So, you’re an expert in your field? Great! Now how do you turn that expert status into business? Sometimes, using your position of influence to solve all of your consumers’ problems with your products can hurt you. People don’t always want to be “sold,” and often leaders that take every opportunity to sell can suffer from a poor reputation. When people see that you’re primarily promoting yourself and your product, they start to value your opinion less.
Becoming a well-respected leader in your industry can be tricky, especially when you have your sights on sales. Here are a few tips for self-promotion and establishing credibility that will keep you top-of-mind without being too salesy.
- Become a thought leader – Since you’re an expert, show your industry you know what you’re talking about by participating in the larger conversation. Write blogs, articles and speak about what you know, where you think your industry is headed and best practices. Becoming a thought leader is an avenue to self-promotion, through positively contributing to your industry.
- Help out – When someone asks you for advice, step back from your product line and think of the best way to solve the problem. Provide helpful tips and tricks that might not necessarily lead to purchase. Showing that you care about your audience more than purchases will bolster your reputation.
- Skip the pitch – If every single social media post, every single byline or talking point is about selling yourself or your product, you’re going to lose credibility and followers. The idea here is to set yourself up as a leader in your space, and that means taking off your sales hat and putting on your thought leader hat.
- Be informed – Make sure you stay an expert by keeping on top of industry news and trends. If that means furthering your education with podcasts and webinars, do it. If that means attending industry events, do it. If that means openly learning from newcomers to your company, do it. The more informed you are the greater your credibility will be.
- Be authentic – No one wants to listen to or take advice from someone that seems fake and only out for themselves. Being your authentic self and building trust is an important part of being respected in your industry. An article on Inc.com agrees, “You need authenticity to cultivate credibility; when you’re trying to win trust, you can’t rely on the ‘fake it till you make it’ approach.”
- Just the facts – When making a point, there’s nothing more credible than facts and data. Whenever possible, use proven information to state your case. Referencing respected sources can help lend credibility to your point of view.
- Submit for awards – One way to engage in self-promotion is to seek recognition by submitting for awards. This can help engage your audience, attract new clients and boost your reputation without you even having to say anything beyond your acceptance speech.
Be an expert promoter
These are just a few ways you can engage in self-promotion and raise your credibility without being pushy, salesy or losing followers. Instead of using your position of influence to sell products, contribute on a larger scale to your industry and make sure you’re being attentive to your followers. Self-promotion and maintaining credibility become easy when you put your industry and customers first.