Getting leads for your business is never easy, especially when you don’t have an active sales team doing all the work for you. Money buys advertisements, but it doesn’t always buy the best exposure. Gaining leads and sales from potential clients can be done in a very cost effective manner, all while earning the confidence and satisfaction of your clients. The single-most beneficial way to gain clients without spending money is to publicize your business and yourself as an expert in your field or industry.
Here are 7 ways to demonstrate your expertise in your field & increase sales:
1. Write a Book
With the advancement of technology, becoming an author is easier than ever. You can virtually write, edit, publish and distribute your book without signing a Stephan King-like publishing contract. When you become an author, you are instantly viewed as an expert and at minimally, a go-to-guy (or girl) for information on specific topics. By doing so, it becomes easier to sell your product/service because your potential clients believe that you understand the need for your product/service, and therefore have a valuable product/service.
2. Use Social Networks to Share Your Knowledge
If you are not on any social networks, you are behind the times and should be extremely worried about your business strategy. If you are, then you are most likely on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or some other mainstream network. As trivial as these networks seem to be to some, the value can no longer be questioned. Regardless of what product/service you are selling, I can almost guarantee your consumers are on these networks. Use these mediums to reach out to your publics and express your knowledge on your specific industry. By sharing free information, you gain legitimacy, expertise status, and authority on topics that are related to your product/service. It is easier than ever to share knowledge. All these social networks have a “Status” section in which you can share information. Furthermore, organizing “friends,” “followers,” and “contacts” to become fans of your company or yourself can help you reach your customers and demonstrate the value of your product/service.
3. Create Your Own Blog That Provides Free Knowledge on Your Area of Expertise
Getting your own blog is easy. Use an easy content management system (CMS) like WordPress to set up your own blog within minutes. Purchase a cool domain name from GoDaddy for $7.17 (Google ‘Godaddy $6.95 domain’ to get the $7.17 after-tax price). By writing a blog, and updating it regularly, you can constantly add your expertise to the industry discussion. Turn your blog into a knowledge center on topics and subjects related to your company. Allow viewer comments to guide dialog and interaction. In doing so, you will see that viewers recognize you as an expert in your field. However, with all this being said, it is extremely important to not solicit your business. Don’t sell. Provide content. That is where value comes from.
4. Be a Contributing Writer for Relevant Blogs, Newspapers and Industry Resources
Bloggers are always looking for experts to guest post or guest write. It allows them to take a minimal break from writing, while still providing their viewers with valuable content. By contributing to other blogs, you are expanding your reach and exposing yourself to more viewers. When others read your posts on other sites, the perception is often that you must be an expert to be allowed to post on the blog they are reading.
5. Create a You-Tube Channel That Focuses on Your Industry-related Content
Video content is often just as valuable, if not more so, than articles and books related to particular content. You-Tube allows anyone to post videos that can be viewed by anyone in an organized fashion. Furthermore, creating a You-Tube channel, which is simply a channel dedicated to your videos, allows you to post content on specific topics that maintains a consistent crowd who can interact with your videos. To see a great example of how a You-Tube channel can truly transform a company, read the story of Gary Vaynerchuck
6. Host a Free Seminar
Like social media, sharing knowledge for free attracts tremendous amount of attention. Hosting a seminar on a specific topic can draw a lot of attention from individuals, organizations and companies that are interested in the same topic. This seminar can be at a physical location or online. By sharing such information, your audience will view you as an expert on that specific topic. A seminar will also allow you to potentially earn customers by hosting follow-up sessions, potentially for a fee, while your audience learns more about the topic as well as your company.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you Google a term, how often do you search past page 2 or 3? The answer is: probably never. Therefore, you view the search results that appear on Page 1 as more relevant, legitimate and more popular. Using SEO to get your company website, your blog or your brand on Google Page 1 for a related term can help solidify you or your business as an expert in your industry.
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