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This article was published on April 11, 2011

How to position yourself as an expert and get press

How to position yourself as an expert and get press
Danny Wong
Story by

Danny Wong

Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label (an award-winning luxury menswear company). He is also a marketer-at-large for Conversio (an all Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label (an award-winning luxury menswear company). He is also a marketer-at-large for Conversio (an all-in-one ecommerce marketing dashboard), Tenfold (a modern phone intelligence platform) and Big Drop Inc. (a web design and development agency). Want to connect? Reach him through his website.

As an expert in your niche, you get all kinds of special treatment from others that respect you and acknowledge your experience and wisdom in your area of specialty.

As an expert, you can leverage your knowledge to network with the right people and ultimately become an expert source for stories that publications are writing, bringing in tons of inbound PR inquiries. You can get press without having to announce something new at your company, but instead, by sharing your thoughts about a subject you are truly passionate about and have a lot of experience in.

Here are a few ways you can position yourself as an expert, getting the respect you deserve and press that you won’t have to hustle for:

1: Write a blog

You can author a blog in your niche (let’s say it is marketing), writing highly opinionated thoughts on what’s going on in the industry, what’s happening with Google and search, evaluating new technologies that are shaping the marketing landscape, etc.

If you’re publishing worthwhile thoughts, people will read them and soon enough, after a few really killer posts, people will begin contacting you wanting to hear your expert thoughts on marketing.

2. Do speaking engagements:

If you have some credibility behind you and have a decent network, you can volunteer to speak at events and conferences for free. Now’s the time to practice those public speaking skills and really show you know what you’re talking about.

When you’ve spoken at events, you’re a more credible professional, because rather than being a faceless author behind a blog or a faceless worker behind an email, you’re an intellectual being that stood up in front of a crowd who (mostly) listened to every word you said.

3. Show your cards

Talk about the success you’ve had. If you’re an expert in e-commerce solutions, let the world know about the big clients you’ve helped; the revenue you’ve made from the contracts you signed; the number of clients you’ve managed, and more. If you’ve accomplished anything incredible, that makes you worthy of being called an expert.

4. Write guest posts on influential blogs

If you don’t have time to author your own blog – and even if you already write your own blog – publishing some of your work on well-regarded, influential blogs can earn you a lot of respect. It’s not always easy to publish stories on these very selective blogs. With such high readerships, you’ll put yourself in front of plenty of people who will want to connect with you, asking you to be an expert source for their stories or blog posts.

5. Always accept interviews:

This way, when an interview is published on you, no matter how small the publication, you get to show that people want to hear from you, creating social proof around the fact that you’re a recognized expert. You also show you are accessible, which is valuable for anyone else that wants to connect with you for their publication. No one likes to waste time chasing leads for a story – that’s just annoying and inefficient.

6. Author an e-book or a published book:

Build some authority when you become the author of an e-book, or better yet, a printed piece of literature. Published authors and e-book writers are given a ton of respect because to write such works takes quite a bit of time, commitment, effort, research and smarts. The fact that you’ve accomplished something as notable as authoring an e-book, or a published book, gives others the impression that you are quite knowledgeable about the topic you wrote about and that you’re a worthy source to turn to for information about said topic.

7. Create a class or webinar series:

Become a teacher for other great minds in the industry, who will at some point be talking to the press about their experiences and if you had a strong enough impact in their careers and professional growth, you can be sure they’ll refer anyone looking for experts in that specific niche to talk to you. Also, you will get a lot of credibility in your industry if you execute a successful class or webinar series that is chock-full of rich information and brings in a lot of participants, giving you almost as much respect as someone with a PhD, so whenever someone else in the industry knows someone in the media looking for expert sources, you’re probably going to get a call.

I’d love to hear in the comments if you have any tips for ways to gain ‘expert’ status, and on using that status to get press. If you have any interesting anecdotes too, please share!

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