own publicity and digital marketing? Really!
There are plenty of other public relations, social media and blog coaches out there doing great things.
But the thing is, I am an expert.
And you? You’re reading this post because you want to be positioned as an expert. Right? Well, guess what? You’re already there too.
End of blog post.
OK, so it’s more than just someone TELLING you you’re an expert.
The thing is, if you can tick off two or three of these:
- You know 85% more than your target market
- You’re getting results for clients
- You have your own blog, podcast or YouTube channel where you share your insights and thought leadership on your chosen topic
- You have an engaged social media following who want you to share more of what you know
- You’ve been featured in the media
- You’re a public speaker
- You have a book released
Then, I’m telling you, you’ve already positioned yourself as an expert. Now you just need to OWN it.
So how do you make the most of that positioning and catapult it even further?
You probably already know the answer. It’s publicity.
It’s one of the most cost-effective and quickest ways of raising your profile and expert status.
Journalists are constantly seeking experts in a wide range of fields to be their `go-to’ authorities to provide comment on the news and to understand complex issues in your industry. So get on their radar!
Easy enough. But how do you get on the media’s radar? Journalists are cynical. Super cynical. I know, because I was one. So you need to earn trust with them first.
Here are four things start your journey to position yourself as an expert and become their go-to person.
Get noticed by the media on social media
The best way to get noticed by a journalist is to start retweeting their content on Twitter (as long as it’s relevant to your followers) and commenting on their blog posts or online articles. In line with that, if you can show you have an active following on social media, it gives you more credibility in the eyes of the media. They don’t want to see your Facebook page or Twitter is a ghost town. It doesn’t fill them with confidence in wanting to use you as their `expert’.
They’re not going to know you’re willing to be interviewed if you don’t tell them. Simply shoot them an email and let them know who you are, that you’re willing to talk on xyz topic when needed and why they should care about you (ie TELL them why you are the expert and a perfect fit to help their audience). Hopefully, they’ve already started seeing you pop up on social media (if you did the first step), so your name isn’t just coming out of nowhere.
Put yourself in the journalist’s shoes. What would make you want to build a relationship with a business owner? As a journalist, I loved anyone who was helpful. I used to have a handful of great contacts who would send links to useful resources and information. They’d tip me off when they heard a great story, even if it had nothing to do with them. Become a resource for them, so when they DO have a story in your niche, you’re the first person they think of. You want to get yourself inside their little black book (mine was green, but you know what I mean!). Suddenly, journalists are chasing you – and not the other way around! As a business owner, what you want is a journalist who starts ringing you to ask: “So, what’s news?’’
Pick up the phone
Pick up the phone every now and again. That scary journo you’re so fearful of is most likely a 20-year-old cadet journalist who is far more nervous than you are. At least you know your topic. I wouldn’t advocate phoning a journalist with story ideas or tip offs ALL the time. You don’t want to be a serial pest. However, the occasional chat on the phone can do wonders for relationship building. In saying that, you need to figure out the likes and dislikes of the journalists you have on your target list. Each is different. Some actually much prefer the phone, because it eliminates overwhelm from all those emails. Plus, if an interview is needed, they can do it there and then. However, other journos aren’t a fan of people interrupting them with a phone call while they’re trying to write a story and would much rather you used email or even social media. The best way to figure out what YOUR target journalists like, is simply to ask them – `if I hear of a story, what’s the best way to let you know?’.
Of course, there’s more you can do too. You’ve got to:
– start sending tailored story pitches to your relevant key media that prove you’re the expert
– quickly respond to callouts they have seeking experts on your topic
– once you score an interview, be prepared with your key messages and sizzling sound bites that have them falling in love with you. You want to make it easy for them to quote you in stories
– once you get media coverage, be sure to leverage that media through your social media channels, your blog and any other platforms you have access to. You never know who’s reading, listening or watching your content – including other journalists!
– keep honing your industry knowledge and keeping up with the latest developments in your niche.
If you want to go deeper into learning what steps you need to take to position yourself as an expert and have journalists chasing YOU, then get instant access to Publicity Alchemy – a 5-week course to get your media coverage in 30 days.